Cultural Dissent

Bolivian President Evo Morales inaugurated a new football (soccer) stadium on June 24 in the central department of Cochabamba, naming the new athletic facility after the late Venezuelan revolutionary leader and president, Hugo Chavez.

During his inauguration speech, Morales highlighted Chavez's legacy, saying: “He was a leader who possessed so much solidarity, as a president he taught us not be afraid of those who try to dominate us.”

My son goes to a sprawling public school that provides the majority of players for our local soccer (football) league in Washington DC. He plays on a team of boys and girls where, as is often the case with six-to-eight-year-olds, the girls frequently dominate on the field of play.

In addition, his awesome classroom teacher played soccer at the most legendary women’s collegiate program in the United States.

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona confirmed on June 21 that he will run for FIFA's presidency, according to his friend and former co-host of a TeleSUR football show, Uruguayan journalist Victor Hugo Morales.

“Diego will be candidate for FIFA [presidency], with all the authority he has,” Morales said, who now hosts TeleSUR's De Chilena! show.

After delivering some bad news to presidential candidate Donald Trump to stop rockin’ to his “Rockin' In The Free World” song, it looks like Neil Young has also upset some of his fans over at Monsanto.

In a statement to Billboard, multinational corporation Monsanto is letting it be known that its feelings have been hurt by the rock legend.

The 69-year-old Canadian musician is releasing a new album entitled the Monsanto Years, targeting the chemical giant’s use of genetically modified seeds and pesticides.


Fans at a US college football match.

It is a rare day when we wonder what National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) coaches are saying about racial justice and social change in the United States.

Below Average
The Funkoars
www.thefunkoars.com

Half-way through The Funkoars' set at The Basement in Sydney, the band suddenly announce that they are going to bring a "very special guest" on stage.

Their fans, who were already acting like a bunch of unhinged lunatics, start roaring like they've been freed from the asylum. Who could it be? Perhaps their label mate from Golden Era Records, Aboriginal hip-hop heavyweight Briggs? Maybe their label bosses, Australia's most popular hip-hop act, the Hilltop Hoods?

Frackman
Directed by Richard Todd
http://frackmanthemovie.com

Frackman is a new documentary that follows the story of self-proclaimed “worst environmental activist ever” Dayne Pratzky, a resident of the Tara Estates, Chinchilla, in Queensland.

Here's this month's radical record round-up, from queer house to riotous ska. What album, or albums, would you suggest? Comment below, on Twitter or Facebook.

1. RUPAUL - REALNESS


Migrant workers are employed in slave-like conditions on construction of Qatar's World Cup facilities.

The Ugly games: The Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup
Heidi Blake & Jonathan Calvert
Simon & Schuster, 2015 472 pages

The only surprising thing about the FIFA corruption scandal is that anyone should be surprised, given the long history of credible allegations of bribery in world football’s governing body.


Rammstein.

The racist United Patriot Front (UPF) have used German industrial metal band Rammstein in a new video to promote a racist march on July 17.

The UPF are a splinter group from a Reclaim Australia that seek to harass Muslims and promote Islamophobia and violence.

The video opens with the UPF member declaring “I am not a Nazi”. The UPF video has excluded images from Reclaim Australia rally in April of participants with swastikas.


Author Carla Gorton at the Cairns launch of the book and associated film project. Photo: Jobsforwomenfilm.com.

Women of Steel: Gender, jobs & justice at BHP
Carla Gorton & Pat Brewer
Resistance Books, Sydney
$10 paperback, 73 pages
www.resistancebooks.com

The corruption scandal that has hit FIFA, culminating in the recent arrest of seven FIFA officials in Switzerland and the resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, has focused attention on the world’s most powerful football (soccer) body.

You have to go back to FIFA's founding to understand the factors that have led to these events. It was formed in 1904 to oversee international competition among various European football associations.


Tom Morello.

A new US-based record label for “rebel music”has been launched by Rage Against Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who also performs as solo act the Night Watchman, Rolling Stone reported on June 4.

Whichway
Lucky Luke
Released March 24, 2015
www.facebook.com/currymurri13

The artwork for Lucky Luke's debut album shows him holding Mount Isa's infamous lead smelter like a didgeridoo. It's as if he's taking it back for his people.

"The photo, as you say, is almost like I am reclaiming the smelter," says the rapper, who is from the Waanyi, Mitakoodi, Ringa Ringa, Kalkadoon and Warumungu tribal groups.

