Tag Archives: Spotlight

The Iranian funds play

Today is all about Iran, the Washington Post and many others are giving the world the information that the previous president misled congress. Yet the Washington Post phrases it as ‘Obama administration misled Congress on possible Iranian access to U.S. financial system‘, they also mention that it is a Republican investigation. There are two issues, right off the bat, even before you read the article, the question becomes, where were the FBI and the CIA in this?

So when we get the first lines with “The Obama administration went out of its way in early 2016 to help Iran recoup previously sanctioned oil revenue stranded in an overseas account after the nuclear deal went into effect and actively misled Congress regarding those efforts, according to the results of a nearly two-year Republican investigation released early Wednesday“, we need to realise that the setting is wrong from the very start.

Before I go there, let’s follow the trail of crumbs that we get offered. next there is “Iran wanted to convert the money into U.S. dollars and then euros, but top U.S. officials had repeatedly promised Congress that Iran would never gain access to America’s financial system“, which is followed by “the Obama administration secretly issued a license to let Iran sidestep U.S. sanctions for the brief moment required to convert the funds through an American bank, an investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday showed. The plan failed when two U.S. banks refused to participate” and finally we get: “the revelation is re-igniting the bitter debate over the nuclear deal and whether former President Barack Obama was too eager to grant concessions to Tehran“. The full story (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/obama-era-license-aimed-to-let-iran-convert-money-in-dollars/2018/06/06/60be6d36-6971-11e8-a335-c4503d041eaf_story.html) gives us a lot more, but initially, we get ‘The plan failed‘. So this was seemingly (according to a previous Obama official) about the Iranian money held overseas. The issue seems seen with “No one involved seems certain whether Iran has yet received all of its $5.7 billion“, yet as I see it, that does not seem to be the case. When you think this through, $5.7 billion amounts to 11.2 million barrels based on the average oil price, this amounts to funds equal to 26 hours of oil production in Saudi Arabia, 26 hours! Now we are not debating whether Iran is allowed access to the funds, the fact that we see that this much oil (or so little in Saudi Arabia), whilst in Iranian production it amounts to 4 days of oil production is a Joke. Oil still goes to Asia, so all this fanfare for 4 days of oil production? This is about something else entirely, or it is about a very different amount of money. I let you mull that part over, so when we look at the second article (also Washington Post), we see in the article called ‘Secret Obama-era permit let Iran convert funds to dollars’ where we are ‘treated’ to “Iran had been promised access to its long-frozen overseas reserves, including $5.7 billion stuck in an Omani bank“, which we knew to some extent, yet the full economic value is not given, which is also an issue, you see that stuff makes interest, so at that point who gets that money? Is it locked in the Iranian account, or was it the balancing act to the seesaw that is going up and down on €11 trillion in essential European and American debt guarantees? The second article has pretty much what the first one had, but we also see (slightly more clearly) “And when questioned by lawmakers about the possibility of granting Iran any kind of access to the U.S. financial system, Obama-era officials never volunteered that the specific license for Bank Muscat in Oman had been issued two months earlier. According to the report, Iran is believed to have found other ways to access its money, possibly by exchanging it in smaller quantities through another currency“, this now gives us the part (when going back to the first article: “Lew, according to documents reproduced in the report, had been given Treasury talking points explaining the Omani conundrum, he chose not to mention it in a House hearing in late March“, this reference to former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, where we wonder that if this is about the question, was the question correctly phrased, or perhaps the better setting is, was he breaking any laws not mentioning the ‘Omani Conundrum’?

I cannot state without the full text and even if we agree that there is an issue, we now get back to the very core of the matter. If it involves US Banks and when we reconsider ‘the plan failed when two U.S. banks refused to participate‘, two out of exactly how many banks? That part is also not revealed here. So now we get to the part where it becomes either the US treasury AND the FBI who seemingly did not act here, the Omani Conundrum implies that the CIA turf was trodden on and the communications (in several levels) give us that the NSA ignored it. So what is going on? Did anything actually happen? Because that question is becomes valid when we reconsider ‘the plan failed‘. If that is true, then why is the Washington Post, one of the most revered newspapers in the USA not giving the correct light on this? In addition, the outstanding questions that we get from the mere substance given becomes an issue when we see the words of President Trump “this disastrous deal gave this [Iranian] regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States,”. Yet how much money was actually released, through the deal and from 2015 onwards? None of that data is available through the articles. So what exactly is US congress playing with now, because this all looks like a really loud smokescreen, all emotion and no contributable facts on the matter. How many banks were part of it (and their names), which two banks refused (double plus points for them two) and in light of merely one $5.7 billion source we need to see the scope of the money, especially in light of the setting that Iran is even now shipping oil to Asia. Are those not valid questions? In all this, where were the FBI and CIA when this was going down and more importantly why is there no mention of their part in all this, or were they not part of any of it? That is equally an issue, because if there is evidence that they were in different states of activity and actionable requirements regarding Iran during the two presidencies, the people have an equal right to know, do they not? You see, in the larger scope that matters, because the Yemeni issue is covering two presidencies, so if (a very clear if) the CIA was less vigilant during the previous presidency, it might also explain a few things on how missiles are getting shipped from Iran to Yemen, if the manifest states 1013 barrels of oil for humanitarian aid, it might explain a little more than we bargained for. Now the last part was speculative and knowingly incorrect, yet the question remains valid. This was not some article from the enquirer, or the Canton Cherokee Tribune, it is the Washington Post. In many (global) cases that newspaper is seen as gospel right next to the Financial Times, so when two articles give us so many questions in all this, I need to wrap my head around the option that Martin Baron is either on vacation or perhaps down with the flu. The man who inspired Tom McCarthy to make Spotlight should have a better grasp on the entire Iranian fund issue and how it should be made visible in my Hummer opinion.

