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Archive for the ‘Politics and Society’ Category

I wrote my first complaint letter in a long while, possibly ever, a few weeks ago. OK, it wasn’t a letter, it was an email, but same difference. Anyone who knows me will know how out of character this is – I’ve got to be pretty damn angry to take the time to channel my fit of rage through a laborious internet feedback form. But this was serious, near-blind, blood-thumping anger. The kind that you can’t pass over.

The source? An innocent pack of Always pads.

Here’s a warning to anyone squeamish about periods – look away now – though having said that if you do have an issue then you should get over it 🙂

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I would ordinarily in this first paragraph be making some excuse for why it’s been so long since I posted anything on here, or remarking on how fast time flies, but I think I should probably just get over it and get on with the writing. I won’t make any promises about writing more often – I think it’s about time actions spoke louder than words.

So I just finished watching Fair Game, the 2011 film that depicted the true story of Valerie Plames, the CIA undercover operative whose cover was blown by her own government after her husband, Joe Wilson, accused the Bush administration of lying about WMDs in Iraq. I felt compelled to share Wilson’s great speech on democracy towards the end of film, which reminds us of our duties as citizens, subjects or whatever we are within a democratic state, to play an active role in our democracy – to hold those who claim authority over us to account in order to maintain a fair and uncorrupt system.

I think too often a democracy is assumed to be a healthy and self-sustaining system, that the fact that it is called “a democracy” is enough to ensure that it remains truly so. But what I feel around me is a distinct sense of mistrust and lack of control over our societal trajectory – it’s nothing new to say that our society is by comparison a politically apathetic one. Perhaps, because we’ve been allowed for too long to feel that the ways things are is stable and not in need of our time and effort to improve, and meanwhile the system has become too market driven to be easily affected by the will of its people, disempowering us further.

Listening to Wilson’s (Sean Penn’s) short speech reminded me in a nutshell about all the great reasons why it’s important to stay engaged, and not get swept up in media storms, which portray a politics more akin to Big Brother than a serious endeavour to responsibly govern our country/city/town/constituency. It reminds me most importantly why it’s worth risking the consequences to speak out for truth, and that it’s ok to believe that another way of being is possible.

 

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Want to know?

Writing about web page http://www.wanttoknow.info/index.shtml

In preparation for my module STATES OF DAMAGE:
Us writing and culture post 9/11, I’ve begun to browse the internet in
search of documentaries to brush up on my conspiracy theory knowledge
of 9/11 and the current Western “politics of fear”. Bit late in
starting you may think? Well, yes. I can’t believe I haven’t been more
proactive in finding out more earlier…I think it was taking up this
course, and being reminded by the 9/11 anniversary yesterday, that I
don’t know enough about the history and scandal of 9/11 and the
subsequence events of the current “war on terror”. It is truly a
fascinating world of speculation, and quite addictive too. There is SO
much stuff out there that you can easily spend days hopping from one
documentary to the next, one site to the next, one book to the next.

On particularly good site I’ve stumbled across is Want To Know
and the best short film so far, in terms of engagement and atmospheric
filmmaking, has been this one about the plane that allegedly crashed
into the Pentagon

I also began reading 9/11 Stranger than Fiction,
which you can get read aloud to you on google video by a monotone
computerised American voice. Annoying as hell, but worth it for the
article if you’re too lazy to read the book/to poor to buy it 😉

You’ve
probably all seen/read these before…but they’ll be interesting for
anyone else doing the course or wanting to follow up 9/11. I guess I’m
a latecomer huh? I’ve just suddenly been hit by this extremely urgent
need, more so than usual, to understand better the political situation
that we’re faced with today, and the only way to understand it better
is to begin with the tragic event that kicked it all of in recent
years, 9/11.

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