Review: Improper behavior–when misconduct is good for society

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Elizabeth Janeway

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EDIT of 24 February 2013

This book has now passed into Open Access, but I continue to believe that Amazon should consider offering it as a CreateSpace and Kindle option. Dissent is a patriotic duty. The Iraq War was elective and based on 935 now-documented lies. What is done in our name today with drones and assassination teams and incarceration without due process is unConstitutional in the USA and a crime against humanity abroad. I am a patriot. A patriot does not let traitors get away with hijacking the government and must at a minimum speak their mind.

New links since the original review was written:

Why Societies Need Dissent (Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures)
The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage (Critical Perspectives Series: A Book Series Dedicated to Paulo Freire)

ORIGINAL REVIEW of 13 August 2008

I entitled this review with the sub-title of Elizabeth Janeway’s brilliant book. This is a book that is long overdue for a reprint and perhaps an update. I read it in the 1980′s and used it in the 1990′s on more than one occasion, with the line, inspired by this book:

“It used to be legal to oppress people of color and women–that did not make it right.”

The author, and the book, are central to any literature or discussion of the role of dissent in society, and the manner in which the public can ultimately triumph over any external authority including dictatorships and abusive corrupt regimes.

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Review (Guest): Zero — an investigation into 9/11

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5.0 out of 5 stars Who You Gonna Believe?, September 13, 2009

Reviewed by Howard M. Kindel

This is the film that makes it impossible to accept the “official” version of the “911″ tragedy any longer. It presents no new, startling evidence – no “smoking gun.” What it does, though, is to organize the wealth of available material in such a way as leave no room for doubt.

Front and center, for me anyway, has always been the Video supposedly showing Osama Bin Laden taking credit for the attacks – a Video that just magically turned up almost out of nowhere a couple months after the attacks. This Video has always been suspect precisely because it surfaced just about the time people were beginning to doubt the “official” version.

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Review (DVD): manolete [Italian Import]

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penelope cruz (Actor), Adrien Brody (Actor), santiago segura (Actor), menno meyjes (Director)

5.0 out of 5 stars Six Star Instant Classic–Needs to Come in US DVD

January 27, 2011

If you are a Latino or have any grasp of Latino culture, this is a 6. This is as good as Evita and confirms in my own mind Penelope Cruz, who awed in Spanglish, as the Greta Garbo of our time. It took me some time to realize it was her, as her role, both through facial and body language as well as costume and design, was completely opposite that of the role she played in Spanglish. The male star, Adrien Brody, was himself phenomenal, and one has to give enormous credit to every side of this production from script and casting to settings, supporting actors at all levels, and the over-all framing of the story. This could easily become a cult classic to be enjoyed over and over again. I personally found it head and shoulders above just about every film I have watched these past five or six years. Penelope Cruz’s face is a work of art in constant motion, and I was absolutely fascinated by the choreography of her eyes and mouth and the entire setting both up close and personal and in the larger cultural landscape that the producer and director captured to perfection.

I certainly hope this becomes available in USA standard (still incredible that there is not one global standard for DVDs, digits are digits) because when it does I will buy and keep this particular DVD for recurring viewing.

Writing this review has exposed me to the enormous body of work of Penelope Cruz, and caused me to explore the work of Adrian Brody. Below are a few DVDs that I have selected from a very large–a surprisingly large–selection, all of which, in combination with the two performances by Penelope Cruz I have actually seen, cause me to feel she is truly one of the most diverse, nuanced, beautiful, and downright plain TALENTED actresses of our time.

Volver
Open Your Eyes
Elegy
and many others

The Pianist
Love the Hard Way
and many others

CORRECTION with thanks to alert reader who pointed out that Paz Vega is not Penelope Cruz.
Carmen
Spanglish
Sex and Lucia (R-Rated Edition) [VHS]

Review (DVD): Smash His Camara

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Floyd Abrams (Actor), Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson (Actor), Leon Gast (Director)

4.0 out of 5 stars Classic View of Greatest American Photo-Stalker

January 27, 2011

Rough patches, but a period cultural piece and for me quite fascinating. Almost a five and not left at four for itself but rather in comparison with other movies as alternative ways of spending time. This is a documentary of one of the greatest American “paraparatzi” of our time, in blends live interviews with re-collective discussions of specific photos that have made history including, most memorably, “windblown Jackie,” and as an American I found it both fascinating and not done deeply or broadly enough. I would have like to see much more. HOWEVER, the movie does whet the appetite for the book No Pictures, and I recommend both.

This movie, and the act of writing the review, brought to my attention other books by this photographer and out of respect I list them:

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