Since 2001, Chicago has racked up 2.5 percent more murders then the American death toll in the war zone of Afghanistan—so opens Chi Raq, Will Robson-Scott‘s new documentary on one of the most dangerous cities in America. Due to its soaring death rate, Chicago is now referred to as “Chiraq” because of its resemblance to the war-stricken killing fields of Iraq. In his intimate, unflinching street-level portrait of life in South and West Chicago, Robson-Scott allows the local residents – gangsters, grieving mothers, and young hustlers alike – to exhibit their numerous bullet wounds, guns, and memories, as well as examining the intrinsic role of rap. Chi Raq reminds us, there’s no need to turn to TV for proof of violence and social marginalization, when you can look outside your front door.
via. Dangerous Minds
It’s certainly no slight to the late director Curtis Harrington to describe The Wormwood Star, his visually arresting 1955 portrait of occult artist/beatnik weirdo Marjorie Cameron as being “Anger-esque” considering that he’d served as the cinematographer for Kenneth Anger’s Puce Moment and that it stars Cameron, one of Anger’s most well-known cinematic avatars (Cameron famously played “The Scarlet Woman” in Inauguration of The Pleasure Dome and Harrington himself portrayed “Cesare the Somnambulist” in that film. Additionally, Paul Mathison, who played “Pan” in Anger’s druggy occult vision was the art director of The Wormwood Star).
Until The Wormwood Star came out on DVD and Blu-ray recently via Drag City/Flicker Alley as part of The Curtis Harrington Short Film Collection, it was very, very scare and very difficult to see. You either had to be a friend of Curtis Harrington, probably, or have had a mutual friend with the late director (that’s how I saw it) or maybe see it in a museum. Now it’s on YouTube, of course.
I would normally NEVER repost anything from a mainstream news source like CNN, except maybe to make fun of it, but the following was too real and interesting for me to resist, especially considering the target audience. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, has been working on a CNN special documentary for the last year that airs this Sunday, called Weed. Once a vocal critic of medical marijuana and skeptical of its supposed benefits, not only has Dr. Gupta changed his mind about medical marijuana, he has changed it about marijuana in general and is now apologizing for statements he made to the contrary – most notably his 2009 TIME Magazine essay “Why I would Vote No on Pot”. He says in “Why I changed my mind on weed,” his follow up essay published today, “we have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.” It’s fascinating to see such a public and mainstream turn around on this issue, especially since I have been arguing with my parents about it for the past 18 years. Anyone who has smoked weed or gotten drunk knows which one leads to finishing an entire box of Cheez-its and which one leads to idiotic and sometimes violent behaviour and even physical illness. Dr. Gupta cites studies that find that while there are no documented cases of marijuana overdose, every 19 minutes in the US someone accidentally ODs on prescription drugs (source). There is no question that a political agenda rules the DEA’s policies on drugs (cocaine is better for you and less addictive than marijuana…hmm OK Harvard Law), and its great to see that even the talking heads of the corporate media have gotten to the point where they can’t deny it anymore. Check out Dr. Gupta’s essay “Why I changed my mind on weed” below as well as an interview with him about his upcoming documentary Weed on CNN.
I remember being a young kid and watching the news with my mom one night, when they started to show hundreds of dead bodies sprawled all over the ground. What we were seeing was the aftermath of the Jonestown Massacre. The act of coercing over 900 people to kill themselves was orchestrated by Jim Jones. He used faith as a weapon of human destruction and is truly a monster who never deserved to be born! However, he had great teachers in the form of religious leaders like the Pope, imams or even the generals of the US Army, who have used religion to convince people to die because they will on live after their deaths. When will faith stop being used as an instrument of death? Watching the film JONESTOWN: The Life and Death of The Peoples Temple, I get chills because it’s so hard seeing so many innocent dead people! Jim Jones is a perfect example of how a person can get drunk on power. What I like about JONESTOWN: The Life and Death of The Peoples Temple is that it’s told from the point of view of the actual members. Check out this documentary and hear how evil comes in a human form!
