Radical media, politics and culture.


"9/11: The Day the World Ended, Three Years On"

John Chuckman

A lot can happen in three years.

In the United States since 9/11, about 4,000 children died from child abuse and neglect; in more than 80 percent of cases, parents were the perpetrators. About 36,000 Americans died from unnecessary surgery. Another 21,000 died from medication errors in hospitals, along with another 60,000 from other errors in hospitals. Adverse reactions to prescription drugs killed about 100,000. Roughly 10,000 Americans died from accidental drowning. About 2,100 died from bicycle accidents. Homicidal Americans killing other Americans took another roughly 60,000 lives. Suicide took more than 90,000. Traffic deaths amounted to well over 120,000.

Leigh writes "The Heavenly States, a San Francisco-based band would like to offer any protesters who would like to use it access to their new single, entitled “Monument,” for use during protests scheduled for the upcoming Republican National Convention.

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.”

hydrarchist writes ... ok I just translated this statement from the Confédération Nationale du Travail Bureau confédéral Secrétariat médias medias@cnt-f.org CNT, because none of the other obituaries that I've seen give visibility to his libertarianism. HCB died August 3rd at the age of 95.

Death of an Anarchist

On the death of Henri Cartier Bresson: the CNT salutes the man of all liberties and every necessary escape.

The photographic genius that he was, known and recognised internationally, tirelessly answered those who asked him about his photographic compositions: "The technique has no importance! It's the point of view that matters...." And Henri Cartier Bresson never hid his point of view. On the contrary, he never missed an opportunity to let fly his war-cry during interviews: "Long live Bakunin!". A convinced and declared libertarian, Henri Cartier Bresson tirelessly photographed the world of labour, applying himself from 1931 to denounce of man's alientation before machines. He was present in social struggles, on every continent and, of course, in Spain during the war of 1936 where he made a film about the republican hospitals.

American Book Review Founder Ron Sukenick, 1932–2004

Dear Friends of American Book Review:

I'm writing to inform you that Ron Sukenick died in the early morning of July 22.  For the past several years, Ron suffered from Inclusion Body Myositis.  A muscular disease for which there is no known cure and only experimental treatment, it is a progressive and degenerative illness. By the turn of the century, Ron could walk only with the help of a cane, and he was wheelchair-bound for the last three years.

Antonio Gades, 1936–2004

Stunning Spanish Dancer and Choreographer

Michael Eaude, The Guardian

Recognised as the greatest Spanish male dancer of his generation and an even greater choreographer, Antonio Gades has died of cancer, aged 67. Most dancers only live on in the minds of those who saw them. But three stunning films directed in the 1980s by Carlos Saura show us Gades at his peak. These were Bodas De Sangre (Blood Wedding), Carmen and El Amor Brujo (Love The Magician).

From New Left Review

New Wave Argentine cinema—documentaries from the badlands, taxi boys on roller-skates, escrache protests—thriving after the crash of 2001, in the diary of an émigré practitioner.

Edgardo Cozarinsky

Monday 9th June

I left the long summer days of Paris for the Buenos Aires winter: it was zero degrees and the afternoons were over by five thirty. The Kirchner government had been installed in May, and even among the capital’s disillusioned, not to say cynical inhabitants, it was enjoying the obligatory honeymoon period. In the taxi from the airport, the driver asked me my opinion of the president’s first measures: a green light for the trial of corrupt Supreme Court judges, the sacking of dozens of high-ranking military officers, government subsidies for public works under the auspices of select workers’ organizations. I tried to explain to him that, having witnessed an array of more or less inefficient civilian governments and brutal military regimes, it was hard for me to have any illusions on this score, even if the outlook seemed quite positive. ‘We are just like you,’ he said, ‘waiting for the first foul-up.’

Majority of US Adults Expect to See "Fahrenheit 9/11"

David W. Moore, Gallup News Service

PRINCETON, NJ — According to the most recent Gallup survey, more
than half of all American adults (56%) either have seen or expect, at
some time, to see Michael Moore's controversial movie, Fahrenheit
9/11, a highly critical look at the Bush administration's decision to
fight a war in Iraq. The poll was conducted July 8-11. At the time,
8% of Americans said they have already seen the movie, 18% expected
to see it in the theater, and 30% expected to watch the video. Among
all Americans, more people have an unfavorable than favorable
impression of the movie, but those who have seen it are
overwhelmingly favorable.

"Members Only: Bohemians in Their Groves"

Adair Lara, San Francisco Chronicle

On Saturday, some 2,000 CEOs and politicos and arty types arrived at the cool redwoods and lily-choked lake of the Grove, the famous Russian River playground of the powerful Bohemian Club.

They say it's the place to be seen in America in July.

Except, of course, you can't see them.

Signs abound: No Thru Traffic. No Trespassing. Members and Guests Only. No Turn Around. Sentries scan the paths from above with binoculars, helped out by infrared sensors.

And what are those important men doing out there for 17 days behind that elaborate security?

NOT BORED! writes

Pete Townshend's strongly held political beliefs

On 7 July 2004, Pete Townshend announced that more than a year ago, he had refused to let Michael Moore use the Who's 1971 song "Won't Get Fooled Again" in Fahrenheit 911. In Townshend's own words,

I had not really been convinced by Bowling For Columbine and had been worried about its accuracy. To me, it felt like a bullying film [...] Once I had an idea what Fahrenheit 9/11 was about, I was 90 per cent certain my song was not right for them and pointed out that "Won't Get Fooled Again" is not an unconditionally anti-war song, or a song for or against revolution. It actually questions the heart of democracy: we vote heartily for leaders who we subsequently always seem to find wanting. (WGFA ["Won't Get Fooled Again"] is a song sung by a fictional character from my 1971 script called LIFEHOUSE. The character is someone who is frightened by the slick way in which truth can be twisted by clever politicians and revolutionaries alike).

Townshend is partially right about "Won't Get Fooled Again": while it's true that the lyrics of the song are "against" revolution, the music -- especially the use of sequenced synthesizers -- is clearly revolutionary, or, rather, was clearly revolutionary for the time at which the song was released. That's precisely why the song is famous and worth fighting about: the tension in it, and the release that's provided by the legendary scream "Yeah!" that comes after the long instrumental break. The listener doesn't need to be "convinced" by the song (what a ridiculous idea!); the listener need only feel it.


Subscribe to Culture