FROM THE WEB
Net Briefs - 04-10
GENDER & SPORTS
Bronner & IDF
Jane Anne Morris
Protesting School Cuts
Dolls & Drudges
Epic Recession III
Capitalizing on Disaster
NY For Sale
In Vitro, In Vivo!
Zaps - 04-10
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
In Vitro, In Vivo!
Sundance Film Festival 2010
Cinematic rebellion was the artistic anthem of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. From script to screen, the most important film festival in the country asked audiences, authors, and auteurs "to fight against the establishment of the expected" and "to battle for brave new ideas."
According to the public face of Sundance, actor-director Robert Redford, during a post-screening discussion of the documentary The Shock Doctrine: "The entire system is constipated at the top. Sundance can help because it really is grassroots and I think the power is going to come from the collective. I hope the festival can help tell these stories because there's not a whole lot left of this planet."
Under the new leadership of John Cooper, this year's festival ran from January 21-31. Many of the films (and panels) had overt political, often progressive, themes, some with better storytelling skills than others. Here are a few of the films coming to you—some day.
Cane Toad: The Conquest - Cute little creatures defying kooky bigger creatures, cane toads have been indigenous to Central and South America for millions of years. But in 1935 an ill-fated idea to bring over 100 of the amphibians to the northeastern part of Australia to eat the greyback cane beetle, a sugarcane pest, was implemented. Rather than kick out the vermin, cane toads multiplied by the thousands and started to go west across the continent. Today, approximately 1.5 billion cane toads have taken on mythological portions as pet, pest, and pariah. While some Australians keep the cane toad as a companion, others have lost their dog, cat, snake, etc., when they ate one of the poisonous creatures. This has led to great fear and misunderstanding of the toad—which is hardly a threat to humans—producing hysterical reactions. Presented in 3D, director Mark Lewis's Cane Toads: The Conquest is a lot of fun. Similar to, but a little more icky than The March of Penguins, audiences of most ages should have a three-dimensional blast watching, while learning a lesson about ecological tampering.
Climate Refugees - If you think Haiti is a crisis, wait until Bangladesh meets the rising tide. Nearly 150 Million Bangladeshis live at sea level. Rather than replicate David Guggenheim's An Inconvenient Truth, starring Al Gore, director Michael Nash's documentary puts the issue of climate change in terms of geopolitics. As seawater continues to rise, an estimated 50 countries are predicted to disappear within the next 20-30 years. Since most humans live by the sea, what are nations going to do when hundreds of millions of refugees start fleeing to foreign lands or to other parts of their country? In light of these predictions, it seems almost trivial to debate if humans are responsible for climate change. Climate change is here and people will be coming, and going, in alarming numbers.
Howl - Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Howl looks at Allen Ginsberg, circa age 29, and his first published poem. Divided into four equal parts, this film uses different mediums to convey the power the poet and his poem "Howl" had on people and the powers-that-be. One part is essentially theater, with Ginsberg (played by James Franco) reading his poem at the Six Gallery on October 7, 1955. The second part uses animation (designed by Eric Drooker) to illustrate an interpretation of the poem. The third part is the dramatic poetic justice of "Howl," and thus free speech, which went on trial for obscenity (People v. Ferlinghetti). And the fourth is a pseudo-documentary where Ginsberg answers questions from an off-screen interviewer. While the poem "Howl"said many things about America, the greatness in the film lies in the fact that the producers managed to capture both Ginsberg and the essence of his work: the voice of desire and fulfillment by and for those who have been ignored by society.
Night Catches Us - Philadelphia, 1976. As white cops wail on the poor, a former Black Panther named Marcus (Anthony Mackie) needs to watch his step. His comrades question his loyalty. The only comrade he can trust is Patricia (Kerry Washington) who has become a sort of foundation for the troubled neighborhood. As tensions mount, violence and mistrust between cops and citizens arise, as well as trust and love among the oppressed. Naturally, something has to give and it will not be police misconduct. Finely crafted, writer-director Tanya Hamilton's Night Catches Us offers an insightful look at what it means to be black and poor in America.
Nowhere Boy - Directed by Sam Taylor Wood (Love You More) and written by Matt Greenhalgh (Control), this nostalgic biopic focuses on the late teenage years of John Lennon (played by Aaron Johnson). Lennon lives with his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas) while trying to reconnect with his mother, Julia Lennon (Anna-Marie Duff). A rebellious sort, John gets into all sorts of trouble at school, puts together a band called the Quarrymen with Paul McCartney (Thomas Sangster) and George Harrison (Sam Bell). Unfortunately, many who are familiar with the Beatles and Lennon probably already know John had a strained relationship with his mother and that her sister raised him for most of his early life. Rather than add anything psychologically productive to Lennon's formative years, Nowhere Boy disappears into a pointless void.
The Shock Doctrine - Based on Naomi Klein's bestselling book of the same name and co-directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, this documentary traces the rise of Milton Friedman's theories and disaster capitalism. From Augusto Pinochet's Chile to Boris Yeltin's Russia to our current economic woes, Friedman and friends have created problems in the name of profit by taking advantage of confusion and pushing through reactionary legislation. There is hardly anything shocking about the observations found in The Shock Doctrine for anyone who has read the likes of Noam Chomsky. And thanks to the artistic license used in The Shock Doctrine, it will be easier for critics to dismiss the documentary than Chomsky.
Sympathy for Delicious - Stuck on the streets of Los Angeles in more ways than one, life for DJ Delicious (screenwriter Christopher Thornton) has been too tough for too long—unemployment, crime, disability. Like the people around him, Delicious needs an immediate fix. Then, one day, others discover Delicious has the hands of God and can cure approximately 72 percent of the people he touches, such as the ones with illness, blindness, or paralysis. This leads to many kinds of exploitation and manipulation by Delicious and others. Co-starring and competently directed by Mark Ruffalo, whose acting career was launched in 2000 with the Sundance Film Festival hit You Can Count on Me, the storyline of Sympathy for Delicious is a mixed bag. It is interesting to watch how Delicious and others make money off his talent, but, in this day and age, the idea of someone having supernatural healing powers is rather delirious.
Twelve - The Hollywood director who brought us Flatliners, Falling Down, and Batman Forever, Joel Schumacher, has adapted Nick McDonell's novel about contemporary privileged youth on the upper eastside of Manhattan. Anyone who has watched a movie about rich kids in the last ten years has a good idea what is coming—money makes misery and all that sex, drugs, and guns can only be fun for so long. At least there is no underground fighting ring. In a time when the super rich are sticking it to people, Twelve attempts to lay a "rich people are unhappy" sentiment to the public, while still inducing the masses of working class teenagers to wish for such unhappiness. Scene after scene in Twelve gives images of beautiful, rich people moving about in a milieu where there are more servants than working teenagers, a Porsche is crashed and daddy will be angry, a teenage girl gets a nose job, shopping is habitual, and there is barely a parent in sight. Twelve presents kids who are out of control, but induces us to believe that, if we could only change places with the beautiful brats, we could handle it.
Vegetarian - After a series of nightmares stemming from repressed childhood memories, Yeong-hye (Chae Min-seo) decides to become a vegetarian. The stench of meat is everywhere and she will not participate in such behavior. In her family, however, a life without meat is just crazy. Her older sister, Ji-hye (Kim Yeo-jin), does not know what to do about her sister's change of diet so her video artist husband, Min-ho (Kim Hyun-sung), decides to clandestinely assist his pretty, though gaunt, sister-in-law through the art of body flower power. This perpetuates various sorts of other behaviors, putting Yeong-hye further into suicidal drive. While the film's appreciation of nature/body as art is admirable, some vegetarian filmgoers, like a few at the Sundance screening (including me), were a bit nonplussed at the title and the association the film makes between vegetarianism and madness.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.