“Forever Changes” (1967), by Love, a classic gem of the Sixties Psychedelic scene in L.A.

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Cheers, fellow earthlings! Here’s one of the greatest musical journeys of the Sixties and certainy one of my favorite albums from the “Hippie” era, Love’s Forever Changes. Read an excellent review by Mark Deming and then pump up the volume and press play to trip through this entrancing soundscapes!…

“Love’s Forever Changes made only a minor dent on the charts when it was first released in 1967, but years later it became recognized as one of the finest and most haunting albums to come out of the Summer of Love, which doubtless has as much to do with the disc’s themes and tone as the music, beautiful as it is. Sharp electric guitars dominated most of Love’s first two albums, and they make occasional appearances here on tunes like “A House Is Not a Motel” and “Live and Let Live,” but most of Forever Changes is built around interwoven acoustic guitar textures and subtle orchestrations, with strings and horns both reinforcing and punctuating the melodies. The punky edge of Love’s early work gave way to a more gentle, contemplative, and organic sound on Forever Changes, but while Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean wrote some of their most enduring songs for the album, the lovely melodies and inspired arrangements can’t disguise an air of malaise that permeates the sessions. A certain amount of this reflects the angst of a group undergoing some severe internal strife, but Forever Changes is also an album that heralds the last days of a golden age and anticipates the growing ugliness that would dominate the counterculture in 1968 and 1969; images of violence and war haunt “A House Is Not a Motel,” the street scenes of “Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hillsdale” reflects a jaded mindset that flower power could not ease, the twin specters of race and international strife rise to the surface of “The Red Telephone,” romance becomes cynicism in “Bummer in the Summer,” the promise of the psychedelic experience decays into hard drug abuse in “Live and Let Live,” and even gentle numbers like “Andmoreagain” and “Old Man” sound elegiac, as if the ghosts of Chicago and Altamont were visible over the horizon as Love looked back to brief moments of warmth. Forever Changes is inarguably Love’s masterpiece and an album of enduring beauty, but it’s also one of the few major works of its era that saw the dark clouds looming on the cultural horizon, and the result was music that was as prescient as it was compelling.” – MARK DENING

Side A
1. Alone again or 00:00
2. A house is not a motel 03:16
3. Andmoreagain 06:48
4. The daily planet 10:06
5. Old man 13:38
6. The red telephone 16:40

Side B
1. Maybe the people would be the times or between Clark and Hilldale 21:31
2. Live and let live 25:05
3. The good humor man, he sees everything like this 30:32
4. Bummer in the summer 33:40
5. You set the scene 36:04

“A jam-session of the mind…” – Trialogues at the edge of the millenium: Terence McKenna, Rupert Sheldrake & Ralph Abraham

TRIALOGUES

Trilogos
“A jam-session of the mind, an intellectual movable feast…” -Dennis McKenna

“…records the exciting intellectual friendship of three amazing minds pushing to the edge of history in search of new consciousness, blending scientific observation, mythic imagination and visionary speculation.” – Riane Eisler, The Chalice And The Blade

“Stimulating and often startling discussions between three friends, all highly original thinkers: Rupert Sheldrake, controversial biologist, Terence McKenna, psychedelic visionary, and Ralph Abraham, chaos mathematician. Their passion is to break out of paradigms that retard our evolution and to explore new possibilities. Through challenge and synergy they venture where few have gone before, leading their readers on an exciting journey of discovery.

Their discussions focus on the evolution of the mind, the role of psychedelics, skepticism, the psychic powers of animals, the structure of time, the life of the heavens, the nature of God, and transformations of consciousness. Three fine thinkers take us plunging into the universe of chaos, mind, and spirit. Instead of leaving us lost, they bring us back with startling insights and more wonder than we knew we had.” —Matthew Fox, Original Blessing and Sheer Joy

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BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES: Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of many books including The Sense of Being Stared At and Other Aspects of the Extended Mind. Ralph Abraham is a mathematician, one of the pioneers of chaos theory and the author of several books including Chaos, Gaia, Eros: A Chaos Pioneer Uncovers the Three Great Streams of History. The late Terence McKenna was a scholar of shamanism, ethno-botanist, psychedelic researcher and author of many books including Food of the Gods and True Hallucinations.

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Free e-books:


The Evolutionary Mind: Conversations on Science, Imagination and Spirit

DOWNLOAD E-BOOK

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T. MCKENNA, Food of the Gods.

DOWNLOAD E-BOOK

The Value of Art in this Time of Transition: Daniel Pinchbeck at TED

Read some Pinchbeck’s writings:

http://www.danielpinchbeck.net/writing/essays/

FINDING FELA: Kuti’s Music Is a Weapon (A Review of Alex Gibney’s Documentary)

Fela

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BestofFelaI just watched at Toronto’s Hot Docs Finding Fela, Alex Gibney‘s doc about the King of Afrobeat, Nigeria’s hipest “rock star”, the wild and exuberant Fela Kuti.

I’m under the impression that I’ve seen one of the greatest music documentaries ever, but one which is so great mainly because it goes beyond music. It fits the music into a broader context; the focus here is not only the musical start, but how he acts in the “public arena”, inside “the agora”, the Nigerian stage in which the music plays its social role.

In Fela Kuti’s case, it seems that we see in action an ideal of music as both a celebration and a protest, both a party and a riot. Fela Kuti’s songs are no downers; they’re supposed to uplift us into a joyous mood. He invites us, seduces us, into a luxurious world of colourful melodies and syncopated rhythms. There’s no asceticism here, only the spontaneous flow outwards of a will to joy. If we let it act, it’s epidemic: this music infects with joy and invites to dance with its powerful uninterrupted groove.

