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New Media We Recommend

May 6, 2011

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

Power and Terror: Conflict, Hegemony, and the Rule of Force, by Noam Chomsky – This is an updated book by Pluto Press that was originally published in 2003 that dealt with US policy after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. The book now includes revised articles, some new interviews and several articles by Chomsky from the first two years of the Obama administration. One of those new articles is the text of a speech that Chomsky gave at a national anti-war conference, where the author provides an excellent analysis of the brutal foreign policy of Barack Obama. While some of the essays in this book might be considered out of date, Chomsky’s analysis from the early part of the Bush II presidency is still relevant, since Chomsky does not make the mistake of making the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 out to be an action uncharacteristic of US foreign policy. Power and Terror reminds of that the current US policy is consistent with over a century of US intervention and imperialistic hubris.

At The Dark End Of The Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, by Danielle McGuire – We reported on the talk given by this author in Grand Rapids in March and after reading the book this reader was even more impressed with the analysis. McGuire blazes new territory with her investigation and analysis of how the civil rights movement was born. McGuire argues that it was the experience of black women who had been the victims of rape and sexual harassment from White men and had been organizing resistance. Rosa Parks herself was part of that organizing efforts way before the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. At The Dark End Of The Street is an important contribution to understanding not only the origins of the Civil Rights it also challenges the narrative of how movements are built.

A Poetics of Resistance: The Revolutionary Public Relations of the Zapatista Insurgency, by Jeff Conant – When one thinks of the PR industry one usually thinks that some corporate entity is trying to con us into buying something or do damage control for causing harm to people or the environment. However the Zapatista application of public relations is quite different. Writer Jeff Conant weaves for us tales of how a mostly indigenous movement in Southern Mexico, with limited resources, makes the most sophisticated PR Firm from New York City look rather ordinary. Conant provides not only sharp analysis he relies on his own observations from numerous trips to Zapatista communities. Having spent time in two different Zapatistas communities I was impressed with Conant’s detailed descriptions of a whole array of Zapatista cultural and political expression. A moving account of one of the most important political movements of the 21st Century and worth reading for those who have been to Chiapas and those who haven’t.

Big Noise Dispatches 07 (DVD) – This is the most recent collection of Big Noise Films fabulous documentary work. For years the Big Noise Films team has been producing powerful political documentaries and the Dispatches series is an amazing collection of analysis and profiles in political insurgency from around the world. In Dispatches 07 there are 5 documentaries dealing with the Marjah offensive in Afghanistan, the ongoing US occupation of Iraq, The US trained army in Afghanistan, US military recruiting of Latinos/as and the FBI’s use of paid informants in the US. All of these films are informative and could be useful tools to both politicize and organize dissent here at home. Highly recommended!

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