Friday, July 30, 2004

Soundtrack To My Life, Pt. 1

Soundtrack to My Life, Pt.1 (7/19/04 - 7/30/04)

All the World is Green—Tom Waits
Around the World—Red Hot Chili Peppers
Baby Doll—The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Back Door Man—Doors
Back To My Old Molehill—The Flatlanders
Best Cock On The Block—Bitch & Animal
Bitch—Rolling Stones
Blue Wind Blew—The Flatlanders
Bootleg—Creedence Clearwater Revival
Brain Liaters—Drums and Tuba
Bring It On—Nick Cave
Bull in the Heather—Sonic Youth
Capitalism Stole My Virginity—The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Cello Song—Nick Drake
Clashing—Drums and Tuba
Crystal—New Order
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground—The White Stripes
Devil’s Haircut—Beck
Dirty Boots—Sonic Youth
Down By the Water—P.J. Harvey
Dream On—Aerosmith
Dr. Greenthumb—Cypress Hill
Each Other’s Medicine—Patty Scialfa
Everybody Wants Some—Van Halen
Famous Blue Raincoat—Leonard Cohen
Follow the Leader—Velvet Underground
The Forgotten Lake—The Handsome Family
Fyrsta—Sigur Ros
Gossip Folks—Missy Elliott
Group Four—Massive Attack
Hallelujah Chorus—Boston Pops Orchestra
Heroes—David Bowie
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me—U2
Hope in a Hopeless World—Widespread Panic
I Bow Down and Pray to Every Woman I See—Chuck Prophet
Imagine—John Lennon
I’m Always In Love—Wilco
I Might Be Wrong—Radiohead
It’s You—P.J. Harvey
Karma Police—Radiohead
Leave Home—Chemical Brothers
Let’s Get It On—Marvin Gaye
Lick a Shot—Cypress Hill
Lightning Risked It All—Songs:Ohia
Little Sister—Elvis Presley
Little Wing—Stevie Ray Vaughan
Lover I Don’t Have to Love—Bright Eyes
Lovesong—The Cure
Love Will Tear Us Apart—Joy Division
Lowdown in the Street—ZZ Top
Made in the Shade—Lynyrd Skynyrd
Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard (A True Story)—Chk, Chk, Chk
Monkey Bars—Jurassic 5
Monkey Gone to Heaven—Pixies
Moog Island--Morcheeba
My Girl—Temptations
Name Taken—Massive Attack
Never Loved a Girl—Aerosmith
No Sugar Mama—The Von Bondies
One Chance—Modest Mouse
Orange Wedge—Chemical Brothers
Our Time—Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
Plants and Rags—Giant Sand
Play That Funky Music—Wild Cherry
The Pop Song—Sigur Ros
Reptilia—The Strokes
Request + Line—Black Eyed Peas
Ripple—Jimmie Dale Gilmore
R U Still In 2 It?—Mogwai
Sally Can’t Dance—Lou Reed
Say No Go—De La Soul
Seven Nation Army—The White Stripes
Sheared Times—Portishead
Shine On You Crazy Diamond—Pink Floyd
Shut Up and Get on the Plane—Drive By Truckers
Simple Man—Lynyrd Skynyrd
Sink Hole—Drive By Truckers
Smoke and Mirrors—RJD2
Smooth Talking Baby—Don Williams
So Much to Do—Willie Nelson
Space Oddity—David Bowie
Speaking in Tongues—Eagles of Death Metal
Spirit of Harp—Kitaro
Springfield, IL—Slobberbone
Staralfur—Sigur Ros
St. James Infirmary—The White Stripes
Stop Coming To My House—Mogwai
Strangelove—Depeche Mode
Sugar—Imperial Teens
Take Me Out—Franz Ferdinand
That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)—Johnny Cash
That’s All Right—Elvis Presley
There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang—Johnny Cash (with Waylon Jennings)
This Way—Dilated Peoples
Time Is On My Side—Rolling Stones
Tuba Lullaby—Canadian Brass
Unchained Melody—Righteous Brothers
Weird Divide—The Shins
What Can You Tell Me—Chuck Prophet
Where is the Love—Black Eyed Peas
The Whole World—Outkast
Willow Tree—G Love and Special Sauce
You Ain’t Got a Hold On Me—AC/DC
You Can’t Always Get What You Want—Rolling Stones
Your Daddy Hates Me—Drive By Truckers

What's playing in the background (or forefront) of your life?

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Eyes Wide Open: Protest-Exhibit

The American Friends Service Committee is supporting a project called Eyes Wide Open as a protest against the ongoing Iraq War.

Greetings From Lockdown City

More from Alternet on the disturbing trend of (un)Free Speech Zones:

Greetings From Lockdown City

A Historical Look At the Indy Media Movement

This is a great historical look at the importance of the Indy Media movement and its continuing development.


Gal Beckerman,
Published by Columbia Journalism Review
Reposted at Alternet

One of the most succesful experiments in democratic media
is facing the need for greater organization without
sacrificing its anarchic spirit.

Read the Essay

Beckerman Articles Posted at Alternet

Michael Moore's Speech in Cambridge, MA

Michael Moore's incendiary speech which calls out the mainstream media for their cheerleading role during the Iraq War... hmmm, how come we haven't heard about this speech in the mainstream media?

Moore's Speech

More Moore on Alternet

Move On: Free Kerry Kit Offer

Move On has put together a DVD profile of John Kerry that includes bios, speeches, video clips, history, and other materials. If you are interested in learning more about this candidate they are giving the first 100,000 away free of charge.

Get Free DVD

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Report From Boston: Stay Out of Free Speech Zone

What happened? As Abby Normal comments: "Isn't all of the U.S. a Free Speech Zone?"

(link courtesy of Damon Taylor at American Samizdat)

Report from Boston: Stay Out of the "Free Speech Zone"
by Gan Golan
NYC Indy Media


Last night, I had my first direct experience with the so-called free speech zone. It left me with one conclusion: whatever you do, do NOT go inside. It’s not only a blatant offense to free speech, but also highly dangerous and unsafe. I would suggest protesting anywhere in Boston but inside of it.

No amount of hyperbole can accurately describe how disastrous the interior actually is. It’s like a scene from some post-apocalyptic movie – a futuristic, industrial detention area from a Mad Max film. You are surrounded on all sides by concrete blocks and steel fencing, with razor wire lining the perimeter. Then, there is a giant black net over the entire space.

Read the Entire Article

Photos of the Free Speech Zone

Map of the Free Speech Zone Area

"Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?"

Illinois state senator Barack Obama was a relative unknown on the national scene (although Abby Normal told me six months ago about Obama), but last night he made a big impact with his passionate speech for a positive vision of America's future. Why was he chosen to give this keynote speech? What is his message? How important is it that he might become only the 5th black U.S. Senator (only 5! What does that say about our political system?)?

The Guardian on Obama's Speech

Listen to Obama's Keynote Speech

Obama to Rise to National Stage in Boston

Obama Primed For Keynote Speech to Democrats

Believe the Hype

Bono on Why Americans Should Pay Attention to the Global AIDs Crisis

Bono, Originally published by Boston Globe
Posted at Alternet

Activist and rock musician Bono says the conventions are a
chance for both parties to make history. So shouldn't our
biggest global challenge, AIDS and the poverty in which it
thrives, be on the agendas?

