Tag Archives | Culture

The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved to the Matrix


Sigmund Fraud Via Waking Times:

“In prison, illusions can offer comfort.” – Nelson Mandela

For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the deceptive act is committed, and for the fool, reality then becomes inexplicably built upon on a lie. That is, until the fool wakes up and recognizes the truth in the fact that he has been duped.

Maintaining the suspension of disbelief in the illusion, however, is often more comforting than acknowledging the magician’s secrets.

We live in a world of illusion. So many of the concerns that occupy the mind and the tasks that fill the calendar arise from planted impulses to become someone or something that we are not. This is no accident. As we are indoctrinated into this authoritarian-corporate-consumer culture that now dominates the human race, we are trained that certain aspects of our society are untouchable truths, and that particular ways of being and behaving are preferred.

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Melvin Way’s meanderings offer the possibility of a parallel universe in “GAGA CITY”


Melvin Way Untitled, 2003 Ballpoint pen on paper, Scotch tape 7 x 3 inches


All image credits Courtesy of Christian Berst Art Brut (New York/Paris).

Melvin Way invented the Dell computer, founded collegiate and educational institutions all over the Northeastern United States, and wrote songs that were recorded and popularized by the Supremes. He had a ticket on the last Amtrak train that crashed near Philadelphia, but missed it, intentionally, because “something just wasn’t right.” Way’s enormously important intellectual and cultural accomplishments might explain the 6.2 million dollars he made last year. But what would you expect from a man who graduated high school fourteen times (ten times in South Carolina and four times in New York City) and who also happens to be “post-mortal?”

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Emory Douglas: The Art of The Black Panthers

Emory Douglas: The Art of The Black Panthers from Dress Code on Vimeo.

Emory Douglas was the Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party. Through archival footage and conversations with Emory we share his story, alongside the rise and fall of the Panthers. He used his art as a weapon in the Black Panther Party’s struggle for civil rights and today Emory continues to give a voice to the voiceless. His art and what The Panthers fought for are still as relevant as ever.

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Who wrote the works of Shakespeare? (Answer: Shakespeare)

Front Cover for KindleLast week would have been Shakespeare’s 451st birthday, had he been as immortal as his work. Some might say that you’d need to have lived that long to have garnered the experience, the wisdom, and even to have had the time (or sufficient typing monkeys) to have been both so prolific and profound as Shakespeare.

In the latest podcast from The Eternities, Nick Buchanan, author of What Happens in Shakespeare’s King Lear, explains why he believes it entirely possible that this one remarkable man could indeed have been the sole author.

“The folks who argue that [it couldn’t possibly have been] Shakespeare really dislike the idea that he didn’t go to university and he was a country boy. How dare he become this great playwright!”

Those who question Shakespeare’s authorship offer several alternatives – typically aristocrats – the most popular current candidate being Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, while others have argued for highly educated urban intellectuals such as Francis Bacon.… Read the rest

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Confronting Western Views of Mental Wellness and Mental Illness

Dr. John Read, PhD, at the recent ISEPP (Intl. Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry) Conference in Los Angeles, worked for nearly 20 years as a clinical psychologist and manager of mental health services in the UK and USA before joining the University of Auckland (New Zealand) in 1994. While there he published over 100 papers primarily on the relationship between adverse life events and psychosis. In February 2015, Dr. Read took up the post of Professor of Clinical Psychology at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. He’s on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis and editor of ISPS’s scientific journal Psychosis. John has co-authored or co-edited 3 books and is also the editor of the widely esteemed book, “Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Schizophrenia” (Routledge, 2004) which has sold over 10,000 copies.

This interview clip is for a film called Crazywise, a documentary that confronts western cultural views of mental wellness and mental illness with ones from elsewhere in the world.

