He looks a bit like an Oscar, but Iron Man has forgotten who he is. Found wandering the streets of New York among the homeless after his suit was stolen, Tony Stark is now almost stark naked. And afraid. He couldn’t even remember his net worth, which was $12.4 Billion. Assuming he had money to pay his medical bills, hospital staff at Bellevue ordered a round of CT and MRI scans, psych tests, then put Tony onZoloft and Aricept. Nurses pitched in to buy him an Iron Man suit at Boys R Us in hopes that his memory will return. Along with his credit card numbers. They fed him a steak dinner in hopes that the protein and iron would improve his memory. He did mumble something about “where’s the beef,” after all. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to his doctors, Tony’s Malibu estate was being ransacked for gold jewelry. Several cars were stolen, along with several blueprints to be sold to China. Despite his high IQ, Tony remains virtually speechless about the Avengers whereabouts, or anyone else. JARVIS, his AI, has been contacted about his situation, but someone pulled most of its memory crystals, so it only recited the Taylor Swift song “Ready for It.”
In more important news, here’s a book written by a Harvard geneticist showing that iron in the diet is linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Are they reporting this? Not really. Why? The meat industry has one of the biggest lobbyist groups in Washington, and owns the press, along with junk food and prescription drugs. The drug industry is bigger than the gun lobby, and makes more money. Their ads pay the salaries of network news shows and affiliates. So they CAN’T talk about this. Which is also why you may never have heard it. The facts: those countries which eat the least red meat have the lower rates for dementia and other brain diseases. Plus only in America do they add iron to cereals and flour products as “fortified.” It sounds good: fortified. But if you are over age 40, you are essentially being poisoned. “It’s a toxic dose,” says Estep. You know that sodium is needed by the body, right? Too much salt kills? (Stroke and high blood pressure result.) Well, too much iron kills too. “Many people over 50 get over 100 times the amount of iron they need.” In Japan and northern Italy people live longest, plus some places in China. What do they eat? White rice and beans, fish, vegetables, with no added iron in the flour. Next time you’re in the store, look at the label of cereals. Some say “100% of the daily allowance” of iron. That’s one cup. As if you’re eating no meat or anything else that day. Now watch the ads for the Baconator or the Whopper. The bun even has added iron. Happy? What about your grandpa and grandma, who will need your help to remember your name?
Saw Blade Runner 2049. Great film. Good story, but mostly a moving tribute to the original classic. Ryan Gosling is superb, and the special effects alone make the movie worth seeing. (Finally, an intelligent film after so much superhero madness and one-liners!) Never boring. Not even for narcissists with low attention span. And I didn’t see it in 3D, just standard screen. Cringed to see the giant Coke ad, but it was probably more irony than product placement. Was it a masterpiece like the director’s cut of the original with Rutger Hauer? No, but I’m not complaining. Is Harrison’s Deckard a replicant? Little chance of that. The book says no, too. There’s a bigger surprise I can’t mention. Go see it, then listen to the audiobook, which is like an audio movie. At TowerReview.com I’ve posted links to a book on how the movie was made, plus a fashion tee shirt and the bomber jacket style worn by Gosling in the film. His image appears on the link. BTW, music? No tunes to sing, but an effective and eerie original score that swells to thunder at just the right moments.
Unlike the Flat Earthers, who believe the number one threat to society is NASA lying to people, I believe the real threat is giant corporations who have created our fake news culture as a diversion while they spy on us. Latest case in point is the book THE AISLES HAVE EYES. Author Joseph Turow is a professor at the Annenberg School of Communication, and his subtitle is “How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power.” Your “power” is becoming illusory. Listen to the audiobook HIT MAKERS by Derek Thompson, subtitled “The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction,” (due out Feb. 7.) We are being distracted while our personal data is being mined and sold to third parties under our noses, often within seconds of downloading a “free” app or turning on a “smart” phone. Who is smart? Not the consumer, for sure. Those posting fake news to distract us (or viral cat videos: same thing) are being used by politicians and corporations to manipulate our thoughts and actions. (And how we vote.) If there’s a conspiracy out there, it’s from people like Alex Jones of InfoWars talking about things that don’t matter. Or ESPN. Dan Patrick has a popular radio show that is also on cable TV, with toys for good old big boys surrounding him. Nothing wrong with that, you say? Well, for anyone watching him, or Alex, or the Flat Earthers, or a thousand TV shows, when is there time to read books? Most don’t, anymore. That’s the point made in Hit Makers. Hits are those things that get the most clicks. How do they do this? By advance publicity from influencers and celebs, by market saturation, by slight of hand and tailored ads. Like football, it is a sport with the biggest prize of all: eyeballs. If they can keep your attention focused on what they want, they can control you. It’s as simple (and complex) as that. What chance does quality content have, in this environment? The same odds as a plow horse running in the Kentucky Derby. It may be a smart horse, but that doesn’t matter at all, in direct rebuttal of the saying, “If you’re smart why ain’t you rich?” Likewise, the best things can get ignored. This extends from songs to products. As Bill Gates told Steve Jobs in the film The Pirates of Silicon Valley, “You have the best stuff, but it doesn’t matter.” (At that point Gates had control of the market with an inferior product: Windows was a ripoff, one operating system stacked on top of another, and prone to bugs and viruses. MacOS is still superior, but not as ubiquitous. Jobs ripped off Xerox and improved on it, eventually going viral with iMac, iPod, and iPhone.) The moral of the story? Buyer beware. You’re basically on your own, especially if you don’t read books. Because the major media won’t tell you this. They are in on the gravy train. Watch NBC or CBS or ABC evening news programs, and what happens every time? They start off with a relatively long report on soundbites and viral videos, then move to shorter and shorter items, the drug commercials building momentum until by the end they are saying, “When we come back” within ten seconds of coming back! Then you see another series of Big Pharma ads for diseases we wouldn’t have if we weren’t on our devices or watching the NFL so much while munching on advertised junk food.