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by normanb

The Power of the Mass Media: Newly Discovered Osama bin Laden Cave Video

11:14 pm in Uncategorized by normanb

The Power of the Mass Media: Newly Discovered Osama bin Laden Cave Video — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)

My two-year-old radical political performance art video got “featured” by YouTube this month, the first time that’s ever happened. It was suddenly promoted to lots of potential viewers around the globe. Please don’t watch it yet. I have a few things to say about it first.

 

When President Obama claimed in Autumn 2009 that he was empowered to order Premeditated Murder against any Muslim anywhere in the world, pardon himself for the crime(s), and then proceeded doing it in Somalia and Yemen; I was outraged, and ashamed to be an American.

The Muse poured out this poem through me, and by March 2010, I had an event scheduled to raise awareness, and was recording this video, with my videographer and significant other Rachel. Less than three months later, I posted my first blog/Diary here at FireDogLake.com.

This flick’s viewership is high for one of my videos. I don’t know why it was featured, but there are details and political events that relate. It has all along been viewed in Africa and in many Muslim countries. This month was the anniversary of bin Laden’s Murder (that is, the Premeditated Murder ["targeted assassination"] of the person whom Special Forces killed, then claimed was Osama bin Laden, then disposed of the body without verifying who it was).

When I recorded it, President Obama was propagandizing about going after the presumably living Osama bin Laden “in the cave where he lives.” Congressman John Murtha had courageously called for investigation of War Crime Atrocities committed by cowardly US Marines in an horrific massacre of defenseless women and children in Iraq. But instead of an investigation, hundreds or perhaps thousands of websites popped up demanding that Murtha be Assassinated for being so disrespectful to the Marines.

Soon, Murtha was rushed to a Military hospital, supposedly for a simple procedure. But instead of the usual simple procedure – the standard and safe laparoscopic surgery – the Military doctor sliced open Murtha’s body cavity with a knife and slit his intestine. That killed him. The Military assumed it was an accident. So did the press.

At the same time, ex-Congressman Charlie Wilson dropped dead. Charlie Wilson’s War was the book and movie about Representative Wilson’s covert program to arm bin Laden in Afghanistan. One Congressman talked too much, and the other knew too much. The Obama Administration, of course, didn’t investigate either of the killings, despite the hundreds of death threats from Marines against Murtha immediately before his Murder in Military custody.

Another reason YouTube may have chosen to promote this one at this time is that another video I’m in just soared to about 10,000 hits: A live concert I did a year ago with a couple of friends: President Obama’s Primary Democratic challenger and Political Theatre performance artist Vermin Supreme, and legendary Political Prisoner and performance poet John Sinclair – who was imprisoned after his brilliant work at the 1968 Democratic Convention, and finally released [despite his long remaining sentence] when his admirers and fellow pot smokers came out and raised hell – John Lennon and them. (Vermin’s popularity may have rubbed off on me: After finishing third in this year’s New Hampshire Democratic Primary, Vermin Supreme got millions of views on YouTube in several videos, and toys and sculptures were created in his image in other countries.)

This featuring by YouTube garnered about exactly 20% of the lifetime views for this video. The US views accounted for 53.4% of all views this month. Lifetime, US viewers have watched 51.2% of the showings. Most of this month’s 822 views occurred on the day it was featured, the anniversary. President Obama was sure promoting it then, bragging about his anniversary.

So here’s the phenomenon: Though I was registered as a Democrat when I recorded it, as an artist I’m more of a revolutionary communist, completely non-commercial, with no incentive for any corporate entity to push it. However, on YouTube I get my message out there anyway, in this case, four thousand times over!

So that you’ll fully appreciate the overwhelming extent of exposure YouTube gave my anti-status-quo diatribe, I’m about to get rabelaisian on you, and tell you exactly where it went. It went to 84 nations this month, and 115 total. And it went to Washington, DC, and 45 states this month, and lifetime: All 52 states: The 50 common ones, DC, and the Unknown State.

Of course, we don’t know how many of these views were recorded and then shared with people not online, but we do know that lots of the views were in countries where very few people have internet. And since it’s gotten popular in Arab countries, we don’t know how many of the views are by US intelligence agents monitoring dissent on the web, or trying to tie me to any alleged Terrorists who might listen to my songs.

And we don’t know about the Unknown Nations and Unknown States that crop up. That may be when the intelligence monitors are on, not wanting people to know which country or state they’re in. And we don’t know about the 19 additional views that YouTube chose not to include in its tally of statistics, but my best guess is they went to NSA headquarters, or maybe they just haven’t been fully counted yet. And we don’t know in which countries this video may be sometimes blocked, or prohibited completely.

Now, you can go ahead and watch the video. After you do, you’ll want to dig the lyrics and the footnotes. Here they are: http://my.firedoglake.com/normanb/2010/05/12/bin-laden-vid-pans-civil-war-for-mexican-marijuana-murthas-assassination/

Total views: 4,122 since this video was posted on March 7, 2010: Obama bin Plottin by Norman B (“Deviations from the Norm”): 822 views in the past month, mainly on its big day. Below trace those views to the viewer.

