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New Media We Recommend

June 15, 2012

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.

Ned Ludd & Queen Mab: Machine Breaking, Romanticism and the Several Commons of 1811 – 12, by Peter Linebaugh – Peter Linebaugh is not only a fabulous historian, he is a fabulous writer. This short booklet that examines the rumblings around the notion of “The Commons” at the end of the 18th Century and the early years of the 19th Century. Linebaugh not only looks at those who identified themselves as Luddites, but other insurrectionary movements around the world that embraced the Commons and rejected technology that displaced creative work and disregarded nature. Linebaugh looks at the Mexican Revolution of 1810, several Native communities in confederation, Ireland and England. The author doesn’t spend a great deal of time discussing the political philosophy of those who called themselves Luddites, but he does provide insight into how people were influenced by them, both in practical terms and in literary terms. This is why Linebaugh looks at Queen Mab, written by Percy Shelley and other poems and novels of the day that spoke passionately about the theft of the commons and the early stages of the industrial revolution. An important contribution for those who are struggling to make sense of living in a high tech and ecocidal world.

The Case for Sanctions Against Israel, edited by Audrea Lim – The International Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli aggression has been growing for several years. This book is a great resource for those interested in expanding this campaign. The anthology of writings in this book include essays on history, interviews, personal testimony, comparisons to Israeli and South African Apartheid and statements of solidarity, such as the one from Indigenous and Women of Color Feminists. Other contributors include John Berger, Naomi Klein, Ilan Pappe, Omar Barghduti, Marc Ellis and Noura Erakat. An excellent recourse that will both inform and inspire. After reading The Case for Sanctions Against Israel one can not help but want to be part of this historic campaign for justice with the Palestinians.

It Started in Wisconsin: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Labor Protest, edited by Mari Jo and Paul Buhle – In this collection of essays and political cartoons readers come face to face with the passion, courage and power of the movement that began in 2011 in Wisconsin. The authors provide for us some background on radical politics, but more importantly each chapter tells the story of how thousands of people in Wisconsin fought to brutal policies implemented by Gov. Walker, policies that targeted public employees, unions and teachers. Readers will learn about how Green Bay Packers fans brought their passion for football to the protests against privatization and the austerity measures being funded by the right. It was in Wisconsin that we first saw solidarity expressed in the US for the struggle in Egypt and around the Middle East it what was becoming the Arab Spring. It Started in Wisconsin is a fabulous re-telling of the power of popular movements and an inspiration for what is possible. It is true that the Recall campaign against Gov. Walker failed, which makes the vision of a grassroots effort to confront power all the more relevant. Highly recommended.

Windfall (DVD) – Wind power… it’s sustainable … it burns no fossil fuels…it produces no air pollution. What’s more, it cuts down dependency on foreign oil. That’s what the people of Meredith, in upstate New York first thought when a wind developer looked to supplement the rural farm town’s failing economy with a farm of their own — that of 40 industrial wind turbines. WINDFALL, a beautifully photographed feature length film, documents how this proposal divides Meredith’s residents as they fight over the future of their community. Attracted at first to the financial incentives that would seemingly boost their dying economy, a group of townspeople grow increasingly alarmed as they discover the impacts that the 400-foot high windmills slated for Meredith could bring to their community as well as the potential for financial scams. With wind development in the United States growing annually at 39 percent, WINDFALL is an eye-opener that should be required viewing for anyone concerned about the environment and the future of renewable energy.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2012 11:08 pm

    Does anyone remember the old satellites used for television reception they where monstrosities in size, Today corporations have reduced them by size to fit on roofs.Who doesn’t think that we might not be able to develop a smaller version of wind turbines as we develop greater technology? Yes wind turbines are intrusive, noisy, and can be thought of as eye sores but the truth is we need to entertain any concept to hopefully save the environment and our choices are limited, The trade off from status quo and continuing the path we are on is a path of droughts brought on by climate change with added man made droughts by not sustaining of our fresh water supply. I am not commenting to change any ones opinion but to deliver a choice and ultimatum. We currently might have a choice but without contesting the hopeful fossil fuel believers-the latter than sooner-advocates will have a rude awakening and life as we know it today will vanish.

  2. June 18, 2012 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the comments. I agree we need to develop renewable sources of energy, but the film is not say we shouldn’t use wind power, it is a critique of both the process of how wind development went down in one community and the corporate control of the wind energy.

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