This man’s groovy hymns to joy, however, were somewhat mixed with an element of rebellion, of outrage. I suppose it’s hard to live in Nigeria and not be enraged, for instance, by being policed by highly violent and authoritarian soldiers, acting all for the sake of the wealthy oil men of the economical elite! Lagos is a megalopolis with some many problems – from malnutrition to several deficits in public health facilities – that it’s one of the cities analysed by Mike Davis’s important book Planet of Slums

 Fela Kuti, when he rages, I believe we can discover in him some anarchist traits, as well as a bit of a Christian Messiah Complex… He rages against authority, the State, like a shouting anarchist, but then he delights himself with his own power over his audience, enjoys being regarded as some kind of Black Messiah, celebrates through music a society in microcosm – happening himside his “Afrikan Shrine!” – in which is ideal is made flesh. The triumphs and tribulations of this bold artist, with outspoken political rebeliousness, is the theme of Alex Gibney’s biographical journey, which intersects with the Broadway spectacle devoted to Fela that the film also documents.

ZARIt’s a film about the struggles of existence, the politics of resistance and deviance, the joys and griefs of a human being who dares to go beyond moral prohibitions and aesthetic dogmas, and makes his own way. Like the dare-devil in Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Fela Kuti choose the path of danger: a rope-dancer with his saxophone, over the abyss, as the Last Men down on the ground amaze at his courage and get some enthusiasm from this incendiary fountain of warmth and power. Zarathustra could have said to Fela what he adressed to the dare-devil: “Thou has made danger thy calling, therein there is nothing contemptible. Now thou perished by thy calling, therefore I will bury thee with mine own hands.”

It’s also a powerful emotional experience to “witness” as Fela grieves after the death of his mother, killed by the military Dictartorship of his country. It’s clearly a scar in his psyche, it’s the ultimate tragic experience that he lives through, and that could have killed him; it’s astonishing how he not only survives this terrible blow (a mother, thrown from a window to her death, killed by a gang of police because of the rabid persecution endured by Fela). We wonder how he could manage to gather energy to rise up from this grief, and from all his other griefs (at one scene, he shows his back and his butt to the camera for it to witness a whole series of terrible scars, inflicted by policemen, in several beatings Fela was “awarded” by Nigeria’s status quo). He managed to keep on writing music as weapons for social transformation – and existential celebration. Until AIDS brought him down.

One month ago, surrounded by the ancient walls of La Citadelle, in Québec, I was intensely amazed by a concert by Fela’s son, Seun Kuti; both father and son are great saxophonists, who play passionately, and with wildly loosened intensity. Then, Icould get a taste of what must have felt like to be inside the African Shrine during a Kuti cerimonial. The force of the his son’s music is such that it invokes a Dionysian response in the audience; it’s not exactly punk rock (even tough stuff like “I.M.F. (International Motherfuckers)” is punkier than most punk bands ever get to) but it certainly contains as much raw power as Iggy & The Stooges in the 1970s or MC5 some years earlier.

Seun Kuti, Fela’s son, with “I.M.F. = International Mother Fuckers”

Alex Gibney

Alex Gibney, director of “Finding Fella”

Fela Kuti’s music – and his his son’s Seun keeps breathing life into it… – has a power to transcend boundaries and confines. It has already made the “leap forward”: it was from Africa, nowadays is already of the world, the whole wide world. Fela is all around the globe on the world music catalogues. The genesis of his sound, Gibney’s film documents, lies in a mixture between groovy North-American soul and funk (James Brown, Funkadelic, Parliament, Stevie Wonder) and rhythms and grooves born-out of native African soil. There’s something of the “born to be wild” attitude to him, very rock’n’rollish, and yet he was actually playing jazz. African jazz mixed with the popular grooves of the time, and then infused with radical political activism, influenced by Malcolm X, Franz Fanon, The Black Panther Party, and all sorts of revolutionary pamphletarism.

Fela Kuti is portrayed in the film as a cultural icon of massive proportion – similar to Bob Marley or Jimi Hendrix – in the ampleur of innovation and change that he produced on the cultural “scene”. Innovation never comes “out of the blue”, as a “fluke”, a lucky helping hand from fat: Fela Kuti struggled for it and mastered it. Music after Fela is not the same as it was before him. There would be no American bands sounding like the Talking Heads or Vampire Weekend, for instance, if it wasn’t for Fela and Afrobeat. Hip hop movement was certainly inspired by his example, also – and there’s a lot of Fela to be found in the art of grandfathers of rap such as Gil Scott-Heron or The Last Poets.

When he died of AIDS and a public funeral was set for him, more than a million people went to pay their respects and to say the last goodbye to Fela Kuti. His corpse was lying still, behind the glass walls of a transparent coffin. This huge crowd at the man’s funeral is enough proof of how much Nigerians loved him, and how they mourned his loss, the silence that death threw over his voice, his sax, his hips. Fela’s boldness is a rare virtue – most of us don’t dare to act in such a wild, outbursting mode, like a human volcano unafraid of expelling hot lava.

The film doesn’t idealize him totally, only partially; it’s also a critical appraisal, for example, of extravagant behaviour. Gibney’s film question the hyperbole of his sexuality – in a certain point of his life, he marries 27 wifes in the same day, like a rock star in a polygomous nation of his own. Some hardcore machismo is portrayed as Fela deals with her harem of groupies, turned-into-housemaids-and-sex-servants.

His “madness” is also hinted to: especially after his mother’s death, the grief turned Kuti into spiritualism, egyptology, excentric gurus (who might have been charlatans and oportunists…). It’s as if he can’t let go of some faith in the survival of his mother, and that explains the emotional force that lead Fela Kuti to participate in cults in which one of his wifes was supposedly “receiving” the spirit of his deceased mother.

One of the main virtues of Alex Gibbey’s film is that it never looks down at Fela with contempt or with moralistic reproaches: it rather tries to understand the events of his life and how he re-acted to them: even tough two of Fela’s brothers were doctors, he didn’t search for adequate treatment for HIV, denying until the last day the value of Western medicine, and relying instead in African remedies that, he believed, would never let him down. When he started getting skin lesions due to the advancement of the disease, he said he was merely changing skins – like a snake.

