Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Resources for October 29, 2014

McCoy, Terrence. "How U.S. intelligence agencies used 1,000 Nazis as Cold War spies — then covered it up." Washington Post (October 28, 2014)

Lattanzio, Ryan. "'The Square' Editor Sentenced to Prison in Egypt." Indiewire (October 27, 2014) ["Sanaa Seif, who served as an editor on the Oscar-nominated documentary 'The Square,' has been sentenced to three years in prison in Egypt for protesting."]

Gardee, Ihsaan and Harsha Walia. "Attack on Canadian Parliament Fuels "Anti-Terror" Laws, Ignoring Ties to Mental Illness, Drug Abuse." Democracy Now (October 28, 2014)

Cheshire, Godfrey. "Close Up." The Cinephilliacs #9 (December 2, 2012)

Goodman, Daniel Ross. "To the Wonder." Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (2013)

"100 Greatest Horror Films of All Time." Slant (October 28, 2013)

Serpico, Frank. "The Police Are Still Out of Control: I should know." Politico (October 23, 2014)

Bauer, Shane. "Arming the Warrior Cop: From Guns to Drones, Inside the Booming Business of Police Militarization." Democracy Now (October 29, 2014)

The Holy Mountain (Mexico/USA: Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973: 113 mins)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Resources for October 28, 2014

Labuza, Peter and Matt Singer. "The Buried Secret of M. Night Shymalan." The Cinephiliacs #8 (November 18, 2012)

Ogunnaike, Oludamini. "Inception and Ibn 'Arabi." Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

Nelson, Ray. "Eight o'Clock in the Morning." (1963 short story that inspired John Carpenter's 1988 film The Live)

Knauss, Stephanie. "The Paradise Trilogy: Love, Faith, Hope." Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

Paradise: Love (Austria/Germany/France: Ulrich Seidl, 2012) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Merrit, Katherine. "The Other Holocaust." Dialogic Cinephilia (October 27, 2014)

Museum Hours (Austria/USA: Jem Cohen, 2012)

Museum Hours (Austria/USA: Jem Cohen, 2012)

Museum Hours (Austria/USA: Jem Cohen, 2012: 107 mins)

Auden, W. H. "Musee des Beaux Arts." (Poem written in 1938)

Delgado, Mónica. "The Exquisite Quotidian: Jem Cohen." Keyframe (January 26, 2017) ["How MUSEUM HOURS turns art appreciation into moviemaking motive."]

Goodman, Daniel Ross. "Museum Hours." Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

"Jem Cohen." Filmwax Radio #210 (May 7, 2014) ["I chat at length with filmmaker Jem Cohen. Two of Cohen’s films are currently available on Fandor including his most recent film, a narrative feature called Museum Hours. The film concerns a Vienna museum guard who befriends an enigmatic visitor. The grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads which sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways artworks reflect and shape the world. Cohen’s other available film is a documentary collaboration with the Washington, DC-based punk band, Fugazi. That project spanned over 10 years of the band’s life and, not only caught great musical moments, but also candid ones that illustrate why the band has intentionally remained on the fringes of the music industry. Cohen takes me back to the earliest days of his career, describing his years studying at Wesleyan University and eventually settling into New York City during the height of the punk scene. Additionally, Jem cites the seminal French documentarian, Chris Marker, as a major influence in his career. "]

Jem Cohen Films (Website)

Koehler, Robert. "Wandering in Vienna: Jem Cohen and the Adventure of Museum Hours." Cinema Scope #52 (2013)

Kohn, Eric. "How Jem Cohen's Museum Hours Blends Fine Art and and Delicate Emotion." Indiewire (June 25, 2013)

Kunsthistorisches Museum (Opened 1891) (Google Search)

Larson, Sarah. "Jem Cohen's Punk Rock Nature." The New Yorker (October 10, 2013)

Lee, Kevin. B. "Jem Cohen's Ground Level Artistry." Keyframe (Posted on Vimeo: June 26, 2013)

"Museum Hours (2012)." Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

"Museum Hours Press Kit." [Includes Director's Statement and Production Notes]

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569) (Google Search)

Rapold, Nicholas. "Museum Hours Tours Through Art and Human Ties." The New York Times (June 30, 2013)

Scott, A. O. "Old Masters, Sweet Mysteries: Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours Explores Links of Life and Art." The New York Times (June 28, 2013)

Williams, William Carlos. "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus." (Poem published in 1960)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Katherine Merritt: The Other Holocaust

[ENG 102 essay]

When talking about World War 2, it is almost inevitable that the Holocaust is brought up in conversation. The atrocities that were committed by Hitler and the Nazi party upon not only the Jews, but basically anyone who was not considered to be of the Aryan race were so horrible that it's impossible to recall that part of our history without at least broaching the terrible subject. Not only were those people forced to leave their homes, their jobs, and their belongings, but they were subjected to terrible living conditions in concentration camps – and that's only if they passed the selection process and were aloud to live at all. Others were shot down, beaten to death, or burned alive. It is estimated that an astounding eleven million people were killed in the Holocaust (Rosenburg).

While the horrific events of the Holocaust in Europe are fairly well documented and well taught in the United States, the inhumane massacres, rapes, and genocides that were occurring in Asia at the hands of the Japanese at roughly the same time are often swept under the rug. According to the World War 2 Museum in New Orleans, the death toll of Chinese people in the war was around twenty million people; of those twenty million that died, only approximately three to four million were military deaths (By The Numbers...) That's not hard math – the vast majority of Chinese deaths in World War 2 were not soldiers but innocent men, women, and children. In 1937, Japanese troops swept into Nanjing, and brutally massacred hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians (Jones). This atrocity of war has come to be historically known as the Rape of Nanking and is considered by many to be one of the most brutal and horrifying acts of genocide in the twentieth century (Jones). This was only one of many inhumane war time crimes that the Japanese committed.

To reach a certain amount of understanding of the war crimes committed by the Japanese soldiers, one must first understand their intense military upbringing. It was declared by the Japanese minister of education in the late 1800's that schools were not in place to benefit the students so much as they were in place to benefit the country of Japan (Chang, 31). At a very young age, boys in Japanese schools were not only preached to about their “[D]ivine destiny of conquering Asia,” but they were also taught how to use wooden models of guns, or real guns if they were older (Chang, 30). Growing up, those boys did not play with race cars or building blocks, but with toy tanks, rifles, bugles, and combat helmets (Rape of Nanking Part 1). As soon as they began their education, children were taught the Imperial Rescript, which emphasized compliance to all authoritative figures, and an undying zeal for the Emperor (Chang, 31). Those that taught in the schools were more like military generals than teachers, and the schools themselves more closely resembled military barracks than houses of education (Chang, 30).

Amongst the older generations of Japanese, the methods of teaching were not frowned upon because much of what was being taught had been deeply engrained in Japanese culture for centuries. The Japanese samurai warrior class placed much emphasis on a code of conduct called “bushido,” which stated that there was no greater honor than dying for the emperor of Japan, whom they believed was a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess (Rape of Nanking Part 1). Even the mothers in Japan were honored by having as many sons as possible go to war and die in the name of the emperor, which, in the case of World War 2, was Hirohito (Rape of Nanking Part 1). It was also considered shameful for a Japanese man to surrender in battle, suicide being the more honorable course of action (Chang, 20). Over the course of World War 2, for every 120 Japanese men that died, one surrendered; in comparison, the Allied forces had one man surrender for every three that died (Chang, 20). Those statistics alone clearly show how willing the Japanese men were to die for their country and their emperor and how despicable the idea of surrender was in their culture. It is probable that this mind-set was at least part of the reason that the Japanese were so disgusted by the Chinese that surrendered to them, and why they treated them so horribly.

By 1937, Japan had, in a manner of speaking, already been at war with China for several years. They seized Manchuria, a northeastern province of China, in September of 1931 and set up their own “puppet nation” of Manchukuo there (Bjorge, 3). The Chinese developed increasing amounts of anti-Japanese sentiments after the unprovoked seizure of Manchuria, but were unable to fight back as their own country was in a state of civil war between the Chinese communists and the Chinese nationalists (Bjorge). In Shanghai in 1932, an angry mob consisting of 5 Chinese men killed one Japanese Buddhist priest after attacking five of them. Japan responded by dropping copious amounts of bombs on the city, killing several thousand innocent civilians (Chang, 29). The League of Nations did not approve of either Japan's seizure of Manchuria, or her treatment of the Chinese people, so in 1933, Japan conceded and left the League (Bjorge, 3). In leaving the League, they freed themselves from many of the restraints that had been imposed on them.

