Metahuman relations had always been a hot button issue across the globe. These came to an explosive head in Seattle on February 7th of '39 in a tragic event that became known as The Night of Rage. To really understand the events surrounding the Night of Rage we have to take a step back and set the scene. Seattle's Governor at the time was Victor "Vick the Quick" Allenson. Allenson, a former combat biker for the Tacoma Timberwolves, had replaced Governor Kross upon the the latter's retirement from government two years previously. Governor Allenson's campaign billed him as a "human conservative", or what you and I might call a human supremacist. In one of his earliest trideo interviews on the campaign trail he was quoted as saying "Orks and trolls make great offensive combat bikers, but they haven't got the brains for much else." Despite his outspoken views towards metahumanity he still managed to win the election of '36 in a landslide. This sparked a series of protests and sometimes even outright riots in areas of the city with high metahuman populations. Using his newly invested powers, Allenson ordered Lone Star to crack down on the protesters, rioters, and innocent metahumans alike. Unsurprisingly, the Governor's new pogroms did not restore peace to Seattle. Quite the opposite, as for almost eighteen months the city faced increasing terrorist activities from both pro-meta and anti-meta groups alike. On February 7th, Allenson mobilized the Seattle Metroplex Guard to round up and "protect" every metahuman they could find. Ostensibly these metahumans were being gathered in the warehouse district of Tacoma to be processed and transported to San Francisco to "improve racial harmony" in the city. In actuality these metahumans, numbering into the thousands were ripped from their homes, escorted under armed Guard, shoved into dilapidated warehouses along the Tacoma waterfront, and left there. Before long anger and fear turned into hysteria. From one of the warehouses came the sound of screams, an eruption of gunfire, and finally a large explosion. Then more explosions, until the entire waterfront was alight with the flames. The death toll was truly staggering considering the majority of Seattle's metahumans were consolidated in those old warehouses. Many metahumans were able to escape the flames through the cities sewer system, but hundreds died in those warehouses, trapped like animals. No one can pinpoint exactly who sparked the Night of Rage, but members of a fringe branch of (the already radicalized) Alamos 20,000 known as The Hand of Five were seen in the area just prior to the explosions. While the waterfront burned and hundreds died the Seattle Metroplex Guard stood by and did nothing. Once the story broke in the media violence erupted not just throughout the city, but throughout the world. We refer to these events as The Night of Rage, but in actuality the riots and protests lasted for several days, some estimate even into the weeks that followed. Protestors, the media, and even the Seattle's own United Corporate Court all called for an investigation into the matter, the resignation of all the Governor and the Metroplex Guards that refused to act to save lives and property. The media was particularly hard on governor's administration, and even reported rumours that the Governor himself was a member of The Hand of Five. Despite these accusations and the public outcry, Allenson refused to abdicate his position. One day earlier, on February 10th the aforementioned radical humanis policlub Alamos 20,000 used both magical and mundane explosives to destroy the Sears Tower in one of the largest single acts of terrorism in the Sixth World. The Sears Tower came crashing down on the heads of thousands of individuals out on their lunch break. It destroyed several blocks' worth of buildings, streets and sidewalks doing untold billions in damages. But the damage didn't stop there. Gas lines were ruptured causing the entire Loop area to go up in flames. The Second Chicago Fire was barely averted by a group of mages who managed to contain the fires within the span of an hour. The damage was still done though... by the end of it the death toll reached almost 26,000 individuals. As if the physical damage wasn't enough Alamos 20,000 made the entire incident appear to be metahuman revenge for the Night of Rage massacre in Seattle. The corporations immediately sealed their corporate 'burbs, excluding metahumanity from their neighborhoods. With the help of City Hall they built a series of projects on the Northside to segregrate metahumanity from the rest of the city. They also built several factories in the area. Ostensibly these were to provide jobs for the displaced metahumans. In reality though they were labor camps where the populace was forced to work long hours for low wages. The area that was destroyed by the collapse of the Sears Tower were left to rot. Those who could get out did. Those who couldn't tried to eke out a meager existence with no help from their government. All manner of human and inhuman creatures settled in the area. A large ghoul community grew within the area that became known as the Shattergraves. And the ghosts of