Author Archive | OddEdges

Cornel West has already destroyed it again — This time at Harvard

With the month of April not yet over, once again Cornel West has proven that he is one of the contending voices in America.

After a stunning 20-minute speech filmed in a Manhattan church at the beginning of this month, which played prelude to another public address and subsequent march against police violence and the prison industrial complex (organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network), he has now lent his voice to a weeklong protest called Heat Week that has been occurring at Harvard University. So, after temporarily shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge, he went north where students launched the Divest Harvard campaign, as a call for the Ivy League University to unalign itself with fossil fuel interests. It turns out a few million dollars are tangled up in Harvard from coal, oil, and gas companies.

On the students’ website they’ve posted calls to:

  • immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuel companies
  • immediately divest direct holdings (currently $19.6 million) from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies
  • divest indirect holdings in the top 200 fossil fuel companies within 5 years, and reinvest in socially responsible funds.
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LSD & DNA – Francis Crick’s Psychedelic Origins of Life

Ever hear of Panspermia? It’s an idea from Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick. He outlined in his book ‘Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature‘ that given how complicated the DNA molecule is, it is wildly unlikely to have just swirled into existence here on earth. That it’s more likely to have been sent from an intelligent alien civilization than it is to have spontaneously occurred.

It wasn’t until later in his life when he admitted that what gave him the very idea of the DNA molecule’s shape resulted from taking LSD and entering a psychedelic altered state. It turned out that his vision from LSD trip was right — the DNA molecule was indeed a double helix. In this clip, which originally played during Alex Grey’s Entheovideo event in 2008, Graham Hancock gives the background and explains how we can now record vast quantities of data on DNA just as we do on hard drives.… Read the rest

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For those of you who say there are no voices leading America, you need to watch 20 mins of Cornel West

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For those of you who say there are no moving or powerful voices left in America, you might want to direct your attention to a 20-minute clip of American philosopher and activist Dr. Cornel West speaking in a Manhattan church on April 6th of this year. In it West delivers a dizzying, fiery, and tear-jerking sermon reminiscent of the greatest moments in the tradition of American political speech.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network organized the event, A Call to Act, and it’s no surprise that the Stop Mass Incarceration Network exists or that Dr. West participated. The US now has more prisoners and prisons than any other country on the planet, a fact West is well aware of as he regularly speaks out over the New Jim Crow and to inmates serving time. In fact, the land of the free is now home to more prisons than colleges.… Read the rest

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Surviving the Underground Art World: A New Class Featuring Android Jones Tackles the “M” Word

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Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.

-Andy Warhol

We all know an artist who has amazing vision and the skills necessary to bring it to life. This person creates works of profound beauty that evoke strong, and at times complicated, emotional responses that effect our being in the world. We might feel a little dizzy as we realize our heads and hearts have been blown open by something that’s at once incomprehensible yet strangely familiar–like visiting our childhood home and seeing it painted a different color, with new trees planted where old ones once stood.

This is what great art does–it’s not something that, despite the best efforts of critics, can easily be explained with words. Perhaps that’s the entire point–the realness of the work must be experienced, up close, in real life. Unfortunately, many of the best artists we know never seem to get the chance to show their work beyond the cluttered confines of their studio space.… Read the rest

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Dennis McKenna and Company Hold An Online Salon On Plant Magic

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From the beginning of time, plants have played a crucial role in human affairs, influencing the evolution of civilizations and cultures, human migration, medicine and health care, wars, art, mythology and religion. Starting on May 6th, a three part video webinar hosted by plant teacher, Morgan Maher and featuring author and ethnopharmacologist, Dennis McKenna and philosopher, Richard Doyle, will guide participants through Amazonian plants: their uses, benefits, traditions, research, stories and magic.

While there’s been a lot of attention given to Ayahuasca recently, the Amazon is one of the most bio-diverse regions on Earth with plenty of other powerful plants that one can “work with”.  In this course, designed for plant people, by plant people, a variety of Amazonian medicines will be explored, such as Cat’s Claw, Camu Camu, Wayusa and Guarana, with an emphasis on increasing an individual’s “energy, clarity and immunity.” Participants can connect live from around the world via their laptops, or else watch the recording, to learn recipes for Morgan’s post-modern remix of ancient brews and elixirs that they can use as a compliment to their work with ayahuasca and other plant medicines.… Read the rest

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On The Horror and Allure of Hannibal Lecter

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Pic: Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter (C) NBC publicity.

I’ll never forget when my older sister came home distraught and shaken.  My parents asked her what was wrong and she broke down into tears and admitted she was horrified from having just seen The Silence of the Lambs.  Since then I always wanted to see it.  I was 4 at the time.  It wouldn’t be until years later that I saw the film.  It became my favorite movie at the time and Hannibal my favorite character in fiction.  He was just so classy and in charge.  Since then the Hannibal Lecter franchise has seen plenty more literary and cinematic incarnations, most of them lame, with Silence arguably standing as the unmatched artistic achievement.  That was the status quo of the Lecterverse until NBC released the television show Hannibal last year.

Over the last few months I watched and re-watched Hannibal.  I don’t watch TV, but being a sometimes very disappointed fan of the Hannibal franchise, I gave it a shot.  I remembered seeing adverts on New York City buses of a non-Hopkins mouth posing as a posh Lecter and thought that it couldn’t possibly be worth anyone’s time.  Just another money grab.  I consider myself a very jaded viewer of entertainment media.  This is likely because I’m a filmmaker, actor, editor, writer, and composer who was raised with the media-bashing antics of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew.  This means I’m not easy to please when it comes to entertainment media (I always see the strings, the plot chasms, the ham-fisted expositional dialog) and I’m far more likely to amuse myself by riffing a show or movie to death than I am to sink into the world that it’s trying to make me care about.  This is not my fault.  If you can’t rope in someone then your work needs work.  The bar is set even higher given we’re all more-or-less filmmakers, producers, and celebrities now.… Read the rest

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