Cole Smithey - Film Blog


SYNDICATED COLUMN: At Some Point, Progressives Need to Grow a Pair and Stop Having Anything To Do With the Democratic Party

July 3, 2014 

At a certain point, if you have any relationship with dignity, you’re supposed to get sick of being used and abused. Speaking of which: liberal Democrats.

Democratic politicians act like right-wingers. Liberals vote for them anyway.

The Democratic Party espouses right-wing policies. Self-described progressives give them cash.

Comedian Bill Maher gave them a million cash dollars — yet Democrats don’t agree with him on anything. Why? Because he hates Republicans even more.

Why didn’t Maher save his money? Or better yet, fund a group or a writer or an artist who promotes ideas he actually agrees with? Because he, like tens of millions of other liberals, are stuck in the two-party trap.

The relationship between liberals and Democrats is dysfunctional and enabling, abused pathetics sucking up to cruel abusers. Progressives like Maher are like a kid with two rotten parents. The dad drinks and hits him; the mom drinks less and hits him less. The best call is to run away from home — instead, most children in that situation will draw closer to their mothers.

Voting-age progressives, on the other hand, are adults. When will they kick the Democratic Party to the curb, as Ricki Lake used to say?

Probably not in time for 2016. But they ought to.

You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see that the next presidential election promises nothing for liberals but more of the same: dismay, disappointment and disgust — in no small part with themselves.

Hillary Clinton, a conservative warmonger ideologically indistinguishable from Dwight Eisenhower, will almost certainly be the Democratic nominee. But she isn’t really a Democrat. Traditionally, Democrats were pro-worker; she and her husband pushed through NAFTA, GATT, the WTO and a slew of free-trade scams that have destroyed American jobs anddepressed salaries. Democrats cared about the poor; Hillary has never so much as suggested a substantial anti-poverty initiative. Democrats aren’t supposed to invade sovereign countries for the hell of it; Clinton repeatedly pushed WMD lies, voted to invade Iraq and still hasn’t apologized for the two million Iraqis whose deaths for which she shares responsity. Democrats want single-payer healthcare; instead, she created the template for Obamacare, which keeps rates high to protect insurance company profits.

Yet in today’s “Democratic” Party, Hillary is “inevitable.”

Yes, the highly resuméed, slightly accomplished ex-senator could face a challenge from the left. But not a real one. Even if party bosses allow an actual primary process (they did not in2012), any primary challenge will be symbolic and impotent (hello Bernie Sanders), poorly funded and sad, raising the faded, tattered flag of liberalism in a quixotic bid to coat Hill’s coronation with a veneer of small-d democratic legitimacy.

If you’re a leftie, the Democratic establishment doesn’t care about your opinion. They certainly don’t want your input. What they want is your vote — in exchange for exactly nothing in return. They’re political parasites, draining the enthusiasm and idealism of progressives, simultaneously neutering and exploiting mainline libs.

Like a tick, mainline “centrist” (i.e. conservative) Democrats will suck you dry. First they misdirect your hope for real change. Then they extract your vote. By the time you realize you’ve been chomped, the buggers drop off, bloated on stolen power and wealth.

You’re left with drained political energy.

During the initial months following the election, you get angrier. You watch con artists like Obama take office, appoint right-wingers to the cabinet and ignore America’s victims — the poor at home, the bombed overseas. Off goes the president — your president, since you voted for him! — golfing and shooting hoops and vacaying on the Vineyard while millions lose their homes to illegal foreclosures, poverty soars, the military gins up new wars and expands old ones, Gitmo stays open and killer drone planes fill the skies. Eventually, of course, you get over it. You recover.

Then, two to four years later, the parasitical Dems are back to suck out whatever idealism you’ve managed to regenerate.

Progressive Democratic voters are understandably unenthusiastic about Hillary Clinton. After enduring her conservative Southern Democratic husband (major accomplishments: bombing Bosnia, ignoring Rwanda, NAFTA, trashing welfare) and Obama (major accomplishments: drones, Libya, Syria, Iraq again), they know what’s coming: more of the same. Because they’re not willing to ditch the Democratic Party, however, they’re trapped in a state of cognitive dissonance, unable to act in order to avoid certain disaster.

Thus progressives are resorting to ridiculously transparent non-tactics. For example: “deploy[ing] the spectral presence of [Elizabeth] Warren to extract as many [liberal] concessions as possible.”

“It’s not a crazy strategy,” libbies are told. “The mere thought of Warren seems to rattle the Clintons, who are haunted by the debacle of 2008.” Actually, it is crazy. Because the Clintons watch the news — and Warren ain’t running.

Noam Scheiber recently wrote a New Republic piece titled “How Hillary Won Over the Skeptical Left,” in which he argues…well, read the title. (Note: by “left,” Scheiber doesn’t mean left. He means centrist Obama supporters, who are slightly to the left of Hill.)

“It’s not that liberals don’t perceive some ideological distance between themselves and Hillary Clinton, at least as they become more informed,” writes Scheiber. Hillary became First Lady in 1993. What is there left to learn? “Nor is it that they recognize this gap and simply don’t care about it. It’s that, after the somewhat disillusioning experience of the Obama years, many actually consider this gap an advantage for Clinton.” In other words: we’re out to beat Republicans, not help poor people.

I’m quoting the following section from Scheiber’s piece at length because it supports my contention that, at this early stage, it is perfectly obvious that Hillary Clinton will screw over progressives. Not only is it evident that she will break their hearts, it is clear how she will go about it.

