Jacob Holdt came to Nixon's United States in 1970, planning to head south for a story about Allende's Chile, when he was held up at gunpoint and befriended his robbers. Hitch-hiking the U.S., using a small range-finder Canon, he took over 15,000 photos of both the impoverished of the south and urban north, and the upper class that surrounded them. What he found was shocking: cycles of oppression he labeled enslavement. By excluding the lower and middle classes from his narrative, Holdt executed extreme contrast. Once compiled as a book, Holdt barnstormed colleges throughout the 80s projecting large auditorium slide-shows, selling the book for cost (14.95). His parallel narrative to the images is interlaced in the book as well as expanded onto Holdt's copiously illustrated site. The story is riveting as Holdt is a profound optimist always on the verge of a religious journey into an ill place. A must-read for any student of U.S. History; the visual equivalent of Emile Zola. What is striking about Holdt's U.S. is how much it has changed and how little it has. The book is a must-have, even though out of print, used versions are easily found.
Howard Odum's Environment, Power and Society is a primer for a macroscopic view of key issues facing us Earthlings. It is must reading for anyone with an interest in saving the human presence on earth. It's impossible to ignore the monstrous totality of human waste in an ecosystem that ultimately destroys species that cannot conserve.
Science-Writer Syndrome in NYMAG.
"Finally and fatally, what ties the narrative together is not some real insight into the nature of Dylan’s art, but a self-help lesson: Take a break to recharge. To anyone versed in Dylan, this story was almost unrecognizable. Lehrer’s intellectual chutzpah was startling: His conclusions didn’t shed new light on the facts; they distorted or invented facts, with the sole purpose of coating an unrelated and essentially useless lesson with the thinnest veneer of plausibility."
Nor will it evolve with the times.
Little known fact: Children's graffiti began the Syrian Civil War. A group of boys imitated the sights of defiant Tunisians and Egyptians on their TVs and tagged their school with anti-Assad slogans. Quickly they were rounded up and tortured. The uprisings began as protests to children's torture. Le Monde Diplomatique writes about the secret wars. http://mondediplo.com/2012/09/02syria Frontline takes you on an hour through the basics of the Syrian nightmare - first a razor sharp front-line battle story, then the narrative. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/battle-for-syria/
Veers into the ridiculous, ends with a pathologically narcissist transformation, but has the only experimental use of time and action this season. A fight using barricades is a show-stopper. Now playing.
Frontline's four hour, two-night dissection of the financial collapse of 2008. Like its exemplary 1996 post-mortem of the Gulf War, Michael Kirk and Jim Gilmore describe in detail staggering omissions in oversight, clashes of personality, and a stunning presidential leadership vacuum as Bush neared the end of his term. Even more frightening, a majority of banks appeared not to comprehend the full extent of their leveraged holdings, employing companies like AIG to insure their riskiest securities.