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Is this footage of a 21-year-old Bernie Sanders getting arrested in 1963?
02.17.2016
09:04 am

Topics:
Activism
Heroes
History
Politics
Race
U.S.A.!!!

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This sure looks like my Bernie to me.

Yesterday on the In These Times website, Miles Kampf-Lassin alerted readers to a newly posted video that purports to be of a young Bernie Sanders getting arrested at a civil rights protest against school segregation in Chicago in 1963. The future Vermont Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate was then just a 21-year-old student at the University of Chicago.

Clearly—if this footage is indeed Bernie Sanders and it sure looks like him to me, he was rather a distinctive-looking fellow even in his younger years—then this is visual proof positive that Sanders has been consistent in his beliefs—and fighting the good fight—for his entire adult life. And yes, this was back when a young Hillary Clinton was a confirmed “Goldwater girl.” Feel the burn?

The footage was taken from Kartemquin Film’s ‘63 Boycott project, which chronicles the Chicago Public School Boycott of 1963, and was filmed by Kartemquin co-founder Jerry Temaner.

The protest on Chicago’s South Side took aim at racist education and housing policies being carried out in Englewood—namely the proposed construction of a new school for black students made up of aluminum trailers known as “Willis Wagons,” named after the Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Benjamin Willis who first ordered them. These trailers were used by the city to deal with overcrowding in black schools, thereby preventing integration of black students into less-densely populated white schools.

 

 
Sanders was arrested for his civil disobedience—specifically resisting arrest—and fined $25.

Look at the glasses. Also, compare the big chunky watch in the clip below with the big chunky watch the young Sanders is seen sporting in the photo below:
 

 
I wouldn’t bet my life on it that it’s a young Bernie Sanders in this footage, but I’d surely wager a pinky or a toe…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Tactics for Evolution: Industrial socialist pioneers Test Dept, live in Berlin, 1997
02.16.2016
12:03 pm

Topics:
Activism
Music
Politics

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00testdep00.jpg
 
When Test Dept were at the end of their first incarnation, performing at the Island Open Air Festival in Berlin, during August of 1997, the group had progressed from their hard industrial sound (hammers hitting metal) to a more experimental electronica much related (a second cousin twice removed, perhaps) to rave culture.

Some artists and musicians need pricks to kick against in order to produce great art—otherwise they would all end up being as anodyne as Justin Bieber or as deluded as Kanye West. Test Dept had the extreme machinations of the British Conservative government to kick against when they formed in south London’s docklands in 1981. Test Dept described themselves as “an urgent reaction to the materialistic drift and reactionary conservatism of the prevailing musical and political culture.” They were the antithesis of the moronic inferno of commercial music and the perniciousness of right-wing politics. Their motto was:

EXTREME CONDITIONS DEMAND EXTREME RESPONSES.

Test Dept were in opposition to the extreme conditions being created by the ruling Conservative party under the prime ministership of Margaret Thatcher. Mrs. T. had been elected in May 1979 on a campaign that claimed the previous Labor government had created high unemployment. By 1981 the irony fairy had been working overtime and Thatcher’s policies doubled the number of unemployed. It eventually reached a massive high of over 3 million people by the mid-1980s.

Across the country, industries and businesses were closed. Essential social services were devastated by the Tory’s cuts, which will sound familiar to younger generations. Thatcher operated on the belief that the previous Labor government had made the British far too dependent on state hand-outs (welfare) and this was why she hacked away at the benefits system like a drunk gardener uprooting roses to kill the weeds.
 

 
Test Dept were a response to the obscenity of a new political order and the decay and poverty left in its wake. TD scavenged for the tools to make their industrial sonic attack—discarded sheet metal, hammers, oil drums. They were aligned to political activism—seeking like-minded collaborators—filmmakers, sculptors, dancers and politically active groups—to produce site-specific works to fight back and bring change. In 1984, at the height of the miners’s strike—when Thatcher closed the mines and starved the miners out of work—TD collaborated with miners and their families to draw attention to their plight and raise money for their funds.