In August of 1937, Japanese troops invaded Shanghai, where they ran into a much stronger opposition than they had planned on (Chen). Initially the leaders of the Japanese military had estimated that it would take them around 3 months to take over the entire country of China, so the fact that it took them that long to merely take over Shanghai was unsettling to them (Rape of Nanking Part 1). Though the Japanese soldiers were much more effective and better trained, there were simply more of the Chinese (Chang, 33). The Japanese viewed the Chinese as “[P}rimitive people, illiterate in military science and poorly trained,” so the Japanese troops were both mortified and disheartened by the amount of time it took to defeat them (Chang, 34). Not only was the death toll high on both sides of the front, but there were also thousands upon thousands more civilians killed by the aerial Japanese bombings of Shanghai (Chen).

By the time the Japanese troops left Shanghai in late November and began their trek to Nanking, they were “[L]usting for revenge,” and spared little in their violent path (Chang, 34). They obliterated farming communities and those that lived there, as well as large towns.(Chang, 37). The Japanese purposefully directed much of their brutality toward the Chinese civilians in order to force them into submission through sheer terror (Rape of Nanking Part 1). Suchow, a town that had a population of about 350,000 before the Japanese invasion, was reduced to a population of less than 500, according to the China Weekly Review (Chang, 38). Likewise, the city of Sungchiang, which would have been home to around 100,000 civilians, was reduced to “[O]nly five Chinese, who were old men, hiding in a French mission compound in tears” (Chang, 38). Many villages on the path to Nanking were surrounded by Japanese troops and then set on fire; anyone that tried to leave was shot on sight (Rape of Nanking Part 1). Thousands of women survived only to be taken from their homes, branded, and used for sexual slavery until they were no longer useful, at which point they were killed and discarded on the side of the road (Rape of Nanking Part 1). It is estimated that on their way from Shanghai to Nanking, Japanese troops murdered approximately 300,000 civilians (Rape of Nanking Part 1).

Though the Chinese military was equipped to defend the capitol of Nanking for several months, they admitted defeat to the Japanese after only days of fighting (Chang, 70). Not only had Chiang, and almost all government officials fled from the city, but they had also taken much of the equipment that allowed General Tang, who was left in charge, to communicate with the separate Chinese troops beneath him (Chang, 71). In addition, the Japanese air-force grossly outnumbered the Chinese air force, and the Chinese troops were from many different regions, and were scarcely able to communicate with one another, even in person (Chang, 71). Eventually, even Tang fled the city with all of his officers, leaving his remaining troops surrounded by Japanese troops on three sides, and the Yangtze river on the other (Rape of Nanking Part 1). When the order finally came for the Chinese troops to retreat, they had nowhere to go, and chaos quickly ensued. Though the Japanese dropped leaflets and posted signs that promised that they would be “[K]ind and generous to non-combatants and to Chinese troops who entertain[ed] no enmity to Japan,” the opposite was in fact the case (Chang, 72). According to Japanese soldier Azuma Shiro, “[The Japanese soldiers] were given three orders. Burn all. Steal all. Kill all” (Rape of Nanking Part 1). Many of the Chinese soldiers tossed their arms in their last desperate attempts to flee the city, so they turned themselves in under the false pretense of generosity from Japan (Chang, 42). In turn, those soldiers were brutally murdered.

The brutality of the Japanese in their execution of their prisoners is almost inconceivable. To some, they promised food and work, only to bind their wrists and “herd” them to an isolated place on the outskirts of Nanking for execution (Chang, 82). Other prisoners were forced into an assembly line of live burials where they were made to bury alive the men before them, only to then lay on top of that grave to be buried alive by those behind them (Chang, 87). Still others were bound together in large groups, covered in gasoline, and shoved into a pit to be burned alive (Chang, 87). Many soldiers were tied up and used for bayonet practice, or buried up to their waste and then ravaged to death by German shepherds (Chang, 87-88). To be shot in the head would have been considered lucky. The Japanese did not stop their killing with soldiers that turned themselves in. They systematically went through homes and refugee camps and executed any men with calluses on their hands, as they (often wrongly) assumed that those calluses had formed due to handling guns on a daily basis (Chang, 116-117). Every young man of fighting age was gunned down in the streets, under the Japanese assumption that he was once a soldier in the Chinese army (Chang, 47). Shopkeepers were shot as soon as they opened their doors to Japanese troops, so that their stores could be looted and then burned to the ground (Chang, 47). The Japanese had no constraints, and refrained from killing no one – not even women and children. As terribly as the men of Nanking were treated, it is the women who endured the worst of the atrocities at the hands of the Japanese soldiers. During the six week span that is now commonly referred to as the Rape of Nanking, it is estimated that as many as 80,000 women were brutally raped (Rape of Nanking Part 2). The Japanese men did not discriminate in terms of age or appearance – no woman was safe in Nanking. Girls as young as 7 and women as old as 80 were gang-raped, sometimes to death. (Rape of Nanking Part 2). Those women who attempted to resist their attackers were generally later found mutilated, with body parts such as ears, nose, and breasts sliced off, or eyes gouged out (Chang, 96). Still other women were left dead on the streets after being raped, with bayonets or bamboo poles shoved in their vaginas (Rape of Nanking Part 2).Some of the more beautiful women were tied down and raped by hundreds of men, until they became too diseased to be of any more use (Rape of Nanking Part 2). Even pregnant women were raped, after which they were cut open, and removed of their fetuses which some Japanese soldiers would then carry around on bayonets as trophies (Rape of Nanking Part 2). According to Azumo Shiro, a former Japanese soldier, almost all of the women that were raped were killed afterward “[B]ecause dead bodies don't talk” (Chang, 49).

The Japanese not only enjoyed raping the Chinese women, but they took a sick pleasure in forcing incest in the Chinese families. They demanded that fathers rape their daughters, and sons rape their mothers, and brothers rape their sisters, while they watched and laughed (Chang, 96). Those that did not comply with the sick wishes of the Japanese soldiers were killed immediately (Chang, 96). Just as the men and women of Nanking weren't safe, neither were the young children. Babies were ripped out of their mothers arms and stabbed with bayonets, after which they were sometimes thrown into boiling pots of water while they were still alive ( Rape of Nanking Part 2). Others were thrown head first on the ground, or against the sides of buildings, all while their mothers watched helplessly (Rape of Nanking Part 2). Japanese soldiers delighted in forcing young boys to chase pigs, and if the boys weren't quick enough, they were bayoneted and killed (Rape of Nanking Part 2). Killing was like a game to the Japanese, and when one game got boring, they came up with a new one.

It is impossible to say exactly how many innocent people were killed in Nanking. The numbers vary greatly, especially depending on whether one is asking the Chinese or the Japanese. Generally, the Japanese people claim that the death toll was somewhere between 3,000 and 42,000 (Chang, 100). Those numbers, however, are unrealistic – in 1994, evidence was uncovered that revealed that between January and March of 1938, one Japanese burial squad “[D]isposed” of at least 30,000 bodies (Chang, 100). Chinese scholars, on the other hand, have researched population reports before and after the Rape of Nanking, Red Cross Reports, and Chinese burial records and come to the conclusion that between 200,000 and and 430,000 people were killed (Chang, 100-101). According to historian Sun Zhaiwei, the total number of dead Chinese in Nanking was approximately 377,400. To put that number in perspective, it is “[A] figure that surpasses the death toll for the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined” (Chang, 101).

The wide-spread atrocities of war that were committed in Nanking were fairly well documented in the international press, and the world was horrified by what they saw, especially the large scale of brutal rape (Argibay, 2). It was difficult for much of the rest of the world to understand how one human being could treat another human being in such degrading, terrible ways. Because of the Japanese's Shinto beliefs, the lives of Hirohito and the royal family of Japan were the only ones that mattered. According to Japanese soldier Azuma, “If my life was not important, an enemy's life became inevitably much less important...This philosophy led us to look down on the enemy and eventually to the mass murder and ill treatment of the captives” (qtd. in Chang, 58). Japanese authorities justified the brutality of the Japanese soldiers, and especially their raping of civilians, as “[A]n outlet for their natural animal urges” (Rape of Nanking Part 2). Emperor Hirohito viewed the mass killings of millions of civilians all over Asia as a necessary evil in his quest to become emperor of the world (Rape of Nanking Part 2).

Even though Hirohito didn't really disapprove of the actions of his troops, he asked his advisers to come up with a plan that would reestablish Japan's honor in the eyes of the rest of the world (Argibay, 2). The adviser’s solution to counteract the damnation of the international press was the creation of comfort stations (Argibay, 2). Comfort stations were underground military brothels where women were taken to be sex slaves for the Japanese soldiers (Chang, 52). The comfort stations were designed to not only keep Japanese atrocities out of the international press, but also to keep the Japanese soldiers healthier (Argibay 3). Through-out the local mass rapings in areas like Shanghai and Nanking, sexually transmitted diseases ran rampant through the troops; this not only cost money for medical treatment, but it cost the military able-bodied soldiers (Argibay, 3).