Because behind all this is not merely the oil, or the Iranian uranium enrichment plans. It in equal measure gives another light that we get from “The draft involved a general license, a blanket go-ahead that allows all transactions of a certain type, rather than a specific license like the one given to Oman’s Bank Muscat, which only covers specific transactions and institutions“, you see, if that is in play and when we remember the G30 bankers group, the one that got some limelight, for ONE DAY. After that all the media dropped the issues when the people were given the sight of Mario Draghi being a member of this insiders only club, a club that he had to give up and no one (except for me that is) followed up on that. All the media left it alone. So when we see that part from April 18th 2018, where Reuters and the Financial Times give us that he would remain a member, the ECB and others never acted on it and silently wait it to go away, now we see the Omani Conundrum issue and I have to wonder, as bankers will do trade with anyone, what licenses are out there that no one knows about, more important, whoever the owner of the funds are that they get to play with ahead of all other banks, with close to €3 trillion in extra printed money for the game of bonds, in all this, what else are we not seeing and as this optionally directly reflects on Iran’s and all the billions we are left unaware of, how is it that the Washington Post seems to not care (or rather stated, believingly unimportant issues that are therefor not investigated) are out there with two pages set to issues in a setting of ‘the plan failed‘ and ‘at the end of the day, nothing worked‘. Which makes me wonder if any transgression was committed and what it was all about. Time will tell whether we see more revelations tomorrow and more important if it leads to anything actionable, because that will be come the heart of the matter soon enough.



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The Commanding Conquest

The NY Times gave us a view, some are laughing, some are looking forward, some are grasping at the past, but you and me? What will we do? What are our thoughts?

That is the view I am having when I see ‘A Glimpse of a Crown Prince’s Dream? Saudi Arabia Invades Iran in CGI‘ (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/20/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-iran-invasion-video.html). The video shown is not new, the article revealed that the movie was uploaded last December and has had 1.2 million views. That’s around 400,000 a month. We see the application of CGI and Command & Conquer intro movie style towards the games that Iran has been playing. So as we see “In scene after scene, he orders a succession of superior weapons systems to pulverize the enemy“, we see a setting, one that is changing. It is what I would optionally call the sabre rattling by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who according some of the sources is stated to be behind this all. I cannot tell, I do not know. But it is clear that Iran is also realising that everyone is looking at them now and none of the voices are telling Saudi Arabia to stop. Those voices will come too late and at that point, with the EU not willing to give an inch towards Iran, Iran will stand alone. Even Russia who has been their trade buddy for the longest of times is backing off a little, as they would endanger the foothold that they are growing in the Middle East via Syria. In addition, if there is a side, than Israel will never choose it will be the side of Iran, that ship has sailed and was burned down the moment it left the harbour of Jaffa.

One view given was “a Princeton professor who recently published a column explaining the challenges Prince Mohammed faces in the kingdom, suggested in an email that the Iranians themselves might have made the cartoon “to make the Saudis look silly”“, it is certainly one view, but when we consider Command & Conquer, is it as simple as Saudi Arabia v Iran, or is there a third player in town? The view that former CIA employee Bruce Riedel has differs as well. He of course has just published a new book based on 3 decades of experience and his view is “This represents how he sees himself, or what he would like to be, It suggests that at least some part of Mohammed bin Salman lives in a fantasy world, and if he really believes these things then we are on a course that could be extremely destructive“. It is not a view that I could state was incorrect due to lack of data, but if the Crown Prince has set this all in motion, is it in the end anything else than a creative presentation? Lets not forget, if we plough through the presentations of historical CIA, most of their directors would have ended up in prison, as would some members of congress and at least two former Presidents of the United States. So the view given here is not one that seems to be the pressure here. I actually like a later view in the article in the NY Times where we see “Other scholars suggested that one of the prince’s courtiers might have commissioned the video to flatter him“, that is one part that appeals, it would even be better if it was made by the courtiers son who has the dream of becoming the coolest game designer in Saudi Arabia, which is not a bad dream to pursue to begin with.

