Goro Miyazaki's From Up On Poppy Hill Feels Anxiety of Anime Influence

For decades, the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki have captured my imagination and changed my life. It’s hard to watch Kiki’s Delivery Service these days without crying and remembering all those years I spent watching it with my daughter as she was growing up. But time passes, and so do torches.

For Miyazaki and his anime [...]

Bilbo the Billionaire: A Short History of J.R.R. Tolkien's Greed Wars

(Image: The Internet)

[An early draft of this ongoing intersection between avaricious art and life has been published over at HuffPo.]

‘Really you know,’ said Bilbo in his best business manner, ‘things are impossible. Personally I am tired of the whole affair.’

J.R.R. Tolkien legendarily wrote In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit, one [...]

Peak Oil and Climate Change Will Fully Suck. High-Speed Rail Can Help.

I recently revisited the War on Terra for AlterNet. This time, in a double-barreled breakdown of the national high-speed rail network gaining ground in America, which is still lamely to last century’s non-renewable resources like cheap gas, SUVs and easy credit.

Sorry suckers, it’s time to face the future of climate change and peak oil. If [...]

The Shaving Racket

I’ll be totally honest with you. I never really thought much about the intricate working of the mundane razor industry. That is, until AlterNet asked me to look into it.

But having done so, I think it’s a cut-throat hyper-reality ripe for satire, and probably standing on its last economic legs. Which could be made of [...]

Foreclosure House of Cards Implodes

I’ve been writing about the econopocalypse for years now, so news of robosigners executing thousands of baseless foreclosures on a conveyor belt to hell is not news to me. So this AlterNet article is for those who got caught with their pants down. Rejoice: The banksters were such witless pricks that they left a trail [...]

Welcome to the Retirement Nightmare

Remember when the plan was to pour a percentage of your hard-earned salary into a retirement account, usually supplied by your employer? Who then invested your money with the company’s into a series of funds, stocks and economic stratagems? Which were engineered for failure by rapacious banks, secretive hedge funds and other financial assholes gaming [...]

Can Goldman Wipe Us Out With a Keystroke?

Sure, it sounds like something out of psy-fi. But then again so does a bankster-engineered depression, executed by lightspeed supercomputers running proprietary algorithms from math and compsci PhDs. And look how that worked out. I probed deep into the econopocalypse’s wired nether regions for AlterNet to discern how a electronically initiated Flash Crash could wipe [...]

Why China Has Our Economy By the Balls

[Scott Thill, AlterNet]
On May 1, China popped the cork on Expo 2010 in Shanghai, a months-long international celebration signifying the ascension of the city, and thereby its parent nation, as a global economic and cultural powerhouse. Meanwhile, in the United States, China’s economic and cultural power has come under mounting fire.

Short-happy hedge funder [...]

Clusterfuck! Worse Than 1789?

[Jim Kunstler, Clusterfuck Nation]
Senator Levin pretty much had Goldman Sach’s Lloyd Blankfein dead in a casket with that now-notorious email from GS’s head of sales and trading, Tom Montag, describing one of their billion-dollar investment “products” as “one shitty deal.” Levin seemed to delight in crossing the boundary into the realm of the unspeakable, [...]

Clusterfuck! A Still Moment

[Jim Kunstler, Clusterfuck Nation]
George W. Bush was onto something in the fall of 2008 when he remarked apropos of the Lehman collapse: “…this sucker could go down.”

It’s my serene conviction, by the way, that this sucker actually is going down, right now, even as I clatter away at the keys — perhaps in slow motion, [...]

With Finance, Expected the Unexpectedly

When it comes to the finance casino, expect the unexpected. And when it comes to the financial press that is committed to covering it, expect to hear the word “unexpectedly.” A lot. I broke the terminology down for AlterNet. It’s still broken.