Month: December 2005
MTA Strike: Players and Movers
To say that New Yorkers are a resilient bunch is an understatement. And thankfully, as well, New Yorkers are a pretty bright crowd, and not easily intimidated or led astray by everything they see on TV or read in the papers. They are mostly a liberal group, but have conservative perspectives as well. And most important of all, they know their history -- especially the history of the working people who built this country, and their struggle against the gangsters who wanted control of the action -- the players in politics and the movers of money.
Syriana: Hollywood’s Oil Flick
Director Stephen Gaghan's gripping new film "Syriana" explores the roots of 21st century civilization's biggest dilemma: Peak Oil. Inexpensive fossil fuels - oil and natural gas - have floated both the corporate-controlled global economy and U.S. imperial planetary hegemony for the past several decades. Now, the party is over, as "elephant" fields like Kuwait's Burgan are peaking, oil companies are maintaining sagging portfolios by buying up other companies' reserves (real and fictitious). The world is beginning to grasp the significance of living without immediate and inexpensive access to one of the 20th century's most vital resources.
Five Hours of Free Air: Community TV in Argentina
From the La Gomera Community Center, for the whole neighborhood and under the slogan "Down With TV," Channel 5 is intercepted in order to make a different transmission. Videos, music and parties made up part of the experience that refreshed a sweltering Sunday.
Amman’s Optimism Demonstrates Potential of a New Iraq
Ten schools in Amman were closed to facilitate the election process. Unlike the constitution referendum, Iraqis outside Iraq were permitted to participate in the process, just as they did in the January elections. 320,000 Iraqis participated in the election abroad in the recent election.
How the Corporations Stole Christmas
Today's Christmas is sometimes referred to as a consumerist orgy - an annual festival of unbridled commodity purchases aimed at expressing how much we care for others. But there are fundamental contradictions in the "tradition". Indeed, today's Christmas wouldn't be what it is had it not been for the power of both the Church and, much more recently, corporations to tame and shape another, more traditional, kind of orgy.
The origins of Christmas can be traced back to the 3rd century AD, when the emerging religion Christianity and the Church hierarchy sought to eclipse remaining cultural influences of the Romans and snuff out an annual pagan festival called Saturnalia.