It might be said he under-estimated death. Or it can be said that he fought death like Muhammad Ali in a boxing-ring. Fela’s energy to live was astonishing, but his living organism had to finally give up to more powerful forces, who reclaimed him back to the bosom of the Earth. After having witnessing a synthesis of his life and work in 2 awesome hours at the Alex Gibney’s film, I fell Fela Kuti is an earthly plant which, while it existed, burned with intense fire, sang with enthusiastic melody, fought against apathy and conformity with all his strenght, sparking several “reactions” across the globe. Such a man is a power of Nature that can’t be ignored. More and more, this dead man become alivier and alivier to us, as the Afrobeat Dionysus, the Nigerian Saxophoenix, which lives on through his music and deeds.

After this film, more than ever, it seems that F(or) E(ver) L(ives) A(frica) won’t be soon forgotten.

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Listen to some of Fela’s albums:

FELA FELA FELA (1960)
http://youtu.be/ofBWPjZnYe0

OPEN AND CLOSE (1971)
http://youtu.be/fprn3HRvthA

LIVE WITH GINGER BAKER (1971)
http://youtu.be/20UbO62UJUg

HE MISS ROAD (1975)
http://youtu.be/Q9BSjpChqL0

NO AGREEMENT (1977)
http://youtu.be/Vk4aP0hsen0

Flight from Death – The Quest for Immortality [Full Documentary]

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“Patrick Shen’s award-winning “Flight From Death: The Quest for Immortality” is a provocative study of “death denial” in cultures around the world. It draws upon the expertise of scholars, theologians and philosophers to examine how human behavior is influenced by the universal fear of death, especially in a post-9/11 climate of terrorism. It’s a stimulating, ultimately life-affirming film, filled with big ideas and revelatory footage.” -Seattle Times

Gabriel Byrne“Narrated by Golden Globe Winner Gabriel Byrne (Usual Suspects, HBO’s In Treatment, Miller’s Crossing), this 7-time Best Documentary award-winning film is the most comprehensive and mind-blowing investigation of humankind’s relationship with death ever captured on film. Hailed by many viewers as a “life-transformational film,” Flight from Death uncovers death anxiety as a possible root cause of many of our behaviors on a psychological, spiritual, and cultural level.

the-denial-of-death-e9b699lFollowing the work of the late cultural anthropologist, Ernest Becker, and his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Denial of Death, this documentary explores the ongoing research of a group of social psychologists that may forever change the way we look at ourselves and the world. Over the last twenty-five years, this team of researchers has conducted over 300 laboratory studies, which substantiate Becker’s claim that death anxiety is a primary motivator of human behavior, specifically aggression and violence.

Flight from Death features an all-star cast of scholars, authors, philosophers, and researchers including Sam Keen, Robert Jay Lifton, Irvin Yalom, and Sheldon Solomon culminating in a film that is “not only thought-provoking but also entertaining and put together with a lot of class” (Eric Campos, Film Threat). Three years in the making and beautifully photographed in eight different countries, Flight from Death is “a stimulating, ultimately life-affirming film, filled with big ideas and revelatory footage” (Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times).”

WATCH “THE FLIGHT FROM DEATH” (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!):

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P.S. A LINK TO ALL HOT DOCS PREVIOUSLY POSTED ON AWESTRUCK WANDERER CAN BE FOUND ON TOP OF THE BLOG, ABOVE THE COLLAGE OF HUMAN FACES. CHECK IT OUT!

THE UPSURGE OF NINJA MEDIA: in 2014, the Brazilian collective of independent media and networked activism aims to go GLOBAL

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NINJA MEDIA RELEASES NEW WEBSITE AND EMERGES
AS ONE OF LATIN AMERICA’S STRONGEST ALTERNATIVE MEDIA EXPERIMENTS
www.midianinja.org

By Eduardo Carli de Moraes @ Awestruck Wanderer

To rage against the corporate control of mass media is one thing; another, quite different and much harder to accomplish, is to really invent, build and sustain an alternative. Punk-rock screamer and political provocateur Jello Biafra – former lead singer for The Dead Kennedys – used to say: “Don’t hate the media… become the media!” This message, as I hear it, can be translated something like this: we can’t sit still on the denouncing-and-hating position, we need to struggle to be really constructive in co-building a truly free press.

In Brazil, Ninja Media has followed Jello Biafra’s advice, and in the last couple of years it emerged as a brand-new force in the country’s media landscape. N.I.N.J.A. stands for “Independent Narratives, Journalism & Action” (in Portuguese: Narrativas INdependentes, Jornalismo & Ação). During the whole extremely eventful month of June, in 2013, when hundreds of thousands of Brazilian citizens took to streets to protest a 20 cents increase in public transport fares, Ninja suddenly became hype.

The streets of Rio de Janeiro in  Junho 17th, of 2013, when aprox. 500.000 "cariocas" demonstrated against public transport fare increases and police brutality (Photo by NINJA)

The streets of Rio de Janeiro in Junho 17th, of 2013, when aprox. 500.000 “cariocas” demonstrated against public transport fare increases and police brutality (Photo by NINJA)

These mass demonstrations were colossal in size and scope; and they inaugurated a new era of mass communication, emerging in Latin America, in which civil society becomes increasingly more capable of organizing simultaneous events, aided by networking technologies and widespread use of social media. Journalism was evolving into new, mutated, cyber-communal incarnations. This new force was already acting in June 2013, as police forces and protesting citizens clashed on the streets, with huge clouds of tear gas enveloping the urban landscape in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, and several other Brazilian capitals.

We suddently discovered that Journalism was beggining to mutate and evolve into radically new, and much more democratic, forms. It’s an ongoing experience, with a vast future ahead of it, open for explorers and adventures in the art of re-creation of mass comunnication. But even mass, corporate media couldn’t ignore the power of this Ninja experiment, suddenly becoming a relevant force in the public sphere as a form of radically new Citizen Journalism: thousands of us were becoming increasingly aware that we don’t need to hate the media, we can become it; we can reclaim the airwaves (they belong to the people); we could make ourselves stronger by mirroring and reverberating our deeds and discourses through the World Wide Web, broadcasting live from the streets, with cellphones and digital cameras who were there both witnessing and acting on the political scene in unprecedented ways.

