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Showing posts from March, 2017

J.D.Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy – A Memoir from Trump’s America

Since Trump’s election, I have changed my radio habits.  I am back to listening to NPR.  I feel like I personally need to keep a watch on those crazy people in Washington and suddenly just listening to music feels irresponsible.  I think this is actually an empathic connection with the experience of many of the people who voted for Trump.  I think they have been feeling, perhaps for a long time, that those crazy people in Washington don’t know what they are doing and should be given the boot – why else would we hire someone for the most complex job in the world who has no experience with any of the elements that it demands?  Especially when the other applicant had all the relevant experience one could want?
J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy” was recommended as a text that would explain why the country voted for Trump.  I don’t think it, or any text, can deliver on a promise that broad, but it does describe some powerful social forces in one of the key demographic groups that made the swi…

Hitchcock’s Psycho – Psychological Terror Hits Closest at Home

This movie stood in the pantheon of great films that I had never seen.  OK.  I recently saw the last 15 minutes and thought the psychological explanation was pretty weak.  But I was very up for watching it with the reluctant stepdaughter when we were talking about horror films (not a genre I have any interest in – part of the reason that I haven’t seen this is that I have avoided it) and we both like Hitchcock – so it was agreed.  We would watch this classic together for family movie night.
My assumption in what follows is that you have seen the film.  If you haven’t, either watch it before reading or decide that it is OK to not experience the really wonderful thrill of this film.  The stuff that I grew up fearing – the shower scene in particular – is incredibly hokey by today’s standards – and may have been even then.  Hitchcock’s emphasis on the gore and sexuality coming together is over the top – and I think may have been a way of both displaying and masking what I think were prob…