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JULY 2011


The questions not asked
"Make your own list of public taboos. For example, in all the talk about debts, deficits and taxes, notice the near total silence about a huge revenue producer, with a ready base of popular support, a Wall Street securities transaction tax–often called a tax on high volume financial speculation. In President Obama’s 70 minute news conference last week, not one reporter asked his position on this proposed tax. Moreover, no President has been asked this question in public for at least the last 40 years. Yet several countries have such a tax and the U.S. had such a tax until about fifty years ago."

– Ralph Nader (from "Debating Taboos")



The first step to confronting advertising is to stop seeing it as a form of commercialized communication and start considering it to be a kind of pollution. Think about the long-term mental consequences of seeing a Nike swoosh dozens of times a day from birth until death, for example, or whether repetitive exposure to American Apparel’s patriarchal imagery might damage our psyches. Questions like these get at the heart of advertising and lead us to mental environmentalism. (Read the full article at Adbusters.)



Dolores Inés Casillas, a member of the UCSB Chicana and Chicano Studies department, recently wrote an essay about an art piece that honors the thousands of immigrants who have died as they attempted to cross the border. She describes the art piece “2487: Giving Voice in Diaspora” by Luz María Sánchez. According to Casillas, "Sánchez uses sound-based art to trouble a statistic brought on by institutional violence on the U.S./Mexico border. In 2006 Luz María Sánchez used a lone statistic from 2004 – 2487, the number of bodies found dead throughout the border region of the U.S. and Mexico – to create a sound-based art installation for the San Antonio Artpace (now available as an online exhibit)." Read the complete essay here.



Rupert Murdoch's media empire includes Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post. Media Matters reports that, "Murdoch has enormous political and cultural influence over our media. In fact, Murdoch's hand-picked selection to run the Wall Street Journal was longtime loyalist Les Hinton, who oversaw News Corp's British newspapers during the height of News of the World's alleged hacking activity."

Elsewhere, OpEd News reports that 9/11 victims had their phones hacked by News International papers. According to the article, "The News of the World scandal continues to unravel with new allegations that the bad practices were employed by more News International papers than just the News of the World and that American victims of Sept. 11, 2001 were also targeted in the phone hacking scandal. Despite the attempt to keep the scandal contained, News Corp. is suffering from the revelations. Its stock has dropped in the U.S. and its bid to purchase a majority sharehold in BSkyB is now being called into question by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt."

Please consider signing this petition calling for a complete international investigation of Murdoch's phone hacking.



Who needs an excuse to feature public resistance to marketing that is sexually objectifying to women? Enjoy this small sampling of how some fight the powers that be. Thanks to Sociological Images Blog and Lisa Wade who observed, "As I wrote back then, this resistance shows us how… adding commentary to the ubiquitous images that surround us [can help] us to notice, even if just temporarily, that our environment is toxic to our ability to think of all people as full and complete humans."

See also Media Watch's take on sticker activism.



While Food Not Bombs fed the homeless in Orlando, Florida a lone man stood nearby with a sign that read, "I (heart) Orlando Police Deptartment." This anonymous male is interviewed by a local Florida Channel, WFTV Channel 9, and his commentary is filled with sarcastic remarks such as: "We don't want liberty, justice or consciousness getting in the way of the law." His take on this issue may surprise you!




Why do we call this nation our friend? They don't allow women to drive, even in emergencies and even for school or work. Women need male permission to work, travel, study, marry, and even to access health care. Of course they can't vote—just procreate.


And the good old USA calls them our best buddies. How out of sync is Saudi Arabia? Check out this time line of women getting the right to vote globally.


Please consider signing this petition to encourage women's right to drive in Saudia Arabia.




If you've seen the stunning 3-D video for Björk's song "Wanderlust," you're already familiar with the work of Encyclopedia Pictura, a directing team composed of Isaiah Saxon, Sean Hellfritsch, and Daren Rabinovitch. (See the 2D version here.)


Media Watch wants to give a shout out to this creative local hill tribe thriving in the hills near Media Watch’s home town of Santa Cruz. Their site links to various interesting projects and work they do creating animated sets for their media projects. Creating your own media is a foundation for social change so check out Encyclopedia Pictura. Some of our favorite EP videos: "Soo Tall" and "Born Like Stars".




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