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Retort Magazine - online journal of new international cutting edge art and literature - established 2001 and still breaking new ground.

 

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Culture

Mumblecore in Obama’s America by Stephen Lee Naish

         With every US Presidential Administration a characteristic type of film genre emerges to help summarise the mood and the policies that are in effect. From Hollywood the films are typically pro-American action movies that propagandise internal and external polices. This level of jingoism reached its zenith in the 1980’s with action stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis all starring in films that depicted positive endorsements of American foreign policy. This form of propaganda was not put to rest by the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack Obama administrations. During the Bill Clinton years the weapons and bloody violence were replaced with savvy liberal political films such as Dave and the John Travolta starring Primary Colors, which painted a picture of a likable, if flawed, liberal-minded man of the people in the presidential office both to comic and also to dramatic effect. During the George W. Bush administration, jingoism and violence returned with an added pulling of the heartstrings of the post-9/11 era. Films directly concerned with 9/11 such as World Trade Center, the television movie, Flight 93, and the high octane United 93, allowed audiences to feel that the War on Terror was a just cause. However, alongside these pro-American feats were the more critical voices found in documentaries such as Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko, as well such geopolitical films as Babel and Syriana, which answered the “why do they hate us?” question uttered numerous times after 9/11. So far Hollywood’s answer to the Barack Obama administration has been to pretend that nothing is amiss. Over the past four years Hollywood has lambasted the film market with pure spectacle that, much like the Reagan/Bush era, has painted America in unreal terms as the greatest and mightiest of nations. Much like American cinema of the late-sixties and early-seventies, in which independent and critical voices arose out of the dying embers of Hollywood’s epic productions, it has been down to the young independent filmmakers to capture the era and tell the real story of what it means to be young in Barack Obama’s America. This has lead to an emerging sub-genre in independent film that has been given the term Mumblecore by its main proponents.

Continue reading ~ Mumblecore in Obama’s America by Stephen Lee Naish

Art

G8 Lollipops by Siarhei Tserasiuk

Barack Obama Lollipop - G8 Lollies
Retort is proud to present G8 LOLLIES by Siarhei Tserasiuk.

The G8 Lollipop series features: Barack Obama, Stephen Harper, Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel, Mario Monti, Yoshihiko Noda, Vladimir Putin, and David Cameron.

Barack Obama Lollipop - G8 Lollies

Barack Obama Lollipop – G8 Lollies

Artist Siarhei Tserasiuk is from Belarus, and currently lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Siarhei is a 2012 graduate of the Gerrit Rietveld academy.

Continue reading ~ G8 Lollipops by Siarhei Tserasiuk

Politics

Cultural Fluff and the Death of Faggotry

Cultural Fluff and the Death of Faggotry

by  SophistInTraining

Gay culture is ridiculous and you know it.

‘Plasticized android’ – those were the words used by cutthroat culture critic Camille Paglia to describe the hollow, sexless posturing of gay icon Lady Gaga.

Why is it that gay men roll around in such soulless cultural glitter? Are there are any faggots left or are we all show ponies now?

A gay mainstream has been created in the last few decades. Cultural institutions, from niche media to bars, have become propagators of gay identity.

Gone are the days of the queer intellectuals: Burroughs, Wilde, Turing and Ginsberg. A time where ones sexual difference was not celebrated in itself but considered part of a wider rebellion against sexual norms. The faggots of the past were not like the gays of today: they were rugged individualists composed of artists, activists and free thinkers.

Politics and victimhood have pushed us to identify as a group – and what a sick group we are. Despite gains in wider social acceptance, research demonstrates the bizarre pathology of gay male identity.

Continue reading ~ Cultural Fluff and the Death of Faggotry

Essay

Rex Fairburn – Poet, Polemicist and Art Critic by K R Bolton

Rex Fairburn
New Zealand Poet, Polemicist and Art Critic

by K R Bolton

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rexfairburnA R D (Rex) Fairburn was a central figure in the Golden Age of New Zealand culture. This was the period between the world wars, when an incipient nativist literary and artistic movement started to emerge that was part of the European cultural stream, but was inspired by the New Zealand landscape and the New Zealand people, and was overcoming colonial mimicking.

Fairburn was born in 1904 in modest though middle class circumstances. He was proud of being a fourth generation New Zealander related to the missionary Colenso.

Continue reading ~ Rex Fairburn – Poet, Polemicist and Art Critic by K R Bolton

Politics

SLAPPED BY THE INVISIBLE HAND by Barry Tishler

Abstract: This article offers an informative economic and environmental wakeup call to action by demanding the evolution and maturation of commerce needed for the transformation of society into a sustainable and restorative one.

SLAPPED BY THE INVISIBLE HAND by Barry Tishler

Ouch,

smack

That slap in our face was the “invisible hand” of free markets self regulating the economy of the world or was it? First, did we deserve that slap, well, yes we did! As the markets ragged and we all frenzied to reach the climax of material satisfaction, especially some very greedy CEO’s, but we all could not have been feeling better getting as life was pretty good. But what we were all actually feeling was the “high” from a free-fall, and we still might not have hit the ground, to what we all hope becomes a global balance towards responsible commerce, quality, renewability, sustainability, corporate responsibility, and hopefully new and restorative way of life. We all need to grow up, evolve, the  buzz words and the management flavor of the month are DEAD along with corporate lip service of “who we are” hiding what we actually do.

Continue reading ~ SLAPPED BY THE INVISIBLE HAND by Barry Tishler