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Albert Camus’ ‘The Fall’: An animation by Mike McCubbins
10.09.2011
02:57 pm

Topics:
Animation
Books
Literature

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Though it lacks a voice-over, Mike McCubbins has created a beautiful and haunting short animation based on Albert Camus’ The Fall.

Camus’ story tells of a so-called “judge-penitent”, Jean-Baptiste Clamence, who reflects upon his life to a stranger at a bar the Mexico City, in Amsterdam. As Clamence comments to his nameless companion:

“Have you noticed that Amsterdam’s concentric canals resemble the circles of hell? The middle-class hell, of course, peopled with bad dreams. When one comes from the outside, as one gradually goes through those circles, life — and hence its crimes — becomes denser, darker. Here, we are in the last circle.”

Clamence explains how he has had a fall form grace, is now in self-imposed exile in Amsterdam. He describes himself as a good man, giving to the poor, helping the blind across the street, and that he lived his life for others. This was, until one night, as he crossed over the Pont Royal returning home from his mistress, he noticed a woman close to the edge of the bridge. He walks on and then hears a scream, and a muted splash.

“It repeated several times, downstream; then it abruptly ceased. The silence that followed, as the night suddenly stood still, seemed interminable. I wanted to run and yet didn’t move an inch. I was trembling, I believe from cold and shock. I told myself that I had to be quick and felt an irresistible weakness steal over me. I have forgotten what I thought then. “Too late, too far…” or something of the sort. I was still listening as I stood motionless. Then, slowly, in the rain, I went away. I told no one.”

Haunted by his failure to save the woman, or tell anyone about it, Clamence’s life starts to unravel, until one day a woman’s laugh (or is it his own?) causes him to realize everything he has done has not been for others, but always for himself.

To find out who he is, Clamence decides to act out of character, as “no man is a hypocrite in his pleasures”:

“...jostling the blind on the street; and from the secret, unexpected joy this gave me I recognized how much a part of my soul loathed them; I planned to puncture the tyres of wheelchairs, to go and shout ‘lousy proletarian’ under the scaffoldings on which labourers were working, to smack infants in the subway. ... the very word ‘justice’ gave me strange fits of rage…”

 

Though Camus never thought of himself as an Existentialist (more of an Absurdist writing against Nihilism), many of his concerns stemmed from the same bourgeois preoccupations that inspired Sartre and Existentialism - guilt, alienation, regret, angst. This is limned at the end of the tale, when Clamence reveals his role as “judge-penitent” - in a world without God, we are all guilty of everything, and Clamence must, therefore, sit in permanent judgement over everyone.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Awesome Kraftwerk sweater
10.09.2011
12:07 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Music

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I’m so bummed to find out this sweater titled “Man/Machine Sweater” by Mishka isn’t available anymore. It retailed for $160.00. Make more, please!

(via KMFW)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
99%: A soldier takes the fight to Bank Of America at Occupy Austin
10.09.2011
02:14 am

Topics:
Activism
Class War
Current Events
Politics

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Here’s a video I shot yesterday at Occupy Austin. It’s one of the rare moments in which something real broke through the empty rhetoric and hippie dippy slacker vibe that has dominated Austin’s shamefully disorganized and ineffective attempt at solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

I asked my friend and New York activist Marty Weinstein to write a piece to accompany the video. He has a keen sense of what went wrong with America’s deranged banking system and brings some passion and fire to the mix which provides counterbalance to my feelings of dismay with the way things are going in Austin. But I’m not going to allow my frustration to stand in the way of my own personal revolution. Today, my mission is to get Andrea and Arianna’s story out there - one of millions from the 99%. I may be disillusioned on a local level,but I am solidly behind OWS and will continue to do what I can to keep the fight alive in the Capitol of Texas.

If the video you see here doesn’t get you off of your couch and into the street to join the Occupy Wall Street movement, I have doubts about your humanity.

Andrea, Arianna and her sister are just 3 voices of the millions in the 99% of this country who have fallen victim to the bottomless pit of greed in our banking system. This system has bought the government, its regulators, and the mortgage rating services so they could enrich themselves off the backs of the working middle class. As of right now, 30% of the homes in America are either in foreclosure or have lost so much of their original value that their worth is far below the price of the mortgage. This destruction of the housing market is the core of what is driving the nation’s economy back into a recession.

