Tuesday, 31 January 2012

IF (1968)

If.... is a 1968 British drama film produced and directed by Lindsay Anderson satirising English public school life. Famous for its depiction of a savage insurrection at a public school, the film is associated with the 1960s counterculture movement because it was filmed by a long-standing counter-culture director at the time of the student uprisings in Paris in May 1968. It includes controversial statements, such as: "There's no such thing as a wrong war. Violence and revolution are the only pure acts". It features surrealist sequences throughout the film. Upon release in the UK, it received an X certificate.

The film stars Malcolm McDowell in his first screen role and his first appearance as Anderson's "everyman" character Mick Travis. Richard Warwick, Christine Noonan, David Wood, and Robert Swann also star, and Rupert Webster is featured as the young boy Bobby Phillips.

if.... won the Palme d'Or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. In 2004, the magazine Total Film named it the sixteenth greatest British film of all time. The Criterion Collection released the DVD on 19 June 2007.

Plot (courtesy of Wikipedia):

The film is set in a British independent school for boys in the late 1960s (most of the scenes were filmed at Cheltenham College in Gloucestershire, with the remainder at Aldenham School in Hertfordshire). Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) is one of three non-conformist boys among the returning class. They are watched and persecuted by the "Whips", senior boys given authority as prefects over juniors. The prefects are entitled to the services of "Scum", who are first-year boys assigned to run errands, make tea and generally act as unpaid servants. This refers to the old tradition of "fagging" which still persisted in many British independent boys' schools.

The early part of the film shows scenes in the school as the pupils return at the start of a new term. Mick Travis, the protagonist, arrives with a suitcase on his shoulder, wearing a black hat, with a black scarf across his face to hide his moustache. Stephans comments, "God, it's Guy Fawkes back again", hinting at the conclusion of the film. Rowntree (Robert Swann) is the Head Whip, and he revels in his power, ordering the junior boys to "Run! Run in the corridor!"

After the first evening meal, the Whips conduct some of the more mundane business of the school, signing up boys for "Confirmation class" and "VD clinic". Each boy has to lower his pants so the school nurse can inspect his genitals.

These early scenes show the school's customs and traditions. The Headmaster (Peter Jeffrey) is somewhat remote from the boys and the House Masters. Arthur Lowe, as Mick's House Master Mr. Kemp, is told "I'll have to get back to you on that" when he brings things to the Headmaster's attention. Kemp himself is easily manipulated by the Whips into giving them a free hand in enforcing discipline.

Mick steals a motorbike from a showroom and has an affair with a local waitress; and Wallace finds adolescent romance with Bobby Philips, a junior boy, whom he takes to bed. They indulge in self-inflicted ordeals, such as seeing how long they can hold a plastic bag over their faces.

As the film progresses it concentrates on Mick's group and their clashes with the school authorities. Mick and his friends are subject to punishments, and eventually they are sentenced to corporal punishment in the form of a severe "beating" (i.e. a caning) by the Whips. The caning is administered by Rowntree in the gym with a long run-up (this scene is said to be based on traditional practice at Tonbridge School, where scriptwriter David Sherwin was a student in the 1950s). The three boys are left with bleeding buttocks. Mick's punishment is especially brutal (10 strokes), yet tradition demands that he shake hands with Rowntree when it is over and say, "Thank you, Rowntree".

Scenes are shot through with surreal elements, such as some scenes being shot in black and white. This was not for dramatic emphasis, as people presumed, but simply because the huge windows at the college gave off obstructing light that affected the camera lenses. Another explanation given later by Lindsay Anderson is simply that the production was running out of money.

At the end, in a surreal sequence, they discover a cache of automatic weapons, and revolt against the establishment. On Founders' Day, when parents are visiting the school, they start a fire under the hall, smoke out the parents, staff and boys, and open fire on them from a rooftop. Led by the visiting General who was giving the speech, the staff and boys break open the Combined Cadet Force armoury and fire back.

The Headmaster tries to stop the firefight and calls for peace. Mick's girl, who is on the roof with them, produces a revolver from her belt and shoots the Headmaster through the forehead. The battle continues, and the camera closes in on Mick's face as he keeps firing, ending the film with a blackout and an echo of gunfire with the film's title "if...." emblazoned in red on the screen.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class

Narrated by Ed Asner

Based on the book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television's beginnings to today's sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and daytime talk shows.

Featuring interviews with media analysts and cultural historians, this documentary examines the patterns inherent in TV's disturbing depictions of working class people as either clowns or social deviants -- stereotypical portrayals that reinforce the myth of meritocracy.

Class Dismissed breaks important new ground in exploring the ways in which race, gender, and sexuality intersect with class, offering a more complex reading of television's often one-dimensional representations. The video also links television portrayals to negative cultural attitudes and public policies that directly affect the lives of working class people.

Featuring interviews with Stanley Aronowitz, (City University of New York); Nickel and Dimed author, Barbara Ehrenreich; Herman Gray (University of California-Santa Cruz); Robin Kelley (Columbia University); Pepi Leistyna (University of Massachusetts-Boston) and Michael Zweig (State University of New York-Stony Brook). Also with Arlene Davila, Susan Douglas, Bambi Haggins, Lisa Henderson, and Andrea Press.