So let’s say Democrats’ faith in Clinton is rewarded and she wins the presidency. Here is how the 2016 transition is likely to play out. Having talked about inequality during the primaries, and maybe even the general election, she will feel pressure to appoint economists who know something about the issue. She will pluck a few advisers from the reserve army of liberals at think tanks like the Center for American Progress (home to many former Clinton White House aides over the years), the Economic Policy Institute, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

But as the transition goes on, liberals will notice a disconcerting shift. They will watch most of the senior posts in her Treasury Department go to alumni of Wall Street. They will see her fill out the top echelons of financial regulators—the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency—with banking-industry lawyers. They will even notice bankers turning up in agencies with little role in finance, like the State Department and the U.S. Trade Representative. Though any one appointment may be justified—the Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance should probably have a finance background, for example—the larger mass of Wall Street transplants will create a stubborn level of groupthink. Their skepticism toward policies like a financial transactions tax, aggressive prosecution of financial-market crime, and breaking up the megabanks will ensure they never happen.

Don’t come back in 2017 and say you were surprised.

(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and cartoonist, is the author of “After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan,” out Sept. 2.Subscribe to Ted Rall at Beacon.)



Posted by Cole Smithey on July 10, 2014 in Culture, Current Affairs, Politics | Permalink

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It Felt Like Love: On DVD & VOD

Kino Lorber
Kino Lorber Releases indie festival hit and critically-acclaimed coming-of-age drama 
It Felt Like Love
on DVD and VOD
The debut feature from award-winner Eliza Hittman and official selection at over a dozen international film festivals including Sundance and Rotterdam 
to become available on DVD on July 29th


"Conjures a world I was sorry to leave.  I didn't want the movie to end." -- Richard Brody, The New Yorker

"CRITICS' PICK: Insightful... a mood poem to summer love and sexual awakening." -- Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times

"Pitch-perfect... reclaims the word 'girls' for its rightful owners." 
-- Chuck Wilson, The Village Voice 
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 2, 2014 - Kino Lorber is pleased to announce the DVD release of IT FELT LIKE LOVE, the debut feature from award-winning filmmaker Eliza Hittman that provides a unique perspective on adolescent sexuality with the story of a South Brooklyn girl (Gina Piersanti, a breakthrough in her first major role) who dives into a world of maturity more painful than she could expect.

IT FELT LIKE LOVE arrives on DVD July 29th (SRP: $29.95) with a set of bonus features including "Forever's Gonna Start Tonight," a short film by Hittman, and an audio commentary by the director.

IT FELT LIKE LOVE was an official selection at both the Sundance Film Festival and the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, along with over a dozen other festivals such as the Munich International Film Festival, Goteborg International Film Festival, BAMcinemaFEST, New Zealand Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, and more.

Kino Lorber acquired IT FELT LIKE LOVE following its successful theatrical run in New York City and over 15 other major markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. Now, Kino Lorber is proud to bring this acclaimed film to even wider and eagerly-awaiting audiences through home video and all digital platforms.

The deal was negotiated by Richard Lorber, CEO of Kino Lorber, and Ryan Kampe, head of Visit Films, sales agent for the producers. Richard Lorber commented, "Eliza's film sparkles with a freshness of vision that matches the awakening sensuality of its young lead--it's a cinematically seductive work that moves seamlessly between the privacy of her inner world and the camera eyeing her outer ...we were just smitten with It Felt Like Love!"

A beautifully observed portrait of awakening sexuality in a young Brooklyn teen, ITFELT LIKE LOVE is "an important landmark ... in movies about female adolescence" (Los Angeles Times).

Fourteen-year-old Lila (Gina Piersanti) is embarrassed by her sexual inexperience, while her pretty best friend Chiara spends her summer making out with her new beau. Eager to prove her desirability, the shy and retiring Lila focuses her attention on local lothario Sammy. She approaches him with clumsy come-ons, and Sammy swats her away. But Lila keeps pushing into the world of Sammy's hyper-macho friends, where sex is less about exploration than intimidation and power.

IT FELT LIKE LOVE is "gorgeously shot" (NY Post) in the streets and humid apartments of South Brooklyn, perfectly capturing the hothouse atmosphere of indolent summer afternoons at home. It "seductively conjures a moment when trying on identities can be a fast track to self-knowledge. Or self-destruction" (New York Times).

Visit the official website at:

It Felt Like Love - Theatrical Trailer
It Felt Like Love - Theatrical Trailer
Director: Eliza Hittman
Genre: Drama
DVD Street Date: July 29th, 2014
DVD SRP: $29.95
DVD UPC: 738329131227

Special Features:
"Forever's Gonna Start Tonight" (2011, 17 min.), a short film by Eliza Hittman
Director's audio commentary
Image Gallery
Theatrical trailer

Technical Specs:
US * 2014 * 82 min. * Color * 1.85:1 * 5.1 Surround Sound
About Kino Lorber:

With a library of 800 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, including four Academy Award® nominated films in the last six years. In addition, the company brings over 70 titles each year to the home entertainment market with DVD and Blu-ray releases under its 5 house brands, distributes a growing number of third party labels, and is a direct digital distributor to all major platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Amazon, Vimeo and others.

Posted by Cole Smithey on July 10, 2014 in DVD, VOD | Permalink

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