Andrea served in the military, and when her service was done only wanted to start a life with her young daughters. She was fortunate to be assisted by Habitat For Humanity, and she spent her own sweat equity just to afford a decent place to live. She has lived in that house for 15 years. Unfortunately the rigged system that allows mortgages to be re-sold put her in debt to Bank of America, one of the 6 largest financial institutions in the country, with assets totaling $1.4 trillion.

When the banking crisis hit in 2008, Bank of America received $20 billion in bailout money from U.S. taxpayers, and an additional $118 billion in guarantees against bad mortgage loans. Instead of approaching their customers with their despicable tail between their legs, they chose to punish their debtors with increased charges, and in Andrea’s case raised her affordable mortgage payments by a whopping 95%. Andrea would have done better dealing with the Mafia.

This is a story of someone who served her country and is now having her entire family’s life be destroyed by that country. They are the 99%. So are you. - M. Weinstein


Update: Here’s an article about Andrea Simpson-Jones from a 1995 issue of a University of Texas newsletter. The article, “Building The American Dream,” communicates Andrea’s profound hope for a better future at a time when things did start looking up for her. It is a tragedy that 16 years later her dreams may be crushed by a system that no longer encourages dreams but is in the business of manufacturing nightmares.

My interview with Andrea and Arianna begins at the 4:46 point in the video. In the short time that I spent with them, I came to admire them deeply. This is the fuel that keeps my motor running.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
A message from Anonymous to the 99%: ‘We are the ones we have been waiting for’
10.08.2011
05:16 pm

Topics:
Activism
Current Events
Media
Politics

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“We are the ones We have been waiting for.”

The latest message claiming to be from Anonymous to the 99%.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Karl Rove glitter-bombed at conservative hate fest


 
Why can’t anyone seem to get the glitter ON their Reich-wing targets??? Everyone always misses. You gotta dump it right on their heads, not next to them!

What about trying “Silly String” next time?
 

 
Via Redditor twolf1

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dennis Kucinich: I support the #OccupyWallStreet Protesters
10.07.2011
05:59 pm

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Did you see the list on Wonkette of the Democrats who have come out in support of Occupy Wall Street? Let’s just say, um, that, well… you won’t find any surprises there… None!

Here’s the text of Rep. Kucinich’s statement (somewhat different than what is heard in the video):

“To the young men and women who are braving the overreaction of local authorities to raise their voices against the corruption and manipulation of our nation that emanates from Wall Street: I say to you that your presence is making a difference. You are exercising the right every American holds most dear, the right of freedom of expression, and with that expression you are finally getting the attention of the nation.

“Wall Street banks got billion dollar bailouts but the American people get austerity. Fourteen million Americans are out of work. 50 million people don’t have health insurance and a million people a year lose their homes to foreclosure. Our policies take the wealth of the nation and accelerate it into the hands of the few.

“We need a government of the people and for the people. We need a financial system that is of the people and for the people. It is time we take our nation back and take our monetary system back from the big banks.

“I recently introduced H.R. 2990, the National Emergency Employment Defense Act, to put the Federal Reserve under the Treasury, to end the practice of fractional reserve banking and to take control of our monetary policy and make sure it works for the people.

“We can use our Constitutional authority to coin money and spend it into circulation to put millions of Americans back to work in a way that is noninflationary. The time for bold change is now.

“We are the American people. Our dream of freedom and prosperity is too big to fail.”

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art BMW racing car
10.07.2011
04:03 pm

Topics:
Art
Pop Culture

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In 1977, Roy Lichtenstein was commissioned by BMW to paint a Group 5 Racing Version of the BMW 320i as part of the BMW Art Car Project. He, along with 16 other artists, including Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, have participated in the art campaign starting in 1975. The most recent artist was Jeff Koons who painted a BMW last year.

I wanted the lines I painted to be a depiction of the road showing the car where to go – the design also shows the countryside through which the car has traveled. One could call it an enumeration of everything a car experiences, only that this car reflects all of these things before actually having been on a road.” - Roy Lichtenstein

Pop poetry in motion.
 

