Where To With The Metropolitans?

Back last spring when Tim decided to introduce the Continental Telegraph, we discussed the kind of content that I could produce.

I suggested we offer a serial—or soap, if you prefer—that comments on current mores, politics, social behaviours, and culture.

What ensued is what you will have read or passed over: The Metropolitans (strap line: A saga of everyday life in the Big L and a wry look at contemporary culture). A story about a prime minister and her entourage negotiating Brexit.…

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“Sorry To Bother You” Is About Socialism, Not Capitalism

There’s something very wrong with this Guardian review of the new movie “Sorry To Bother You.” Which is that it tells us all that this is a stunning indictment of capitalism, something which really doesn’t seem to be true at all. Rather, we have something which is akin to actually existing socialism. Or at least that socialism which existed before 1989.

These questions are at the core of Sorry to Bother You, a comedy-drama starring Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, written and directed by Boots Riley, a rapper with Oakland band the Coup.

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Indian Cinema Prices Just Rose – It’s a Package Deal, With The Food

It can be terribly difficult to get people to understand certain subtleties concerning business and economics. It can be impossible to get a politician on the stump to understand those same points. For when there are votes to be bought who cares about reason or logic? Which is why going to the movies, the cinema, has just got more expensive in one Indian state:

From August 1, Maharashtra’s cinemas have to let film-goers bring their own food
Everyone who has resented having to shell out a small fortune for an evening at the multiplex can finally expect relief — in Maharashtra, to start with.

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Pink Panther’s Clouseau As Documentary Not Comedy

As with tragedy so with farce, there’s supposed to be in both one single event which then leads to the downfall. Everything must flow logically, ineluctably in fact, from that one choice made, that one decision. The difference is that, well, in the one the final event is tragic – Othello strangling Desdemona – in the other it’s farcical – vide any 5 minute scene of Clouseau in a Pink Panther movie.

At which point we need to recognise that these things, these farces, are not just the product of fevered (or, given the nature of those who write for a living, drunken or drugged) imaginations, they’re a reflection of real life.…

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WTF! An Economic Tour of the Weird

The first thing to say about this podcast is that we discover that the dismal science isn’t always dismal. In this Economics Detective Radio podcast  the host, Garret Peterson, discusses the economic reasoning behind some of history’s strangest practices with Peter Leeson, the author of WTF?!: An Economic Tour of the Weird.

I found this podcast enjoyable and fascinating, not least because I listened whilst carrying out a spring cleaning job I really hate – cleaning the inside of the conservatory.…

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Why Are Movie Reviews so Freaking Useless?

From our man on the spot, Estaban DeGolf:

In a couple of recent movie reviews I’ve noted my dismay at some bad-to-mediocre movies’ high ratings as well as my search for a movie review source I can rely on.  At this point, “Rotten Tomatoes” is about the best option I’ve found, but only when I use the audience’s ratings, not the critics.  Interesting thing, that, the hoi polloi seem to be a better guide than the experts – (Libertarians rejoice)!.
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Three Billboards Was a Very Bad Movie

From our special film correspondent, Esteban DeGolf:

Well, since I’ve already committed heresy by dissing “Darkest Hour”, let me move on to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. Despite being nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture I contend that this is a rather bad movie, dreary, awful even. Why do I have such a disparate opinion compared to the illuminati you ask. Well, let me explain:
First, to give credit where credit is due, the idea behind the movie was clever and the conflict between the grieving mother versus the police chief dying of cancer made things very interesting.…

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Darkest Hour is Not a Good, Let Alone Great, Movie

Yes, we do know Gary Oldman got the Oscar for playing Churchill. However, our correspondent, Esteban DeGolf, is unimpressed:

I recently saw the movie “Darkest Hour” about Winston Churchill and I was disappointed and very surprised considering the positive reviews I had heard, especially from Conservative sources. Personally I would rate the movie as OK at best. There are several things that I believe make it fall far short of the mark:

First of all, Gary Oldman‘s attempt to mimic Churchill‘s speech made him rather difficult to understand.…

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Did Protectionism Make America Great?

This is the first of what may become a series of podcast reviews. They will usually be relevant to a topic that’s currently making the news but may also include some that we think will be of general interest to readers.

I’m kicking off with an episode of Trade Talks, a series of podcasts hosted by Chad Brown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics  and Soumaya Keynes of The Economist. Both are trade geeks and the podcasts usually get down in to the weeds of international trade, how it works and the various organisations and treaties that have been set up to facilitate it.…

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