those who died in that tragedy are said to still roam the streets. The reason that the Sears Tower was targeted by the policlub was because IBM had acquired it several years earlier during the ASIST Boom. IBM was fairly unique in the Chicago area at the time due to their actual honest to Ghost equal-opportunity hiring practices. In a time when most orks and trolls were seen as only manual laborers, IBM was willing to hire them as programmers and project developers. It's no wonder that Alamos 20,000 saw them as the enemy. Back in in Seattle, on February 11th, Governor Allenson was found dead in his office from several gunshot wounds. The mystery surrounding his death was never solved. With the city in flames and the governor murdered, a special gubernatorial election was held. Political analysts of the time believed that Ivar Lindstrom, son of Seattle's first governor Charles C. Lindstrom and current mayor of downtown Seattle, would be the clear victor. Instead, the mayor of Bellevue and relatively unknown, Marliyn Schultz was elected to the position by a surprisingly large margin. Analysts claim, in hindsight, that what won the election for her was that she was one of, if not the, first city official to appeal to the United Corporate Court for aide during the Night of Rage. Her first act as Governor was to issue an ultimatum to Lone Star; arrest the leaders of the Hand of Five or face a breach of contract lawsuit. This led to a week long manhunt that included countless raids, several shootouts, and countless arrests. This became known as the "Week of Sirens" due to the (allegedly) constant sound of police sirens throughout the city. By the end of the week all of the suspected leaders leaders of the Hand of Five were either dead or awaiting trial. A little over a month later and on the opposite coast more terrorism reared it's ugly head. On St. Patrick's Day, just weeks after the Night of Rage, a terrorist organization identifying itself as The Knights of the Red Branch "struck a blow for Eire" by detonating a bomb in a popular elven restaurant along the parade route killing two dozen people, and injuring dozens more. The parade quickly fell to general rioting that eventually overtook the entire Boston Metroplex. Residents of different nationalities, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds used the mayhem to strike out against their particular hated group. The civil authorities imposed martial law to quell the riots. But by the time they had achieved their goals hundreds were dead, and hundreds more were injured in the events that became known as Bloody Thursday. The Knights of the Red Branch claimed that their attack was in revenge for the elven annexation of Ireland, and the creation of Tir na nOg. The Knights, and approximately half of the Irish descended population of Boston at the time, felt that the Sidhe had taken over their ancestral homeland and unlawfully deported lawful citizens of the country. This sentiment was echoed by the metahuman minority of orks, dwarves, trolls, and even the British Isle specific metavariant of trolls, the formorians. It was, and in some quarters still is, believed that the Sidhe wish for Tir na nOg to belong solely to the elves. With every other metatype as second class citizens. While humans are treated with outright hostility, distrust, and no legal rights as citizens. On June 1st Fuchi Incorporated hosted the Universal Matrix Specifications Conference in Tokyo. This conference was attended by more than 7,000 humans and metahumans to determine the basic set of standards for Matrix programming. This conference, in conjunction with Villiers' contribution by bringing the portable cyberdeck, launched Fuchi into the forefront of the Matrix Industry. A position that they maintained throughout the rest of Fuchi's "lifespan" as a AAA-rated megacorporation. A month later on July 5th in Charleston, South Carolina (CAS) the first case murder to be solved with the assistance of the deceased's ghost is closed by Julius Wren. Wren, a criminologist and thaumaturgist, studied the deceased's actions as a spirit and used that information to bring the serial killer to justice. The arrest and conviction were upheld in court, and Wren's testimony was granted as admissible in open court. Sometime during the time period above, in London, there was a massive chemical speill on Teeside (aka Teesprawl, locally) that killed more than 70,000 people from nerve gas poisoning. This has widespread effects on the, currently in power, Conservationist Party. The public outcry was the beginning of the end of the Party. This dome was the target of a terrorist organization called Pan-Europa on August 6th. P-E released an unknown and previously only theoretical paranormal virus (paravirus) that fed upon the bio-fabric of the London Dome which was under construction at the time. This dome was designed to regulate the environmental conditions surrounding the capital and prevent the sort of poisoning that had occurred in the Teesprawl earlier in the year. In better times this sort of terrorist action would have strengthened the resolve of the people to support a strong right-wing government like the Conservationist