Saturday, November 29, 2008

Exodus from Babylon

The Luton based Exodus Collective came into existence in 1992 as part of the growing DIY culture which arose in response to unemployment, poverty and frustration amongst young people.

They organised free 'rave' parties, renovated derelict homes, set up a community farm and planned to open a community centre.Some of their activities bordered on illegality but they were entirely peaceful Exodus had a huge following amongst local people.

Their philosophy had a strong spiritual strand, appealing to notions of community and natural justice in its struggle for survival and renewal. However, their utopian project presented a challenge to the status quo and met with powerful opposition.

Exodus from Babylon investigates the intricate web of this opposition, from aggressive policing to local government obstruction. It reveals the shift in policing from reactive peace keeping to proactive intervention, involving a series of special operations by Bedfordshire Police.

The programme looks in detail at a number of police actions against Exodus, including the prosecution and acquittal of collective member, Paul Taylor, for possession of Ecstasy and for murder. It asks why the strategy of getting tough with Exodus emerged and identifies a number of interlocking interests at play.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

John and Jane Calling

I saw JOHN & JANE last night. An interesting insight into a global communications and marketing system. While it says more about the mediated cultures of the United States than it does about India, in a global perspective it provides food for thought.

A fresh new blend of observational documentary and tropical science-fiction, JOHN & JANE follows the stories of six call agents that answer American 1-800 numbers in a Mumbai call center. After a heady mix of American culture training and 14 hour night shifts, the job soon starts to take its toll. Counter pointing the fluorescent interiors of late night offices and hyper-malls with the uneasy currents swirling around the characters, JOHN & JANE discovers a young generation of urban Indians that are beginning to live between the real and the virtual. However, this futuristic world of American aliases and simulated reality is not science fiction, these are the times in which we live. JOHN & JANE raises disturbing questions about the nature of personal identity in a 21st century globalised world.

"JOHN & JANE" Part documentary and part fiction feature, "John & Jane" is a film set in the call centers of Mumbai that explores the effects of globalization on six call agents. Indian by day and American by night, the employees' split-identity lives warp their sense of reality in a disturbing way.
Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kría Brekkan

Kría Brekkan performin Revine in New York City

Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir (aka Kría Brekkan) is an Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a former member of the band múm, but also as a member of Storsveit Nix Noltes and guest member of Slowblow. She has recently recorded and released material with Rings, featuring former members of First Nation.
In late 2006 she acknowledged that she had not been a part of múm since the beginning of that year, and she published an open letter briefly describing her thoughts on the matter. In the letter she explains that this delayed announcement was preceded by several failed attempts that ended "filling many pages of reasons and emotions."
She has appeared on records by Mice Parade and on Animal Collective's album Feels, on which she is credited as "Doctess". She appears on the cover of Belle and Sebastian's Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant LP with her twin sister, Gyða.
She currently lives with her husband David Portner, (Animal Collective's Avey Tare) in New York, and recently released an album with him.

kria brekkan - bee xlaura [ mum ]

Kría Brekkan covers Chemirocha on East Village Radio in NYC

Naomi Klein on Democracy Now 11/17

part 3 soon.......

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Godfather of YouTube

Kenny Everett (born Maurice Cole in Seaforth, Lancashire; 25 December 1944, – 4 April 1995) was an English radio DJ and television entertainer. He is best known for his career as a radio DJ and for the Kenny Everett television shows.

Growing up in Australia in the 1970s I was exposed to The Kenny Everett Video Show by my parents. I now realize that such an experience has played a role in my humor and art as an adult (maybe a worrying thing).
Watching videos of 'Cuddly Ken' today I can see how much his work on television pushed the boundaries of the medium and anticipated later digital video. Kenny Everett's humor is part surrealist, part pantomime, part Nam June Paik and part drag show. I feel we have a debt to Everett, who has surely played a major role in creating the media ecology we have today in an aesthetic sense.

