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.
Oh yeah, it’s online. Don’t think it’s not online. A shocking and occasionally hilarious exposé of the history, politics, and consequences of privatised healthcare, for my money this is Moore’s best film yet.
If there’s anything wrong with Sicko, it’s the rose-tinted lens used in the British segments. Our beloved NHS, as many will already know, is already under fierce attack from the private sector (see John Pilger, or my blog, for an introduction, and there’s a wealth of info at Keep Our NHS Public) – including from some of the worst villians in the film’s American segments.
In the sixties too, the U.S. was engaged in an unpopular, unjustifiable and ultimately unwinnable war. Then, a whole generation of young men were drafted to fight, to die, and to kill in Vietnam. This is the story (50 mins) of how those young men said “no”.
A more apt title for the programme would have been BNP Women as only one of them is married to a BNP member, and though a lot of it is old material in comedy terms (you think they’d be prepared for some of the questions and be a little more polite with members of the public!) it’s worth watching to compare what the women say with the glowing review on the BNP website, where the three are described as “fine ambassadors” for the party…
Decades before the rise of Hitler, the German elites’ quest for Lebensraum led them to a more aggressive colonisation of their newly-acquired African territories, in what we now call Namibia. This culminated in the systematic annihilation of two native peoples, through slave labour and concentration camps. (h/t Popper’s List)
The African survivors’ descendants are still lobbying the German government for recognition and reparations for the genocide today, while many of the racial theories and demobbed soldiers went on to play important roles within the Freikorps and the Nazi movement. The genocide of the Armenians is now slowly gaining recognition, but the precursors to fascism in European imperialism remain a taboo subject.
To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?
The Freud dynasty is at the heart of this compelling social history.
The Levellers were a relatively loose alliance of radicals and freethinkers who came to prominence during the period of instability that characterized the English Civil War of 1642 – 1649.
What bound these people together was the general belief that all men were equal; since this was the case, then a government could only have legitimacy if it was elected by the people. The Leveller demands were for a secular republic, abolition of the House of Lords, equality before the law, the right to vote for all, free trade, the abolition of censorship, freedom of speech, the abolition of tithes and tolls, and the absolute right for people to worship whatever religion they chose, or none at all. This program was published as “The Agreement of the People”.
The Levellers argued that since God had created all men as equals, the land belonged to all the people as a right. Their program was, then, essentially an attempt to restore the situation that they believed had existed previous to the Norman Conquest in 1099; they wanted to establish a ‘commonwealth’ in which the common people would be in control of their own destiny without the intervention of a King, a House of Lords and other potential oppressors.
Hollywood eventually made a few excellent anti-war films about Vietnam, but even the best of these focussed on the suffering of American troops. Even today, the Vietnamese people are excluded from the mainstream narrative of the war. This 1 hour film by Mickey Grant is intended to rectify that imbalance (h/t RadicalFilms.co.uk).
Compiled from Vietnamese eyewitness testimony and archival footage shot by Viet Cong cameramen (to whose memory the film is dedicated), it tells of the network of tunnels that linked the villages of Cu Chi and in which the resistance movement created an underground society, complete with music, theatre and rudimentary military hospitals allowing them to fight and win a guerrilla war against the world’s most powerful army.
A Channel 4 drama (72 mins) starring Robert Lindsay as the ex-PM, in characteristic denial about his impending war crimes tribunal. I finally got around to watching this and found it surprisingly poignant. It really stands out not for its quality, but for its willingness, exceptional among the broadly sycophantic media, to refer to Blair as what he undeniably is: a war criminal.