No matter who or what it is regarded to be. When we consider it from the distance, it is merely a presentation, one that took effort. My view on the third player is shown (in my humble opinion) by “The video was released almost simultaneously in Arabic and English, with subtitles in Farsi, Hebrew, Mandarin, Russian, Turkish and other languages, so its animators probably also had the help of a team of linguists“, you see no matter how they feel about Israel, Saudi Arabia would have been unlikely to have taken the effort, even when relying on Google Translate and even as we know that Israel will never be a friend of Iran, it is my personal view that Saudi Arabia would not have taken the effort to get the ‘Hebrew’ edition out there, giving rise to the third party. I would need to see the full list of subtitle editions, to learn how precise my prediction is, but I think that the players adding the Hebrew edition shot themselves in the foot.

Yet it does also give light to “Prince Mohammed is a long-time fan of animation and video games. His personal foundation set up a venture, Manga Productions, to produce Japanese-style animation about Saudi Arabia and its culture“. Did you know this? Many have been curious about Saudi Culture; many wonder just how warped the press had made certain settings of Saudi Culture. Now I know that it is not the culture, with all the options that Western Europe had, but that is their history, learning more about it will only make things better for both sides. So when we see “Japanese animation productions major Toei Animation is teaming up with Saudi Arabia’s Manga Productions to produce animation titles and films to be released in both countries. The new tie-up was unveiled Nov. 16. Manga Productions, which is affiliated with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s MiSK Foundation, focuses on producing animations and developing video games with creative and positive content targeting different local and international social groups. Bukhari Isam, CEO of Manga Productions, said that his company will do pre-production or prepare designing content to be produced in Japan. The productions will be internationally targeted”. Most forms of information that is linked to Japanese excellence tend to be very well received on a global scale. So in all this we would need to realise that the media has been keeping information from us all. Now, there is no way that everyone will suddenly become a ‘Saudi’s best buddy’, but the setting that we see almost no exposure to this and that in the age of learning and comprehension that is one view that we are filtered from is equally dangerous. There is no other way to see it other than that the Muslim way of life has a global impact on nearly all, even if it is often not visible. Is it so bad to learn more on something that has no Christian foundation? Are we so afraid for the switching of atheists and agnostics to state: “This sounds like a much better way“, is the often hidden setting that Christians filter what must not be seen that has been a hindrance for decades! Should you oppose that (which is perfectly fine), than take a look at Spotlight, a 2015 movie on an unfrocked priest accused of molesting more than 80 boys. This was based on the 2001 event where editor Marty Baron of The Boston Globe assigns a team of journalists to investigate allegations against John Geoghan, the fore mentioned unfrocked priest. The article became proof of the cover-up of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church. An issue that still impacts people today. Less than a day ago we see ‘Cardinal George Pell could face fresh charges after new witness statement emerges‘. This is merely one of many issues that had been pushed to the hidden shadows of society. These events are still being shown to be an issue 15 years after the initial article got out, so we can state that there has never ever been an events where filtering based on religion gave us wisdom, the media is only finding this out because it ups the circulation of their papers. There is a hard lesson to be learned there.

So, as we take a look at the Crown Prince, and the video game intro movie? Perhaps we will learn the truth of whoever was really behind it and what the purpose was. Perhaps it will be as simple as a member of the Saudi royal family telling Iran that they need to stop playing their games, because some mind games tend to become realities with fatalities and in this a video game is merely the presentation of artistic design. We all need to realise that only in a videogame foundation can a 1.68m tall model wearing nothing but cargo pants and a tank top take out dozens properly clothed mercenaries armed to the teeth with a bow, a knife and an ice axe, because that is where our minds in video games tend to end. So will the intro movie become a reason for war? I very much doubt it, whilst we are looking at these events, most are now forgetting that both Iran and Turkey are isolating themselves more and more, Iran for fuelling the events in Yemen and Turkey for the actions in pretty much all the Kurdish regions. In the end they can merely depend on one another, which would be a clear ending to whatever economy they thought they had. As Iran is dealing with 25% youth unemployment and Turkey with 24.1%, they both have other immediate needs. So in the end, even as the Command and Conquer, Saudi edition looked cool, a mere presentation of how opening trade and growing other economic options is a solution to youth unemployment, it seems that both Iran and Turkey are far far away from learning that lesson for now.