There were between 80,000 to 200,000 women from all across Asia that were either bought or kidnapped for the purpose of comfort stations (Chang, 52). The comfort women were referred to by the Japanese soldiers as “public toilets” and their sole purpose was to serve as sexual slaves to the troops (Chang, 53). Every Japanese soldier was promised a woman under the contingent that he killed lots of Chinese people (Rape of Nanking Part 2). Many of the women that were abducted from their homes and families were forced to witness the murder of family members who attempted to save them (Argibay, 4). Some of them were brought from distant countries, and knew neither the local language nor their surroundings, thus making it virtually impossible to flee (Argibay, 3). There were women who committed suicide when they found out their fate to serve in the comfort stations; others later died from either sexually transmitted diseases, or murder (Chang, 53). One can deduce from this information that in many cases, it was better to be killed by the Japanese than to be subjected to their treatment as a prisoner.

The Japanese did not always kill all captives as they did in Nanking, but they treated their prisoners of war so abysmally that they might as well have. After the war, it was found that 27% of the men held in Japanese camps died, compared to a mere 4% in European camps (Harris). Many of the prisoners of war in Japanese camps were subjected to extreme medical experiments, like being infected with plagues and other diseases and then dissected alive without any anesthetic (Kristof). According to Kristof, “[A]t least 3,000 people – by some accounts several times as many – were killed in the medical experiments; none survived.” Though treating prisoners in this manner was illegal as per the laws of war that were ratified by Japan at the 1906 Hague Convention, the authoritative figures of Japan never held the doctors that performed those medical experiments responsible for the atrocities that they committed (Harris).

Just as the Japanese doctors weren't punished for their appalling experimentations during World War 2, many of the other members of the Japanese Army and the Japanese government were not forced to take responsibility for their actions, either. A couple years after the war was over, the Japanese had their own war time trials in Nanking and Tokyo, similar to the Nuremberg trials. Emperor Hirohito, whom it is believed knew about the Japanese wartime atrocities, was not only given immunity but was also allowed to remain Emperor of Japan, in exchange for the surrender of Japan. Giving Hirohito immunity and thus absolving him of all responsibility for the war, majorly altered the Japanese peoples' “[H]istorical awareness,” of World War 2 (Chang, 176). In fact, until 1994, Japanese schoolchildren were not even aware that their own troops had killed tens of millions of Allied soldiers and civilians over the course of World War 2 (Chang, 205). In the early 90's, most Japanese schoolchildren did not know that Japan and the United States had been at war – much less did they know that Japan had lost (Chang, 205).

The Japanese are not the only ones who have been left in the dark about the Nanking Massacre. I chose to write about these atrocities that took place because I was appalled at the fact that I had never heard of them, and wondered why. As I stated before, we have all heard of the European Holocaust – what made this different? The more people I spoke to about the Nanking Massacre, the more apparent it became that it was, in fact, a forgotten holocaust. Whenever I brought it up in conversation, there was not one person who knew what I was talking about.

According to Iris Chang, author of the book The Rape of Nanking, this terrible tragedy was “[R]elatively untreated in world history...because the victims themselves had remained silent” (Chang, 11). The victims refrained from airing their grievances for many reasons, from shame to politics (Chang, 11). In the late 40's the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China were at odds, and were vying for “Japanese trade and political recognition” (Chang, 11). So too, the United States wanted to remain in good-standing with Japan because of the impending communism threat from their post-World War 2 enemies Russia, and much of China (Chang, 11). Sadly, the women who survived the brutal raping of the Japanese soldiers and the comfort stations remained silent for decades, due to the shame of impurity in both their religion and culture (Chang, 89). Unlike Israel, who demanded reparations from Germany after World War 2, no one demanded wartime reparations for the Chinese from Japan – so they were not paid.

The reason that we study history, is to learn from our mistakes; however, we can't really learn the full lesson if we don't know the whole history. We in the United States have had a tendency to look at World War 2 through a narrow European window. Perhaps we found the atrocities committed by the Nazis especially appalling because we viewed Europeans as being more like us, but in our elevation of the European part of the war, the Pacific part of World War 2 seems to have lost some of it's relevance virtually everywhere except for Asia. World War 2 was much bigger than Europe, and the Japanese atrocities across Asia were, if not equal to, on par with Hitler's destruction in Europe. In remembering those that were killed in China, we are able to give relevance to lives that were so crassly taken, by using their deaths to strengthen not only our worldly knowledge, but our moral compasses. As Elie Weisel, a Nobel laureate once cautioned, “[T]o forget a holocaust is to kill twice” (qtd. in Chang, 16). Let us learn from not only our mistakes, but the mistakes of others.


Arbigay, Carmen M. "Sexual Slavery and the Comfort Women of World War II." Berkely Journal of International Law 21.6 (2003).

Bjorge, Gary J. "China, invasion of (1931, 1937-1945)." The Encyclopedia of War (2011).

"By The Numbers: World Wide Deaths." The National World War 2 Museum New Orleans.

Chang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking – The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. NY, Ishi Press. 2012.

Chen, C. Peter. "Second Battle of Shanghai." World War 2 Database

Harris, Sheldon H. "Medical Experiments on POWs." Crimes of War

Jones, Adam. "Case Study: The Nanjing Massacre, 1937-1938." Gendercide (2013).

Kristof, Nicholas D. "Unmasking Horror – A special report.; Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity." The New York Times (March 17, 1995)

Rape of Nanking – the Nanjing Massacre Japanese Atrocities in Asia. (China: Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D., 2007)

Rosenburg, Jennifer. "Holocaust Facts." About Education

Schell, Orville. "Bearing Witness." The New York Times (Dec 14, 1997)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Paradise Love (Austria/Germany/France: Ulrich Seidl, 2012)

Paradise Love (Austria/Germany/France: Ulrich Seidl, 2012: 120 mins)

"Critical Strands: On the Beach with Ulrich Seidl and Martin Parr." Notebook (June 3, 2013)

Knauss, Stephanie. "The Paradise Trilogy: Love, Faith, Hope." Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

Papayanis, Marilyn Adler. "Sex on the Beach: The Yin Yang of Female Sex Tourism in Two Films." Bright Lights Film Journal #78 (November 2012)

Resources for October 26, 2014

Merriam-Webster's Word-of-the-Day

bucket shop \BUK-ut-SHAHP\

noun 1 : a gambling establishment that formerly used market fluctuations (as in commodities) as a basis for gaming; 2 : a dishonest brokerage firm


"Today … the SEC is able to intervene more quickly to shut down frauds, like boiler rooms or bucket shops pushing bogus stocks…." — The Orange County Register, October 15, 2001

"As a result, dozens of operations have sprouted up on the Caymans to supply directors, from one-man bucket shops to powerhouse law firms." — Azam Ahmed, The New York Times, July 2, 2012

In the 1870s, a bucket shop was a lowly saloon that sold beer and other cheap hooch in buckets. How did the term make the jump from watering hole to Wall Street? No one is really sure. Some speculate that it may have been because of the small-time gambling that took place at the original bucket shops, while others claim it derives from the bucket elevator used to transport things between the Chicago Board of Trade and a market for small investors housed directly below it. By the 1880s, bucket shop was being used for pseudo "investment houses" where gamblers bid on the rise and fall of stock prices. These days the term is used for any business that sells cut-price goods, especially airline tickets.

Karlin, Mark. "Farce of US Multibillion Dollar War on Opium in Afghanistan Exposed by Record Crop." Buzz Flash (October 23, 2014)

"U.S. Africa Command United Assistance Ebola Response Intelligence Summaries." Public Intelligence (October 18, 2014)

Smith, Jordan. "Rodney Reed: Another Innocent Man on Texas' Death Row?" The Nation (June 22, 2012) [Rodney Reed's execution is scheduled for January 14, 2015)

Stampler, Laura. "These Modern Ads Are Even More Sexist Than Their 'Mad Men' Era Counterparts." Business Insider (April 10, 2012)

Arikan, Ali and Peter Labuza. "Withnail and I." The Cinephiliacs #7 (November 5, 2012)

Sicinski, Michael. "Nuclear Nightmares, Mapped: Peter Watkins’ The Journey." Keyframe (October 25, 2014) ["Watkins’ 873-minute global documentary focuses on nuclear proliferation and unmasks why we can’t envision a better, safer world."

if you haven't heard of Peter Watkins (one of the most important filmmakers and tragically very ignored by the system he challenges--as is to be expected), check out his manifesto "The Media Crisis" (an excerpt is included below from the revised introduction):


In 2003, I completed the work on this website. It was subsequently translated into French by my son Patrick, and published as The Media Crisis by Alain Dichant of Homnispheres, in France. Alain is now releasing a new edition of The Media Crisis. The book, and this website, remain essentially unchanged at this time, but the crisis in the audiovisual media has worsened. Few, if any, of the problems I analysed have been addressed by the mass audiovisual media, and the related environmental threat, which I referred to in 2003, has become catastrophic. I hope in this revised introduction to clarify some of the worsening issues...