Anyone who saw TD during this decade felt emboldened and empowered to fight back against the Tories and bring about a fairer more equal society. They are very much needed again now.

As if responding to some psychic Bat signal, Test Dept regrouped for the release of a book to commemorate their involvement with the miners’ strike. Next month they’ll premier their soundtrack to the recently rediscovered and restored Soviet silent film masterpiece An Unprecedented Campaign by Mikhail Kaufman. Test Dept will appear at the film’s premiere in Newcastle, details here.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
EXTREME CONDITIONS DEMAND EXTREME RESPONSES: Test Dept’s industrial strength Socialism

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Comic trolls Donald Trump with a tough guy Cockney gangster accent
01.29.2016
08:44 am

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Activism
Amusing
Politics

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Sometimes a small change in perspective can reveal the whole truth of a subject. While most people know Donald Trump is a dangerous idiot, there are some (god help them…) who are deluded by his bluster, bullying and ranting xenophobic hatred. These poor souls are caught like a rabbit in the headlights or you know, a mouse hypnotized by a snake or whatever it is snakes do to fool mice into standing still long enough to become lunch… promise them some tasty cheese or something…

Hopefully this may all change as actor, comedian and writer, Peter Serafinowicz has done a truly marvellous thing. He has added a cockney tough guy accent to Donald Trump making sound like a cross between a Bob Hoskins’ villain in a British gangster flick and one of the Monty Python’s Piranha Brothers (Dinsdale).
 
04trumpeter.jpg
 
Mr. Serafinowicz has not altered any of Trump’s words, but his small and powerful tweak in presentation is like having subtitles for the hard of thinking. Do spread this far and wide, please.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Anti-capitalist artist trolls Kellogg’s and Tony the Tiger AND IT IS DARK and EPIC
10.19.2015
12:15 pm

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Activism
Advertising
Amusing
Animation
Art
Class War

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A couple weeks ago the most amazing thing started to percolate around social media, but then it was apparently stopped by lawyers from Kellogg’s. The “amazing thing” I refer to is the ultra-elaborate trolling—allegedly orchestrated by the brilliant Finnish anti-capitalist artist Jani Leinonen—of Kellogg’s and their Tony the Tiger mascot.

For generations, kids the world over have grown up eating Kellogg’s sugary, nearly nutritionless breakfast cereal and getting positive reinforcement from Tony’s “They’re GRRRREAT!” catchphrase, but some of the child actors who were actually in these commercials have apparently had tragic difficulties later in their lives.

Each new video that appeared saw Tony addressing the problems—via the use of his simplistic catchphrase basically—of a prostitute, a brutal cop and a suicide bomber.

Here’s the first one, launched on October 7th:
 

 
What Leinonen (I’m pretty confident he’s the mastermind)—whose “School of Disobedience” show is currently on exhibit at the Finnish National Gallery Kiasma—has done is, well, as I said before, ultra-elaborate trolling. Culture jamming of the Banksy or Ron English school and of the highest order, not only in terms of the wit employed, but in how perfectly this prank was pulled off. What you are about to see aren’t some amateurish commercial parodies, they are as professionally realized as something that you might see on Saturday Night Live, or indeed, as any “real” TV commercial for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. I used to work at a commercial production studio in New York that specialized in mixing live action and animation, usually in the employ of selling sugar to children, natch, and lemme tell ya, back then this would have taken a small army to pull off. This guy is a maniac! I really admire his dedication and work ethic. He might want to destroy capitalism—but Jani Leinonen is anything but lazy. He must be the hardest working anti-capitalist around.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Renoir haters descend on Boston to stop the scourge of Impressionism
10.06.2015
01:40 pm

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Activism
Art

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This is weird, but I get it: a group of protestors took up signs against the Impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The protest was organized via an Instagram called “Renoir Sucks at Painting,” which yesterday published a call for the resignation of BMFA’s curators. Via the Boston Globe:

It’s nothing personal, says Ben Ewen-Campen, he just doesn’t think French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir is much of a painter. Monday, the Harvard postdoc joined some like-minded aesthetes for a playful protest outside the Museum of Fine Arts. The rally, which mostly bewildered passersby, was organized by Max Geller, creator of the Instagram account Renoir Sucks at Painting, who wants the MFA to take its Renoirs off the walls and replace them with something better. Holding homemade signs reading “God Hates Renoir” and “Treacle Harms Society,” the protesters ate cheese pizza purchased by Geller, and chanted: “Put some fingers on those hands! Give us work by Paul Gauguin !” and “Other art is worth your while! Renoir paints a steaming pile!” Craig Ronan, an artist from Somerville, learned about the protest on Instagram and decided to join. “I don’t have any relationship with these people aside from wanting artistic justice,” he said. The museum hasn’t commented on the fledgling movement, but a few folks walking by Monday seemed amused. “I love their sense of irony,” said Liz Byrd, a grandmother from Phoenix who spent the morning in the museum with her daughter and grandchild. “I love Renoir, but I think this is great.”

 

 

 
That Instagram is loaded with detail shots of Renoir paintings purporting to show the artist’s ineptitude, and, far more amusingly, museumgoers flipping off paintings. And again, I get it. While Impressionism is correctly heralded in art history as the birth of the avant-garde for its rejection of academia, I personally—apart from a huge soft spot for Degas—kinda fucking hate it. It’s great for museums, as it’s the one movement that’s guaranteed to earn loads of admissions from affluent suburbanites who otherwise know approximately dick about art, but all that damned pastel-iness is nauseating. Its historical importance aside, that shit is why we now suffer the infernal art of Thomas Kinkade. When I read the news of this protest, I flashed back to a 20-year-old piece in The Baffler #8 called “Pelf and Powder Blue,” completely torpedoing contemporary reverence for the movement as the basis for a colossal scam:

Monet—and Impressionism generally—is a cultural miracle-worker capable of triggering pious, near-unanimous wonder on a scale Americans rarely encounter anymore. Decades pass, the economy slips, but Impressionism remains the golden genre, the magic formula capable of drawing the sturdy bourgeoisie of our homeland up in reverent mannered lines stretching placidly around the block. In those soft-focus Victorian scenes we catch a glimpse of that prelapsarian time when the rebel yawp of modernism—later to become so menacing and theoretical and satanic—resulted in nothing more threatening than pastel colors and nice renderings of lawn parties.

The appeal of Impressionism is a simple thing, really. More successfully than almost any other cultural offering available in America today, Impressionism brings the two most potent elements of consumerism—safeness and rebellion—together into a commodifiable whole duly certified by almost ridiculously sanguine market approval. This is why it’s the lawn parties and flower gardens of Monet and Renoir that win the public’s plaudits—never the dark Communard tones of Courbet—and why any exposition of their works must always make loud and public declarations of their subversive, radical, even revolutionary, daring.

The magic of impressionism, the secret formula that keeps its prices so eternally high, is that it gets it both ways, enjoying the eternal approbation of both Oldsmobile and art professor alike. On the one hand it is nice art, profoundly appealing to the very people artists strive endlessly to offend. (Relax with the smiling soft-focus ladies of Renoir, always enjoying a vacation at some modest pleasure spot. Luxuriate in the pleasant pastels of Monet, those soft pinks, purples, blues, and turquoises that can be found to match any suburban bathroom.) On the other hand, just as the Red Dog never appears without prudish tamers of some kind for him to defy, one never reads a discussion or sees an exhibit of Impressionism that neglects to mention over and over again the Impressionists’ exalted status as the very first bourgeoisie-shockers, orthodoxy-resisters, and rule-breakers. Their famous rejection by the French Salon is viewed by many as the starting point of modernism, the original cosmic exchange between intolerant patriarchs and rebel bohemians. With Impressionism you can have nice pictures of flowers and fantasies of persecution by an intolerant establishment, all in the same package.

