Can We Talk About the Economics, Politics and Religion in the Movie Snowpiercer?

By: Thursday July 3, 2014 6:48 pm

I saw the movie Brazil when it was first released in a big domed theater in San Jose.

It blew me away. I dragged others to it so I could see it again and again. I wanted people to see it so we could discuss it. I feel the same way about Snowpiercer.

 

FDL Movie Night: Getting Back to Abnormal

By: Monday June 30, 2014 4:59 pm

Tonight’s documentary, Getting Back to Abnormal, dives into to the messy issues of race and politics in post-Katrina New Orleans. Our guests tonight–Producers/Directors Peter Odabashian, Paul Stekler and Andrew Kolker–tackle the subject by focusing on the pivotal 2010 city council race for District B. Incumbent Stacy Head, the first white Councilperson from District B in 31 years, was elected in 2006 and has faced charges of racism. Her opponent, Corey Watson is an African-American preacher and the son of a powerful pastor who has no problem telling his congregants that there is no separation between church and state because God owns them both.

The Sounds of Silence — Political Style

By: Saturday May 24, 2014 4:00 pm

It began late Tuesday night and, if we are fortunate, will last at least a week.

But it will return. We have no illusions that there will be continued quiet. That’s because we are in the middle of yet another election cycle.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles and Their Secret World War

By: Saturday May 10, 2014 1:59 pm

Stephen Kinzer has many fine qualities as a chronicler of recent U.S. foreign relations: his first-hand experience of diverse regions gained from journalistic assignments around the world, his skill at making the past come alive in vivid, pithy prose, and his readiness to engage with the most challenging contemporary policy issues.

For me, though, his most admirable quality is his readiness to put the stories he tells in long-term historical perspective.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes, Melissa Gira Grant, Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work

By: Saturday May 3, 2014 1:59 pm

A worker bee by nature, Melissa Gira Grant is a busy woman. Primarily a freelance journalist covering sex, tech, and politics, in the streets and everywhere else, she came to reporting by way of writing creative nonfiction (for no money), labor organizing (for almost no money), and sex work (to make up for the no money). She writes true stories, mostly about living people, and only incidentally about her own life, although the media loves to construct her biography and make assumptions about her personal life due to her subversive subject matter.

Grant is very direct in her quest to create positive change regarding how sex work is viewed in society and what the work means in general.

Same as It Ever Was: War, Peace, Wall Street, and the Smothers Brothers

By: Wednesday April 16, 2014 4:37 pm

Censored for years, the Smothers Brothers kept on satirizing. In the end their uncompromising political message drove them off the air, with CBS firing the duo and the rest of their comedy ensemble under pressure from the White House. Though the Brothers and the ACLU fought a successful legal battle in response, their careers were effectively over. A documentary, Smothered, tells the whole story — but only clips seem to be available online.

The Society of Money

By: Sunday March 16, 2014 5:45 pm

In the society of money everyone and everything has its price. This “everything” extends to politics. When everything is a commodity, political services are a commodity for sale to the highest bidder.

Study Proves Campaign Donations Can Buy Access

By: Thursday March 13, 2014 4:00 pm

Warning: this may be painfully obvious. Just in case you, for some reason I can’t fathom, had doubts that money buys influence in Washington our friends in the ivory tower decided to perform a scientific experiment to prove it.

FDL Movie Night: “A Very British Witchcraft” & “The Power of the Witch”

By: Monday March 10, 2014 4:59 pm

Witchcraft. Some people believe in it. Some people laugh at it. Some people are afraid of it, even though they claim their various monotheist faiths are stronger. Our first documentary, A Very British Witchcraft, traces the origins of popular witchcraft, aka the Craft or Wicca, from its first codification in the 1940s through to modern day.

Eccentric scholar Gerald Gardner developed a religion based on folklore, folk tradition and Western esoteric traditions, with a healthy bit of Aleister Crowley thrown in. Using the archaeological and information available at the time, Gardner developed Wicca, a term supposedly traceable to the Anglo-Saxon for “wise” and allegedly whence came “witch.”

Arizona’s SB 1062 and The Human Nature of Hate

By: Monday March 3, 2014 6:17 pm

I’ve tried to let the veto of SB 1062 percolate in my mind for a bit and settle on its meaning. Some, like Brian Beutler, have argued that the veto of SB 1062 has ended the use of “religious freedom” as a pretext for anti-gay discrimination. I think the veto is even more significant than that, as it assures the end to formal anti-gay discrimination in the US. To see why, it is important to place the veto not in the context of politics, but in the context of our conflicted human nature.

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