According to an article in the British press (The Guardian Weekly, Feb. 9-15, 2007), world scientists recently issued their strongest warning to date, that a failure to cut greenhouse gas emissions will bring devastating climate change within a few decades. The final report by an expert UN panel states that average temperatures will likely increase by 4C, and could increase by as much as 6.4C by the end of the century if emissions continue to rise. The forecast is higher than previously estimated, because scientists have discovered that the earth's land and ocean masses are becoming less able to absorb carbon dioxide.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is written by hundreds of scientists across the world, and has been approved by all governments. It appears that human activity is largely to blame for this current state of affairs. The director of the UN Environment Programme said: “February 2007 may be remembered as the day the question mark was removed from whether people are to blame for climate change.”

This latest information from the media on the global environmental crisis does not, however, mention another crucial question mark - one which is also related to human activity, but which is never discussed publicly: the role of the mass audiovisual media in the current state of affairs.

Society at large still refuses to acknowledge the role of form and process in the delivery and reception of the mass audiovisual (MAVM) output. By this I mean that the language forms structuring the message contained in any film or TV programme, and the entire process (hierarchical or otherwise) of delivery to the public are completely overlooked, and are certainly not debated. In turn, this lack of critical public debate means that over 95% of all MAVM messages delivered to the public are now structured by the Monoform.

- the Monoform is the one single language form now used to edit and structure cinema films, TV programmes - newsbroadcasts, detective series, soap operas, comedy and ‘reality shows’, etc. - and most documentaries, almost all of which are encoded in the standardised and rigid form which had its nascence in the Hollywood cinema. The result is a language form wherein spatial fragmentation, repetitive time rhythms, constantly moving camera, rapid staccato editing, dense bombardment of sound, and lack of silence or reflective space, play a dominant and aggressive role.

- there is total silence within the ranks of the professional MAVM on the impact of this mono language on society in general, and on its relationship to the environmental crisis. The MAVM refuse to discuss this issue either in their films and TV programmes, or in any public debate.

- this silence is further reinforced by the reluctance (to put it mildly) of today’s educational systems to discuss the nature of the MAVM in critical or holistic terms, and especially to analyse the impact of the Monoform. It would even appear as if many of today’s media teachers are hardly aware of, or concerned with, this impact.

- the silence on the role of the MAVM is also maintained by most alternative political movements, associations, NGOs, etc. While sometimes acknowledging that the MAVM may be withholding information (e.g., on the arms race), or that it may, in general terms, have an impact on certain events (e.g., the war in Iraq), alternative movements do not usually hold the MAVM to holistic account for its overall impact on society, nor for its direct relationship to the environmental disaster.

- finally, the silence on the media crisis is sustained at, and by, most major international ‘public’ MAVM events such as film festivals, documentary film forums, and the escalating number of specialist TV festivals, trade fairs, and so-called ‘world congresses’. These events play a central role in the media crisis because they are structured in such a way as to preclude meaningful debate with the public, and instead, reinforce the mindless absorption of torrents of Monoform material. Major festivals pack as many as 200-300 films into 4-5 days of screenings, often obliging viewers to run to and from the sessions. Inserted into these events are authoritarian panel ‘discussions’ by experts, master classes with celebrity filmmakers, and pitching sessions. Rarely, however, are there any discussions with the public about the role of the MAVM in contemporary society - and never is there any mention of the Monoform.

These international events, mostly unknown to the public, more than anything else represent the global market forces industry that the MAVM have become.

To Read the Rest of Watkin's Statement--also see links on the left hand side

French Version

Sections include:

1. Media Crisis - Suggestions for use and Personal Prologue
2. Revised Introduction to the Media Crisis
3. The role of the American MAVM, Hollywood and the Monoform
4. The European, Canadian, Scandinavian (etc.) MAVM
5. Media education, popular culture, violence
6. Filmmakers, festivals and the repression
7. Role of the Global Justice Movement
8. Public-alternative processes and practices
9. Conclusion

"Peter Watkins: Filmmaker and Media Critic." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Frank, Priscilla. "10 Women Street Artists Who Are Better Than Banksy." Huffington Post (September 4, 2014)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Peter Watkins: Filmmaker and Media Critic

The Universal Clock - The Resistance of Peter Watkins by Geoff Bowie, National Film Board of Canada

Biographical Sites and Official Websites:

Wikipedia: Peter Watkins

Peter Watkins: Filmmaker/Media Critic (Official Site)

British Film Institute: Peter Watkins

Resources by and about Peter Watkins and his films:

Benton, Michael Dean. "Dialogic Cinephilia 5.0." Dialogic Cinephilia (March 6, 2014)

Carter, Matthew E., Brian Risselada, and Tom Sutpen. "Peter Watkins: An Intermission." Illusion Travels by Streetcar #17 (June 4, 2014)

Estrin, Marc. "Peter Watkins' La Commune." The Rag Blog (March 29, 2010)

Keser, Robert. "Edvard Munch." Senses of Cinema (February 7, 2006)

La Commune (Paris, 1871) (France: Peter Watkins, 2000: available on Google video in multiple parts)

"Peter Watkins: La Commune." Chtodelat (October 31, 2008)

Peter Watkins: The Media Crisis Dialogic (October 3, 2007)

Rapfogel, Jared. "The Cinema of Peter Watkins." Cineaste 32.2 (Spring 2007)

Risselada, Brian, Max Slobodin and Tom Sutpen. "Peter Watkins: Act One (1964-1971)." Illusion Travels by Streetcar #12 (May 2014)

Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "The Revolution Has Been Televised [Peter Watkins’ LA COMMUNE]." Chicago Reader (May 17, 2002)

Sicinski, Michael. "Nuclear Nightmares, Mapped: Peter Watkins’ The Journey." Keyframe (October 25, 2014) ["Watkins’ 873-minute global documentary focuses on nuclear proliferation and unmasks why we can’t envision a better, safer world."

Watkins, Peter. "Notes on the Making of La Commune (Paris, 1871)." Peter Watkins: Filmmaker/Critic (2000)

---. "Notes on the Media Crisis." Barcelona, Spain: Quaderns portàtils, 2010.

"I think that the historical resistance by many activists to actually challenging the mass audiovisual media is a very serious problem. My personal belief is that until this subject is pulled up level with the other subjects being protested, I genuinely do not believe that the anti-globalization protest will ever reach its true fruition. If we leave the cinema and television and the radio in the present position they're in, we will never get there." -Peter Watkins

Friday, October 24, 2014

Resources for October 25, 2014

Cheshire, Godfrey. "Citizenfour." Roger Ebert (Octiober 23, 2014)

Gillam, Carey. "Police in Ferguson committed human rights abuses: Amnesty report." Reuters (October 24, 2014)

Uberti, David. "Media changes course on Ebola: News outlets finally report clearly on the virus." Columbia Journalism Review (October 17, 2014)

Chittum, Ryan. "The ethics of The Guardian’s Whisper bombshell: It would have been a journalistic lapse not to have told readers." Columbia Journalism Review (October 20, 2014)

Labuza, Peter and Farran Smith Nehme. "Three Strangers." The Cinephiliacs #6 (October 21, 2012)

via The Criterion Collection:

Uyehara, Sean. "Laura Poitras, Citizenfour and You." Keyframe (October 24, 2014) ["Poitras speaks on her powderkeg CITIZENFOUR and the tension between liberty and security, law and secrecy."]

Citizenfour (Germany/USA: Laura Poitras, 2014: 114 mins)
Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Richter, Ash M. "The Secrets Of California's Dried Out Lakes." All Day (ND)

Zordan, Davide. "Of Men, Roles and Rules: Nanni Moretti’s We Have a Pope." Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Liberals Kick Ass." The Chicago Reader (November 17, 1988)

Kubrick // One-Point Perspective from kogonada on Vimeo.

