Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Dialogic Cinephilia - August 28, 2019

Good, Dierdre and Karen King. "Mary Magdalene." Radio West (June 13, 2019) ["The Gospel of Mary, written in the name of Mary Magdalene, didn’t make it into the Biblical canon. The image of a powerful woman who was a spiritual leader among Christ’s disciples may have seemed risky to early members of the faith. But what the gospel taught was even more threatening. It challenged the basis of authority, the nature of sin, and it spoke of an inner journey to spirituality. The scholars Dierdre Good and Karen King join us talk about the facts and myths surrounding Mary Magdalene."]

Daniel Immerwahr: History/US Empire Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Koski, Genevieve, et al. "Muscled Memories, Pt. 1 - Total Recall (1990)." The Next Picture Show #168 (March 19, 2019) ["The newest MCU entry CAPTAIN MARVEL is, among other things, an action-packed science-fiction film that’s also interested in the question of how memory relates to identity. That, plus the film’s 1990s setting, put us in mind of another cosmic blockbuster from that era with similar ideas crackling beneath its action-movie surface: Paul Verhoeven’s TOTAL RECALL. In this half of our pairing of brawny-yet-brainy blockbusters, we debate how much TOTAL RECALL is asking us to interrogate the bloody action in which it revels, whether casting Arnold Schwarzenegger as a would-be ordinary Joe contributes to or detracts from the film’s self-awareness, and if there’s any validity to the reading that Quaid’s memory trip is all just a dream. Plus, some feedback inspired by our recent pairings, and pairings that could have been."]

---. "Muscled Memories - Captain Marvel." The Next Picture Show #169 (March 26, 2019) ["Our pairing of sci-fi action films with a side of meditation on memory and identity brings in the new CAPTAIN MARVEL to see how Carol Danvers’ journey of lost and reclaimed memories looks next to the very different (and much bloodier) journey taken by Douglas Quaid in Paul Verhoeven’s TOTAL RECALL. We share our reactions to CAPTAIN MARVEL and its choice to center its narrative on an amnesiac hero, then bring in TOTAL RECALL to compare the two films’ approaches to their central ideas about memory, how they function as science-fiction stories, how they treat their female characters, and more. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar."]

Leonard, Christopher. "'Kochland': : How David Koch Helped Build an Empire to Shape U.S. Politics & Thwart Climate Action." Democracy Now (August 27, 2019) ["Billionaire conservative donor David Koch died Friday at the age of 79 from prostate cancer. David Koch — who was worth some $42 billion — and his brother Charles poured massive amounts of money into funding climate change denial through conservative think tanks and politicians. The Koch brothers founded the political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity in 2004, which is credited with turning the “tea party” into a full-fledged political movement. They also backed “right-to-work” efforts, which aim to weaken labor rights and quash union membership. The brothers made their fortune running Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States. We speak with the business journalist Christopher Leonard, who just last week published a major new book examining the business dealings of the Koch brothers. It’s titled “Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America.”"]

Pomerantsev, Peter. "The Info War of All Against All." The New York Review of Books (August 23, 2019)

Talaga, Tanya. "Big Brother's Hunger." Ideas (March 25, 2019) ["In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples."]

West, Stephen. "Capitalism vs Communism." Philosophize This #81 (May 10, 2016)












Monday, August 26, 2019

Daniel Immerwahr: History/US Empire

@immerwahr

Borrelli, Christopher. "Almost Everything You Know About US Borders is Wrong." Chicago Tribune (February 25, 2019)

Chen, Adrian. "America Used to Have an Overseas Empire. What Happened to It?" Intelligencer (April 8, 2019)

Immerwahr, Daniel. "Empire State of Mind." On the Media (April 5, 2019) ["Recently, a member of the Trump administration called Puerto Rico “that country,” obscuring once more the relationship between the island colony and the American mainland. In a special hour this week, On the Media examines the history of US imperialism — and why the familiar US map hides the true story of our country. Brooke spends the hour with Northwestern University historian Daniel Immerwahr, author of How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States."]

---. "The History Of American Imperialism, From Bloody Conquest To Bird Poop." Fresh Air (February 18, 2019) ["Historian Daniel Immerwahr shares surprising stories of U.S. territorial expansion, including how the desire for bird guano compelled the seizure of remote islands. His book is How to Hide an Empire."]

---. "How the US Has Hidden Its Empire." The Guardian Audio Long Read (March 4, 2019) ["The United States likes to think of itself as a republic, but it holds territories all over the world – the map you always see doesn’t tell the whole story."]

---. "'How to Hide an Empire': Daniel Immerwahr on the History of the Greater United States." Democracy Now (March 5, 2019) ["“How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States.” That’s the title of a new book examining a part of the U.S. that is often overlooked: the nation’s overseas territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, former territories like the Philippines, and its hundreds of military bases scattered across the globe. We speak with the book’s author, Daniel Immerwahr, who writes, “At various times, the inhabitants of the U.S. Empire have been shot, shelled, starved, interned, dispossessed, tortured and experimented on. What they haven’t been, by and large, is seen.” Immerwahr is an associate professor of history at Northwestern University."]

---. "Telling the History of the US Through Its Territories." Smithsonian (January 2019)

---. "Trump neglects and demeans U.S. territories. It’s an American tradition." The Washington Post (February 27, 2019)

Szalai, Jennifer. "How To Hide an Empire Shines Light On America's Expansionist Side." The New York Times (February 13, 2019)














Dialogic Cinephilia - August 26, 2019

Bisson, Joseph E. "Irruptions of the Sacred in a 'World of Shit': Profanity, Sacred Words, and Cinematic Hierophanies in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987)." The Journal of Religion and Film 16.1 (April 2012)

Kaur, Harmeet. "The Cherokee Nation wants a representative in Congress, taking the US government up on a promise it made nearly 200 years ago." CNN (August 25, 2019)

Miller, Andrew. "'Our House Is On Fire': Brazil Faces Global Outrage as Massive Fires Spread in Amazon Rainforest." Democracy Now (August 23, 2019) ["The United Nations is calling for the protection of the Amazon amid fears that thousands of fires raging across Brazil and some parts of Bolivia are rapidly destroying the world’s largest rainforest and paving the way for a climate catastrophe. The fires have spread a vast plume of smoke across South America and the Atlantic Ocean that’s visible from space. They’re unprecedented in recorded history, and environmentalists say most of the fires were deliberately set by illegal miners and cattle ranchers. Indigenous people in Brazil have accused far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of encouraging the destruction. Bolsonaro has worked to deregulate and open up the Amazon for agribusiness, logging and mining since he came into office in January. We speak with Andrew Miller, advocacy director at Amazon Watch."]

Naomi Klein: Activist/Filmmaker/Journalist Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Rohr, Richard. "Growing Up Men." On Being (June 13, 2019) ["Men of all ages say Richard Rohr has given them a new way into spiritual depth and religious thought through his writing and retreats. This conversation with the Franciscan spiritual teacher delves into the expansive scope of his ideas: from male formation and what he calls “father hunger” to why contemplation is as magnetic to people now, including millennials, as it’s ever been. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan writer, teacher, and the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His many books include Falling Upward, Divine Dance, and most recently, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe."]

















ENG 281: Fall 2019 Student Responses

Good examples of responses:

Harrison Hart: Parasite

Ashleigh Adkins -- Annihilation: All That Shimmers is Not Gold

Ashleigh Adkins - Blindspotting: Blinders On, Privilege Checked

Ashleigh Adkins - "A Quiet Place: “Thine Own Worst Enemy is Silence."

