Discussions based on a rationalist approach to life with an emphasis on how activism by freethinkers can make a positive impact on the world.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
A collection of interesting video clips, some commentary on the events in the Middle East today, and some documentary/movie reviews.
Bush in 30 Seconds--This is a political ad contest sponsored by MoveOn. I believe the competition ended a good while ago, but you can now see the top 150 ads online. I personally liked those done by Mark Vicente (#5 and #47).
Adam Carolla hangs up on Ann Coulter--This was pretty funny. Ann Coulter called in to Carolla's radio show 1 1/2 hours late and he just hung up on her.
John Gibson trying to stir up a war with Iran--Gibson claims that attacks on Israelis with rockets by Hezbollah is really Iran attacking the United States! Wow, that's shameless.
In a somewhat related story, the United States vetoed a UN resolution today that would have demanded that the Israelis cease their attacks, that the Palestinians release the kidnapped Israeli soldier, and that Hezbollah cease their rocket attacks. Why would the US do this? Well, U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton said that the resolution would have helped inflame passions in the Middle East. Hmmm...ending attacks=inflamed passions? You know, maybe he's right, perhaps it's better for the Israeli airforce to attack a suburb in Beirut. What a sad, cruel joke. Oh well, we're going to need all the terrorists we can make if we're gonna have a never-ending war on terror.
Now to the documentary and movie reviews.
Land and Freedom--You can see a description at the link, but I really enjoyed this movie.
Fidel: The Untold Story--This is a really good documentary about the Cuban Revolution and Cuba's international actions since then. Naturally it is centered on Fidel Castro, who led the Revolution and continues to lead today. I thought it was a very interesting story and one that is certainly not told in the United States.
Weather Underground--This is a documentary on the leftist group Weather Underground which developed out of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which was a student group protesting the Vietnam War. Seeing little change from their efforts, and with the administration escalating the war, the Weathermen went underground and started bombing federal buildings (they made sure that no one was in them). It was a fairly interesting documentary, but Fidel was better.
A Place Called Chiapas--This is a documentary about the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, a group that formed in "a place called Chiapas" in Mexico to battle for the improved conditions of its people. It also focuses on one of the leaders of the group, Subcomandante Marcos (pictured below). Subcomandante Marcos actually has a Master's degree in Philosophy, answering the question of what philosophy majors do after they graduate. Some parts of this documentary were slow, but quenching my ignorance on this subject was well worth it. Today Marcos is known as Delegado Zero in what the EZLN calls the Other Campaign, which is basically an attempt at building a more responsive Mexican government by educating the people and making activists out of them.
The Trials of Henry Kissinger--This is a popular documentary about Henry Kissinger, who served as National Security Advisor as well as Secretary of State in the 70s. Just check out the trailer at the link. With his involvement in some very horrible acts conducted by the United States, the documentary hightlights why he should be tried as an international war criminal. Most interesting to me was the discussion about the US involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected Chilean government, which was then followed by the brutal dictator Pinochet. Kissinger said in a meeting with the President "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people". It's a good documentary, I recommend it.
The Motorcyle Diaries--This is a movie about Che Guevara's motorcyle trip over South America that he took with his friend in the early 50s, 10 years before he got got together with Castro and traveled to Cuba to help overthrow the Batista military government. The movie shows how the trip changed his outlook on the world. It's actually very light on the leftist message, so much so that it got nominated for two Oscars in 2005. But it's a pretty good movie, although I think Land and Freedom is much better.
Well, that's it for what I've seen this week. If you're having trouble finding places to watch these documentaries or films (some of them are fairly rare), send me an email and I'll try to help you out.