Party. But it came so quickly on the heels of the failure in the Teesprawl that the citizens swung in the other direction completely. The government was lambasted in the media and in the public forum for allowing the ecological situation deteriorate to the point to where the Dome had to be built in the first place. This led to the rise of the Green Party in United Kingdom politics. More on them later. A week later on August 13th the African nations of the Cape Republic, the Zulu Nation, Oranje-Vrysraar, and the Trans-Swazi Federation pen an accord that resulted in the creation of the Azanian Confederation. This accord created the largest and strongest industrial nation on the African continent. It was immediately recognized by the UN upon it's formation in 2040 and is an active participant in the Global SIN Registry. On September 10th the CAS Senate begins a series of hearings regarding charges of racial prejudice against metahumans and their families. These hearings bring to light that most metahumans living and working in the CAS were living in what amounted to slavery throughout most of the CAS. The NAN immediately issued economic sanctions against the CAS as a means to encourage the nation to reform its views of metahumanity. These sanctions are met with mixed feelings, and it is sometime yet until the metahuman standard of living met parity with the human standards. Almost a week later on September 16th, the Western Great Dragon Dunkelzahn met the mysterious Nadja Daviar in Paris at an Alone exhibit. She was soon thereafter selected as Dunkelzahn's newest Voice. At the time (and even today) little was known about the Estonian elf. Her parents allegedly died during the second VITAS outbreak and she was remanded into state custody. In truth, she pretty much raised herself in the streets of a country that was, at best, indifferent to the those who were "stricken" by UGE. She officially left the state's custody in 2030 just ahead of the Russian invasion that kicked off the EuroWars. In reality she was one of many who exploited the black/grey market of the time to amass no small amount of wealth. Her particular stock in trade appeared to be smuggling throughout the region. With her natural charisma, and rumours of magical ability, she was able to escape the streets and enter into high society. November 15th brought with it a successful coup in the relatively newly seceded Shaanxi to install a monarchy in place of the military establishment that was in control. Queen Michelle Chou was crowned Queen of Shaanxi on this date. Chou was half Chinese and half British, and that combination sowed the seeds of her eventual rise to power, and the form that the Shaanxi government eventually took. Chou's father was Chiangsiu Chou, an executive for China's privatized industries and descendant of the last emperor of the Qing dynasty. Her mother was Vanessa Fitzroy, a distant cousin to the Duke of Grafton. When Shaanxi seceded Party loyalist murdered Chiangsiu for allying with the new government, and Fitzroy fled back to England with her daughter in tow. While in England, Michelle studied to become a barrister and did quite well in that field. She kept ties with several of her fathers associates that had successfully gone underground to escape the military coup. Michelle used her mothers connections to funnel support to the rebels from afar. Eventually she was able to gather enough resources and allies to overthrow the military junta and seize power of Shaanxi completely. She put her legal training to good use and drafted a constitution for the country creating a parliamentary system much like England's and other European powers. To thank her for her support and assistance the newly formed government of Shaanxi crowned her Queen.
After the busy year that was 2039 it seems that major events in 2040 took awhile to start up. The first truly significant event was on April 7th in the unlikely location of the Athabaskan Council Nation. This NAN member-state officially recognized sasquatches as a sapient species and granted them the same inalienable rights that all metahumans are entitled to in their legal system. They are one of the first nations to do so, and the only one to do so within the first half of this decade. Throughout the spring of 2040 the Univerzita Karlova (Charles University) shifted their Arcane Studies program from a strictly hermetic training program, as was prominent throughout the world at the time, to a cross-traditional approach at the behest of one of their instructors, the Western Great Dragon Schwartzkopf. This approach to magical training garnered the University quite a bit of acclaim, and was the foundation of Schwartzkopf's Unified Theory of Magic. That's further down the line though, so we'll touch on that later. The Middle East at this time was embroiled in a war between Iran and Iraq. The two nations were warring to come a decision as to who had the proper right to rule the Shi'ite Muslims throughout the region. The Kurds had recently declared independence to stay out of the fight, and that brought Turkey and Syria into the fray. Quite simply the Middle East was in chaos. Everyone was fighting everyone