Monday, August 31, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - September 1, 2020

Balto, Simon and Nick Estes. "Confederacy Inc.: Donald Trump, Racist Police, and the Whitewashing of History." Intercepted (July 1, 2020) ["As cases of Covid-19 skyrocket across the U.S. — particularly in states that basked in the glory of the Trump administration’s ignorance and anti-science policies — Trump is passionately focused on defending the legacy of the Confederacy and white supremacist monuments. Native American historian Nick Estes explains the crimes against Indigenous people committed by the four presidents whose faces are carved into Mount Rushmore and describes the story of the Native tribes displaced from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Black Lives Matter demonstrations against police brutality systemic racism continue across the U.S. as calls to defund the police intensify. University of Iowa historian Simon Balto, author of the new book “Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power,” lays out the origins of the Chicago Police Department as a moralistic enforcement agency in the late 1800s and its transformation into a militarized terror force deployed to systemically and violently control Black people in Chicago, while simultaneously crushing movements for workers’ rights, tenant rights, and basic human rights."]

Crawford, James. "The Strange Saga of Kowloon Walled City: Anarchic, organic, surreal, this enclave was once among the most densely populated places on Earth." Atlas Obscura (January 6, 2020)["This is the story of the rise and fall of a slum. It was born out of a quirk of history, it exploited its unsavory reputation, and, as is the fate of all slums, it became an embarrassment before being leveled by the authorities. Is there any greater significance to its story than that? Many would argue not. But while locals and tourists now enjoy the park, some still crave the claustrophobic darkness. Theorists from the wilder shores of architecture keep returning to the idea of Kowloon. On this tiny rectangle of ground, a single community created something that had only existed before in the avant garde imagination: the 'organic megastructure.'"]





Due, Tannarive, et al. "The Horror Noire Education Guide." The Graveyard Shift Sisters (February 11, 2019)

Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne and Abby Martin. "Native American Genocide & Resistance." Empire Files (November 25, 2015) ["Indigenous scholar Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of an ‘Indigenous People’s History of The United States’, joins Abby Martin for this week’s episode of The Empire Files to give insight on the history and present-day struggle of native peoples. Native society, despite pervasive mainstream mythology, was rich in agriculture and was advanced to such a degree that they were appropriated by colonialists. These civilizations were turned into slaves, bought and sold on the market and taken to work in mines and forcibly displaced so they did not have their housing or food supplies. The desire of the colonial forces was to weaken and control native populations so that could occupy and control the land, and use natives for slave labor. Dunbar-Ortiz discusses not only the intention of colonial forces, which included killing off cultural ties and languages, but how native people have survived despite widespread terror campaigns. Armed settlers had to fight against native people in order to maintain dominance. The Plains People, for example, had to endure a “food fight” involving their buffalo. The primary goal of a food fight was to kill off the food supply of civilians so that they starve or give in to the demands of occupying forces. Native resistance today has taken new, creative form—aimed at disrupting normalized dehumanization by the military establishment, sport establishment and school industries, all of which carry names and caricatures of natives which are deeply colonial and racist: from things like Tomahawk missiles to the Redskins sports team. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Abby Martin break down the colonialist fabrications which have long permeated our history books and follow through with how we can join the fight to amplify native voices."]

Gaffney, Adam. "Bill of Health: How Market Logic Hobbles Our Nation's Hospitals." The Baffler #52 (July 2020) ["The consequences of this profit-oriented financing system is a combination of deprivation and excess. That kind of inequality of health care supply has a name. In 1971, the British general practitioner Julian Tudor Hart coined a phrase, the “inverse care law,” that describes it well. “The availability of good medical care,” he wrote in The Lancet, “tends to vary inversely with the need for it in the population served.” Those who need care the most, that is to say, have the least access to it. ... As Hart noted, the “inverse care law operates more completely where medical care is most exposed to market forces, and less so where such exposure is reduced.” As such, the inverse care law is today in operation in the United States like no other high-income nation. But we can change that. We could fund new hospitals and new health infrastructure not from profits, but from the public purse, something that the Medicare for All bills now in Congress, particularly the House version, would achieve. Hospital expansion would then be premised on the basis of health needs, not market logic."]

Johnson, Ian. "From Ai Weiwei, a Portrait of Wuhan’s Draconian Covid Lockdown." The New York Times (August 21, 2020)

Kendi, Ibram X. "Remembering Chadwick Boseman: Ibram X. Kendi on Legacy of Black Panther Actor, Cancer & Anti-Racism." Democracy Now (August 31, 2020)

---. "White Supremacist in the White House: Ibram X. Kendi on Trump’s Calls for 'Law & Order' in Kenosha." Democracy Now (August 31, 2020) ["In Part Two of our interview with Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, we air excerpts from the families of Jacob Blake and George Floyd at the massive protest marking the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, and discuss President Trump’s planned visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he blames Democrats for violence during protests there and in Portland, Oregon. “Racism has spread to every part of the body,” says Kendi, comparing U.S. racism to cancer, “and then we have a president who is claiming that it doesn’t exist.”"]




Linklater, Richard and Ginger Sledge. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?"  Film Comment Podcast (August 21, 2019) ["Dazed and Confused, Boyhood, Before Sunset and beyond—it’s hard to match Richard Linklater when it comes to movies basically about how we find our way through life. And probably a lot of us found our way with the help of Linklater’s thoughtful, restless movies. His latest film Where’d You Go, Bernadette adds another chapter to his work with the story of a woman rediscovering a creative self she left behind when she started a family. It’s a terrific, nervy, and funny performance by Cate Blanchett, with a touching portrait of a mother-daughter relationship. For our latest Film Comment talk at Film at Lincoln Center, we were extremely happy to feature Linklater alongside his producer Ginger Sledge. FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold sat down with the two for a conversation on Bernadette and beyond."]




