Thursday

John Pilger - Award Winning Journalist - Julian Assange




Did you have any idea?

On the bravery of Australians and in particular Julian Assange.

One of the things that almost has never come out of the generally appalling media coverage of Julian and Wikileaks, is the REASON for Wikileaks.
It had a moral base. It was about Justice. He wrote it on the home page of the first Wikileaks. It wasn't necessarily finally defined, but to use that expression... he nailed his colours and the colours of Wikileaks to the mast.
This was going to be about Justice. It was about seeking Justice through letting people KNOW what is going on.
John Pilger, December 2011




THE WAR THAT YOU DON'T SEE - JOHN PILGER'S INTERVIEW WITH JULIAN ASSANGE

An extended interview with Julian Assange recorded during filming of John Pilger's latest film The War You Don't See.

The attacks on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are a response to an information revolution that threatens old power orders, in politics and journalism.



The actual film "The War That You Don't See" has in my experience been one of the most aggressively pursued films on the internet "for reasons of copyright" and very successfully. There was a time it would appear uploaded and survive a few weeks, only to be taken down. No longer do we see uploads appearing, assuming due to technology recognizing the film as infringing copyright immediately.

It's quite telling how damning a film it is, when the only place you can see it without having to pay is on Chinese hosting sites such as 56 dot com and Tudou dot com, both can easily be found searching Google video "The War That You Don't See" and filtering the search to 20mins and longer, both appear on the front page.

Any person wishing to see the film and without the hassle of navigating a Chinese hosting site can for a small fee of $4.99 see it at Johnpilger.com  . I guess there are many torrent trackers pointing to places where download is easy and free too, what the legalities of this are I'm unsure. Also at the same link you can find the response to the screening of the film being canceled by the Lannan foundation in the USA.

 links to all John Pilger's films and much more can be found at the link johnpilger.com, a site very worthy of a bookmark and certainly worth taking sometime to see some,  if not all of its content.

John Pilger is just another great thing Australia has given the world.

Obama and Empire below is a talk from 2009 in San Francisco

My own thoughts on this are unimportant. As the antitheist page is non partisan, believing all political leaders to be liars and men/women of double standards, shown to say one thing, quickly followed by their doing the exact opposite.  However uncomfortable the talk maybe to supporters of Obama and politics with a left leaning, it's nonetheless very accurate and true.



This week sees Julian Assange's team's last ditch attempt to fight his extradition to Sweden, following it being granted,  based upon the authority of the person having signed the warrant for his arrest. The UK judiciary has up until now accepted that because the authority of the signer is generally recognized in Europe, the same stands true for the UK, Julian Assange's team are contesting this.

What kind of a world do we live, where those with a desire for truth and justice are treated as common criminals, and war criminals of all ranks are decorated?  It can only be a world led by people with no sense of justice and truth, interested only in their own agendas. Truth is only an enemy of those with something to hide, and or doing something wrong.  The simple answer would be, if what's reported is so deeply shameful and embarrassing, then change the behavior and don't do it.

Saturday

Stephen Fry Alphabet - Hay Festival


Stephen Fry Alphabet - Hay Festival playlist.


Stephen Fry using letters of the alphabet covers it seems every subject under the sun. There's just something very appealing about Fry's intelligence and down to earth, non pretentious attitude. 






A great hour and a half of Stephen Fry's ideas and opinions on subjects as diverse as love to Hitler. His theoretical ideas on Hitler are certainly unusual, and explain the thinking behind his book Making History.  A book which he explains was savaged by the New York Times critics for satirising Hitler and the holocaust.

Towards the end he explains why the author's identity is important to any given subject and with his explaining he's Jewish, later received an apologetic review which described his book as grossly misunderstood. It's maybe unfair highlighting this rather bleaker aspect which is only under H, but I found it striking as I found his thoughts on Genome and the exponential family tree and identity.  Both the Hitler section and Genome have been included as separate clips below.

