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Showing posts from June 3, 2018

Dada and Surrealism Documentaries

Begins with an in-depth overview; moves on to more specific treatments; ends with surrealism in film. No giraffes on fire, though, sadly.


Count Belisarius, Robert Graves, 1938

Get your Byzantine on with the best.

Here’s (probably) the man himself:



After Trip to Gaza, Anthony Bourdain Accused World of Robbing Palestinia...

Orson Welles: Three Radio-Play Versions of Heart of Darkness

The first is a half-hour radio version from 1938; the second is a half-hour radio-play adaptation from 1945; the third is a further and one-and-a-half-hour adaptation for radio, but this time of the screenplay Welles wrote in 1939, which was to be his first film. It wasn’t—famously—but it was finally produced, if in a necessarily much-adapted form, in 2015 by the BBC.
They are all quite good; more details here.

Democracy Now: “Israeli Military Pushes Misleading Video in Attempt to Smear Slain Palestinian Medic Razan al-Najjar”

Blurb: 
In Gaza, thousands of Palestinians have resumed protests against the Israeli blockade. Israeli soldiers have killed at least 119 Palestinians and wounded more than 13,000 more since the Palestinians’ nonviolent Great March of Return protests began on March 30. A week ago today, Israeli forces shot dead Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar as she was helping evacuate wounded Palestinians at a protest near the separation fence between Israel and Gaza. At the time of her killing, she was wearing a white medical coat and a medical ID card. The following day, thousands of people poured into the streets of Gaza to attend her funeral. Her killing has also sparked international outrage. Earlier this week, the Israeli military said Israeli snipers had not intentionally shot at Razan. But the Israeli military is now facing widespread criticism after it released a short video Thursday, that was heavily edited, in efforts to claim the slain medic was acting as a “human shield” for Hamas when …

Italy Goes Nuts: 2018 Version

With some background from 2012; arranged chronologically with an emphasis on the past few weeks. All courtesy The Real News which you should watch every day.


Alex Jones Follows and Harasses Bernie Sanders at LAX

This is the guy Trump insisted be part of the White House press corps. He has a very large viewership, though numbers are hard to come by for various reasons.
So, yeah, lots of people, like some people I actually know, believe this maniac, who, in court papers has claimed this is all performance art/an act. No one’s quite sure when he’s lying, though, and most likely, he’s doublethinking: it’s performance and he believes it and he can’t tell the difference. He’s insane, that is.
So, uh, Trump love isn’t hard to understand. And 87% of Republicans love Trump, and always will, because he bullies, and might even kill, the “niggers,” however defined. They’re fascists, that is. Or at minimum fascists-in-training. Like, the Cub Scouts of fascism. At best. Seventy-five percent of Republicans—your neighbors, your average Good Germans—think the Mueller probe is all bullshit, and run by the “deep state.”
They wouldn’t all object to death camps, I don’t think. A good third might support that, minimu…

From the Till-now-lost Coltrane Album, circa 1963. Out soon!

You may have to watch this in YouTube—it may say “This video is unavailable.” below.

Yeah, it’s like they found a tenth Beethoven symphony. Holy crap.

I Claudius - A BBC Radio Classic Drama (2010)

Marx and Marxism Documentaries

The 200th-anniversary-of-his-birth spec-fab-tacular. Watch all videos now and get a free set of steak knives.



The European Middle Ages: Documentaries

Goethe’s Theory of Colors

A neat intro film followed by an excellent, more in-depth online lecture by a Swedish architect who knows his stuff. Finally, an overview of Goethe’s science, with Melvyn Bragg, Simon Schaffer (a great historian of science), and Nicholas Boyle (two volumes into a three-volume biography of Goethe) of which color theory was only one element. This book contains a translation of Goethe’s book, complete with reproductions of the colored plates from the original.









The Scientific Revolution in England

In two-and-a-half hours you’ll get a first-class, in-depth grasp of the subject with which to impress at cocktail parties.



Interview with Gore Vidal for "The Great Depression"

Is the new Italian Government about to kick out migrants en masse?

Well, the Italians invented fascism, so why not get in on 2.0? Note the Nazi salute in the audience—and the reaction: “Oops—I forgot, don’t bust that out yet!”

The whole fucking world is going fascist. It’s not “populism,” it’s fascism 2.0. In the US, in Europe, in Asia, in South America—the tide is going hard right. Not conservative—the “center-left” parties are already living there, pushing the right further to the right—but fascist. Call it what it is. 

We all need to get behind a real populism, a Sanders or Corbyn or any of the left parties in Europe. Varoufakis has the right idea, among many others. The choice can’t be failed neoliberalism or fascism. Fascism will win—give it all a couple of shocks (a war might do it; a real terror attack easily could; a mass financial crisis and depression easily could), and the real knives will come out. We’ve been here before. 