Ashleigh Adkins -- The Joker: “When Laughter and Medicine Fail the Psyche”

Ashleigh Adkins -- Professor Marston and the Wonder Women: DISC (Diving Into Sexual Consent)

Mike Schelling: The Warnings of the Privatization of Water as Shown in Mad Max: Fury Road

Mike Schelling: The Use of Sound in Children of Men

Mike Schelling: The Use of Archive Footage from I Am Not Your Negro

Forrest Dills: Analyzing the Acting in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Forrest Dills: Why the Violence in The Joker is not That Big of a Deal

Krista Kelley -- Accepting Yourself: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Rachel Amick: I Am Not Your Negro

Rachel Amick: Hail Satan!

Breanna Webb: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Harrison Hart: Forbidden Planet

Harrison Hart: Death Laid an Egg

Harrison Hart: Gone Girl

Ashleigh Adkins -- Fight Club: “The Case of Psychological Misdirection and Bloodied Knuckles”

Ashleigh Adkins: Mad Max: Fury Road

Ashleigh Adkins: I Am Not Your Negro

Forrest Dills: Event Horizon

Forrest Dills: High Life

Harrison Hart: Gomorrah

Ashleigh Adkins: High Life

Ashleigh Adkins: Rocketman

Ashleigh Adkins: Gomorrah

Forrest Dills: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Forest Dills: Full Metal Jacket

Breanna Webb: Full Metal Jacket

Harrison Hart: Full Metal Jacket




-----------------------------------------------------------------


Nicholas Ross 2 (Halloween; Annihilation)

Ashleigh Adkins 13 (Dr Strangelove; Gomorrah; Rocketman; High Life; Children of Men; I Am Not Your Negro; Mad Max: Fury Road; Fight Club; Professor Marston and the Wonder Women; The Joker; A Quiet Place; Blindspotting; Annihilation)  -----   A+ for the class

Kaleshia Harris 14 (Full Metal Jacket; Gomorrah; Children of Men; Mad Max: Fury Road; Fight Club; Doctor Sleep; Dr Strangelove; Midsommar; Blindspotting; Parasite; Annihilation; Ex Machina; Arrival; Sorry to Bother You)

Harrison Hart 14 (Full Metal Jacket; Gomorrah; The Last Black Man in San Francisco; High Life; Fight Club; Gone Girl; Death Laid an Egg; Forbidden Planet; Parasite; Blindspotting; The Lighthouse; The Joker; Okja; Oldboy) -- A

Breanna Webb 2 (Full Metal Jacket; The Last Black Man in San Francisco)

Sifting

Rachel Amick 3 (The Last Black Man in San Francisco; Hail Satan; I Am Not Your Negro)

Rose Evangelista

Shivani Polisetty

Krista Kelly 7 (Gomorrah; The Last Black Man in America; High Life; Children of Men; I am Not Your Negro; Fight Club; Professor Marston and the Wonder Women)

Forrest Dills 8 (Dr. Strangelove; Full Metal Jacket; The Last Black Man in San Francisco; High Life; Event Horizon; Mad Max: Fury Road; Joker; Professor Marston and the Wonder Women)

Ricky Lewis 2 (The Last Black Man in San Francisco; High Life)

Irving Rivas 2 (The Last Black Man in San Francisco; High Life)

Khalil Rashawn 7 (Full Metal Jacket; The Last Black Man in San Francisco; Dr Strangelove; Children of Men; I am Not Your Negro; Mad Max: Fury Road; The Joker)

Seth Davis

Douglas Grey, Jr.

Mike Schelling 5 (Full Metal Jacket; I Am Not Your Negro; Children of Men: Mad Max: Fury Road; Fight Club)





Michael Benton



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ENG 102 Extra Credit

John Furin 1
Rajan Aryal 7
Bhuwan Lohani 4
Bree Drew 1
Binita Gaihre 4
Analise Weaver 1
Michael Bowles 1
Connie Tanner 5
Bibek Dhakal 2
Katarina Berryhill 3
Tabarak Alazawi 4
John Stacy 2
Mariela Reynaga 2
Lexie Combs 1
Mehmet Helvaci 1
Luis Perez 2



Ashley Brown  2 (Savannah Simple's class)

HUM 121: Fall 2019 (threads to tease out)

Peace and Conflict Studies course

Social media blackout and optional hike in red river gorge



“I am not going to back away from being called a radical. If being an advocate of peace, justice, and humanity toward all human beings is radical, then I’m glad to be called a radical.” - Congressman Ron Dellums (1935 - 2018)



As citizens of a globalized world it is imperative that we begin to develop a broader awareness of the interconnected cultures and societies that influence and shape world events. Anyone remotely aware of the American social/cultural landscape must recognize that many of our citizens are unaware of the broader relations and connections of the world in which they live in. Many Americans tend to have a narrow understanding of world history, educated through ethnocentric American textbooks and informed through mediatized narratives filtered through the lenses of the dominant center, both of these effectively ignore the realities of the margins (culturally, economically and socially). Many concerned citizens struggle to carve out meaning in the contemporary data stream and suffer the neglect of a mainstream media that limits itself to predigested dualistic positions. In this simplified media environment, vast regions of the world are presumed to be unable to speak for themselves and rarely, in the mainstream corporate media that serves as the news for a majority of American citizens, do we receive sustained and in-depth critical analysis of issues through the voices and experiences of multiple interested parties.  --Michael Benton, August 9,  2016



Might be better https://www.annenbergphotospace.org/video/wade-davis-wayfinders-why-ancient-wisdom-matters-modern-world/
Waziyatawin and Michael Yellow Bird. "For Indigenous Eyes Only: Beginning Decolonization." (Excerpt from For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook Edited by Waziyatawin Angela Wilson and Michael Yellow Bird © 2005 School of American Research.)


Noam Chomsky's Requiem for the American Dream

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Kloppenberg, James. "Things Fall Apart: The Origins and Future of American Democracy." Ideas (May 10, 2019) ["Does America’s early experiment with self-rule offer lessons for the U.S. today?"]

