Belmarsh Tribunal

Diary 3/28-3/31/22; Free Assange; Have Gun, Will Travel TV series; Karolina Zebrowska on YouTube; Morgan DVD; Chris Hedges and YouTube; Richard Wolff on the Dollar; etc.

Anya Taylor-Joy in Morgan (2016)

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

Watched several You Tube videos by Karolina Zebrowska, a young woman in Poland.  The most interesting and moving was her report on “What’s happening in Poland right now?”  Others were hilarious and/or informative, mostly on historic subjects, but there are also rants on feminist issues (my term).  Highly recommended.

I keep forgetting about my prison diary, that I want to get it all into the computer.  I’ve still got about 700 handwritten pages to go.

{3/30/22}

Library sale netted me 43 items, 41 of which are used DVDs, for $21.50.  About half the DVDs are of Have Gun, Will Travel, a TV series that I first watched when I was ten, that is, in 1957 when it first aired.  I got the complete series minus one package from the last season; it will take almost a foot of shelf space (if I can find it).  Today I watched four or five episodes from season one.  If you’re unfamiliar with the series, “Paladin,” played by Richard Boone, is a “knight without armor in a savage land,” according to the theme song—that is, a “fast gun,” but, like the Paladins in Pathfinder and, I presume, in Dungeons & Dragons, he is on the side of justice, even when it costs him his fee.  These are unusual 25-minute westerns in that the characters tend to be mixtures of good and evil, and problems are generally solved more often by brains than by brawn, though usually also at the point of his “specially crafted” handgun.  Many of the scenes are shot on location.  Guest stars in these episodes included Jack Lord, Charles Bronson, and Angie Dickinson.  Music is by my fave, Bernard Herrmann and others.  Some scripts were by Gene Roddenberry, perhaps a familiar name.  Wikipedia has an overview of the series, and more.

Richard Boon in Have Gun, Will Travel

So much for the facts.  My opinion is that the episodes are sometimes corny or obvious for modern viewers, but at least half of them are “worth watching” (if you think that any B&W TV can be that).  I like seeing the old stars and I always liked the series when I was a kid; I also had the board game at the time.  I got a couple of DVDs from Netflix, at a time when I was recently married (in the ’90s); my wife liked them.  But with so many desirable movies available, I stopped getting the discs, without regret.  Now I will watch them when I’m having meals, as I did with the complete Three Stooges DVDs, and the like.

Learned today that You Tube has deleted many videos by Chris Hedges, though his channel is still available for now; he is one of my main sources of political insight and opinion.  The stifling of progressive opinion is intensifying (“we can’t call it censorship” because it’s not done by the government—apparently).

Now I ask you, what’s the point of independent journalism if not to push back against government lies and “the popular wisdom”?  Because that’s what Chris Hedges does.  Hear his words while you can.

Caught Richard Wolff on Thom Hartmann’s program today.  He was talking about the loss of status of the U.S. dollar as a “world currency” or “reserve currency” and pointing out how this is negatively impacting the US economy.  Funny how I haven’t heard this on MSNBC.  Wolff is brilliant but terrifying, because the truth of economics today is terrifying.  See it here.

Morgan (2016) is a real disappointment.  I sought this out because it stars Anya Taylor-Joy, one of my favorite young actresses.  The cast is fine, though mostly playing rather unemotional scientist-types.  In this Anya plays an artificial life form, created by a giant corporation.  The script, alas, forces the actors to be relentlessly stupid.  Rotten Tomatoes shows Morgan as “Horror/Sci-fi,” so I’m not giving much away by saying that the fight scenes are not up to Marvel standards (choppy edits, jerky camera movements) or the great ones in Atomic Blonde.  One reviewer said “nice twist at the end,” and I am usually easily surprised by such things—in this case I had already considered the possibility, so it came as just another stupidity.  37% from critics, 30% from audiences, at RT.  Very missable, even for “Horror/Sci-fi” and Anya fans.  Recommended only for viewers who enjoy rolling their eyes.  Really nothing new here, and even the old stuff has been done better elsewhere.  Too bad.

{3/31/22}

Tariq Ali

Yesterday evening I watched something on Pirate TV from Seattle called “Belmarsh Tribunal—Free Assange.”  The date of the tribunal was 10/22/21.  This was a kind of conference, chaired by philosopher Srécko Horvat, patterned after the tribunal of Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre in the ’70s which looked into war crimes in Vietnam.  I read Russell’s book about this some decades ago.  Anyway, given the subject matter, this program was generally unsurprising but made for compelling viewing for its all-too-brief sixty minutes.  It consisted of brief speeches by ten persons, which included various progressive party and Parliament members from European countries.  The only two names that I recognized were Tariq Ali, whom I respect very much, and Yanis Varoufakis of Greece.  The others were:  Eyel Weizman, Apsana Begum, Ozlem Demirel, John McDonnell, Heiki Hänsel, Richard Burgon, and Scott Ludlam.  Burgon’s presentation was the most forceful and impressive, I thought.  I think the main sponsor of this tribunal is Progressive International.  Four websites were listed (clickable links):

I believe that Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and the other whistleblowers mentioned in the program deserve our support; their “crime” consists of exposing the actual crimes of various governments, notably the United States.

Russell’s book is available from Monthly Review for $15.00 (link). Progressive International has a website also.

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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