So as we end with two more parts from the NY Times. The first being: “The video appears to show an accurate reflection of the vast Saudi arsenal, with two exceptions. The tanks labelled in the video as Abrams M1s, the most advanced American model, look more like the outdated Patton M60s. And Saudi Arabia does not have the ships needed to transport them to Iran, said Douglas Barrie, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London“, which might be perfectly fine, so when we see the second part we see: ““The Saudis have a very limited amphibious capability,” Mr. Barrie said. “They do not have the platforms for a large-scale amphibious operation.”“, we might all agree, but these high paid people have taken the time to analyse a video game intro, so as the optional third player makes another movie, will they look at it again? When it comes in a box with image below, will we hear from these people about the substandard weapons that the French are using? #JustSaying





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Opinions are like dicks

This is going to be a weird day; I can feel it in my bones. Whenever my hair goes 180 degrees into the other direction, I know the day will be rough. It turned slightly rougher when I saw the piece by Christina Patterson in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/20/porn-warps-culture-credit-card-footprint), there are a few issues with the article as I personally see it. You see, the people have had their say on porn for the longest amount of times. For me it is one of the ‘holiest of places’ as it shows the people just how hypocrite they can get. She starts right of the bat with “Many of us can remember the shock. Naked ladies!” and that is coming from a woman who should accept the natural part of her body as… natural. OK, she added after that “In a magazine!” it merely shows you all how ignorant she actually is as she passed the half century mark (an age thing). So, if you ever go to Amsterdam, one of the musts will be the Sex Museum. You see, it is actually merely a few minutes from Amsterdam Central Station, it is one of the cheapest museums in Amsterdam to visit and it is a real eye opener. There you are confronted with paintings, sculptures and other art. Also objects like an Ivory Dildo, snuffboxes depicting porn, all items with some of them going back to the 16th century. Art covers on Vinyl’s (a 70’s thing) and even a street showing on how the red light district was and still is to some degree. It is actually informative both the adult boys and girls, and this museum is also highly recommended to visit as a couple. So when she goes on about “But, still, to see those naked ladies, as you giggled with your friend, was a shock“, we can say that this is fair enough. Not everyone feels comfortable seeing nudity. So as we see “porn has moved on a bit since then” we need to correct her a little. There are pornography shots going back to the 1900’s taken with the earliest cameras. Consider that Playboy started in 1953 and Penthouse in 1965 and July 1974 saw the beginning of Hustler. The growth for more explicit pictures was not just uncanny; the entire Sexual revolution in the 70’s gave the start for a porn empire of magazines and classifieds that grew into a multi-billion dollar industry within 20 decades. Now, Christina is certainly allowed her views in all this. Yet, the hypocrisy is actually seen when you know more about the background of certain things and just like the age of hypocrisy grows, the church gets involved (as I see it, it fuelled it). So it is time to get back to Larry Flynn to give it a certain ambiance. To get the sides right we need to add that in August 1933 Jerry Lamon Falwell Sr. was born (not named senior at birth though), a conservative and an American Southern Baptist Pastor, a ‘so called’ pillar of the community. The man was in the eyes of certain people hypocrite, now we can say that most televangelists tend to be hypocrites to a certain degree, yet this man took it beyond normal measures. So when we read some of his idea’s (idea’s that he is allowed to have) and we see “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals” as well as “If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being“, you can imagine how some will react. By the way, I have met both Hindu’s and Muslims who have shown more what some call ‘Christian values’ (like helping thy neighbour, care for the weak and be charitable) than most Christians EVER will. So there!

In all this Larry Flynn saw in this man a valid target to ridicule some of the hypocrite values that were shown, the entire matter had gone to court over and over until it got to the Supreme Court in 1988, here we get Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988), which ended in an 8-0 unanimous decision for Larry Flynn. You see, when you see the quote “According to a report commissioned by the NSPCC last year, about half of 11- to 16-year-olds have seen explicit sexual material online. They were, the report said, more likely to find it accidentally than to seek it out“, I would like to remind certain members of the hypocrite political branch that they merely did this to themselves. To explain that, I have to take you back to the early 90’s. The internet was no longer Arpanet and started to take off. It was around 1993 when certain parties had a first issue with adult entertainment. It was growing like wildfire and anyone with knowledge of HTML could get a nice paid job in that industry instantly. Which was in the days when security was a decent joke and those in the know around it did not need a subscription, merely the IP number and the right path to the art and you could easily save the directory with all the artwork (awesome access in early internet days). Yet the serious vendors in this industry understood certain values and were willing to talk around certain domains, providing that there would be no restrictions beyond that. Of course certain conservative players were all in arms (because the pastor called them) and the so called hypocrite god fearing community ware all in opposition even before the day ended. You see, these people living in pretence of having virtues and moral principles pleaded the immorality of porn and then went to the nearest hooters and after a few beers would seek out the closest hooker to get a blow job (speculative thought). Yet that one moment, the option when the adult industry wanted their own part in responsibility (.XXX had been voiced) we see the church who opposes that and subsequently fucks the choirboys in whatever hole they could, which is less speculative as the Catholic church is confronted with sexual abuse numbers that exceed 100,000 abuse victims in the US alone. That has been one of the driving forces on immorality. The movie Spotlight (with Michael Keaton & Mark Ruffalo) gives only part of the issue, all true, based on clear evidence from the investigative reporting of the Boston Globe. At present, in Australia over 4,000 alleged cases exist. With 90% of them boys with the average age being below 12 (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-06/child-sex-abuse-royal-commission:-data-reveals-catholic-abuse/8243890), so whilst we see that as implied the political branch was all up in arms, they took advice from a collection of paedophiles. Great job!

