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The Beat Generation and the Tea Party

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“I think I’m going to puke.”
 
Blowhard asshole Lee Siegel continues to thrash around in the low end of the journalistic cesspool with this utterly idiotic essay in the New York Times comparing the Beat Generation to the Tea Party movement.

The counterculture of the late 1950s and early 1960s appears to be everywhere these days. A major exhibition of Allen Ginsberg’s photography just closed at the National Gallery in Washington. A superb book, by the historian Sean Wilentz, about Ginsberg’s dear friend and sometime influence Bob Dylan recently made the best-seller list. “Howl,”  a film about Ginsberg and the Beats, opened last month. And everywhere around us, the streets and airwaves hum with attacks on government authority, celebrations of radical individualism, inflammatory rhetoric, political theatrics.
In other words, the spirit of Beat dissent is alive (though some might say not well) in the character of Tea Party protest. Like the Beats, the Tea Partiers are driven by that maddeningly contradictory principle, subject to countless interpretations, at the heart of all American protest movements: individual freedom. The shared DNA of American dissent might be one answer to the question of why the Tea Partiers, so extreme and even anachronistic in their opposition to any type of government, exert such an astounding appeal.

Comparing the sexy, druggy, life embracing, progressive culture of the beats to the fascistic, xenophobic, racist, fearful and life-negating Tea Party is absolutely absurd. It’s like comparing fucking to a case of serious blue balls.

The following comment by Siegel not only posits an idiotic argument, it’s morally disgusting:

the Tea Partiers’ unnerving habit of bringing guns to town-hall meetings would have repelled the Beats. But William S. Burroughs fetishized guns, accidentally killing his wife while trying to shoot a glass off her head. Violence, implicit or explicit, comes with the “beaten” state of mind. So does theatricality, since playing roles — and manipulating symbols — is often the first resort of people who do not feel acknowledged for being who they really are.

What the fuck does Burroughs’ wife’s death have to with “manipulating symbols” or some kind of identity crisis?

Read the entire steaming pile of bullshit here.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Last Minutes with Oden: Are you ready to be heartbroken?
10.11.2010
11:21 am

Topics:
Media
Movies

Tags:
Last Minutes with Oden
Eliot Rausch

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Last Minutes with Oden was voted best video at the Vimeo Festival + Awards over the weekend and boy did it deserve to win. The film is a six-minute long documentary about a former addict, Jason Wood, putting down his much loved pooch, Oden. Directed by Eliot Rausch, the short sensitively portrays what it’s like to go through something like this—is there anything more wrenching than having to put a dying pet down?—as well as expertly tying in Jason’s brutal backstory. The film is tightly and economically directed and to say it’s moving is a criminall understatement (I cried my eyes out—just sobbed like a baby—watching this earlier in the year and just now).

The Vimeo awards were held at the School of Visual Arts in New York and judged by folks like David Lynch, Roman Coppola, Morgan Spurlock, and M.I.A. Another winner that I really liked is Andy Brutel’s insane music video for “Scissors” by Liars.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Progressive Hunter: How Glenn Beck’s chalkboard caused Byron Williams to lose his mind

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Byron Williams prison mug shot.
 
“I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind.” - Byron Williams

Chilling, must-read article from Media Matters about the toxic influence paranoid wingnuts like Michele Bachmann and Glenn Beck have on gullible, unstable—and potentially violent—people:

Byron Williams, a 45-year-old ex-felon, exploded onto the national stage in the early morning hours of July 18.

According to a police investigation, Williams opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers who had stopped him on an Oakland freeway for driving erratically. For 12 frantic minutes, Williams traded shots with the police, employing three firearms and a small arsenal of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds fired from a .308-caliber rifle.

When the smoke cleared, Williams surrendered; the ballistic body armor he was wearing had saved his life. Miraculously, only two of the 10 CHP officers involved in the shootout were injured.

In an affidavit, an Oakland police investigator reported that during an interview at the hospital, Williams “stated that his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU.”

Fifteen years after militia-movement-inspired bombers killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City federal building, right-wing domestic terror plots are a fact of life in America. Since 2008, violent extremists—many of whom subscribe to the hate speech and conspiratorial fantasies of the conservative media—have murdered churchgoers in Knoxville, police officers in Pittsburgh, and an abortion provider in Wichita.