Banaji, Mahzarin and Michael Rosenfled. "Radically Normal: How Gay Rights Activists Changed The Minds Of Their Opponents." Hidden Brain (April 8, 2019)
Ellis, C.P. "Why I Quit the Klan." American Dreams Lost and Found (Interviewed by Studs Terkel: 1980)
Berkow, Ira. "Stealing Home: A Tribute to Jackie Robinson." Ideas (April 15, 2019) ["The National Baseball Hall of Fame quotes trailblazer Jackie Robinson: "a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Robinson's life had a huge impact, especially when he broke down the colour barrier in Major League Baseball and American society. His rookie season still stands as one of the most politically profound events in the history of organized sport."] -- Often identity politics is dismissed as an egoistic (or very narrow/limiting) political position that ignores the power of collective organizing against injustice. As a blanket dismissal this is an incorrect assessment as can be seen in the powerful effect the breaking of the color line in Baseball had on American culture and politics.  
"How do images affect our hearts and minds? How do images influence our everyday lives, our techno-scientific practices, our connections and disconnections, our conscious and unconscious desires and fears? How do images show up in the clothes we wear, in the ways we walk, and the objects we want? How do images influence the foods we eat or don’t eat and the ideas and feelings we have about our selves and others? How do some images enter our flesh, captivate us, fascinate us, or arouse our senses? How is it that other images put us to sleep? How do images inform our habits and fantasies, pleasures and doubts, worries and joys, rituals and rebellions? How do images shape our personal, political, cultural, moral, and religious beliefs about nature and about justice? How do images influence what we imagine to be possible and what’s not? Visual images are today everywhere entangled within a complex and contradictory web of global electronic flows of information. Images are typically racialized, gendered, territorialized, eroticized, militarized, and class-driven. Some of the most powerful images are hooked-up to hi-tech machineries of war, surveillance, and the economic marketplace. Images also lie at the core of global corporate technologies of profit, control and advantage. How might such images be best understood? How might they be critically subverted, transformed, or remade?" -- Stephen Pfohl, "Images and Power" (2011) 
Just watched the documentary The Work (2017), one of the most powerful films I have seen in awhile. I'm shaken, I'm at a loss of words, this should be viewed - here is an eloquent statement from Silent Dawn on Letterboxd about the documentary: "Rattles the soul. The deep, dark shit. Emphasizes that, at the end of the day, all we humans can do is embrace our common issues and rise above them. It doesn't have to be the same every goddamn time. We can teach kindness to our children. We can tell them that it's important to hug, kiss, and cry in pursuit of catharsis and empathy. We can provide a break in the cycle of violence and toxicity found in social masculine narratives. It starts with conversation, looking in the eyes of another, and letting tears stream forth, all because you feel something. It should be encouraged, and accepted, as normal, positive behavior. Our hearts should beat in unison. The Work is a landmark, simply due to its resolve and progression of respected human emotion. It visualizes bodies as they are: living, breathing, feeling. Let's show this in schools and talk about it afterward."
Shah, Kushbu. "They Look White But Say They are Black: A Tiny Town in Ohio Wrestles with Race." The Guardian (July 25, 2019) [A clear example of how racism is much more than just skin color (although that is an obvious and easy way for immediate enforcement), that who is considered to be "white"/"non-white" has evolved over time, and racism has always had a strong economic/class (hierarchy) function designed to keep certain peoples in their "place.". Check out Barbara Field's book  Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality "Many residents in East Jackson were raised to identify as black. But what dictates race: where you live, your DNA, the history you’re taught?"]
Also, Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences
Partanen, Anu and Jay Tomlinson. "The Nordic Theory of Love." The Best of the Left #142 (March 1, 2019) [MB - A great discussion of how a more supportive society would actually strengthen and aid us in developing saner/stronger relationships and families that are not structured around co-dependency and domination. "The Nordic theory of love and independence with the author of The Nordic Theory of Everything."]
Loewinger, Micah. "How Youtube's Left is Changing Minds." On the Media (July 19, 2019) ["The president’s racist tweets this weekend provoked revulsion throughout the mainstream media. But on YouTube, America’s most popular social media site, racism has found a home. Free of old-school gate-keeping, YouTube hosts a much wider political spectrum, reaching very impressionable eyes and ears. On the Media producer Micah Loewinger tells the story of three young viewers whose right-wing beliefs melted away after encountering videos by an informal movement of leftist creators known as Left Tube. He spoke with two of Left Tube's most famous personalities, Natalie Wynn (ContraPoints) and Oliver Thorn (Philosophy Tube) about how they think about crafting compelling videos. "]
Grady, Danielle. "Moving the Needle: Small Groups Push Outsize Changes." LEO Weekly (July 24, 2019)
I am Not Your Negro https://youtu.be/rNUYdgIyaPM (the long lasting influence of public intellectuals)
Racism is inherently structural (plays out in the government/institutions, policies/laws, media/representations and economics/wealth of a society). Our culture was founded by white supremacists and has continued privileging that ideology to the current day (Trump is not an aberration - just a social media/reality show fueled ideation). Whites/caucasians/whatever that are privileged by this system and do not challenge/resist it, well they are complicit in a racist society (in my mind, because as Howard Zinn puts it, "you can't be neutral on a moving train"). They are racist... pointing out that reality above, is not racist.
Roberts, David. "In Which CNN Devotes 7 Hours to Climate Change." On the Media (September 6, 2019) [MB -- I'm hoping this will be a tipping point in the way in which we conduct the investigation of candidate positions and, hopefully, a move away from the soundbite candidate forums of the two major parties. Fascinating example of the power of informed citizens asking pertinent questions of candidates who are then allowed the time to unpack their positions ... as opposed to the regular routine of media bobbleheads prompting pithy comments in the hope of a viral moment. Could you imagine the Twitter-in-Chief trying to survive a few of these 40 minute intense question-and-answer sessions?   "... CNN hosted a town hall forum with ten Democratic primary candidates discussing their policy proposals for addressing the climate crisis. The DNC declined requests from climate activists to host a themed debate for the issue, so CNN had the candidates on back-to-back for 7 hours as moderators took turns asking questions with an audience of activists, PhD students, and professors.  According to David Roberts, who covers energy and climate change for Vox, it was actually a meaningful event. The questions from audience members were personal, informed, and incisive and the candidates were surprisingly specific in their answers. Roberts tells Brooke what he learned from the town hall about different frames for discussing climate change, and how journalists are still catching up on the conversation."]
King, Charles. "How A Few 'Renegade' Thinkers Helped Usher In A New Era Of Anthropology." Fresh Air (August 20, 2019) ["In his new book, Gods of the Upper Air, Charles King tells the story of Franz Boas, Margaret Mead and the other 20th century anthropologists who challenged outdated notions of race, class and gender."]



Immerwahr, Daniel. "'How to Hide an Empire': Daniel Immerwahr on the History of the Greater United States." Democracy Now (March 5, 2019) ["“How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States.” That’s the title of a new book examining a part of the U.S. that is often overlooked: the nation’s overseas territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, former territories like the Philippines, and its hundreds of military bases scattered across the globe. We speak with the book’s author, Daniel Immerwahr, who writes, “At various times, the inhabitants of the U.S. Empire have been shot, shelled, starved, interned, dispossessed, tortured and experimented on. What they haven’t been, by and large, is seen.” Immerwahr is an associate professor of history at Northwestern University."]
Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne, et al. "Taking the first steps of American imperialism (Native Peoples Series Part 3)." Best of the Left #1252 (February 26, 2019) ["Today we take a look at the process of systematic, government-sponsored genocide against the native peoples of North America that kicked off the wealth-accumulating, territory-expanding American empire we know and love today."]
Estes, Nick. "Our History of the Future." Dig (June 29, 2019) ["Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance." Michael Benton -- This is one of the best discussions I have heard about indigenous cultures, settler colonialism, racism/apartheid in America and intergenerational indigenous resistance movements. I cannot laud this enough - totally revolutionized and extended my thinking/understanding of contemporary movements like Standing Rock and their place in the long history of intergenerational indigenous struggles against genocidal policies. I highly recommend this episode and check out The Dig podcast (they also just did an impressive 5 part episode on contemporary European politics)]
Grandin, Greg. "On American Expansion, Part One: The Myth of the Frontier." On the Media (March 29, 2019) ["What are the stories that America has told about itself? In the first of a three-part series on the notion of American Exceptionalism, Brooke speaks with historian Greg Grandin about America's founding narrative: the country's expansion westward. In his new book, The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America, Grandin traces how the idea of endless, unstoppable growth has influenced US policy and psychology — and how President Trump’s call for a barrier at the southern border upends the idea of America as a country of boundless possibility."]


"Costs of War." Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University (2019 Report)

Crisis In Democracy: Renewing Trust in America. Aspen Institute, 2019. ["The Report of the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy."]

