All posts tagged: Arts and Entertainment

In Defense of ‘Conspiracy Theories’

Max Parry To remain innocent may also be to remain ignorant.” John Berger, Ways of Seeing This November 22nd marked fifty-five years since the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Perhaps no other major incident in U.S. history has generated more uncertainty and skepticism towards its official account than his Dallas killing in 1963. A 2013 Gallup poll showed that a clear majority of Americans still doubt the Warren Commission’s determination that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone as the accused sniper, with many suspecting that others in government and organized crime were involved in a secret plot to kill the president. Although its etymological origins can be traced back further, as a cultural phenomenon the notion of belief in so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ is widely attributed to a surge in distrust of government and media institutions that followed JFK’s murder. Perhaps its only rival would be September 11th, which surveys have similarly indicated a trend of doubt towards the 9/11 Commission Report’s version of events leading up to the attacks in 2001. In other words, most people …

Revolution with Lee Camp

Eddison Flame As the saying goes, wars take place when the government tells you who the enemy is; revolutions take place when you work it out for yourself.” John Wight If it’s true. If revolutions do take place when the people work it out for themselves, then we must be headed for a revolution. Because people are working things out for themselves. It seems like every day I find someone new who is shining bright light into the darkness, and I can’t help but feel we are reaching a critical mass. People are becoming bolder, and they are speaking the truth with ever greater clarity. This week I’m very excited to have found Lee Camp’s wonderful new Super Patriotic Very Uncle Sam Comedy Special. It is a shining example of just what I’m talking about. It is a clear minded and boldly spoken social critique, and it is stand up at its finest. It reminds me of something from George Carlin or Bill Hicks. I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s a great …

Peterloo and the Realist tradition

Philip Roddis Worthy, sumptuously shot, convincingly acted and not without moments of insight – but a tad leaden. That’s my take on Mike Leigh’s new film, released November 2. I’ll give a more nuanced view in a moment but first a timeline, reverse chronology, in which Peterloo – the event, not the movie – can be framed: Orgreave 1984…Bloody Sunday 1972…Amritsar 1919…Peterloo 1819. It’s hardly a competition but the toll of fifteen sliced to death by mounted and sabre flailing yeomanry, many of them drunk, charging into the crowds at St Peter’s Field in Manchester on August 16, 1819, is dwarfed by that of 379 mown down at Amritsar’s Jallianwala Bagh, April 13, 1919. As are the fourteen shot dead by the Parachute Regiment in Derry’s Bogside on January 30, 1972 – while at Orgreave in June 1984, police in riot gear and supported by dogs killed no one at all when they attacked[1] striking miners, their livelihoods on the line. So why lump together events separated not only by centuries and continents, but by …

AUDIO: “It’s the Empire Stupid”, Episode 37 – Edward Curtin

In this episode of his podcast, Philip Farruggio talks regular OffG contributor Edward Curtin about the current relevance of the movie “Network”. “ … in the film we see the introduction of what is now called ‘Realty Television’ taken to its satirical end. Curtin shows us how writer Paddy Chayefsky captures the anger so many felt then, and how his main character, Howard Beale came to represent ‘ Everyman’ when pushed against the wall of this empire. Curtin, a professor of Sociology, has used this film for years as a bridge to understand the how much our media is

Book Review – “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”

David William Pear How can I write a review of Andre Vltchek’s new book Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism? I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. Andre himself says that: There is nothing to add to the writing of maverick revolutionary philosophers. Hands off their work! Let them speak! Editions without prefaces and introductions, please; no footnotes! The greatest works of philosophy were written with heart, blood and passion! No interpretation is needed. If allowed to read them, even a child can understand.” He is speaking about the works of other great revolutionary writers, not himself. I think Andre is a great revolutionary writer, too. But, who am I to speak for Andre or greatness? Read his great works for yourself, and you will understand them without my introduction. You will find that Andre has the guts to put himself out there, let it all hang out, and expose his vulnerabilities as well as his wisdom… But I am damned if I don’t write a book review for Andre’s book, because I …

Westworld: Does the ‘Door’ of Perception Lead to the Valley Beyond?

by Dan Mallon Dan Mallon gives his overview and analysis of the psycho/social themes in HBO’s hit series Westworld. Who, what, when, why; where are we? In Johnathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s second instalment of the Westworld saga obviously; once again, we have found ourselves lost. This time, just like William (Ed Harris) — the formerly known Man in Black; we are now lost at the epicentre of ‘the Maze’, with no conceivable route out and with William’s ultimate wish having materialised: the stakes are real this time. The creators of the Westworld series clearly have quite a few seasons in the pipeline and have decided to give them names which seem to reflect the deep and varied themes we have seen develop so far. The first season was aptly entitled ‘The Maze’; whereas this brand new one has been dubbed ‘The Door’. Of course the Maze was never anything more than a metaphorical challenge, intended for the human-like hosts of Westworld to develop consciousness by way of intermittent voice commands to “Remember” or “Wake up”, all …