Read Bono's Statement

Bush's Record Breaking Economy

George W. Bush's Record-Breaking Economy
by Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

"Our economy since last summer has been growing at the fastest rate in 20 years" said President Bush in a speech last week. The word went out from on high, and soon it began to spread: the fastest-growing economy in 20 years! A very important discovery for this election season, with voters none too pleased about the state of the economy. During a TV talk show (CNBC's Morning Call) on which I appeared, this claim was repeated to me.
Is it true? Well if you pick the right three quarters -- the first quarter of this year and the second half of last year, to be exact -- it is technically true. Over these three quarters the economy grew by 5.4 percent, which is faster than any other 9-month period in the past 20 years. But not by much. For the last 9 months of 1999, for example, the economy grew by 5.1 percent.

But why take 9 months? If we look at the last year, it's not any record at all. Similarly for the last two years. And since the recession ended in the last quarter of 2001, the economy has grown by 3.6 percent. This not bad, but not particularly strong growth for a recovery from a recession -- when the economy usually grows at a much faster than normal rate.

In the same speech Mr. Bush also bragged about the 1.5 million jobs created since last August. This impressive-sounding number also depends on a careful selection of time period. If we look at Mr. Bush's whole presidential term, the economy is still down more than a million jobs. Even the 1.5 million jobs created during Mr. Bush's selected ten months are a weak performance, barely enough to keep pace with the growth of the labor force.

The economy from here on will have to do better than even Mr. Bush's "brag period," just for him to avoid the record achievement of being the first president since the Great Depression to preside over a net loss of jobs for the country.

Perhaps the worst part of the "job-loss" recovery for most people has been that real wages -- adjusted for inflation -- have actually fallen over the last year. This means that most Americans are literally not getting anything out of our "record" growth.

The Bush administration does have some real 20-year record-breaking numbers but they are not the kind that it would like to advertise. Here's the gold medal: our Federal budget deficit of $639 billion for 2004 is 5.6 percent of GDP, the highest since 1983, and second highest since World War II. Of course this figure from the Congressional Budget Office counts the borrowing from the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds -- which any good accountant would tell you should be counted, because it will have to be paid back.

This knocks the wind out of another of President Bush's recent economic boasts: that the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 were a sound economic policy that ought to be continued. It is true that the tax cuts provided some modest stimulus to the economy, as opposed to doing nothing at all. But doing nothing was never the only practical alternative, and most economists would see these tax cuts as terribly irresponsible.

That's because the tax cuts build a huge structural deficit into our federal budget, for years and even decades to come, until they are reversed. Another record: federal tax revenues are at their lowest in more than 50 years, as a percentage of our economy.

For a small fraction of the trillions of dollars of deficit spending that the tax cuts have created over the next decade, we could have gotten the same or greater stimulus to the economy from a temporary rebate aimed at the majority of households -- and not so concentrated on the "haves and the have-mores."

About 24 percent of the Bush tax cuts have gone to the highest income one-percent of taxpayers. These are people who had already increased their after-tax income by 139 percent from 1979 to 2001 -- more than a $400,000 increase after inflation.

The Bush Administration decided that these were the folks who most needed more tax breaks: on capital gains, dividends, and inheritances. Now there's another record we could break: for inequality of income and wealth in America.

Article Link

Cure a Sick Healthcare System

"Cure a Sick Healthcare System: Universal coverage under National Health Insurance would not increase health costs"
By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein
In These Times

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are talking about
real health-care reform. A national health insurance
program could cover all of the uninsured, upgrade coverage
for most other Americans, and save money.

Read the Article

Happy Hour to Fight Global AIDS and Poverty!

(announced by M.P. Sweeney)

Bring your friends, bring your co-workers, bring your family. Join with people in three KY cities who are taking action!

Call and write KY Senator Mitch McConnell and ask him to fully fund initiatives which help the world’s poorest countries fight Poverty and AIDS. As head of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, McConnell oversees and approves US foreign assistance spending -- and is set to spend more financing foreign militaries than on AIDS or alleviating global Poverty!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 7:30-9:30 PM
Common Grounds Coffee House
343 East High Street

The Millennium Challenge is an initiative to help undeveloped countries stand up against poverty, disease and corruption. The Millennium Challenge calls on donor countries to provide significant new resources for education, public health, clean water access, and food security in countries that prove they are fighting corruption and investing in their people.

The Global Fund is a UN-endorsed, multilateral initiative to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria by providing funds for Treatment, Prevention, and Orphan Care and Education in 128 developing countries.

These programs face huge funding cuts for 2005, 50% and 63%, respectively. Join us sending a message to McConnell to fully fund these programs!

If you can not make it on Wednesday, take a moment to write and call
Senator McConnell:

Mitch McConnell (KY)
361-A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Participating organizations: DATA, Kentucky's Global AIDS Campaign, U of L Global Justice, the One Campaign, NKU African Charities, others.

John Kerry Stand Against the Death Penalty

Finally a candidate that has the courage to take a stand against the barbaric death penalty.


Taking the Ultimate Penalty Off the Table
by John Nichols
Published by Nation
Reposted at Alternet


Kerry opposes the execution of juveniles, supports greater access to DNA testing for death row inmates and argues that studies "reveal serious questions, racial bias, and deep disparities in the way the death penalty is applied." Kerry was a cosponsor of the National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2001 and of the National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2003.

"I know something about killing," Kerry says, referencing his service in Vietnam as a swift-boat commander. "I don't like killing. That's just a personal belief I have."

Read the Rest of the Article

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"My Beef With Big Media" by Ted Turner

Ted Turner, Washington Monthly
Republished at Alternet's Mediaculture

The founder of CNN explains why big media conglomerates pose
a serious danger to democracy.

Read the Article

Monday, July 26, 2004

Foucault's Dream of a New Kind of Criticism

I can't help but dream about a kind of criticism that would try not to judge but to bring an oeuvre, a book, a sentence, an idea to life; it would light fires, watch the grass grow, listen to the wind, and catch the sea foam in the breeze and scatter it. It would multiply not judgements but signs of existence; it would summon them, drag them from their sleep. Perhaps it would invent them sometimes- all the better. All the better. Criticism that hands down sentences sends me to sleep; I'd like a criticism of scintillating leaps of the imagination. It would not be sovereign or dressed in red. It would bear the lightening of possible storms. (323)

Foucault, Michel. Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. The Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984, Vol. 1. ed. Paul Rabinow. NY: The New Press, 1997.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security

New Report on Climate Change: Semper Paratus

The paper, comissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense, paints a sobering portrait of a world trying to cope with potentially devastating effects of climate change

Read this Article on the Report

Read the Report

New Mexico Business Associations Pressure Radio Station Owner To Remove Liberal Radio Show

"Radio Free Silver Pulled Off the Air by Station Owner"
by Jim Owen
Silver City Daily Press
Free Press News

"Radio Free Silver" a one-hour, daily, liberal talk show in Silver City is off the air.

KNFT Radio owner Matt Runnels announced Monday he was canceling "RFS" because 20 to 25 of the station's advertisers threatened to pull their spots from all KNFT programming if the show continued to be aired.
Runnels said he was faced with a loss of nearly $10,000 in monthly advertising revenue.

Car dealers, bankers, pizza business owners, all-terrain vehicle sellers and furniture-store owners were among those who threatened to pull their ads, according to Runnels.

"It's a shame that, in America, we can't have someone with an opposing view," he said. "It wasn't like ('RFS' was) preaching anarchy. ... If you don't like what you hear, push the button. There's a lot of programming out there.

"I do a lot of conservative programming," Runnels continued. "We have (talk shows hosted by) Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Bill O'Reilly."
Runnels said some advertisers objected to the liberal show's criticism of President Bush.