Independent journalist and author Antony Loewenstein has made a name for himself writing about war crimes, human rights abuses and corporate profiteering.

For the first time, he is seeking to speak truth to power through the medium of film — with his first documentary Disaster Capitalism now in production. You can see a teaser at Loewenstein's website. You can visit http://antonyloewenstein.com for more details on his articles and books.

Freedom Fallacy: The Limits of Liberal Feminism
Edited by Miranda Kiraly & Meagan Tyler
Published by Connor Court, 2015

With Miley Cyrus declaring herself “one of the biggest feminists in the world”, and Beyonce performing at the 2014 MTV Music Awards in front of a huge illuminated sign that read “Feminist”, it would appear that feminism has gone mainstream.

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona welcomed the arrest of six FIFA executives by Swiss police in an interview with the Argentine Radio La Red on May 27.

“Stop these shady businesses, stop lying to people, stop throwing a dinner to re-elect Blatter,” Maradona said, referring to current FIFA head Sepp Blatter, who is seeking re-election. Blatter was not named in the indictment, but his re-election in 2011 is part of the United States-initiated corruption probe.

Here's this month's radical record round-up, with an emphasis on International Workers' Day, May 1. What album, or albums, would you suggest? Comment below, on Twitter or Facebook.

1. MARCEL CARTIER - UNITED STATES OF HYPOCRISY


Who the hell cares how old Rebel Wilson is?

In recent days, online media began running strange stories — the exact relevance of which was unclear to anything but these site's Google analytics — claiming that Australian comic and actor Rebel Wilson was really in her mid-30s, not 29 as officially claimed.

3CR Community Radio Melbourne is almost 40 years old. On July 3, 1976, broadcasting from its base in Armadale, 3CR began sending its message out to a radius of just 16km. The station now broadcasts on digital radio and online platforms but the core value remains the same: providing a voice for those denied access to the mass media, particularly the working class, women, Indigenous people and the many community groups and issues discriminated against, in, and by, the mass media.

The open letter that is abridged below was first published at literary magazine Overland, where the full letter and its hundreds of signatories can be read. Artists and arts organisations can add their names to this list of signatories by emailing: overland@vu.edu.au.

If you would to like to sign the general petition, you can do so at the Australians for Artistic Freedom page.

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Prince at the 2015 Grammy awards: “Albums still matter. Like books and Black lives, albums still matter. Tonight and always.”

DC Entertainment, Warner Bros Animation, Warner Bros Consumer Products and Mattel - forming a veritable Hollywood marketing Axis of Evil - issued a joint press release on April 22 saying they were releasing a tsunami of marketing targeted at six-to-12 year-old girls.

The product they will be pushing will be “DC Superhero Girls” - including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl and more - during their formative years.

Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary
By Ernest Harsch
Ohio University Press, 2014
163 pages, $18.56.

A popular uprising in 1983 in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), a small and poor land-locked country in western Africa, had led to an obscure, but charismatic army officer becoming head of state.

This was inspiring news for those looking for a new breakthrough against imperialism. It had come after the depressing news that Margaret Thatcher's Britain had defeated Argentina in the Malvinas and Ronald Reagan's United States had crushed Grenada's revolution.

In The Company Of Cowards: Bush, Howard & Injustice at Guantanamo
Michael Mori
Viking, 2014
292 pages, $29.99 (pb)

Murder At Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s Pursuit Of The Truth About Guantanamo Bay
Joseph Hickman
Simon & Schuster, 2015
245 pages, $29.99 (pb)

Major Michael Mori was a Republican-leaning, US military lawyer who “embraced the values I had been taught in scouts, sports, high school, college, law school and the Marines” — above all the ideal of fair play.

Samba
Co-written & directed by Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano
In cinemas now

Nobody could say that French film makers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano — and their actor of choice, Omar Sy — shy away from heavy subjects.

In their 2012 international hit The Intouchables, they dived straight into questions of disability, racism and class. Now in Samba they have tackled the question of illegal migrants struggling to survive without papers in contemporary France.

I fanatically loved the critically acclaimed Baltimore-based television drama The Wire, which ran for five seasons from 2002-08. It is difficult to even imagine my pop-cultural brain without the presence of Omar Little, Stringer Bell, Bunk and “McNutty”.

