Wednesday, 14 February 2018

WWA Episode 7: Gangs of New York

Wrong With Authority returns, hosted by James this time, with an episode about Scorsese's epic historical crime drama Gangs of New York (2002).

This is a good one.

Download here.

Daniel Day Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio, who isn't Liam Neeson.

Gangs of New York, 2002, d. Martin Scorsese.  Produced by Alberto Grimaldi and a rapist.  Screenplay by Jack Cocks, Stephen Zaillian, and Kennerth Lonergan.  Starring Daniel Day Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Liam Neeson, Jim Broadbent, Brendan Gleeson.  Based on the 1928 book by Herbert Asbury.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Consider the Reagan, Episode 2 - Blade Runner (1982)

Continuing our series of commentaries on movies that came out during the Reagan administration, Daniel and Jack sit down to watch original Blade Runner (and then chat a bit about the sequel).

Download here.

Show notes: Main Topic: Blade Runner. With Jack Graham and Daniel Harper. Introductions and the obligatory Trump reference. Our histories with the film. Commentary begins at 10:23. Distinctive logo. Ridley Scott: complete bastard. Odd names. Daniel makes an Asimov reference. The plusses and minuses of opening crawls. Industrial sublime. Skipping the Voight-Kampf. Not the brightest Nexus-6, not the brightest Blade Runner. Dick joke. William Gibson. Japanification. 80s special effects. Racial slur. Noir voiceover. The Six Deadly Words. Tortured fan. Non-developed characters. Replicant personalities. Chemistry. A no-Deckard Blade Runner. Novel vs film and ethical philosophy vs cardboard characterization. Visually influential. Retro-futurism. Kipple. Freezing. Delicate Rutger. Frank Lloyd Wright? Impenetrable apartment. "These must be people!" Leaning into cliches. Daryl Hannah. Pris and JF. Deckard's photos. Huge in university. Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick. Ethnic stereotypes. Phone booths and phone calls. Implied sex show. Biblical metaphor. An actual detective. Diana Cassidy's performance. Streetwear. Outmatched in combat. Quiet. Used future in Our World. Jupiter orbit. Fashion choices. Gaff. Limp-wristed slap. Booze and relationships. Ford's star power turned on low. Assault. Reverse Mirror. Broken biology. Another more interesting story. Human images. Oversignified chess. Owls. Tyrell the CEO. Father fucker. Science is real. Gore. Bradbury. Pointless sequences. Ineffective police. Clever Pris. Shoe leather. Worse ways to die. Life force leaving the body. Twenty-three minutes of climax. Why is Deckard doing this? Psychopathic Roy. Human or boogeyman? Growth at the end. Leonine. Sky. Watch him die. Is Gaff a replicant? What are the stakes? Critical. Broken aesthetics. Happy endings. Wrapping Up, and moving on to 2049 at 2:07:50. Some ambition. Clever Force Awakens. Describing the plot. Evil Blind Genius Things. Relations between replicants and holograms. Interrupted by a dog. Narrative. Joi/K/Mariette love scene. Sexualized subservient images. Heuristic. Open relationship problems. Iron Man moment. Bond villain Jared Leto. Old Deckard. Lived history. Off-topic onto JJ Abrams. Underwhelming. A second Asimov reference. Wrapping Up.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

WWA Episode 6: Inherit the Wind

We're back, with a proper WWA episode.  Daniel's choice this time: Inherit the Wind, Stanley Kramer's 1960 drama loosely based on the Scopes Monkey Trial.  (Details here.)

Download WWA6 here

A really good episode, this one (IMHO).  Lots of laughs and silliness but also some meaty discussion about history and politics.  


Show Notes: Main Topic: Inherit the Wind. Vague plot summary. Fictionalized. Quality female characters. Familiarity breeds contempt? Chimpanzee casting. Didn't fall in love. Connected to Mississippi Burning. Cartoonish Brady. Brady's wife. Sexism of 1925. Pronouncement dialogue. Golden Age acting. Comic relief. Unforgiving role. The One Man Who Can Think. Educating the rubes. McCarthyism. Flouting conformity and Great-Man-ism. Village Atheist. Blacklisted screenwriter and HUAC. Slavish attachment to the USSR. At last, a Trump reference. And Nixon. Fans sponspored by the funeral home. Perspiration necessary for a proper courtroom drama. Bigwig motives. Old Time Religion Uber Alles. Lynching sequences. Black actors. Talking about civil rights without talking about civil rights. Mencken. Brady's hypocrisy. Not William Jennings Bryan. Classism and the American South. Ditto for British regional accents. Legitimate resentment. Not even Hollywood Poverty. The "respectable poor." Scopes and eugenics. Scientism and Social Darwinism. Nasty Nietzsche. Sociobiological implications in Darwin's followers. Kit brings us back to the film for a moment. Rachel Brown's impossible choice. "Just fucking listen." Western heroine thing. Darrow calls Bryan. Interlude. Facts not feels. "If you're explaining, you're losing." Williams Jennings Bryan and his place in history. Bryan's presidential runs and the gold standard. No left in American history. Radicalism of the gospels. New Atheists revised history. Defending Dawkins? Arguing against the book. The history of the religious right. Aftereffects of the trial. Inherit the Raging Bull. Two colonels? Eugenics and evolution. Moral systems. Christianity is revolutionary. Origins of creationism vis a vis fundamentalism. Luther and divisions in the WWA crew. The Klan. Hitchens on King. "White With Authority." Evolution in American schools. Using theology for political purposes. Non-binary thinking. Bill Nye. The Universal lot. Good American monkeys. Adapting the play. H.L. Mencken the Nazi sympathizer. Wrapping Up. Next time: Gangs of New York.


