Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Young Colossus is the new project from Maccabees frontman, Orlando Weeks. It's a concept album made up of six tracks, with each one relating to a different section of the accompanying graphic novel, illustrated by artist Rob Hunter. It also features the vocals of Alessi Laurent-Marke (Alessi's Ark).
Saturday, 19 May 2012
Like many such seedy, sinister institutions, it is housed behind a smart door, on a smart square, in a smart part of town. It is discreet.
Advertising is one way of relating to the public at large - H.G. Wells called it legitimised lying. Bill Hicks described everyone who works in advertising or marketing as 'the ruiners of all things good', and advised that they kill themselves - no joke.
As with tanks and television, the medium itself is not inherently evil: those that drive it, that set its agenda, mediate its morality. Indeed, communication(s) could be the crux of our existence as sentient beings. It can bring understanding and acceptance; it can transmit joy, hope and love.
But adverts never ask me to think about anything beyond my own selfish needs; the television only ever tries to persuade me to purchase, never to pursue peace.
The biggest PR coup of the 20th Century was to convince the individual that solidarity is pointless. Public relations told the individual that the individual alone was important. You can't change anything until you've changed yourself, it said. And, happily, it had a plethora of products on hand to help with self-improvement. No need to think too much (certainly not about other people, who are, after all, hell), just reach into your pocket, sign on the dotted line.
Nobody deals with this line of inquiry better than Adam Curtis in his documentary Century of the Self. Watch it, and remember: don't reach into your pocket, reach into you soul...
Thursday, 3 May 2012
I finished watching Crisis of Civilisation less than thirty minutes ago; as the titles ran, I left the room with a vague feeling that it must be shared. It says a lot that I could do this easily and without the threat of legal action.
International security analyst Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed doesn't once mention anti-capitalism, but the message is very firmly against the system that is currently killing us. It's non-partisan and not for profit, and that's the surest sign that you can have faith in that message - a message that is too important for any pettiness, a message that is about our survival.
The Crisis of Civilization is a documentary feature film investigating how global crises like ecological disaster, financial meltdown, dwindling oil reserves, terrorism and food shortages are converging symptoms of a single, failed global system.
Weaving together archival film footage and animations, film-maker Dean Puckett, animator Lucca Benney and international security analyst Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed – author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It – offer a stunning wake-up call proving that ‘another world’ is not merely possible, but on its way.