When I started doing my sports radio show eight years ago, I scheduled interviews with as many of the actors as I could for no other reason than I wanted to breathe their air. Talking to Michael K Williams about the method of Omar's “long game” while he aggressively chewed on a sandwich will forever remain a career highlight.

If you don't understand baseball's Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, then you can't understand why the Maryland city exploded this week. If you don't understand Oriole Park at Camden Yards then you can't understand why what happened in Baltimore can replicate itself in other cities around the United States.

To mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War on April 30, US rapper Marcel Cartier released the track "The Guns Of The Viet Minh".

Last year, self-described "pick-up artist" and committed misogynist Julien Blanc arrived in Australia for a planned series of seminars on how to harass women. In response, a grassroots feminist network organised protests that forced several venues to cancel Blanc's seminars and, eventually, prompted the Australian government to cancel Blanc's visa.

A Short History Of Social Democracy: From Socialist Origins To Neoliberal Theocracy By John Rainford Resistance Books $20, 184pp. The rise and then fall of social democracy as a movement for fundamental social change is a modern tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It is one of the epic stories of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Massacre is an explosive theatre work about the politics and violence of East Timor. Produced by Stone/Castro (Australia) and Colectivo 84 (Portugal), it features John Romao as “Timor” and Paulo Castro as “East”.

They work with “weapons of grotesque, sarcasm and a thrash metal soundtrack to create a scenic, hypnotic and dangerous game. The mutant metamorphosis of Australia, Indonesia and Portugal make for an in-your-face confrontation to the East Timor crisis.”

It's Fatal
Miss Hood
Payback Records
Out now
www.facebook.com/misshoodoffical

Hard-hitting rapper Miss Hood comes from a long line of women warriors. Her ancestors, the Kunai and Gunditjmara people of eastern and western Victoria, put female fighters on the frontline.

"Both of the tribes were matriarchal, so women were equal to men," says the Melbourne-based emcee. "It wasn't unusual to have women warriors as well as men warriors."

Little wonder, then, that her music packs such a powerful feminist punch.

Here's this month's radical record round-up, including a response to the "Reclaim Australia" rallies. What album, or albums, would you suggest? Comment below, on Twitter or Facebook.

1. SUPER BEST FRIENDS
- STATUS UPDATES

The People’s Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again
by Paul Geoghegan
Luath Press 2015
177 pages

The British-wide general election for the Westminster parliament scheduled for May 7 looks set to be very close, perhaps even closer than the 2010 election that resulted in the Labour Party being replaced by a Conservative Party-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

Opinion polls suggest that neither of the two main British parties, Conservative or Labour, will win enough seats for a majority of their own in the House of Commons.

Günter Grass, who was one of Germany’s most important post-war novelists, died on April 13 at the age of 87 in the town of Lübeck, in northern Germany.

Grass was perhaps most famous for his 1959 book The Tin Drum, a novel that embodied fantastical elements in its critique of Weimar and Nazi Germany. As such, his style bore resemblances to Latin America’s genre of magical realism. In 1979, the book was turned into an Academy Award winning film by Volker Schlöndorff, which won the Oscar for best foreign film.

Internationally awarded Uruguayan author and journalist Eduardo Galeano died on April 13 of lung cancer at age 75 in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.

Born September 3, 1940, Galeano was author of about 35 books, including 1971’s Open Veins of Latin America, which details how Western powers have exploited Latin America and its resources for centuries. It became a bestseller overnight after the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez handed the book a Barack Obama during the fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009.

White City, Black City: Architecture & War in Tel Aviv & Jaffa
By Sharon Rotbard
Pluto Press, £14.99

In July 2003, Unesco put the “White City” of Tel Aviv on its list of World Heritage Sites. It took almost 20 years of incessant campaigning by the Israeli state to secure this recommendation that, de facto, legitimised far-reaching aspects of Zionist ideology.

But was there any merit to the Tel Aviv case in the first place? In fact, the building of Tel Aviv began adjacently to Jaffa — one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world — only from about 1909.

The Inconvenient Genocide: Who Remembers the Armenians?
Geoffrey Robertson QC, Vintage Books,
Sydney, 294 pages, 2014

On the eve of Nazi Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland, Adolf Hitler urged his generals “to kill without mercy men, women and children of the Polish race or language”.

“Only in such a way will we win [what] we need,” Hitler said. “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians.”

The Nazi leader was referring to the genocide carried out by the Ottoman Turkish empire in 1915 against the Armenian people within its borders.

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