421 viewed it in the United States; 67 in Canada; 62 in California; 31 in Saudi Arabia, Florida, and New York; 24 in Texas; 21 in North Carolina; 20 in Pakistan, and Australia; 18 in New Jersey; 15 in Massachusetts, and the State of Georgia; 14 in Michigan; 13 in Ohio, and Pennsylvania; 11 in Illinois, Washington State, and Indiana; 10 in the Dominican Republic, and Colorado; 9 in Colombia, Indonesia, Nevada, Minnesota, and Louisiana; 8 in Morocco, Algeria, Portugal, Ireland, and Virginia; 7 in Austria, Peru, Germany, Argentina, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Arizona, Maryland, Connecticut, and Kentucky; 6 in Chile, New Zealand, and Missouri; 5 in Iraq, Norway, the Unknown Nation, Tennessee, Alabama, and Oregon; 4 in Finland, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Haiti, India, Tunisia, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Hawaii; 3 in Israel, the Ukraine, Greece, Romania, Suriname, Switzerland, Thailand, Singapore, Ethiopia, France, Mexico, Lithuania, Ecuador, Arkansas, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Mississippi; 2 in Senegal, Croatia, Estonia, Fiji, the Republic of Georgia, Qatar, Ghana, Tanzania, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Idaho, Vermont, Kansas, the District of Columbia, Oklahoma, and Montana; and 1 viewer is reported to have viewed it this month in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Spain, Guatemala, Panama, Japan, Nicaragua, Azerbaijan, Serbia, South Africa, Bahrain, the Palestinian Territories, Guam, South Korea, Armenia, Brazil, Libya, Vietnam, Jordan, Guadeloupe, Honduras, the Sudan, Kuwait, Nebraska, South Carolina, the Unknown State, Utah, West Virginia, and Rhode Island.

Not everybody goes for the hype, or even looks in at YouTube. Viewers in the following countries have also watched it, but not when it was so trendy: Malaysia, the Philippines, Kenya, Djibouti, Hong Kong, Oman, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Latvia, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Ecuador, Hungary, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nepal, Somalia, the Maldives, Malta, Moldova, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Iceland, Slovakia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Angola.

 

by normanb

Those of Us Who Study History are Condemned to Watch the Rest of the World Repeat It

1:57 am in Uncategorized by normanb

Those of Us Who Study History are Condemned to Watch the Rest of the World Repeat It — By Norman B

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
– George Santayana

“Those of us who study history are condemned to watch the rest of the world repeat it.” — Me.

Here I am in the liberal bastion of Amherst, Massachusetts. Yet Islamophobia and related hatred of people who are different is in full bloom. I am not Muslim or Arab, but you can’t tell that from looking at me, because I have a long gray beard that can strike fear into the 10,000 or more Freshmen in this University town, who’ve never before lived in such a multi-cultural Mecca (if I can still use that term). Lots of times during my daily walk across the UMass campus, a new Freshman has seen me, and turned to run away in terror. It will probably happen again next week. I can laugh at it, but it hurts immensely.

Earlier this year, a mosque was proposed, but the haters – I mean "the neighbors" – prevented it, falsely claiming that the traffic would be a problem.

And even at the most liberal place in town, Hampshire College, I am severely discriminated against. To put into perspective just how liberal Hampshire College is: For several years Saturday Night Live aired a continuing skit with a running gag about Hampshire students: No grades, no tests, no departments, students openly smoking pot. It’s all true; and it’s alright with me.

As it happens, I am a Minister in a radical church, the Church of the Tree of Life. Hateful opportunist politicians have attempted (unconstitutionally, I think) to ban the Church by illegalizing its Sacraments, the most famous of which today is Salvia Divinorum, an herb that doesn’t hurt anyone, but makes most of its users uncomfortable and scared, because it takes them to the place of prophecy. The Church began in San Francisco around 1970, and has operated without problems here in Amherst more than 15 years. Three-quarters of the attendees at our events have been Hampshire College students.

So when a local newspaper ran a disinformation article about Salvia, I was compelled to act, including placing fliers at Hampshire College, as I’ve done for more than a decade. Ah, but I don’t look like a college student, even a Hampshire student, and I don’t dress like a professor. So, as I was boarding the bus to leave, a Hampshire College policewoman approached me with her hand on her gun, trembling profusely. I felt like I was facing that poor McCain rally attendee who, speaking of Candidate Obama, stammered “He’s – he’s a – a Arab!” John McCain, of course, said “No he’s not; he’s a good man,” as if the two are mutually exclusive.

Well, I was banned from Hampshire College, despite my history there. (I had worked there, I had performed there, had been involved in political organizing there, and my activist/performer career had been the subject of a student’s dissertation, among other connections.) And if you think that’s bad, you should see what happens if I try to get onto a plane.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
– George Santayana

“Those of us who study history are condemned to watch the rest of the world repeat it.” — Me.