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One of the most memorable scenes from the June 2013 mass demonstrations in Brazil: the roof of the National Congress in Brasília is occupied.

In this context of popular demonstrations and uprisings, Ninja emerged in Latin America’s media landscape. International sociologists and communications theorists, such as Manuel Castells, as well as foreign newspapers and TV networks, took an interest in this new phenomenon. The volunteer citizen journalists’ collective Ninja  “used the recent demonstrations in Brazil’s major cities as a stage for their guerrilla approach to journalism, using smartphones and social media platforms to reach their audience” – reported Rafael Spuldar on indexoncensorship.org.

Ninja’s upsurging popularity shook the traditional media out of its elitist slumber – to the point that “even Globo, Brazil’s media colossus, has started to run ninja footage and follow stories that started with Ninja coverage”, wrote Jonathan Watts on The Guardian, which is by the way one of most renowned English newspapers and who wrote several articles about this “band of volunteer citizen journalists”, the Ninjas of Brazil’s revolution-in-media:

Ninja no Guardian

See also:

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Back when the outburst of protest happened in June 2013, while the mass media was paralysed in perplexity with the popular uprisings (who were also against them, the corporate media and its machinery of deceit, indoctrination and lies!), Ninja was doing something quite different: it was there, at the eye of the hurricane, at the pulsating heart of the masses on the streets, broadcasting live on the Internet. Ninja unmasked contradictions and struggles as they were unfolding, in all its urgency, intensity and un-predictability. Documenting Brazil’s turmoil in amazing photographs and thrilling written articles, it soon skyrocketed in popularity and reached more than 300.000 followers on Facebook.

Ninja transmitted live from the protests and marches – including the Marijuana Marches and the Slut Walks, the demonstrations by the Landless Movement (MST) and the Homeless Movement (MTST), not to mention the resistance of indigenous populations against the advancement of ecocidal and genocidal agrobusiness and big dams such as Belo Monte… And it broadcasted images with no make-up, ideological dressing, nor censorship from advertisers and share holders.

The fact that Ninja reporters were there as witnesses also quickly transformed the political scenario completely: Ninja emerged also as a power, in Brazilian society, defending basic human rights, including freedom of expression and demonstrations, from abuses by the repressive apparatus.  Since Ninja became a new player in Brazil’s power scene, the abuses and fascist practises of the Brazilian Military Police were brought to light and attention. Our police force is mainly an inheritance of the U.S.-backed Military Dictartorship, which ruled our country from 1964 until 1985. Police brutality, its murderous practices (before Ferguson had their martyr in Michael Brown, Rio de Janeiro had its own with Amarildo, murdered by Brazilian police in 2013), this practises of deadly Fascist Police State Measures were no longer easily kept concealed from public knowledge. Police violence against demonstrators, a phenomenon so common in reality as it is uncommon in the Big Media’s TV shows and mainstream magazines, was now being massively revealed.

In São Paulo, in June 2013, when the police went trigger-happy on their rubber bullets, hitting photographer’s eyes and severely hurting journalists (and kick-starting Black Bloc retaliation campaigns against banks and ATMS…), the Police’s abuses couldn’t be concealed. Citizens around the scene had emerged spontaneously as journalists, documentarists, photographers, eye-witnesses. The practise of mass incarceration during protests, for instance, was brought to ridicule: Ninja’s cameras, together with other alternative media and individual smart-phone broadcasters, showed how ridiculous were the cops excuses for emprisonment; many people were being arrested, for instance, because of possession of vinegar!

Our military police has already been declared by the United Nations and by Amnesty International as an institution stained by frequent Human Rights violations – it kills thousands of poor Brazilians each year in our cities slums and favelas, frequently justifying itself behind the pious crusade of The War on Drugs; one of the main issues of our protests are exacly the police force – usually an instituion which acts in highly racist ways, filled with corruption  and bribery, with a tendency to constitute militias and mafias for vampiristic greedy profit (just watch Elite Squad, the two awesome films by José Padilha, for a handful of examples of such a fascist behavior…) – this Police Force is also what’s being protested against.

Ruas de Janeiro 25 01

Rio de Janeiro, January 25, 2014. The avant-garde black-flag reads: “No Rights? No World Cup!”

Ninja emerged to give voice to the voiceless, to denounce abuse of power against the powerless, to be an eye-witness to some occurrences in Brazilian History whose newness really demand a new media, capable of making sense of it. Ninja emerges as a collective endeavour at building not only an alternative media, but also an alternative social reality: if you’re looking for authenticity, boldness and a will-to-truthfulness, Ninja is one the Brazilian media’s tenets to be tuned on to.

As the 2014 FIFA’s World Cup began, and the world’s attention turned massively to Brazil – and not only to the soccer arenas, but also to the turmoils and struggles of Brazilian society – Ninja Media released its new website (hosted at Oximity) and now aims to go global. A team of translators – myself included – are already working very eagerly in order to translate Ninja’s articles to English, Spanish, French, German and an ever-growing number of other languages. Please share the news, if you want to help consolidate this emerging project of independent media: Ninja is alive and kicking @ www.midianinja.org and a lot of material is already available for reading in foreign languages. What follows is but a small sample of the multi-language content already published there:

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Some members of the Ninja Team in Brazil

Some members of Fora do Eixo / Brazil

ONE STEP FURTHER – MORE ABOUT NINJA @ OXIMITYNinja was born from a history of more than 15 years of free media production in Brazil, from experiences that go from small magazines to independent blogs of Fora do Eixo. Fora do Eixo is a network based in more than 200 cities in Brazil that develops technologies for culture, communication and content publication. Today NINJA is a decentralized network of people that use new mechanisms of production and distribution of information. It has thousands of members who are using collaboration as a way of life and as a tool to transform society.

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Brasília, May 2014.

Brasília, May 2014.

