Radical media, politics and culture.

"Black Glove/White Glove: Revisiting Mexico's 1968"
Donald Nicholson-Smith

For all the inevitable talk of Olympiads past, we haven't heard much (in the U.S. media at any rate), about the 1968 Games in Mexico City, formally opened by President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz on 12 October of that seminal year in an atmosphere redolent, according to the New York Times, of "pageantry, brotherhood and peace." Just ten days earlier, Díaz Ordaz — for many reasons, but certainly out of determination that the Games should proceed unmolested by social protest — had unleashed the combined power of the Mexican military and police forces on a mass of unarmed student demonstrators and other civilians, shooting and bayoneting to death more than three hundred of them, then covering up the scale of the slaughter and attendant torture and disappearances. The International Olympic Committee, though one of its members had witnessed corpses being piled onto lorries for removal from the killing ground of the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, voted in an emergency meeting to carry on regardless. Politically speaking, the 1968 Games would be remembered in the world at large not for the myriad victims of Mexican state terror (as Octavio Paz called it), but for the black-gloved right fists, raised in a silent but eloquent call for black power, of the Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two-hundred-meter gold- and bronze-medal winners. The two were promptly ejected from the proceedings by the tidy-minded Olympic Committee.

Moore: Bush 'Didn't Tell the Truth'

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

BOSTON — This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 27, 2004 that has been edited [by fox, ed] for clarity.

It was a match-up the media and political observers have longed for. No, not George W. Bush against John Kerry. It's Michael Moore (search) against Bill O'Reilly.

Moore, the director who made "Fahrenheit 9/11" (search) and created one of the election season's biggest uproars, said he wouldn't go on "The O'Reilly Factor" until O'Reilly saw the entire movie. And he said any conversation would have to be aired without any editing and with the opportunity for Moore to ask O'Reilly questions.

FurtherBunny writes "George W. Bush is arguably the most influential and controversial performance artist in the history of Western art. Born as the son of George HW Bush senior, he learned early on how politics works. After studying at Yale and Harvard, he chose politics as his medium for art. In the 80s, like many other artists of the time, he was influenced by the French postmodern theorist Jean Baudrillard. He was particularly interested in the following passage in the book “Simulacra and Simulation”:

“Go and simulate a theft in a large department store: how do you convince the security guards that it is a simulated theft? There is no “objective” difference: the same gestures and the same signs exist as for a real theft; in fact the signs incline neither to one side nor the other. As far as the established order is concerned, they are always of the order of the real.”

This weekend Venezuela's recall finished in an overwhelming victory for Chavez. An extraordinary result given the incessant campaign by the US government against him including the failed coup of April 2002. This film, "The Revolution Will Not be Televised" is an epic account of the days of the coup with extraordinary fly on the wall footage. Irrespective of one;'s attitude towards the bolivarian regime, this film must be seen. And best of all, it's now available.... you guessed it... on suprnova.org. The torrent file is here. Directions on using the software can be found in the Fahrenheit 911 thread. I include an interview with the film-makers from z-net."

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

An Interview With Documentary Filmmakers Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain

Brian Forrest

In 2001, Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain traveled to Venezuela to videotape a behind-the-scenes profile of President Hugo Chavez, the democratically elected leftist president who had been swept into office by a groundswell of support from the poor sections of Venezuela’s cities and countryside. While filming in April of 2002, they found themselves in the midst of a coup attempt against Chavez, and their cameras were there to capture those incredible moments of April 2002. They compiled this footage to create the documentary “The Revolution will not be Televised.” Bartley and O’Briain were interviewed by Brian Forrest in October of 2003.

Outfoxed is available for download here using bit torrent.
This review is from Alternet.

"OutFoxed: How Rupert Murdoch Is Destroying American Journalism"

"Outfoxed" demonstrates in painful detail how one media empire, making full use of the public airwaves, can reject any semblance of fairness or perspective, and serve as the mouthpiece of right-wing conservatives, fully relishing its role. Media critic Jeffrey Chester describes the Fox News operation most succinctly in the film: "Fox News Channel is a 24/7 commercial for the conservatives and the Republican Party."

hydrarchist writes

Marcus Rediker author of
Villains of All Nations

the http://www.readysteadybook.com interview

Marcus Rediker is a historian, writer, teacher and activist. He is author of four books, all "history from the bottom up," most recently Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age(Verso). He teaches history at the University of Pittsburgh. Here, he kindly answers a few of my questions

Mark Thwaite  What began your fascination with pirates and piracy?

