Monthly Archives: September 2010

Wallets Full of Blood

Together with our interview with filmmaker Eamonn Crudden, A curse on the zombie establishment, we would like to present below the trilogy of short films that make up Wallets Full of Blood, his cinematic account of Ireland’s property fuelled crisis. Enjoy…

Wallets Full of Blood: Houses on the Moon

‘A chilling and original take on the golden circle that is quickly turning the country to rust.’ Notes On The Front on Houses on the Moon

‘The most mordantly evocative document of post-‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland there is.’  Most Sincerely Folks on Houses on the Moon

Wallets Full of Blood: Zombie Banker Blues

‘A nice little going away present for ‘Fingers’ Fingleton when he finally ‘steps down’ this Thursday.’ Dublin Opinion on Zombie Banker Blues

‘An outstanding evocation of the emotional devastation of negative equity.’ on Zombie Banker Blues

Wallets Full of Blood: Roscommon Death Trip

‘Not one for the shockers, I loved this one. The directing, the filming, the cut, the audio is simply genius’. on Roscommon Death Trip

‘I strongly advise you all to watch this.’  The Punishment of Sloth on Roscommon Death Trip

Israel says, Israel says, Israel says

Dear Mark,
Having just read your piece in today’s Irish Times, ‘Report says Israel violated international law’, I just wanted to ask why you led the first four paragraphs with statements from the Israeli government?
Were there no other reactions to the report? Have the families of those who were killed made any comments? Would it not have been reasonable to lead with the findings of the report and mention the government reactions (Palestine and Turkey too) in the closing paragraphs?
I can understand that you’re the correspondent in Jerusalem, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to act as a public relations officer.
Yours sincerely,

Previous MediaShots on the subject:

‘The false reality of news journalism’ – Reporting Palestine and the Mavi Marmara

‘Officials say’, ‘officials say’, ‘according to an official’

Ireland is at a crossroads

The Media – A week in review

[Click on the image to enlarge]

Text reads:

Left (to the pub) – Economic Hardship and a scarcity of jammy dodgers

Right (to bed) – Economic Prosperity and an abundance of jammy dodgers

This is just an example for illustration purposes, almost any mainstream news editor could equally fill the role.

I don’t fully understand the alleged jammy dodgers obsession [via @Madam_Editor], but it is funny.

A curse on the zombie establishment

An interview with filmmaker Eamonn Crudden

Picture 16

This interview is published together with another post  here, which provides embedded video of Crudden’s cinematic commentary of Ireland’s property crash, Wallets Full of Blood.

A compelling narrative of Ireland’s crisis of capitalism is very difficult to find. Those provided by economists, contemporary philosophers and mainstream documentary makers rely heavily on figures, graphs, ominous stringed instrumentals and thunderous voiceovers. But the transfer of economic and social wealth orchestrated by the government and banks in the last few years is not simply a consequence of state policy and intricate financial market formulae; it is also a story of primal greed and connivance.

Continue reading A curse on the zombie establishment

RSA Animations

The RSA Animation of David Harvey’s lecture ‘Crises of Capitalism‘ did the rounds a few months ago, but there are another few animations which are also worth highlighting. Here is Barbara Ehrenreich with ‘Smile or Die’:

Philip Zimbardo on ‘The Secret Powers of Time’:

Jeremy Rifkin with ‘The Empathic Civilisation’:

and here is Dan Pink on ‘The surprising truth about what motivates us’:

Dave Spart meets Noam Chomsky

I was listening to Noam Chomsky delivering the 5th Annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture: The Unipolar Moment and the Culture of Imperialism:

…which reminded me of this friendly defamation I ‘suffered’ at the hands of a senior correspondent at the Irish Times back in 2007, in a discussion on RTE’s Tonight with Vincent Browne show following the first in a series of lectures Chomsky gave at UCD. [starts at 37mins 40sec] Thankfully Harry Browne rode to this annoymous persons defense.

Tonight with Vincent Browne 17/01/07

[Interesting use of sound effects at 41mins 21sec]

The actual question that I asked was:

“To what extent is the corporate media; The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Irish Independent etc complicit in Iraq’s illegal war, as a result of their inaccurate portrayal of the case for war and the continuing conflict?”

And Chomsky’s response was:

“The US press, and I don’t think its different elsewhere. In fact the continent is often worse; German press, French press. The war in Iraq is described in the manner that some highschool newspaper would describe the local sports team. The framework of discussion is always ‘how well are we doing?’, ‘did the coach make a mistake?’, ‘should he have substituted another player?’, ‘can we do better next time?’

I have virtually never seen a departure from that framework in the Western press. It’s the way most totalitarian states describe their own atrocities. Within that framework you do get some criticism, but the framework itself is so totally distorted that you just can’t comment on it. And it’s true in case after case…The framework of discussion is so skewed, that even extremely good reporting, and it does exist, is within a framework that is imposing serious mis-impressions.” [MediaBite, A crime within a crime within a crime, 09/01/07]

The complete lecture “Democracy Promotion: Reflections on Intellectuals and the State” can be found here.

Crap Journalism and Islamophobia

This is the last time.

Ian O’Doherty writing in today’s Irish Independent:

“I noticed five Algerians were arrested last Friday in connection with a plot to kill the Pope, further proving just what a religion of peace Islam is” [Irish
, 20/09/10]

If O’Doherty is honestly unaware that:

“Six men arrested in a suspected terrorist plot against Pope Benedict XVI on his state visit to Britain were released without charge late Saturday night.” [MSNBC,

“Six men who were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on Friday, 17 September, were all released without charge late on Saturday night and early this morning.” [The
, 19/09/10]

…then he is simply crap at his job.

If he is actually aware of this development and chose not to mention it, then he is simply engaged in spreading Islamophobia, which wouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

The compulsion to consume

Today’s Guardian Comment is Free section has an interesting piece by Micah White, contributing editor at Adbusters, discussing the environmental movements failure to find agreement on a solution to Global Warming. This shouldn’t really be a controversial topic for Guardian readers, who typically pride themselves on cycling to work and holidaying by train, they also apparently look something like this:

But even with these marketable green credentials, this piece has brought on a storm of angry comments, making up about half of the total 159.

Here’s a taster:

White’s central point was:

“The future of environmentalism is in liberating humanity from the compulsion to consume.”

An idea which is pretty much fundamental to what Adbsuters do. Yet even his mild suggestion that advertising, or commercial propaganda, should somehow be restrained (and no small amount of confusion among the readers as to which arguments were White’s and which he was taking issue with), was enough to prompt outcry from a large portion of those who feel the need to comment. That’s pretty depressing really. Perhaps White should have began with advertising directed at children, that angle at least should arouse less controversy.

Of course this article about reducing consumption was finely balanced with an ad for BMI airlines just to right.

For a history of advertising the best place to start is Adam Curtis’ The Century of Self and his blog here. There is also a ‘rare interview’ with him here.

Response to: ‘Arms deal’ or ‘security shift’?

Response from the Guardian’s Middle East editor Ian Black to this email:

dear david

i would say that the phrase “security issue” can encompass both defence and offence. (security forces. national security etc).

if you have any other questions i suggest you contact

yours sincerely,


And my response:

Dear Ian,

I would only say that if I accepted the Bush Doctrine.

As regards the readers editor, I don’t see the need to hide behind a mediator.

Yours sincerely,