Armstrong, Sally, Paul Heinbecker and James Orbinski. "Five Freedoms: Freedom from Want." Ideas (April 11, 2019) ["Poverty has always been a defining issue in the quest to build a better world. Most political systems lay claim to the idea that they alone can create a better world. It's a kind of litmus test: if our political systems can't raise almost everyone out of relative poverty, then what exactly have we achieved? Why poverty exists at all in otherwise wealthy, prosperous democratic countries is a very incisive question, and it's not enough to just shrug and say our system is still better than any other alternative. And those alternatives? Dictatorships take us into the abyss. Right-wing libertarianism has little to offer as solutions to poverty. Soviet-style Communism didn't exactly work either, which leaves some version of western liberal democracy, either what we have now, or some variation that is still to emerge. So once we've got past that, and accepted that we've failed on the poverty file, how do we go about making things more equitable right now, making sure that wealth is distributed to those in need, and creating opportunity for the weak to become stronger?"]
"Busted: America's Poverty Myths." On the Media (5 part series: September 28 - October 28, 2016) ["On the Media’s series on poverty is grounded in the Talmudic notion that 'We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.' Brooke Gladstone traveled to Ohio to learn from people living the varied reality of poverty today, and to unpack the myths that shape our private presumptions as well as our policy decisions. In each episode, we feature the voices and complex stories of individuals, as well essential context from scholars, to lay open the tales we tell ourselves."]
Vision of an intersectional labor movement  https://www.laborwaveradio.com/post/labors-identity

Robinson, Jennifer. "Julian Assange’s Attorney Decries Espionage Charges as 'Grave Threat to Press Freedom.'" Democracy Now (May 24, 2019) [Use Scahill segment -- "In an unprecedented move, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on 17 charges of violating the Espionage Act for his role in publishing U.S. classified military and diplomatic documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents were leaked by U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The Espionage Act of 1917 has never been used to prosecute a journalist or media outlet. The new charges come just over a month after British police forcibly removed Assange from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he took asylum in 2012. Initially the Trump administration indicted Assange on a single count of helping Manning hack a government computer, but Assange faces up to 170 additional years in prison under the new charges—10 years for each count of violating the Espionage Act. We speak with Jennifer Robinson, an attorney for Julian Assange. “It is a grave threat to press freedom and should be cause for concern for journalists and publishers everywhere,” Robinson says." Part two: "Daniel Ellsberg: Espionage Charges Against Assange Are Most Significant Attack on Press in Decades." Part three: "Jeremy Scahill: New Indictment of Assange Is Part of a Broader War on Journalism & Whistleblowers." Part four: "Assange Is Indicted for Exposing War Crimes While Trump Considers Pardons for War Criminals."]

Berger, Dan, et al. "Prison Abolition Syllabus." Black Perspectives (November 20, 2016);  Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. "Ruth Wilson Gilmore with Rachel Kushner." Lannan Podcasts (April 17, 2019) ["Ruth Wilson Gilmore is director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and a professor of geography at the City University of New York. She is most famous for arguing that the movement for abolition, with its proud history of challenging slavery, should be applied today to the abolition of prisons. In an era when 2.3 million people are behind bars in the United States, she challenges us to think about whether it is ever necessary or productive to lock people in cages. She warns of the “nightmare made palatable by the terrifying numbers of prisoners and prisons produced by the last generation, while we were all, presumably, awake.” But her hope lies in the fact that “just as real was the growing grassroots activism against the expanded use of criminalization and cages as a catchall solution to social problems. In order to realize their dreams of justice in individual cases, the [freedom] riders decided, through struggle, debate, failure, and renewal, that they must seek general freedom for all from a system in which punishment has become as industrialized as making cars, clothes, or missiles, or growing cotton.” Gilmore wrote Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California(2007) and contributed to The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (2007). The American Sociological Society honored Gilmore with its Angela Davis Award for Public Scholarship in 2012. A tireless activist, she has co-founded many social justice organizations, including the California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network."]
Thompson, Ginger. "A Border Patrol Agent Reveals What It’s Really Like to Guard Migrant Children." Pro Publica (July 16, 2019) ["With the agency under fire for holding children in deplorable conditions and over racist and misogynistic Facebook posts, one agent speaks about what it’s like to do his job. 'Somewhere down the line people just accepted what’s going on as normal.'"]





Greenhouse, Linda. "The Rhetoric That Shaped the Abortion Debate." Fresh Air (June 28, 2010)
Greenhouse, Linda and Reva B. Siegel, eds. Before Roe vs. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling. Yale Law School/Creative Commons, 2012.
Chang, Lauren and Shira Taylor. "Sex Ed Through Social Action Theatre." Talking Radical Radio (November 6, 2018) [MB - It would seem to me that if you truly wanted to decrease unwanted pregnancies (and the rate of abortions) then a first necessary step would be to actually educate your citizens about sex and sexuality (sincere discussions with a sex positive emphasis and working to empower young citizens through learning about themselves & their bodies would be the result). What sane person would be against this?]

Cultivation Theory https://www.communicationtheory.org/cultivation-theory/  [Why limit this to TV? What about the Internet (it is now as limited as traditional TV unless one purposefully learns how to expand their sources/content), social media (which is all about algorithmic limitations on what one sees and experiences), music (say, an obsessive consumption/immersion of/in a particular limited and/or reactionary genre), high art (and its class views), etc... or, even, narrow political views, religious fundamentalism, reactionary hate groups, etc.....]

Aldred, Jonathan. ""Socialism for the Rich: The Evils of Bad Economics." Audio Long Read (June 14, 2019) ["The economic arguments adopted by Britain and the US in the 1980s led to vastly increased inequality – and gave the false impression that this outcome was not only inevitable, but good."]
Giridharadas, Anand. "How Philanthropy Lets Rich People Off the Hook."
On the Media (April 19, 2019) ["Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All: the Elite Charade of Changing the World, explains that we're living in a century-old bargain between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of society: the rich get rich, and the rest of us get downstream benefits. Giridharadas and Bob talk about the origins of this bargain — and what needs to shift if we hope to see meaningful structural solutions to society's most pressing challenges."]
Press, Alex N. "A Tale of Two Prisoners." Jacobin (July 27, 2019) ["Comparing the treatment of Jeffrey Epstein to Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner's murder, reveals the grotesque inequality at the heart of American society. There’s one set of rules for the rich, and an entirely different set for the poor."]


Carroll, James, et al. "The Moral Crisis Faced by Christianity." Ideas (May 6, 2019) ["Christianity is the world's largest religion. One third of humanity identifies as Christian. Christian rituals and symbols have a special power even among non-believers in western countries — witness the outpouring of shock and sorrow over the fire that ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The moral codes of Christianity are intrinsic to western societies and form the foundation of the ethics and mores of hundreds of millions of people. And yet, some of Christianity's most daunting challenges have derived from the moral failures of its biggest institutions and the failures of Christians to follow their religion's core teachings. The object of worship may be divine, but the church and the worshippers are very human. Some of the crises facing contemporary Christianity are obvious, such as the ever-widening revelations of sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic clergy and the role of bishops in covering it up. Some are less obvious, such as the embrace of anti-immigrant, xenophobic political movements in countries with large Christian majorities. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations about the moral authority of the Church — and the struggles of Christians to live up to the principles of their faith — in the face of anxious, angry times and the Church's own crimes."]