Citizenfour (Germany/USA: Laura Poitras, 2014)

Citizenfour (Germany/USA: Laura Poitras, 2014: 114 mins)

Alpert, Robert. "The Hurt Locker litigation: An adult’s story—part 2." Jump Cut #57 (Fall 2016)

Angwin, Julia, et al. "AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale." The New York Times (August 16, 2015)

Bamford, James and Caspar Bowden. "Legal Restrictions as Convenient Fictions (The Deep State's Consuming Passion for Big Data)." Unwelcome Guests #704 (January 10, 2015)

Bogoshian, Heidi and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard. "Big Brother America: Is the United States a Police State?" Loud and Clear (February 15, 2016)

Browmwich, David. "The Question of Edward Snowden." The New York Review of Books (December 4, 2012)

Cheshire, Godfrey. "Citizenfour." Roger Ebert (Octiober 23, 2014)

Chomsky, Noam and Glenn Greenwald. "No Place to Hide." (Posted on Youtube: August 10, 2014)

"Citizenfour producers sued for 'aiding' Edward Snowden: Suit charges Laura Poitras, Weinstein Company 'on behalf of American public.'" Vancouver Observer (December 23, 2014)

Crane, John and Mark Hertsgaard. "Meet the Pentagon Official Who Blew the Whistle on Mistreatment of Other Whistleblowers." Democracy Now (May 23, 2016)

Dirty Wars (USA/Afghanistan/Iraq/Kenya/Somalia/Yemen: Rick Rowley, 2013) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Doctorow, Cory. "Stability and Surveillance." Locus (March 2015)

"Edward Snowden (Whistleblower/Former CIA and NSA Employee & Contractor)." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Ellsberg, Daniel. "Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America." The Guardian (June 10, 2013) ["When lamenting the rise and reign of Trump try not to operate in an ahistorical vacuum that pretends that Trump came from nowhere and is an anomaly in the American government/system. I was reminded of this as I read Daniel Ellsberg's (leaker of the Pentago Papers) 2013 editorial on/about Edward Snowden (leaker of materials detailing the NSA's spying oncitizens at home and abroad). Who was president then and what was Secretary of State Clinton's response?"]

"From Selma to Snowden, Oscar Speeches Invoke Activism & Calls for Social Justice." Democracy Now (February 23, 2015)

Froomkin, Dan. "Chafee, Running for President, Calls for Snowden to be Allowed Home." The Intercept (June 3, 2015)

Froomkin, Dan and Jenna McLaughlin.  "Vindication for Edward Snowden From a New Player in NSA Whistleblowing Saga." The Intercept (May 23, 2016)

Glenn Greenwald (Constituional Rights Lawyer/Journalist) Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Glennon, Michael J. "National Security and Double Government." Harvard National Security Journal 5.1 (2014)

Goodsell, Luke. "Citizenfour." Movie Mezzanine (October 23, 2014)

Gordon-Levitt, Joseph and Oliver Stone. "On Making New Film Snowden, Humanizing World's Most Wanted Man." Democracy Now (September 14, 2016) ["As the much-anticipated movie Snowden, about one of the most wanted men in the world, hits theaters, we spend the hour with its director, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, and the actor who played Snowden, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and feature clips from the film that tells the story of how NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed massive surveillance programs by U.S. and British intelligence agencies. "Our goal was to humanize the man, to bring you … the feeling of his life," Stone says of Snowden, who he notes was originally politically conservative and tried to enlist in the military to serve in Iraq but joined the CIA instead."]

Greenwald, Glenn. "The John Oliver Interview and Political Disengagement of the American Public." The Intercept (April 6, 2015)

---. "Political Smears in U.S. Never Change: The NYT's 1967 Attack on MLK's Anti-War Speech." The Intercept (April 7, 2015)

"Laura Poitras." The Close Up #2 (October 2014)

Laura Poitras: Documentary Filmmaker and Producer (Ongoing Archive)

Lee, Kevin B. "Laura Poitras, Lives on the Line (Video)." Keyframe (August 14, 2013)

McLaughlin, Jenna. "Court: We Can’t Rule on NSA Bulk Data Collection Because We Don’t Know Whose Data Was Collected." The Intercept (August 28, 2015)

Muižnieks, Nils. "'Everybody is a Suspect': European Rights Chief on Edward Snowden's Call for Global Privacy Treaty." Democracy Now (October 23, 2015) ["Last month, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald and other privacy activists launched a new campaign to establish global privacy standards. The proposed International Treaty on the Right to Privacy, Protection Against Improper Surveillance and Protection of Whistleblowers would require states to ban mass data collection and implement public oversight of national security programs. It would also require states to offer asylum to whistleblowers. It’s been dubbed the "Snowden Treaty." We discuss the state of mass surveillance with Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights."]

Poitras, Laura. "Citizenfour." The Treatment (October 22, 2014)

Poitras, Laura and Jeremy Scahill. "Citizenfour: Inside Story of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Captured in New Film by Laura Poitras." Democracy Now (October 23, 2014)

Ratcliff, Travis Lee. "The Legacy of Paranoid Thrillers." (Posted on Vimeo: June 2017) ["Paranoid thrillers are constant in cinema's history, but at any given moment they reflect our specific anxieties back to us and reveal how we feel about our institutions. Here, I explore how paranoid thrillers crystalized as a genre in American cinema and examine the possibility of a contemporary renaissance in conspiracy fiction."]

Reitman, Rainey. "Snowden Reacts as Documentary about his Leaks wins Oscar." Informed Comment (February 23, 2015)

Rohde, Stephen. "Big Brother Is Watching You: Is America at Risk of Becoming Orwell’s Nightmare?" Los Angeles Review of Books (January 6, 2015)

Security/Security Agencies/Surveillance Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Snowden, Edward. "Permanent Record: Why NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Risked His Life to Expose Surveillance State." Democracy Now (September 26, 2019) ["Six years ago, Edward Snowden leaked a trove of secret documents about how the United States had built a massive surveillance apparatus to spy on Americans and people across the globe. Snowden was then charged in the U.S. for violating the Espionage Act and other laws. As he attempted to flee to Latin America, Snowden became stranded in Russia after the U.S. revoked his passport. He has lived in Moscow ever since. Snowden just published his memoir, “Permanent Record,” in which he writes about what led him to risk his life to expose the U.S. government’s system of mass surveillance. From Moscow, he speaks to Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Juan González about his life before and after becoming an NSA whistleblower." Part 1: "'Financial Censorship Is Still Censorship': Edward Snowden Slams Justice Dept. Lawsuit Against Him."  Part 2: "Edward Snowden Condemns Trump’s Mistreatment of Whistleblower Who Exposed Ukraine Scandal." ]

Soutar, Liam. "Citizenfour: How Modern Surveillance Compares to Orwell's Big Brother." Cultured Vultures (April 7, 2015)

Stern, Marlow. "Laura Poitras Discusses Suing the U.S. Government, Hillary Clinton’s ‘Crazy’ Email Blunder." The Daily Beast (August 18, 2015)

Uyehara, Sean. "Laura Poitras, Citizenfour and You." Keyframe (October 24, 2014) ["Poitras speaks on her powderkeg CITIZENFOUR and the tension between liberty and security, law and secrecy."]

Vasseur, Flore. "The Woman Who Hacked Hollywood." Backchannel (March 2015) ["Laura Poitras’ name was once on terror watch lists. Now it’s on an Oscar. Here’s her personal journey."]

Watts, Madeleine. "Not Numb: Laura Poitras at the Whitney." The Believer (March 25, 2016)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Resources for October 24, 2014

"Laura Poitras: Documentary Filmmaler and Producer." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

O'Connell, Max. "Men's Rights Activists, GamerGate, and Why Fight Club is Still Worth Debating 15 Years Later." Criticwire (October 15, 2014)

Shirky, Clay. "Why a leading professor of new media just banned technology use in class." Washington Post (September 25, 2014)

Carvin, Andy. "Not cool of @TheAtlantic to use Reuters pic of Muslim women watching an eclipse and suggesting they're ISIS fan girls." Twitter (October 23, 2014)

West, James. "Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame." Mother Jones (October 22, 2014)

Poitras, Laura and Jeremy Scahill. "Citizenfour: Inside Story of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Captured in New Film by Laura Poitras." Democracy Now (October 23, 2014)

"Edward Snowden (Whistleblower/Former CIA and NSA Employee & Contractor)." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Scahill, Jeremy. "Blackwater Execs Remain Free as Guards Convicted for Killing 14 Iraqis in Massacre." Democracy Now (October 23, 2014)

Goodsell, Luke. "Citizenfour." Movie Mezzanine (October 23, 2014)

Knauss, Stephanie. "Exploring Orthodox Jewish Masculinities with Eyes Wide Open." Journal of Religion & Film 17. (October 2013)

"High Plains Drifter (USA: Clint Eastwood, 1973)." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

Mac, Mark. "That's Fucking Interesting, Man." The Dudespaper (February 16, 2013)

Sjö, Sofia. "Go with Peace Jamil - Affirmation and Challenge of the Image of the Muslim Man." Journal of Religion & Film 17. (October 2013)

Merriam-Webster Word-of-the-Day

interlocutor \in-ter-LAH-kyuh-ter\

noun: one who takes part in dialogue or conversation


Steve's aggressive insistence on the correctness of his own opinions frequently made his interlocutors uncomfortable.