Sunday, August 30, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - August 30, 2020


Diresta, Renee. "Online Conspiracy Groups Are a Lot Like Cults." Wired (November 13, 2018)

Ford, Phil and J.F. Martel. "On Lovecraft." Weird Studies #29 (October 9, 2018) ["Phil and JF indulge their autumnal mood in this discussion of Howard Phillips Lovecraft's work, specifically the essay "Notes on the Writing of Weird Fiction" and the prose piece "Nyarlathotep." Philip K. Dick, Algernon Blackwood, and David Foster Wallace make appearances as our fearsome hosts talk about how the weird story differs from conventional horror fiction, how Lovecraft gives voice to contemporary fears of physical, psychological and political infection, and how authors like Lovecraft and Dick can be seen as prophetic poets of the "great unbuffering of the Western self.""]




LeBrecht, Jim and Nicole Newnham. "Crip Camp Directors on the Overlooked Disability Rights Movement." At Liberty (July 30, 2020) ["July 26th marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA. The ADA is a federal law that requires businesses, employers, public facilities, schools, and transportation agencies to make accommodations for disabled people, and helps weed out basic discrimination. When President George HW Bush signed the ADA into law in 1990, it was one of the most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation in American history.  But the disability rights movement didn’t begin or end with the ADA. In spite of the law’s existence, Americans with disabilities still face discrimination and other barriers to equal rights and opportunities. Today, even though nearly 50 percent of Americans live with at least one disability, few know the history of the fight for disability rights. With Crip Camp, a new documentary on Netflix, filmmakers Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham fill in some of that history through the personal and political stories that started the rise of a movement."]






Louison, Evan. "Forbidden Truths, the Symmetry of Myth, and a Friendship Uninterrupted by Death: Werner Herzog on Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin." Filmmaker (August 28, 2020)

Mahdawi, Arwa. "The WAP uproar shows conservatives are fine with female sexuality – as long as men control it." The Guardian (August 15, 2020)

Martel, J.F. "Consciousness in the Aesthetic Imagination." Metapsychosis (July 11, 2016)




Minervini, Roberto, et al. "Roberto Minervini & Subjects on What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?" Film at Lincoln Center Podcast #240 (August 14, 2019) ["Roberto Minervini’s passionately urgent, lyrical new documentary is a portrait of African-Americans in New Orleans struggling to maintain their unique cultural identity and to find social justice. The film was an official selection at the 56th New York Film Festival, where the director, producer Paolo Benzi, producer Denise Ping Lee, and the film’s subjects, Judy Hill, Krystal Muhammad, and Nat Turner, joined FLC Director of Programming Dennis Lim for a Q&A."]

Oates, Joyce Carol. "On Her Dystopian Novel Hazards of Time Travel." Berkeley Talks (August 7, 2020) ["Joyce Carol Oates, author of more than 70 works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, joined Poet Laureate and Berkeley English professor Robert Hass in March 2019 to discuss her 2018 book Hazards of Time Travel. Set in a dystopian America in 2039, the novel tells the story of a 17-year-old high school student who, after her subversive valedictorian speech, is exiled to rural Wisconsin in 1959. “It seems like dystopian novels are mostly about extrapolating scary political trends in the present into the future,” said Hass. “1984. The Handmaid’s Tale. It felt like you found yourself more interested in exploring 1959.” “Or the sort of foundation for the present,” replied Oates, a professor emerita of humanities at Princeton University who has taught as a visiting professor of English at Berkeley. “… Because when I wrote the novel — I was working on it in 2011 — I had no idea at all, as none of us did, that we would have a different kind of political situation today. “… My novel was written before the campaign of 2016, which was a vicious and wildly divisive campaign from which we will probably never recover. No, I was actually looking ahead toward a surveillance state, which doesn’t have that populist personality demagogue, who’s like a clown, a sadistic clown, who’s very vicious and funny in an ignorant way, playing to the populous. “In my vision, it’s more of a surveillance state, where the government is actually impersonal, and you never see a personality. … It’s more like, it’s just all around us. We’re in a mesh, a web, of being surveyed and recorded all the time.”"]

Schultz, David. "COVID-19 and the Nakedness of the Corporate University." CounterPunch (August 25, 2020)

Zadrozny, Brandy. "With #SaveTheChildren Rallies, QAnon Sneaks Into The Offline World." On the Media (August 26, 2020) ["On Saturday, more than 200 cities from Spokane to Scranton saw modest rallies for a cause so pure, so unifying, that who in their right mind wouldn’t want to join in? "Save the children" was the chant and child trafficking the scourge. But lately it is a movement being hijacked from within, which is just the latest instance of the QAnon conspiracy theory spilling out of its online domain. This we know from reporting by NBC News investigative reporter Brandy Zadrozny, along with reporter Ben Collins. In this podcast extra, Zadrozny explains how these rallies function as "information laundering," and how local journalists have inadvertantly taken part in QAnon's recruitment strategy."]

Monday, August 24, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - August 24, 2020




Barnard, Clio and Andrew Kötting. "Dark River." The Cinematologists #58 (February 22, 2018) ["The arrival of a new film by Clio Barnard promises an in-depth and uncompromising study of character and place; Dark River, her new film set in the harsh and beautiful Yorkshire farming landscape, is no exception. The northern locale links to her previous films The Arbor and The Self Giant, as does the bleak and brutal tragedy of the human stories. However, this rural tale, based on the Rose Tremain novel Trespass, is somewhat of a departure from the urban working-class focus of those previous films. In this Q&A, presented in association with Cinecity, Clio talks about the film with long-time friend Andrew Kötting, touching on the development of the script from the book, the casting, her minimalist aesthetic, the P.J. Harvey soundtrack and the challenges of the rural locations."]