TEAR GAS BOMBS ARE FIRED AT INDIGENOUS IN DEMONSTRATION AGAINST FIFA WOLD CUP (Translated by Marianna Olinger)

Brazil’s capital Brasilia had a ‘warm up’ session of what can happen during FIFA World Cup games in the city this wednesday, May 28th, 2014. According to the ‘Lei Geral da Copa’ (the special legislation passed by Brazilian congress to comply with FIFA requirements during the event), the “enemies of order” – technically any citizens who live up to their right to protest and express their opinions – are prohibited to approach places pre-determined by FIFA, like stadiums and FIFA Fun Fest gatherings. Today around 3000 protesters were repressed with violence by the Brazilian State, acting to protect the FIFA standards in the preparation for the tournament. People in the surroundings described this wednesday’s event as a “spectacle of bombs and military hostility”.

The act “Copa pra quem?” (World Cup for whom?), organized by World Cup Popular Committee, the Homeless Workers’ Movement, and the Indigenous Population Organization (APIB) took over the main bus terminal in Brasilia during the rush hour. The movement promoted a staged trial where FIFA, the Brazilian Government and World Cup sponsors were judged by crimes committed in their quest for guaranteeing FIFA World Cup standards. The staged trial attracted hundreds of passengers and people on their way to work, in addition to indigenous groups from over 100 different ethnic groups from all over the country. Indigenous groups are in vigil in the Capital fighting against the advancement of agribusiness over indigenous land.

“Instead of the Government standing for the Federal Constitution and concluding demarcation of indigenous lands, it is investing billions in an event that lasts for a month, prioritizing big businesses over ancestral peoples’ Rights. For whom does the government works, ultimately?” – questions Lindomar Terena, member of APIB’s coordination.

The crowd marched to the stadium hosting FIFA World Cup in Brasilia, where the tournament trophy was being presented, in a peaceful demonstration. Children, elderly people and pregnant women were among the protesters received by the military police cavalry with tear gas bombs and rubber bullets. There was no space for dialog or negotiation as the police was determined to prevent protesters to go near the stadium.

Earlier this month Amnesty International launched a global campaign “No foul play, Brazil” urging Brazilian authorities to ensure security forces to “play by the rules” and respect everybody’s Rights to freedom of expression during demonstrations expected to take place ahead and during the tournament.

“We are not vandals, as they like to say, we are being ripped off of our land and cannot get near to this coliseum”, indigenous leaders and homeless workers complained referring to the newly built stadium. After the demonstration groups got together at the bus terminal to wrap up activities in the form of an assembly. “Tomorrow is going to be bigger”, chanted the protesters following the violent police reaction.

See also: https://www.oximity.​com/article/brazil-g​ive-a-yellow-card-to​-restricti-2

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La vague orange. Noirs et habitants des favelas, les éboueurs s’unissent pendant le carnaval contre leur syndicat, la mairie, l’entreprise de nettoyage et la Globo (principal réseau de télévision privée). Photo: Midia NINJA.

 DE JUIN À JUIN (Traduction au français pour )

Un an qui en paraît dix. Dix années intenses et vives. Les réseaux et la rue ont prouvé leurs liens, en créant un accélérateur de particules qui catalyse rêves et utopies en réalités. Si les luttes ont toujours existé, les conquêtes et les volontés ont gagné de nouvelles configurations. La population brésilienne fait des sauts quantiques de conscience et revient à la politique avec le goût de la participation et de l’interférence directe.

Des millions de Brésiliens sont sortis dans les rues pour les Journées de Juin, il y a un an. Ce fut un début qui ne surgissait pas de nulle part : le processus historique s’est condensé dans la pratique. Les insurrections ont germé ; ont fleuri, se sont accouplé. Le Mondial est alors arrivée. Avec lui, des événements non annoncés ou non autorisés. Pendant que le Brésil regardait vers l’intérieur, le monde observait le pays comme un horizon d’inventions. De la créativité à la volonté, nous avons montré que nous sommes capables de provoquer.

Un cycle se ferme, tant d’autres s’ouvrent. De la victoire carnavalesque des éboueurs (« garis ») aux Indiens venus s’inviter à la capitale. Le conflit ne vit pas seulement de réalités, mais aussi d’imaginaires! Et de mondes qui s’effondrent. Cette année de luttes et de renforcement des mouvements sociaux, initiée en juin 2013 et qui s’achève avec la Coupe du monde, est seulement la fin du début. Un cadre d’urgence politique s’est instauré, indépendant des choix et des processus qui vont suivre. La vague de protestations, à nouveau, fait bouillir dans les rues les principaux thèmes et débats du pays.

Tout cela est en partie le réflexe de 40 millions de personnes sortis de la ligne de l’extrême pauvreté. Mais c’est aussi le résultat de l’épuisement d’une politique institutionnelle qui a prouvé son échec : la crise de représentativité fait paraître moins fou à l’Etat de poursuivre l’extermination de la banlieue, l’isolement politique des Indiens, l’avancement de l’exploitation minière, l’inexistance de politiques de communication, le manque de sensibilité pour les enjeux culturels, la négation de la diversité, la vague conservatrice.

Mais le récit de la résistance doit gagner, une fois de plus. Pour chaque pas en arrière, deux en avant. Pour chaque Juin, de nombreuses victoires. En avant!

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Victoire du MTST. Plus de vingt mille Travailleurs Sans Toit immobilisent Sao Paulo quelques jours avant le Mondial, en lutte pour un logement. Toutes leurs revendications furent acceptées. Photo: Midia NINJA.

http://www.midianinja.org

Naomi Klein: “How science is telling us all to revolt” // George Monbiot: “Increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest in any century during the past 1.000 years.”

WWF“Ice cores extracted from the Antarctic show that the levels in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and methane (these are the two principal greenhouse gases) are now higher than they have been for 650.000 years.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have been rising over the 20th century faster than at any time over the past 20.000 years. The only means by which greenhouse gases could have accumulated so swiflty is human action: carbon dioxide is produced by burning oil, coal and gas and by clearing forests, while methane is released from farms and coal mines and landfill sites.