So in the early 90’s there was an option to give less options to accidently get to these adult entertainment places, yet now we see the other part in all this. If ‘sex sells’ than advertising would be more valuable there. So when the world gets to live with the factor that one domain would be (speculatively estimated) well over 60% of all traffic, how much value would the other places have for advertisement?

The second issue is seen with “Expert witnesses told the women and equalities committee last year that girls are now wearing shorts under their skirts, in an attempt to survive the “normalised culture of sexual harassment in schools”. Children, in other words, are being stripped of their childhoods“, this is indeed pretty awful. Yet when we see the Netherlands we get (at http://www.ad.nl/binnenland/overheid-heeft-pedofilie-jarenlang-gedoogd~a870a359/), the title gives the goods ‘Overheid heeft pedofilie jarenlang gedoogd‘, which translates to “the government has silently accepted paedophilia for years” (there is a fair issue that the translation should be ‘tolerated’ and not ‘silently accepted’ which is my take on the issue as it was given), the entire mess is partially to blame on a political and police system that preferred to remain in denial, perhaps the names Jimmy Saville & Garry Glitter ring a bell in the UK?

So when Christina comes with her (validly allowed) view of “Oh, and users may be asked to give credit card details, and perhaps even be charged a small fee. A fee that might appear on a bank statement that might, for example, be seen by your wife“, I see her as no more than a condescending tart. You see, that is exactly the problem how the issue is not avoided, not solved, but would allow for the issues to be pushed towards ‘somewhere else’. So, as some firms will offer photo forums on Dark web (some extreme players already do), she is basically setting the stage for more wide stream groups to go to Dark web too. The problem there is that there will be no oversight and even less control of who goes there or what they will see and face. That was a really bright idea from Sandra Dee Patterson (not!). The entire issue could have been averted well over 20 years ago, but she is now upping the ante by having even less control, less insight and less oversight, and close to no monitoring options. The dangers that these high school boys and girls will get the pictures of boys and girls through their smartphone to the Dark web would speculatively go up 10 fold as the investigating parties do not have an overview and even less options to monitor and retrieve Dark web events. This adds up to more dangers and less protective options for the people actually in the line of work of trying to protect victims.

So even as Christina does not have a husband, she made matters optionally worse for millions of wives and double the amount of worry for these mothers, a real bright move Christina! Yet it is her view and she is entitled to it.

So now we get to the funny part with “It’s possible, of course, that people watch this stuff and remain loving partners and pillars of society. It’s more likely that they don’t. It’s possible, of course, that people watch this stuff and remain loving partners and pillars of society. It’s more likely that they don’t. I’ve interviewed a number of men whose porn addiction, and sexting habits, have lost them their marriage, their jobs and their homes. These are the extremes, of course, but there’s not much doubt that porn is changing our culture whose porn addiction, and sexting habits, have lost them their marriage, their jobs and their homes. These are the extremes, of course, but there’s not much doubt that porn is changing our culture“, you see, it is funny as the mention of ‘I’ve interviewed a number of men‘, how many? You see, places like Pornhub have around 15 million unique visits a day, so at best she has talked to 0.00006% of that population ever, so as 99.99994% is unknown, how did she get any real feel of what that population is like? there is no doubt in my mind that the largest part reflects near adult (or recently adult) boys with hormonal drives and more likely than not with speedy hands, there is also a growing trend (as speculated by others) that the amount of women taking a peek is a lot larger now than it was 5 and 10 years ago. Yet the largest group will soon outgrow this phase and as these young man end up with a girl happy to spend time in a bedroom or any room naked with them their need will focus on actual sex than watching it (just my speculation on the matter).