else. This set the stage for Badr al-Din Ibn Eisa and his Islamic Unity Movement to broker a treaty between Iraq and Iran on July 18th. This treaty guaranteed that the Kurds would remain within a newly created Iraqi Federation, and appeased Iran enough to stem the tide of war in the region. The Islamic Unity Movement became a power player in the region throughout the next decade based on this original showing. It wasn't all beer and skittles for Iraq though. The newly formed government quickly went broke. Without funds they weren't able to keep Kurdistan from leaving the Federation three years later. But, like a shot from the blue, Saeder-Krupp Heavy Industries stepped in to assist the Iraqi Federation. Before long S-K had control of the last oil fields in the Middle East, thereby cinching their position as the dominant petroleum producing corporation in the world. This helped boost the AAA corporation to the the top of the Corporate Court due to everyone else's reliance on S-K's oil production. Two days after the Iran-Iraq Treaty, on July 20th, a famous mage by the name of Martin de Vries began a series of one-man vampire hunts throughout Europe. These early hunts became the basis for his eventual book Shadows at Noon, which sold roughly six million copies world wide. But it was the beginning of his semi-autobiographical "fictional" novels starring vampire hunter Darren Cross. More on Cross as de Vries later though... Back in the Emerald City on September 10th groundbreaking began on the Renraku Archology. During the fall of 2040 BTL (better than life) usage skyrocketed throughout Korea. This trend continued for the rest of the year, but then suddenly changed direction due to a number of awareness programs initiated by several different groups. Chief among these groups is the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. The UK's Conservationist Party took their final hit on October 15th when ork journalists on Channel 7's "Medicine Bag" uncovered evidence that the government had encouraged the Adams-Hoffman Corporation's infamous Project 42-20. This project, sanctioned by the Conservationist Party, was a fifteen year long top secret project to manipulate the gene pool of the British populace in order to discover how to control the goblinization process. Over the period of a decade and a half the project had secretly crippled, mutilated, and generally decimated the south London housing estates. Adams-Hoffman had secretly dispersed their testing agent into crowded areas causing unexpected mutations, spontaneous abortions, the deterioration of internal organs, and the destruction of the host's immune system. One particularly nasty transmission method was applied to Generation Epsilon/Alpha 16. The government inserted the gene-virus into free milk that they were giving out to school children! Fifteen days after "Medicine Bag's" fateful (and final) episode the citizen of Brixton, Camberwell and New cross took to the streets and rioted. The rising tide of violence made it all the way to the Tower Bridge where the local constabulary had blockaded the bridge to protect the crossing into Adams-Hoffman's London headquarters. During the rioting nineteen people, later dubbed the Lambeth Martyrs, were killed and the Tower Bridge as well as the Thames Wharf shopping mall were badly damaged. The riots continued for several more days until the police, and eventually the military quelled the rebellion. But the rioters went underground and came back up with automatic weapon and asymmetric terrorist tactics. The Lambeth Martyrs hit Waterloo and Victoria Stations and the Bond Street Station mall killing almost a hundred people. Several more attacks came quickly on the heels of those. The most famous of which was the infamous raid on Dulwich Village which killed seventy-four people, including an ex-prime minister. The government declared a "medical emergency" and created the Lambeth Containment Zone, colloquially known as "the Squeeze", which arose as a countermeasure to the public's taking up of arms against the government in response to Project 42-20. The efforts of the government to restore law and order have only been partially successful, and the "state of emergency" still exists in the Squeeze to this day. On November 6th the UCAS elected Carl Preston to become President of the United Canadian American States while the CAS elected Joseph Alexander as President of the Confederated American States. December 12th the New Horizons corporation came under scrutiny for its Superkids project overseen by CEO Paul Louberge when one of the test subjects commits suicides. Investigations into the matter reveal striking similarities between Superkids and Project 42-20. Superkids however sought to genetically manipulate favorable traits into children below a certain again. This extensive genetic manipulation was only the tip of the iceberg though, as it was discovered that there was also substantial physical, mental, and emotional abuse used to punish subjects who were not performing up to New Horizons projected expectations. The Superkids project is eventually shut down later in the month. President Elect Alexander selected several prominent