Black, Jeremy. "What are Empires and Why Do They Matter?" Arguing History (November 14, 2019)




Bramble, Serena. "The Heart is a “Lonely” Hunter: On Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place." Senses of Cinema #59 (June 2011)

Davis, Erik. "Weird Shit." Boing Boing (July 14, 2014)

Michael Denniston and Dave Giannini "Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation." A Podcast Directed By (July 7, 2019)

Morris, Errol. "Anatomy of a Photograph: Authoritarianism in America." The Atlantic (August 22, 2020)

Robinson, Andrew. "Bakhtin: Carnival against Capital, Carnival against Power." Cease Fire (September 9, 2011) ["The dominant worldview of medieval Europe was of a natural order which is hierarchical, stable, monolithic and immutable, but poised on the brink of disaster or ‘cosmic terror’, and hence in need of constant maintenance of order. This is similar to Aristotle’s view. For Bakhtin, such a view is oppressive and intolerant. It closes language to change. The fear of ‘cosmic terror’, the pending collapse of order if things got out of control (or the threat posed by the Real to the master-signifier), was used by elites to justify hierarchy and to subdue popular revolt and critical consciousness. Today, we might think of this vision of monolithic order in terms of fantasies of ‘broken Britain’, of civilisation under siege from extremists, and a discourse of risk-management (and the crisis-management of ‘ungovernability’) in which ‘terrorism’, disease, protest, deviance and natural disaster fuse into a secularised vision of cosmic collapse. This vision of collapse has infiltrated legal and political discourse to such a degree that any excess of state power seems ‘proportionate’ against this greater evil. The folk view expressed in carnival and carnivalesque, and related speech-genres such as swearing and popular humour, opposes and subverts this vision. For Bakhtin, cosmic terror and the awe induced by the system’s violent power are the mainstays of its affective domination. Folk culture combats the fear created by cosmic terror.""]






Totaro, Donato. "Female Empowerment in the “Small World” films of Midsommar (2019, Ari Aster) and The Other Lamb (2019, Malgorzata Szumowska)." Off Screen 23.12 (December 2019)








Saturday, August 22, 2020

Dialogic Encounters

I'm not trying to convert anyone to any perspective/worldview (although I'm not opposed to people seeing things my way). I just want to live in a world in which people know the texts/people/systems they hold such faith/importance in and that they are able to think/talk about their ideas/beliefs in a critical manner and that they are comfortable putting their ideas/faith into dialogue with other ways of seeing & being. I'm talking about actually knowing the basis of your ideologies/worldviews - it seems like a basic thing.
It may be the impossible dream, but it is mine 

Bluegrass Film Society Schedules (Archive of Past Seasons)

Fall 2022

Fall 2020


Spring 2020

Fall 2019

Spring 2019

Fall 2018

Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

Fall 2016

Summer 2016

Spring 2016

Fall 2015

Spring 2015

Fall 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Summer 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012

Spring 2012

Fall 2011

Summer 2011

Spring 2011

Spring 2010

Fall 2009

2006-2007

Fall 2020 Bluegrass Film Society

August 29: Midsommar (USA/Sweden: Ari Aster, 2019: 148 mins)

September 1: Crip Camp (USA: Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham, 2020: 106 mins)

September 2: The Addiction (USA: Abel Ferrara, 1995: 82 mins)

September 8: Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (USA: Xavier Burgin, 2019: 83 mins)

September 9: Stalker (Soviet Union: Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979: 161 mins)

September 10: A Touch of Zen (Taiwan: King Hu, 1971: 180 minutes)

September 14: Bait (UK: Mark Jenkin, 2019: 89 mins)

September 15: The Ox-Bow Incident (USA: William A. Wellman, 1942: 75 mins)




Friday, August 21, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - August 22, 2020







Alsop, Elizabeth. "All Together Now." Film Quarterly (August 20, 2020)

Benton, Michael. "The Recommended Films of 2019." Letterboxd (Ongoing Archive)

Crombie, Zoe. "The Beautiful Mundanity of Studio Ghibli." The Skinny (January 31, 2020)






Koski, Genvieve, et al. "Hollywood Endings: Pt. 1 Shampoo." The Next Picture Show #188 (August 13, 2019) ["Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD filters its wistful look at the end of an era through the lens of a real historical event (albeit one altered for the film), an approach that mirrors the one taken by director Hal Ashby and star/co-writer Warren Beatty in 1975’s SHAMPOO, which situates its late-1960s Hollywood satire within the broader sociopolitical context of the Nixon presidential election. Both films concern characters looking out at an uncertain future and fearing what unhappy endings might await them, and both function as after-the-fact reflections on a turning point in Hollywood, and American, history. In this half of our pairing we dive into SHAMPOO to consider how well it’s aged, whether it feels prophetic about our current reality, and to what extent we’re meant to sympathize with/pity its lothario protagonist."]

---. "Hollywood Endings: Pt. 2 Once Upon A Time in Hollywood." The Next Picture Show #189 (August 20, 2019) ["Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD looks back at 1969 Hollywood from a 2019 vantage point, where Hal Ashby’s 1975 satire SHAMPOO examines that same era from a much closer distance, but the two films share a funny but bittersweet outlook on what would turn out to be a turning point in history. In this half of our pairing of 1969-set “Hollywood endings,” we share our responses to Tarantino’s newest film, and to some of the discussion surrounding it, before diving into what links these two films, including their shared focus on a single event as a historical turning point, and their respective engagement, or lack thereof, with the counterculture."]




