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Lords Of The Revolution
08.08.2009
01:21 am
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I’m looking forward to next week’s VH1 series, Lords Of The Revolution, with an excitement approaching…apathy!  I mean, we all know the drill: yet another 5-parter assembled from already available footage both superior and less sanitized.  Still, with Leary, Warhol, Ali, Cheech & Chong, and The Black Panthers each spearheading a night, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 

If you’re curious as to what it might look like, check out the VH1 trailer.  And for those of you who lack the time—or energy—to “tune in,” but still want a hit of era-defining idealism, click right here.

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.08.2009
01:21 am
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Japan Has a Dark Secret It Hopes the World Will Never See
08.07.2009
02:06 pm
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The Cove, a shocking, gripping documentary that plays like an action film opens this weekend. It was the winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

From Alternet.org

Ric O’Barry almost looks crazy. He is driving a car, with a mask over his mouth, crouching low in his seat, hoping not to be recognized.

If the authorities catch him, there’s no telling what will happen to him. He’s cruising through the misty streets of Taiji, Japan, a small town with a really big secret, he says. And it’s a secret that the town’s fishermen want to hide from the rest of the world at all costs.

This is how the documentary, The Cove, opens. And it turns out O’Barry is not crazy, he’s on a mission—probably one of the most important in the history of conservation. And it’s personal.

He used to be a world-famous dolphin trainer. He captured and trained the five dolphins who played Flipper in the hit TV show of the same name. The show’s popularity sparked a dolphin craze that has continued since the 1960s and has grown into $2 billion industry in the U.S. alone.

But while places like Sea World might be raking in the cash, O’Barry has spend the last 35 years trying to end dolphin captivity—having had a change of heart after the tragic suicide of one of the main dolphins in Flipper. (If you want to know how a dolphin can commit suicide, you’ll have to see The Cove.)

The Cove (official website)

Japan Has a Dark Secret It Hopes the World Will Never See by Tara Lohan

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.07.2009
02:06 pm
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Harry Patch (In Memory Of): New Radiohead Song
08.05.2009
10:39 am
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Beautiful, somber new Radiohead single available for download on their website. You can listen to it here.

Titled Harry Patch (In Memory Of), the song is a tribute to the oldest surviving Tommy who fought in World War I. Harry Patch was 111 years old when he died on July 25th, 2009. He fought in one of the grimmest battles of the war, the Battle of Passchendaele, where over 325,000 Allied casualties occurred and over, 260,000 Germans. The 99 day battle from July 31st 1917 to November 6th 1917, saw an average of 3,000 British troops killed, wounded, or captured daily. (By contrast, in Iraq, 3,650 US troops have died and approximately 26,000 have been wounded).

Here’s what Thom Yorke had to say about the song and Patch:

Recently the last remaining UK veteran of the 1st world war Harry Patch died at the age of 111. I had heard a very emotional interview with him a few years ago on the Today program on Radio4. The way he talked about war had a profound effect on me. It became the inspiration for a song that we happened to record a few weeks before his death.
It was done live in an abbey. The strings were arranged by Jonny. I very much hope the song does justice to his memory as the last survivor.

It would be very easy for our generation to forget the true horror of war, without the likes of Harry to remind us.

I hope we do not forget.


“War is a calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings”—Harry Patch

All proceeds from the track will be donated to the Royal British Legion.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.05.2009
10:39 am
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Meeting The Mighty Boosh, a Timelord and the best writer on television today… Not a bad 24 hours!
07.29.2009
10:42 pm
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Had a wonderful day in Pasadena, California interviewing the very charming David Tennant and Russell T. Davies for an upcoming episode of Boing Boing Video.

At first my reaction to meeting them in Pasadena was “Isn’t bringing someone from England to Los Angeles and sticking them in a hotel in Pasadena a bit like inviting a Yank to London and putting them up in Croydon?” but the Langdon Hotel (formerly the Ritz-Carlton) is in fact a lushly opulent palace on 23 nicely landscaped acres with a Michelin star restaurant. It was a great place to shoot.

I got a chance to talk with the former Timelord about what if was like to turn in his TARDIS for the very last time and ask Russell about writing his final “Who” script, the recent Transatlantic triumph of the “Torchwood: Children of Earth” mini-series and about his recent move to Los Angeles (sneak preview: he’s been here for six weeks and he already misses the rain!)

Meeting the Mighty Boosh (and seeing them in concert last night at The Roxy) and then sitting today with David and Russell has made for a very exciting 24 hours.

Look for Xeni Jardin’s Mighty Boosh interview—if you were standing in that monstrous seven block line last night, you’re probably going to see your bad self in the final piece, at least briefly—and this one to show up next week on Boing Boing Video.

A special thank you to Devin Johnson of BBC America for making this happen.

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.29.2009
10:42 pm
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Merce Cunningham (April 16, 1919 - July 26, 2009)
07.27.2009
12:06 pm
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Sad news today from the world of dance: Merce Cunningham, the great American modernist dancer and choreographer (and lifelong companion and collaborator of composer John Cage) died yesterday in New York City at the age of 90.