metahumans for posts in his Cabinet. He used the inclusion of these metahumans as leverage to convince the NAN to lift some of its economic sanctions and provide the CAS with some much needed economic relief. Christmas Day in a Connecticut, UCAS casino started with a bang. More precisely it ended with one. The casino, built on the site of a former Indian Reservation was hit with a magical explosion of unknown origin that destroyed a part of the building, killed eighteen people, and wounded dozens more. Eventually a group called Warpath claimed responsibility for the attack. Only two years down and this post is already getting long. I'll do up another one of these soon and try to use up the character limit in the future so we can condense [History 101] into as few posts as possible. I only got about halfway through this one. But it's been forever, and this is a good enough start to get me back on track.
The Sixth World Almanac pp. 57, 59
Seattle 2072 p. 30
New Seattle pp. 25-27
Shadowrun: Third Edition p. 32
The Neo-Anarchist's Guide to North America pp. 103-104
Sur le site officiel. - En compétition: La loi du marché - Stéphane Brizé: sortie le 19 mai. Vincent Lindon. Drame. Film social. À 51 ans, après 20 mois de chômage, Thierry commence un nouveau travail qui le met bientôt face à un dilemme moral. Pour garder son emploi, peut-il tout accepter ? (Stéphane Brizé: Quelques heures de printemps, Mademoiselle Chambon...) The Valley of Love - Guillaume Nicloux: sortie le 17 juin. Isabelle Huppert, Gérard Depardieu... Drame. Isabelle et Gérard se rendent à un étrange rendez-vous dans la Vallée de la mort, en Californie. Ils ne se sont pas revus depuis des années et répondent à une invitation de leur fils Michael, photographe, qu'ils ont reçue après son suicide, 6 mois auparavant. Malgré l'absurdité de la situation, ils décident de suivre la programme initiatique imaginé par Michael... (Guillaume Nicloux: La religieuse, L'enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq, Le Concile de pierre, le poulpe...) Tale of Tales - Matteo Garrone: sortie le 1er juillet. Vincent Cassel, Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Toby Jones. Historique-Fantastique.Il était une fois trois royaumes voisins où dans de merveilleux châteaux régnaient rois et reines, princes et princesses : un roi fornicateur et libertin, un autre captivé par un étrange animal ; une reine obsédée par son désir d’enfant... Sorciers et fées, monstres redoutables, ogre et vieilles lavandières, saltimbanques et courtisans sont les héros de cette libre interprétation des célèbres contes de Giambattista Basile. (Game of Thrones vibes: mouuuais). (Matteo Garrone: Gomorra, Reality...) "Dheepan" - Jacques Audiard: sortie le 26 Août. Acteurs débutants/non professionnels pour la plupart + Vincent Rottiers et Marc Zinga. Drame. Film social. Un combattant de l'indépendance tamoule fuit le Sri Lanka en compagnie d'une femme et d'une petite fille qu'il ne connait pas, espérant obtenir l'asile politique en Europe. Il tente de reconstruire sa vie avec elles dans la banlieue de Paris mais est confronté à la violence. (Jacques Audiard: Un prophète, De battre mon cœur s'est arrêté, Sur mes lèvres, De rouille et d'os, Regarde les hommes tomber...) La forêt des songes/The Sea Of Trees - Gus Van Sant: sortie le 9 septembre. James Saito, Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe. Drame. Un Américain et un Japonais se rencontrent dans la "Forêt des suicides" au Japon, là où ceux qui souffrent trop pour continuer à vivre, mettent fin à leurs jours. Mais au lieu de se tuer, le duo se lance dans un voyage initiatique à travers cette forêt... (Gus Van Sant: Elephant, Milk, Gerry, Paranoid Park, Last Days, Good Will Hunting...) Marguerite et Julien - Valérie Donzelli: sortie le 30 septembre. Anaïs Demoustier, Jérémie Elkaïm, Frédéric Pierrot... Comédie dramatique. Julien et Marguerite de Ravalet, fils et fille du seigneur de Tourlaville, s’aiment d’un amour tendre depuis leur enfance. Mais en grandissant, leur tendresse se mue en passion dévorante. Leur aventure scandalise la société qui les pourchasse. Incapables de résister à leurs sentiments, ils doivent fuir… (Valérie Donzelli: La guerre est déclarée, la reine des pommes...) Plus fort que les bombes - Joachim Trier: sortie en octobre. Isabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne. Drame. La préparation d’une exposition consacrée à la célèbre photographe Isabelle Reed trois ans après sa mort inattendue amène son mari et ses deux fils à se réunir dans la maison familiale. Refait alors surface un secret qui plonge leurs vies apparemment calmes dans le chaos. (Joachim Trier: Olso 31 Août). Mon Roi - Maïwenn: sortie le 21 octobre. Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Bercot, Louis Garrel, Isild Le Besco... Drame. L’histoire passionnelle et compliquée, sur plusieurs années, d'un couple ayant un enfant. (Maïween: Polisse, Le bal des actrices, Pardonnez-moi). Notre petite sœur/Umimachi Diary - Hirokazu Koreeda: sortie le 28 octobre. Drame.Trois sœurs vivent ensemble à Kamakura. Par devoir, elles se rendent à l’enterrement de leur père, qui les avait abandonnées une quinzaine d’années auparavant. Elles font alors la connaissance de leur demi-sœur, Suzu, âgée de 13 ans. D’un commun accord, les jeunes femmes décident d’accueillir l’orpheline dans la grande maison familiale. (Hirokazu Koreeda: Like father Like Son, Nobody Knows, Air Doll...) MacBeth - Justin Kurzel: sortie le 4 novembre. Marion Cotillard, Michael Fassbender... Drame. Lecture viscérale de la tragédie la plus célèbre et captivante de William Shakespeare, celle d'un vaillant guerrier autant que chef charismatique, plantée sur les champs de bataille au milieu des paysages de l'Ecosse médiévale, Macbeth est fondamentalement l'histoire d'un homme abîmé par la guerre qui tente de reconstruire sa relation avec son épouse bien-aimée, tous deux aux prises avec les forces de l'ambition et du désir. Le fils de Saül - László Nemes: Hongrois. 1er film. Sortie en Novembre. Drame.Auschwitz, 1944 : un prisonnier contraint à brûler les corps de ses congénères trouve le salut en préservant des flammes le corps d'un enfant qu'il prend pour son fils. (Fremaux disait lors de la conférence de presse que ça risque de faire parler: comment (peut-on) représenter cette période de l'histoire?) Mountains May Depart - Zhang-Ke Jia: sortie le 9 décembre. Drame-Romance. Une histoire en trois parties qui démarre dans les années 1990 et suit un jeune couple de la province de Shanxi où la jeune femme lui brise le cœur en mariant un riche propriétaire minier. Le second segment raconte comment cet homme éconduit revient à Shanxi pour trouver son ex-femme divorcée et séparée de son fils. Le dernier segment se passe en 2025 en Australie, où le fils vit une triste existence d'employé de casino. (Zhang-Ke Jia: A Touch of Sin). Mia Madre- Nanni Moretti: sortie le 23 décembre. Margherita Buy, Nanni Moretti, John Turturro... Drame. Margherita est une réalisatrice en plein tournage d'un film dont le rôle principal est tenu par un célèbre - et insupportable - acteur américain d’origine italienne. À ses questionnements d'artiste engagée, se mêlent des angoisses d'ordre privé : sa mère est à l'hôpital, sa fille en pleine crise d'adolescence. Et son frère, quant à lui, se montre comme toujours irréprochable… (Nanni Moretti: La chambre du fils, Le Caïman, Habemus Papam...) The Assassin - Hou Hsiao-Hsien: sortie le 6 janvier 2016. Shu Qi, Chang Chen... Action-Drame. Sous la dynastie Tang, la loyauté d'une meurtrière est mise à mal lorsqu'elle est chargée d'assassiner l'homme qu'elle aime. Carol - Todd Haynes: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara... Drame, Romance. New York 1952. Carol est élégante, sophistiquée, riche et mariée. En cette veille de Noël, elle erre dans un grand magasin à la recherche d'un cadeau pour sa fille. Elle y rencontre une jeune vendeuse, Thérèse, spontanée, charmante, fragile. Carol propose alors à Thérèse de partir avec elle pour un voyage improvisé au cœur de l'Amérique. Un road trip au cours duquel elles vont tomber follement amoureuses. (Todd Haynes: Far from Heaven, Mildred Pierce...) Youth/La Giovinezza - Paolo Sorrentino: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz. Drame. Fred et Mick, deux vieux amis approchant les quatre-vingts ans, sont en vacances dans un bel hôtel au pied des Alpes. Fred, compositeur et chef d’orchestre, est désormais à la retraite. Mick, réalisateur, travaille toujours. Les deux amis savent que le temps leur est compté et décident de faire face à leur avenir ensemble. Ils portent un regard curieux et tendre sur les vies décousues de leurs enfants, sur la jeunesse flamboyante des scénaristes qui travaillent pour Mick, et sur les autres occupants de l’hôtel... Contrairement à eux, personne ne semble se soucier du temps qui passe. (Paolo Sorrentino: La Grande Bellezza, Les conséquences de l'amour, This Must Be the Place...) Chronic - Michel Franco: Tim Roth... Drame. Aide-soignant, David travaille auprès de personnes en phase terminale. Méticuleux, efficace et passionné par son métier, il noue des relations qui vont bien au-delà du cadre médical et instaure une véritable intimité avec ses patients. Mais dans sa vie privée, David est inefficace, maladroit et réservé. Il a besoin de ses patients tout autant qu’ils ont besoin de lui. (Michel Franco: Después de Lucia...) Sicario - Denis Villeneuve: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin.. Drame-Thriller-Policier. La zone frontalière s’étendant entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique est un territoire de non-droit où les trafiquants de drogues internationaux imposent leur pouvoir. Un agent du FBI idéaliste découvre ce monde brutal en assistant les membres d’un groupe d’intervention du gouvernement qui l'ont enrôlée dans leur plan pour provoquer la chute d’un des patrons des cartels mexicains. (Denis Villeneuve: Incendies, Maelström). The Lobster - Yorgos Lanthimos: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz... Drame-Science-Fiction.Dans un futur proche… Toute personne célibataire est arrêtée, transférée à l’Hôtel et a 45 jours pour trouver l’âme soeur. Passé ce délai, il sera transformé en l'animal de son choix. Pour échapper à ce destin, un homme s'enfuit et rejoint dans les bois un groupe de résistants ; les Solitaires.
