Michel Montecrossa’s latest video examines the desperation behind the rioting in Great Britain. His direct and heartfelt approach works to cut through all the recent bullshit about the rioters being simple thugs with nothing more on their minds than robbery and destruction. Riots are open wounds that erupt after enormous damage has already been done to a population. The seething pressure is always there for a long time before exploding in everyone’s faces. By definition, riots involve damage and robbery. What else would there be to do at a riot? Riots are anger and desperate hopelessness that cannot be controlled. Yes, of course one must punish people who burn down buildings. But one must also have the intellect and social responsibility to seriously look at why children and adults would feel so awful that the only thing they can think of doing is burning down a city. That is serious rebellion and it is going to spread. The world is under incredible economic pressure and the people who suffer understand that governments tied to extreme wealth and corporate interests are responsible. Populations are going off like bombs. The uprisings in the Middle East are directly connected to the uprisings London because both groups of people have become aware that the same corporations control what happens in both places. The dictators and authoritarian regimes in the Middle East are kept there because they provide certain corporations with efficiency in the region. Assad is exterminating people in Syria because it is convenient for Western companies and politicians that he do so. The Western governments have wanted globalization and now they’ve got it. Globalization of uprisings and riots. One must remember that the riots in Great Britain were started by a policeman who killed a young man. A policeman who chose, just like the policemen in Syria, to point his gun and fire a bullet into the body of a human being. A violent reaction to such an act should be expected in most cases.
Below is a BBC news video of a man named Darcus Howe trying to explain what he has observed as being the cause of the violent rioting that is burning down parts of London and other cities across Great Britain. The news woman should probably be dismissed as quickly as possible because she is incompetent and obviously has a problem with the answers she’s getting.
Mr. Howe’s honest attempt to communicate his ideas about what has led to these riots should be listened to carefully. It is common knowledge that Great Britain has descended in the past ten years into the western world’s most closely observed police state. Everyone is watched on every street corner everywhere every day. Police routinely suppress free expression and demonstrations. According to Mr. Howe, they are also searching non-whites for no reason. Under such conditions, with the addition of worldwide financial panic and ‘austerity measures’ being put into place that strip services from the poor and middle classes, all it takes is a single flashpoint to ignite massive riots.
In case you had not gotten the picture yet, we are seeing a global explosion of rebellion, demonstration and riot. I firmly believe that all the rioting and revolt in the Middle East is directly connected to the rioting and revolt going on in Europe. People are finally seeing a broad general picture of a world and its governments, whether they be democratic or authoritarian, being controlled and dominated by a handful of powerful global corporations. Under such control, governments lean their decisions in favor of these corporate entities and the very wealthy people behind them.
The UK riots have broken out very shortly after the expanding news story of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporations committing crimes in partnership with the police as part of what they represent as ‘journalism.’ That is basically a tip of the iceberg example of corporate control of a nation.
To call the riots simple acts of vandalism by thugs is a gross simplification of the situation. All riots start from some cause which comes at the end of a long resentment and building desperation. When the riots actually break out they include all sorts of people, many of whom are simple thugs and criminals. But those thugs don’t normally break into riots that burn cities down. They are normally robbing convenience stores and shooting each other. Something much larger than them brings them out into open battle on the streets.
Widespread unemployment, idleness and the easy access to video information from all over the world builds anger and resentment toward governments that seem locked into corporate bonds. People begin to realize that it doesn’t matter who they elect. All the candidates are run by the corporations. The defining signal to the world, much to everyone’s surprise, was the election of Barack Obama. He won his office by seeming to promise something new – something independent and free. But as soon as he took office the world saw that he was just another corporate middle man. The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are simply at the behest of the corporations that insist upon such a course which includes the very profitable activity of ‘nation building.’ That Obama signal – that horrific disappointment – has led directly to this global explosion of rage. Obama, by not being who he should have been, lit the fuse. The bomb is now going off.
Here’s a man explaining the riots to a journalist in London:
The ongoing worldwide explosion of violence is the beginning of a global war against corporate control of nations.