Newman, Nick. "Michael Almereyda on the Cinematic Collage of Tesla and Defying Biopic Conventions." The Film Stage (August 18, 2020)














Sunday, August 16, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - August 16, 2020

Biagetti, Samuel. "In the Ocean of Land: The History of Central Asia (Pt. 2)." Historiansplaining (August 13, 2019) ["We trace how the conquests of the infamous Tamerlane, the “great game” of imperial rivalry, and the revolutions of modern Russia shaped the map of central Asia that we see today. We consider how contemporary central Asians try to navigate the dangerous shoals of environmental disaster and rampant corruption, often while tethered to older Islamic, Turko-Mongolic, and nomadic traditions -- particularly in the looming shadow of a resurgent China."]

Cohen, Michael A. and Micah Zenko. "Threat-Mongering in America." Yale University Press Blog #72 (March 28, 2019) ["The greatest threats to America are often overblown, and the world is a much safer place than we’re led to believe. How does this happen and what can we do about it?"]




Harris, Laura Ann, et al. "Romeo and Juliet at the Movies." 21st Folio (April 11, 2016) ["In this episode, we discuss two modern film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet: Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film, starring Olivia Hussey as Juliet, and Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 modern dress film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the star-crossed lovers."]

McDonald, Soraya Nadia. "New American Songbook." Film Comment (January/February 2020) ["Composer Nicholas Britell nurtures storytelling melodies into being that are acutely attuned to the contemporary moment."]

"Podcasts/Videocasts." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Online Archive)

Prentice, Deborah and Robb Willer. "Pluralistic Ignorance: The psychology behind why people defend the norms they secretly despise." You Are Not So Smart #181 (July 30, 2020)

Robinson, Andrew. "Anarchism, War and the State." CeaseFire (August 6, 2010) ["This article summarises how a number of anarchist and anarchistic authors view the relationship between the state and war."]

---. "Bakhtin: Dialogism, Polyphony and Heteroglossia." CeaseFire (July 29, 2011) ["In the latest addition to his A-Z of Theory series, political theorist Andrew Robinson introduces, in a two-part essay, the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, one of the most important theorists of discourse in the twentieth century."]

Roose, Kevin. "QAnon Followers Are Hijacking the #SaveTheChildren Movement." The New York Times (August 12, 2020) ["Fans of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory are clogging anti-trafficking hotlines, infiltrating Facebook groups and raising false fears about child exploitation."]

VanderMeer, Jeff. "When Science Fiction is Fiction." On the Media (August 14, 2020) ["While apocalyptic narratives have been part of popular culture for centuries and are common subject matter for films and literature, such stories now seem scarily realistic given the increasing impact of climate change. Brooke speaks with science fiction writer Jeff VanderMeer about the responsibility of fiction to illuminate the threats of climate change and human degradation of the planet, and how he imagines what our existence will look like in the coming years. His novel is Borne, and part of his Southern Reach Trilogy has been adapted as a movie."]

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Michael D. Benton: Listening for the Impossible

So many friends lost through time, through neglect and through conflict. So many dead, some institutionalized, and some just disappeared back into the void. “I will continue to begin again … and I’ll have to wander all alone in this long conversation that we were supposed to have together.” Spectral visitors stay my hand reminding me that there are no final answers, only questions that produce more questions.

Popular culture haunts my questions and mocks my unrest by co-opting it for entertainment: “I know why you hardly sleep. Why you live alone and why night after night you sit at your computer. … I know because I was once looking for the same thing. … It’s the question that drives us."

My spectral guides condemn those that have escaped into this cultural amnesia of recycled consumer pleasures. Yet, I wonder if we can truly blame these defectors for choosing the tender steak over the complex gruel? When were they offered an opportunity to believe otherwise: “Your soul is like an appendix! I don’t even use it!”

The ubiquitous screens encourage me to escape into their warm embrace and forget the outside world:
The television screen is the retina of the mind’s eye. Therefore the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore whatever appears on the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore television is reality, and reality is less than television.
Rejecting the siren's lure, I turn everything off and find a quiet place far away from the competing voices. I am listening for the emergence of a being, another who escapes my comprehension, this listening requires a transition to a new dimension of understanding. I am listening to you: although I do not understand what you are saying, I am attentive to your silence amongst history’s mentions, I am attempting to understand and hear your intention.

Which does not mean: I comprehend you, or that I know you … No, I am listening to you as someone that I do not truly know … with you but not as you … I reside in a realm of absolute silence in order to hear what you have to say or what is left unsaid or what reverberates from the unknown. I quest for new words, for new meanings, for new modes of understandings that will bridge this river of silence … for an alliance of possibilities that will not reduce the Other to an item of property or a subject to be mastered. This unspeakable silence is a rift that shatters the boundaries of my life in order to produce a conflagration of meanings that sears the forest of my consciousness clearing the way for new growths. Perhaps, as the borders of my psyche that restrain my various selves breaks-up there will be the productive explosion of new life spreading across my interior landscape. Chaos enters my realm and produces … impossibilities.

“Perhaps the impossible is the only chance of something new, of some new philosophy of the new … Perhaps friendship, if there is such a thing, must honor ... what appears impossible here." Where are the friends that ask questions of the dominant and seek the impossible? I dream of relationships yet to come, radical questioning as a politics of creative imagination that refuses to be silenced. I await a new politics, new friendships and new possibilities... in the meantime I'm not afraid to say I really don't know the answers, but I am still asking questions. For that I am thankful!

Patchwork Cast:
Jacques Derrida’s eulogy for Gilles Deleuze: “I’ll Have to Wander Alone.”
The character Trinity speaking to Neo in the movie The Matrix
Michael Kelso on That 70s Show
Brian O'Blivion in David Cronenberg's film Videodrome
Luce Irigaray's The Way of Love and To Be Two
Jacques Derrida's Politics of Friendship

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Quicksilver Dreams & Hidden Realities


Quicksilver Dreams & Hidden Realities

Standing on the shore of Quiddity I cast my consciousness to catch quicksilver dreams that will nurture me with glimpses of hidden realities.

