Tag Archives: politics
RIP Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 – 2022)
Gorbachev died. Normally I don’t do anything about politicians. But Gorbachev was important as one of the last great communist leaders. Yet I can’t find a clip showing the man in question. I do have one where Ronald “we don’t need no rerun” Reagan exhorts Gorbachev to urgently tear down the Berlin wall.
Stating that out loud seems rather bold, but the Soviet Union was probably already on its last legs at the time, a corpse on the verge of death, and Reagan was just kicking in some open doors.
RIP Peter Lamborn Wilson (1945 – 2022)
Peter Lamborn Wilson (1945 – 2022), also known as Hakim Bey was an American anarchist author and poet, primarily known for his concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones, short-lived spaces which elude formal structures of control. He also coined the term pirate utopia, released books such as Immediatism (1994) and recorded with Bill Laswell on the album T.A.Z. (1994).
RIP E. O. Wilson (1929 – 2021)
E. O. Wilson was an American writer, biologist and naturalist best-known for his book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975).
This book met with great criticism from the political left. In Not in Our Genes (1984) these opponents rejected sociobiology and expressed their desire for a socialist society.
There is a film Sociobiology: The Human Animal (1977) by the BBC. I show it supra. It features interviews with Wilson and his main opponent, Lewontin, co-author of Not in Our Genes.
RIP Mikis Theodorakis (1925 – 2021)
Mikis Theodorakis was a Greek composer famous for writing the sirtaki for the film Zorba the Greek (1964). This piece of music is has become the embodiment of Greece, it is the most archetypal Greek music. More than that, it is definitely one of the most famous melodies of the 20th century, recognized — I think — by the majority of people in the world, wherever they live. On that last point, I have no evidence.
He was an opponent of the Greek junta, which like Salazar in Portugal and Franco in Spain, put Greece under the rule of a fascist military dictatorship until the mid 1970s.
I give also you the trailer of Z (1969), the music you hear is Theodorakis’s. Z is a work of political fiction, an indictment of the then-fascist Greece.
RIP Donald Rumsfeld (1932 – 2021)
Donald Rumsfeld was an American politician.
Normally, I do not cover politics but Rumsfeld, by saying there are “unknown unknowns”, entered the field of philosophy.
And by becoming the subject of the documentary The Unknown Known (2013), he makes a good entry point to the documentaries of Errol Morris.
Donald Rumsfeld famously saying “there are unknown unknowns”.
RIP Ronald Inglehart (1934 — 2021)
Ronald Inglehart was an American political scientist, co-author of the Inglehart–Welzel cultural map of the world based on the World Values Survey.
I discovered Inglehart by reading and reviewing Whiteshift (2018).
I believe the studies of values became important again after the failure of the end of history by Fukuyama and 9/11.
These two events proved that it’s not the economy stupid.
RIP David Graeber (1961 – 2020)
David Graeber was an American left-wing thinker and activist, author of Bullshit Jobs, Debt: The First 5000 Years and The Utopia of Rules.
He coined the phrase we are the 99%.
He will be missed.
RIP Michael Sorkin (1948 – 2020)
This happened in March but I only found out today.
By reading Pandemic! by Slavoj Žižek which has a commemoration for Sorkin as epigraph.
Michael Sorkin was an American architect, architectural critic and activist.
An outdated version of Wikipedia says Sorkin was an outspoken supporter of politically leftist causes.
In 2005, he edited Against the Wall, which compares Israel to Apartheid South Africa.
This book caught my attention, as the geopolitical situation of the Middle East is becoming more and more of interest of me.
Not so long ago, it dawned on me that the Middle East was becoming my WWII. Allow me to explain. When I was younger I regularly came into contact with older gentlemen who were fascinated by everything which had to do with World War II.
World War II has never interested me much, except for the Holocaust.
As I grow older, I become fascinated with everything Middle East, with geopolitics and with clashes of civilization.
RIP Agnès Varda (1928 – 2019)
Agnès Varda was a Belgian-born French film director.
Her films were popular among critics and directors, giving her the status of a cult director.
This is perhaps not the best of times to rid the world of a minor misconception regarding the work of Varda, but it is what I must do after researching her oeuvre following her death.
Agnès Varda made one film about the Black Panther Party, just one. That film was Black Panthers (1968), a color film which can be viewed in its entirety at Archive.org.
Another film from that same year is called Huey! and is directed by a certain Sally Pugh. It can be seen in full on YouTube [below] and has nothing to do with Varda, although the general subject matter as well as some scenes overlap.