Maybe it’s my demon recoiling from these hideous people, or maybe it’s my rational mind – I expect it depends on your definition of rationality. The Teenage Exorcists are the brainchild of evangelist Bob Larsen, and led by him and his daughter, they are taking the depressed and repressed areas of the world by storm, casting out demons and saving peoples lives – all on stage and filmed, and with a shitload of makeup on of course (Bob could really use some eye makeup to emphasize those evil little piss-holes). VICE has put together an interesting two-part series on these modern-day crusaders (below), following them to extremely depressed areas of Ukraine where they cast the demons out of drug users and abused women. According to Larsen and the TE’s, demons are sexually transmitted, especially when one suffers sexual abuse, when the victim is abused by Satan as well as their abuser. Why are fundamentalist Christians so obsessed with sex? The phrase “sexually transmitted demons” is actually uttered in this documentary. Does’t it seem to make more sense to cast demons out of the abusers, rather than further disempowering and victimizing the people they abuse by accusing them of being possessed? Oh, except that would mean that high ups in various prominent religions would have to be exorcised for being abusive, lecherous, pedophilic creeps, and that wouldn’t do because they are the experts on keeping Satan out, and then who would we trust with our souls? So let me get this straight – a demon is transferred to you through sex, then you become impregnated with it, then you give birth to it during the exorcism. Because those demon noises sound a lot like me in labor. The Teenage Exorcists are gaining fame and probably fortune in the US for hitting people with bibles and fancy crosses, and meanwhile the Satanic Temple is being persecuted for peacefully protesting homophobia. Although to me this is a bunch of malarkey and gobbledegook, I would make one request of Bob Larsen and the Teenage Exorcists – can we see a follow up episode with you casting demons out of some people who are legitimately possessed, the Koch brothers? I would really enjoy watching those two devils being pummeled by bibles.
I saw it happen and did not realize it, but The SMITHS gave the world more than just music. For some humans they have become a culture unto themselves in a weird way. The SMITHS are a band that really crosses all boundaries and genres – they get love from gangsters, skaters, art weirdos, metal heads, punks and many others. Check out the last documentary they made before they broke up! Love them or despise them, this band will go down in music history!
The Occult Experience is an Australian documentary filmed and screened on Channel 10 in 1985. This is the kind of thing you would never see on American TV, especially in the 80s. It is an in-depth exploration of Wicca, Satanism, the Temple of Set, Goddess worship, Egyptian mysticism, shamanism and the rise of the occult in Western societies. It is informative and entertaining to watch, and some of it is, I will admit, fucking loopy. Especially when you get to the Christian part, where they are casting demons out of people via spit and tears. Demons lurk in the bodily waters…why don’t they piss them out? That seems more appropriate. When you compare all of the belief systems and rituals, it’s funny to think that the people chanting “spit in the name of Jesus” are the ones who are considered sane by a majority of society. I found this documentary researching HR Giger, and he has a little section near the end, where he discusses his artwork and how he channels his fear and dark thoughts into it. There are two unfortunate points about this documentary – it is long, and it definitely gets a bit tedious at times, but if you find occult beliefs and paganism interesting then you can get through it all. After the jump, watch The Occult Experience, and become knowledgeable about the ways human beings find to connect to higher powers, or just to themselves…
I just peeped the first episode of Vice’s new series called WEEDIQUETTE, and now I feel like I want to stop writing to go get high. The first segment focused on the growing trend of expanding your mind on THC, which goes by the name of BUTANE HASH OIL or “BHO.” This show takes a look at the pros and cons of this substance. Honestly, the last time I smoked some of this stuff I thought my arms had turned into rubber and dragged on the ground. I think I’m just going to stick to the flowers! Anyway, blaze one and check out Episode One of WEEDIQUETTE.
With just the smallest bit of research into the human genome, it becomes clear that the racial lines we have allowed ourselves to be divided along are completely irrelevant. The genes that determine our skin or eye color, the texture of our hair or the size of our body are so lost in the sea of human DNA that, on a genetic level, we are far more similar in makeup than we are different. This is a fact. So why has race been so divisive in human societies? This is a question that in 1968, Iowan teacher Jane Elliott attempted to answer with her “Blue Eyes Vs. Brown Eyes” experiment. She taught a group of all white 3rd graders in the 97.7% white (by 2010 Census) town of Riceville what it felt like to be discriminated against because of an aspect of their being that could not be changed. One day, the students were told that the Blue Eyed kids were inherently better, smarter and kinder than the Brown Eyed students, and were allowed privileges that the ugly and stupid Brown Eyed kids were not. What was a kind group of kids degenerated into discriminators and discriminated very quickly. She then switched groups the following day, marking out the Blue Eyed children as the lesser humans and the Brown Eyed as being on top. What is so fascinating is how the children in the “lower” group were quickly downtrodden and left feeling helpless and depressed. Their performance in tests was tied directly to their place in the class society – when they were “good” and “smart,” they performed well on tests; when they were “bad,” “stupid” and “slow” they performed miserably, because they said they were distracted by how badly they were being treated by their fellow students and the teacher. If this one experiment can show the effect of teaching discrimination to a small group of kids, all of whom know it’s an experiment, just imagine (or look around at) the effects of generations of teachings from parent to child, reinforced by lawmakers and police, that some groups of people are inherently better than others. Check out the PBS documentary “A Class Divided” that follows Elliott’s experiment and its effects below.
The 2005 documentary MODIFY is an intense world of body modification. This film is willing to go places that others are not! I’m going to allow MODIFY to speak for itself, check it out now!