Saturday, July 28, 2007

Like Graphic Novels? Check out Anthony Lappe's (GNN) Shooting War (all online!).
These days, fiction rarely gets ahead of reality, but R.J. Hillhouse's Outsourced has stirred up enough controversy that she was also invited to write a related op-ed for the Washington Post.

Hillhouse (who also runs the spy who billed me blog) was interviewed by Democracy Now, where she explained:

"I found that there were things that could only be written about in fiction. It’s amazing for someone who has lived in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to find that in this country we’re in a similar place. In the repressive regimes, literature has often played the role of bringing things to light that could not otherwise be discussed. And I found that there are some things that are going on in the intelligence community or things that are going on with our government with relationships between corporate and government that it was only safe to discuss under the guise of fiction. So it’s an unusual transformation that a novelist would actually be ahead of media in this. I mean, it is the norm for me to be contacted each week by people from New York Times, Washington Post and others to try to learn about what’s going on in outsourcing. So it’s very strange as a novelist that I actually have moved ahead of that.

And I’ve not only been at the center of controversy in the intelligence community, I’ve also been in the center of controversy in the literary world, because I believe that and I’ve been very public about it, that thriller writers, that novelists, have failed us today. They haven't helped us understand the darker truths of what’s going on in the war on terror, the ambiguities, the changes that have occurred in how we’re fighting the war on terror and what that shows us about ourselves. Unfortunately, thriller writers have failed us. As you know, it’s mainly -- and I’ll call it for what it is -- beach reach that we see, that we don't see literature playing this larger role in society, but rather, the novels become a race of, we have to stop the terrorists from, what would be in a jargon, a, b, or c weapons -- atomic, biological or [chemical] weapons -- and it just -- it underscores the narrative of our time, which is, be afraid, be very afraid, and only a hero who will violate the Geneva Conventions, only a hero who will violate the Constitution will save us. So I tried to do something very different with Outsourced."

Look for a non-fiction book on this topic by Tim Shorrock, who wrote this piece for The Nation and this piece for Salon.
Some great speeches and interviews with activists and investigators:

First, be sure to check out the various presentations at Ralph Nader's recent conference,
Taming the Giant Corporation

Other Activist Presentations:

Lectures from the Democracy Schools:
Thomas Linzey (of CELDF)
Richard Grossman

The Carnegie Institute's (DC) mission is to promote popular education in science. They sponsor a series of lectures each year. Check out the archives (one I recommend is David Goodstein's lecture on the End of the Age of Oil from 4/2006.

If all of this gets too grim, then go to this interview with Bill Hicks
or this speech by "President Bush" for a change of pace.

Also, for intelligent diversion, try Doug Henwood's radio show,
the archives of which are here.
Some interesting links that I've come across in the past few months:

This UK site, the Dossier, has a ton of videos, interviews, documentaries, news, etc.
E.g. I just watched this doc on the Iraq oil law.

Oil Phreak: Radical Polytics

History is a Weapon

Guerrilla News Network: links page has tons of interesting stuff

The Armchair Subversive

I've been reading (I admit it, for the first time) The Man in the High Castle. P.K. Dick fans might like this Wikipedia page: Ideas in Science Fiction

Chomsky on audio and video

Mark Crispin Miller's blog

Rikesh tunes.