There are by far more amusing and tender, intimate insights during this talk which further highlight how unpretentious Stephen Fry is and his outlook quite beautiful as a non judgemental man. With his series around America I loved hearing how genuinely interested he was in every person he saw as a result of the series and this instantly warms people to him and engages them. He may have one of the greatest commands of the English language, this doesn't make him intimidating and patronising, in fact quite the opposite.











RESPECT!



Clip on The |Genome and an interesting question to antisemites.




Stephen Fry on everything for a further half hour. The video the trolling clip was harvested from.

Tuesday

Bloody Cartoons - Antitheist

Bloody Cartoons



Is a short documentary exploring how drawings featured several years ago in a small Danish newspaper caused such a furore with Muslims the world over, many of the enraged had not even seen the images. The film questions the extreme reaction to what after all are just pictures, and the danger this leads to censorship based on fear. In the UK we have laws against hate speech and incitement to religious hatred, but this reaction is the opposite, it's hatred based on what is seen as blasphemous. Also ironically the reactions mirrored the stereotypes the cartoons were depicting.

Blasphemy is of course a victimless crime and does not attack any individuals. The filmmaker films in Lebanon, Denmark, Syria, France, Qatar and Turkey. Personally I think to bow to such pressure against freedom of expression is akin to giving into terrorism and rewarded behavior makes such extreme reactions successful, and will and can only lead to further extreme action. It would be encouraging to hear more from less radical Muslims speaking out against such extremism, and the lack of this raises many questions.

It would be unfair not to mention here that the order for Salman Rushdie to be killed by the Ayatollah was not greeted with outright condemnation by other faiths, bar managing a few words on condemning violence, the Vatican, Archbishop and Chief Rabbi along with many other religious figures staggeringly sympathized with the Ayatollah, seeing blasphemy the greater crime instead of state sponsored (order)murder of Rushdie.

So irrespective of the offense religion causes most decent humane people, being offended is top of religion's list of bad deeds. I guess it's in line with the order of importance of the commandments, the fact of flirting with other gods is cited way before killing a person as a sin. Religion's priorities are like much of religion, pretty twisted.

Friday

Bill Maher Christian Bullshit. - Antitheist

Bill Maher Christian Bullshit. - Antitheist 



 Now, for almost 2,000 years, Christians have been lawyering the Bible to try and figure out how "love thy neighbor" can mean "hate thy neighbor," and how "turn the other cheek" can mean, "screw you, I'm buying space lasers."

Martin Luther King gets to call himself a Christian because he actually practiced loving his enemies. And Gandhi was so fucking Christian, he was Hindu. But, if you rejoice in revenge, torture and war--hey, that's why they call it the weekend--you cannot say you're a follower of the guy who explicitly said, "Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you." The next line isn't, "And if that doesn't work, send a titanium-fanged dog to rip his nuts off.

"Jesus lays on that hippie stuff pretty thick. He has lines like, "Do not repay evil with evil," and "Do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you." Really. It's in that book you hold up when you scream at gay people.  And, not to put too fine a point on it, but, non-violence was kind of Jesus' trademark. Kind of his big thing. To not follow that part of it is like joining Greenpeace and hating whales.

I mean, you know, there's "interpreting," and then there's just ignoring. It's just ignoring if you're for torture. As are more evangelical Christians than any other religion. You're supposed to look at that figure of Christ on the cross and think, "How could a man suffer like that and forgive?" not "Romans are pussies; he still has his eyes."If you go to a baptism and hold the baby under until he starts talking, you're missing the message. Like, apparently, our president, who says he gets Scripture on his Blackberry first thing every morning, but, who said on "60 Minutes" that anyone who would question that Bin Laden deserved assassination should--quote--"have their head examined."Hey, Fox News, you missed a big headline: "Obama thinks Jesus is nuts!" To which I say, Hallelujah, because my favorite new government program is surprising violent, religious zealots in the middle of the night and shooting them in the face.

 Sorry, Head Start, you're number two now.But, you see, I can say that because I'm a non-Christian. Just like most Christians. And, Christians, I know, I'm sorry; I know you hate this and you want to square this circle, but you can't. I'm not even judging you. I'm just saying, logically, if you ignore every single thing Jesus commanded you to do, you're not a Christian. You're just auditing. You're not Christ's followers. You're just fans.And if you believe the earth was given to you to kick ass on while gloating, you're not really a Christian; you're a Texan.