Marcus Rediker  "It was an accidental beginning, which is one way of saying, I suppose, that I never intended to write a book about pirates. I had no personal connection to the sea, having grown up in landlocked Kentucky and Tennessee in the upper south of the US When I entered graduate school in the mid-1970s I wanted to do the kind of work being done at Warwick by Edward Thompson, Peter Linebaugh, and others – that is, to use legal records to write the history of working people who left no records of their own. “History from the bottom up” or “peoples’ history” as it was called. So I looked around for a group of historical subjects who had caused enough of a ruckus in their day to create substantial documentation. I settled on pirates.

Primitive terrorists

A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: The Life of William Dampier—Explorer, Naturalist and Buccaneer
By Diana and Michael Preston
Walker & Company; 368 pages; $27. Doubleday; £16.99

Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age
By Marcus Rediker

Beacon Press; 256 pages; $24. Verso; 240 pages; £18.99


The Economist

THE business of piracy changed utterly between 1680, when William Dampier set out in pursuit of Spanish barques, and the 1720s, when rascals such as Blackbeard terrorised the Atlantic. Dampier and his fellow privateers were amateurish, eclectic in their interests, and mostly inoffensive. The outlaw pirates of the early 18th century, by contrast, were single-minded and lethally effective. These two books take after their subjects.

Diana and Michael Preston concluded that, in order to understand Dampier, they should retrace some of his steps. They cannot have got far. Dampier was an adventurer in the Walter Ralegh mould—at one point, he set sail from Mexico to Guam, not knowing whether it was 5,500 or 7,000 miles away. As a raider of Spanish gold, Dampier was inept, seizing his first true treasure ship at the age of 60. That does not seem to have discouraged him, however. The buccaneer's first love was natural history, a subject to which he devoted much time and colourful prose. Having wowed the British public with tales of exotic lands, he retired and died, apparently safe in his own bed.

"The Pomo Marx & Engels"

Adam Kirsch, New York Sun

Like a dog to its vomit, Michael Hardt and Antonio
Negri return in "Multitude" to the vapid and deeply
irresponsible politics of their 2000 book, "Empire."

By fusing the favorite ideologies of the academic Left
— Marxism and postmodernism — into a new theory of
geopolitics, "Empire" won a surprising amount of
attention: here, the New York Times proclaimed, was
the "Next Big Idea" we had all been waiting for. The
New Statesman called it "perhaps the most successful
work to have come from the left for a generation."

hydrarchist writes... this from the Brooklyn Rail

In the Belly of the Beast

by Saul Austerlitz

July 2004

The Corporation Download vis suprnova using bit torrent

Directed by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott, and Joel Bakan

Making a feature film about corporations is a bit like trying to cram the entire history of the United States on the back of an index card. After all, the corporation is a phenomenon that has existed for well over 100 years, and its tentacles extend into every aspect of modern life the world over. Yet while Mark Achbar (director of Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media) and his two collaborators, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan, have done plenty of cramming in The Corporation, they emerge largely successful. This briskly edited 145-minute tour of corporate influence covers a wide swath of topics: the history of corporations, the damage done by their human-unfriendly policies, and potential areas of transition in the corporate outlook.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Multitude: An Antidote to Empire"

Francis Fukuyama, New York Times

Well before 9/11 and the Iraq war put the idea in everybody's mind,
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri had popularized the notion of a modern
empire. Four years ago, they argued in a widely discussed book —
titled, as it happens, Empire — that the globe was ruled by a new
imperial order, different from earlier ones, which were based on overt
military domination. This one had no center; it was managed by the
world's wealthy nation-states (particularly the United States), by
multinational corporations and by international institutions like the
World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. This
empire — a k a globalization — was exploitative, undemocratic and
repressive, not only for developing countries but also for the excluded
in the rich West.

Hardt and Negri's new book, Multitude, argues that the antidote to
empire is the realization of true democracy, ''the rule of everyone by
everyone, a democracy without qualifiers.'' They say that the left
needs to leave behind outdated concepts like the proletariat and the
working class, which vastly oversimplify the gender/racial/ethnic/
class diversities of today's world. In their place they propose the
term ''multitude,'' to capture the ''commonality and singularity'' of
those who stand in opposition to the wealthy and powerful.