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High Seas Hollywood
I commend Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film: An Odyssey. I’m still in my first viewing of it, I expect I’ll watch it repeatedly for whatever remains of my life. At first I thought it was OK, then I thought it was very good, then I though it was so brilliant it had me weeping. Took me a minute to get used to Mark Cousins’ Irish pacing of his speech but soon I simply adored it. One thing to pass on before I’m prepared to research the point for assured accuracy: when there’s a fire shout Fire, don’t wait till the drama teacher approves your delivery: this point is important enough to tell flawed:
Some basics have to be reviewed first: film began in New Jersey, Edison was one of the people working on it, DW Griffith filmed in New Jersey, New Jersey is a suburb of New York City: thus, NYC is the home of film. Advances in film technology and film art occurred lots of places, Paris, for example, and by lots of people, the Lumiere Brothers, Melies … so where did Hollywood come from? Oh, and Chicago too: Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle … Suddenly they all moved to Hollywood: Griffith, Cahplin, Keaton … What gives? Was the sunshine that great?
Cousins tells! Film passing through a projector is under a lot of pressure: so too through a camera. The mechanism jerks. Film tears were common. The Latham brothers (in the NJ/NY/Edison … complex”) invented and patented! a solution: the Latham Loop, put a bit of slack in the film. Film tore much less frequently, the industry proceeded. Hollywood is in California, California had proved since Sutter’s day to be beyond the frontier, beyond the rule of law …
Publishers had to pay Dickens for books printed in London, publishers did not have to pay Dickens for books published in New York: Dickens had no power in NY. Publishers had to pay Mark Twain in New York, but not in Boston: publishers certainly did not have to pay Dickens or Mark Twain in Los Angeles!
The film business moved out of reach of patent law, the inventors could get cut out of the gross, and cut from the profits.
I’m well familiar: I offered cybernetic public data basing, digital facsimiles, via my Free Learning Exchange in 1970: Ivan Illich (and I) wanted information freedom to carry kleptocracy across the threshold of corporate / state control into Christian conviviality. I contracted obvious allies: churches, IBM, the phone company, for help. Churches could have volunteered to convert their premises into freedom outposts, could have reallied themselves with Jesus, the temple cleanser. IBM could have helped with main frames, the phone company could have helped gather resources … I invented 900 numbers, in 1970! Offered them to Ma Bell … But: as is, the Fortune 500 and the State, the federal system, control the public, the schools … The public foots the bill for enslaving, propagandizing itself.
Does this internet I’m writing on and you’re surfing on pay me royalties? The same percentage the US paid Sutter for overrunning his gold studded land: zero.
Sure I know Hollywood. It too has its hand in my pocket, stealing from you too. As you yourself do too, steal from yourself, without knowing it!
The state can put you in jail if you don’t send your kid to school. The state can put you in jail if you don’t pay taxes you never approved. (Actually, the state can put you in jail for anything: just trump up an accusation.) But I can’t put the state in jail: for imprisoning me as a child, for teaching false doctrine, false facts, throughout my life, for commandeering my internet from me without permission, without compensation …
And without coercion, the only thing states understand, there’s no way to tell the state what it’s doing! Will God ever stand up for his saints? Will God ever publicly shame the Church for defrocking Illich? He hasn’t so far. I’m not holding my breath.
But then he abandoned Jesus on the cross too, didn’t he?
Oh, I gotta tell a memory from 1971: I met with IBM, the story is elsewhere here at K. I sketched my ideas for an internet to their rep, the director of university relations. Understand: I was not hawking use of pcs, there were no pcs; I was envisioning extending use of already existing mainframes, IBM could have sold a lot of main frame time, IBM could have participating in writing software for convivial social use. Months later I walk by the IBM building, there in the window are the just invented, just manufactured pcs, envisioned by IBM as filling the classrooms, all over the world.
No, no; that’s the opposite of what FLEX was offering: the polar opposite: more corporate, state bureaucracy, control!
Jan just told me about some proposal to extend public education by another couple of years.
Ivan Illich pointed out that the Church had invented Purgatory when it had a monopoly on all masses said in the Catholic world. Capitalist institutions must grow. How could the Church sell more masses that 100% saturation? Why by inventing Puratory. The baby is born, the Church saves the baby by baptising it. Oh, now the child sins on its own: the Chuch saves the child via communion. and so on. Now the kid is an old man, lots of masses consumed, saved over and over again. Now the kid is a corpse: in need of an infinity more of masses!
Well, that’s what school does, that’s what taxes do: 10% isn’t enough, 50% isn’t enough … 90% isn’t enough. 100% isn’t enough! extend schooling beyond childhood, beyond adulthood, beyond death.
I wrote a story in which some guy with a dozen PhDs is still broke because he needs a thirteen PhD: and also has to buy books for his long dead uncle: gotta keep his tomb informed, up to date.
I’m still watching the Mark Cousins history. He just reported something else I’m deeply ashamed not to have known: the role of women in developing film art. The presence of Jews is not secret however much explanations may be hidden: but the coverup about women is new to me. Shame on all of us, permitting the liars to rule.
2015 10 11 I’l still watching the Mark Cousins’ doc, sipping slowly, delicious … until we get closer to the present. Then I genuflected; now I fidget. Overall though Cousins has been responsible for my learning a number of great films and film-makers I hadn’t known before.
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