The Cunningham Dance Foundation and Merce Cunningham Dance Company will receive visitors today in the Merce Cunningham Studio from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

(Personal anecdote: I once eavesdropped on a conversation that Cage and Cunningham were having in a GAP store on 7th Ave and 18th Street. They were both in GAP ads, I guess, and got gift certificates for GAP clothing. Neither one of them seemed to know what to get and so they both opted for a bunch of black tee-shirts)

Merce Cunningham Dance Company (official site)

Merce Cunningham, Choreographer, Dies at 90 (New York Times obituary)

Merce Cunningham on Charlie Rose (video)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.27.2009
12:06 pm
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Jello Biafra: Open Letter to Barack Obama
07.22.2009
11:42 am
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From one of our most astute (and hilarious) political observers (and a personal hero). I can’t believe I missed this when it was posted, but I hardly think it matters as it’s still entirely relevant today:

Other countries prefer a healthy workforce and are willing to pay for it. Here we stick our workforce with fat, greedy insurance companies who serve no purpose but to act as a tollbooth or a gatekeeper and charge exorbitant fees before a person can even see a doctor. The result, of course, is the most expensive healthcare system with the least benefit for the buck of any in the industrialized world. You say the big insurance companies “should have a place at the table.” Aren’t these companies the problem?

Other counties want their workforce to be as well-educated as possible to better care for themselves and compete in the global economy. So they are willing to pay to make sure this happens, instead of kicking them in the face with back-breaking student loans and cutting school funding to the bone.

Other countries want their children to grow up well-nourished and loved instead of dysfunctional. They are happy to pay welfare for single parents to stay home with their little ones, and for 12-18 months maternity leave with 80-90% pay for either parent to make sure no child is left behind.

Traveling overseas it is not hard to notice that many European countries, and not just Scandinavia, have a higher standard of living than we do, and the gap is widening. The reason is they are willing to pay for it.

OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA from Jello Biafra

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.22.2009
11:42 am
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The Pacemakers (1970): A Short Documentary about Barbara Hulanicki and Her Biba Department Store
07.21.2009
03:38 pm
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Wonderful short documentary about Barbara Hulanicki, founder of the legendary London department store, Biba.

In its 1970s heyday, the legendary Biba fashion emporium saw more than 100,000 customers a week parade through its fabulous art deco premises on London’s ?ɬ

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.21.2009
03:38 pm
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Look Out, Are You About to Join the White Underclass?
07.20.2009
02:22 pm
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Konformist editor Robert Sterling turned me on to the writing of Joe Bageant in early 2005. I spent an entire snowed-in weekend in Northern, NJ reading the various essays on his blog, laughing my ass off and nodding my head in total agreement. Writing about working class issues from more or less a Marxist bent—a huge plus in my book—and with wonderful wit and trenchant analysis, has gained Joe Baegent quite a following. You’d have to have seen life from many different angles and traveled a lot to have such a wise perspective on things. The guy is just brilliant, a national treasure. He’s also the author of a book, “Deer Hunting with Jesus.”

This weekend I read Joe’s article, “Look Out, Are You About to Join the White Underclass?” on the always great Alternet blog and I was thrilled that someone said this out loud:

More than 45 percent of U.S. single mothers are poor, compared five percent in Sweden and Finland, where no stigma is attached and substantial public resources are applied to child health and development. But research done in Europe shows that even if U.S. women had a zero rate of single motherhood, poverty among American women would still be higher than in European and other socially advanced nations.

Armchair sociologist that I am, I have a theory about this: Millions of American women are in poverty because they are paid poverty wages. I could be wrong, I often am, but there seems to be a connection between poverty and money. I started developing this theory when I was in a Melbourne, Australia hotel and learned from a single mother hotel housekeeper there that she made $19 an hour, had government assisted childcare and was going to college at night toward becoming a medical technician. Hmmm. Over here we tell single mothers, “Get a six dollar an hour job or get married bitch! Workfare, baby, workfare.”

I grew up in a union family in West Virginia back when the unions really meant something in the lives of the members’ families. We had great health care and I was able to have special glasses and contact lenses to correct my astigmatism. My sister got low cost braces for her teeth. That hardly happens anymore for American families.

The lives of working people in his country have become so degraded that there is a real anger rising in the American people. People are sick of being shit on by the elites. Not everyone who is poor is so dumb that they vote a straight Republican party ticket, wave tea bags around and think Sarah Palin is terrific. A lot has changed in the past decade or so with almost everyone having access to the Internet and being able to read political views outside of what they’d hear about in their local church or get on Fox News. People are educating themselves. They’re starting to figure out why they are being ground down by life —and by whom—and they’re getting really pissed off. It’s about time.

Look Out, Are You About to Join the White Underclass?” by Joe Bageant

Joe Bageant website

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.20.2009
02:22 pm
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Surprises! (curated by Eric Wareheim & Doug Lussenhop)
07.18.2009
10:09 pm
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From Cinefamily:

Come join Eric Wareheim (of “Tim & Eric”) and Doug Lussenhop (DJ Douggpound) for an evening of surprises: music videos, short films, video experiments and TV sneak peeks. Like a Gump-ian box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Except you know you’re gonna get the world premiere of Eric’s new music video for Major Lazer/Diplo for “Pon De Floor”. You also know you’re gonna get free beer and hot dogs afterwards. And you know it’s not gonna suck, like Forrest Gump. It’s gonna be fun, awesome, cool, and neat! See ya there!

Surprises! (curated by Eric Wareheim & Doug Lussenhop)

Thanks Jesse Merlin!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.18.2009
10:09 pm
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