Daniel's book recommendations:

The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design by Ronald L. Numbers

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Footnote #4 - Writing About the Right

It's feast or famine here at Wrong With Authority.  After weeks of fuck all, suddenly we're stuffing podcasts down your ungrateful mouths.

This time it's another Footnote, featuring just Daniel and Jack chatting about their mutual writing obsession at the moment: right-wing pissballoons. 

Download here.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Trumpism 2: Electoral Boogaloo

A year (or so) ago, the unthinkable happened.  So, of course, we podcasted about it.

That was thisThis is now.

This time, Daniel has called Kit and Jack back to the WWA recording bunker, joined by James too this time, to talk about what it's like to have lived a full year since Trump 'won' the 2016 US Presidential 'election'. 

This is what happened...


Show notes: Main Topic: Trumpism At One Year. Introducing the band. Non-productive news obsession. Alabama and purity. James praises his co-hosts. Corbyn and the soft left. . Misplaced catastrophism. The first few weeks. John McCain. The roles of the two parties. Kit's personal and political issues. Don't watch the news. Obligatory Batman reference. Bush and some weird shit. The Republicans and Obama. Activists. Discipline. Factionalism and the ACA. High floor in polls. "This is fine." Easy versus hard. New normal in global capitalism. The bumbling chessmaster. Scarmucci. Pizza-eating billionaire. Republican Dave. Mocking the empty suit. Form and content. Natural charisma. "No-drama Obama." The 2016 primary bullshit. Homeopathic socialism. "Gary Hart Would Have Won." Women's march. Drifting left on social issues. Obama was Republican enough. Back to Roy Moore. Hating pedophiles or women more. Mendacious media and epistemic closure. Elephant. C-span typography problems. Daniel's guess for 2020. Intermission: turd-miners. What has Donald Trump done well? American imperialism and nascent fascism. Trump and Charlottesville. Twitter as a direct connection to the base. Trump and the media. The spectacle of wealth. Impossible to ignore. A plurality, not a majority. Foreign policy and American politics. Never anti-war. Non-ideological. "Lot of killers." Trump as comedy. Adam Sandler billionaire. Steak and classism and tiny hands. Trump and mental illness. Trump versus previous presidents. Crisis? Sorkin. Bullet. Lucky. Conniving versus reckless. Empire. Russia. Predictions. Wrapping Up. "Old Man Trump."


Oh... Jack is sorry for his mic problems by the way.  His generous patrons just paid for a Blue Yeti, so hopefully the situation will soon be resolved.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Consider the Reagan, Episode 1

At long last, here is the first episode of a new strand of 'Wrong With Authority', in which we (sadly we were Murphyless this time, but we expect to be fully Jamesed-up in future episodes) record commentaries on the movies that shaped and misshaped us, movies released between the first inaugurations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush the Elder.

This is 80s pop culture we're talking about pilgrim, so expect sickness.

This time, we mcfly backwards and forwards through time in a shitty car to discover that the deep psychological structure of America's understanding of its own history is best viewed through the prism of the oedipus complex. 

Who'd have motherfucking thought it?

Downloadify here.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Notes on What We Do Here

Hello fans, Jack here to make an announcement of sorts.

The original plan was that Wrong With Authority would just be a new podcast, in which the four of us - me, James, Kit, and Daniel - talked about movies about historical events.  But we find ourselves chronically unable to stick to one thread and format.  As some of you may have noticed, this site changed somewhat a little while ago.  This was done to reflect the fact that 'Wrong With Authority' had obviously already become something wider than was originally intended... what with commentaries and footnotes and Drunken Whocasts, etc.  WWA even played host to a Shabcast, one month when bandwidth over at Pex Lives was running short.

'Wrong With Authority' is now effectively something akin to the banner under which we do all sorts of things.  It could even be seen as our 'band name'.  But we're still releasing podcasts called 'Wrong With Authority' which are about movies about history, and intend to continue to do so.  So what's going on?

Well, we'd like you to think of Wrong With Authority as being both our 'overall' name and the name of the podcast strand we do about movies about history.  It's a bit like when a band releases an album with the same name as the band.  Except that we're going to keep doing it over and over.

But we're also planning to have other podcast strands under the overall umbrella of Wrong With Authority, so to speak.  We've already kindasorta begun doing this, as you'll have noticed.  I mean, James Whale's Frankenstein isn't based on a historical event, is it?  We could do Bride as a WWA one day... but only the bit at the start.

Am I overthinking this, do you think?

Anyway, here's the point: the Wrong With Authority podcast will continue, as will the Drunken Whocasts, and they will be joined by another strand which we're going to call Consider the Reagan.

Eagle-eyed readers will remember that 'Consider the Ray Gun' was/is an occasional strand of Oi! Spaceman, in which Daniel chatted with a guest about a book - usually SF.  Consider the Reagan, by contrast, will usually feature all four of us (or at least two of us) doing a commentary on a film released between the inauguration of Ronald Reagan as president and the inauguration of his successor - a limit we set for ourselves in amused awareness of its spurious rigour.  The idea is for us to revisit the films of the 80s that shaped us as kids.  Our ages converge just enough that this will work - to some extent anyway.  Think of the Superman III bonus episode of Watching Robocop With Kit Power as the pilot.

The first official episode of Consider the Reagan will be along soon, and will feature myself, Daniel and Kit talking over Back to the Future.  The next episode of Wrong With Authority will be along soon too, and will feature the entire gang talking about Inherit the Wind, the classic Stanley Kramer drama from 1960 dramatising a heavily-fictionalised version of the Scopes 'Monkey Trial'.

We appreciate your patience and enthusiasm as we thrash out the exact contours of our increasingly overcomplicated nest of projects.  We're still having fun.  We hope you are too.

Yours in historical inexactitude,