"Rush Limbaugh still badgers and belittles and degrades President Clinton, and he hasn't been in office for four years," Runnels noted.

"I thought, as a balance, we could put ('RFS') in a slot," he said. "But, after a month or six weeks, I started hearing rumblings."

Some customers didn't want their advertisements aired on "RFS." They "told us (an official) with the Cattle Growers (Association) came by and said it was an un-American show," Runnels reported.

Business owners said the association official told them the cattle growers would boycott KNFT advertisers if the show was not canceled, according to Runnels.

Ty Bays, southwest area vice president of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and a former president of the Grant County Area Cattle Growers Association, denied that either organization threatened a boycott.

"If (association members) want to support area businesses that advertise on that station, that's up to them," Bays told the Daily Press. "We have not made any official statement. We're not officially banning that radio station. Our members listen to country music; when they hear ('RFS'), they probably turn it off."
The president of the Grant County Area Cattle Growers Association, Jason Dobrinski, was not available for comment this morning.

Because of customer complaints, KNFT stopped placing any advertising on "RFS," instead requiring the program to pay for itself by collecting about $600 a month from supporters.

The fund-raising goal was met, and the program became self-sustaining, according to Runnels. He said "a lot of people" contributed, with checks ranging from $1 to $100.

However, KNFT advertisers continued "calling our sales people," threatening to cancel their ads because of "RFS," Runnels said.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Fortress Big Apple: The Upcoming RNC Convention in NYC

Mother Jones has a pair of essays that look at the preparations for the upcoming Republican National Convention in New York City and the growing dissent that will be evident in the demonstrations being planned to take place during the RNC convention.

Fortress Big Apple
By Tom Engelhardt

Will the President Escape From New York?
By Nick Turse

(Read These Essays)

For more on the growing No RNC movements, check out:

Better Propaganda

High Times Special Activism Issue

SNAFU, Prison Abuse, College Pranks and No RNC Movement

Radical Songbirds of Islam by Jonathan Borofsky

(source Loose History of Avant Music #3)

JOHNATHON BOROFSKY -- Radical Songbirds of Islam

The idea for this music came while I was living and working in Jerusalem for an extended period of time. I became very interested in the simplicity and beauty of the Muslim chants, which could be heard daily broadcast through loudspeakers in different areas of the city. What interested me the most was the a cappella voice, with no accompanying instrumentation, and more important, the lack of the traditional western drum beat in the background. Without this incessant western drum beat, the silence or spaces between sung phrases often lasted for five to ten seconds. This was a challenge to someone who always expected the notes to fall into
regular time patterns. The Radical Songbirds Of Islam (Opus For Voice) grew out of a collaboration between myself and another artist-musician, Ed Tomney, in 1987. At that time, I had been counting continuously from zero to over three million numbers. Ed's custom made computer program translated these numbers into a musical score for my voice. The resulting music, taken from a library of sampled notes sung by myself, is then constructed from a series of tape edits. (Distributed by Reachout International Records, Inc., New York )

New Film Version of Moebius' Blueberry

(trailer courtesy of Douglas Rushkoff who posted it on the MediaSquatters listserv)

It seems that someone has finally made a movie of Moebius' series of Blueberry graphic novels. Check out the trailers

While you are waiting you can pick up the original Blueberry graphic
by Moebius--the series continued for over three decades and have been published in many languages! Many Americans would recognize Moebius' work from 70s/80s issues of Heavy Metal magazine (the French version which he founded--it doesn't seem to be connected with him anymore?--not sure), but I believe Blueberry is one of his more popular worldwide publications.

Wood's Lot

This is one the most beautiful, mysterious, magical, erotic, and intelligent archival (content-wise) blogs that I have seen lately--great collection of sources and images. Bravo!

Wood's Lot

Friday, July 23, 2004

Better Propaganda

Better Propaganda music magazine has plenty of downloads (I'm currently listening to the new Sonic Youth), reviews and some interesting interviews/articles, for instance, their latest is an interview with R.U. Sirius

In the interview R.U. Sirius mentions the Million Yippie March slated for the upcoming Republican National Convention in New York City. A site that explains the history of the Yippie movement.

Orwell Rolls in His Grave: A Robert Kane Pappas Documentary

(from the website)

Has America entered an Orwellian world of Doublespeak where outright lies can pass for the truth?

Are Americans being sold a bill of goods by a handful of transnational media corporations and political elites whose interests have little in common with the interests of the American people? Orwell Rolls in his Grave explores what the media doesn't like to talk about -- itself.

Filmmaker Robert Kane Pappas has brought together an ex-"60-minutes" Producer, a United States Congressman, as well as some of the country's leading intellectual voices on the media to examine the mix of business, politics and ideology that is the modern mainstream media.

Orwell Rolls in His Grave

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Conventional Wisdom, Talking Points, and Freedom of Oppression

Once again Jon Stewart and the gang from The Daily Show lend us a helping hand in understanding the current American political spectacle.

Conventional Wisdom/Talking Points

Freedom of Oppression

William T. Vollmann on the Necessity of "Freedom of Speech"

I'm currently reading the first volume (of seven) of Rising Up and Rising Down (McSweeney's, 2003) by William T. Vollmann. Its a meditation on the uses, abuses, meanings, rationalizations, legitimations and consequences of violence in human history. Yeah, 3000 plus pages, luckily Vollmann is a talented writer and he brings to the project a wide range of experiences/learning/interests and, as we all should, a recognition that he should develop his own moral calculus in regards to these problematic issues.

Vollmann literary bio

Anyways, since I'm going to be reading all seven volumes I'll most likely refer to it from time to time--here is a good beginning quote from the essay "Where Do My Rights End?" on the necessity of "freedom of speech" as a basis for a just social contract:

... the self retains the inalienable right to express itself as it chooses, on any topic that it chooses, the right to empathize with friend or foe (shall we call that treason?), to assent and to deny, to offend, to express its conscience and to express no conscience, to be offensive, vulgar, vicious and even evil in the object and manner of its expression, at any and all times, with the sole caveat that direct incitement to violence is action, not speech, and may be considered illegitimate to the extent that the violence it incites is illegitimate. I say it again: If we don't grant the self this paltry right, then our social contract is nothing more than hypocritical or naked coercion. (volume I, pg. 223)

Loose History of Avant Music #3: Robert and Irene Show

(announced on Action Arts Collective listserv
For Thursday July 22, 2004 6-9pm EST
From the Robert and Irene Show
WRFL 88.1fm
Listen to the Show

Loose history of avant music #3

This week expect to hear:


In 1948 Paris, history was made. Pierre Schaeffer, a French radio broadcaster, working for the Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise (RTF), created the first electronic music studio. With a multitude of microphones, phonographs, variable speed tape recorders and sound effect records he created a new art form, musique concrete, and with it a world of new music opened up -- the world of electronic music.

Electronic music can be divided into three categories: Musique concrete, Synthesizer music, and Computer music. Musique concrete was the first type to be created. It involves using the found sounds in nature, distorted in various ways, to create music. Live, it becomes an exercise in mixing together unexpected sounds into some sort of form while studio musique concrete uses complex tape manipulations to create the effect.

Synthesizer music and computer music as of late are meshing together with the advent of MIDI. Music of these types involve sounds created by a synthesizer and computer respectively, and have now become an integral part of most current music today.