So there’s that. Here are some images from “Renoir Sucks at Painting.” We at DM wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
 

 

 

 

 

 
Via ArtNet News

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
San Francisco group proposes 300-mile, $7.3B wall to keep Burning Man attendees from returning
08.06.2015
10:29 am

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Activism
Amusing

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“The week of Burning Man is the only week that the rest of us don’t have to hear about Burning Man. What if that week could last forever?” asks a spokesperson for Cultivated Wit.

The group has created a crowd-funding site asking for a mere 7.3 billion dollars to build a 300-mile wall, from from Point Reyes to Santa Cruz, around the Bay Area during the week of Burning Man to keep the Burners from returning.
 

 

We want to help Burning Man attendees continue their favorite week of the year, and allow them to keep experiencing the genuine community and deep connections they can only feel while at Burning Man. To do this, we will build a 300-mile wall around the entire Bay Area during Burning Man.

For the rest of us, what’s normally our favorite week of the year… lasts forever!

 

 
Their (yeah, bogus) crowdfunding site, MegaGoGo,  also features projects like rerouting the Mississippi River to California to solve the drought, building a tunnel under the “boring” Midwest, and deploying a fleet of blimps in Los Angeles to alleviate traffic.

If such a project were actually gotten off the ground, it would certainly go a long way toward lowering some of the astronomical rent prices in the Bay Area. The team at Cultivated Wit seems to think it’s doable if everyone pitches in:

Building a 300-mile wall in one week will be difficult, but if we can get just 50% of the Bay Area population (minus Burning Man attendees) we’ll have about 3.5 million volunteer wall builders. That’s less than half a foot of wall per person!

So what do you say San Francisco? Are you up to the challenge? Just don’t tell the Burners what you’re up to.

You’ve got less than a month to put this thing together!

Here’s their modest (and hilarious) proposal:
 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘Sexism,’ a disturbingly accurate board game from 1971
07.31.2015
11:02 am

Topics:
Activism
Feminism
Games

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Sexism board game - 1971
Sexism. A board game from 1971
 
Sexism was a board game, conceived back in 1971 by Carolyn Houger, a resident of Seattle, Washington. With the creation of Sexism, Houger hoped to “bring out the humor in the Women’s Liberation movement.” The idea for the game came to Houger after her four-year-old daughter returned home after playing the card game “Old Maid” with her friends and made the statement, “wouldn’t it be terrible to be an old maid?

According to the folks over at Board Game Geek, the goal of Sexism is to move from the “doll house,” to the White House (flash-forward 44 years and we’re still waiting, but I digress). The first player to move into the White House, wins. Sexism is compelling on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start. Just take this game board square from Sexism called “Abortionist.” The square itself depicts a pregnant woman and a clothing hanger(!) with the following game instructions if you land on it:
 

 

The bill didn’t pass.

Go to the Maternity Ward

Laundry Service and Part-time You Know What!

 
Sexism encourages players to play as their opposite gender as it is known to produce “hilarious role-playing situations.” So, if you win as a “woman” the game will instruct the other players that, “You are now a person, and must be treated as such for 24 hours. Non-winners may be treated as usual.” If you play as a “man,” you are greeted by a cartoon of a large thumb pushing a woman down with the following message: “Congratulations, you’ve won — or have you?” Wow.
 
White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism
Decisions, decisions. White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism

When it comes to the cards that you might draw while playing Sexism,  playing as a woman you might draw a card that says “Go back two steps because you’re a woman. You’d just as well get used to this.” Whereas a man might draw a card that makes this incredible statement:

I staunchly defend motherhood, God and country. I’m against giving more money to ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) for each child. I’m against abortions. I’m against women earning as much as men. I’m against paying taxes for free child care centers. Go ahead three steps.

