Been meaning to post about his for awhile but folks have probably heard about the massive protests that took place in South Korea recently. The video footage of the police crackdown, hosing peaceful protestors is disturbing. While the mainstream press mostly called it a reflection of the South Korean people’s desire to not buy beef from the US for fears that it might be contaminated with mad cow disease, it was actually part of a much more broad call for widespread government and policy reforms. The labor unions in South Korea are militant as hell, with over 600,000 members that work in all sectors of the economy, and they are apparently calling for a nationwide strike on July 2nd. I watched the awesome documentary, Fourth World War recently (everyone should definitely check it out), and they highlighted the South Korean labor unions protesting oppressive trade policies like NAFTA several years ago. Anytime thousands of people mobilize around progressive causes is impressive to me, no matter where it takes place. It just goes to show that there really is a global movement happening right now that is fighting for a more just global economy. Asians taking it to the streets! Holla!
I’ll say it again, I love southern rap in all its beauty and ugliness and nobody embodies that more than L’il Wayne. His new album, The Carter III, just sold over a million copies in one week, which is impressive for any artist in this day and age of free internet downloads. The folks over at Pitchfork made an interesting point in describing Weezy as setting “the definition of a Web 2.0 emcee,” meaning that he has given away so much free music in the form of a gazillion downloadable mixtapes over the last couple of years that he totally amped up his image in the media, beefed up his lyrical skills, and amazingly, translated that into sales when he finally did drop his official album. It’s almost like people were so used to getting free music from Wayne that everyone decided buying his official release this time around as the least they could do to pay him back. Bananas. The homeboy Colin breaks down the Carter III a lot more in depthly and talks about Wayne’s relevance over at his blog.
While I don’t love the Carter III like I love the Carter II, I do like the album a lot. And definitely click on the image above to download one of those excellent aforementioned free mixtapes, Dj Benzi’s “None Higher” mix.
And while we’re on the topic of new southern rap, I am loving the new Bun B. album, II Trill. Did Bun just make the community organizer’s anthem for 2008 with, “If It Was Up To Me” (below)???
Ali shows Charles to be both hilarious and informational!
I saw George Clooney’s 2006 film Good Night and Good Luck recently, about reporter Edward Murrow’s battle with crazy ass Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, and really dug it. Eerily reminiscent of current times, the clip below reminds you of a lot of aspects of 2008 America (Fear mongering, dumbed down television, Guantanamo Bay, etc.).
Think you can tell them apart? John Cusack doesn’t think so!
And now a random scene from High Fidelity, which is awesome. Youtube is so dope.
I know I’m late with this post, seeing as how the Celtics just lost game 3 last night, but big ups to Leon Powe representing the Town well and beasting out in game 2 of the NBA Finals! Powe was born and raised in my hometown of Oakland. He was a prep star during high school at Oakland Tech, and then stayed in the Bay and played at Cal before entering the NBA draft. I’m also guessing that the number “O” he now wears stands for Oakland, and that goes.
Ralph Nader has quietly been releasing a series of articles recently that offer some really interesting ideas for policy changes. His latest discusses lowering the voting age to sixteen. The logic is that sixteen year-olds are able to work and thus, pay taxes. Without their right to vote, that’s “taxation without representation.”
In other Nader news, a recent AP poll shows Obama 47 percent, McCain 43 percent and Nader 6 percent. That’s a pretty impressive 6 percent considering the Nader/Gonzalez campaign has gotten no mainstream national press coverage. The Nader/Gonzalez campaign blog also points out that this is significant “because this might be the year when the presidential debates are busted open.” Google has shown an interest in hosting their own Presidential debate, and they would extend an invitation to Nader if it shows that he has a significant amount of public support.
This would be a really interesting development because Google’s popularity and influence could effectively undermine the sham that is the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the corporation that runs all Presidential debates. These debates used to be run by the League of Women Voters until 1987, when the Democrat and Republican parties formed the CPD, which is funded entirely by corporate donations. It is no wonder then that the CPD chooses to exclude progressive candidates from the debates, and asks really shallow and superficial questions with no substance.
Google has proposed to invite the Presidential candidates to New Orleans in September for a “forum” in which questions are sent from the people instantly over the internet. How dope is that? How dope is Google for being a huge corporation that has actively participated in innovative new political endeavors? As much as I love the energy that the Obama campaign has achieved, his policies are moderate at best. Thus, I would want Nader in those debates as the “progressive voice” that could push the other candidates to the left, something he has done many times in the past.