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.
In 2003 Robert Newman toured his one-man political/musical comedy show From Caliban To The Taliban – 500 Years Of Humanitarian Intervention, the precursor to his acclaimed A History of Oil which was filmed for More4, and his BBC TV series The History of the World Backwards.
In a breathtaking ninety minute performance filmed in front of a live audience at the Brighton Corn Exchange Theatre during the 2003 Paramount Comedy Festival, From Caliban To The Taliban details an unlikely but true history of modern imperialism, from the Virginia Company to the occupation of Iraq, and demonstrates the towering intelligence and sparkling wit of comedy superstar and former teen heart-throb, Robert Newman.
A bizarre but compelling examination of humour in the Third Reich (58 mins). At first this was tolerated, and even encouraged – back then, no-one took the Nazis too seriously, and the more people were snickering the less they were rising up – but as the war drew on jokes became a channel for subversive informationand dissent, and by the end laughter out of turn was cracked down upon severely.
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.
How do you get inside an arms dealers’ convention to stare at the torturers and murderers of the world’s nastiest regimes? If you’re comedian Mark Thomas, you set up a small, specialist PR company and offer them free media training workshops – getting some groundbreaking confessions along the way. Comedy with an edge (about 40 mins; h/t Heathlander, the latest target of Bill O’Reilly’s unfocused rage)