Conspiracy theory-fueled extremism has long been a reaction to progressive government in the United States. Half a century ago, historian Richard Hofstadter wrote that right-wing thought had come to be dominated by the belief that Communist agents had infiltrated all levels of American government and society. The right, he explained, had identified a “sustained conspiracy, running over more than a generation, and reaching its climax in Roosevelt’s New Deal, to undermine free capitalism, to bring the economy under the direction of the federal government, and to pave the way for socialism or communism.”

In a 2009 report, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the anti-government militia movement—which had risen to prominence during the Clinton administration and faded away during the Bush years—has returned. According to the SPLC, the anti-government resurgence has been buttressed by paranoid rhetoric from public officials like Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and media figures like Fox News’ Glenn Beck.

Just last month, Gregory Giusti pleaded guilty to repeatedly threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—including threatening to destroy her California home—because he was “upset with her passing the health care law.” His mother told a local news station that he “frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas,” adding, “I’d say Fox News or all of those that are really radical, and he—that’s where he comes from.”

Read “Progressive Hunter”: Jailhouse Confession: How the right-wing media and Glenn Beck’s chalkboard drove Byron Williams to plot assassination (Media Matters)
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Alex Jones: Glenn Beck is stealing my conspiracy theories
10.05.2010
01:10 pm

Topics:
Current Events
Media

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Glenn Beck
Alex Jones

 
He’s right, too! Sometimes it takes as little as 24 hours for something discussed on Alex Jones’ radio show to appear on Beck’s Fox News program. Glenn Beck cribs a lot of stuff from Alex Jones. Usually—not always—I just roll my eyes at Alex Jones, but what he says here is actually pretty much on the money, if you ask me.

Another winner plucked from Little Green Footballs

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Leftwing media wakes to the the facts (or lack thereof)
09.24.2010
10:04 am

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Current Events
Media
Politics

Tags:
John Boehner

 
I have no idea if this is true or not and I really don’t care in the slightest, aside from the obviously pleasurable schadenfreude that comes with seeing a sanctimonious right-wing tightass feel the heat. Who really gives a shit if Oompa Loompa-orange Republican House leader John Boehner (OH) is having an affair or not (besides, of course, his wife or election opponents?) To me, the bigger story here is that some folks on the Left have (finally) decided to get a little nastier in the lead-up to the crucial mid-term elections. IT’S ABOUT FUCKIN’ TIME!

Republicans have demonstrated for well over 20 years that they will say and do anything to get into power and hold onto it. No lie is too big or too small for the GOP. Facts? Don’t talk to me of facts because no one CARES about facts anymore and the Republicans have known this since at least the Reagan-era. (I recall watching the televised Iran Contra hearings and thinking at the time: “These fucks are going to get away with this because the story is too complicated for the general public to care about it.” Sure enough… next came the Savings and Loan crisis where George Bush the first used billions in taxpayer money to bail out friends and his son, Neil. Another story too complicated to rile the public up much, of course).

In this day and age, politics IS skullduggery and that is the way the game’s got to be played. Do two wrongs ever make a right? Probably not, but in modern American politics it’s got less to do with doing unto others as you would have them do unto you and a lot more about doing it TO them before they can do it to you. If one side plays by those rules, then the other side has no choice but to play the same. It’s about time the Left realizes this. Read more at The Daily Kos and Page Six.

One last thing: Note that he doesn’t deny it. No proof of anything, but if I was asked if I cheated on my wife, I’d have a ready answer. Why doesn’t Boehner?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Thirty-nine years of Attica: Ali & Lennon speak out

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September 9, 1971 saw the population of Attica State prison in western New York state rise up and seize the facility, taking 33 staff hostage. Attica was infamous at the time for both being stuffed at twice its capacity, and for the inhumane living conditions of its majority-black and Puerto Rican community. Prison officials allotted one bar of soap and roll of toilet paper per month and a bucket of water per week as a shower. Inmate mail was regularly censored, visits were highly restricted, and prisoner beatings happened constantly. Responding to news of the imminent torture of one of their fellows who’d assaulted a prison officer, a group of prisoners freed their brother and rose up after guards denied yard-time to the full population.