Recognizing that there are other realities, other possibilities, other journeys, other methods, is the path of wisdom. Learning how to engage with them is the essence of Art in all its manifestations.

The possibility for true peace is only ever realized when differences learn to co-exist. No need to assimilate, conquer, conform, or convert. Crusades are for the insecure; instead we will create an environment in which people will be encouraged to continuously become what they would be.

Peace and love

 Michael D. Benton

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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)

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 (available online)

"Citizenfour producers sued for 'aiding' Edward Snowden." 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)

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)

Glennon, Michael J. National Security and Double Government. Oxford University Press, 2015.

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 Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Online 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)

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." ]

---. "Private Contractors Play Key Role in U.S. Intelligence’s 'Creeping Authoritarianism.'" Democracy Now (September 30, 2019) ["As a whistleblower complaint against President Trump rocks Washington, Democrats begin an impeachment inquiry and Trump threatens “big consequences” for the person who came forward, we continue our conversation with one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers: Edward Snowden, now in exile in Russia. Six years ago, he shocked the world when he leaked a trove of secret documents about how the United States had built a massive surveillance apparatus to collect every single phone call, text message and email, and pry into the private lives of every person on Earth. He has just published a memoir titled “Permanent Record.” In Part 2 of our interview, he talks about how the government initially attempted to say that he was just an outside contractor and not a key figure, but he describes the central role contractors play in the intelligence community." Part 2: "Snowden Reveals How He Secretly Exposed NSA Criminal Wrongdoing Without Getting Arrested." Part 3: "Whistleblower Edward Snowden on Trump, Obama & How He Ended Up in Russia to Avoid U.S. Extradition."]

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)

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."]





















Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - August 11, 2020

Applebaum, Anne, et al. "A Kind of Permanent Battle." On the Media (August 7, 2020) ["As we approach November’s contentious presidential election, what lessons can we learn from divided societies abroad? This week, On the Media travels to Poland, where conspiracy, xenophobia and the rise of illiberalism have the country in an existential fight for its future. On the Media producer Leah Feder reports in this 3 part episode: 1) Anne Applebaum on the conspiracy theories around a 2010 plane crash that redrew lines in Polish politics. 2) Pawel Machcewicz on the Law & Justice party's takeover of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk. Also featuring Anne Applebaum, Janine Holc, and Angieszka Syroka. 3) An exploration of left and right strategies in contemporary Poland, with Igor Stokfiszewski, Anne Applebaum, and Jaroslaw Kuisz."]

Dickey, Colin. "The Suburban Horror of the Indian Burial Ground." The New Republic (October 19, 2016) ["In the 1970s and 1980s, homeowners were terrified by the idea that they didn't own the land they'd just bought."]

Edwards, Kellee. "The Other Side of Fear." Women on the Road #100 (July 17, 2020) ["It feels more important than ever to re-think our role models. And adventure travel journalist, pilot, and deep water diver Kellee Edwards is someone who’s been paving a path on the road, in the air, and around the globe for years. It’s not just her passion to take herself to new heights that we’re inspired by though-- it’s the way she wants to bring everyone else with her."]

Evans, Richard and Bryan Stevenson. "How Germany Can Help America Remember." On the Media (July 3, 2020) ["It’s often said the North won the Civil War, but the South won the narrative. That’s why the battle still rages, and still takes casualties, every single day. To chronicle the opening of a new front in the war over the Civil War, Brooke and OTM producer Alana Casanova Burgess went to Montgomery, the first capital of the Confederacy, to speak with public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson about his new civil rights museum and memorial. When it comes to honoring and learning from our historical ills, Stevenson says America should look to another conflicted capital city, Berlin, Germany. In this piece, Brooke also speaks with historian Sir Richard Evans, author of The Third Reich in History and Memory, about how vestiges of the Nazi regime have been carefully curated to remember the victims of the Holocaust without reverence for their oppressors."]

Hancock, James and Victor Rodriguez. "Top Ten Lovecraft Adaptations." Wrong Reel #489 (December 2019)

Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra. "Andrzej Żuławski and the powerlessness of language." Overland (February 25, 2016)

Yong, Ed. "How the Pandemic Defeated America: Ed Yong on How COVID-19 Humiliated Planet’s Most Powerful Nation." Democracy Now (August 11, 2020) ["As the world passes a grim milestone of 20 million coronavirus cases, we look at how the pandemic humbled and humiliated the world’s most powerful country. Over a quarter of the confirmed infections and deaths have been in the United States, which has less than 5% of the world’s population. Ed Yong, a science writer at The Atlantic who has been covering the pandemic extensively since March, says existing gaps in the U.S. social safety net and the Trump administration’s “devastatingly inept response” made for a deadly combination."]








This Video Essay Was Not Built on an Ancient Burial Ground from Offscreen on Vimeo.



Sunday, August 9, 2020

James C. Scott: Agrarian Studies/Anarchism/Anthropology/Political Economy/Political Science/

Carson, Kevin A. "Legibility & Control: Themes in the Work of James C. Scott." Center for a Stateless Society #12 (Winter/Spring 2012)

Cummings, Mike. "James C. Scott honored for cross-disciplinary contributions." Yale News (July 1, 2020)

Ferron, Benjamin. "‘When the revolution becomes the State it becomes my enemy again’: An interview with James C. Scott." The Conversation (June 20, 2018)

Plender, Celia and Harry G. West. "An Interview with James C. Scott." Gastronomica (Fall 2015)

Robinson, Andrew. "Bakhtin: Carnival against Capital, Carnival against Power." Cease Fire (September 9, 2011) ["The dominant worldview of medieval Europe was of a natural order which is hierarchical, stable, monolithic and immutable, but poised on the brink of disaster or ‘cosmic terror’, and hence in need of constant maintenance of order. This is similar to Aristotle’s view. For Bakhtin, such a view is oppressive and intolerant. It closes language to change. The fear of ‘cosmic terror’, the pending collapse of order if things got out of control (or the threat posed by the Real to the master-signifier), was used by elites to justify hierarchy and to subdue popular revolt and critical consciousness. Today, we might think of this vision of monolithic order in terms of fantasies of ‘broken Britain’, of civilisation under siege from extremists, and a discourse of risk-management (and the crisis-management of ‘ungovernability’) in which ‘terrorism’, disease, protest, deviance and natural disaster fuse into a secularised vision of cosmic collapse. This vision of collapse has infiltrated legal and political discourse to such a degree that any excess of state power seems ‘proportionate’ against this greater evil. The folk view expressed in carnival and carnivalesque, and related speech-genres such as swearing and popular humour, opposes and subverts this vision. For Bakhtin, cosmic terror and the awe induced by the system’s violent power are the mainstays of its affective domination. Folk culture combats the fear created by cosmic terror.""]

Schuessler, Jennifer. "Professor Who Learns From Peasants." The New York Times (December 4, 2015)

Scott, James C. Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. Yale University Press, 2017.

---. "Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States." New Books in Political Science (June 3, 2020) ["We are schooled to believe that states formed more or less synchronously with settlement and agriculture. In Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (Yale University Press, 2017), James C. Scott asks us to question this belief. The evidence, he says, is simply not on the side of states. Stratified, taxing, walled towns did not inevitably appear in the wake of crop domestication and sedentary settlement. Only around 3100 BCE, some four millennia after the earliest farming and settling down, did they begin making their presence felt. What happened in these four millennia is the subject of this book: a deep history by “a card-carrying political scientist and an anthropologist and environmentalist by courtesy”, which aims to put the earliest states in their place. James Scott joins us ... to talk about state fragility and state persistence from Mesopotamia to Southeast Asia, the politics of cereal crops, domestication and reproduction, why it was once good to be a barbarian, the art of provocation, the views of critics, and, human and animal species relations and zoonoses in our epidemiological past and pandemic present."]

---. "Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States." Slavery and Its Legacies (April 13, 2017) ["James Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is Director of the Agrarian Studies Program. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has held grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Science, Science, Technology and Society Program at M.I.T., and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. He is currently teaching Agrarian Studies and Rebellion, Resistance and Repression. Recent publications include Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Yale University Press, 1997; “Geographies of Trust: Geographies of Hierarchy,” in Democracy and Trust, 1998; “State Simplifications and Practical Knowledge,” in People’s Economy, People’s Ecology, 1998; and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale Press, 2009)."]

---. Domination and the Arts of Resistance. Yale University Press, 1990.

---. "Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance." Libcom (January 24, 2012) ["'Everyday resistance' is the most common form of opposition to oppression. It consists of footdragging, non-compliance, pilfering, desertion, feigned ignorance, slander, arson, sabotage, flight etc... James C. Scott's article is the classic statement on 'everyday resistance.'"]

---. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press, 1998.

---. Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play. Princeton University Press, 2012.

Scott, James C., et al. "The Trouble with the View From Above." Cato Unbound (September 8, 2010) ["In his lead essay, James C. Scott reviews some of the key concepts from his seminal book Seeing Like a State. For a state to exercise its power across a large population, it must simplify, codify, and and regularize local practices. This process of flattening, or of making local practice “legible,” is not without costs. In the past, states have quite literally missed the forest — with many different valuable products, including food, shelter, medicines, and clothing — for the trees, or timber, that they contain. And that is not the least of states’ errors in this regard; even in the twentieth century, high modern building practices and management techniques have neglected local variation and local knowledge, often to the detriment of state and non-state actors alike. These faults are regular, predictable, and worthy of further study. Provocatively, Scott closes his essay with a warning: Large actors in a market will often find themselves seeing like a state, too." - followed by a series of invited essay responses to the essay.]

Wade, Francis. "Most Resistance Does Not Speak Its Name: An Interview with James C. Scott." Los Angeles Review of Books (January 22, 2018)

















Dialogic Cinephilia - August 10, 2020

Engley, Ryan and Todd McGowan. "Blade Runner 2049." Why Theory (October 23, 2017) ["In this episode, Todd and Ryan discuss Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049. The conversation centers around how the film depicts ideology and what we mean when we say "ideology"; how the film conceives of desire ensuring subjectivity; and how the relationship between police and capital in the film exposes a link to how the two function in everyday life."]

Ford, Phil and J.F. Martel. "Weird Music, Part One." Weird Studies #27 (September 26, 2018) ["In this first of two episodes devoted to the music of the weird, Phil and JF discuss two works that have bowled them over: the second movement of Ligeti's Musica Ricercata, used to powerful effect in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, and the opening music to Cronenberg's film Naked Lunch, composed by Howard Shore and featuring the inimitable stylings of Ornette Coleman. After teasing out the intrinsic weirdness of music in general, the dialogue soars over a strange country rife with shadows, mad geniuses, and skittering insects. And to top it all off, Phil breaks out the grand piano."]

Gessen, Masha, Gary Hart and Martha Minnow. "American Autocracy." Open Source (August 6, 2020) ["What we know about our presidential race 90 days from the finish, perhaps all anyone knows, is that a wounded Donald Trump will not go quietly, if he goes at all, if he does not invoke emergency powers to cancel the election. The thought this hour was—and still is—to draw out the astute Russian-and-American diagnostician Masha Gessen, a resistance figure in two countries and author of a new book titled Surviving Autocracy. But then the plot thickened, particularly around the mayhem in Oregon after federal shock-troops had landed, over the objections of state governor, city mayor, and a militant wall of moms. A grave but lonely warning turned up in a New York Times guest-opinion piece. It was written by the sometime Colorado senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart, who joined this week’s conversation from his cabin a few mountains away from Denver."]

Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra. "Furious and Furiosa." Overland (May 15, 2019)

Lennard, Natasha. "Ted Cruz’s Hearing on Anarchist Protest Violence Was a Total Farce." The Intercept (August 5, 2020) ["Cruz kept mentioning Democrats’ failure to condemn a murder that was actually carried out by the far right — and refused to be corrected."]

Liu, Rebecca. "A Hellish Commons: Bong Joon-Ho's Parasite." Another Gaze (February 13, 2020)

Scott, James. "Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States." Slavery and Its Legacies (April 13, 2017) ["James Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is Director of the Agrarian Studies Program. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has held grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Science, Science, Technology and Society Program at M.I.T., and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. He is currently teaching Agrarian Studies and Rebellion, Resistance and Repression. Recent publications include Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Yale University Press, 1997; “Geographies of Trust: Geographies of Hierarchy,” in Democracy and Trust, 1998; “State Simplifications and Practical Knowledge,” in People’s Economy, People’s Ecology, 1998; and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale Press, 2009)."]

Zoller, Matt. "Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy." World in Time (November 22, 2019) ["'There are many arguments for what is at the root cause of our current social dysfunction,' journalist Matt Stoller writes at the beginning of his book Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy. 'Various explanations include the prevalence of racism, automation, the rise of China, inadequate education or training, the spread of the internet, Donald Trump, the collapse of political norms, or globalization. Many of these explanations have merit. But there’s another much simpler explanation of what is going on. Our systems are operating the way that they were designed to. In the 1970s, we decided as a society that it would be a good idea to allow private financiers and monopolists to organize our world. As a result, what is around us is a matrix of monopolies, controlling our lives and manipulating our communities and our politics. This is not just happenstance. It was created. The constructs shaping our world were formed as ideas, put into law, and now they are our economic and social reality. Our reality is formed not just of monopolized supply chains and brands, but an entire language that precludes us from even noticing, from discussing the concentrated power all around us.'"]







Friday, August 7, 2020

Naked Lunch (Canada/UK/Japan: David Cronenberg, 1991)




Naked Lunch (Canada/UK/Japan: David Cronenberg, 1991: 115 mins)

"David Cronenberg." Moving Image Source (January 11, 1992) ["The Canadian director David Cronenberg has redefined the notion of what a horror film can be. While horror and science-fiction films traditionally have been about threats from the outside—monsters or alien forces—Cronenberg's films (including The Brood and The Fly) have been about threats that come from inside our own bodies, and our psyches. It was fitting, then, that Cronenberg should be the director to adapt William S. Burroughs's novel Naked Lunch, with its grotesque and comical mix of the organic, the chemical, and the hallucinatory."]

"Explore the Making of ‘Cosmopolis,’ ‘Naked Lunch,’ ‘Spider,’ ‘Eastern Promises,’ and More." The Film Stage (January 13, 2016)

Flores, Steven. "The Auteurs: David Cronenberg (Part 1)." Cinema Axis (October 28, 2013)

---. "The Auteurs: David Cronenberg (Part 2)." Cinema Axis (October 30, 2013)

Ford, Phil and J.F. Martel. "David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch." Weird Studies #25 (September 12, 2018) ["JF and Phil head for Interzone in an attempt to solve the enigma of Naked Lunch, David Cronenberg's 1991 screen adaptation of William S. Burroughs' infamous 1959 novel. A treatise on addiction, a diagnosis of modern ills, a lucid portrait of the artist as cosmic transgressor, and like the book, "a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork," Naked Lunch is here framed in the light Cronenberg's recent speech making the case for the crime of art."]

---. "Weird Music, Part One." Weird Studies #27 (September 26, 2018) ["In this first of two episodes devoted to the music of the weird, Phil and JF discuss two works that have bowled them over: the second movement of Ligeti's Musica Ricercata, used to powerful effect in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, and the opening music to Cronenberg's film Naked Lunch, composed by Howard Shore and featuring the inimitable stylings of Ornette Coleman. After teasing out the intrinsic weirdness of music in general, the dialogue soars over a strange country rife with shadows, mad geniuses, and skittering insects. And to top it all off, Phil breaks out the grand piano."]

Hampton, Howard. "Double Extremity: Judy Davis in Naked Lunch." Current (February 5, 2020)

Indiana, Gary. "Naked Lunch: Burroughs." The Current (April 9, 2013)

Kuersten, Erich. "CinemArchetype #4: The Hanged Man." Acidemic  (February 12, 2012)

---. "Quilty Makes This World: 12 Tricksters (CinemArchetype #1)." Acidemic (January 23, 2012)

Land, Joshua. "Migrating Forms: David Cronenberg and the challenge of the impossible adaptation." Moving Image Source (February 3, 2012)

Lattimer, James. "Evolving Mantras and Restricted Vocabularies." The Notebook (February 23, 2015)

Maslin, Janet. "Naked Lunch: Drifting in and Out of a Kafkaesque Reality." Current (April 9, 2013)

Newman, Nick. "Explore the Making of ‘Cosmopolis,’ ‘Naked Lunch,’ ‘Spider,’ ‘Eastern Promises,’ and More." The Film Stage (January 13, 2016)

Rich, Jamie S. "Naked Lunch." Criterion Confessions #220 (March 23, 2008)

Rodley, Chris. "Naked Lunch: So Deep in My Heart That You’re Really a Part of Me." The Current (April 9, 2013)

Rucker, Rudy. "Cronenberg’s NAKED LUNCH as Transreal SF." Rudy's Blog (January 25, 2011)

---. "Power Chords, Thought Experiments, Transrealism and Monomyths." (Talk at Readercon, July 12, 2003)

"Today's Word: Mugwump." Logophilius (June 17, 2009)


























Thursday, August 6, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - August 6, 2020

Breznican, Anthony. "Black Storytellers Are Using Horror to Battle Hate." Vanity Fair (August 3, 2020) ["After Get Out, movies such as Antebellum, the upcoming Candyman retelling, and other tales of terror and the macabre are part of a cultural exorcism centuries in the making."]

