Tag Archives | Counterculture
The hippie movement which turned hundreds of thousands of youth towards the cult of peace & love in the West wasn’t absent on the other side of the Iron Curtain. The creative documentary takes us on a psychedelic road trip through time, exploring the traces of the hippie legacy in the Soviet Union – the dream which allowed the youth to feel free even under the repressive Soviet rule. The conflicting personal and social ‘truths’, the tension between the psychedelic and the ‘rationale’ are vividly revealed.
In the dark ages known as the twentieth century, mass surveillance of entire populations was a sport practised only by elitist totalitarian states . Those unlucky enough to live in a what was then termed a “free country”, had to sit on the sidelines and simply imagine what it was like to be subject to constant state intrusion.
But times change, and after several wars of the twentieth century (including the war to end all wars) mass surveillance was finally liberated. The liberators of surveillance even adopted a snappy slogan to help spread their evangelic message, which today is more commonly used than that one about washing up liquid – “nothing to hide, nothing to fear”. Don’t bother de-constructing this slogan in any way – just marvel at its symmetry and its almost Shakespearean rhythm.
You see the secret to success of the architects of “surveillance for all” was they spotted that surveillance is so much easier to sell to the masses when it’s invisible.… Read the rest
Unschooling takes to heart the old maxim that one should never let one’s schooling interfere with one’s education. This article from CNN describes unschooling in a formal setting, but it is more commonly practiced as a form of home-school:
Six-year-old Karina Ricci doesn’t ever have a typical day. She has no schedule to follow, no lessons to complete.
She spends her time watching TV, doing arts and crafts or practicing the piano. She learned to spell by e-mailing with friends; she uses math concepts while cooking dinner.
Everything she knows has been absorbed “organically,” according to her dad, Dr. Carlo Ricci. She’s not just on summer break — this is her life year round as an at-home unschooler.
“It’s incredible how capable she is,” Ricci said in a phone interview from his home in Toronto, Ontario. “And I think that all young people are that capable … if you don’t tell them they can’t or they’re not allowed, they surprise us in a lot of ways.”
Ricci is professor of alternative learning at Nipissing University and an advocate of unschooling, a concept that’s gaining popularity in both Canada and the United States thanks to frustration with the current public education system.… Read the rest
Daniel Pinchbeck, just launched a new kind of talk show called “Mind Shift.” Think Real Time with Bill Maher, but with a guest panel of mystics, countercultural philosophers and psychedelic artists. The first show rounded up Michael Muhammad Knight, Alex Grey, Howard Bloom and Jay Michaelson. Sounds good to me!
The FB page says:
“This is not a talk show about politics, and this is not a talk show to plug the latest books or movies. This is a talk show about the big ideas that aren’t talked about in the mainstream media. Big ideas that may scare some people but will inspire others.”
Take a look at what CULTiE writes about the first show.
I’m highlighting Michael Muhammad Knight’s discussion here because of his unique subject: Islam and psychedelics. He has a new book out called Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing. That’s my favorite writing recipe right there!… Read the rest
Pramod Pati, who died an untimely death at the age of 42, worked for the Films Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India, which commissioned feature-length and short documentaries as well as short animation films for the purposes of cultural archiving and nationwide information dissemination. The documentaries generally consisted of profiles of artistes practicing traditional forms, educational films for adults, and simple moral tales and basic literacy courses for children. Although there was an obvious restriction on the type of subjects filmmakers can choose, the Films Division, like the Kanun in Iran, was free from commercial concerns and thus presented a higher scope for formal experimentation for directors.
Last week (2nd May), in the midst of Privacy Awareness Week , an Australian campaigner, Adam Bonner won a landmark decision against CCTV cameras in New South Wales . The decision did not rule that the cameras in the town of Nowra should be switched off, but instead ordered the local council to stop breaching the Information Protection Principles of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act. Remedies were suggested by the Privacy Commissioner but suffice to say Shoalhaven council has switched the cameras off whilst deciding its next move.
The decision of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal New South Wales ordered that:
… Read the rest
1. The Council is to refrain from any conduct or action in contravention of an information protection principle or a privacy code of practice;
2. The Council is to render a written apology to the Applicant for the breaches, and advise him of the steps to be taken by the Council to remove the possibility of similar breaches in the future.
Cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993) founded the satirical MAD magazine in 1952 and forever altered the way young readers experienced the media and consumer culture around them. As the late film critic Roger Ebert explained, “I learned to be a movie critic by reading MAD magazine. I learned a lot of other things from the magazine too, including a whole new slant on society. MAD‘s parodies made me aware of the machine inside the skin–of the way a movie might look original on the outside, while inside it was just recycling the same dumb old formulas. I did not read the magazine, I plundered it for clues to the universe.”
After MAD, Kurtzman worked with a team of artists including Al Jaffee, Jack Davis and Will Elder on a series of short-lived but influential publications, including TRUMP, HUMBUG and HELP! At HELP!, a fortuitous nexus of nascent sketch comedy and underground “comix,” Kurtzman worked with then unknowns Woody Allen, Gloria Steinem and R.… Read the rest
In 1972 counterculture legend William S. Burroughs interviewed David Bowie for Rolling Stone. Thanks to Teenage Wildlife, the resulting article by Craig Copetas is once again available. Here’s a small excerpt:
… Read the rest
Burroughs: Only politicians lay down what they think and that is it. Take a man like Hitler, he never changed his mind.
Bowie: Nova Express really reminded me of Ziggy Stardust, which I am going to be putting into a theatrical performance. Forty scenes are in it and it would be nice if the characters and actors learned the scenes and we all shuffled them around in a hat the afternoon of the performance and just performed it as the scenes come out. I got this all from you Bill… so it would change every night.
Burroughs: That’s a very good idea, visual cut-up in a different sequence.
Bowie: I get bored very quickly and that would give it some new energy.