Documenting Hate - Frontline videos
Thompson, A.C. "Border Agents Caught Posting Racist, Sexist Messages About Migrants & AOC in Secret Facebook Group." Democracy Now (July 3, 2019) ["Customs and Border Protection has opened an investigation into the posting of racist and xenophobic messages by current and former Border Patrol agents on a private Facebook group. More than 9,500 people are part of the group, which was exposed by ProPublica on Monday. The Facebook group is filled with racist, homophobic, anti-immigrant and misogynistic content about migrants and asylum seekers, as well as public officials like Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is depicted in a photoshopped image being sexually assaulted by President Trump. In another thread, members of the group made fun of a video of a man trying to carry a child through a rapid river in a plastic bag. Someone commented, “At least it’s already in a trash bag.” We speak with ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson, who broke the story." [CBP leader was member of the FB group https://theintercept.com/2019/07/12/border-patrol-chief-carla-provost-was-a-member-of-secret-facebook-group/ ]
Deveraux, Ryan. "Border Patrol Agents Tried to Delete Racist and Obscene Facebook Posts. We Archived Them." The Intercept (July 5, 2019)
Michael Benton -- I abhor what we, as a country, are doing right now along our borders. I'm curious, I haven't heard one particular point brought up about these migrant prisons. This is what happens when you privatize basic human services (healthcare, education, basic necessities like water/heat, and, yes, prisons, etc...), the human equation (or any type of being) is lost in a system whose main priority (and this is the main priority of a corporation) is to milk as much profit as possible with no concern what is done to those working for them, those being serviced by them and the communities/environments in which the corporate entity is located.
There is also a basic political reality that should be remembered by even those who turn a blind eye to this issue or actively support these private migrant prisons. What you allow your government to do to the least of us (as in the ability to resist/challenge), will one day be done to you and yours (including you MAGA supporters). We see the weapons of 'wars on terror' on our streets being used against our citizens, we will see the expansion of this prison system based upon Guantanamo and migrant prisons if we stay quiet. Prisons in which people are not given the basic necessities and are dehumanized. Prisons where our duly elected representatives are not allowed access and are openly threatened when they investigate the conditions. Prisons in which the human factor is erased.
One last thing, I'll keep this simple, for the Christians that support Trump - what would your savior Jesus do in response to these migrant prisons. Where would he stand?

Barragán, Nanette. "'Unconscious and Unacceptable': : Rep. Barragán Decries Detention of Migrant Children in Prison Cells." Democracy Now (July 11, 2019) ["Yazmin Juárez, the Guatemalan mother whose child died after being held in an ICE detention center from a lung infection, testified before members of a congressional panel Wednesday. She shared the story of her daughter, 19-month-old Mariee, who died last year shortly after being released from the South Texas Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas. Juárez filed a $60 million lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Patrol and the Department of Health and Human Services. The House subcommittee convened to examine the treatment of refugees in U.S. detention, just over a week after lawmakers flocked to the U.S.-Mexico border to observe the horrible treatment of refugee children and families in immigration jails amid reports of continued unsafe and unsanitary conditions for asylum seekers. Meanwhile, NBC reports that migrant children jailed in Yuma, Arizona, have been subjected to mistreatment and sexual violence. We speak with Democratic Rep. Nanette Barragán from California, who recently visited detention centers in Texas. She’s the second vice-chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security."]
German, Mike. "Ex-FBI Agent Speaks Out: Federal Authorities Have Downplayed White Supremacist Violence for Too Long." Democracy Now (August 5, 2019) ["According to The New York Times, white extremist shooters have now killed at least 63 people in the United States over the past 18 months. Late last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that crime driven by racism and white supremacy was on the rise compared to the past nine months. But former FBI agents say there is reluctance within the agency to tackle white nationalist violence in part due to President Trump’s rhetoric. We speak with Mike German, fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law. From 1988 to 2004, German served as an FBI agent specializing in domestic counterterrorism."]
Belew, Kathleen. "Understanding the White Power Movement." On the Media (March 22, 2019) ["When events like Christchurch happen, the elements may indeed be obvious: Guns. Sociopathy. Alienation. But the obvious is also reductive, and risks obscuring larger forces at play. The same goes with the vocabulary of race violence: White nationalist. White identity. Alt-right. White supremacy. White power. They’re used interchangeably, which further clouds the picture. Christchurch, says University of Chicago professor Kathleen Belew, is the latest manifestation not just of resentment and paranoia, or even radical racism, but of a clearly defined revolutionary movement: the white power movement. Belew is author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, which describes the history of the white power movement that consolidated after the Vietnam War. She argues that if society is to wage an effective response to the white power threat, we need to work to understand it."]



Lane, Penny. "Hail Satan?" Radio West (May 10, 2019) [MB - I was interested in seeing this documentary and after listening to this discussion with the director Penny Lane I'm thinking it could be a great opportunity in my Peace Studies' courses for discussing the problems with authoritarian impulses and rigid/controlling dogmas of traditional/mainstream religions (or any dominant/controlling ideology/worldview).]





Rowley, Rick. "16 Shots: Chicago Police Killing of Laquan McDonald Exposed a System Built on Lies." Democracy Now (June 17, 2019) ["The documentary “16 Shots” examines the 2014 murder of African-American teenager Laquan McDonald in Chicago and the attempt by the city’s police department to cover up the events. McDonald, who was 17, was shot 16 times by former police officer Jason Van Dyke. Van Dyke was found guilty in 2018 of second-degree murder and sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for McDonald’s murder. He was also found guilty on 16 counts of aggravated battery—one count for each of the 16 bullets he fired at McDonald."]  -- Do Not Resist and 13th documentaries.
Levin, Sam. "Los Angeles Police Spied on Anti-Trump Protesters." The Guardian (July 19, 2019) ["Case is one of several across the US of police targeting anti-Trump and anti-fascist groups with monitoring and criminal trials."]

The Guantanamo Testimonials Project  Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas  (Ongoing Archive)  [" Pursuant to its mission, the UC Davis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA) launched, in Fall 2005, a long term research project to assess the effects of the U.S. war on terror on human rights in the Americas. Whether invoked as the rationale for the "extraordinary rendition" of Canadian citizen Maher Arar to Syria or as the basis for the suppression of indigenous movements in South America, the war on terror has had significant effects on human rights in the Americas. But nowhere have these effects been greater than at the detention facilities of the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Consequently, it seemed appropriate to begin our project by looking into the human rights situation at these facilities. We begin our endeavor with The Guantánamo Testimonials Project. The goals of this project are to gather testimonies of prisoner abuse in Guantánamo, to organize them in meaningful ways, to make them widely available online, and to preserve them there in perpetuity. The strength of these testimonies is considerable. Based on them, a number of distinguished individuals and organizations have called for the closure of Guantánamo."]
Taub, Ben. "Guantanamo's Darkest Secret." The New Yorker  (April 15, 2019) ["The U.S. military prison’s leadership considered Mohamedou Salahi to be its highest-value detainee. But his guard suspected otherwise."]