Out! Will Anyone on the Left Stand Up for Brexit? by Oliver Pawley
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/09/will-anyone-on-the-left-stand-up-for-brexit/ Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, The IMF, David Cameron, George Osborne, Hillary Clinton, Mark Carney — it’s a list of names that many on the left would surely like rather see condemned than side with in a democratic debate. Yet the build-up to the forthcoming referendum on Britain’s EU membership sees them doing exactly that. While those figures emblematic of exiting the EU — Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage — aren’t very appealing to those of liberal instincts, allying with them offers a chance to shake-up the status quo. In an age where democracy is heavily curated by corporate power, is it not better to assume a disruptive islander mentality than a supine federalist one? Will anyone on the left stand up for Brexit? Rousseau once mocked British democracy by claiming the British public were ‘free only during elections’. Given that it was 1975 last time we had a referendum on European membership and a great deal of power has been transferred from our parliament to the EU since then, by Jean-Jacques’ logic it’s 41 years since we were last ‘free’. Should Britain really fear being in charge of its own affairs more than continuing along its current path? If we consider domestic politics in Britain we see a governing Conservative Party that in its last two budgets has attempted to rob from the poor and give to the rich to such an extent that it has caused national outcry. Plans to remove tax credits for low earners in 2015[i] and reduce benefits for the disabled this year[ii] have had to be rescinded. With some laughably optimistic predictions about fiscally beneficial future growth the Chancellor, George Osborne, manages to hang on to his tax cuts for the rich. The British public are starting to see what a Tory majority looks like in practice and it’s quite a shock compared to the coalition government that preceded it. Then, the Liberal Democrat party acted as set of humanitarian reigns to steer the Conservatives away from their worst excesses and sacrificed itself electorally as a result. Up and down the land voters are feeling the effects of savage cuts to the budgets of their local councils: youth centres are closed, roads go unrepaired, and teachers lose their jobs in a manner that is completely incompatible with building a country state fit for success in the twenty first century[iii]. Brexit would cause chaos in the Conservative party, fatally wound Cameron and Osborne, and yet commentators on the left shy away from urging voters to take a shot at this open goal. It’s as though Britain’s liberals are scared of the chance to run the country. Goldman Sachs warn us that homebuilders and banks would be the worst affected if we chose to leave the EU[iv]. It’s hard to think of two sets of industries that have failed the British people more in recent years. The UK faces a housing crisis because the emphasis has been on serving vested interests by maintaining overly high property and land values rather than focusing on the need to house an expanding population. Banking is lauded in the media as an industry of huge importance to Britain but is there really much future growth to come from it? Banks’ main product is debt, which is something we in the developed world already have too much of. The future of UK banking looks rather more like the moribund loss-making and largely nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland[v] than a dynamic saviour. Brexit might force the UK to diversify its economy away from the dominant property and finance nexus, which provides economic growth but of a precarious, iniquitous and [spoiler alert] ephemeral kind. At least twice George Osborne has warned the British that leaving the EU would cause house prices to fall, the second time he came out with a figure of 18 per cent as an upper bound. UK house prices could halve and they would still be high — particularly in London and the South East. The latest wheeze to extend the bubble appears to be the introduction of intergenerational mortgages.[vi] This kind of financial ‘innovation’ combined with ever rising student debt means Britain’s young graduates face a lifetime of debt servitude. If Brexit really could bring down house prices the millennials and the generation beneath them ought to be clamouring for it, yet the pollsters suggest they don’t and that three-quarters of 18 to 24 year-olds want to remain.[vii] The threats from the Remain camp that leaving the EU will be a catastrophe for the UK’s economic cooperation with the continent are overblown. Anyone who has spent any time in central London recently will have noticed the huge quantity of continental Europeans employed in the capital. It seems very unlikely that their home countries, many of which are beset with economic difficulties, would want all these people delivered back to them. It is also hard to believe that those countries would wish to jeopardise tourism from the UK, or the spending power of British pensioners living out their days in the sunshine of Southern Europe. The idea that deals could not quickly be done to facilitate movement between Britain and the EU as well as mutually beneficial trade agreements is absurd given that it would in nobody’s interests, least of all big business, to do otherwise. Angela Merkel’s recent hint that Britain ‘will never get a really good result’ in negotiations if it leaves the EU is unlikely to be popular with German firms which exported 90 billion Euros worth of goods and services to the UK last year.[viii] Much of Britain’s left perceives the EU as some sort of enlightened force for good but this isn’t a notion that stands up to much scrutiny. Has it formed a bulwark against US imperialism as we were told it would? Not at all, European leaders have meekly followed America’s neo-conservative agenda leading to disaster. Indeed, Europe’s refuge crisis is the direct result of the Western establishment’s gauche attempts at terraforming Iraq, Libya and Syria into groves of economic opportunity for the few. Sadly, the recent terrorist attacks on European soil haven’t raised the right questions about events both at home and abroad. Instead of trying to curb civil liberties and drop more bombs, European leaders ought to be considering the deeper reasons for discontent. Is Brussels’ Molenbeek district really a hotbed of jihadist sentiment because of few internet videos and radical clerics or does it have more to do with the 40 per cent unemployment rate of Muslim men?