Musique concrete can be created two different ways, both with widely varying techniques of creation. Recorded musique concrete uses tape, phonographs, and various other pieces of equipment available in the studio. It is created by recording various sounds on tape and modifying them in some way. This can be achieved by playing the tape back at various speeds, making a tape loop of the sound, playing the tape backwards, stretching the tape, or simply splicing short segments of tape together. What results is a alteration of the sound in new and unique way. Sounds can then be pasted together and overlaid to create a 'song'.

Live musique concrete cannot use all the techniques of it recorded form. It usually consists of enormous amounts of microphones placed in various places around the performing hall and half a dozen variable speed phonographs all feeding into a series of mixers and filters, which in turn feed the various amplifiers driving a multitude of speakers scattered throughout the hall. In either form, musique concrete creates a unique form of music that takes the ear strangely.

Though not created until 1948, musique concrete has a long history before that of composers trying to add noise to their compositions to break free from conventional music. One of the first of these composers was Luigi Russolo. In conjunction with Balilla Pratella, he created an orchestra of Bruituers, or noise making machines. Encased in large boxes, these made a variety of grunts and hisses that became part of his 'Art of Noises' concerts in Milan, 1914. He used his bruituers to accompany traditional music and combine with it in new ways.

After Russolo came Darius Mihaud, who began to experiment with changing the speeds of records to get new sounds. Meanwhile Respighi was having a phonograph playing nightingales along with an orchestra in his Pines of Rome in 1924. In 1927, Antheil was experimenting with noise in ballet. Using car horns, airplane propellers, saws, and anvils, he wrote his Ballet Mechanique. All the while approaching was the one discovery that could make such compositions infinitely easier to create. In 1935, Allgemeine Elektrizitaets Gesellschaft invented the tape recorder, the crucial
technological advancement needed for musique concrete to be realized.

It was soon after this, in 1948, that Pierre Schaeffer developed his studio and began to experiment with musique concrete. Some of his first pieces include Etude aux Chemins de Fer, Etude aux Tourniquets, Etude au Piano I, and Etude aux Casseroles, which used sounds ranging from locomotives to whistling tops to spinning pan covers. In 1951 a group was created by the R.T.F. to research this new form of music and le Groupe de Recherches Musicales was formed, headed by Pierre Schaeffer.

Musique concrete in the beginning was fairly limited. Though a broad range of sounds were used overall, only a few types of sounds were used for each composition. Some compositions in fact had only one sound source. The music created sounded very spacy and eerie. Feeling, as might it should, very futuristic. The composition usually used long drawn out notes, often very low in frequency. There was very little sense of a rhythm; the music just seemed to flow and evolve, and even this, very slowly, creating a very long composition length. It followed a form similar to some of the new age music being created today and probably was a predecessor of new age music.

As musique concrete evolved, it became more varied. More rhythm and emotion was added to pieces as they got faster and more complex. In 1965, John Cage, a famous American composer who had been doing such experimental work for quite some time, performed Variations IV live at the Fiegen/Palmer Gallery in Los Angeles. For the work he set up a series of microphones and phonographs which he mixed together into one final composition. The creation that evolved was closer to the musique concrete of today. Using snippets from conversation going about the hall, from outside on the
street, and from various records, both classical and modern, he created a sound that wasn't eerie, but rather exciting.

During the fifties and sixties musique concrete became the rage. Musique concrete was being written for film, ballet, and various new multi-media presentations such as Edgar Varese's Poem Electronique which used four film projectors, eight projection lanterns, six spot lights, six ultra-violet lights, fifty electric lamps to represent stars, and hundreds of fluorescent lamps in various colours. At the 1958 Brussels World Fair Iannis Xenakis created Concrete P-H II for the Philips Pavilion, which was to be played through 400 loudspeakers positioned within the structure of the building. Stunning.

Political Parody of Popular iPod Posters

(courtesy of S.N.A.F.U. in response to a thread at the MediaSquatters listserv)

The Posters

Monday, July 19, 2004

Flex Your Rights

Not sure what are your rights when confronted by police officers? Then visit Flex Your Rights for answers to how to simply and safely protect your rights.

Veniss Underground by Jeff VanderMeer

I first came across Jeff VanderMeer's writings when we were published together in the Swami issue (#8) of formerly known as l'bourgeiozine. A fan of the zine and the authors published within it, I decided to seek out one of his novels and picked up a copy of Veniss Underground (Prime Books, 2004).
Veniss Underground is a fabulous story narrated in three increasingly-longer parts, by three different characters.  For me, each part as it depicts more of the increasingly surreal, environmentally wasted, drastically altered landscape and peoples of Veniss, is saved from complete nightmarishness, by the increasing emotional complexity and passion of each of the succeeding characters.  This description is a poor substitute for Jeff VanderMeer's beautiful tale... it has a wonderful sense of the effect of environment on characters and some of the most realistic, impossible creatures (the leviathan is to incredible to believe, yet Jeff's descriptions made it real for me--completely blowing me away in the third part of the book) .   The novel also provides intellectual stimulus around the issue of bio-genetics, responsibility of the artist/scientist,  and includes engaging depictions of bio-constructs, such as genetically enhanced meerkats and ganeshas
I'm looking forward to reading my copy of his earlier book City of Saints and Madmen: The Book of Ambergris
VanderMeer is also the Founder and Creative Director of The Ministry of Whimsy Press.

Fox News: Unfair and Unbalanced

Don Hazen
It's time the Fox News Channel stopped using its ridiculously inaccurate "Fair and Balanced" slogan.The Independent Media Institute has filed a legal challenge to that trademark and joined a campaign against Rupert Murdoch's partisan network.
If there were any outstanding questions about Fox News' bias, 'Outfoxed' answers them. Nikki Finke talks to director Robert Greenwald
More Reports on Greenwald's New Documentary Outfoxed

Edward Said

(for a student)
A Window on the World
Interview in The Progressive
Edward Said: Liminal Intellectual
Three Forms of Orientalism
The Clash of Ignorance

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Doonesbury: The Saga of B.D.

 Garry Trudeau, in his daily comic Doonesbury, continues to blaze a path in comics history as he shines a light on what is often ignored in the Iraq War (or any war for that matter)--the daily life of returning crippled and maimed soldiers.

Bush's Shell Game: The Record on Education as Governor and President

Bush's New Federal Math Leaves Kids Far Behind
by Sydney H. Schanberg
Village Voice
Read the Article

"Uncivilized Discourse" by David Neiwert

Uncivilized Discourse
David Neiwert
Reality Blurred
How is any kind of normative political discourse possible in this environment? How is it possible to be civil to people who constantly are placing you under assault?
Read the Essay

Jon Stewart: Bush Strategy To Fight Terrorism is Repetition

The Daily Show is one of the few reasons that I miss cable TV (luckily, many of the clips can be found online).  Alternative news magazine Tom Paine highlighted this clip from the show.  It is a brilliant analysis that demonstrates the old-style subversion of intelligent humor and how it can cut through the bullshit so quickly. 
Daily Show Clip
For more on Jon Stewart:
Jon Stewart: More Than a Funny Man
Archive of Daily Show Videos


What is Anarchism?