"I don't wonder that one of his interlocutors stared when he seriously suggested to them that MPs were paid too much, and would do their job much better if they were on the minimum wage." — Philip Hensher, The Independent (London), September 14, 2014

Interlocutor derives from the Latin interloqui, meaning "to speak between" or "to issue an interlocutory decree." (An interlocutory decree is a court judgment that comes in the middle of a case and is not decisive.) Interloqui, in turn, ultimately comes from the words inter-, "between," and loqui, "to speak." Some other words that English borrowed from loqui are loquacious ("talkative"), circumlocution (essentially, "talking around a subject"), ventriloquism ("talking in such a way that one's voice seems to come from someone or something else"), eloquent ("capable of fluent or vivid speech"), and grandiloquence ("extravagant or pompous speech").

High Plains Drifter (USA: Clint Eastwood, 1973)

High Plains Drifter (USA: Clint Eastwood, 1973: 105 mins)

Carlson, Michael. Clint Eastwood. Pocket Essentials, 2002.

Cornell, Drucilla. Clint Eastwood and Issues of American Masculinity." NY: Fordham University Press, 2009.

Dirks, Tim. "Western Films." Film Site (No Date)

Engel, Leonard, et al. New Essays on Clint Eastwood. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah University Press, 2012.

Flynn, Erin E. "The Aesthetic Representation of Justice in Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter." Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics #4 (2012)

El Goro. "High Plains Drifter (1973) and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)." Talk Without Rhythm #366 (April 16, 2017)

Hughes, Howard. Aim for the Heart: The Films of Clint Eastwood. NY: I.B. Tauris, 2009.

McGee, Patrick. From Shane to Kill Bill: Rethinking the Western. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007.[Professor has copy]

Smith, Paul. Clint Eastwood: A Cultural Production. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

The Western: A Teacher's Guide. London: British Film Institute, No Date.

Williams, Jacob A. "Modernizing the Greek Tragedy: Clint Eastwood’s Impact on the Western." (A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies: University of Washington, 2012)

Laura Poitras: Documentary Filmmaker and Producer


Wikipedia: Laura Poitras

Praxis Films: Laura Poitras

The Intercept ("The Intercept, a publication of First Look Media, was created by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill. It has a two-fold mission: one short-term, the other long-term. Our short-term mission is to provide a platform to report on the documents previously provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Although we are still building our infrastructure and larger vision, we are launching now because we believe we have a vital obligation to this ongoing and evolving story, to these documents, and to the public. Our NSA coverage will be comprehensive, innovative and multi-faceted. We have a team of experienced editors and journalists devoted to the story. We will use all forms of digital media for our reporting. In addition, we will publish primary source documents on which our reporting is based. We will also invite outside experts with area knowledge to contribute to our reporting, and provide a platform for commentary and reader engagement. Our long-term mission is to produce fearless, adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues. The editorial independence of our journalists will be guaranteed. They will be encouraged to pursue their passions, cultivate a unique voice, and publish stories without regard to whom they might anger or alienate. We believe the prime value of journalism is its power to impose transparency, and thus accountability, on the most powerful governmental and corporate bodies, and our journalists will be provided the full resources and support required to do this. While our initial focus will be the critical work surrounding the NSA story, we are excited by the opportunity to grow with our readers into the broader and more comprehensive news outlet that the The Intercept will become.")

IMDB: Laura Poitras

Salon: Laura Poitras

Zeitgeist Films: Laura Poitras

The Guardian: Laura Poitras

Resources by/about Laura Poitras:

Ames, Mark and Yasha Levine. "The Extraordinary Pierre Omidyar." NSFW (November 15, 2013)

Appelbaum, Jacob and Laura Poitras. "Surveillance Teach-In." Praxis Films (April 20, 2012)

Appelbaum, Jacob, William Binney, and Laura Poitras. "More Secrets on Growing State Surveillance: Exclusive with NSA Whistleblower, Targeted Hacker." Democracy Now (April 23, 2012)

Bernstein, Paula. "Oscar Winner Laura Poitras on How Field of Vision Will Change Documentary Filmmaking." IndieWire (September 10, 2015)

Browmwich, David. "The Question of Edward Snowden." The New York Review of Books (December 4, 2012)

Cheshire, Godfrey. "Citizenfour." Roger Ebert (Octiober 23, 2014)

"Citizenfour producers sued for 'aiding' Edward Snowden: Suit charges Laura Poitras, Weinstein Company 'on behalf of American public.'" Vancouver Observer (December 23, 2014)

Greenwald, Glenn. "Finally: hear Bradley Manning in his own voice." The Guardian (March 12, 2013)

---. " U.S. filmmaker repeatedly detained at border: Laura Poitras makes award-winning controversial films, and is targeted by the U.S. government as a result." Salon (April 8, 2012)

Greenwald, Glenn and Laura Poitras. "Q&A on Snowden, the Surveillance State & Press Freedom." Democracy Now (April 11, 2014)

---. "'This Award is for Snowden': Greenwald, Poitras Accept Polk Honor for Exposing NSA Surveillance." Democracy Now (April 14, 2014)

Greenwald, Glenn, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras. "Edward Snowden: The Whistleblower Behind the NSA Surveillance Revelations." The Guardian (June 9, 2013)

---. "NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Israel." The Guardian (September 11, 2013)

Leonard, Andrew. "A Pulitzer triumph: Snowden reporting wins journalism’s top prize ." Salon (April 14, 2014)

Maas, Peter. "How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets." The New York Times (August 18, 2013)

Mizer, Brian and Laura Poitras. "The Oath." POV (September 21, 2010)

Poitras, Laura. "An American woman's startling tale of life in Iraq." NOW #241 (October 13, 2006)

---. "Citizenfour." The Treatment (October 22, 2014)

---. "Detained in the U.S.: Filmmaker Laura Poitras Held, Questioned Some 40 Times at U.S. Airports." Democracy Now (April 20, 2012)

---. "My Country My Country." Film School (Winter 2007)

---. "The Program." The New York Times (August 23, 2012)

---. "Puzzling Over A Jihadi's Journey." Fresh Air (June 2, 2010)

Poitras, Laura and Jeremy Scahill. "Citizenfour: Inside Story of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Captured in New Film by Laura Poitras." Democracy Now (October 23, 2014)

Uyehara, Sean. "Laura Poitras, Citizenfour and You." Keyframe (October 24, 2014) ["Poitras speaks on her powderkeg CITIZENFOUR and the tension between liberty and security, law and secrecy."]

Vasseur, Flore. "The Woman Who Hacked Hollywood." Backchannel (March 2015) ["Laura Poitras’ name was once on terror watch lists. Now it’s on an Oscar. Here’s her personal journey."]

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Resources for October 23, 2014

Burton, David F. "Fire, Water and The Goddess: The Films of Deepa Mehta and Satyajit Ray as Critiques of Hindu Patriarchy>" The Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

Sander, David. "Love that Tames: Anti-Heroes, Power and Islamic Reform Reflected in Two Iranian Films." The Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

Delblanco, Andrew. "A Vengeful Fury: Greg Grandin’s Empire of Necessity." The New York Times (January 12, 2014)

Mancias, Nancy L. "Creative Disruption." Beautiful Trouble (ND)

"Introducing Andrew Haigh's Weekend." The Current (August 20, 2012)

Lim, Dennis. "Weekend: The Space Between Two People." Current (August 21, 2012)

Thomas, Kette. "With An Eye On A Set Of New Eyes: Beasts of the Southern Wild." The Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

West, James. "Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame." Mother Jones (October 22, 2014)

Resources for October 22, 2014

Chomsky, Noam. "In U.N. Speech, Noam Chomsky Blasts United States for Supporting Israel, Blocking Palestinian State." Democracy Now (October 22, 2014)

---. "Noam Chomsky at United Nations: It Would Be Nice if the United States Lived up to International Law." Democracy Now ((October 22, 2014)

Ebert, Roger. "Interview with Martin Scorsese." (march 7, 1976)

Doctorow, Cory. "UK government sends 40,000 texts to semi-random foreigners (and some Brits): 'You are required to leave the UK!'" Boing Boing (October 18, 2013)

Rising, David, et al. "Expelled Nazis paid millions in Social Security." Herald-Leader (October 19, 2014)

Falconer, Bruce. "The Torture Colony." The American Scholar (September 1, 2008) ["In a remote part of Chile, an evil German evangelist built a" dystopia "whose members helped the Pinochet regime perform its foulest deeds."]

Merriam-Webster Word-of-the-Day:

redux \ree-DUKS\

adjective: brought back


Now running in his own campaign, the son of the former mayor was advised to develop his own identity and not simply portray himself as his father redux.