The next quote is actually important. As she states “The internet has already changed so much of our culture. We rage. We shriek. We hate. We do this in the name of “free speech”. We buy things with a click. We swipe for sex. We want instant everything, all the time. And we want it all to be free“, she hits the large nail with a slightly too small a hammer, because it is not merely on the free content, it is the question on how the content was acquired. This is a larger issue than you think. Some will give 10 pics free and hope that the person subscribes for $10 to see the 89 other photos and an additional movie with 1080p for any computer or mobile device, as well as a million fold more images and movies for a mere $10 a month. Sex sells so as 99 might not go there, 1 will and 1% of 15 million visitors still adds up to a massive amount of money, it easily sells itself. Yet the part that she ignores is that when the people go to the Dark web, the origin of the photos will be less straightforward. It could be the old BBS ‘peer to peer system’, when you upload one movie (or photo) you get to download ten additional movies. So how long until these people let’s say in year 12 start finding ways to get some unclad pictures of young women? That is the danger that parents are more than likely to face. When it was all on the up and up there was some option of monitoring and control, I fear that certain pushes in the UK will start to push in very wrong directions.

In the end the idea of age proof is not bad, it might even be good, yet the way around it will need some very diplomatic and technological hands, because it is not merely how it is done, the idea that junior gets a hold of dad’s credit card and personal details is not really that far-fetched, so how long until the debating parents on issues of ‘perversion’ realise that it was junior all along? As I see it, the idea is not bad, you merely need to go around it another way on getting an anonymous database system that could function as a non-repudiation system that merely require the need to set the premise of 18+, which is actually a fair system in light of the other opportunities wasted by those who looked at the bible and chose Luke 12, John 9 and Mark 10 to get their jollies off. There is however one upside (apart from the 18+), as we are more and more pushed to the new IPv6, when that happens we could revisit the entire 1993 event and allow a part of IPv6 to be unmonitored and explicitly for adult entertainment. By the way, which is also good to know is that some of the adult entertainment players wanted some sort of segregation to keep it safe away from children, so in that Christina is pretty much on their side with “It’s children they were trying to protect, and the only way to protect those children is to make all users of online porn leap through a few hoops“, in that, that in those days there would have been option to for example to add .XXX to a sort of ‘child lock’ system as US cable TV had (which would have been the next step in the US with AOL), this made sense as AOL grew from 200,000 uses to 34,000,000 in the height of their now no longer existing empire. Yet at that point there was a good option to get a handle on issues, but the uppity religious hypocrites pushed them into the WWW at any address they could, some even merely living through IP addresses.

We can never totally avoid that the wrong people (age wise) go there, yet in all this we can avoid the chance of people going there accidently. We merely need to accept as it has been proven through the centuries that some claim that our heavenly father came up with all that lives and grows and on the 7th  day, either Adam or Eve (not pointing fingers here Adam!), one of the two came up with adult entertainment.

So in the end, opinions are like dicks and perhaps in this I am a dick at present, yet as I see it, when we see that porn has been around for well over 4,000 years, it is time to stop being huffy, puffy and stupid around it. If protecting children was truly the only concern, the bulk of the Catholic Church should be in prison spending double digits in Sing Sing. This reminds me of A Jimmy Carr joke, ‘the innocent members of the College of Cardinals were questioned on the issue of Sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church; they were both sickened by the notion!‘ (The College of Cardinals has 225 members). If the politicians got religion out of all of this (and especially the linked hypocrisy) we could have had protective solutions for the longest of times, so focussing on a solution that works, instead of some half-baked system that allows for conceited stigmatisation, we could actually get somewhere, yet at present, when we see how certain parties play their media game, the dangers are growing to an overwhelming rate that in the end, more and more adult entertainment internet sites are pushed into the Dark web, next to the actual sleazy extreme adult sites that upsets the bulk of the entire planet. It will push too many under aged people there too, the one place where they suddenly have additional optional access to weapons and drugs in their raised hormonal state, a dangerous escalation to say the least.



