All too often, the phrase "corporate free press" is something of an oxymoron. Whether to maximise sales, to attract advertisers, or simply to promote the interests of their wealthy owners, the mass media open strange, self-serving and grossly distorted windows onto the world.
This website is another window. Here you'll find documentaries, lectures and interviews following a different editorial line.
The (ahem) ‘documentary’ The Great Global Warming Swindle caused a great deal of fuss when it was broadcast. Polluters, various forms of industry and others looking just to have a clear conscience were eager to jump on the ‘evidence’ as proof we should all just carry on as normal.
One strange thing about it is how easily the conspiracy theorists jumped on the bandwagon for this documentary.
However, this excellent piece (43 mins) by Chris Merchant from the University of Edinburgh explains why you shouldn’t take it so seriously.
In previous posts, we’ve looked at how America’s paranoid War on Drugs provides cover for incarcerating a generation at home, and waging a vicious class war in Colombia. Now, in this informative and frequently hilarious history (108 mins), Woody Harrelson explores in more depth the long, costly and futile fight to eradicate marijuana.
In their latest documentary (45 mins), CBC’s The Fifth Estate examines the propaganda drive that led to the invasion of Iraq.
While it’s comforting to think that most of us have learned a certain healthy skepticism since 2003, it’s worth re-examining the path to war in Iraq to prevent us from making the same mistakes again.
Fox Attacks… Iran
Robert Greenwald follows up on his Outfoxed film with this short (4 mins). It’s a shame to single out for criticism the worst of a bad bunch, as it lets the others get away with so much, but this still a chilling look at history repeating.
In one of his best and most important films so far (94 mins), John Pilger looks at how the people of Latin America are subjugated to the imperial designs (or, “national interests”) of the United States – and how the people are fighting back.
Journalist and author Naomi Klein addresses the American Sociological Association, in a meeting themed “Is Another World Possible”. In an informed and inspiring talk (~36mins) on globalisation, altermondialisation and the end of The End Of History, Klein argues:
We did not lose the battles of ideas. We were not outsmarted and we were not out-argued. We lost because we were crushed. Sometimes we were crushed by army tanks, and sometimes we were crushed by think tanks. And by think tanks I mean the people who are paid to think by the makers of tanks.
The abolition of the slave trade should have put an end to the slave economies of Britain’s colonies. Instead, as this BBC documentary (58 mins) shows, indentured Indian coolies were transported by slave-ship across the far-flung corners of the Empire. (h/t SmashingTelly.com)
Arbitrary incarceration and torture in Guantanamo, forced depopulation in Diego Garcia, poverty and social collapse in Tanzania, slow-burning genocide in Palestine… things might be in danger of getting a little grim here. So now, just this once, for something completely different: a delightfully light-hearted history of maths – and of civilisation – from Monty Python’s Terry Jones.