As CO2 and methane levels in the atmosphere increase, the temperature rises. The concentration of carbon dioxide, the more important of the two, has risen from 280 parts per million parts of air (ppm) in Marlowe’s time (16th century)  to 380 ppm today. Most of the growth has taken place in the last 50 years. The average global temperature over the past century has climbed, as a result, by 0.6º Centigrade. According to the World Metereological Organization, “the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest in any century during the past 1.000 years.”

George Monbiot
Heat – How to Stop The Planet From Burning
(CLICK TO READ MORE QUOTES FROM THIS BOOK)

Climate Change 3

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Naomi Klein: How science is telling us all to revolt

Is our relentless quest for economic growth killing the planet? Climate scientists have seen the data – and they are coming to some incendiary conclusions.

“Global capitalism has made the depletion of resources so rapid, convenient and barrier-free that “earth-human systems” are becoming dangerously unstable in response. (…) There was one dynamic in the model, however, that offered some hope. Werner termed it “resistance” – movements of “people or groups of people” who “adopt a certain set of dynamics that does not fit within the capitalist culture”. According to the abstract for his presentation, this includes “environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups”.

Serious scientific gatherings don’t usually feature calls for mass political resistance, much less direct action and sabotage. But then again, Werner wasn’t exactly calling for those things. He was merely observing that mass uprisings of people – along the lines of the abolition movement, the civil rights movement or Occupy Wall Street – represent the likeliest source of “friction” to slow down an economic machine that is careening out of control. We know that past social movements have “had tremendous influence on . . . how the dominant culture evolved”, he pointed out. So it stands to reason that, “if we’re thinking about the future of the earth, and the future of our coupling to the environment, we have to include resistance as part of that dynamics”. And that, Werner argued, is not a matter of opinion, but “really a geophysics problem”.

(…) He is saying that his research shows that our entire economic paradigm is a threat to ecological stability. And indeed that challenging this economic paradigm – through mass-movement counter-pressure – is humanity’s best shot at avoiding catastrophe.”

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“If hot thermometers actually exploded like they do in cartoons, there would be a lot of mercury to clean up in California right now. The California heat this year is like nothing ever seen, with records that go back to 1895. (…) The high temperatures have contributed to one of the worst droughts in California’s history. The water reserves in the state’s topsoil and subsoil are nearly depleted, and 70 percent of the state’s pastures are rated “very poor to poor,” according to the USDA. By one measure, which takes into account both rainfall and heat, this is the worst drought ever…” – via SYSTEM CHANGE, NOT CLIMATE CHANGE (ECOSOCIALIST ALLIANCE)

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PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH

SEPTEMBER 21, 2014

In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.

With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.

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To change everything, we need everyone on board.
Sunday, September 21 in New York City. Join us.

http://peoplesclimate.org/march/

The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll in 1 Song: Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child”

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The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll in 1 Song

In his new book, Greil Marcus brings us The History of Rock ’n’ Roll in Ten Songs. But rock only needs one—Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” – by James Parker at The Atlantic
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The great Greil Marcus, whose rock-critical illuminations—in books like Mystery Train and Lipstick Traces—sent stroboscopic shafts into the black forest of my early manhood, is about to publish a volume titled The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs.

So naturally my first thought was: I bet I can do it in five.

jmiAnd my next thought was: Nah. Five songs is too many. And also too few. Five is a clutter, a randomness, a gallimaufry.  If it’s not going to be 10, it’s got to be one. The history of rock ‘n’ roll in one song.

And if you want a song that does it all—that includes tradition, the future, outer space, electricity, armageddon, death/rebirth and the first stirrings of music itself—then there really is only one song: “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

To write about the sound of Jimi Hendrix, the actualnoise of him? Wow. There’s a theme to beggar your lexicon and freeze you at the frontiers of sense. Still, what’s writing for, if not to fling itself at the unwriteable? So here we go. It’s axiomatic, really: All art aspires to the condition of music, and all music aspires to the condition of Jimi Hendrix.

Plucked out of New York by manager/impresario Chas Chandler, he arrives in London in September 1966, lone guitarist, lanky acid popinjay, sci-fi African-American with Irish-Cherokee blood, his manners almost courtly, his speech a sing-song sequence of half-groans, groovy hesitations, delicate chuckles, fond suggestions and trailing colors, a kind of elasticized stammer. His physical presence is dramatic but somehow only partially materialized—at his edges he seemed to blur into fumes, mental incense. Behind him, for a rhythm section, Chandler puts two Brits: pasty Noel Redding, pudding-faced Mitch Mitchell. An incongruity, a mis-Mitch? Miraculously, not at all. Redding, a lapsed guitarist, is a beautiful primal bore on bass: his earth-snooze, his rooted elemental buzz, will be at the heart of this (new term) “power trio.” Mitchell, meanwhile, is jazz-demented, Elvin Jones-worshipping, breeding polyrhythms in a cymbal-wash of teenbeat frenzy—perhaps the only drummer in England capable of tracking his singer/guitarist into the Hendrixian sound-world.

axisboldasloveAnd that sound-world, as it touches down in Swinging London, is already fully formed. Blues-ghosts electrically summoned, interstellar turbulence; fringed-with-incineration flights and passages of liquid gentleness; a technique that combines towering phallic exhibition with an uncanny, almost ego-less surrender to the possibilities of his instrument. These possibilities converge in the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Having stroked and pelvically jostled his guitar to a state of glimmering, agonized sensitivity, he sculpts the resulting feedback with his shoulders and extra-large hands—while Noel drones massively and nods his Afro and Mitch swarms across his tom-toms. His solos can be astral dramas or inside jokes. At his feet the pale cohort of London guitar heroes—Beck, Page, Townshend—turns paler still. Eric Clapton’s hand, as he lights his cigarette after a Hendrix show, is shaking. (Apocryphal story. But beautiful, and therefore true.) Technology is Hendrix’s medium: amplification, overdrive, the latest gear, the only-just-invented. Roger Mayer, who will design for him the Fuzz Face and Octavia effects pedals, has a background in naval intelligence, testing underwater acoustics. We’ll hold hands and then we’ll watch the sunrise/ From the bottom of the sea. (“Are You Experienced?”)