Rich, Nathaniel. "Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change." The New York Times Magazine (August 1, 2018) ["This narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. Complementing the text is a series of aerial photographs and videos, all shot over the past year by George Steinmetz. With support from the Pulitzer Center, this two-part article is based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. It will come as a revelation to many readers — an agonizing revelation — to understand how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how close they came to solving it."]
Reich, Robert, et al. "Fighting for a Green New Deal." Best of the Left #1242 (January 18, 2019) ["Today we take a look at the groundwork for a Green New Deal as it's being laid and the fight that is heating up around the policies, not just between political parties but between the separate wings (and generations) of the Democratic Party."]
Springer, Claudia. "Shadow Films: Picturing the Environmental Crisis." Jump Cut #58 (Spring 2018) ["For the powerful forces invested in preserving the status quo, even limited environmental protections that threaten traditional modes of corporate profit-making provoke fierce opposition. Corporate stakeholders wield political power through lobbying and donations, and, increasingly, they hold government positions. A 2016 study by the Center for American Progress Action Fund found that 34% of American Congress members denied climate change and had been paid over $73 million in contributions by oil, gas, and coal companies. Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, who famously claimed that climate change is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," has reportedly accepted more than $2 million from the fossil fuel industry (Herzog). The fallout from political inaction means that people have lost their lives in the U.S., China, Nigeria, Ecuador, and Peru, among other countries, because of the oil, gas, and mining industries' toxic practices and attacks on opponents. The propaganda battles fought with images inflame a war with catastrophic consequences."]
Cioffi, Sandy and Riki Ott. "Sandy Cioffi on Nigerian Oil, Riki Ott Looking Back at Exxon Valdez Spill." Counterspin (June 14, 2019) ["The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened from the spring through the fall of 2010. The blowout of the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 people, and countless animals, on its way to becoming the worst marine oil spill in history. It seemed to take that protracted disaster on the US coast to generate a New York Times front-page story on June 16, 2010, about oil industry ravages in Nigeria’s delta region, which, the article noted, “has endured the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for 50 years, by some estimates.” CounterSpin had a powerful conversation that week with filmmaker and video artist Sandy Cioffi, whose film, Sweet Crude, looks at the oil industry in Nigeria, and the way it is covered in the US. ... Oil spills are often discussed in media in terms of the Exxon Valdez. But if the use of the Valdez as a touchstone might give the impression that “lessons were learned” from that 1989 disaster…. Well, that mainly applies to the lesson that not disaster, but activism—dogged, ongoing, out-of-the-spotlight, misunderstood and maligned activism—is what changes things. That’s part of what we learned when we spoke with activist and marine biologist Riki Ott in 2009—then the 20-year anniversary of that “oil spill to end all oil spills”—now many spills ago."]
-- Crude documentary....
Miller, Andrew. "'Our House Is On Fire': Brazil Faces Global Outrage as Massive Fires Spread in Amazon Rainforest." Democracy Now (August 23, 2019) ["The United Nations is calling for the protection of the Amazon amid fears that thousands of fires raging across Brazil and some parts of Bolivia are rapidly destroying the world’s largest rainforest and paving the way for a climate catastrophe. The fires have spread a vast plume of smoke across South America and the Atlantic Ocean that’s visible from space. They’re unprecedented in recorded history, and environmentalists say most of the fires were deliberately set by illegal miners and cattle ranchers. Indigenous people in Brazil have accused far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of encouraging the destruction. Bolsonaro has worked to deregulate and open up the Amazon for agribusiness, logging and mining since he came into office in January. We speak with Andrew Miller, advocacy director at Amazon Watch."]

Chomsky, Noam, et al. "Israeli right-wing politics has lead to some strange, fascist bedfellows." Best of the Left #1254 (March 5, 2019) ["Today we take a look at how the illiberalism of the Israeli government has alienated the vast majority of democratic nations and individuals who support human rights, leaving the country with some of the most far-right, fascist, white-supremacist, anti-Semitic people in the world as their only remaining allies."]


Wikipedia Listing of Mass Shootings the USA in 2019 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mass_shootings_in_the_United_States_in_2019
After the Dayton and El Paso shootings Donald Trump blamed the violence on video games -- IGN responded https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/08/06/every-country-has-video-games-only-one-has-a-mass-shooter-problem
Never Apologize - NRA Tactic https://www.democracynow.org/2019/8/5/nra_infighting_alex_yablon_the_trace
Michael Benton -- Excellent episode analyzing the toxic effect of one of the worst organizations in America and the need to fight for stricter gun control laws.






Sunday, August 25, 2019

Naomi Klein: Activist/Filmmaker/Journalist

@NaomiAKlein

Garner, Kelly, et al. No Logo. (2003: In the age of the brand, logos are everywhere. But why do some of the world’s best-known brands find themselves at the end of spray paint cans and the targets of anti-corporate campaigns? No Logo, based on the best-selling book by Canadian journalist and activist Naomi Klein, reveals the reasons behind the backlash against the increasing economic and cultural reach of multinational companies. Analysing how brands like Nike, The Gap, and Tommy Hilfiger became revered symbols worldwide, Klein argues that globalisation is a process whereby corporations discovered that profits lay not in making products (outsourced to low-wage workers in developing countries), but in creating branded identities people adopt in their lifestyles. Using hundreds of media examples, No Logo shows how the commercial takeover of public space, the restriction of ‘choice’, and replacement of real jobs with temporary work — the dynamics of corporate globalisation — impact everyone, everywhere…"]

Klein, Naomi. "A new shock doctrine: in a world of crisis, morality can still win." The Guardian (September 28, 2017)

---. "As New York City Declares War On the Oil Industry, the Politically Impossible Suddenly Seems Possible." The Intercept (January 11, 2018)

---. "The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn on the New Green Deal." The Intercept (February 13, 2019)

---. "Bernie Sanders on Climate Change." The Intercept (December 3, 2018)

---. "Climate change is intergenerational theft. That's why my son is part of this story." The Guardian (November 6, 2016)

---. "Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and the Rule of Pampered Princelings." The Intercept (October 10, 2018)

---. "The Game-Changing Promise of a Green New Deal." The Intercept (November 27, 2018)  ["If you are part of the economy’s winning class and funded by even bigger winners, as so many politicians are, then your attempts to craft climate legislation will likely be guided by the idea that change should be as minimal and unchallenging to the status quo as possible. After all, the status quo is working just fine for you and your donors. Leaders who are rooted in communities that are being egregiously failed by the current system, on the other hand, are liberated to take a very different approach. Their climate policies can embrace deep and systemic change — including the need for massive investments in public transit, affordable housing, and health care — because that kind of change is precisely what their bases need to thrive. As climate justice organizations have been arguing for many years now, when the people with the most to gain lead the movement, they fight to win."]

---. "How Power Profits from Disaster." The Guardian (July 21, 2017)

---. "The Lesson from Standing Rock: Organizing and Resistance Can Win." The Nation (December 4, 2016)

---. "Let's Fight Back Against the Politics of Fear." The Guardian (June 10, 2017)

---. "“My Fear is that Climate Change is the Biggest Crisis of All”: Naomi Klein Warns Global Warming Could Be Exploited by Capitalism and Militarism." Democracy Now (March 9, 2011)

---.  No Logo. Flamingo, 2000.

---. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Metropolitan Books, 2007.

---. "There's Nothing Natural About Puerto Rico's Disaster." The Intercept (September 21, 2018)

---. "We are Hitting a Wall of Maximum Grabbing." The Intercept (December 14, 2016)

---. "What's In a Trump Straw?" The Intercept (September 15, 2019)

---. "Why the Democratic National Committee Must Change the Rules and Hold a Climate Debate." The Intercept (August 21, 2019)

Klein, Naomi and Avi Lewis. "Elon Musk Will Not Help Lead a Climate Leap." The Nation (November 15, 2017)

Klein, Naomi, et al. "Hurricane Maria laid bare the colonialism and capitalism in Puerto Rico ​." Best of the Left #1190 (June 15, 2018) ["Today we take a look at the high toll Puerto Rico is paying, in both money and lives, for the triple disasters of colonialism, Hurricane Maria and disaster capitalism."]

Lewis, Avi and Naomi Klein. The Take. (2004: The Take documents the story of workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina who reclaim control of a closed auto-plant where they once worked and turn it into a worker cooperative. The factory closed as a result of the economic policies of the government under the watchful eye of the IMF. While in bankruptcy protection, the company appeared to be selling off property and inventory to pay creditors — a move which further reduced the chances of the facility returning to production. Though as the movement gains strength, having started with a garment factory several years earlier, the factory workers wade through courts and the legislative system, finally establishing their own control and winning the right to operate it themselves, as a cooperative…")


Vaidya, Anjali. "Mining the Hurricane." Los Angeles Review of Books (October 3, 2018)

Whitecross, Matt, et al. The Shock Doctrine. (2009: By comparing the confluence of ideas about modifying behaviour using shock therapy and other forms of sensory deprivation (which culminated in the top-secret CIA project called MKULTRA during the 1950s) alongside the metaphor of similar shock treatment modifying national economics using the teachings of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of economics, The Shock Doctrine presents the workings of global capitalism in this framework of how the United States, along with other western countries, has exploited natural and human-engineered disasters across the globe to push through reforms and set-up other mechanisms that suit those in power and ‘shock’ other countries into a certain wanted behaviour. Chronologically, some historical examples are the using of Pinochet’s Chile, Argentina and its junta, Yeltsin’s Russia, and the invasion of Iraq. A trumped-up villain always provides distraction or rationalisation for the intervention of the United States—for example, the threat of Marxism, the Falklands, nuclear weapons, or terrorists—and further, is used by those in power as more justification for the great shift of money and power from the many into the hands of the few(er).")








