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BLACKFISH has a name, it’s TILIKUM

Yes, Orcas aren't fish. "Blackfish" is the English translation of a word Pacific Northwest indigenous peoples gave to killer whales, holding them in respectful regard while keeping a traditional safe distance. BLACKFISH is also the title of a new docummentary about how the sea mammals are mistreated by Sea World Marineland circus zoos and about instances of animal rebellion, instigated more often than not it turns out by one captive male named TILIKUM whose record of fragging trainers has been obscured by an entertainment system desperate to sanitize the plush-toy image of its "Shamu" brand. Documentary director Gabriela Cowperthwaite accuses Sea World of carelessly humanizing the ocean's top predator, albeit whose social evolution appears to have exceeded that of humans. When it becomes apparent to audiences that Tilikum is actually the title character of Cowperthwaite's expose, isn't it unfair to refer to him in the generic? Yes "Blackfish" is a catchy title, but outside its Native American context the term is sinister and sub-mammalian. Let's not vilify actions with which audiences find sympathy. Tilikum murdered his trainers wilfully and with premeditation. If we excuse him of murder it should not be because that's his animal nature but because we understand his reason.

Lannan liberals ensure John Pilger’s THE WAR YOU DON’T SEE remains a documentary Americans won’t see

John Pilger's documentary THE WAR YOU DON'T SEE was due to make its US debut this week, before its Santa Fe venue, the Lannan Foundation, abruptly cancelled the event. Given less than two days notice, plane tickets cancelled on the personal direction of the foundation's funder Patrick Lannan, with no explanation offered. Pilger details on Zcom his concern for what just days ago had been an enthusiastic venue. The Lannan organization still boasts it will be hosting Tariq Ali and Norman Finkelstein among others, so it's hard to deduce where Pilger's film crossed the line. My guess? Not just the role the US media plays in promoting war, but its bias toward you know who. Here's the trailer, available on johnpilger.com. The War You Don't See (trailer) from John Pilger on Vimeo.

Film: Maafa 21, Black Genocide in 21st Century America, a white anti-abortion shockumentary of execrable mendacity

Martin Luther King Jr. was an advocate of birth control, it remains a key tool to escape poverty, but that didn't stop organizers of MLK tribute festivities at Colorado College from ending today's program with a screening of MAAFA 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America, a completely contrived shockumentary attempting to incite African American anger toward reproductive rights activists. Both UCCS and Colorado College fell for the propaganda, even though the pseudo-documentary by Life Dynamics Incorporated, a virulent Christian anti-abortion project, has been thoroughly debunked since its debut in 2009. Add Colorado Springs' higher educators to duped churches nationwide who are diverting the black struggle against the legacy of slavery, economic oppression, racist yahoos like the makers of Maafa, and endemic racism, into animosity for the social workers of Planned Parenthood and their eugenic agenda of genocide via abortion. While the black community, like its indigenous brothers, does face a real genocidal program of forced poverty and violence, these agitators invoke race baiting to divide class war allies, MLK be damned. CC's clueless invitation read: This movie has been called "stunning," "breathtaking," and "jaw-dropping." You have only to watch the opening minutes on Youtube to add --execrable, mendacious and absurd. You can be against legal abortion without conniving to blame the Black Holocaust on those who disagree with you. To argue the "facts" offered up in this "documentary" is to give them credence they don't deserve. And the issue of abortion is so polarizing, there really is no discussing it. Throw in slanderous accusations and you're arguing with fools. Imagine decrying that the abolitionists were racists because they would deprive the slaves their free lunch. Well okay then. My solitary concern here is that this video has escaped the bounds of the dogma-skulled religious extremists unto the screens of higher education campuses. By presenting this video in the context of a celebration of Martin Luther King, reveals the absence of a skeptical eye. Of course academics will recognize the logic-dissonance self-evident in Maafa, but a TV-type audience will eat it up like every other hate-mongering offering. Giving the Maafa screening the appearance of a college endorsement is unforgivable. But Colorado College of course has not been shy about promoting similar quacks, neoclassical economists, climate change deniers, Zionists, pro-war imperialists, and free-trade globalists. That's what you get when you appoint politicians as deans, politicized pro-establishment education. The video begins with a premise almost too corny to believe: once the slaves were emancipated, America's ruling elite needed to get rid of them. This might sound like a plausible motive for a Bond villain, but it ignores the demands juggled by real-life capitalist villains who need a steady workforce to exploit. The slaves were freed, but someone still had to shoulder the work. The fields of the South and the industrial centers of the North still needed its laborers. The obscenity of Maafa's lie is that abusers of labor have always been against birth control because it threatens to shrink their supply of impoverished,

Mondovino: globalization and terroir, Robert Parker versus your good taste

For those with a curiosity for how wine terroir is holding up against the onslaught of wine factory farming, the 10-hour miniseries version of MONDOVINO is finally available on DVD. For viewers curious about viniculture globalization under Californian colonial domination, the original feature length documentary delivers, with a long finish. Any time critics accuse a film of being one sided, you know it's about class war. I had my first lesson in vineyard terroir when my college-aged aunt visited my family in Alsace and spent a season picking grapes. She informed us to our horreur that everything gets stomped in that barrel, bugs and all. I didn't drink wine then, so what did I care, but it was easy to decide that such was the artistry that probably made French wines great. But as I said, Mondovino was about much more than wine, and now I'll get to the point. We may lament the new commercialization of wine, but historically the occupation has always had its strictly-business types. Vintners were rarely agriculturalists who subsisted, they were wine lovers subsidized. We can wince at the Napa Valley nouveau gauche, but even Bordeaux's great chateaus, and especially all the Premiers Crus, are owned and have been owned by businessmen money lenders, going back centuries. The modernization and standardization which is destroying contemporary wines is simply the evolution of production control. At last, technology and the ascent of a gilded age have brought vintners to believe they've bested nature. It's true if you don't care about wine, if you're content to bottle a soft drink as opposed to allowing wine the breathing space to develop personality. Basically this documentary demonstrates that these gentlemen hobbyists, now plaintively bourgeois about profit, welcome the new global fascism. Old World Fascists Of course it is no stretch to imagine that the Mondovino filmmakers are going to ask, how did your father or grandfather like Fascism under the Nazis? They point the question at an Italian family who date their wealth back 900 years as bankers. Any European documentary delving into family histories will always ask particularly about the war years. In America it's what did you do during the war Daddy? In Europe it's about weathering the occupation. Most working class French want to tell you what they did in the Resistance. Rich people you don't ask because of course they were collaborateurs. Mondovino's subjects are the perpetually wealthy, who don't even register the affront. Of course their families thrived under Fascism, quelle betise to imagine it would be otherwise. How curious it is we are surprised they embrace it so again. Such moments are the highlights of Mondovino, rich folk posing in elaborate foyers, plaintively matter of fact about Fascism. One opulent reception room in Florence is packed with ancient paintings, among them a painting of the very room full of paintings, you imagine if you peered closely enough you would see the infinity of mirrors scheme, a Baroque era black velvet number. The Grande Dame mentions that Prince Charles inquired about

Capitalism, a Love Story, out OCT 2

Michael Moore's documentary about the bank robber barons behind America's financial collapse will hit the theaters on October 2. Though the Venice Film Festival gave its premier four screenings, and a ten minute standing ovation, American editorials have of course begun to cut Moore down. The fimmaker's tweets that the LA audience rose from their seats with torches and pitchforks, were quickly doused as hyperbole. Really? The celebrity theatergoers were really just rushing the catering tables. REALLY? That's less probable.

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