Some Links: Bill Moyers and Rev. Wright, Bob Herbert on the Clintons, Full-Time Writers and the Free Distribution of Ideas, a Greek Filmmaker, and the Internets Celebrities, Checking Cashing, and a Debt-Based Economy
Posted by Stephen Lewis on May 25, 2008
Beyond Hysteria — Moyers and Wright
To go beyond the hysteria of American news reporting and presidential campaign rhetoric watch or read Bill Moyers‘s long and calm interview with a soft-spoken and candid Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Moyers’s follow-up reflections on his audience’s reactions to the program. The interview broadcast, by the way, contains a recording of the entirety of Wright’s now-infamous “God damn America” sermon. Listen to it. While the over-publicized, out-of-context YouTube clip of Wright shouting “God damn America” gave grist to journalists and license to the mealy-mouthed to show moral indignation, the full sermon, with its passion, historical insights, and unassailable morality will have many of us — Christians and non-Christians both — up on our feet and shouting “Amen.” For a sample from another of America’s best journalists, click here for Bob Herbert on Hillary’s cynical playing of the race card and the unwillingness or inability of both Bill and Hillary to exit the stage gracefully. (For Jim Kunstler on Hillary in DC and NY see Monster of Ambition.)
In Defense of Writers, Books, and Publishing
For uncommon wisdom on the downsides of the so-called free distribution of ideas over the internet and the upsides and economics of full-time writing, full-size books, and the essential aspects of editing and publishing read this post by writer Steven Poole. The paradox: Only the rich and the subsidized have the resources to devote a life to full-time writing; the rest of us must be able to make a living from what we do. In a follow-up post, Poole continues to make a compelling case for the superiority of ideas as developed and presented in book-length rather than blog-form. He closes with the chilling thought that books may prove to have been a mere half-millenium-long, archaic-technology-linked abberation in the history of communication.
Video-maker Lucia Rikaki has brought her visual style to blogging on these two sites: Lucia and Alwaysthesea. Her still photography is kinetic and cinema-like and creates an aesthtic caleidoscope across postings. Knowledge of Greek is not required.
The Internets Celebrities Take On the US “Fed” and Teach the Poor How to Put Their Shoulders to the Wheel
Internets Celebrities Dallas Penn and Rafi Kam recently announced their new video Checkmate, a cinematic step into the netherworld of Brooklyn’s check-cashing stores and a plea to the poor to help America out of its economic doldrums by “keeping your income low and your debt high.” Checkmate is a kind of Das Kapital follow-up to the Internet Celebrities’s classic Manifesto, Bronx Bodega, a Marx Brothers meets Karl Marx meets Hip Hop take on the feeding and exploitation of the poor. For a bit of Marx Brothers meet Freud meets Walter Benjamin meets Walter Winchell meets Hip Hop see Sidewalk Pimping which I remember most for its powerful existential pronouncement that all is okay providing “… it gets you out of your momma’s basement.” For Freud meets Social Realism meets Havelock Ellis see the Internets Celebrities’s director Casimir Nozkowski‘s own Every 7 Seconds. (Note: If Bronx Bodega and Every 7 Seconds prove too slow to download via YouTube they can be viewed in QuickTime format on Nozkowski’s homepage.)
A closing thought, a zoomed-out memory of V. Popov
A zoom-out in Checkmate shows Dallas Penn to be attired in watch-cap, winter jacket, and … shorts! The only other year-round shorts wearer I’ve ever known was Bulgaria’s former international chess correspondent — and inimitably skilled preparer of homemade gourmet-class salt-cured Black Sea bonita tuna (palamud) — the late Vladilen (short for Vladimir Illych Lenin) Popov. Vladilen covered chess championship matches with his characteristic long hair combed to near-shoulder-length and attired in suit jacket, shirt and tie, and … shorts! It was a stock joke amongst Eastern European news cameramen recording Vladilen’s on-camera commentaries to momentarily zoom-out to include glimpses of his bare legs. Rest in peace, Vladilen.