Friday, August 23, 2019

Dialogic Cinephilia - August 23, 2019

Belew, Kathleen. "Understanding the White Power Movement." On the Media (March 22, 2019) ["When events like Christchurch happen, the elements may indeed be obvious: Guns. Sociopathy. Alienation. But the obvious is also reductive, and risks obscuring larger forces at play. The same goes with the vocabulary of race violence: White nationalist. White identity. Alt-right. White supremacy. White power. They’re used interchangeably, which further clouds the picture. Christchurch, says University of Chicago professor Kathleen Belew, is the latest manifestation not just of resentment and paranoia, or even radical racism, but of a clearly defined revolutionary movement: the white power movement. Belew is author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, which describes the history of the white power movement that consolidated after the Vietnam War. She argues that if society is to wage an effective response to the white power threat, we need to work to understand it."]

Dube, Oeindrila. "The Art and Science of Apologies and Forgiveness." The Best of the Left #1258 (March 22, 2019) ["Today we take a look at apologies and forgiveness, some of the building blocks for a healthy human society, at a moment in time when society is reorganizing itself in several ways at once, making it all the more necessary that we refresh ourselves on the fundamentals of how best to relate to each other."]

King, Charles. "How A Few 'Renegade' Thinkers Helped Usher In A New Era Of Anthropology." Fresh Air (August 20, 2019) ["In his new book, Gods of the Upper Air, Charles King tells the story of Franz Boas, Margaret Mead and the other 20th century anthropologists who challenged outdated notions of race, class and gender."]

Klein, Naomi. "Why the Democratic National Committee Must Change the Rules and Hold a Climate Debate." The Intercept (August 21, 2019)

Merkley, Jeff. "Sen. Merkley Condemns Trump’s War Against Migrant Families as U.S. Moves to Indefinitely Jail Kids." Democracy Now (August 23, 2019) ["The Trump administration is moving to indefinitely detain migrant children and their families, reversing decades of U.S. policy. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to issue a new rule today to withdraw from a 1997 federal court settlement known as the Flores agreement, which put a 20-day limit on migrant family detentions. We speak with Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, who made headlines last year when he was barred from entering an old Walmart where the government was detaining about 1,500 immigrant children in Brownsville, Texas."]

Waziyatawin and Michael Yellow Bird. "For Indigenous Eyes Only: Beginning Decolonization." (Excerpt from For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook Edited by Waziyatawin Angela Wilson and Michael Yellow Bird © 2005 School of American Research.)















Sunday, August 18, 2019

Dialogic Cinephilia - August 18, 2019




Beshara, Robert K. "Dear Boots, Thank You For Bothering Us!" Dark Matter (December 13, 2018)

Biaggi, Alexandra and Yuh-Line Niou. "Child Victims Act: Hundreds File Suits as New York Extends Statute of Limitations on Sex Abuse Cases." Democracy Now (August 15, 2019) ["Hundreds of child sex abuse victims filed lawsuits in New York on Wednesday under the Child Victims Act, a new state law that allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the state to bring their perpetrators to court who previously were barred due to statutes of limitations. Lawsuits were filed against the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, a number of schools and hospitals and the estate of Jeffrey Epstein. The Child Victims Act was signed into law in February. It allows prosecutors to bring criminal charges against alleged abusers until the accuser turns 28. Accusers can file a civil lawsuit until they reach the age of 55. In addition, the “lookback window” will allow accusers of any age to bring charges against their alleged perpetrators — no matter how long ago the abuse occurred — for a period of one year starting Wednesday. We speak with two New York legislators that spearheaded the new law, state Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou. They are both survivors of childhood sexual abuse." Part two: "New York Lawmakers Behind Child Victims Act Say It Will 'Transform Trauma into Real Action.'"]

District 9 (USA/New Zealand: Neill Blomkamp, 2009) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Larke-Walsh, George S. and Stephanie Oliver. "‘This Thing of Ours’: A Woman’s Place in the Gangster Genre." Senses of Cinema #91 (July 2019)

Piper-Burket, Emma. "#Crucial21DbW: Happy As Lazzaro / Lazzaro Felice directed by Alice Rohrwacher." #DirectedByWomen (January 6, 2019)

Riccio, Alexander. "Labor's Identity Against the Enclosure of History." Laborwave (2019)

"The Scarlet E: Unmasking America's Eviction Crisis." On the Media (June 6, 2019) ["We have an eviction epidemic in this country. We’ve had one for a long time. And in this new four-part series from On the Media, host Brooke Gladstone will seek out the why and the wherefore — in search, ultimately, of a cure. Evictions are filed over 3.7 million times a year in America — or at a rate of one every seven seconds. The eviction epidemic has bedeviled more lives than the opioid crisis and still its causes — and consequences — remain largely ignored or misunderstood. With the help of Matt Desmond and the Eviction Lab, which has compiled the largest-ever database of eviction records, our series charts a course through a thicket of contradictions and assumptions to reveal the heart of the crisis."]










Saturday, August 17, 2019

For Those That Want to Think-About and Act-To Change The World for the Better (2019)

Michael D. Benton: For Those That Want to Think-About and Act-To Change The World for the Better (2019)

For years on both sides of the ocean, groups of hard-liners have tried to present to their people unrealistic and fearful images of various nations and cultures in order to turn their differences into disagreements, their disagreements into enmities and their enmities into fears. Instilling fear in the people is an important tool used to justify extremist and fanatic behavior by narrow-minded individuals. -- Asghar Farhadi (Oscar winner for best foreign picture A Separation in 2012; Oscar nominated for Best Foreign picture The Salesman in 2016; banned by the Trump administration from entering the United States to attend the 2016 Oscars.
What is needed is to hold oneself like a sliver to the heart of the world. -- Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (Grove Press, 1967) 
If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time.
But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. -- Lilla Watson, Indigenous Australian/Murri artist, activist & academic (1985: she refers it more properly to originating from aboriginal activist groups in Queensland in the 1970s)
(These are focused on what we can do immediately and what we can cultivate in ourselves in order to realize a better society. The focus is on how we think and being critical about what we feed our brains. Of course, there are huge systemic issues that must be addressed -- wars, inequality, racism, misogyny, imperialism, the environment, etc -- I believe this is an initial step for preparing ourselves to think through these problems.)

For those that want to think about changing their community/society/world for the better. Develop this in yourself and cultivate it in others:

As citizens of a globalized world it is imperative that we begin to develop a broader awareness of the interconnected cultures and societies that influence and shape world events. Anyone remotely aware of the American social/cultural landscape must recognize that many of our citizens are unaware of the broader relations and connections of the world in which they live in. Many Americans tend to have a narrow understanding of world history, they are educated through ethnocentric American textbooks and informed through mediatized narratives filtered through the lenses of the dominant center, both of these effectively ignore the realities of the margins (culturally, economically and socially). Many concerned citizens struggle to carve out meaning in the contemporary data stream and suffer the neglect of a mainstream media that limits itself to predigested dualistic positions. In this simplified media environment, vast regions of the world (and in the USA) are presumed to be unable to speak for themselves and rarely, in the mainstream corporate media that serves as the news for a majority of American citizens, do we receive sustained and in-depth critical analysis of issues through the voices and experiences of multiple interested parties.