In my summer course we are currently reading Homeland (Seven Stories Press, 2004) by Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson.  The first section tells the story of Katie Sierra the teenage anarchist who was thrown out of school for a shirt she wore to school and her attempts to start an Anarchy club at her high school in Sissonville, West Virginia.
Well after discussing anarchy with my students, and later with Melissa, I realized that I have only a passing knowledge of the founding ideas of anarchism and that I needed to revise some of the stereotypes about anarchist activists that I had received from the media.   So I sought out a few handy guides online and will search for a couple of books to fill in the history of anarchism.  As always I would appreciate some suggestions/comments, especially about anarchist histories.
What is Anarchism?
Anarchist Sampler
Anarchist Library
Anarchy Archives
Infoshop: Online Anrachist Community
Anarchist Theory Guide
Spunk (Anarchist) Library
Anarchist Black Cross Network
Anarchist Action Network
Institute For Anarchist Studies
Anarchist Federation
Anarchist People of Color Website
Black Ribbon Campaign
Daily Bleed: Anarchist Encyclopedia
Daily Bleed: Anarchist Timeline
Anarchist News Service
Phoenix Anarchist Coalition
Anarchist Communitarian Network

Iraqi Prime Minister Accused of Executing Prisoners

Iraqi PM executed six insurgents: witnesses
Reporter: Maxine McKew
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Lateline

MAXINE MCKEW: Let's go straight to the allegations that Iyad Allawi executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station at the end of June.  The explosive claims in tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald and Age newspapers allege that the prisoners were handcuffed and blindfolded, lined up against a courtyard wall and shot by the Iraqi Prime Minister.  Dr Allawi is alleged to have told those around him that he wanted to send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents.  Two people allege they witnessed the killings and there are also claims the Iraqi Interior Minister was present as well as four American security men in civilian dress.  Well, the journalist reporting the story is Paul McGeough, awarded a Walkley Award for his coverage of the Iraq war last year.  He's also a former editor of the Herald and is now the paper's chief correspondent.  He's joined me on the line from a location in the Middle East.
Read Entire Report and Interview

Saturday, July 17, 2004

High Times: Special Activism Issue

This months High Times  (Sept/Oct 2004, #346) is a Special Activism Issue designed to inform activists for the upcoming RNC convention in New York City.  It is loaded with great features on current activist organizations and tactics.  A great counter-example to the idiotic TV commercials that portray marijuana culture as simply being a life of vegetation and failure.

Making Muslim Space in North America and Europe

eScholarship Editions and University of California Press
Entire book available online:
Making Muslim Space in North America and Europe edited by Barbara Metcalf

Outfoxed: New Documentary Charges Fox News Tailored News Coverage to Back Bush

Democracy Now Report
Outfoxed: New Documentary Charges Fox News Tailored Coverage to Back Bush
We take a look at a new documentary: "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," that accuses the Fox News Channel of tailoring its coverage to back President Bush. We play excerpts of the documentary and speak with its producer and director, Robert Greenwald as well as Larry Johnson a former CIA agent and former Fox News contributor.

More Reports on Outfoxed

Friday, July 16, 2004

Come Out Fighting: Beating Bush in 2004

Some excellent suggestions for Democrats on how to defeat the Republican publicity machine in the 2004 Presidential Elections.
"Come Out Fighting"
Rick Perlstein
Village Voice
Come Out Fighting

Life in the Wires: The C-Theory Reader

(Courtesy of Rhizome)
Life in the Wires: The C-Theory Reader

For those of us who like our media theory to have poetic and dramatic flair, the online journal CTheory provides regular satisfaction. In case you missed some of the recent (or older) essays, or just want them all together in a more complete context, the editorial team of Arthur and Marilouise Kroker have brought together a collection of forty-five CTheory texts into one volume. Titled 'Life in the Wires,' the reader explores music, politics, urban space, gender, art and other aspects of contemporary, technologically saturated life. 'Life in the Wires' supplies a range of critically ambivalent feelings about our electrified and networked condition, from Paul Miller's (DJ Spooky) reflections on 'the cinematic image' to a conversation with (media theorist) Manuel De Landa on '1000 years of war.' And like any media theory book worth its weight in wires, the CTheory Reader has a companion website with supplementary materials and a series of streamed events and seminars wit! h many of the journal's regular contributors and editors. - Ryan Griffis

Visit the Site 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

A Radical Question: What is the "Meaning" of Democracy?

My latest column at the online magazine In the Fray:
A Radical Question: What is the "Meaning" of Democracy?
Responses Appreciated!

Get Hip Now!: Free Music Sampler (Lexington, KY)

** New GET HIP NOW! sampler CD out now

Grab a FREE copy of the AAC's new 'Get Hip Now!' sampler cd at CD CENTRAL (377 S.Limestone), GUMBO YA YA (1080 S.Broadway, next to BW3's), MECCA (209 N.Limestone),
and other spots around town. On this month's sampler - new music from MATT VALENTINE (free/mystic folk, member of Tower Recordings - performing WED, JULY 21 @ MECCA) and STICKS AND STONES (a Chicago jazz trio featuring members of Town and Country, the Chicago Underground Duo, and the original bassist for the Roots ? performing MON, JULY 26 @ MECCA). Both shows are ALL AGES and are sponsored by WRFL 88.1FM and
the Lexington Action Arts Collective. GET HIP NOW! Pick up a sampler and tell a friend! For more info email Ross at

Drive By Truckers

A new powerful southern rock band, down and dirty, kick-ass music, reminiscent of the Muscle Shoals era...

Clips from their new CD Decoration Day

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Bush Administration Plans Cancelation of Presidential Elections if Terrorists Attack: Instead They Will Encourage Us To Shop Till We Drop!

This boggles the mind, an actual plan to cancel the U.S. Elections--straight out co-optation of the election process? Keep in mind these are the leaders that encouraged us to shop for America during the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks... where are we heading as a country?


Media suppresses news of Bush’s moves to cancel US elections
By Kate Randall and Barry Grey
World Socialist Website

Read the Article


Washington Post calls Bush moves to postpone US elections "appropriate"

Online Sources for the 2004 U.S. Elections

(courtesy of Alternet)

Guardian Coverage of US Elections 2004

Extensive Listing of Voter Projects Nationwide

American Voice 2004: A Pocket Guide to Issues and Allegations

Project Vote Smart

Open Secrets: Your Guide to Money in the Elections

The Blogging of the President 2004

Election 2004 Forum

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Being Nothing: George W. Bush as Presidential Simulacrum

This essay is so insane it makes sense... maybe we have finally caught up to Jean Baudrillard and Guy Debord, so that the former no longer seems like a comic fantasist and the latter a strident militant---what they warned us about has arrived. Real-life is stranger than fiction? Read this essay and let me know what you think?



Being Nothing: George W. Bush as Presidential Simulacrum
Carol V. Hamilton

Read the Essay

Homeland: A Journey Across Post 9/11 America

This is a book that I am teaching in my summer ENG 102 course and my Fall/Spring 104 courses.


In a new book, Dale Maharidge travels across the country
with photographer Michael Williamson, the two of them
seeking to capture this American moment in prose and
Excerpt from Homeland

Melinda Welsh talks with the authors of 'Homeland' about
their attempts to chart the trends in a restless, deeply
divided America.

Media Bistro has an excerpt from the book:

Homeland Excerpt

Annette Fuentes review of Homeland, along with Samuel Huntington's newest book, for In These Times:

Whose Homeland is This?

Monday, July 12, 2004

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

A new documentary from Robert Greenwald.

(from the website)

"Outfoxed" examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know.

The film explores Murdoch's burgeoning kingdom and the impact on society when a broad swath of media is controlled by one person.

Media experts, including Walter Cronkite, Jeff Cohen (FAIR) Bob McChesney (Free Press), Chellie Pingree (Common Cause), Jeff Chester (Center for Digital Democracy) and David Brock (Media Matters) provide context and guidance for the story of Fox News and its effect on society.