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Rampling was the domino

It is a side I had not thought of for quite a while. I have my own views, movies I like, movies I go to see. When I do, there is no regard towards race or religion. I just want to see a good movie, for the mere reason that going to the cinema is expensive, so when I go there, it better be a good one. So when I initially read the article ‘Charlotte Rampling finds herself outnumbered in Oscars diversity row‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/22/charlotte-rampling-finds-herself-outnumbered-in-oscars-diversity-row), I was not entirely sure what to think. For me, I am still slightly upset on the Golden globes, because no matter how much I enjoyed the Martian, it is NOT a comedy. A light-hearted drama at best. So in my eyes, the foreign press desperately wanted to get the Martian elected even though EVERYONE knew that the titanic achievement ‘the Revenant’ could not be equalled. So, they were willing to screw over Paul Feig or Judd Apatow, depending on your view of comedy. In that same light Matt Damon should not have won, not because his achievement was bad, it was quite excellent and I will look forward to own this achievement on Blu-Ray in 17 days, 13 hours and 14 minutes (roughly, but who’s counting). Yet, I will see this as excellent drama, not as a comedy. All the movies I saw, had a Caucasian caste. I thought nothing of it, no bad thoughts; no directed thoughts. There was an African American in Star Wars and he played his part really well, just nothing I would nominate a Golden globe or Oscar to. The day is young and I will look forward to him rocking my world as an actor in a future movie hr does. I have seen my share of excellent acting in Sidney Poitier (Heat of the night), Morgan Freeman (loads of movies there), Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop/Harlem Nights), and Don Cheadle (Traitor). Here I pause for a moment, you see, this is a serious piece of work based on an idea by funny guy Steve Martin. The result is a spy thriller of unrivalled proportions and until the very end, you have no idea what will happen. As Spy stories goes, this is a killer! We tend to look at Freeman in the Shawshank Redemption, or one of my favourites ‘I, Robot’ with Will Smith, but in all this, we are limited by the exposure we tend to see through marketing (trailers). Because of that element I almost missed out on a gem called ‘Seven Pounds’, which is an amazing piece of work. Yes, it is sentimental, and there are truths in the view Todd McCarthy from Variety has, but it seems that his world is about one view, it is his view. I try to see multiple views, not always mine, one I can agree with or a comfortable one, but the fact remains that we all have our own skeletons, sometimes they are dark and leave no sunlight or a shadow. In this his last ‘view’ was “an endlessly sentimental fable about sacrifice and redemption that aims only at the heart at the expense of the head” (at http://variety.com/2008/film/awards/seven-pounds-2-1200472723/), but in all this Variety forgets that movies are made to appeal an audience and in a directly addressable audience of well over 3 billion, there is a need for everyone. It is for that reason I have a similar appreciation for Lars von Trier’s ‘Dancer in the Dark‘ (and ended up being depressed for well over a week).

The question becomes, how correct is Charlotte Rampling. She is not wrong and I feel that the issue goes a lot further than is currently illustrated. That part is also shown in the Guardian article when you see the video on that page with Mark Ruffalo. But neither show the element I am aiming for. You see, it was not until the Golden Globes that I saw that Will Smith was nominated for a role in a movie I had absolutely ZERO awareness of. Wiki and the trailer of Concussion shows a drama that hits at the heart of America. It shows two sides, one, do not ever mess with their ‘sport’ and the second issue is that America remains in denial as long as it is convenient for their bottom dollar. In that Concussion seems to surpass several dramas. You see, this issue goes a lot further than what we see from either Charlotte Rampling or Mark Ruffalo state, although Mark reflects on the direction. You see it goes further than we see in the article. the quote “An analysis by the Los Angeles Times in 2014 found that the 6,000-plus members are 93% white and 76% male, with an average age of 63“, a system that is set around a nation where the median age is 39, state wise spread from Utah (29) to Maine (44). You see, the people looking at the entertainment industry are no longer representative of their age, which gives a new problem. It is their marketing and publication side. The fact that a gem like Concussion, a 2015 movie that only gets visibility after the nominations of the golden Globes is a bigger problem than many realise. Now we see in the Hollywood Reporter, the following quote by Charlotte Rampling “I simply meant to say that in an ideal world every performance will be given equal opportunities for consideration“, which is true and part of the problem, because that is unlikely to be the case. Equally true is the quote we see from Michael Caine “You Can’t Vote for an Actor Because He’s Black“, which is equally true. The actors I mentioned earlier did the work, the hardship and ended up with the nominations, yet in opposition I offer that my view is in equal measure that there is an indication that votes are lost, or not duly received because of colour. In that light I offer ‘the Color Purple‘ which in 1986 rocked da house! The Academy awards had given it 11 nominations, ZERO wins. Whoopi Goldberg did get her Golden Globe, but they lost out on 4 other nominations. One out of 15, which is statistically a joke. Yet is it mere fate? You see Out of Africa was good, but not great (a personal view). I feel this because I enjoyed both movies, but I have since (1986) watched the Color Purple at least 8 times on DVD and Out of Africa? Nil times! In other lights, it had fierce competition from Prizzi’s Honor (Anjelica Huston) and Ran (Emi Wada), yet are the other 9 times deserved non-winners? I feel I cannot state this for certain, but with the exception of Best Original Screenplay I have a few too many question marks.

In all this we see that the Color Purple is more than a failing marketing and visibility campaign. Which is at the heart of non-recognition. In 2016 there is another side that we see in the Oscars. Concussion gets zero nominations. Here is it harder to oppose it, because the Revenant, Spotlight and Bridge of Spies are massive pieces of Work, which does allow for the situation to exist, yet in that same light, as we see the group that represents the Academy Awards, how many were clearly aware of Concussion and how many of them would see Concussion as the gem it is? In that same light, did the failure of marketing and publications now propagate the situation that Concussion is not making the BAFTA list? We have to accept that this is about American Football and as such, when we see that the BAFTA’s stated purpose is to “support, develop and promote the art forms of the moving image, by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public“, we have to consider that American Football is an American interest and as such, Will Smith could miss out for the interest group, not because of his quality or the fact that he is an African American. But the issue remains, has marketing and publications cut themselves in their American fingers?

