Hollywood is full of Marxists

It’s not difficult to get accused of being a Marxist nowadays – especially if you’re in Hollywood. Just try to suggest that the perspective of the poor and oppressed is important and watch how they chase you down Hollywood Boulevard with burning copies of the Communist Manifesto.

Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the USA is one of the best selling history books in America. It attempts to do something that most history books don’t – report history from the point of view of common people involved in the fight for civil and working rights. Recently, it has been turned into a star-studded documentary that yesterday got its first showing on the History Channel.

I haven’t seen it yet and I’m not sure when it will be aired in Europe where there are even more Marxists sitting around enjoying their free health care, public transport, worker’s rights etc. What’s impressive however is the conservative backlash in the USA against the documentary. The History Channel’s official forum and right-wing entertainment websites are outraged that this work of Satan has been turned into a documentary. Some examples include:

Have you people lost your freaking minds – or just your objectivity. Enter Howard Zin: Zinn has spent a lifetime teaching college students about the evils of capitalism, the promise of Marxism, and his version of American history – a history that has, in his view, been kept from students.

Howard Zinn?? Howard Zinn?? The History Channel expects us to believe Howard Zinn and his hand-picked crew of Hollywood leftist are about to give us an accurate and unbiased account of American history..,. Shame on the History Channel… Shame, shame, shame……

This two hour special full of the spewings of a twisted Marxist like Howard Zinn is the last straw.

Shame, shame, indeed!! This is a vitriolically anti-American editorial and does not deserve to be shown on a channel whose business it is to present facts, not opinions. Leave it to a bunch of Hollywood types to spit in the face of a country that has given them everything!

This is an act of war, the clear intention here is to plant the seeds of revolutionary hatred into a whole generation of youth. Such brainwashed youth will regard the generations before them as vermin who are pure evil and in need of punishment. This is the beginning of training for future revolutionary soldiers who will happily make the streets run red while thinking of themselves as white nights.

(There was ONE happy viewer incidentally):

I guess it’s just a relief to see some “History” on a channel that still calls itself HISTORY, and not some fat guy doing some scripted ‘dangerous’ job.

And the bile just goes on and on. So basically, according to these guys, be very careful if you go to Hollywood because nowadays it’s full of liberals and communists that are trying to suggest that the plight of the poor and working population in history is worth hearing (even if it is from the mouths of a bunch of rich film stars). I mean, they might as well rename Hollywood Boulevard Karl Marx Strasse and give Fidel Castro the green light to invade from the Hollywood Hills!

Where have the good old days of Hollywood gone such as Showgirls and Basic Instinct 2?

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5 of the best documentaries of 2009

The end of 2009 has seen some great documentary releases. Here are 5 of the best:

The Most Dangerous Man in America

That’s how Henry Kissinger described Daniel Ellsberg who bravely leaked the infamous Pentagon Papers which helped end the war in Vietnam. He’s also a brilliant speaker and analyst of military affairs and it’s worth checking out some interviews with him on YouTube.

American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein

The life of Norman Finkelstein illustrates the fate of academics in North America who dare to tell the truth. Chomsky warned Finkelstein that if he continued writing books exposing establishment myths on the Middle East, “You’re going to get in trouble because you’re going to expose the American intellectual community as a gang of frauds, and they are not going to like it, and they’re going to destroy you.” And that’s exactly what they did as this film shows.

PBS Frontline: The Warning

Another excellent film by PBS outlining the role of people like Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers and Robert Rubin in dismantling legislation that led to the escalation of the fictitious derivatives and hedge funds that have crippled America.

Capitalism: A Love Story

Haven’t seen this yet but already considered one of Moore’s best in trying to take a more fundamental look at the system that’s ruined America’s economy.



Broadcast Blues

A look at the dominance of right-wing media in the USA and its increase after the election of Obama. The director signed an agreement with Springsteen to use his “My Hometown” song in the film but at the last minute, Clearwater, who are the communications behemoth that own the airwaves in America, ordered her to remove it. She asked some musicians if they’d create a song for her film and they told her that if they did, Clearwater would ruin their careers by blocking them from the airwaves. So it’s clear who pull the strings in communication in America.