This documentary also reveals the secrets of Former Fox news producers, reporters, bookers and writers who expose what it's like to work for Fox News. These former Fox employees talk about how they were forced to push a "right-wing" point of view or risk their jobs. Some have even chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect their current livelihoods. As one employee said "There's no sense of integrity as far as having a line that can't be crossed."

For More Information and Resources

Also, check out Jim Gilliam's, co-producer of Outfoxed, website. Its dedicated to a very good cause ;)

Alternet's review of the documentary:

Don Hazen, AlterNet
A review of Robert Greenwald's new documentary investigating
the Fox News Channel.

Hazen's Review

Move On Publicity for the Documentary

See a trailer for Outfoxed in Quicktime or in Windows Media

Move On is organizing house parties nationwide to show the movie on July 18th:

Find One Near You

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Landmark Civil Rights Showdown: Senate Vote on Federal Marriage Amendment

Years from now our grandchildren will wonder how anyone could have hated a human being (or denied them basic rights of security and companionship) simply because of their sexual orientation. What does "democracy" mean? Equal rights for all?



Senate showdown over same-sex marriage: Religious right mobilizing massive lobbying effort for federal marriage amendment
Bill Berkowitz
Working For Change

If Karl Rove, the president’s chief advisor, and Ed Gillespie, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, hadn’t been searching for the mother of all wedge issues to galvanize their right wing base; if the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court hadn’t ruled that the state’s constitution should apply to all of its citizens; if Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, a relatively unknown Republican congresswoman from Colorado, hadn’t gotten the ball rolling in Congress; if Texas’ sodomy law hadn’t been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court; if newly elected Mayor Gavin Newsome hadn’t opened San Francisco City Hall to thousands; and if the president hadn’t endorsed it, it is unlikely the U.S. Senate would be on the brink of making history.

But all these things have happened, mostly during the past year. And now, sometime during the week of July 12, the Senate will be voting on a Federal Marriage Amendment -- a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Teens Getting Breast Implants for Graduation

Boys asking for a car, girls asking for body modification?



Teens Getting Breast Implants for Graduation
Susan Kreimer
Originallly published at Women's eNews
Republished by Wiretap

More teens are ignoring health risks and requesting breast implants as a Sweet 16 or high school graduation gift.

Entire Article

The Joy of Toxic Cola

Miranda Kennedy,

Coca-Cola isn't keeping it real in India. Neither is its fierce rival, Pepsi. America's most beloved brands are facing a firestorm of criticism for dangerously high levels of pesticide residues in their locally-made sodas.

The well-respected research group, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) in New Delhi, found traces of lindane, malathion, chlorpyrifos, and even the banned DDT in Indian-bottled Pepsi and Coca-Cola drinks. CSE says pesticide levels in the Indian samples are respectively 36 and 30 times higher than EU safety standards. And not surprisingly, when the same group tested bottles sold in the U.S., they were pesticide-free.

Read Entire Essay

Not Quite a Serious Work: Review of Cold Mountain

Some of the best movie reviews these days are being written by David Walsh for the World Socialist Website... here is a recent one...

"Not quite a serious work" by David Walsh
Cold Mountain, directed by Anthony Minghella


More Film Reviews by David Walsh

Saturday, July 10, 2004

The Master of Cinematic Body Horror

David Cronenberg

Historians and "Memory" by David W. Blight


Common-place asks David W. Blight, professor of history and black studies at Amherst College, and the author most recently of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Cambridge, Mass., 2001) about the differences between remembering and analyzing the past.

Historians and Memory

The Etched City by K.J. Bishop

I've been literally (literary) wandering about searching for a good piece of fiction that would embrace my notions of the magic that the world can bring to the open senses (senses that haven't closed themselves off to the wonders of the world)... lately its been a disappointing literary derive through a series of authors who have no sense of style, wit or passion.

Last week, while strolling about downtown, waiting for Melissa to get done with some business at the DMV, I wandered into Lexington's Central Library to see if they had anything that might distract me from my anxious waiting for the results of my comprehensive exam results (see earlier posts--four weeks and counting). In a moment of happenstance I had the good fortune to walk out with a copy of K.J. Bishop's first novel The Etched City (2003)... wow, it slowly wrapped around my brain, luring me deeper into the environs of the dreamlike landscape of Ashamoil and the separate adventures of the mercenary Gwynn and healer Raule (sort of intertwining, yet separated, male/female, dark/light, ourobous)... and then there is the artist Beth Constanzin who may or may not be reshaping our shared reality (reader/writer/characters). This is a must read--potent and intoxicating, erotic and surreal, poetic and intelligent. This was her first novel? When does the next one come out?

Check out this excellent review of The Etched City in the UK newspaper The Guardian by another favorite author of mine, Michael Moorcock:

Landscape of Dreams

Also Fantastic Metropolis has an interview with K.J. Bishop:

Interview With KJ Bishop

Tommy Chong and Operation Pipe Dream

Tommy Chong was on Jay Leno tonight to discuss his arrest in the federal government's Operation Pipe Dream sting operation. His arrest, the waste of money on this ridiculous sting operation (hello what happened to looking for terrorists--idiot Ashcroft), and the general bullying of US citizens... of course this is just the tip of the iceberg (Chong is a celebrity and got off easy).

Tommy Chong is Free

Ashcroft's Pipe Dream

We have over 2 million people in prison in the USA, an endless war on "terror" and a spiraling national debt... and this is what the government is concentrating on? Tommy Chong as a public enemy? Bongs as criminal offenses?

Wired Magazine Report

Free Tommy Chong

Political Cartoon

The Drug War is insanity--a waste of lives ruined and money wasted:

Stop the Drug War

Alternet: Drug Reporter

Friday, July 09, 2004

Cliff Schaffer: History and Hysteria of the Drug War

(courtesy of Juergen Heilig)

Cliff Schaffer, creator of Drug Library, discusses the history and the hysteria of the drug war. Cultural Baggage is a radio show on Sirius
Satellite Radio Network that presents "the Unvarnished Truth about the Drug

Interview of Cliff Schaffer

The Exception to the Rulers

The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them
by Amy Goodman


"THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULERS": It really should be the motto of all journalism, all media today, and that is the exception to the rulers. There is a reason why our profession, journalism, is the only one protected by, enshrined in the Constitution, because we are supposed to be the check and balance on government -- the exception to the rulers."

Watch the program or read the transcripts

Download a Poster about Democracy Now and Amy Goodman

HIV, AIDs and the Bush Administration

Nation special report

When President Bush gave a speech on AIDS in Philadelphia on June 23, the
New York Times got all moist because he mentioned the word "condoms" once
in his speech: "Bush Backs Condom Use to Prevent Spread of AIDS" blared
the Times headline on the story, signed by David Sanger and Donald McNeil

But, as Doug Ireland points out in the Nation Online, if Sanger, McNeil,
and their editors knew anything about Administration AIDS policy they
might have mentioned the censorious new anti-condom guidelines issued on
June 16 by Bush's Centers for Disease Control, which reveal as a sham the
election-year rhetoric mouthed by Bush in Philadelphia.

The new CDC regulations are mandatory for any AIDS-fighting organization
that receives federal money for HIV prevention, and they finish the job of
gutting effective, disease-preventing safe-sex education that has been a
goal of the Bush Administration since it took office.

For more, read Ireland's exclusive report

And don't miss The Nation's collection of articles on HIV, AIDS and the
Bush Administration by Ireland, Katha Pollitt, Esther Kaplan, Naomi Klein,
Richard Kim and many others.