But we don’t learn, which is why the species is in the fix it’s in. We need to be ending carbon yesterday, getting rid o…

Dean Baker: Medicare's Demise is Not Imminent, But Health Care Costs are Rising

Why the Democrats Suck, Part n in an Infinite Series

Glenn Greenwald lays it out. Very Smart Liberals dismiss this stuff, but they’re so smart that they support the cohort that’s driven this party into free fall.


THIS IS HOW calcified the Democratic Party is: They even unite behind an incumbent who is drowning in sleaze and corruption, who was just “severely admonished” by the Senate Ethics Committee, whose legal defense was funded by far-right figures, and who has used his senior leadership role to repeatedly join with the Bush-Cheney and right-wing GOP factions against his own party’s supposed positions. Not only do they unite behind him, but they ensure that no primary challenge can even happen — they deny their own voters the right to decide if they want Menendez — by making it impossible for any such challengers to raise money from funders who rely on the largesse of Democratic officeholders and who thus, do not want to run afoul of their decreed preferences.In the 2018 cycle, not a single Democratic incumbent has yet been defeated …

Kurt Vonnegut Interview on The Dick Cavett Show 1989

For the kids: Kurt Vonnegut was what we used to call a “writer.” He wrote “novels.” They were “good.” He may well not have fully conformed to every single rule you claim to conform to, here in 2018, where evil has been vanquished in all domains that rely on self-reporting and language-policing, but no others.



More here.

UN: “Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to the United States of America,” 4 May 2018

Before you have an orgasm over low (official) unemployment numbers or high stock bubbles—I mean, valuations—have a gander at reality.

Some choice facts about Freedom’s Land and Bravery’s Home that have, sadly, nothing to do with Russian meddling:
40m live in poverty; 18.5m in extreme poverty; 5.3m “live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty”Highest youth poverty rate in the OECDHighest infant mortality rate among comparable OECD members“Its citizens live shorter and sicker lives compared to those living in all other rich democracies, eradicable tropical diseases are increasingly prevalent[.]”Highest incarceration rate in the worldHighest obesity levels in the developed worldOne of the lowest levels of voter registrations in the OECDHighest rate of income inequality among Western countries18th out of 21 OECD countries in terms of labor markets, poverty rates, safety nets, wealth inequality and economic mobility25% of the world’s billionairesTop 1% own 38.6% of total wealth; on t…

Trump’s Poll Numbers are Low-Normal, and Improving

Among Republicans, according to Gallup this week, it’s 87%. (Choose from the drop-downs at the bottom of the page accordingly, and you’ll see.) Just in case you’re wondering what number matches the last line in the block quote below.

If you don’t like this development, then get out your checkbook, debit card, credit card—and travel planner, too, if you like. 
Put up or shut up. The nutcases certainly do; that’s why they’re winning:
But look what’s happened since. Despite a stalled stock market, and with the Republican agenda dead in the water, Trump’s numbers have popped to the surface. His approval rating has risen from a dismal 37 percent to 44 percent — not bad in this sour age. (At the same point in his presidency, Barack Obama had fallen to 46 percent approval on his way down to 44.)  Meanwhile, the gap between Trump’s approval and disapproval numbers has narrowed significantly, from 21 points to eight. Admittedly, that’s a pretty solid eight-point deficit; the intensity of oppositio…

Talking in the Library Series 3 – Jonathan Miller

The YouTube blurb:

Jonathan Miller started something with Beyond the Fringe but was content to let the next generation try to finish it, although few of them had his gift for penetratingly intelligent humour. He went on to host arts televison programmes and become the most sought-after director of opera in the world. But it was increasingly evident from his several big television series on science that his deeper interests lay in the brain itself, the source of all creativity. Talking in the library, Miller attempts to redirect the attention of an arts-bound plodder towards the true centre of the action. Typically, Miller is so lyrical about the adventure of science that his explanations bring us back to art by another route.

Kurt Vonnegut interview on His Life and Career (1983)

A lot more here.

Why Trump's Economy Is About To Crash

Bernie Sanders - Where We Go From Here

An important speech from, and a very useful Q&A with, the finest American politician in decades, certainly in my lifetime (1970-?). If the Democrats get behind his program, they’ll sweep everything. If they get behind him, the most popular and well-regarded politician in the country, they’ll sweep everything. They want to do neither, but reality is starting to convince even Clintonistas. Progressives may even prefer Warren, who’d be fine with me, too. Whoever the proper vessel is—the slate of progressive policies is pretty much the only realistic way forward—and all purposely majoritarian positions. Sanders’ program is just about identical to Evil Nader’s; chosen purposely to (or happily overlapping with) what most Americans want. Which turns out to be correct.