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.
Welcome to a new 21st century year, and how better to kick it off with a bit of real life sci-fi? This 29 minute documentary examines the American establishment’s attempts to consolidate its hegemony through the militarisation of space.
Okay, there’s unintentional hilarity from the low production values – including the worst autocue reading I’ve ever seen, and the old confusion between, on the one hand, Cheney and Rumsfeld’s wildest and most sinister fantasies and, on the other, the real world – but serious points are raised and it’s worth seeing through the medium to the message
Released just as Tony Blair was leaving office, this film documents his ten-year war against civil liberties, begun as a way of protecting businesses from ‘harrassment’ but dramatically escalated as part of The War Against Terror.
I had a few things lined up to go with this film, but decided they detracted from the seriousness of the issue. However, the soundtrack is ace, and that last song deserves reposting in its entirety without being talked over. So here, for your listening pleasure, is Jarvis with Running The World.
Reconstructing Iraq, apparently, is a job for Bechtel, Halliburton and other firms grown rich from burning the Third World’s money. Private data extraction specialists were behind some of the worst atrocities of Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, and the mercenaries of Blackwater are literally making a killing. The number of contractors like these in Iraq has been growing since the outset of hostilities, and has now overtaken that of regular troops.
Iraq For Sale
This Robert Greenwald film (76 mins) views the problem very much through a “Support The Troops” lens, but is nevertheless a shocking and highly informative exposé.
Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Private Army
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill talks about everyone’s favourite mercenaries in this interview (41 mins) for Democracy Now.
In this seminal 2004 documentary series (3 episodes, 60 mins each), Adam Curtis traces the intertwined histories of two ideological movements – the neoconservatives and the radical Islamists – and the political reality they helped create. For rather than following the most inspiring dreams, we now select the leaders with the most terrifying nightmares.