An issue that will remains for a longer time, because as the power players are growing away from the average younger audience, the selection could become a lot more disjointed, which might actually be a little too strong an expression.

The truth remains that we all have valid questions at times, yet in that same light we must accept (to some degree) that the bulk have an opinion, an impression and a preference. It is at times influenced by marketing as the people are given the royal tour by the promoters of the movies. We see at PRSA.ORG “Oscar campaigns are not cheap — campaign budgets can run $24 million per film. Mailing DVD screeners to the Academy’s 6,000-plus members, advertising in trade publications, attending festivals, hosting screening events and conducting media tours are only the beginning“, the Public Relations Society of America is decently outspoken here. Money rolls, which means that the name alone will not do it. Will Smith is a bankable name, but in the end, it is more than just the name, the DVD screeners and opportunity here. It is a business model, which now implies that art is not at the heart of the matter, product marketing is. The question that remains here is that if a movie needs that kind of marketing, how memorable was it?  Perhaps that is the wrong question too. Not everyone has time to see all the movies and the fact that some movies are not released on disc long after the Oscars is equally an issue, so is that approach wrong?

I cannot vote against it unless it is more than the actual book, the movie or the soundtrack. Optimising any product is far enough, but in that light, was Concussion properly optimised for exposure to the public and the audience at large? If not, who was behind that part? It is a Sony production, yet should this be about the awards? I wonder if the really good actors really take a role for that reason. In this I like to quote Tim Mincin In his UWA acceptance speech. There he states “Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy, and you might find you get some as a side effect“, which seems to be (in my mind) how the great actors could think. Will Smith has had 85 nominations and 45 awards. None of them golden globes or Oscars. In the Golden globe section he lost out to Russell Crowe and Forest Whitaker who both delivered amazing performances that year, yet as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air he lost out to both John Goodman and Jerry Seinfeld, both series I was never a fan of, but they have their own following. In the Academy Awards he lost out to Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. A much harder choice, because both The Pursuit of Happyness and The Last King of Scotland are amazing works of art. I found the call between Ali and Training Day much harder because of my admiration of Muhammad Ali. So I know that I have bias here, I feel valid bias as the arts are about moments and ideals, Will Smith has been on that fine line many times. It is CNN (at http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/18/sport/nfl-head-injuries-will-smith-movie-concussion/) that gives us “I probably won’t be getting my free Super Bowl tickets this year“, which is part of all this (apart from the fact that I never received ANY free tickets for any of the Ashes games), we see again that America will be in denial or in opposition as the NFL is the bottom dollar at least one day a week. I cannot oppose this. Yet reflecting on this, I feel a little uncertain when it comes to an outspoken #OscarsSoWhite. My issue in this case is that the opposition this year is massive, Spotlight, the Revenant, Bridge of Spies and the Martian are outstanding pieces of excellence. We can complain that these roles were too absent of African American roles, but that is based on different elements, in my view, not a #OscarsSoWhite view, or is it?

In all this we must see that we are not part of the actual world the actors and actresses live in. They would have a more realistic view, which makes the entire #OscarsSoWhite such an uneasy issue. You see, I feel that #OscarsSoWhite is almost a personal attack, I see the movies I like, and because of the reasons I see them. So, even as a written off product like ‘Seven Pounds’ is one I enjoyed, I enjoyed Gravity as well, and I enjoyed the Martian in near equal measure (the special effects in Gravity were just so awesome). In all this race was never a consideration. That is my personal view, I cannot answer for others, you must decide on your reasoning and your preference, which is as it should be with anything that comes from the arts.

This now gets me to the final part. As I saw it, from the first moment I saw the movie (not when it was released as I was 5 at that time), is that Virgil Tibbs made ‘In the Heat of the night’ the movie it was, the legend it became. Sir Sidney Poitier made the movie what it was (Rod Steiger was great too). So here we have our issue we want to feel that #OscarsSoWhite is valid, we do however want to base it on the now, not on 50 years ago. So can we question the issues, or is there a second layer that we are to some extent conveniently ignoring. One of marketing and PR, the other on the denial that the NFL (Americans with their idolisation of their sport in general) seems to bring. Two elements that seem to equally make the movie Concussion fall short. Those elements are not illustrated in equal measure here, which does not give any less value to Will Smith, it only impacted the topic Will Smith illustrated (as I personally see it).

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