 
More art cars after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
An Ode to the Chip Shop: Tickle v Dead Prez
10.07.2011
01:44 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Hip-hop

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More Scottish food shenanigans, only this time it’s not curry or chilli but an ode to the good old humble Chip Shop by the Scottish rapper MC Tickle, set to the beat of the classic “Hip Hop” by Dead Prez. Scottish people do indeed love their chips (or “fries” for my American friends) and lots of other deep-fried delights, like Mars bars and pizza slices. So much so that it can be hard to find decently priced non-Scottish cuisine on in the major cities without paying top dollar, a fact which is reflected in the poor health of the Scottish people. Yeah, it may not be the healthiest fare, which Tickle acknowledges, but at least eating at your local chippie (rather than McDonalds or KFC) has an upside in that it is supporting your local businesses and agriculture:

“Pizza Hut we say “nuh”
We say fuck Mackie D’s
BK shut your face or that mutt KFC
Pre-chewed meat pseudo food
What is this total shit?
Try and support local business
Aye and buy a poke o’chips”

Tickle v Dead Prez “cHip sHop”
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Please help save this gorgeous puppy!
10.07.2011
12:38 pm

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UPDATE: Sophie has found a great new home! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who helped spread the word about her. Because of your help, we were able to get her adopted in under 3 hours!! Congratulations to her new owner/father Manash!

Dear Dangerous Minds reader who lives in Southern California,

I wouldn’t ask you this unless it was really, really important….

Meet Sophie. She’s part Dalmatian, maybe part Beagle and about a quarter Pit Bull. She’s smart (learned to sit in five minutes), sweet and she is oh so pretty. She’s black with a white face and paws. Totally gorgeous. When I look at her, I see “Pete the Pup” from The Little Rascals, except that she is obviously a little girl.

She looks like a really tiny Pit Bull, but she’s not that solid or muscular like a full breed would be. Her mouth is small and she has all of her teeth already, leading the vet to believe she was maybe five months old. She is 21lbs as of yesterday and the vet doesn’t reckon she’s going to get that much bigger.

Anyway, Sophie wandered into our next door neighbor’s yard and decided to stay. There she has been for the past week.

They have seven cats and rescued another dog less than three months ago and they can’t keep her. Richard and I already have two dogs, we can’t keep her either.

We’re frantic to find this sweet baby girl a home. Can you help by reposting this or forwarding this information to someone you know who is looking for a great puppy or is just a softie who’ll not want to see such a special girl taken to the pound?

If you are interested email this address RescueSophie@ yahoo.com and someone will get back to you immediately.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
First public reading of Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ took place 56 years ago today
10.07.2011
12:06 pm

Topics:
Heroes
History
Literature
Queer

Tags:


 
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…”

Over at the indispensable On This Deity blog, Dorian Cope writes that today is the fifty-six anniversary of the first public reading of “Howl” by a then twenty-nine-year-old Allen Ginsberg. It was a revolutionary moment, in poetry, in literature, and the opening salvo in the counter culture battles of the 1960s:

As the hitherto forbidden content (drugs, mental illness, religion, homosexuality) emerged, Kerouac – two years prior to On the Road – was the first to realise the magnitude of what was happening. Sitting on the side of the low stage, he began to punctuate Ginsberg’s Whitmanesque-meets-jazz rhythms by banging his empty wine jug and, at the end of each long line, shouting “GO!” Soon, the entire audience joined in … their encouraging chants of “GO! GO! GO!” driving Ginsberg to a shamanic momentum and creating a tribal unity between audience and poet. By the time he finished, Ginsberg was in tears. So was Rexroth. Everyone in the room knew they’d witnessed a rare moment of duende – that mysterious higher state brought on by a burst of genuine inspiration – and henceforth nothing would be the same again.

Michael McClure would later recall: “We had gone beyond a point of no return, and we were ready for it. None of us wanted to go back to the gray, chill, militaristic silence, to the intellective void – to the land without poetry – to the spiritual drabness. We wanted to make it new and we wanted to invent it and the process of it as we went into it. We wanted voice and we wanted vision.”

The next day, Lawrence Ferlignhetti, who’d been in the audience, sent Ginsberg a telegram. And with a nod to the past but his eye fixed firmly on the future, he borrowed Ralph Waldo Emerson’s legendary words to Walt Whitman in 1855: “I greet you at the beginning of a great career.” The fledgling publisher then added:  “When do I get the manuscript?” The publication of “Howl” is another story… but, on October 7th 1955 and on the occasion of its first reading, a battle cry was sounded and the Beat Generation was born.

Read the entire post at On This Deity

Ginsberg reading “Howl”:
 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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