In an interview with Houger from 1972, she said that her intention wasn’t to create an “anti-male” game. In addition to enlightening folks to Women’s Lib, Houger had high hopes that the game would start a dialog about sexism, as well as help people understand that both men and women should be treated as “people.” Houger also said she wanted to highlight the fact that women can also be sexist, by “reinforcing sexism” with their actions or attitudes, especially when it comes to assigning gender-specific roles - a point that she makes rather directly on many of Sexism’s game squares.

More on Sexism after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Attention, smart people: Over 100,000 have RSVP’d for tonight’s Bernie Sanders mega-event


 

“There are no coincidences, but sometimes the pattern is more obvious.”—Neil Innes

Attention, smart people! There is a MAJOR POLITICAL EVENT that’s happening—TODAY July 29th, 2015—across this nation that you might not have heard about for Bernie Sanders. Tonight Sanders will be speaking via the Internet to over 100,000 heavily-motivated people meeting for the first time at 3,520 Bernie-related house parties and get-togethers in bars and restaurants and union halls and church basements, etcetera, etcetera, all across the United States.
 

 
Yes, over 100,000 people have found other like-minded people in their area via this map and RSVP’d to get informed and to volunteer for Sanders’ increasingly astonishing campaign. I live in Los Angeles where there are well over 100 such gatherings. I’m married, but I would assume that a lot of smart, good-looking people would attend such events. Aren’t you even curious? Of course you are. Why not search for your zip code and see what happens?

Has there ever been a larger, more dynamic and more INSTANTANEOUS grassroots movement in American history? If there has been one, they must’ve kept it a secret. Even the Tea party movement didn’t grow nearly as fast as this. And after today’s event, what happens next?

I can’t wait to find out.

The sky’s the limit, but the goal is the White House. This can happen, people.

Bernie Sanders for President: It’s time to take it to the next level, America. He can’t do it without YOU.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Someone gave KKK marchers the farty tuba accompaniment they deserved
07.20.2015
05:55 pm

Topics:
Activism
Idiocracy
The wrong side of history

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Dangerous Minds reported on the KKK rally held at the South Carolina statehouse on Saturday. What was missing from that report was this video of the Klan’s march toward the statehouse. Genius South Carolina sousaphonist, Matt Buck, gave the members of the KKK and Nazi NSM the farty-sounding accompaniment they deserved. I nearly lost my shit when he busted into the damaged rendition of “Ride of the Valkyries.”

Absolutely perfect.
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Hey Ya: Sign the petition to have Outkast carved onto Stone Mountain’s Confederate memorial!
07.16.2015
11:43 am

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Activism
Amusing

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Credit: Mack Williams
 
Just a few days after an NAACP call for banishing the Confederate symbols on Georgia’s Stone Mountain monument, artist Mack Williams created a moveon.org petition, addressed to Georgia’s state house, state senate and Governor Nathan Deal, offering a compromise.

Williams’ petition calls for adding Outkast’s Big Boi and Andre 3000, Atlanta’s most beloved hip-hop duo, alongside Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Williams believes the addition would improve an already “great monument.”

I believe it’s important to recognize the history and heritage of all Georgians. However, the carving of Davis, Lee, and Jackson on the side of Stone Mountain only represents a small, regrettable time in the history of the Peach State. It’s high time we added a bit more of our history and culture to this monument.

By no means do we wish to erase or destroy the current carving, which, regardless of its context, is an impressive and historic work of art. We simply wish to add new carvings, of Atlanta hip-hop duo Outkast, to the mountainside. There’s plenty of room.

I believe that Daddy Fat Sacks and Three Stacks should be carved riding in a Cadillac (as is their wont). This will help the new carving blend nicely with the Confederates who are on horseback.

Outkast are two of the greatest Georgians in the history of our state. It’s about time the Empire State of the South paid proper tribute to them, while also improving a great monument and tourist attraction.

As of this writing, the petition has nearly 4,000 signatures. One half of Outkast, Big Boi, has given his nod of approval to the idea. On Wednesday afternoon he retweeted a link to a story about the petition, with the addition of a “thumbs up” emoji.
 

 
H/T: AJC.com

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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