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Askew Review 15

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(Alternative Tentacles) Compiled by AK Press, this two cd set is a collection of spoken word cuts discussing various efforts, ideas, and thoughts on battling globalization, the WTO, and how evil the US Government and corporations are.  The cuts are delivered by various speakers, most notably; Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill, Alexander Cockburn, Craig O’Hara, and a few others. Some of the speakers, Zinn and Chomsky, offer multiple cuts. Most of the opinions here swing heavily into the liberal, socialist point of view. Although, I was most surprised at Cockburn’s Clinton bashing for pardoning tax evader Mark Rich. Zinn delivers informative stuff in a fairly entertaining manner, while Chomsky delivers his thoughts in a way that would make a chronic insomniac sleep the night away. Ward Churchill (I’ve never heard this guy before, but I have a cd of his to review and I can’t wait to listen to it) really gets your attention with his no nonsense, intense speaking manner and infuriating topic on the mistreatment of Native Americans.  Whether or not you agree with the speaker, most of the cuts here are fairly interesting and informative. However, three tracks really pissed me off. Rahula Janowski and Agent Apple talk about “The Biotic Baking Brigade” and how great it is to throw a pie in a target’s face (usually a politician or some other high standing turd) to draw attention to a cause. These two geniuses think this is the best way to draw attention to a cause that is being ignored by the main stream media. Well, if you need to “pie” someone to draw attention to your cause, not only are you a criminal guilty of assault, you are also part of a poorly run and thoughtless activist movement.  Next up is the laughable, in an unfunny way, track by Craig O’Hara, who makes excuses for the rioters at the WTO convention/demonstration in Seattle a few years ago. Mr. O’Hara defends the act of smashing the windows of corporation’s offices stating “destroying private property is not a violent action” and “smashing the windows…vents the repressive air of the corporation…” No, you’re not venting shyt. You’re a vandal and no better than a two bit gang thug spray painting a run down subway car. Again, this disc is overflowing with left wing activist thoughts and opinions (ex. Chomsky mentioning a report stating Republican Senator Trent Lott’s love for “pork,” while not mentioning how Democrat Senator Robert Byrd [former KKK member] is notoriously known as the King of Pork- pork being the excessive spending of tax payer’s money that benefits one’s constituents). If you agree with this spin on things, you’ll love this cd. If you disagree with this spin and have your own spin, you’ll still get some good material here-useful debating info. Sorry for intertwining my opinions, but this cd is loaded with them, so I had no choice but to vent…without the need of smashing windows or pieing. – Denis Sheehan



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