Capitalism: A Love Story review

The Guardian today reviewed Michael Moore’s latest film “Capitalism: A Love Story” premiered at the Venice film festival and gave it 4 stars. Sounds like a return to form for Moore although I think his last film “Sicko” was also pretty good, if a little sluggish in places. I’m glad to hear from the review that Moore points out that Goldman Sachs – one of the biggest culprits he identifies for the financial crisis – was Obama’s biggest private sponsor during the election.

It’s capitalism Mike but not as we know it

The trailer for Michael Moore’s latest film “Capitalism: A Love Story” is now out. The film is due for release in October and Moore says he made it as if it was “the last film I was ever going to make.” Looks like he’s aptly chosen M.I.A.’s Paper Planes as the soundtrack too.

Despite criticism that he cherry picks footage and data to suit his own ends, I’m looking forward to seeing this. However, I hope Moore looks at how capitalism doesn’t really exist in the real world. As the bailouts proved in its crudest form, what we actually have is closer to socialism – socialism for the rich that is. Markets are so distorted by governments and corporations working hand-in-hand that calling it “capitalism” is about as accurate as calling Stalinist Russia “communist”. Using the term capitalist only serves to maintain misunderstanding of the current system and give ammunition to those who support it to dismiss opponents as simply “anti-capitalists.” Don’t ask me what a better term would be but something along the lines of “state-sponsored-capitalism” rolls off the tongue, erm, badly.

You can read more on the film here.

Santa’s Workshop: Inside China’s Slave Labour Toy Factories

This Christmas, few people probably gave any thoughts to where the toys they bought have come from. If they saw Santa’s Workshop however, they may have thought twice before filling their kid’s Christmas stockings.

Santa’s Workshop: Inside China’s Slave Labour Toy Factories is a Swedish documentary which looks at how and where the toys we buy in the West are manufactured. In particular, they look at the Swedish market with a focus on huge companies such as ICA and Coop and how their supposed ethical standards are violated by Chinese sweatshops.

The filmmakers go to Hong Kong (where they are at least legally allowed to film) where they find that many toy manufacturers have left and gone to China where factories pay workers menial wages for working 12 hour days. Union activity is banned and as one of the factory managers says, 90% of the workers are women because they are “easier to manage”. Salaries are so low, that workers can hardly survive in the outside world. In the end, most of them live within the confines of the factory walls in virtual prison cell accommodation or even sleep on the factory floor itself. Added to this is the chronic environmental pollution that the factories cause by pumping sewage into local rivers.

The documentary features secret interviews and filming within China’s factories as well as a Christian organisation that is one of the few fighting for the rights of  workers. As one of the Swedish commercial agents summarises at the end, the problem they have found is that if they do increase prices of toys to enable workers to get a fairer wage, consumers stop buying the products. I wonder however if Swedish consumers are truly aware of some of the conditions the toys they are buying for their kids are produced in.

The question is, if they were, would it make any difference? After all, it is only by pressure from consumers at the end of the day that will bring any kind of change. Are we all so desperate to save a few euros or dollars that we don’t care how goods are produced? I’d like to believe that most people do care and Santa’s Workshop is a good starting point for considering this moral dilemma in more depth. This brave and disturbing documentary deserves to be seen widely.

8/10

The Corporation

Quite simply one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. To have any idea of why the world is at is today, you have to understand the rise and influence of corporations on society.

THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Footage from pop culture, advertising, TV news, and corporate propaganda, illuminates the corporation’s grip on our lives. Taking its legal status as a “person” to its logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist’s couch to ask “What kind of person is it?” Provoking, witty, sweepingly informative, The Corporation includes forty interviews with corporate insiders and critics – including Milton Friedman, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Michael Moore – plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.

Winner of 24 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS, 10 of them AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS including the AUDIENCE AWARD for DOCUMENTARY in WORLD CINEMA at the 2004 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. The long-awaited DVD, available now in Australia and coming in March to North America, contains over 8 hour of additional footage.

The film is based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan. Please consider buying this documentary from the film website www.thecorporation.com or from this direct link on Amazon. The makers of this film have barely profited from this film whicb took years of production and filming.

Watch documentary on Google Video

YouTube Clip: