americans who tell the truth

AmericansWhoTellTheTruth
Click any picture to go to site.

This is a great way to introduce yourself or your children/students to important figures in american life, from historical figures to contemporary truth tellers.

From the website:

“The original portraits and accompanying resources promote our country’s ideals, illuminate the necessary work of the present, and inspire hope in the future.”

The Mindscape of Alan Moore

Great little piece (except for the voice-over guy) that will give you a tiny introduction to the man.

This is a fairly well-done doc. I have my quibbles with the actual film-making, but no real reason to go into it here. The film is an exploration of Moore’s autobiography and art, but it also becomes a fascinating presentation of his weltanschauung (worldview). Even if you have no interest in his art or story, the ideas he explores are worth listening to and thinking about.

Above is a great talk he gave in support of the library system in England. He talks about his history with books, comics – and the comics industry, the library, and many other topics.
His wit, intelligence, humor, integrity, and humanity – and of course his story telling abilities – are there for all to enjoy.

As Pay Cards Replace Paychecks, Bank Fees Hurt Workers

“A growing number of American workers are confronting a frustrating predicament on payday: to get their wages, they must first pay a fee.”

Click text to go to NYT article

This is horrific on its face, but if you think you’re immune because you’re not a poor worker bee at a fast food corporation, you might want to think again…
It would take too long to explain how far this has already progressed, but just think about google wallet. People in power have been working on this shit for a long time – and we get closer every day. Think about the ramifications of a cashless society. Think about how far we’ve already gone in that direction. All exchange has to go through the corporation. It is the ultimate ball vice, or hand at your throat, or slave collar…

Now think about a corporation with total control of your money and then think about the fact that the right-wing wet dream of “tort reform” is a de facto reality now – and at this rate soon to become a de jure reality. See how these things work together? Money is already zeros and ones. The cash you have is not backed by anything but numbers on a computer (and world destroying weaponry of course).

So, you have money in “the cloud” or “the matrix” or for now we’ll call it an online bank. You do not own or control the cloud. You work for a corporation. The corporation steals some money from you ( aside from the “legal theft” mentioned in the linked article). The corporations have written the laws that make it illegal for you to take action against them and/or they are too powerful to challenge. What do you do?

Take it and like it.

They start with poor people and work their way up – and convenience and newness (along with a shitload of propaganda, i.e., advertising and dominant culture) can actually create a desire for the things that literally and figuratively enslave us. If you think this is hyperbole, do some more research and get back to me.

Orwell meets Kafka.

Hello? Why do I even bother?

As Jello Biafra said, “Give me convenience or give me death.”

Chris Hedges and Morris Berman Interview

The Extraenvironmentalist Interview with Chris Hedges and Morris Berman on Soundcloud

The Extraenvironmentalist

While the cultural foundations of the United States are unraveling the unconscious programs of American society lay outside of public dialogue. Where there was once an American Dream, a spiritual void remains. As the framework of consumer society breaks down, will an economic system of inverted totalitarianism reverse become explicit? Why do our elites seem incapable of formulating a rational response to this crisis of civilization?

In Extraenvironmentalist #60 we discuss the current condition of American culture with Chris Hedges and Morris Berman. Chris describes the process of breakdown he’s witnessed in other countries as elites withdraw when they feel their system of control crumbling. Morris reflects the current crisis of capitalism against the breakdown of the feudal system hundreds of years ago to describe a broader historical process. Then, we speak with Dmitry Orlov about his new book: The Five Stages of Collapse. Dmitry talks about the psychological damage created by access to large amounts of money and explains how to think practically about a failing global economic system.

Letter to ‘The Nation’ From a Young Radical

This isn’t a thrilling video, but people seem to be attracted to video. It is a ploy to get you to read this article by Bhaskar Sunkara of Jacobin magazine fame:

Liberalism—including much of what’s published in this [The Nation] magazine—seems well-intentioned but inadequate. The solution lies in the re-emergence of American radicalism.

Click any of the text above to go to the article.

If more than a few people read the article and then ask for some commentary, I will put something together. Depends on the response. It’s a must read for liberals. The Nation asked him to write it, so that tells me something. As a radical, it is very weak tea, but if you identify as a liberal you need to hear the message.

P.S. There is a long interview/discussion about this article in the This Is Hell podcast I posted a link to earlier.

The best analysis of the Big Lebowski I’ve ever heard

http://video.newyorker.com/watch/the-big-lebowski

Of course there are many other elements to analyze in the film: the homage to films of the 30’s and 40’s, especially the film noir detective genre and Busby Berkeley musicals. There is the satire of the art world, the rich, L.A., power and violence… The list is long, but this gets at the most important theme, the heart of the matter, in more ways than one.
The dude abides…

P.S. This is a short video clip with a voice-over review from Richard Brody’s “Front Row” series for the New Yorker magazine. In case they move the link again, that should help people search for it. If you find the link at the top is broken, please let me know in the comments and I will fix it if possible.

P.P.S. This is a spoiler for the clip, but if the clip does get taken down permanently, here is the most important part of the review:

After The Dude tells Maude about his experiences as a 60’s radical, Brody comments,

“The historical events The Dude refers to here are real and crucial moments in the American New Left in the 1960’s. The subject of the film is, what remains of the 1960’s, of the spirit of protest, of the anti-militarism of that period? And the Coen brothers provide an answer: No matter how burned-out and gone to seed its heralds may seem, its spirit abides.”

 

Naropa University Archive Project

naropa_image

click above to go to archive. an amazing resource. the site archive.org that hosts it is also an amazing resource. enjoy.

Description from site:

The Naropa University Archive Project is preserving and providing access to over 5000 hours of recordings made at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. The library was developed under the auspices of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (the university’s Department of Writing and Poetics) founded in 1974 by poets Anne Waldman and Allen Ginsberg. It contains readings, lectures, performances, seminars, panels and workshops conducted at Naropa by many of the leading figures of the U.S.literary avant-garde.

The collection represents several generations of artists who have contributed to aesthetic and cultural change in the postmodern era. The Naropa University Archive Project seeks to enhance appreciation and understanding of post-World War II American literature and its role in social change, cultural criticism, and the literary arts through widespread dissemination of the actual voices of the poets and writers of this period. Current interest in Oriental religions, environmentalism, political activism, ethnic studies, and women’s consciousness is directly indebted to the work of these New American Poets, writers and musicians.

Funding for this project was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Save America’s Treasures, the GRAMMY Foundation, the Internet Archive, the Collaborative Digitization Program, and private donors. If this collection is important to you please help us preserve it with your donations.

For more information visit our web site at http://www.naropaarchive.org or email us at archive@naropa.edu.
See a Tag Cloud for the this collection.