To check out an interesting video collage trailer from Eon Mackeye that appears to incorporate a lot of U.S. government-issue footage from the public domain, click HERE. It’s pretty innovative for his industry.
The Doll Underground
… is “all recycled stock footage and fuzzy credits and screeching filmstrip soundtrack,” so says Fleshbot.
The gravyard for bizarre, forgotten VHS tapes is a hilarious website called Found Footage Fest, foundfootagefest.com.
Tapes range from PSA’s and educational videos to random, goofball clips of teen celebrities (A supposedly girl obsessed Chad Allen), religious programs, and singing cats. These tapes are found at thrift stores and garage sales across the country, and the large array of clips provide hours of entertainment (Bet ya can’t watch just one).
It all started when its founders discovered a McDonald’s training video in 1991. They began amassing (and watching) thousands of hours worth of tapes, and painstakingly sorted the treasure from the trash. FFF has toured across the US, Canada, and the UK since 2004, with the website following in 2009. As someone who likes a good dose of ‘WTF?’ to go along with my funny on the interwebs, I do believe I have found my Mecca. Found Footage Fest- Yet another reason to never leave the house.
Website’s Donation Collection Company Caves To Political Pressure
At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports (‘The Iraq War Logs’), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a ‘SIGACT’ or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.
The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 ‘civilians’; 23,984 ‘enemy’ (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 ‘host nation’ (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 ‘friendly’ (coalition forces). The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60%) of these are civilian deaths.That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six year period. For comparison, the ‘Afghan War Diaries’, previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivalent population size.
Recently Fired 91X DJ Mookie Already Planning A Comeback
A first-person essay for Reviewer Magazine
by Marc “Mookie” Kaczor
[At right: Mookie at the mic. Photo from his Facebook. -Editor]
Most of the old school radio veterans in San Diego are quick to tell stories of how the industry used to be. They said the DJs were actually larger than life. I’ve also heard stories of the payola days when record label representatives literally traded program directors duffle bags full of cash in exchange for air time. Much has changed since the glory days. You can blame the changes on the Clear Channel model of doing things or you can blame it on whatever. It’s okay to blame Clear Channel for everything, right?
Don’t get me wrong, there are still major perks in the radio industry including the concert tickets, making lifelong friends with like-minded people, quasi local celebrity status and yeah, sometimes there would be groupies. Fun times. Radio is different now, partially because there are so many avenues for the general public to get their music. There’s satellite radio, internet radio and just about everyone has an ipod, but broadcasting and music are still my passions. I must be nuts… like certifiably insane.
I’ve paid my dues in this market. I started off as a bright eyed intern then quickly moved from overnights and weekends to being on the air every single day for two years straight. In my time with 91X I’ve worked for 4 program directors, was around when the station changed hands in ownership a few times and seen jocks arrive from other markets, just to get fired several months later.
About a month ago it happened to me with no warning. They wanted to move the midday slot in a “different direction” and I was shocked. My boss called me into his office on October 15th after my show and essentially said, thanks for everything but you’re done here. The first thing that went through my mind was, “damn, I gotta pay for my own Coachella ticket now?!?”
The first few days of unemployment were difficult for me. It was a change. My new routine involved going to various North Park and Hillcrest coffee shops each and every day and I started making daily trips to the record store on University Avenue for some new music too. I threw on my clunky headphones and immediately started emailing most the contacts I’ve made throughout the years, all the while still going to shows, but trying not to spend money like a drunken sailor and instead of blogging for the radio station website, I started writing on my own.
They say that your job or occupation should never define you as a person, but I took on the “Mookie” persona and embraced it. It may be too soon to announce anything yet, but “Mookie” will return to the airwaves in San Diego before you know it. I can’t wait to crack the microphone again. Now that I think about it, that’s just how the industry is. It’s the nature of the business.
Sen. John Ensign, a Nevada Republican, has proposed amending the Espionage Act specifically to target WikiLeaks and other media organizations that “publish the name” of anyone “helping in our efforts against terrorism.”In so doing, Ensign gives legislative expression to a firestorm of criticism against WikiLeaks emanating from the US defense and intelligence establishments and also from many in the American mainstream press.
However, given that WikiLeaks is an international news organization, Ensign’s proposal also raises the specter of some kind of global secrecy act that would criminalize any media outlet that discloses the name of anyone who has collaborated with US intelligence agencies or the US military anywhere in the world, regardless of the context.
Ensign’s idea is particularly breathtaking because during the long Cold War and today’s “war on terror,” many collaborators with the CIA and other US agencies have been linked to drug trafficking, human rights abuses, military coups and even terrorism. Presumably, under Ensign’s plan, journalists around the world would face prosecution for making those connections.
Under his proposal, journalistic intent would not be considered. After all, the chief purpose of recent WikiLeaks’ disclosures of secret US military reports was to put a spotlight on the torture, murder and unnecessary killing of people in Afghanistan and Iraq during the US military occupations of those countries.
WikiLeaks also made efforts to delete the names of some informants and withheld some documents where the risks to individuals were judged to outweigh the value of other information contained in those reports.
In addition, an initial Defense Department review of the leaked records failed to identify any sources or methods that were compromised by WikiLeaks. That review contradicted earlier claims by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who suggested that WikiLeaks had put sensitive sources and methods at risk.
However, after studying the actual disclosures, the Defense Department concluded that there apparently was no such harm.
Indeed, what the Wikileaks disclosures on the Iraq War do, primarily, is document large numbers of civilian deaths as well as the torture of detainees and sometimes their murders. Some of these revelations have caused the US government PR damage but only because people around the world got a real-life glimpse into the day-to-day operations of the war.
Protecting War Criminals
Ensign and other legislators joining his efforts to criminalize WikiLeaks would stand in the way of justice for countless innocent victims of these wars. After all, a war crime cannot be prosecuted if it is kept secret.
If the code of silence among US military and intelligence personnel is so strictly enforced that war crimes and crimes against humanity are successfully hidden, the perpetuation of such crimes becomes even more likely.
And, if there is no organization like WikiLeaks to amplify the voices of those brave enough to disclose violations of human rights by the US military and its allies, those voices will be marginalized, discredited and sometimes silenced.
Consider what happened to Joe Darby, the military policeman who handed the Abu Ghraib photographs (showing US military guards abusing and humiliating Iraqi detainees) to an Army investigator. Since that disclosure, Darby has at times gone into hiding from vengeful members of his own country’s military.
So, criminalizing WikiLeaks may well deny victims of war crimes international legal attention by helping to keep the crimes secret and thus may protect the perpetrators. That is the larger issue.
More narrowly, there is the question of how Ensign’s plan to amend the Espionage Act would be applied to a news organization like WikiLeaks, which is not based in the United States but rather operates through Web sites in Scandinavia and elsewhere.
Ensign is proposing something like a global secrecy rule that would criminalize the disclosure of the name of anyone who collaborates with US intelligence and military agencies anywhere in the world, even if the disclosure comes from a foreign news organization.
The underlying assumption seems to be that the entire world should see US interventions abroad as so clearly in the planet’s interests that all collaborators with these operations deserve anonymity even if they are guilty of human rights abuses or other crimes.
Ensign also makes clear that another purpose of his legislation is to punish news outlets, like WikiLeaks, for undercutting US military goals.
“With this newest document dump, WikiLeaks has knowingly endangered the lives of thousands and further threatened our military efforts,” declared Ensign in a press release. “My legislation will extend the legal protections for government informants, such as the Iraqis named in this latest document dump, and will prevent an organization such as WikiLeaks from hiding like a coward behind a computer mainframe while putting lives in jeopardy.”
Ensign said his bill would accomplish this by amending the Espionage Act to make it illegal to publish the name of any human intelligence informant to the US military and intelligence community.
Behind the Bluster
What is really going on here?
Ensign’s proposal seems to be a mix of legislative grandstanding and a desire to punish people who dare pull back the veil concealing the ugly face of the wars that the United States has been fighting, wars in which prisoners have been tortured and murdered and in which the slaughter of civilians has been covered up.
The Pentagon spends a vast amount of money every year on public relations, portraying contemporary warfare as heroic, noble and virtuous. WikiLeaks committed an affront to this image-making by revealing the grimy and grisly reality behind the sanitized version that normally reaches the US public.
For exposing that truth, WikiLeaks is now a target for revenge.
But imagine yourself one of the Iraqis or Afghans subjected to torture and other abuses. Or the widow or orphan of one of those murdered. Then, imagine that a foreign occupier was claiming the right to keep these dirty secrets from the world.
What you would want is truth and justice, not perception management.
Organizations such as WikiLeaks provide at the very least the hope of that – and that is a hope frightening to the likes of Sen. Ensign.
[D. H. Kerby is a journalist and a poet who writes about civil liberties and national security. His most recent book, A Year in Paris and an Ordeal in Bangkok: Collected Poems and Political Essays, is available from Amazon.com and he can be reached at DH@DHKerby.com.]