"Think of it as 'Combat Evolved' redux. 'Destiny' wants to meld the multiplayer and single-player experience into a coherent whole." — Gieson Cacho, San Jose Mercury News, September 16, 2014

In Latin, redux (from the verb reducere, meaning "to lead back") can mean "brought back" or "bringing back." The Romans used redux as an epithet for the Goddess Fortuna with its "bringing back" meaning; Fortuna Redux was "one who brings another safely home." But it was the "brought back" meaning that made its way into English. Redux belongs to a small class of English adjectives that are always used postpositively—that is, they always follow the words they modify. Redux has a history of showing up in titles of English works, such as John Dryden’s Astraea Redux (a poem "on the happy restoration and return of his sacred majesty, Charles the Second"), Anthony Trollope’s Phineas Redux, and John Updike’s Rabbit Redux.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Resources for October 18, 2014

Erndl, Kathleen M. "Woman Becomes Goddess in Bollywood: Justice, Violence, and the Feminine in Popular Hindi Film." Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

"The Impact of Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets." Cinephilia and Beyond (No Date)

Frank, Thomas. "Zephyr Teachout's Corruption in America." The New York Times (October 19, 2014)

Ashkenas, Jeremy, et al. "Ebola Facts: When Did Ebola Arrive and Spread at a Dallas Hospital?" The New York Times (July 31, 2014)

"Week 1: Forbidden Planet." Future Screen (August 7, 2013)

McCann, Hannah. "Foucault Explained with Hipsters." Binary This (May 21, 2013)

Mattar, Noor. "When Journalism Isn't Quite Enough." Global Voices (October 17, 2014)

Graham, Kristen A. and Aubrey Whelan. "Thousands Shut Down Broad Street In Philly School Protest." Popular Resistance (October 18, 2014)

Merriam-Webster Word-of-the-Day

neophilia \nee-uh-FILL-ee-uh\

noun: love or enthusiasm for what is new or novel


Loretta wondered if it was neophilia that led her husband to buy shiny new power tools even when the ones he already had were in perfect condition.

"Time was, not too many years ago, when shopping was a pleasure. The atmosphere at the malls, the array of items, the decor, the people, the variety of shops, all beckoned to our neophilia, although I wasn’t aware there was a word for it." — Juanita Hughes, Cherokee Tribune (Canton, Georgia), September 2, 2014

The earliest known example of neophilia in print is from an 1899 issue of Political Science Quarterly, a publication of Columbia University. The word is a combination of the Greek-derived combining forms neo-, meaning "new," and -philia, meaning "liking for." In the 1930s, the form neophily was introduced as a synonym of neophilia, but no neophilia could save it from obscurity—it has never caught on. The opposite of neophilia is neophobia, meaning "a dread of or aversion to novelty." It has been around slightly longer than neophilia, having first appeared in 1886.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Resources for October 17, 2014

Wilkerson, Isabel. "The Leadership March That Remade America." Radio Open Source (March 3, 2014) ["Isabel Wilkerson is the epic tale teller of the Great Migration of Southern black people that remade America — sound, substance and spirit — in the 20th Century."]

Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "All the Pretty Carnage." The Chicago Reader (November 8, 2007) ["Remorseless murder isn't all there is to No Country for Old Men, but it's all anyone seems to care about."]

Lucas, Shellae. "What’s in a Name: Kennewick Man versus The Ancient One." Dialogic Cinephilia (October 15, 2014)

Kleeman, Sophie. "One Powerful Illustration Shows Exactly What's Wrong With How the West Talks About Ebola." World Mic (October 7, 2014)

Sanders, Bernie. "Chevron Trying to Buy City Hall in California Refinery Town." Bernie Sanders: United States Senator for Vermont (October 16, 2014)

Videodrome (Canada: David Cronenberg, 1983).

Lee, Kevin B. and Volker Pantenburg. "Motion Studies #7: Low Budget Eye Candy." Press Play (March 29, 2012) [On George Lucas' 1971 film THX 1138

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shellae Lucas: "What’s in a Name: Kennewick Man versus The Ancient One"

ENG 102 Fall 2014

What’s in a Name: Kennewick Man versus The Ancient One

A name may seem like a trivial thing, but in truth it holds a plethora of meaning. In the case of Kennewick Man or The Ancient One, these names are referring to the same ancient skeleton. However, which name is used holds immeasurable meaning to humans from different ethnic, religious and even scientific backgrounds. When two young college students stumbled through the Columbia River banks, in Kennewick, WA little did they know the controversy they were about to stir up with the discovery of a few old bones! The bones would turn out to be over 9000 years old and the most intact ancient skeleton in North America. What a phenomenal find, but then came the fight over essentially, a name. The Native Americans named him “The Ancient One”, their ancestor, claim him as such, and wish him returned to them for reburial (Kirkpatrick:10). The scientists named him “Kennewick Man”, a Paleo-American who has much yet to reveal (Chatters: 44). To fully understand the impact of Kennewick Man and his implications in ancient and modern day history these questions must first be answered; why is he important today, what are his ethnic origins and why did the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) not apply to his remains?

Kennewick Man was shoved into the limelight when the age of his ancient remains were revealed in 1996 (Chatters: 55, Owsley and Jantz: 1, Kirkpatrick: 6). What glimpse into the past could be unveiled to offer ever more insight into a historical time we still know too little about? Eight scientists had won a nine year court battle against the US Government to have the legal right to study Kennewick Man and in turn hopefully learn what he might have to share of days long past (Owsley and Jantz: 5, Kirkpatrick: 16). The culmination of these studies has just been published in Doug Owsley and Richard Jantz new book; KENNEWICK MAN: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton. The most basic information recovered tells he was right handed and at 160 pounds more of a medium build for a 40 year old adult male approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall (Chatters: 128, Owsley and Jantz: 622). Puzzling to the scientists and a point of many debates is the skull itself. Kennewick Man’s skull is shaped with characteristics of European and Polynesian descent rather than Asian-Siberian characteristics found in modern day Native Americans (Chatters: 223, Owsley and Jantz: 463). Another interesting and defining discovery was a 5cm by 2 cm stone projectile imbedded in Kennewick Man’s hip with calcium regrowth showing it was not the cause of death, but rather an injury he lived with for many years (Chatters: 40, Owsley and Jantz: 623). The projectile was examined using a CT scan and revealed serrated edges of a technology used long ago and known locally in the Columbia Basin area as a Cascade Point (Chatters: 41, Owsley and Jantz: 623) If more specific information could be gleaned from the projectile, like which technique was used specifically, was it reworked or not, what type of material it was made from; then a cultural time reference and a location of the quarry could be approximated (Owsley and Jantz: 458). Without radio-carbon dating in the early days of the discovery, the skull and projectile together offered amazing, yet limited insight into the past. The skull alone could have been passed off at first as a very early pioneer based on European characteristics alone and no radio-carbon dating (Chatters: 27). However, once the projectile was located in the hip, and identified as belonging to a technology used during Paleo times, there was never a doubt Kennewick Man was an Ancient. The question now became, how ancient and from where would a Paleo-American come from that he had such European and Polynesian features? The first radio-carbon dating would be done to achieve the original age of over 9500 years old (Chatters: 53). Additional testing using radio isotopes determined Kennewick Man to have 90% marine protein as his staple diet; that figure was included in the determination of his original radio-carbon age to achieve an accurate age of over 9000 years old (Owsley and Jantz: 318). This age fits with what scientists agree on as the timeframe of Post-Clovis in the Holocene era (Stanford and Bradley: 5). The type of projectile, which most of the scientists agree is actually a reworked Haskett point style with serrated edges, making it older than the originally thought Cascade point, adds to the corroboration of early Holocene era for Kennewick Man (Owsley and Jantz: 472).

Flaked stone technologies, called knapping are quite intrinsic and vary from technological eras to clan traditions (Stanford and Bradley: 24). They are detailed enough however, to be used to track the movement of these ancient Stone Age ancestors across North America and even farther (Stanford and Bruce: 31). In the case of Kennewick Man they have given us a chance to step back, take a breath and recognize what we think we know about the peopling of the America’s may indeed be flawed. Its general knowledge taught in schools around America that the first people to populate the American continent came across the Bering Land Bridge from Siberia. James Loewen points out in his book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, this is the only hypothesis being taught; any other potential hypotheses are not mentioned (97). In truth, there are three such working theories scientists believe probable for the peopling of the America’s and may give us the glimpse we seek into Kennewick Man’s own past.

Who were the first to people America is a question with different answers; depending on which theory you hold true. Three main theories are probable and the scientists who study them each have their points to share and stories to tell when explaining; the Beringia Ice Bridge, the Pacific Rim or the Solutrean theories. Dr. James C. Chatters explains the first two theories in detail in his book, Ancient Encounters: Kennewick Man and the First American. The time of Clovis refers to an Ice Age people between 13,500 and 10,000BC, who were named as such for the stone flaked tool known as the Clovis Point (246). Other time frames are known as Pre-Clovis dating prior to 13,500BC and Post-Clovis dating after 10,000BC (249). Within each of these timeframes are varying traditions that added to the change in flake points on tools and blades further narrowing results to a more specific area or regions in most cases. These blade bi-face points, like the one lodged in Kennewick Man’s hip, are what scientists group together and follow across North America to put a semblance of reasoning together about each theory. It is labor intensive, but a most interesting of puzzles to unravel.