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Detroit’s Alter Road divide

alter road and brooks street

A fence erected just past the Alter Rd and Brooks St intersection, preventing travelers by foot and vehicle from getting into Grosse Pointe Park by that road

Michigan’s 8 Mile road became world famous with the rise of Eminem. We all know the story. One side is in the city of Detroit, one side is the city of Warren. One side is mostly white, the other mostly black. Both sides of 8 Mile are poverty stricken neighborhoods yet the locals see 8 Mile as more than a divide between cities, they see it as a divide between cultures and peoples. Less famous is Detroit’s other Berlin wall of a road, Alter road. Unlike 8 Mile it runs completely within the limits of Detroit but residents view it as a dividing line of cultures and lifestyles between the poverty stricken blight of Detroit and an affluent predominantly white Grosse Pointe Park.

The divide is more visible here than it is at 8 Mile.… Read the rest

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Should libertarians hate the internet? A Nozickian Argument against Social Networks


This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

My title is needlessly provocative, and may ultimately disappoint, but bear with me a moment. I’ve recently been reading Andrew Keen’s book The Internet is not the Answer. It is an interesting, occasionally insightful, but all too often hyperbolic, personalised and repetitive critique of the internet age. I recommend it, albeit in small doses. But this is a digression. I do not wish to give a full review here. Instead, I wish to dwell on one idea that struck me while I read it.

In the fourth chapter of the book, entitled “The Personal Revolution”, Keen launches into a scathing critique of the “Instagram”-generation. He excoriates them for being a selfie-obsessed, narcissistic and attention-seeking generation, increasingly parochial and disengaged from the world. But he reserves his major criticisms for the company itself, which is simply one of the many large-scale internet networks that provides a social space or platform in which we can upload, share and search one another’s content (Google, Facebook and Youtube being the other obvious examples – and yes I know Youtube is owned by Google).… Read the rest

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The Hilarious and Disturbing History of Shaye St. John

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 6.47.06 PM

The Internet is home to some of the strangest and most wonderful oddities. It’s also filled with opportunists who try to capitalize on trends, eventually transforming once original ideas into kitsch filled circle jerks. That’s why it’s especially captivating to come across something wholly original. And the story of Shaye St. John is just that.

Many of you already know about Shaye’s horrendous past and have most likely seen many of her videos. But for those of you that haven’t, prepare to be disturbed, but strangely intrigued. Shaye St. John’s videos seem to be a mash-up of Lynchian uncomfortableness, Tim and Eric’s humor, with a bit of Harmony Korine’s oft-used lo-fi shock value. She is the brainchild of the late comedian, Eric Fournier.

Shaye St. John was once a supermodel who was hit by a train (car? I’ve heard both versions) that horribly disfigured her face and resulted in the amputation of both her arms and legs.… Read the rest

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The end of originality?


By Mark Beeson, University of Western Australia

The International Studies Association conference, from where I write, is the world’s biggest gathering of international relations scholars. Held annually in one attractive American city or another – New Orleans this year – it is typical of the sorts of jamborees that characterise tribal get-togethers in other disciplines too, no doubt.

It is – to borrow a slightly hackneyed and anachronistic metaphor – the Woodstock of IR-types.

What is striking about this conference, and similar events in other areas of intellectual activity, I suspect, is the absence of an undisputed star turn. The field’s leading lights are here in abundance, but there in no single figure that everyone agrees is pushing the proverbial boundaries of knowledge in a way no one else is.

At the risk of stretching an improbable metaphor to breaking point, there is no Jimi Hendrix of the IR world – or any other, for that matter.… Read the rest

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Building an Artistic Community with the Warren Arts Center – Free Radical Media Podcast

In this episode, the Free Radical team talks with Adam, Carl, and James of the Warren Arts Center, an art collective based in Warren, OH, USA. We discussed their plans to build and nurture a vibrant artistic community, including fighting gentrification and navigating local economies and politics. We also talked Dada, photography, the meaning of Art itself and the ways in which a strong group of artists can help their community and society at large.

“The artist’s task is to save the soul of mankind; and anything less is a dithering while Rome burns. Because of the artists, who are self-selected, for being able to journey into the Other, if the artists cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found.” – Terence McKenna

You can contact our guests via ZENspeak Publications (Web and Facebook) and at ZENStreet Photography.

Free Radical Media can be reached via:

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