Tuesday

DV8 The Cost of Living. FULL

DV8 The Cost of Living.


DV8 a London based independent dance company are truly unique in their approach to the subjects they tackle. Famously incorporating people of all abilities.  The Cost of Living is by far my personal favourite and very thought provoking. It smacks you in the face with some of your own prejudices and DV8 unlike many "art" companies, especially contemporary dance, are not pretentious up their own self types, quite the opposite.

If their aim is to cross and blur the lines between dance, theatre and political social issues DV8 does it to a standing ovation. Truly brilliant.

Lloyd Newson company director said this about the Cost of Living in an interview.

One of the things about DV8’s work is it is about subject matter, for a lot of people who go and see dance it is not about anything and DV8 is about something. I think the other thing that is important is the notion of humour and pathos, of tragedy, of multiple emotions and responses to my work –I’ve been so tired over the years of watching so much dance on one level, it may be very pretty, but it just goes on and on, it’s pretty nice, pretty much the same and pretty dull really, a lot of it.

So my big concern is to try and present images through movement and to talk about the whole range of social and psychological situations.

The Cost of Living is very much about those people who don’t fulfil the market value, in the sense of playing on the words the cost of living in terms of the financial issue and looking at what happens through experience as you live do you lose your naiveté? As you live do you lose a lot? Or does experience assist you?
TAKEN FROM






Other works by the same independent dance company include:

"Can We Talk About This", for stage, 2011
"To Be Straight With You", for stage, 2008
"Just For Show" for stage 2005
"The Cost of Living" for stage 2003 and for film in 2004
"Living Costs" promenade performance 2003
"Can We Afford This?" for stage 2000
"The Happiest Day of My Life" for stage 1999
"Enter Achilles" for stage and film 1995
"MSM" for stage 1993[2]
"Strange Fish" for stage and film 1992
"Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men" for stage 1988 and for film in 1989
"My Body, Your Body", for stage, 1987
"My Sex, Our Dance", for stage and film, 1986













Sunday

Nature by Numbers





Dr Sapolsky - Religiosity - Antitheist


Dr Sapolsky explores schizophrenia to see if there is any hidden adaptive advantage in the condition as there are with so many other genetic disorders.  Disorders where the full maladapted trait is extremely harmful to the individual but where a lower partial level of the same trait clearly has adaptive benefits.

Harvard psychiatrists undertook an extensive study of over 10 000 families in Denmark, speaking with the largest number of schizophrenics and their families ever,  and over the period of a decade they noticed something quite remarkable. The family members, the biological relatives of the schizophrenics displayed a very high incidence of schizotypal characteristic behaviour, differing from the full schizophrenia where life is at times impossible, these characters instead were withdrawn and had a strong tendency towards metamagical thinking.

They were the type of characters to be obsessed with science fiction fantasy or new age beliefs that were so extreme they took things to another level, taking things to be very literal. Typically the religiously leaning schizotypal accepts the seven day creation story, not as metaphorical, but as fact. The same with the resurrection, not symbolic of continued life or anything, it actually happened. Schizotypal personality traits as a mild form of schizophrenia is a recognised diagnosis.

Robert Raven an anthropologist first highlighted this schizotypalism with the shamans and witch doctors, medicine men and women of so called primitive civilizations and religious beliefs. Extreme behaviour, speaking to the dead, talking in tongues and all the other strange and not so wonderful behaviours attached to religion. The characters with the full blown schizophrenia, provided the balance was right, were and are highly regarded members of society.

I think you can see where this is leading, from the pages of the National Geographic magazine to our own societies and those who invented theology were schizotypal/schizophrenic personalities. The main tenets of religion are very closely related to obsessive compulsive disorders, rituals, cleanliness.   It's a superb lecture and very interesting.







Saturday

Maher Questions Mitt Romney's Church Contributions.





Maher Questions Mitt Romney's Church Contributions.