After four days of negotiation, Governor Nelson Rockefeller—who refused the prisoners’ requests to come to the prison and hear their grievances—blessed Correctional Services Commissioner Russell G. Oswald’s order to retake Attica by force.  This resulted in the death of nine hostages and 28 inmates in an episode that shocked the conscience of a nation wearied by war, assassination and urban unrest. It also saw the birth of modern prison reform.

The episode is chronicled in four feature film adaptations—and famously referenced in Dog Day Afternoon)—alongside numerous documentaries, the best being Cinda Firstone Fox’s recently preserved 1973 piece. That one isn’t up on YouTube, but here’s a short doc from the great grassroots media hub Deep Dish TV.
 

 
After the jump: Muhammad Ali recites and John & Yoko sing out on Attica…
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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‘William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe’: Powerful documentary streaming free now

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Today is the 39th anniversary of the start of the Attica prison riots. In this clip from the documentary William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, attorney Kunstler is called in to negotiate on behalf of the prisoners. The film was directed by Kunstler’s daughters, Emily and Sarah.

You can watch the entire film at the Point Of View website, click here. It will be streaming until midnight Pacific Time on September 21, 2010.

From the press release on William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe:

The man who had marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., and who had defended the Chicago 8 anti-war protesters, Native American activists at Wounded Knee and prisoners caught up in the Attica prison rebellion was now seen kissing the cheek of a Mafia client and defending an Islamic fundamentalist charged with assassinating a rabbi, terrorists accused of bombing the World Trade Center and a teenager charged in a near-fatal gang rape. The sisters remember the shock of disenchantment they felt. Disturbing the Universe is Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler’s attempt to reconcile the heroic movement lawyer from the past with the father they knew.

“I’m not a lawyer for hire. I only defend those I love.” William Kunstler.

 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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TVs anti-Muslim hate lady sued for $10 million by lawyer she defamed by calling him a ‘terrorist’

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Every time I see psychotic, hate-filled anti-Islamic blogger/lunatic Pamela Geller on television I just want to throw up. I find her completely hideous, intellectually vacant, dishonest, and just… fucking repulsive. Yuck. She’s so ugly that seeing her practically ruins my day.

I expect to see the likes of Pamela Geller on Sean Hannity’s program or talking with a simpleton like Mike Huckabee on Fox News, but when she turns up on CNN or the NBC Nightly News, it confers a social legitimacy and integrity on this dangerously anti-social woman who deserves neither. It’s a disgrace to see her anywhere but Fox News. A year ago, Pamela Geller would have been viewed as—and treated like—a skinhead by the legitimate media (i.e. kept at a distance; not “endorsed”) if they’d have talked to her at all. Now the woman who wrote shit like this is ready for fucking prime time? I don’ t think so!

Let’s understand this. CNN won’t touch the birth certificate issue, the Rezko/Auchi corruption, Obama’s anti-semitism, his ACORN/SEIU ties and corruption, and other legitimate stories that need investigation. But they write fiction about Palin. Daily. So why not tell the truth about Obama and his reported strange sexual predilections? My question is, it is well known that Obama allegedly was involved with a crack whore in his youth. Very seedy stuff. Why aren’t they pursuing that story? Find the ho, give her a show! Obama allegedly trafficked in some very deviant practices. Where’s the investigation?

[Geller on Obama’s college trip to Pakistan:] “Back in the early 80’s, there were only two reasons to travel to Pakistan. Jihad or drugs. I think he went for the drugs and came back with jihad.”

Why the hell would anyone with half a brain pay attention to this woman? Here’s a compendium of crazy shit she’s said (like nuking Mecca, Medina, and Tehran) and a Media Matters plea to the media to ostracize this nutball instead of treating her as a credible source.

But there is a little sunshine today, as this hateful harpie is being sued for defamation of character by an attorney named Omar Tarazi. Tarazi represented the parents of Rifqa Bary, a Muslim teenager who, in the words of Little Green Footballs’ Charles Johnson, “converted to Christianity, ran away from home, and found a new home with a radical fundamentalist Christian preacher, Blake Lorenz of the “Global Revolution Church.”