Recognize the power of questions and do not let others silence/stifle your curiosity. Remember all knowledge is incomplete and in development. Life is too vast for any one
person/group/theory/discipline/profession/religion/culture/nation to grasp and understand. Take responsibility for your education/understanding. Learning is not passive. Any teacher/mentor worth the title knows that they are at best facilitators for your learning. Good teachers lay out a map, point out the paths for potential discovery, detours and connections. Remember education (of any type - if it has a narrative, it is constructing a worldview) is never objective - pay attention to the way that knowledge is presented/represented to you.

Do not be afraid to be sensitive. Resist the defensive mechanism of building a shell that insulates you from the realities of the world and cultivate empathy for all beings. A major stumbling block is believing you have to be perfect - we are humans, it isn't going to happen. However, do not solely become focused on your flaws/insecurities as that can paralyze you. Be critical and honest with yourself. Work on what you can, be honest with others as much as possible. Be careful of taking too much on ... do not overload yourself unnecessarily. Figure out what is important to you and what you can actually do.

Resist the social pressures to fear that which is different. Seek out different ways of being and seeing. Develop an understanding/knowledge about your world based upon engaged interactions/experiences with different people/cultures/beings. You do not have to accept what others say or do, but you do need to be open to what they are saying in order to learn from them (good or bad). Be suspicious of those that fear interaction with different ways of seeing/being as some kind of social/moral contamination - it says more about the corruption/insecurities of their beliefs/identity/associations than it does about those they fear.

Develop your empathy for others and fight against social injustices. Investigate/research the broad historical context for why something is the way it is. Avoid accepting the simple explanation/histories (and stereotypes). Be suspicious of the single, simple story that only provides one perspective, voice or cause. Ask what is missing from the frame that someone provides to understand an issue/problem. Map out your own perspective/beliefs - where did they come from? Are they the product of your own explorations/experiences, or, were they learned at the knees of others? If your perspective/beliefs are genuine they can withstand examination & questioning - be as critical with yourself as you are with others. Think thoroughly through any proposal/resolution you wish to make. What are the implications and consequences of doing this or that? Remember many of the horrors of our world (historically and contemporary) are the actions of people believing that what they are doing is the right thing to do.

Resist sliding into solipsism. Get outside. Build coalitions. Know that there is power in collective struggle (this is why authoritarian power structures often try to brutally suppress it). Recognize that you can't do it all yourself. Be critical of those who pursue/profess the fantasy that they have done it all on their own (including communities and nations). Develop your voice and perspective (very important and necessary), but make sure you always engage with other voices/perspectives. Just as important as actively engaging/learning with/from those we admire, is actively discussing/learning with/from those we disagree with. Do not be afraid to admit you do not know about something, use it as an opportunity/inspiration to learn from another (or later on your own). Regularly think about and question your own perspective/beliefs - it is easy to slip into a feedback loop and hard for us to perceive what is outside our goldfish bowl.

When developing a critique/argument learn what you are discussing as well as, if not better, than the proponents of what you are critiquing. Use their direct statements in order to build your critique upon. Read/watch as much as you can from their side and if at all possible discuss directly with supporters/advocates of what you wish to critique. Think about what your intent is, if it is to convince people to understand and maybe even agree with your perspective then do not engage needlessly in rude/insulting dismissals/attacks.

Be suspicious of any attempt to state: “this is the way it is and the way it always will be" or "that could never happen." Do not make 'blanket generalizations' about groupings/classifications of people. Avoiding slipping into usage of stereotypes. Know your history (individual/family/community, society) and make the connections to other histories. Notice similarities and differences. Do not look down on another culture because they drive on the "wrong" side of the road - learn to recognize the social construction of reality (practices/rituals/laws/taboos/values etc...). Remember that nothing human in this world simply came out of a vacuum and nothing will last forever.

If you feel the call to lead, cultivate transparency and demand the same of anyone else that attempts to lead. Leadership is service to your community, be suspicious of those that use leadership positions for self-aggrandizing stroking of their own ego. If you are in a leadership position, do not seek to punish or marginalize those that ask critical questions. Use their engagement to sharpen your own awareness and as an opportunity to think about how you can serve your community better. Most importantly, do not allow yourself to become isolated from the community you serve. Admit your mistakes and never fear to change course. Only fanatics/dictators/bullies believe they are always right (or that they know everything) and everyone else is wrong.

Recognize that the world we experience is heavily mediated (and what we call "mainstream media" is controlled by 5/6 corporations). Be critical about the information and entertainments you absorb (and recognize that in our media they work hand in hand). Learn about propaganda/disinformation techniques so that you can defend your headspace (and not mindlessly propagate misinformation). Seek periods of silence and reflection in order to be open to the universe in yourself. Constant noise/chatter is destructive to critical thought/awareness. Remember that technology/entertainments can act like a diversionary drug distracting us from the actual details and doings of the world (even the intense pursuit of knowledge can isolate and distract if it becomes all consuming - think of the political junkie, isolated intellectuals, fundamentalist mystics or sports' obsessives).

Read a book - I repeat, read a book. Even if it is just one book a year carefully absorbed and reflected upon. You will learn immersively about that subject more than any surfing/sifting of endless internet texts/videos can provide. Use it as a training model for slowing down at times. Cook a meal and eat without distractions. Hang out quietly at a favorite outdoor place (I'm quite fond of babbling water sites). Enjoy the wordless company of a special person. Just be at times.

Take the time to reflect. I like writing out my thoughts, but that is not the preferred medium for everyone and should not be over-privileged as the only/best way. Artists, in their art, of all sorts (many are non-textual), think through and reflect upon their existence in this world and their observations. Draw, make music, sing (even badly), bodily art (in adornment and through meditative exercise), dance as if nobody's watching, the options for reflection and thoughtful presence are endless. Cultivate a conversational style, a great form of reflection, making sure that you take breaths, providing openings for others to engage, because dialogue can never be monologic (single voiced).

Be passionate and love fearlessly.  I'm a great admirer of Dr. Cornel West whose thinking/speaking style is always developed from a place of love for others, even when he is fiercely critiquing them.  Listen to the way he talks (and in doing so thinks) - it is powerful. Also cultivate your love for other living beings (and places - which, for an animist like me, are living beings). Resist our culture of cynicism and superficiality. Learn/practice radical love, that is not controlling or dominating (this is no way a critique of the pleasures of consensual sexual play, it is instead a rejection of the forms of controlling and dominating the essence of another to feed one's ego).

The historian Howard Zinn reminds us that mindless obedience is more dangerous than disobedience (anarchists, like me, also believe we should consciously cultivating thoughtful disobedience). He also rejects the notion that we can never truly be objective or free of bias ("you can't be neutral on a moving train"). Noam Chomsky's intellectual lifework has served as a lesson that the "myth of objectivity" always serves the interests of abusive power (and creates a monologic culture - the most dangerous form of culture). Speak truth to power, even when your voice shakes.  Resist dogma, especially your own. Check your privilege, if you don't think you have privilege, ask others.

Take care of your body. What you feed your mind and body matters. They are not separate, each depends of the health of the other. Exercise both ... but be comfortable with your own particular body/mind and do not let others (or your culture) try to squeeze you into a limiting, pre-determined, box.

If anyone is struggling. I can't promise you it will get better or all of your problems will be solved. However, I do know that the struggle is worth it and there is so much to learn/experience/share. Get outside, do things with other living beings (human or otherwise - I find animals & plants to be great friends), learn about your world (intellectually and experientially - learn-about/experience other people's/cultures/ways of being), do not shut yourself off or isolate yourself (including in the funhouse media mirrors). Keep your elasticity (think of the wonderful elasticity of your mind when you were a child) - be open to the wonders of the world. Reach out when you need someone! Be there for those that reach out to you.

Solidarity!