Clovis First, otherwise known as the Beringia Ice Bridge is the most accepted theory for the first peoples coming into America (244). Hunters from Siberia walked across the Beringia land bridge and into what is now Alaska during the last great Ice Age and then via an ice free corridor through Canada down over time, continued on to the US and Central America (246). Clovis bi-face stone tools have been found all over the aforementioned areas as testimony to the theory of Clovis people arriving in America (246). The issue is not, was the Clovis culture here, but rather was it here first, to give rise to the other cultures that followed? Dr. Chatters believes it was not here first; the ice free corridor would not have been clear early enough to accommodate these early explorers (247). He also points out that Tom Dillehay, from the University of Kentucky made a discovery in 1984 that shows Clovis culture was not the first culture in the Americas (247). In his book, Dr. Chatters explains how Dillehay, found two campsites buried at Monte Verde, Chile and uncovered technology nothing like Clovis, yet still pre-dated Clovis by 1500 years (248). In fact, there are multiple sites throughout South America that pre-date Clovis and had different technologies, showing that Clovis was indeed, not first (250).

The Pacific Rim theory is gaining proponents as more and more evidence arrives in its support. Starting in the Artic and staying close to the Pacific coastline, ancient sea voyagers followed the coast line down to Alaska, Canada and the US (Chatters: 253). Dr. Chatters book relays archaeologist, Dr. Knut Fladmark’s findings, that marine geology of the Pacific Coast would not have been encased in ice, but rather his studies have shown large areas of land left open in the midst of glacier valleys on the continental shelf (253). Areas specifically now known to be partially free of ice were Kodiak Island, Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Vancouver Island (253). If land was found in areas like these along the Pacific coastline, the other need would be sustainability. The coastline offers an abundance of nourishment from, shellfish, salmon, seals, and whales to seaweed, birds, eggs and land mammals (251). The most obvious need required for this theory is a water vessel, a boat! Unlike stone-age tools which last through the ages, wooden boats would most likely not have survived from such a time period. None have been found to study as yet in America, although scientists have taken to the ocean floor in search of this rare artifact they covet to further prove the Pacific Rim Theory.

The Solutrean theory is by far the most controversial in terms of peopling America (Chatters: 261). Dennis Stanford and Bruce Bradley spend much time detailing how the Solutrean culture could have arrived in North America, in their book, Across Atlantic Ice: America’s Clovis Culture. One of the points they stress throughout their book is that the Clovis point and Solutrean manufacturing processes are nearly identical, although Solutrean culture pre-dates Clovis culture (156). This could be interpreted as Solutrean giving rise to the Clovis culture. When two such processes are practically identical, it cannot be ignored, but where does it fit in? Then comes the controversial part; Solutrean culture is firmly planted in Southwestern France and Northeastern Spain (121). How to bring the theory together from continents away? Drs. Stanford and Bradley theorize that during the last great ice-age, the Solutrean culture was pushed closer to the sea and further developed seafaring ways (125). Looking to find a more hospitable environment, as well as follow hunting patterns, they would have used lightweight stick boats covered in animal skins to navigate between ice berg and floating ice islands from Europe around to Newfoundland and the eastern coastline (216). Once again, evidence of these boats is vague, and the distance suggested not a small feat; however Drs. Stanford and Bradley have another proof of maritime travel in the Solutrean tradition – cave drawings.

El Pendo Cave in Spain and Cosquer Cave in France both carry cave drawings dated from 19,000 to 18,000BC (230). The cave in Spain has pictures of seals, deep sea fish and an Auk, while the cave in France shows a fight over a female by two male Auks (230). How does this show seafaring ability? The Auk nest on islands out in the ocean and the way to witness this and other deep-sea life is to be on the sea - in a boat (230). The Solutrean culture was most definitely not the first to have sea travel. The South Pacific has artifacts dating back to 60,000BC for the islands in Indonesia and continuing to the Solomon Islands dating to 30,000BC; of which scientists agree originated with populations from Southeast Asia (229).

How do the three migration theories help to explain Kennewick Man’s ethnic origins? Based on what has been documented so far; Kennewick Man looks to be of European-Polynesian descent of medium build and height, who ate a diet containing proteins almost solely from the sea. When the Beringia theory is added to Kennewick Man, there are glaring discrepancies. The most obvious being the way they look. The people who came over on the Beringia Ice Bridge were from Southeastern Siberia and had the facial features similar to today’s Native Americas and Native Siberian Mongoloid peoples (Chatters: 144). The second discrepancy is the food noted in Kennewick Man’s diet as being almost total sea life. Those people coming over Beringia and down through the ice free zones would have been Ancestors to Kennewick Man. However, they were too far inland for sea life of any means to support the high concentration found in Kennewick Man, which suggests a life on the sea and then travel to the Columbia Basin where he later died. The Pacific Rim theory rings more closely to a viable candidate for Kennewick Man. This model allows that the persons arriving to the western coast of America could have originated from the Pacific Islands off the coast of Japan (Chatters: 177, Owsley and Jantz: 467). More specifically the ancient Ainu who have lighter skin, curlier hair, heavy facial hair and striking mix European and Polynesian of facial features (Chatters: 183 , Owsley and Jantz: 467). This theory also puts Kennewick Man in the correct time frame himself to be part of the sea voyaging people who arrived on the Pacific Coast and followed tributaries inland. It would explain his high concentration of marine proteins, and yet still account for his burial inland along the banks of the mighty Columbia.

The Solutrean theory has some possibilities, but the theory itself needs more time to come together. Solutrean offers seafaring culture that has the same technology and potential explanation for Kennewick Man’s European appearance. What it lacks is that Solutrean would also be his ancestors, and they would have arrived on the Eastern coast of the US and then slowly migrated West (Stanford and Bradley: 41). This would have predisposed his ancestors to land mammals such as bison, elk and mammoth and not the marine sea life which is so high in Kennewick Man. It is obvious and well established that Kennewick Man was here long before the America’s were colonized. This raises the next debate; why didn’t the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) apply to his remains? In 1990, President George Bush Sr. signed NAGPRA into law giving Native American’s right to any skeletons, cultural artifacts or religious objects they could show a direct lineal association or tribal association too (Chatters: 60, Thomas: 231). In the court case which determined the right to study Kennewick Man, the Department of the Interior’s position was, “… any remains in the United States older than 500 years old are Native American” (Thomas: 232). Judge Jelderks had a question for the Department of the Interior. This summarized question was: If the remains don’t resemble any modern tribe at all, does your position still stand? The Department agreed it did still hold that position. Judge Jelderks next statement was based off the Interiors position; which again summarized, infers a 10,000 year old European would become classified as a Native American, regardless of true heritage (Thomas: 232) The judge warned the Department of the Interior that ancient remains were not referred to in NAGPRA (Thomas: 232). The biggest hurdle with Kennewick Man and NAGPRA is showing a direct lineal or tribal association going back 9000 years ago. In 2002, Judge Jelderks decision was granting the scientists requests to study Kennewick Man on his interpretation that Kennewick Man cannot be linked to any Native America group and therefore is not a Native American and therefore NAGPRA does not apply (Kirkpatrick; 20). Native American’s realized that to fight appeals would be many more years and more money than they afford with no guarantee of a win, or even the case being seen, so decided to not continue (Owsley and Jantz: 100). The Kennewick Man case has pushed the Native American community to try to get NAGPRA law more specifically defined.

Kennewick Man will continue to be a topic of debate for many, many years to come. Until the Army Corps of Engineers allow more in depth and innovative testing such as from a tooth or on the projectile on his hip, there will be no concrete data to his place of origin. To be able to link him to a modern day ethnic group one day would truly be a remarkable moment in history; as he still has much to reveal about a culture long gone. I’m of the belief that NAGPRA does not apply and should not apply to ancient remains such as Kennewick Man. He belongs to the world, for he and his people did populate our world. All three theories support ethnic groups coming from far away. We, as modern people all originated from somewhere, and 9000BC was a long time ago in our world’s history to say who exactly was where and when. These ancient remains should be honored, learned from with the utmost respect, and then put to peace in a sacred place. There is no reason you can’t honor the present while learning from the past. I honor him and the amazing life he must have lived; to me he is the Kennewick Man.

Work Cited

Chatters, James C. Ancient Encounters: Kennewick Man and the First Americans. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2002.

Kirkpatrick, Katherine. Mysterious Bones: The Story of Kennewick Man. NY: Holiday House, 2011.

Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me. NY: The New Press, 2008.

Owsley, Douglas W. and Jantz, Richard L. Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2014.

Stanford, Dennis J. and Bradley, Bruce A. Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture. LA: University of California Press, 2013.

Thomas, David Hurst. Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology, and the Battle for Native American Identity. NY: Basic Books, 2001.