Saturday, January 16, 2016
Monday, November 16, 2015
|retrieved from http://harvardpolitics.com/interviews/getting-to-know-scholar-thomas-e-woods-jr/|
Monday, October 26, 2015
After calling up the powers of the federal government, they scheme to gather up the now extinguisher-frozen blob and parachute it onto the Arctic ice shelf from a plane named the GlobeMaster (hmmm...).
As McQueen hatches this simple plan with the town police chief, his final words of the movie are, "...as long as the Arctic stays cold". Needless to say, we may not be worried about an actual blob unfreezing itself as the Earth's Arctic region is gravely melting as we speak due to climate change, but we must be concerned not only with our assumptions about the inert effects of our industrial capitalist presence on the face of the earth, but our growing, though alarmingly slowly, of our awareness of how hard it has been to finally get it into our minds and hearts that the Arctic ice shelf is actually melting - a thing we never really thought was possible - and is increasingly revealing the dangerous domino-effect born out of the initial inceptions of colonialism's love for environmental exploitation and industrial over-production.
Modern industrial human presence on the earth has had and is having deleterious effects on every ecosystem on the earth. Modern industrialized humans have created a dangerous context for the earth and its citizens that show the ludicrous nature of the presumption of being masters of this particular globe. This movie was created at a time in which western society was reveling in its manipulative powers, maximizing its use of extractive industries, plastics, petroleum and artificial chemistries in colonial, settler-colonial and neo-colonial contexts. The very anti-cultural dynamics that were present during the creation of this film were exactly the elements that would answer the "?" in the final shot of the film as the blob gets gently dropped onto the ice. The anti-cultural context of this film was the undoing of film's narrative. The modern industrial world is still in the process of revealing if it's context will be humanity's undoing.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Thursday, January 9, 2014
I wonder what it is that goes through the head of the boy who asks for or receives this "play" set? What narratives will he play out? Researchers/academics in the documentary "Mickey Mouse Monopoly" assert that children play out the dominant cultural media narratives related to those toys, those characters, especially when they relate directly to the characters in the movie or tv show. So what narratives will they play out? Will the cowboys always "win"? Will the Indians always die horrific deaths at the hands and bullets of the settlers (cowboys)? Will colonial, manifest destiny narratives be reinforced by their play? Will any Indians be heroes? Will the cowboys be characterized as violent terrorists? Will they gain any insight into settler-colonial dynamics and the nature of imperialism? Will the boy be any closer to becoming a settler-ally to indigenous peoples?
Sunday, December 8, 2013
One of the three old movie channels, digital channels of local network affiliates, has an ad professing testimonials of people so happy "real" tv is back again, that they feel good about tv again and that they can let their children watch without being worried about what they'll be exposed to. These are the channels that play movies from the 30's to the 70's and many made later. They are cheap to replay and bring in advertising revenue with films owned by particular studios now boughtbout by the media conglomerates that own the networks. These are the movies with the most racist and sexist images, characterizations and narratives ever produced, with some of the widest distributions of their time, now getting even more distribution - and a free pass on their socially and politically retrograde storylines...they're "classics". It's troubling to think that those testimonials might be real, at least that they might reflect many other people's idea of what 'good', 'safe' television programming looks like.
And yes, I just watched a bug-eyed Willie Best react in his "classic" stepinfetchit role to the idea of a ghost in a haunted Puerto Rican swamp while ferrying yellow-faced Peter Lorre in 1939's "Mr. Moto in Danger Island". It just doesn't get any 'safer' than that. Westerns also figure voluminous on these channels, most old, but many newer, very few with any redeeming, non-settler-colonial, non-genocidal qualities. "Safe", they say. Isn't it strange that this sort of story, much created before the bare beginnings of social and televisual/cinematice reforms of the 60's and 70's, is what they say we think is "safe"?
Oh, and with regard to those ghosts in the swamp, the USAmerican colonials....yes, colonials as in colonialism...were discussing the people that hold such ideas about Spirit beings and Ancestors and such. They chided such claims of "ghosts" as "superstitions of a dangerously ignorant people". (long pause) "Dangerously ignorant". Those are indigenous people and African descendants in those swamps. Those are humans, children, women and men, freedom fighters in those swamps. And don't let it slip by you that these anti-indigenous, anti-African, anti-woman narratives assume the ascendancy and presumptuous superiority of a colonial culture that deified a particularly "holy" ghost, but maybe merely a ghost nonetheless, albeit tied to a he-god and a so-called savior-son whose adherents would prove much more globally and ignorantly dangerous than any culture known to revere and keep intimate relations with their Dead.