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James Baldwin, the Religious Right, and the Moral Minority

In the 1980s, James Baldwin recognized that a major transformation had occurred in the socio-political functions of religion. His critique adapted accordingly, focusing on the ways in which religion—particularly white evangelical Christianity—had morphed into a movement deeply enmeshed with mass media, conservativepolitics, and late capitalism. Religion in the Reagan era was leveraged, sold, and consumed in ways never before seen, from charismatic televangelists, to Christian-themed amusement parks, to mega-churches. The new movement was often characterized as the “religious right” or the “Moral Majority” and was central to both Reagan’s political coalition as well as the broader culture wars. For Baldwin, this development had wide-ranging ramifications for society and the individual. This article draws on Baldwin’s final major essay, “To Crush the Serpent” (1987), to examine the author’s evolving thoughts on religion, salvation, and transgression in the context of the Reagan era.

James Baldwin Review
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3 Money Introduction In Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps, the banks have taken over Gekko’s job. I was shocked when I went back to this in 2010. In Wall Street, Gekko had been the outsider, the inside trader guy, the thief, the blackmailer –​and that’s what the banks do now. In the old days the banks would never have done that, it was considered immoral, but by 2010 the whole thing had shifted because of deregulation.1 By the time Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps hit cinemas in September 2010, banking, the financial markets and capitalism in general had all

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
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The ethics and politics of memory in an age of mass culture

commodity-saturated capitalism prevails. And yet it is the very pervasiveness of commodification – reaching as it does into the realm of mass cultural representation – that makes images and narratives about the past available on an unprecedented scale. Prosthetic memory, as I have been arguing, is quite literally made possible by the advanced state of capitalism and its ensuing commodity culture. It is

in Memory and popular film
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around some moderate centre-​ground with Stone.9 His politics throughout have been rooted in the foundational myths about America. He is a supporter of still the greatest capitalist nation on earth, but not an unbridled advocate of capitalism, much less the continued expansion of corporate power that the particular brand of American capitalism has wrought. (As mentioned previously, there is something C on c l u sio n Figure 10  Protest against US military installation, Jeju Island, South Korea, March 2013 239 Th e ci nem a of Ol iver   S to ne 240 distinctly

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
Consumerism and alienation in 1950s comedies

all returning to ‘normal’ which makes the audience complicit with repression. This enables the film, and Mackendrick’s other Ealing work, to subvert the circularity of the studio’s comedies with ‘an intimation of stasis and stagnancy, of a system seizing up under the dead weight of tradition’. 11 This tradition has assimilated the new consumerism; Sidney is punished for his crimes against capitalism

in British cinema of the 1950s
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New retro movies in 1990s Hollywood cinema

Silverman, ‘Fragments’, p. 150. 16 See Fredric Jameson, ‘Postmodernism and Consumer Society’, in H. Foster, Postmodern Culture (London: Pluto Press, 1985), pp. 111–25; and ‘Nostalgia for the Present’, in Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (London: Verso, 1991), pp

in Memory and popular film
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Fixing the past in English war films

, ‘solidarity’, ‘character’, home. Sixty or so subsequent years have corroded this innocence. Consumer capitalism and the absence of war have together worked to underfeed ‘solidarity’ until it has become so thin we can see through it, and placed the values of radical individualism (identity, fulfilment, self-discovery and so forth ) at the centre of the board. But the war films of the 1950s will nonetheless be

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Memory and popular film

Discontents (London: Verso, 1990), p. 8. For a more extensive discussion, see Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (London: Verso, 1991). 16 Andrew Hoskins, ‘New Memory: Mediating History’, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 21: 4 (2001), 333

in Memory and popular film
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The King’s Speech as melodrama

set of conventions. 5 However, the debates around melodrama in film studies in the early 1970s, when film theorists actively constructed the family melodrama as a genre, are highly pertinent to The King’s Speech . Adopting Marxist, feminist and psychoanalytic approaches, and taking capitalism, ideology, patriarchy and repression as their main topics of investigation, scholars such as Thomas Elsaesser, Geoffrey Nowell

in The British monarchy on screen
One Billion Rising, dance and gendered violence

, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On 14 February 2013, people across the world came together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. Last year, on 14 February 2014, One Billion Rising for Justice focused on the issue of justice for all survivors of gender violence, and highlighted the impunity that lives at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy. Events took place in

in Dance and politics