All at: HIV, AIDs and the Bush Administration

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Bitches on Bikes Offends Lexington Vice-Mayor Scanlon

Women bikers group defends sign at parade: VICE MAYOR SAYS IT WAS OFFENSIVE
By Michelle Ku

During the Fourth of July parade, Bitches on Bikes, a women's motorcycle group, roared down Main Street to the cheers of the crowd.

But before the start of Saturday's parade, the bikers drew the attention of Vice Mayor Mike Scanlon, who wanted them to take down a sign because he considered the word "bitch" offensive.

"My concern was that the b-word was going down Main Street on a family holiday when we all know there are women in abuse shelters working their hardest to get that stereotype eliminated," Scanlon said.

The sign came down, but it didn't stay down. It reappeared on the front of a car as Bitches on Bikes turned onto Main from the Midland Avenue staging area.

The banner was taken down while the female bikers decided what to do and the group of about eight voted unanimously to put it back up, said Shannon Salisbury, founder of the biking group. "The theme of the parade was 'Let Freedom Ring,' and we were censored."

For Bitches on Bikes, the word "bitch" isn't hateful or offensive, it's an empowering term, Salisbury said.

"Bitch" is used to play off of a well-known term in the biking community, said Chester Salisbury, Shannon's husband. "A guy or girl riding behind is called 'riding bitch.' We're taking someone from the back and bringing them to the front."

Until Salisbury formed Bitches on Bikes, female motorcyclists in Lexington often rode alone because the local men's groups would only allow a woman to participate if she "rides bitch," Shannon Salisbury said.

Although the women of the group have claimed and embraced "bitch" for their own, that doesn't mean it's OK, Scanlon said. "It just doesn't feel good to see a hate word going down the middle of Main Street on the Fourth of July."

Although Scanlon hadn't received any complaints before he acted, he wasn't the only one bothered by the use of the word.

Councilman Bill Farmer Jr. said there were some uncomfortable moments as parade participants lined up in the staging area before the parade.

"They were so near my unit in the parade, and I was having to explain to children why the sign was on this car and why this man with a beard was wearing a dress," said Farmer, whose entry was just two spots ahead of the women's bike group, which included a man in a dress.

During Tuesday's council work session, Farmer announced "there were some issues of taste" in the parade and that the city should be more careful next year.

When Bitches on Bikes signed up to participate in the parade, a city official should have asked them to "change the name of their parade unit," Farmer said Tuesday.

Unless the parade entry is submitted past the deadline, every group that wants to participate in the parade and pays the entry fee is allowed to join, said Gerald Smith, Mayor Teresa Isaac's chief of staff. "We figured (this group) was a bit edgy and they were making a statement, but there was no discussion about them not being in the parade."

Next year, the city will "look at language about signs, but we have to be careful because that's censorship," Smith said.

Article Link

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Lexington Herald-Leader Apologizes For Lack of Civil Rights Coverage

A very admirable step toward helping us to understand the difficulties of this time!



Whiteout Mea Culpa: Kentucky Paper Apologizes for Lack of Civil Rights Coverage 40 Years Ago
Democracy Now

This July 4th, the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper in Kentucky issued a front-page apology for failing to adequately cover the civil rights movement four decades ago. We speak with the author of the newspaper's mea culpa and a retired social worker who took photographs of Lexington civil rights activism in the 60s that were ignored by the local papers and never published at the time.

Listen/Watch/Read this Story

Documenting the World

These sites are amazing! Let your mind open to the possibilities of documenting the world...

121 kids from 11 cities photograph their world

Photographing Their World

Zone Zero: Exposiciones:

In this one there are ten full pages of these photo-documentaries--browse all of them if you get the chance (look for the buttons on top and bottom of the page).


The WetAss Chronicles:

Get Wet!

21st Century Neighborhoods:

See these, then document your own neighborhood!

World Hum:

Travel The World and Write About Your Experiences

Words Without Borders--The Online Magazine For International Literature:

Read Literature From All Over the World

Polylog: Forum for Intercultural Philosophy

What is the Meaning of Democracy? Pt. 4

Theodore Allen: The Invention of the White Race, Pt. 1

Theodore Allen: The Invention of the White Race, Pt. 2

North American Slave Narratives

Chronology of Slavery, 1619-1789

Chronology of Slavery, 1790-1829

Chronology of Slavery, 1830-Present

Classic Texts on American Slavery

PBS: Africans in America

U.S. Government Biography of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson's Writings Online

PBS: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson Digital Archive

Jefferson on Politics and Government

Jefferson on Slavery

NPR: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings

Philadelphia Convention of 1787

Federalist Papers

U.S. Constitution

National Archives: Access Foundational Documents

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

What is the Meaning of Democracy? Pt. 3

Wikipedia: English Civil War

Open University: English Civil War

BBC: English Civil War

Many Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic


Statement of the Levellers

Levellers Day (UK)

Libertarians Remember the Levellers

Selected Works of the Levellers

Gerard Winstanley

Christopher Hill: Historian of the English Revolution

Historical Necessity and Human Freedom: An American Tribute to Christopher Hill

Christopher Hill's The English Revolution, 1640

The Putney Debates

English Diggers

San Francisco Diggers

Contemporary British Diggers

John Locke: Second Treatise on Civil Government

Selections from The Federalist: Alexander Hamilton and James Madison

Rousseau: Social Contract, pt. 1

Rousseau: Social Contract, pt.2

John Stuart Mill: On Liberty, pt.1

John Stuart Mill: On Liberty, Pt. 2

Richard Rorty: Failed Prophecies, Glorious Hopes

John Rawls: Justice as Fairness

Iris Marion Young: Beyond Deliberative Democracy

Claude Lefort: The Question of Democracy

Reconsidering the Limits of Democracy

Democratic Theory and Democratic Experience

Amy Gutmann: Democracy, Philosophy, and Justification

Benjamin Barber: Foundationalism and Democracy

Amartya Sen: Democracy as a Universal Value

Amartya Sen: The Importance of Democracy

Amartya Sen: The Perspective of Freedom

The Economics of Empire

Was Democracy Just a Moment?

What is the Meaning of Democracy? Pt. 2

In my summer/fall 2004 courses we are reading Bernard Crick's Democracy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2002) and Dale Maharidge's Homeland to better understand the issues surrounding the upcoming 2004 Presidential Elections and to develop a clearer sense of our roles as responsible, active, knowledgeable and engaged citizens (at the local/national/global levels). Below I am creating (and will be updating) links to be used to help supplement/define/trouble/question of our study of "democracy":

On Democracy

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy

Constitution Society's Huge Archive of Democratic Texts

The Founders's Constitution: Archive of Democratic Documents

Wikipedia: Democracy

John Dewey's Democracy and Education

Center for Media and Democracy: PR Watch

Center For Digital Democracy

Cultural Democracy

Douglas Rushkoff's Open Source Democracy

Digital Democracy

Zimbardo, Philip G. “Stanford Prison Experiment: A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment Conducted at Stanford University.” Visual/Textual Slide Show Articles on the Experiments

What is Culture?

