Thursday, May 17, 2007

What is this thing called Globalization?

'The poor complain (they always do),

but that's just idle chatter.

Our system gives rewards to all;

at least, to all who matter.'

-Economist Gerald Helleiner

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things, political anti-war activist, poetic speaker

at a conference in the United States, one year after 9-11, she gives an informative, deeply resounding speech on the current state of global affairs, particularly in relation to U.S. belligerent foreign policies:

(excerpts follow)

It is dangerous to cede to the Indian government, or the American government, or anyone for that matter the right to define what India, or America are, or ought to be.

To call someone anti-American, indeed, to be anti-American, or for that matter, anti-Indian or anti-Timbuktu, is not just racist, it is a failure of the imagination, an inability to see the world in terms other than those the establishment has set out for you. If youre not a Bushy, youre a Taliban. If you dont love us, you hate us. If youre not good, youre evil. If youre not with us, youre with the terrorists.

Now that the initial aim of the war, capturing Osama Bin Laden dead or alive, seems to have run into bad weather, the goalposts have been moved. Its being made out the whole point of the war [in Afghanistan] was to topple the Taliban regime and liberate Afghan women from their burqas. We are being asked to believe that the U.S. marines are actually on a feminist mission. [Laughter and much clapping]

If so, will their next stop be Americas military ally, Saudi Arabia? Think of it this way, in India there are some pretty reprehensible social practices against untouchables, against Christians and Muslims, against women. Pakistan and Bangladesh have even worst ways of dealing with minority communities and women. Should they be bombed? Should Delhi and Islamabad and Dhaka be destroyed? Is it possible to bomb bigotry out of India? Can we bomb our way to a feminist paradise? Is that how women won the vote in the U.S? Or how slavery was abolished? Can we win redress for the genocide of the millions of Native Americans upon whose corpses the United States was founded by bombing Santa Fe?

None of us need anniversaries to remind us of what we cannot forget.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Lost in a Sea of Documentaries...

Recently, over the last couple of months, I have been spending more and more time actively watching and following up on various issues, ideas, and intrinsic questions put forth by a growing number of independently-funded, self-motivated documentaries. The scope of these documentaries varies in so far as they can be described to fall under several rubrics or overarching themes such as political activism, global environmental campaigns, and the alternative re-interpretation of facts, events, and ideas provided by the general blend of corporate establishments. So, to be succinct, these documentaries can most aptly be characterized as visual testaments to the growing grassroots-led campaigns whose main preoccupations lie in raising awareness in issues seldom brought forth by CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, and other media conglomerates. Their messages are filled with, should we say, left-leaning, anti-establishment political overtones that might appear inherently ideological -providing for an uncalled for and deeply adulterated criticism of present-day concentrated systems of power. However, in defense of many of these socio-cultural and political expose' programmes (which, I would add, do not need to be defended, if one only has the political sensitivity to sit down and listen to their arguments), I would have to say that their efforts are not overtly political, motivated by a concern to topple and regain power that has been usurped over the past fifty years. This thread of political activism -collective political activism - resonates deeply within a growing number of such documentaries to the extent that, I think, documentaries ranging from the most disparate of subjects find areas of convergence and their specific themes find a place within a global, interwoven strand of public concern, public responsibility, and public awareness.

So, without further ado, I post my current list of favorite documentaries.

Top Ten:

1. The Corporation (2003),
2. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)
3. Black Gold (2006)
4. Hijacking Catastrophe (2004)
5. The End of Suburbia (2004)
6. The Future of Food (2004)
7. Power & Terror: Noam Chomsky - In Our Times (2002)
8. We - Arundhati Roy (2006)
9. Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause (2005)
10. 1 Giant Leap (2001)

This is an abridged list, one that is in the continuous process of being rearranged to include more and more non-partisan, libertarian, free-voiced, and activist-friendly flicks. More and more such documentaries will be included in the ensuing months so that one can get an idea of what I think modern/contemporary documentaries ought to resemble, and to bear in mind that one of their principal aims is to provide information that is deemed 'impartial'; information that under no circumstances circulates freely and unregulated on the airwaves of mainstream, capitalist media systems.

Additional Resourceful Docs:

Who Killed the Electric Car?
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
An Inconvenient Truth
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

Monday, May 7, 2007


Ciao everyone~

This is my primero post, so bear with me. I have so much to add here over the course of the ensuing months, so I hope many of you will make this a habitual site to visit.

I believe that there exists a thread (seemingly thin but quite persistent) which weaves through and about the various strands of meaning, power, and discourse form a mosaic of contemporary life.

In this blog, I will include a potpourri of issues which will form a collective ensemble of some of the greatest perils and problems we are currently facing as a world civil community.

Au revoir,