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.
Last week we looked at how our societies were changed by the oil boom, and how they will have to change to cope with the oil crunch. This film (98 mins) is a much broader look at the fossil fuel industry and its effects worldwide.
The oil boom of the 20th century allowed millions of Westerners to flee the cities and spread out over miles of countryside. That boom is now over and, with oil becoming ever more scarce, that sprawl is looking less and less sustainable.
The End Of Suburbia
This documentary (79 mins) focuses almost entirely on North America, where the oil boom and the attendant rise in car culture and consumerist suburbia took of more than anywhere else. However, we face similar problems in Britain, Europe and elsewhere, and could do much worse for an watchable and informative introduction to the socioeconomic implications of what’s become known as “Peak Oil”.
(This is just a trailer; click here to watch the full film on Yahoo! video)
The Power Of Community
The island republic of Cuba has already weathered a severe energy famine, when trade with the USSR was cut off by the latter’s collapse in 1991. In this sequel (53 mins) to The End Of Suburbia looks at the community networks and structures which allow the Cubans to survive on a fraction of their previous fossil fuel consumption.
… has been thrown out of Parliament! This short clip is all that YouTube has to offer, so you’ll miss the nauseating display of smug knife-twisting that followed his exit.
Those of us naive enough to expect a repeat of his glorious performance in the U.S. Senate in 2005 were to be sorely disappointed. That performance, and a half-hour documentary about the honourable member for Bethnal Green and Bow and the smear campaign against him, follow.