Hendrix writes whooshing, crazily orchestrated hippie rock with spikes of Dylanoid sense-reversal, but what he is, fundamentally, is a bluesman. As an itinerant R&B guitar-slinger in the early ‘60s he freelanced for (among others) Little Richard and Curtis Knight, acquiring road sweats, road smarts, screaming showmanship, existential momentum. The blues are his school and his laboratory, the spine of his wildness. And he doesn’t just play the blues, Jimi Hendrix has the blues: On at least a portion of his prismatic personality the blues are clanging down all day, a hail of Bibles and grand pianos. It’s one of the more lethal ironies of his art—that in the midst of multicolored stormings, and from an apparent zenith of creativity, he continually confesses his numbness, his down-ness, his separation from himself. My heart burns with feeling, oh but my mind is cold and reeling … No sun coming through my window, feel like I’m living at the bottom of a grave … Manic depression has captured my soul …Because he’s a bluesman, his pain is a historical burden. At a show at Berkeley in 1970 he acknowledges the Black Panthers and then dedicates “I Don’t Live Today”—existing, nothing but existing—to “all the cats that are trying to struggle, that are going to make it anyway.” But his pain is also private. His childhood was rank with neglect; motherless Seattle winters that turned the infant Hendrix blue with cold. “I don’t think they [critics] understand my songs,” he tells a (possibly rather startled) interviewer in 1968. “They live in a different world. My world—that’s hunger, it’s the slums, raging race hatred, and happiness you can hold in your hand, nothing more!”

What else can you hold in your hand? Infinity, according to the visionary lineage of which Hendrix is undoubtedly a part. “To see the world in a grain of sand,” wrote William Blake, “And heaven in a wild flower/ Hold infinity in the palm of your hand/ And eternity in an hour.” Hendrix half-quotes Blake’s preface toMilton, in the manner that he might half-quote an Elmore James riff, on 1968’sElectric Ladyland, during the 15-minute galactic blues jam “Voodoo Chile:” “Say my arrows are made of desire, desire/ From as far away as Jupiter’s sulphur mines.” Mixing old tropes—the blood-red moon, the gypsy’s curse—with space-age lyrical junk, “Voodoo Chile” is a kind of bluesman’s “Ancient Mariner,” an imperiled soul-voyage up and down the neck of the guitar. Steve Winwood’s Hammond organ spookily swirls, and Hendrix takes us on what the critic Charles Shaar Murray calls “virtually a chronological guided tour of blues styles, starting with earliest recorded Delta blues and travelling through the electric experiments of Muddy Waters in Chicago and John Lee Hooker in Detroit to the sophisticated swing of B.B. King and the cosmic blurt of John Coltrane.”

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” is the final track onElectric Ladyland, and structurally a reprise in double-time of “Voodoo Chile.” But it is as if the electrified compression of the earlier, longer piece has forced Hendrix through another level of change, and he hails us now—in ringing, supernaturally authorized tones—from the far side of transformation. The intro, those snickering accents flicked from deadened strings, is almost pre-musical—it sounds like something scratching at the inside of an eggshell. Tentative at first, it resolves into a rhythm: aboriginal, radical. Dub from the back of a cave. Miles Davis hears it and falls over backward into a pile of ‘70s funk guitarists. The melody is announced, in notes opulent with wah-wah; Mitch Mitchell flexes his hi-hat; then, with a rattlesnake shake of maracas, Hendrix takes the snarling plunge into distortion—tuned down, E7 sharp 9, the “Hendrix chord.” Noel Redding meets him on the bottom string; rock and roll gapes at the impact, heavy metal kicks at the womb-wall. After three bars the guitar rears up, pluming monstrously with energy; after four Hendrix time-travels, flipping his toggle switch back and forth to create a sound like passing space-freight. Well I stand up next to a mountain, he sings, his voice supremely doubled by his instrument, chop it down with the edge of my hand. No more passivity, acid overwhelmings; no more hanging in the purple haze, not knowing if you’re going up or down. The mind-fragments have formed a new shape. Pick up the pieces and make an island... Noel Redding is rumbling fixatedly; Mitch Mitchell has forsaken his customary top-of-the-kit clattering and fluttering for a kickdrum-driven, Bonhamesque downbeat. If I don’t meet you no more in this world, I’ll meet you in the next one, don’t be late. Farsightedness, death-prophecy, transdimensional challenge—Hendrix is standing outside of music. The mix pans wildly, desperately, as if overwhelmed by its own information, sizzling up into near-deafness before widening downward in a welter of noise.

We haven’t caught up to this yet. We’re limping after it with handfuls of melted fuses. It’s too much, still.

Jimi-Hendrix

ORWELL ROLLS IN HIS GRAVE [Watch Full Documentary]

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“Has America entered an Orwellian world of doublespeak where outright lies can pass for the truth? Are Americans being sold a bill of goods by a handful of transnational media corporations and political elites whose interest have little in common with the interests of the American people? Does the corporate media reflect public opinion or create it? Did the media help George W. Bush steal the presidency and market the war in Iraq? Are Americans being given the information a democracy needs to survive or have they been electronically lobotomized? ORWELL ROLLS IN HIS GRAVE explores what media doesn’t like to talk about – itself.”

Includes appearances from:
MICHAEL MOORE, film director and author
GREG PALAST, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy [click to download ebook]
DANNY SCHECTER, author and former roducer for ABC and CNN
TONY BENN, former member of the British Pariliament
CHARLES LEWIS, director of the center for Public Integrity
And many more


Writen & Directed by Robert Kane Pappas
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ANARCHIST MEDIA WORKSHOP – Live from the Peoples Social Forum 2014, Ottawa, #Day 2

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“Wealthy anarchists are just like unicorns!” Such outbursts of spontaneous poetry, my friends, you are only likely to hear in a Social Forum Anarchist Workshop.

After spending a terrible night of almost no-sleep-at-all at the Jail Hostel, a former prison turned into a gloomy night repose for youngsters, I decided to drop by, early in the morning, to exchange ideas with radical indie-media and gonzo-writers brothers & sisters from all around Canada.

The event was organized by Hallifax anarchists who publish a black-and-white and punk-spirited pamphlet called The Worst of Times. With a high dose of caffeine in my brain, I was about to start my 2nd day at the Peoples Social Forum diving deeper into the “How-and-Why of An Uncompromising Anarchist Broadsheet”.

I certainly wasn’t expecting to be lectured by anarchists, posing as authorities on this subject, but rather to engage in conversation with other freaks, such as myself, who cherish the struggle to build pathways and networks for a journalism who gives voice to the voiceless and speaks truth to power. As Mr. Jello from the Dead Kennedys puts it: “Don’t hate the media, become the media!” 

It was an intense and totally horizontal exchange of ideas and dreams, filled with tiny acts of heroism celebrated with great collective cheering: I got to know those who work in public libraries and secretly “hack” the xerox machines in order to make copies of their home-made anarchist newspapers; those who come up with innovative ways to raise funds on their communities so that they can publish un-censored manifestos and flyers; those who write protest songs with themes taken from left-wing zines (like this guy, Byron, who I saw playing in Sparks Street the previous day with his project Folk The System and then re-met at the workshop).

In the Social Forum’s official program, this gathering was described as “an exploration of the who / what / where / when and, most crucially, the why / how of building an autonomous forum for uncensored raw news, analysis and opinion that does not depend on unions, NGOs or business for financial or moral / ideological support”.

Our debate revolved around such themes: why does corporate media do such a lousy job when it comes to its coverage of marginalized peoples? What skills should an anarchist media organization possess and master, in order to truly be of service to the community, especially those who are victims of racism, sexism, xenophobia and other forms of exclusion?

Everyone of us have its chance to voice an opinion – “prendre la parole”, as our dear Québecois comrades put it – and my humble colaboration to the talk had to do with our recent experience in Brazil. Especially after the mass demonstrations of July 2013, a month in which more than 1 million Brazilians reclaimed the streets of dozens of towns after an increase in public transport fares, our corporate media once again took off its mask and revealed its fascist face.

Most of our mainstream TV networks (such as Globo, that has been for 21 years a friend of our Military Dictatorship [1964-1985]) and weekly magazines (such as shitty crappy Veja, who deserves only to be used as toilet paper) treated this massive outburst of democratic participation from Brazilian civil society with utter jornalistic incompetence.

Corporate media, in Brazil, portrayed activists only as potencial terrorists, threats to public safety; the media of big bosses sided with the reppression forces, and applauded police brutality and tear-gas bombing; these wealthy media corporations focused on relatively tiny episodes of violence and vandalism by Black Bloc groups (and maybe des agent provocateurs), who were breaking glasses of junk-food stores or trashing ATM machines and banks; but mainly this mainstream media showed an absolute incapacity to understand the social causes of this phenomenon.

MEdiaWhat I perceive to be lacking in corporate media, I told my comrades, is empathy and in-depth understanding for those who are behind the gas masks or the Black Blac “costumes”; what is lacking is simply the hability to portray the human beings who participate with large-scale social movements in Brazil such as MST (Landless Workers Movements) and Passe Livre (Free Pass Movement); what is lacking, of course, is a media that instead of sucking the cocks of wealthy advertisers, serves the true needs of the national community – especially those who need the most to have their voices heard and amplified by the media apparatus.

June 2013 also had some good news: the upsurge of Ninja Media and A Nova Democracia (The New Democracy), for example, truly independent projects of mass-communication which did an excellent job during the demonstrations; they broadcasted live from the streets and filmed great documentaries about the social movements efervescence in Brazil; they denounced the State’s repressive forces as disproportionate and authoritarian, defended the human rights of protesting citizens, shouted truth to power in their increasingly popular social media (Ninja has reached more than 300.000 fans in its Facebook page, for example).

Unfortunately, most of the Brazilian population is still under the spell of the brainwashing machine called Mass Media. Our indigenous peoples, for example, are suffering terribly from the construction of big dams; from massive deforestation at the behest of cattle ranchers and agribusiness corporations; from the onslaught of the bulldozers courtesy of the doctrine of Development and Economic Growth.

In the Brazilian province of Mato Grosso – which one of Brazil’s most influential anthropologists, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, deems our own Gaza Strip – the indigenous populations are being treated like trash, to be swept to the slums (or simply out of existence). They have been kicked out of their ancient and cherished lands in order for money to be made in complete disregard to environmental destruction. Nowadays, one of the hugest suicide rates in Latin America is among Mato Grosso’s native populations. The corporate media, in general, is an accomplice to this genocide.

Many people had lots of interesting things to say about their own experiences as publishers of alternative media experiments. One problem that seems to plague us all is this: we try to write in order to give voice to the voiceless, provide visibility to the invisible, speak truth to power, and so forth and so on. I love this ideas and ideals. But the problem is: if you’re tiny anarchist newspaper who gives voice to voiceless is only read by 100 readers, isn’t this newspaper itself voiceless? Isn’t it devoid of broad social impact?

So, the main focus of our discussion ended up being this: how can we break the confines of a small reading audience? How can we reach a wider audience for our messages which are so dissonant in comparison with mass media crap? How to avoid falling into the trap of “preaching to the converted”? Can an anarchist media experiment go beyond the “inner communication” amongst the tribe of anarchists and socialists and sympathizers, and actually get its messages across to all society? And, last but not least, how can we use most effectively the high-tech tools – WWW and Social Media – in order to transcend the individual medias isolation and create big networks of resistance?

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TO BE CONTINUED….

Blogged from the Peoples Social Forum’s Media Center, 24/08/14.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Read part 1 and part 2 of this Awestruck Wanderer’s special coverage.