Check this out:

Quotations and catchphrases

* "It's all done in the best PAH-SIBBLE taste!" -- regular punchline uttered by the character 'Cupid Stunt', accompanied by her swapping her crossed legs over in the most vigorous way possible.
* "'Ello my leetle chickadees" (and variations, in heavy French accent) -- introductory remark uttered by character 'Marcel Wave'.
* "Round 'em up, put 'em in a field, and BOMB THE BASTARDS!" -- all-purpose solution to any perceived social problem, declared by 'Marvin Bombthebastards', a handgun-waving US General with immense shoulders (equipped with retractable cannon) and chest to support many medals.
* "Brother, Brother, Brother Lee Love!" -- gospel-style sung introduction to huge-handed US minister 'Brother Lee Love', whose frenetic sermons called for the 'congregation' to echo the last two syllables of some sentences, with amusing (and occasionally very rude) results.
* "I hate pornography ... I haven't even got a pornograph!" -- 'Angry of Mayfair'.
* 'This morning, I spilled coffee all over my wife's dressing gown! Serves me right for wearing it! -- 'Angry of Mayfair'.
* "Colonel Muriel Kleen here, of the Campaign for Nice Things on Television!' (A couple of bars of 'Hallelujah!' from the 'Hallelujah Chorus'.) 'We believe in goodness, truth and beauty! We believe that Julie Andrews should get her own series, and that Joan Collins should get her own breakfast! And remember: you don't have to watch this endless display of perversitude and fleshybollery! You've all got a knob there! SO USE IT!" -- 'Angry of Mayfair.'
* (Electronic rendition of Bach's choral prelude Wachet Auf) - reminiscent of and perhaps the work of Wendy Carlos - musical accompaniment to all sketches featuring 'Maurice Minor', parody of French mime artist Marcel Marceau.
* "Ello, I'm Gizzard Puke, mugger to the gentry, and anyone who says punk's dead, will be."
* Ladies and gentlephones... pun based on "ladies and gentlemen"

In the 1983 election campaign, the Young Conservatives invited Kenny to their conference in an attempt to attract the youth vote. Egged on by film director Michael Winner, Kenny bounded onto the stage, wearing the enormously oversized foam rubber hands familiar from his mock-evangelical character Brother Lee Love. He shouted slogans like "Let's bomb Russia!" and "Let's kick Michael Foot's stick away!" (Michael Foot was the elderly leader of the Labour Party.)

Brother Lee Love

A Portal to Media Literacy

Presented at the University of Manitoba June 17th 2008. (for those of you waiting for the Library of Congress presentation, it will be posted July 19th-ish.)

From Stephen's Lighthouse:

"Many of you have probably seen Kansas State University prof Michael Wesch's thought-provoking video, "A
Vision of Students Today".

Recently Dr. Wesch spoke at the University of Manitoba where he explained the the basis of this video in a talk entitled, "Michael Wesch and the Future of Education." I found it fascinating! He describes how he so naturally incorporates emerging technologies into his courses from the smallest seminar type class to the largest lecture theatre filled class.

More importantly he not only talks about the technologies but how he encourages extraordinary participation and collaboration from his students by engaging them in meaningful learning activities.

Although the video is 66 minutes long...pour a coffee, iced tea or glass of wine and enjoy this dynamic presentation from a master teacher."

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Walls of Sana'a by Pasolini

A short documentary about the astonishing beauty of Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, and the sad awareness of the destruction of the ancient world (the only real one, as Pasolini says) made by development (with english subtitles).

The second part of this beautiful documentary also shows the town of orte in italy, during the wild speculation of the 1970s that spoilt our country's treasures. it ends with a passional appeal to UNESCO.
Sana'a, by the way, was declared world heritage site by UNESCO in 1986, 11 years after Pasolini's tragic death (dubbed voices are not good).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ram Bahadur Bamjan

The followers of Ram Bahadur Bamjan, 18, believe he has been meditating without food and water since he was first spotted in the jungles of southern Nepal in 2005, when believers say he spent months without moving, sitting with his eyes closed beneath a tree.
Bamjan re-emerged this week to meet his followers, who have come by the thousands to see him in the jungles of Ratanpur, about 160km south of Katmandu.

Bomjon's message was "The only way we can save this nation is through spirituality".
His speech is as follows:

Murder, violence, greed, anger and temptation have made the human world a desperate place. A terrible storm has descended upon the human world, and this is carrying the world towards destruction. There is only one way to save the world and that is through "dharma" (spiritual practice). When one doesn't walk the righteous path of spiritual practice, this desperate world will surely be destroyed. Therefore, follow the path of spirituality and spread this message to your fellows. Never put obstacles, anger and disbelief in the way of my meditation's mission. I am only showing you the way; you must seek it on your own. What I will be, what I will do, the coming days will reveal. Human salvation, the salvation of all living beings, and peace in the world are my goal and my path. "Namo Buddha sangaya, Namo Buddha sangaya, namo sangaya." I am contemplating on the release of this chaotic world from the ocean of emotion, on our detachment from anger and temptation, without straying from the path for even a moment, I am renouncing my own attachment to my life and my home forever, I am working to save all living beings. But in this undisciplined world, my life's practice is reduced to mere entertainment. The practice and devotion of many Buddhas is directed at the world's betterment and happiness. It is essential but very difficult to understand that practice and devotion. But though it is easy to lead this ignorant existence, human beings don't understand that one day we must leave this uncertain world and go with the Lord of Death. Our long attachments with friends and family will dissolve into nothingness. We have to leave behind the wealth and property we have accumulated. What's the use of my happiness, when those who have loved me from the beginning, my mother, father, brothers, relatives are all unhappy. Therefore, to rescue all sentient beings, I have to be Buddha-mind, and emerge from my underground cave to do "vajra" meditation. To do this I have to realize the right path and knowledge, so do not disturb my practice. My practice detaches me from my body, my soul and this existence. In this situation there will be 72 goddess Kalis. Different gods will be present, along with the sounds of thunder and of "tangur", and all the celestial gods and goddesses will be doing "puja" (worship). So until I have sent a message, do not come here, and please explain this to others. Spread spiritual knowledge and spiritual messages throughout the world. Spread the message of world peace to all. Seek a righteous path and wisdom will be yours.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Slacker Uprising

While Slacker Uprising seems to be mainly about Michael Moore, it is an interesting film due to the fact that the middle class of the USA rose up and elected Barack Obama as President with what is expected to be a record turnout this month. I wonder if a film would work on a middle class uprising?

Slacker Uprising is a movie of Michael Moore’s tour of colleges in battleground states during the 2004 election, with a goal to encourage 18-29 year olds to vote, and the response it received. The film is a re-edited version of Captain Mike Across America, which played at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007 to tepid response.
It is one of the first feature length films made by a known director to be released as a free and legal download online. The free download is only available to those residing in the United States and Canada. The film was also made available for free online viewing and download on the Lycos Cinema platform as well as iTunes and The DVD is also available for purchase on the Slacker Uprising website for $9.95. It had a one-night-only run at the Michigan Theater, where Michael Moore spoke briefly.
Slacker Uprising also features performances by Steve Earle, Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam), R.E.M., Roseanne Barr, Tom Morello (of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave), Viggo Mortensen and more.

Leila Arab - Lush Dolphins

Something to ponder..

Saturday, November 08, 2008

David Lynch: Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain - 109 min

The inside story on transcending the brain, with David Lynch, Award-winning film director of Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Mullholland Drive, Inland Empire; John Hagelin, Ph.D., Quantum physicist featured in "What the bleep do we know?;" and Fred Travis, Ph.D., Director, Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition Maharishi University of Management.