We are watching the beginnings of a worldwide effort to break government away from this corporate control. It mirrors the efforts of prior centuries to break away from the control of the Church.
It’s going to get worse and it’s going to spread virulently. The fact that London has exploded should indicate to everyone that it is leaping past all predictability.
Thank you to Dangerous Minds for the videos.
If you live in Los Angeles you’ve probably seen it many times: the caravan of white trucks parked along the block and around the corner, diesel generators roaring, cables strung along the gutters, piles of lights, rolls of cables, racks of costumes, makeup trailers, bored extras, bored crew members, bored motorcycle police, and fascinated passersby.
That’s all you need to see to know that something mainstream – feature film, TV show, or commercial – is being made.
But what’s an underground film?
Bad Lit, my favorite site devoted to underground film, has an article about the problem of defining something as slippery as ‘underground film’ in which several definitions are offered by different people. Mike Everleth, the site’s editor, defines underground film this way:
Essentially, I believe it is a film that is a personal statement by one person and a film that dissents radically in form, or in technique, or in content, or perhaps in all three. However, that dissension can take on any number of forms.
I agree with that, but would add the requirement of hostility. There should be an element of combativeness which attempts to counter a much larger established force. There must be some rebellion in the work. It can be very subtle – nearly imperceptible – but it’s usually there somewhere. In fact, I think the hostility should even tend to include the general culture surrounding the filmmaker/s. Dissent, by itself, can be rather subdued, soft-spoken and shy. I think underground film requires a willingness not only to dissent but to kick apart.
While thinking about all this mainstream versus underground stuff, I went searching around on YouTube for something that might fit the discussion. I found this peculiar British documentary film about filmmaker Donald Cammell who co-directed, along with Nicolas Roeg, the 1968 film Performance. The film is one of those odd mixtures of underground and mainstream. It features Mick Jagger and involves a lot of mind-bending drugs, sex and criminal underworld shenanigans. It’s actually impossible to forget once you have seen it.
This film contains adult subject matter, language, nudity and sexual situations.
The documentary, Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance, describes a time when a group of intensely creative artists from various disciplines could operate on the fringes of the mainstream to create an essentially underground film with something resembling support from a mainstream production company. It’s a scenario that does not exist today. If you watch all 7 parts of the film, you will be immersed in that strange hybrid world of the ‘popular underground’ that defines much of what was happening in the 1960s and 70s. Today, if it cannot be jammed into a mall and sold with Sour Patch Kids, it won’t get any money. That holds as true for ‘independent’ films as it does for summer blockbusters.
Watching this documentary makes me wonder why so many filmmakers seem to have such trouble making the films they really want to make. After all, one can purchase a cheap camera and make exactly what one wants regardless of what one’s career and money-earning responsibilities might be. Tormented filmmakers who are battling studois for creative freedom should simply make films with video cameras during their spare time. This would not only foster a healthy underground, but it would quite possibly prevent a few tragic endings.
The Love Police in the U.K. went to the Tower of London with their cameras and a megaphone to utilize their right to free speech. The guards at the Tower objected and called the London police. What you see in the video is the leader of the Love Police group speaking very intelligently and effectively to the lead police inspector about what the law actually says and what his rights are under that law. He successfully argues for his right to refuse to identify himself or to be searched under the Anti-Terrorism Law in the United Kingdom. What is so interesting about this video is the clear and overwhelming evidence that the police in London do not at all understand the laws they are enforcing or even which laws they are enforcing. They have clearly met more than their match in this instance and are in fact at serious risk of getting their department into liability troubles. The same problems with police are encountered here in the United States. There is the same lack of education and training in police ranks and the same willingness to try to remove basic rights from citizens.
Oscar Sharp made this beautiful short film in London. It stars Jethro Skinner as Ben, the ‘board guy.’ The performance is endearing and full of intelligent energy. The film was shot in HD by Anthony Gurner. I love the way the people have all these colors in their clothes and then the colors are repeated in the backgrounds. The colors of this film stand out brilliantly. I also enjoy the film’s subject matter. Many people do jobs that they are simply very happy to have and they find themselves truly and fully present in their moment. It’s one of life’s little important lessons.