Sections: Class Matters | The American Dream Machine | From the Margins to the Middle | Women Have Class | Class Clowns | No Class | Class Action

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award.

Friday, 13 January 2012

How the Media Manipulates the World into War

As the US and Iranian governments escalate tensions in the already volatile Straits of Hormuz, and China and Russia begin openly questioning Washington's interference in their internal politics, the world remains on a knife-edge of military tension.

Far from being a dispassionate observer of these developments, however, the media has in fact been central to increasing those tensions and preparing the public to expect a military confrontation. But as the online media rises to displace the traditional forms by which the public forms its understanding of the world, many are now beginning to see first hand how the media lies the public into war.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

BOMB IT (2007)

Bomb It is an international graffiti and street art documentary directed by award-winning director Jon Reiss and premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. Filmed on 5 continents and featuring cities such as Cape Town, London, Paris, Amsterdam and Sao Paulo, the documentary explores the interplay between worldwide graffiti movements, the global proliferation of "Quality of Life" laws, and the fight for control over public space.

George Kelling, co-author of Broken Windows, a seminal Atlantic Monthly article that formed the intellectual basis for Rudy Giuliani's widely imitated gentrification campaign, was interviewed for this film.

Graffiti artists across the globe joined forces with Jon to create the film which features original footage from many controversial graffiti writers beginning with the first graffiti writer Cornbread, to those who saw the take off of the art, TAKI 183 to more contemporary writers Shepard Fairey and Os Gemeos.

In addition to TAKI 183, the film features Tracy 168, Terrible T-Kid 170 (TKid), Cope2, Stay High 149, KRS-One, Revs, 2esae, Zephyr, Cornbread Daim, Blek le Rat, Ash, Skuf, Revok, Ron English, Chaz Bojorquez, Lady Pink, Mear One, Urban Theorists Stefano Bloch (UCLA Dept. of Urban Planning and University of Minnesota Dept. of Geography) and Susan Phillips (Pitzer College), Pez, Sixe, Falko, Faith 47, Zezao, Ise, Kenor & Kode, Scage, Mickey, Chino, and Ket.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Taking Liberties

The shocking truth about the erosion of our fundamental civil liberties by Tony Blair's government is exposed in TAKING LIBERTIES, released on DVD in the UK cinemas by Revolver Entertainment October 15th 2007. Right to Protest, Right to Freedom of Speech. Right to Privacy. Right not to be detained without charge, Innocent Until Proven Guilty. Prohibition from Torture. TAKING LIBERTIES will reveal how these six central pillars of liberty have been systematically destroyed by New Labour, and the freedoms of the British people stolen from under their noses amidst a climate of fear created by the media and government itself. TAKING LIBERTIES uncovers the stories the government don't want you to hear -- so ridiculous you will laugh, so ultimately terrifying you will want to take action. Teenage sisters detained for 36 hours for a peaceful protest; an RAF war veteran arrested for wearing an anti-Bush and Blair T-shirt; an innocent man shot in a police raid; and a man held under house arrest for two years, after being found innocent in court. Ordinary law-abiding citizens being punished for exercising their 'rights' -- rights that have been fought for over centuries, and which seem to have been extinguished in a decade.

Monday, 29 August 2011

What Really Motivates US?

This lively RSAnimate, adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.

Revisiting 9/11 - 10 years on

Delving here into an area that I don't think Socialist TV has covered - the 9/11 palaver. Conspiracy theories aside, it's as relevant as hell considering the myriad inconsistencies in the official version and which has provided the West with an excuse for a 10 year war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all in the name of oil and full spectrum dominance.

This shocking film brings together an account of the 9/11 tragedy that is far more logical than the one we've been asked to believe. Gathering stories from the mainstream press, reports from other countries, the work of other researchers, and the contradictory words of US government officials, David Ray Griffin presents a case that leaves very little doubt that the attacks of 9/11 need to be further investigated.

Disturbing facts emerge that put into serious question the official story and reveal an enormous deception. Packed with bonus features, expert analysis, in-depth commentary and unforgettable conclusions about this tragic event in American history

Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Empathic Civilisation - RSA Animate

Bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Moral Landscape - Sam Harris

Best selling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris introduces his new book The Moral Landscape.

A lively, provocative, and timely new look at one of the deepest problems in the world of ideas. Harris makes a powerful case for a morality that is based on human flourishing and thoroughly enmeshed with science and rationality. It is a tremendously appealing vision, and one that no thinking person can afford to ignore.
Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, author ofHow the Mind Works and The Blank Slate.