Quantum Tantra and Autonomy

Feb. 6, 1993 Here is a video that includes the best of this legendary show from 1993. The roster includes; Hakim Bey, Robert Anton Wilson, Nick Herbert, Rob Brezsny and Joseph Matheny.

Nick Herbert received his PhD in physics from Stanford University, and after working in this area for many years decided to turn his attention to psychedelics.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Panel at Cognitive Capital and Spaces of Mobility

Resistance Studies and Social Change - Panel at Cognitive Capital and Spaces of Mobility (2008, 117 mins).
Participants include José Manuel Viegas Neve, Marco Schirone and Stellan Vinthagen.

CNN Holographic Reporter on Election Night 2008

Claimed holographic image of live person on CNN November 4, 2008

"To survive, the spectacle must have social control. It can recuperate a potentially threatening situation by shifting ground, creating dazzling alternatives- or by embracing the threat, making it safe and then selling it back to us" – Larry Law, The Spectacle- The Skeleton Keys

Hans Jurgen Kreuzer, theoretical physics professor and holography expert at Dalhousie University, told CBC news in Canada that the so-called holograms were simply 2D images superimposed onto the TV broadcast.

The images were in fact tomograms, or images captured from all sides - in this case by 35 high-definition cameras set in a ring inside a special tent - reconstructed by computers and displayed on the screen.

A real hologram would have meant the images were projected into space, which did not occur as Blitzer and Cooper could not see their interview subjects.
CNN and Fake Hologram

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Melanie Safka

Melanie Safka - Birthday Of The Sun Woodstock 1969

Little sisters of the sun lit
candles in the rain,
fed the world on oats and raisins
candles in the rain
lit the fire to the soul
who never knew his friend
meher baba lives again
candles in the rain
to be there is to remember
lay it down again
lay down
lay down
lay it down again
men can live as brothers
candles in the rain....

lay down lay down, let it all down
let your white birds smile up at the ones who stand and frown
lay down lay down, let it all down
let your white birds smile up at the ones who stand and frown
we were so close, there was no room
we bled inside each others wounds
we had caught the same disease
and we all sang songs of peace
so raise the candles high cause if you
don't we could stay black against the night
oh raise them higher again and if you
do we could stay dry against the rain
we were so close there was no room
we bled inside each others wounds
we had caught the same disease
and we all sang songs of peace
some came to sing, some came to pray
some came to keep the dark away
so raise the candles high
cause if you don't we could stay
black against the sky
oh oh raise them higher again
and if you do we could stay dry against the rain


Affluenza is a term used by critics of consumerism, a portmanteau of affluence and influenza. Sources define this term as follows:

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. (de Graaf [1])

affluenza, n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the American Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. (PBS [1])

Proponents of the term consider the costs of prizing material wealth vastly outweigh the benefits. They claim those who become wealthy will find the economic success leaving them unfulfilled and hungry for more wealth. The condition is considered particularly acute amongst those with inherited wealth, who are often said to experience guilt, lack of purpose and dissolute behavior, as well as obsession with holding on to the wealth (John Levy's Coping with Inherited Wealth - see [2]).

Critics of the term suggest that the term is a ghastly neologism, which relies upon a viral metaphor to describe an ill-defined social anxiety.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Old Man and the Sea

In 1999, Aleksandr Petrov won the Academy Award for Short Film (among other awards) for a film that follows the plot line of Ernest Hemingway’s classic novella, The Old Man and the Sea (1952). As noted here, Petrov’s technique involves painting pastels on glass, and he and his son painted a total of 29,000 images in total.

Lunch Poems - Diane di Prima

World-renowned poet Diane di Prima, one of the preeminent writers to emerge from the Beat generation, wrote in Manhattan for many years before relocating to San Francisco, where she has been for nearly four decades. In addition to raising five children, di Prima has studied photography, collage, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, Sanskrit, and alchemy, all of which inform her intensely lyrical writing. Her 43 books of poetry and prose have been translated into over twenty languages.