Geller called Tarazi, the lawyer for the parents, a terrorist and claimed he had ties to criminal organizations. Defamation of character suits are often very, very difficult to bring to trial, but perhaps not in this case considering all the demonstrably false and crazy things Geller said about the attorney. Certainly it can be argued that Geller’s misinformed statements of dubious “fact” have had a negative effect on Mr. Tarazi’s professional reputation, community standing and probably his income.

Defamation of character suits can cause the defendant to lose an awful lot of money. This particular flavor of torture—financial—is the entire point, so one way or the other, the party bringing the suit, provided they’ve got a case. is usually the winner, judgement or not. I’m pretty sure looking at this story, that he’s got enough to bring this to a trial and that would be a very difficult situation for Geller to be in. Fucking with a lawyer is probably a bad idea, no matter how you slice it, but in this case, I think she’s really stepped in it. What did Geller expect by putting out so much hateful energy into everyone’s lives? It’s coming back to haunt her. Pamela, baby, may you reap what you sow and—truly, I mean this, girl—get exactly what you deserve:

A Muslim attorney on one side of the Rifqa Bary dispute has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Orlando attorney John Stemberger, an activist Christian attorney who worked for the other side.

The suit was filed by Omar Tarazi in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, Friday. It names John Stemberger of the conservative Florida Family Policy Council.

Also being sued is a blogger from elsewhere, Pamela Oshry, who writes under the name Pamela Geller at the website atlasshrugged2000 and penned scathing anti-Muslim posts after Rifqa ran away from home in July 2009, saying she was afraid her Muslim parents would kill her for converting to Christianity. …

In the suit, Tarazi accuses Stemberger of falsely claiming on Fox News that Tarazi was associated with a Columbus-area mosque that had ties to terrorists. It also says Stemberger defamed Tarazi by saying Rifqa’s parents fired qualified court-appointed Ohio attorneys to use only one – Tarazi – who was paid by a pro-Muslim group in Ohio, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.

Tarazi was paid by no one, according to the suit. …

Oshry [Geller] published web posts that falsely said Tarazi had joined Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization, and received payments from ” ‘criminal’ organizations with ‘ties’ to terrorists,” according to the suit.

Geller’s co-defendant, Christian lawyer John Stemberger, is apparently under investigation by the Florida Bar for possible ethics violations by him for statements he made during the Rifiqa Bary case.

You piss in the wind, it comes back to hit you in the face.

Via Little Green Footballs

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Crucifixion of Jesus Christ on telephone pole
09.02.2010
12:40 am

Topics:
Belief
Current Events
Media

Tags:
Telephone pole Jesus

 
Did you see Jesus? Vote now.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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American Idiots: New Left Media on the real story of the ‘Restoring Honor’ rally

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I will admit to being somewhat crestfallen at the lack of loony-toons wingnuts on parade in all the reporting on the Glenn Beck event over the weekend. Somewhat crestfallen? Who am I kidding? I waited all week long to see a bunch of crazy, ignorant white people with low IQs spouting off on television about things they know nothing of and regurgitating, parrot-style, the predictable tropes and catchphrases that they’d been fed by Fox News, World Net Daily and Rush Limbaugh.

But there was so little of it. What a letdown! The reporting—and what transpired onstage with Beck, Palin, et al—was too bland to even hold my attention. I wanted to see foaming at the mouth nutcases, zany racist signs, people dressed as giant tea bags, in Confederate flag jumpsuits, etc, etc. Perhaps because signs were discouraged, the visuals were lacking, but it sure took all the fun out of the cable new coverage of the event.

But now Chase Whiteside and New Left Media have posted their take on the “Restoring Honor” event and well, it looks to me as if the job the major news channels did has been bested by the “indie” coverage of some students from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. It’s not like you couldn’t throw a rock the distance of, oh, about 12 inches without hitting an idiot, so how did the mainstream media miss these kooks and ignoramuses?

The story that’s not being examined—but should be—is is how fucking DUMB about a quarter of this country is. It’s not Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin or Ted Nugent or any of the rest of them, who are the story, they’re merely symptoms of the greater problem: 20-25% of the American population are abject idiots. That’s the story I want to see the media tackle.
 

 
Via The Daily What

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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