Devine, Tom. "Frank Serpico Has Seen This All Before." On the Media (July 31, 2020) ["In recent months, we've been able to witness police misconduct from anywhere in the nation, via smartphone video captured by civilians and activists on the ground. More often than not, though, the only witnesses to police misconduct are the victims of it, as well as any other cops on the scene. But history shows that overwhelmingly cops seldom inform on one another — partly because of an omertà-like honor code, the so-called "blue wall of silence," and partly due to fear of retaliation from their colleagues. Which is why, according to Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project (GAP), police reforms are all but useless without protection for those courageous and honorable enough to blow the whistle. Bob spoke with Tom about GAP's efforts to embed protections for police whistleblowers into law enforcement reform legislation. The most famous American cop-whistleblower is Frank Serpico, who in the late 1960s reported widespread corruption and brutality in New York City’s police department. His complaints led to a New York Times expose, an official commission exploring police corruption and, in 1973, the movie Serpico, which dramatized his struggle and the price he paid for his honesty. When he was shot in the face during a 1971 drug enforcement operation, his fellow officers refused to summon help and left him for dead. He lives, and so does his half-century-long struggle for accountability. He told Bob that change in police departments is possible, but that it would require overhauling the cultural traditions many police officers cherish."]

Ford, Phil and J.F. Martel. "David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch." Weird Studies #25 (September 12, 2018) ["JF and Phil head for Interzone in an attempt to solve the enigma of Naked Lunch, David Cronenberg's 1991 screen adaptation of William S. Burroughs' infamous 1959 novel. A treatise on addiction, a diagnosis of modern ills, a lucid portrait of the artist as cosmic transgressor, and like the book, "a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork," Naked Lunch is here framed in the light Cronenberg's recent speech making the case for the crime of art."]

---. "Does Consciousness Exist, Part One." and "Does Consciousness Exist, Part Two." Weird Studies #17 & #18 (June 6 & June 13, 2018) ["In this first part of their discussion of William James' classic essay in radical empiricism, "Does 'Consciousness' Exist?", Phil and JF talk about the various ways we use the slippery C-word in contemporary culture. The episode touches on the political charge of the concept of consciousness, the unholy marriage of materialism and idealism ("Kant is the ultimate hipster"), the role of consciousness in the workings of the weird -- basically, anything but the essay in question. That will come in part two." & "JF and Phil finally get down to brass tacks with William James's essay 'Does Consciousness Exist?' At the heart of this essay is the concept of what James calls 'pure experience,' the basic stuff of everything, only it isn't a stuff, but an irreducible multiplicity of everything that exists -- thoughts as well as things. We're used to thinking that thoughts and things belong to fundamentally different orders of being, but what if thoughts are things, too? For one thing, psychical phenomena (a great interest of James's) suddenly become a good deal more plausible. And the imaginal realm, where art and magic make their home, becomes a sovereign domain."]

Robin, Corey. "The Supreme Court Justice with the Most to Say." On the Media (July 31, 2020) ["Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is hardly the quietest member of the bench. In hundreds of opinions authored during his tenure — longer than any of his present colleagues' — Thomas has elaborated upon a vision first instilled in him by a stern, business-minded grandfather and later cemented during a turbulent undergraduate education, spent protesting racial injustice, debating Black nationalist principles, and memorizing passages of Malcolm X. And despite a deliberate post-college turn toward capitalism and political futilitarianism, his original comprehensive view of America persists: our national government is incapable of bettering the lives of Black Americans, just as white Americans are forever incapable of dismantling their own racism. Still, Thomas remains baffling to some — an enigma, as some senators put it during his confirmation hearings more than twenty years ago. An analysis of Thomas's biography and jurisprudence by author and political scientist Corey Robin, The Enigma of Clarence Thomas, leaves no room for confusion. In this segment, originally aired last November, Brooke speaks with Robin about Thomas's views on criminal justice, affirmative action, capitalism, racial equality, and ultimately the fate of the nation."]

Umansky, Eric. "A Fight Over Cop Misconduct Records Continues." On the Media (July 31, 2020) ["Among the concrete victories for the Black Lives Matter movement this year was the repeal of the decades-old New York State statute 50-a, opening to public scrutiny thousands of records of citizen complaints against the police. Earlier this month, New York City’s police unions joined a suit to block the wholesale release of such data — in particular, a trove of 81,000 records that had been quickly obtained by the New York Civil Liberties Union. On the theory that a data dump would ring a bell that could never be un-rung, a federal judge overseeing the matter ordered NYCLU to keep the data secret for the time being. But several days later, the digital news outlet ProPublica began ringing that un-un-ringable bell. This past Sunday they released a database which describes, in limited detail, thousands of allegations made against thousands of New York Police Department officers. ProPublica described the database as “an unprecedented picture of civilians complaints of abuse by NYPD officers as well as the limits of the current system that is supposed to hold officers accountable.” Bob and ProPublica deputy managing editor Eric Umansky discuss the database, the police union lawsuit, and where we are in the struggle for police accountability. "]

Wilkerson, Isabel. "It's More Than Racism: Isabel Wilkerson Explains America's 'Caste' System." Fresh Air (August 4, 2020)