In what has been a regular event since I began teaching
Robert Fisk, journalist and author of The Great War for Civilization, has died. Here he is, talking about that book. For those interested in anti-imperial politics and modern history, especially in terms of the Middle East, this is well worth your time.
You could do worse than watch The Outpost on Netflix as a way of thinking about the West and the Rest. Like most action war films, the filmmakers place the audience firmly in the position of the story’s protagonists. The obligatory hand-held camera work and high frame rate consolidate this perspective, producing a cinematically immersive experience. The dialog and characterization in The Outpost‘s opening minutes is equally familiar to anyone who has watched a few war movies. The soldiers are identified by surname and given a few seconds apiece in medium close-up, often with trivial yet character-establishing dialog. We hear accents, see facial expressions, and are given a name to attach to these minor details. The film wants us to care about its characters, though you can see even at this early point that it won’t direct our attention away from the coming fight to consider the lives of those they love back home. A succinct line of dialog confirms this when a seasoned enlisted man, Sgt. Romesha (Scott Eastwood) tells the younger soldiers not to think about their wives until they leave the outpost.Continue reading
This is what 21st century imperialism looks like.
Imperialism is hegemonic in the sense that the citizens of Empire are often shocked or angered by the assertion that they do, in fact, live in one– usually before they bother to define that term.
In honor of Fleet Week– which is clearly a symbol of American Empire– here are two speeches that have been supplemented with images.
First, a by-now viral video of Ellen.
I’d never heard of this next one until yesterday. I don’t know who originally made it.
Consider our discussions about hegemony and interpretation. What codes and values are invoked by these clips? How does form shape or undermine content? Do you live in an Empire? What evidence and arguments support your claim?
This is what a modern coup looks like. After decades of relentless demonization, subversion, and economic warfare, the US is trying to force the issue via hostile diplomacy. Look for almost every single Democrat and Republican congressperson to fully support this attack on Venezuela’s sovereignty and the principle of national self-determination. Among US political elites Empire is a bipartisan reflex.
Emile De Antonio’s provocative 1968 documentary In the Year of the Pig. There are distressing images in this film. But also long talky patches. Non-required.