Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wide Asleep on Radio Dispatch...and Other News

I had the distinct honor of joining the ever-excellent progressive power duo /sibling superhero team John and Molly Knefel of the podcast Radio Dispatch today for a 20-minute chat about "Argo," the Oscar ceremony, and the dangers of imperial mythology and Hollywood propaganda.

You can (and should) listen to the whole show here.

John and Molly also discuss the awfulness of Seth McFarlane's hosting performance, The Onion's deplorable tweet, and the general sexism and misogyny of the entire proceedings.

In other news, my recent post, "Oscar Prints the Legend: Argo's Upcoming Academy Award and the Failure of Truth," has been cross-posted, reposted, linked and referenced all over this internet machine.  You can find it on Mondoweiss, PolicyMic, The Political Film Blog, and elsewhere.

I owe this incredible publicity and promotion to a few folks in particular: The Nation's Dave Zirin, The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, Reuters' Anthony De Rosa, the Institute for Public Accuracy's Sam Husseini, and FAIR's Peter Hart.

Two of the best articles I've yet read on the politics and propaganda of this year's top films and the Academy Awards ceremony itself have both been written by Brooklyn-based writer, proud OWSer and musician Willie Osterweil for The American Reader.  You should read them immediately:

"State of the Industry: Politically Deployed Cinema at the Oscars," and the post-Oscars follow-up, "State of the Industry (Part II): And the Winner is...the State!"



The Nation's Allison Kilkenny (of my beloved Citizen Radio) has a great piece up entitled, "The Weird Blend of Apolitical Denial and Shameless Propaganda at the Oscars," which you should read...now. Now!



Iran-thru-Open-Eyes said...

So I went to the library to check the exact wording of a passage about how, in 1775, as John Adams & Geo. Washington were thinking about how the new United States should be governed, someone wrote to Adams and said, "We are free men! We will not submit to being governed without giving our consent!"

In other words, they demanded the crucial element that (allegedly) makes the US different from (and of course more exceptional than) any other place: governments rule ONLY with the consent of the governed.

This is important because propaganda takes away that crucial right. Bernays said, "a few invisible elites manipulate emotions and perceptions and communicate to the masses what they think, how they will vote, what they will buy, etc." It worked so well in getting WWI on, and it's worked even better in every subsequent war the US has engaged in, from WWII to VietNam to Iraq and, Argo volente, Iran.

Anyway, right there on the shelf above the book I was looking for at the library was a flier:
Paid for by the taxpayers who support your library!

A total of 36 people in two showings viewed Argo at the local library-- at taxpayer expense.

I told the librarian the film was propaganda; that its purpose was to engender hatred of Iranians so that the public would assent to war on Iran.

She said, "Oh, I didn't know."

I asked if the library would host a discussion of the film and of the nature of propaganda, etc. She consulted with the library's director and told me that the library would graciously permit me to rent a room for $50, where I could say what I wanted to say, and they'd even post fliers in the library.

Recap: Hollywood propagandists use taxpayers' local library to undermine citizens' rights and engender hatred, but do not offer equal, free access to library to refute the lies.

Iran-thru-Open-Eyes said...

One more thing about how entertainment is controlled, used for propaganda value in USA:

Iranians are not the only ones being bashed by gatekeepers of entertainment. Plain vanilla Americans and lovers of classical music and opera are also forced to submit to zionized versions of the things they love.

-A year or so ago, a performance of Mozart's Violin Concerto by my town's symphony orchestra was interrupted by videos on the stage's wings that demanded that the audience "remember the Holocaust," and filled up the space of several minutes with holocaustiana. I walked out -- leaving my very expensive seat vacant.

- For months I looked forward to the HD simulcast from Metropolitan Opera of "Rigoletto." Ticket in hand, I arrived 90 min. early to get a good seat. The conductor came to the podium, the music started, and the curtains opened on Mantua -- er, Las Vegas, the setting for THIS Rigoletto.

I really don't like Las Vegas, and I was hoping to get a taste of Mantua in its period, but Suck it up, sez I to myself.

But when Monterone, the villain upon whom the plot turns, appeared in Arab garb, the Enough point was reached and breached. Another expensive seat left vacant.

Hollywood, go ahead and f&%k with your own imaginary witnesses. Leave my cultural legacy alone.

DarthYam said...

I saw the the Oscars; in Seth McFarlane's case many of the jokes were over the top, but I didn't see how they were all sexist.

One was a dig at Clooney for dating younger women, the "we saw your boobs" was pointing out that women seem to have their breasts exposed even though it's not really warranted...." With Salma Hayek he also mocked male actors with similarly unintelligable voices......

Sexism is definately a problem, but it is possible to make a mountain out of a hil

LJansen said...

Iran-through-Open-Eyes, I wonder who is in charge of programming library events.

Seattle Public Library just sponsored a book selling appearance by Madeleine Albright. I stood outside with a sign repeating her quote about half a million Iraqi kids lives being "worth it" for U.S. purposes. Got varied responses, but I still need to look into what the heck the library was doing.