Last night’s Plantopic screening of Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 is, in a word, depressing. It’s post-May ’68 and everyone is officially off the high that comes from the explosive hope abundant during times of progressive social movements. There’s no real linear plot or Hollywoodian driving force behind the action. The plot is instead structured more like a collage showing the interactions among four couples living in the Geneva area.
Two of the major conflicts presented in the storyline are 1) the issues faced by people who work in Geneva but live just over the border in France because there’s no work in France and no affordable housing in Geneva, and 2) the rampant land speculation/urban housing shortages in the Geneva area that play into the fact that it gets harder and harder to find and be able to afford decent housing. Luckily, we’ve moved on since the 1970s.
Jonah, as they say, could have been filmed today. Change May ’68 to Occupy Wall Street and swap out some of the superfly turtlenecks and platforms and you’re good.
The conversations the Jonah characters had, the long and meandering debates, philosophizing, ranting — all of it pretty much sounded like the sorts of conversations my friends and I have on a regular basis. I am well aware that there’s nothing new about discussing the means of production, wealth inequality, environmental degradation, wage slavery, etc, but the situations and conversations in the film nevertheless had a pin in the balloon effect on me. The bad guys were doing the exact same thing they are doing today, and the little guys had the exact same anger and frustration, the same discussions, the same desperate searches for alternatives, and the same disillusionment and sense of hopelessness that so many utopian minds have today.
- That’s Where The Money Is (activism in the arts, Occupy and alternative currency)
- From the archive: Bertrand Russell on civil disobedience
- Les Escargots (short animated film by Rene Laloux)
- 21 Swings (Swings plus music plus public art project — sign me up)
- Miami Shores sued for ordering couple to remove vegetable garden:
Near the edge of the front yard, a plastic, hot-pink flamingo juts out among the bare garden beds. “It’s now my symbol,” Ricketts said. “It’s OK to have a cheap plastic thing shipped in from abroad, but it is illegal to plant organic vegetables in your front yard.”
I’ve been catching up on a backlog of bookmarked reading and email newsletters and have culled the following. Have fun!
- The AiR Collection – artist residencies & activism
- “The Creation of the Urban Commons” in David Harvey’s Rebel Cities (via 16 Beaver)
- A Feminist Critique of Marx by Silvia Federici
- Cropmobster: Connecting the Dots Between Farms, Food Waste and Hunger
- Ralentir pour progresser (Revue Hémisphères) (in French)
- Soap Nuts (??!!)
- For Love or Money, Michael Hardt, Cultural Anthropology
- Naomi Klein: How Science is Telling Us All to Revolt
- The Rise of Invisible Work