Bill Maher defends his comments during an episode of the show last week where he stated, Mitt Romney's contributions to the Mormons does not really constitute charitable giving. Further pointing out the tax deductable benefits are a cost all US tax payers have to carry.

 “When Mitt Romney gets a deduction for giving to charity, the rest of us taxpayers have to cover the loss. Charitable deductions reduce the public coffers by about 60 billion dollars a year… So it is fair to ask what should constitute a charity.”

Maher did not deny  the Mormons do charitable things, but pointed out they also spend an enormous amount on advocacy, in effective calling its charitable work perfunctory.

“They provide food during famines and wheelchairs to the lame. But that’s not their main concern. Which is, like any business, growing the business, opening branches, selling more product, putting asses in tabernacles. General Electric plants a tree every now and then, it doesn’t make them Johnny Appleseed.”

It's excellent that this is being exposed on popular TV and it may lead many theists to question exactly where  the money they donate goes, I'm sure many are unaware of the scale of the religious lobbying that goes on and the huge amount it costs annually.

 Churches,  religion are registered as charities in the UK, Maher is right to question exactly what does constitute a charity. A beefburger has to contain a certain amount of beef to be called a beefburger. If in the US it's the same as the UK, the same is not true for charity. At Christmas many cards are sold for reasonable sums of money and whilst, in some cases only directing less than 1% of the recommended retail price to the largely advertised good cause, the card companies and retailers still market the cards as charity Christmas cards. Under trade description legislation, this is at best misleading, at worst fraud. 





Christian Invaders Full Lecture - Sam Richards - Antitheist Blog


 Christian Invaders Full Lecture - Sam Richards - Antitheist Blog

The Trailer Video



THE FULL LECTURE - CHRISTIAN INVADERS - SAM RICHARDS
Following the showing of the trailer for sometime now, many people have requested the whole lecture. So we've included it here. Sam Richards did an excellent talk covering empathy on the same subject and that can be found beneath the Christian Invaders lecture.



Empathy



Also highly recommended is ADAM CURTIS' THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES/CLICK HERE


Thursday

You Don't Know Jack - Jack Kervorkian - Antitheist



You Don't Know Jack - Jack Kervorkian. - Antitheist

 "You Don't Know Jack"  based on a true story and the book by Dr Jack Kevorkian "Between the dying and the dead" his fight to try and legalize euthanasia. A thought provoking and brilliantly acted movie, Al Pacino doing a great job.
The religious opposition was and is predictable with such an issue,  some view him as a villain, others a hero. I think the man was a kind decent individual and motivated for the right reasons, definitely a hero.

Sorry to any viewers not having windowss xp and onwards because I think the Veoh player only works in windows.  Copyright dictates this is the only way we could bring this to you.  When installing Veoh which is a perfectly safe decent little application, remember to uncheck the toolbars checked by default and the options only available until unchecked, you'll see what I mean.
                                       

                                                           Two of the books below and video, including instant video

Wednesday

Holy Shit - Quite Literally.

HOLY SHIT


Blasphemy is an act without a victim.  It's relative to how something is perceived, in fact everything is wholly dependent upon what a person decides to make of it.  This isn't to say people are totally without responsibility for hate, or where they direct it, that's quite different when the intent is clear, it's not open to interpretation in anyway.

Here is an unusual piece of art, some maybe upset by such an image, but why should they be upset by it?  By being offended on behalf of their prophet?  The same prophet it can be said is responsible for most of the offense in the world, as all prophets are.  Though the image clearly is labelled in the artist's medium, it does bear an uncanny resemblance to the Christian prophet.

LOUIS THEROUX - WEIRD WEEKENDS - UFOS

LOUIS THEROUX - WEIRD WEEKENDS - UFOS


 Louis Theroux seen above with the other dimensional weapon for alien killing.



 Louis Theroux in his usual unassuming manner manages to report on the weird and not so wonderful, taking the piss without causing offense.  The show is hilarious, including a man who for fifty dollars is able to channel Zoltan, a  modern day ghostbuster who claims to have killed over twenty aliens and features a cow subjected to an anal probe by visitors from outer space.