Book Review – The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas

Writer Danny Schechter once quipped that what Ben & Jerry's is to ice cream and Elvis was to hip-shaking, Robert W. McChesney is to media analysis. In his news book, The Political Economy of Media, McChesney writes, "Today we understand that media systems are the result of complex political economic factors and crucial policy decisions. The need for engaged scholarship has never been more pronounced, in the United States and worldwide. This is our moment in the sun, our golden opportunity, and as political economists of the media we must seize it."


Social Ecology and the Greening of Our Cities

Over the past year, we've seen an unprecedented rise in awareness of the consequences of potentially catastrophic global climate changes, and the need for a more ecologically sound way of life. We know that profound changes in our energy systems, our modes of transportation, and our entire way of life, are absolutely essential if we are to avoid a cascade of climate disruptions that will threaten every aspect of life on earth. We also know that people living in the global South, especially in subsistence cultures that contribute the least to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, are already facing the most severe consequences of an increasingly chaotic climate.


In Defense of Hipsters

This article is a response to “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization” (Adbusters #79, Cover Story).

At a bar a few months ago, I overheard a conversation between two women who, to my mind, were the very epitome of hipsterdom.  Their asymmetrical haircuts, tight jeans, vintage T-shirts, fashionable jewelry, Parliament cigarettes and bottles of Pabst Blue Ribbon formed one seamless ensemble of hipster aesthetic so perfect that I knew that one of them had to have a Vespa parked outside.  They were engaged in a vigorous debate, striking charismatic poses as they gestured to underline points.  I turned my ear to them and strained to decipher their words through the thundering sound of a Journey song somebody had chosen, no doubt in a moment of ironic inspiration, to call forth from the jukebox. read more


Revolution! New Book Charts Roller Coaster Ride of South American Left

Throughout the past eight years of the Bush administration, North and South America have politically and economically been heading in opposite directions. While Bush waged wars, curtailed civil liberties and spread neoliberalism, South Americans stopped corporate looting, ousted corrupt presidents and developed economies for people instead of profit. Journalist Nikolas Kozloff's new book, Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Leftlooks behind the scenes and politics of this changing continent.

Photo: IndyBay

Dissonant Democracy: Protest, Brutality and Healing at the RNC

I am hosting dozens of young activists at my home. Even before the out of town activists arrived, our three bedroom house had up to five kids under ten, and four adults. Beginning on the weekend of August 30-31, twenty four youth with their backpacks and zines arrived in groups looking for floor space or a lawn to roll out sleeping bags. My neighbors provided a big soup pot. Before the RNC even started, police raided many community houses in Minneapolis and St Paul. Over the duration of the RNC, 818 people were arrested.


The Strange Race of John McHyde

The 2008 Presidential race has gradually evolved from an historic high drama into a "high concept" mystery that would give the most adventurous Hollywood producer pause. The nomination of a biracial Senator was unlikely enough, but the twist of a split-personality warrior joining forces with an evangelical Hockey Mom on the competing ticket surely stretches credulity. Yet here we are, watching the latest Presidential Death Match blockbuster.