[ix] Is a foreign policy that supports the continued ruination of Muslim lives abroad ever going to be compatible with amicable relations at home? The EU’s eastward expansion has also played a part in the bloody civil war in the Ukraine and heightened tensions with Russia.[x] Then we have economic policy which has been a disaster. Where was the European sense of fraternity when Greece as in trouble? It completely disappeared. Europe’s leaders chose to protect their failed bankers and broken single currency and throw the Greek people under a bus. Of the 240 billion Euros that was ‘given’ to Greece in 2010 and 2012 a miniscule amount actually went to improving the lot of the Greek people, the vast majority found its way into the coffers of financial institutions.[xi] Compare this to Iceland which sits outside of the EU. Its response to the financial crisis was not to kotow to bankers but to jail them. The government didn’t seek to absorb all the country’s private banking debt but put its people first and financial institutions second.[xii] The Icelandic economy has now recovered to a size above its pre 2008 peak, a target far away from the likes of Greece. While the Goldmanite European Central Bank chairman Mario Draghi prepares to pump money into a corporate black hole[xiii], the youth of Southern Europe see their futures evaporate into a sclerotic mist of unemployment, under-investment and hopelessness. Why does Britain’s left wish to support an EU that propagates such unfairness? Is it not time to admit that Europe has been captured by financiers and will not prosper until their influence is reduced and un-payable debts written-off? Ironically, by leaving the EU Britain may stimulate a shift away from the current failed orthodoxy. Given seven years of economic stagnation in the Eurozone you might imagine that the lessons of letting unelected technocrats take the big decisions would have created a desire to move to a more democratic system. The truth is that even now EU officials attempt to bargain away our rights with the secretive TTIP agreement. Rumoured to be a corporate manifesto that relegates the role of the state to that of a butler for business interests it’s hard to reconcile it with the needs of the masses[xiv]. So when the most disappointing President of the United States ever, Barack Obama, warns us that we’ll be going to the ‘back of the queue’ for trade negotiations if we exit the EU, we should grab the opportunity with both hands. If the majority of British people were privy to the contents of TTIP it’s likely the idea of being in the queue at all would be deeply abhorrent. Obama’s is just one of many voices from across the Atlantic urging Britain to stay in the EU. Eight former US Treasury Secretaries wrote to The Times newspaper urging us to stay in. Three names stand out: Larry Summers, Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner. These architects of neo-liberal disaster have overseen a huge transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top in the United States. Summers helped sow the seeds of the 2008 financial crisis as a cheerleader for the Gramm—Leach—Bliley—Act, which repealed much of the Glass—Steagal safety net[xv]. Casino capitalism came to the fore and after the inevitable financial collapse Paulson masterminded the Troubled Asset Relief Programme (TARP) giveaway to Wall Street[xvi]. Geithner continued in much the same vein, scandalously failing to stop executives of AIG being rewarded for failure with enormous bonuses effectively paid for with government money[xvii]. The only people whose interests apparatchiks like these represent are the very wealthiest, the rest of us can safely ignore their advice. Similarly, the warnings of the IMF’s Christine Lagarde should go unheeded; her organisation is there to protect the few not enrich the many[xviii]. Defying the wishes of the IMF is a rare democratic opportunity which should not be ignored by those who seek a fairer world. The honourable intentions to use European integration as a means to avoid another European conflict as damaging as The Second World War were all well and good, but they are the solution to an obsolete problem. Today’s fight is no longer between nation states but between an exploitative global economic elite and the rest of us. Voting for Brexit is a blow to their ambitions and the natural choice for anyone who wishes to challenge the doomed status quo. Don’t vote for Brexit because you are a small-minded xenophobe, vote for Brexit because it is a chance to challenge the cabal of venal politicians who are dragging Western Civilisation towards crisis with their continued deference to corporate power, misguided use of military force, and disdain for democracy. Notes. [i] http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/nov/25/george-osborne-u-turn-scrap-tax-credit-cuts-autumn-statement [ii] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/george-osborne-on-the-retreat-as-budget-evaporates-in-wake-of-ids-resignation-a6944861.html [iii] https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/cost-cuts-impact-local-government-and-poorer-communities [iv] http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/ma21/brexit-would-hit-banks-homebuilders-goldman-sachs [v] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2b9428ec-dc58-11e5-a72f-1e7744c66818.html#axzz4AQgnyN7u [vi] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/mortgages/the-mortgages-where-70-year-olds-borrow-to-help-their-grandchild/ [vii] http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexitvote/2016/04/18/the-generation-gap-how-young-voters-view-the-uks-referendum/ [viii]https://www.destatis.de/EN/FactsFigures/NationalEconomyEnvironment/ForeignTrade/TradingPartners/Tables/OrderRankGermanyTradingPartners.pdf?__blob=publicationFile [ix] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/17/molenbeek-jihadi-isis-belgian-paris-attacks-belgium [x] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10853278/The-EUs-to-blame-for-the-crisis-in-Ukraine.html [xi] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/29/where-did-the-greek-bailout-money-go [xii] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/three-charts-that-show-icelands-economy-recovered-after-it-imprisoned-bankers-and-let-banks-go-bust-10309503.html [xiii] https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pdate/2016/html/pr160602.en.html [xiv] http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/what-is-ttip-and-six-reasons-why-the-answer-should-scare-you-9779688.html [xv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Summers [xvi] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubled_Asset_Relief_Program [xvii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Geithner [xviii] http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/
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