Remediation: Understanding New Media

Community Culture

Mass Culture

Subcultures: Style & Identity

Experimental Culture: Avant-Garde

High Art Culture

Alternative Culture

Culture Jamming

Culture Jamming 2

Resistance to Corporate Culture

Independent Media in a Time of War

Big Media, Technological Control and the Freeshare Movement


Propaganda Critic


American Political Satire

Project Censored Guide to Progressive Media

Indy Media Movement

World Media Archive

BBC World Media

We Are Everywhere--ed. Notes From Nowhere

Landscapes of Global Capital

Granta #77 “What the World Thinks of America” #83 “This Overheating World” and #84 “How America Sees the World”: Granta Back Issues

Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences

Perseus Project: Classical Greek Texts Online

Critics and Critiques of Ancient Athenian Democracy

The Ancient Greek Democratic Experiment

Demos: Classical Athenian Democracy

Plato's Views on Democracy

Plato: The Character of Democracy

Democracy and Power

Alexis Tocqueville's Democracy in America

Aritotle: The Polis

Machiavelli's The Prince

Machiavelli's Discourses

Machiavelli Biography

John Locke on the Conduct of Understanding

John Locke's "An Essay on Concerning Human Understanding"

Plato's Republic

Rousseau: Social Contract

Philosophy of Education

Freedom of Religion

Politics: A Brief Summary

John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty"

Biography of John Stuart Mill

Sunday, July 04, 2004

12 Nights in Bangkok: The Bangkok International Film Fest

12 Nights in Bangkok: The Bangkok International Film Fest
by William Barker and Adam Jones
Independent Media Center: Blomington-Normal, Illinois

The 2004 Bangkok International Film Festival is underway; it will run from 22 January to 2 February, showcasing around 150 films from all over the world. The festival includes a program on past and current Thai cinema, and another program dedicated to the films of the ASEAN countries (Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia and Malaysia). There is also a two-day focus on cinematography, during which an achievement award will be given to acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

ISU students William Barker and Adam Jones are currently teaching English in Bangkok and are attending the festival as correspondents for the Indy. They will issue film reports and interviews throughout and after the event.

Adam's and William's Reports and Interviews

More Reviews of Films

Globalization, Local Myths and Corporate Comics

Below is the press release from Marvel/Gotham Entertainment of the production of a new Spiderman developed specifically for India... makes me somewhat nauseous!



Below is the official press release issued by Marvel on the Spider-Man India project we discus. A link is also at the bottom for people to view images from the book. It would be great if you could send this out to your contacts. Please let me know. Looking forward to sseeing you at the convention.

Best Regards,
Sharad Devarajan
President & CEO
Gotham Entertainment Group
T: 732 335 1094
F: 732 335 1117




Bangalore, India (June, 2004), Marvel Enterprises, Inc. & Gotham Entertainment Group, Indian publishing licensee of Marvel Comics and the leading publisher of international comic magazines in South Asia, announces the launch of Spider-Man India.

Spider-Man India interweaves the local customs, culture and mystery of modern India, with an eye to making Spider-Man's mythology more relevant to this particular audience. Readers of this series will not see the familiar Peter Parker of Queens under the classic Spider-Man mask, but rather a new hero, a young, Indian boy named Pavitr Prabhakar. As Spider-Man, Pavitr leaps around rickshaws and scooters in Indian
streets, while swinging from monuments such as the Gateway of India and the Taj

Mumbai's (Bombay's) first web-swinging Super Hero will be joined by a reinterpretation of the classic Spider-Man villain, the Green Goblin -- reinvented as a Rakshasa, an Indian mythological demon.

"We feel this is one of the most exciting and unique projects in comic history," said Gotham Entertainment Group CEO Sharad Devarajan. "Unlike traditional translations of American comics, Spider-Man India will become the first-ever 'transcreation,' where we reinvent the origin of a Western property like Spider-Man so that he is an Indian boy in Mumbai and dealing with local problems and challenges."

Marvel Enterprises President of Publishing, Gui Karyo offered, "Marvel has
continuously done its best to push the boundaries of traditional comic books and to look for new venues for our characters. Gotham is helping us to expand the Marvel brand with a truly global vision."

The first four issues of the new comic series will be published and released by Gotham Entertainment Group in India. Marvel Comics will provide publishing details for the States at a later date.

For additional images on the new Indian Spider-Man go to:
Spiderman India

"Bad" Catholics?

'Bad' Catholics
Jeff Fleischer
Mother Jones

When John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he took pains to assure voters he would not let the Pope influence American politics. Forty-four years later, another Catholic JFK is seeking the White House, but this time, his opponents are trying everything they can to get the church leadership involved.

From President Bush seeking the Vatican's help on social issues to the decision by some Catholic bishops to deny communion to pro-choice (but not pro-war or pro-death penalty) politicians and their supporters, some on the right are actively trying to portray John Kerry and others on the left as "bad Catholics." But such attempts could well backfire, as it appears the majority of Catholic voters dislike the selective and political co-opting of their faith.

Read the Rest of the Article

We Are Everywhere: The Irresistable Rise of Global Anticapitalism

'We Are Everywhere: The irresistable rise of global anticapitalism' edited by Notes from Nowhere and published by Verso

A "whirlwind collection of writings, images, and ideas from direct action by people in the frontlines of the global anticapitalist movement" and the untold stories of resistance, reclaiming and subversion in everyday life activities. The website, book and movement in general is dedicated to developing a sense of global resistance that is positive and life-affirming.

The website includes excellent links, essays and references to inspire:

We Are Everywhere

Other important sources on the development of these global resistance movements:

Globalization: A Primer

No Logo (check out the Fences/Windows section at the site)

Alternet: Globalization

Alternet: Rights & Liberties

The Global Site: Critical Gateway to World Politics, Society and Culture

Lila Rajiva

Indian immigrant Lila Rajiva has been writing a series of articles on corporate globalization for Alternet:

Synthetic Science
The dangers of silicone breast implants are widely known -- although Dow Corning's PR campaign almost managed to turn around public sentiment. Less known is that saline is potentially as dangerous.

Cleaning House
Back yards are India's new battlefield, in which multi-national corporations compete with an inovative new paradigm of community sanitation.

The Globalized Village
An Indian immigrant's trip to her small hometown in India becomes a lesson in the fallout of globalization.

Democracy and Gender

The new Welsh assembly is the first legislative body in the world made up of equal numbers of men and women.
Guardian Report

Women and the Scottish Parliament

Percentage of Women in Democratic Governments--Where Does Your Nation Rank?

The Status of Women at the United Nations

Council of Europe Report

The Manifest Universal Declaration of Independence from Gender Tyranny and The Manifest Universal Declaration of Gender Interdependence in Balance for Good Government



Friday, July 02, 2004

Adbusters: Unbrand America


Unbrand America Campaign

This July 4th, culture jammers are launching a blast of symbolic disobedience at America’s corrupt power structure – by swapping the Stars and Stripes for the Corporate America flag. This flag is a symbol of what’s wrong with 21st-century America, the country that has sold its soul to corporate rule.

Enter Unbrand America

Culture Obscura

Culture Obscura

Copyright law has become one of the most debated issues in the creative industries, largely as a result of networked technologies. Those parties invested in traditionally regulated forms of exchange are trying to fence off cultural products, doing everything possible to immunize themselves from the outbreak of peer-to-peer sharing and creative sampling. But many cultural producers, including artists, are forming their own responses to these delineations of creativity, seeking to open up, rather than close off, access to their work. 'Copy Art,' an ongoing, web-based collection of art works that are open to sharing, changing and redistributing, is one among many such initiatives. The show is a curatorial project of Irini Papadimitriou developed in collaboration with Metamute (the web presence of UK-based Mute Magazine), and will apply the Creative Commons non-commercial share alike license to featured artworks. 'Copy Art' launched this June at London's IBID Projects with! works by Miltos Manetas, Thompson & Craighead, Critical Art Ensemble and more. Hardly a passive exhibition meant for spectators, visitors are asked to upload their own files - ideally manipulations of the works in the show. - Ryan Griffis

Copy Art