Free Mumia, Free 'Em All!

There ain’t no power like the ANSWER speeches
’cause the ANSWER speeches don’t stop!

‘Free Mumia Abu-Jamal’, Wash DC 04.24.12 from Mike Flugennock on Vimeo.
Photographed and edited by Mike Flugennock, 05:48

The birthday of dissident journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, imprisoned on Pennsylvania’s Death Row for 30 years, was marked today by a demonstration in solidiarity with Mumia and with political prisoners all over the United States, and in the US gulag of “black sites” all over the world.

Featured among the four hours’ worth of speakers before the march were noted rappers Chuck D (of Public Enemy) and M1 (of Dead Prez); however, I happily blew off their footage in favor of a live phone call to the rally by Abu-Jamal himself, from prison. Mumia sent greetings of solidarity and delivered a short statement, which is included in its entirety in this newsreel.


Happy Anniversary!

So, here we are two years after the massive oil spill from BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore rig which devestated ecosystems, fisheries and tourism along the US Gulf Coast. Our Exalted Boy Emperor and Nobel Laureate, Barack Drone Strike Obama, responded by sitting around saying nothing for a couple of weeks before giving a speech so empty and loaded with blue-sky platitudes about our wonderful energy future that he should’ve been wearing a cardigan.

Meanwhile, large numbers of eyeless shrimp and mutated fish are being caught by Gulf Coast fishing boats, Gulf fisheries are in deep decline, and not a single BP executive has served so much as a day of prison time for this crime.

Happy anniversary, everybody! Have some cake.

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…and for those of you with long-term memory issues — or, “looking forward”, as your average Democrat would say — here’s a quick recap of the Gulf Coast oil disaster:

“Spill, Baby, Spill!” 04.30.10
“Climate Change?” 05.12.10
“Plugged, At Last!” 05.29.10
“Nerobama no. 2″ 06.17.10


"99% Spring": 100% Bullshit

Well, folks, it looks like MoveOn and the Democratic Party are at it again. These two have had a long and dirty history of co-opting, subverting and destroying popular democratic movements in this country, and their latest campaign to infiltrate the Occupy Movement, “The 99% Spring”, continues in that sordid traditon.

Here’s Charles M. Young, writing in Counterpunch last week:

…The meeting was a few blocks from where I live. The spam said it was “inspired by Occupy Wall Street.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I was vaguely hoping that whatever The 99% Spring was, it would start a chapter of Occupy Wall Street on the Upper West Side, conveniently near my abode, and agitate for the Democrats and MoveOn to move left.

The first clue that my evening might go otherwise was the sign-up table, where there were a bunch of Obama buttons for sale and one sign-up sheet for the oddly named Community Free Democrats (are they free of community?), which is the local Democratic clubhouse. That killed the “inspired by Occupy Wall Street” vibe right there. No piles of literature from a zillion different groups, as there had been in Zuccotti Park. No animated arguments among Marxists, anarchists, progressives, punks, engaged Buddhists, anti-war libertarians and what have you. Just Obama buttons, which didn’t appear to be selling…

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Blankness You Can Believe In!

Remember back during the ‘08 Presidential Freak Circus, when everybody was talking about how Obama was a “blank slate” where his acolytes could project any ideas they had about who they thought Obama was (regardless of what he actually was)? What do you mean, “no, me neither”? C’mon, gang…

Well, aaaaanyway… I’d almost forgotten about that “Obama is a blank slate” business myself, until a couple of weeks or so ago, when one of “Mittens” Romney’s key campaign advisors mentioned that the Romney campaign and his conservative principles were like an Etch-A-Sketch, and that you “…can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”

So, yeah… Obama’s a blank slate you can put anything on that you want and then erase it, and Romney’s like an Etch-A-Sketch that you can… well, put anything on that you want and then erase it.

Jeezus, I just love the spectacle of American Democracy.

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Hey, gang, check out my new Vimeo channel!

Well, I've decided to make it official – at least inasmuch as anything on this blog is "official" – and replace the link to my YouTube channel with a link to my Vimeo site. I've been contemplating this for the better part of a year, after the YouTube Music Nazis gave me a ration of shit about using The Bangles' "Walk Like An Egyptian" in my Egyptian Embassy solidarity demo piece in January of last year, and they stripped the audio track out of it, leaving my video silent, as if I was engaged in some nefarious scheme to mass-produce DVDs of that protest video and sell them out of the back of a friend's van without paying royalties to The Bangles' record label. So, the very day YouTube pulled that bullshit on me, I set up my Vimeo account, and posted the Egyptian Embassy piece there unmolested.

As many of you who follow my video work might have noticed, I've been using obscure mid '60s garage-rock instrumentals for background music in a lot of my work lately – partially because I've kind of gotten into mid '60s garage these days, but mostly because almost all those tracks are long forgotten, released by long-forgotten bands on long-forgotten regional labels, available only on old 45s, never reissued on CD, and so damned obscure and under-the-radar that I can avoid being jerked around by the YouTube Music Nazis.

Still, on general principle, I've switched my main video link to Vimeo, not only because they don't have Music Nazis harassing people left and right, but also because you can find some pretty good quality work there without having to fight through all the footage of cats falling off tabletops, people throwing slabs of dry ice into swimming pools, and plane-crash porn. In fact, I've accelerated the process of re-posting a lot of my old work on Vimeo as lately I've been pestered a lot by YouTube about music I used in pieces I posted as much as five or six years ago with no problems (at least at the time).

I'm still leaving my YouTube channel active – for those of you linking/embedding my stuff from YouTube – and I'll still be posting pieces there as well, but from here on in, Vimeo will get first priority. Between their cluttered new interface that pushes "featured" and "promoted" videos and other crap I'm not interested in, and their Amazon pop-up ads for the Rolling Stones' Some Girls under my NYC 9/11 Anniversary piece which used "Shattered" (without giving me a share of the ad revenue), and their pestering me about music I used in a piece I posted six years ago, my attitude is pretty much "screw YouTube".