I was one of those who had unthinkingly bought into the hectoring myth that science can say nothing about morals. The Moral Landscape has changed all that for me. Moral philosophers, too, will find their world exhilaratingly turned upside down, as they discover a need to learn some neuroscience. As for religion, and the preposterous idea that we need God to be good, nobody wields a sharper bayonet than Sam Harris.
Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene, The God Delusion, andThe Greatest Show On Earth

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

Journalist Chris Hedges discusses his recent book Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. In it, he charts the dramatic rise of a post-literate society that craves fantasy, ecstasy, and illusion. Hedges argues we now live in two societies: one, the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world and can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth; the other, a growing majority, is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic where serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins.

Chris Hedges, author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He writes for many publications, including Foreign Affairs, Harpers, The New York Review of Books, Granta, and Mother Jones. He is also a columnist for Truthdig.com.

Co-sponsored by the Writing Program, Department of Media Studies and Film, and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

Location: Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall.
12/08/2009 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Released in December 2009, the Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the "devils in the details" in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from whats really required to tackle the climate crisis. If you've heard about Cap & Trade, but arent sure how it works (or who benefits), this is the film is for you.

Tyranny & Politics of Fear, Loyalty to Israel vs - Interview with Colonel Larry Wilkerson

Boiling Frogs Post presents an exclusive interview with Colonel Larry Wilkerson on a tyrannical US presidency and politics of fear, Israel’s interests versus US interests and the question of loyalties, and more:

As a 'card carrying' member of the Likud Party, whose interest did Douglas Feith really serve?

Is the current situation in the US due to incompetent leadership or venal leadership exploiting politics of fear?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Story of Bottled Water

The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industrys attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.

See also The Story of Stuff

War Veteran comes clean

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable, the banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands
away. They are right here in front of us

- Mike Prysner

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Collateral Murder

5th April 2010 -- WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

If the cold blooded murder of a dozen innocents is not enough for these blood-crazed psychopaths, they then open their 30mm helicopter canon on people who come to tend to a survivor. And make no mistake - this is no isolated incident.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Real food, real simple....but under capitalism?

It's so simple. Don't eat anything that comes from a factory - and that includes meat.

The food industry is bigger than the oil industry and every bit as corrupt and manipulative. If they had their way, all food would come in a box, filled with low-cost garbage ingredients, and marked up to the moon.

Thanks to their bribery and bullying that already describes the federal school lunch program. They stand ready to legally attack anyone who speaks the truth, even deep pockets celebrities like Oprah Winfrey who declared on her show she would never eat another hamburger and was sued by the cattle ranching industry for defamation.

It's remarkably easy to avoid the personal health catastrophe that factory foods lead to: don't eat them! It's that simple.

Click video to play

The Art of Corporate Mind Control

Courtesy of
Information Clearing House:

Television is the most powerful weapon of psychological warfare in history and yet it is a member of the family in most households. The programming that we are constantly assaulted with conditions us to a particular worldview. This fake reality changes our behavior making us less active and more compliant with society's shortcomings.

Since television is controlled by a small handful of powerful corporations, viewers will never witness informing, truthful news and entertainment. As political and corporate power unite at an ever increasing rate, being informed is more important than ever.

People need to seek out independent and alternative unbiased sources on the internet for their information or we will continue to be manipulated by the corporate controlled media.


Most of humanity is in an absolute hypnotic trance that they're put in from cradle to grave by constant repetition of a fake reality and when we wake up from this we will not be subservient.

Jordan Maxwell: The bottom line is that the government is getting what they ordered. They do not want your children to be educated. They do not want you to think too much. That is why our country and our world has become so proliferated with entertainments, mass media, television shows, amusement parks, drugs, alcohol, and every kind of entertainment to keep the human mind entertained so that you don't get in the way of important people by doing too much thinking. You better wake up and understand that there are people who are guiding your life and you don't even know it.

Steven Jacobson: Television is the most powerful weapon of psychological warfare in history. The programming that we are constantly assaulted by throughout our lives conditions us. It programs us to a particular worldview. Now, we may consider it normal because we were born into this system of lies and deception. And because we were born into this situation and our parents were born into it and have suffered from it, we don't know any better.

Aldous Huxley: What I may call the messages of Brave New World, but it is possible to make people contented with their servitude. I think this can be done. I think it has been done in the past. I think it could be done even more effectively now because you can provide them with bread and circuses and you can provide them with endless amounts of distractions and propaganda.

George Carlin: But there's a reason, there's a reason. There's a reason for this. There's a reason education sucks and its the same reason it will never ever ever be fixed. Its never gonna get any better, don't look for it. Be happy with what you got, because the owners of this country don't want that. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that.

Howard Beale: We know things are bad, worse than bad. They're crazy. Its like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house and slowly the world were living in is getting smaller and all we say is please at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel belted radios and I wont say anything, just leave us alone. Well I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it and stick your head out and yell, I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore! You've got to say, Im a human being God damn it, my life has value!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

VIDEO: Will US-NATO Start World War III by Attacking Iran?

A UN nuclear watchdog report suggests Iran could be developing a nuclear bomb, apparently confirming long-held suspicions in the West. But Tehran denies the claims, again insisting that its atomic intentions are peaceful. Michel Chossudovsky, who's from an independent Canadian policy research group, believes that what Iran says hardly matters, because the U.S. is planning for war.