counter-culture

what is counter-culture? counter-culture is a think tank and aggregate effort to promote dissenting and/or deviating thought. it is a medium to examine varying perspectives and issues within culture, art, aesthetics, history, philosophy, politics, economics, psychology, and environment. this is an interminable struggle against the forces of ignorance, disillusionment, exploitation, misrepresentation, and propaganda. take whatever parcels knowledge, wisdom, and compassion you can derive, and go forth sharing it with all others; to oblivion, and beyond.

-born in the Bay Area, California,
-living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

"it is easier and less costly to change the way people think about reality than it is to change reality" -Morris Wolfe

"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion" -Albert Camus

Regards,
-Christopher


Rana Plaza Collapse Documentary: The Deadly Cost of Fashion

Filed in: rana plaza fashion photojournalism photography news media multimedia nytimes documentary bangladesh garment industry clothing capitalism globalism third world

1 note


Filed in: buddha dhammapada thought language philosophy belief religion spirituality inspiration psychology buddhism mysticism

8 notes

"All that we are is the result of all that we have thought. It is founded on thought. It is based on thought."

Buddha, The Dhammapada


Midday photosynthesis at Pangong Lake, to which i will revisit, in #Ladakh, #India, near the borders of #Tibet. #landscape #travel #Cropic (at Pangong Tso, Ladakh)

Filed in: cropic tibet travel india ladakh landscape

1 note

Midday photosynthesis at Pangong Lake, to which i will revisit, in #Ladakh, #India, near the borders of #Tibet. #landscape #travel #Cropic (at Pangong Tso, Ladakh)

Filed in: adbusters occupy counter culture economics psychology freud philosophy capitalism politics G20 psychoanalysis libido anus anal anal retentive power discourse finance

Anal | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters

Anal Retentive Character: One fixed at the infantile level of psychosexual development, when the libido charges the anus with energy.

People who had problems during this stage later develop “anal” personality traits like orderliness, stubbornness, perfectionism, and an obsessive need for control.

Most of the neoclassically trained economists who have dominated global economic policy-making for the past few generations — from Alan Greenspan to Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke and now Janet Yellen—have been anal character types (to say nothing of the economic professors and policy analysts around the world). They obsess endlessly over interest rates, money supplies, micro and macro management and quantitative easing strategies — in other words, the ‘excremental’ flows of the global financial system — but to such a degree that they completely miss what’s really going on: namely that climate change is the biggest market failure the world has ever known.


Filed in: inspiration oneness interconnectedness earth earthlings global citizenship edinburgh scotland university of edinburgh get involved social activism cultural diversity

2 notes

What is Global Citizenship?

For all earthlings out there, a video I made for EUSA Global’s ‘Global Citizenship’ project, promoting the interdependence of all people on this planet


Filed in: democracy politics inspiration people society culture theory philosophy occupy

2 notes

For too long, I have been promised a wide array of things, of ideas, of possibilities, of futures, by those who see themselves as some sort of leader standing above the crowd. And for too long, have these promises, these inspirational speeches, these appeals to our emotions, our ethics, and logic, aroused our sympathy, our trust, and often ended up falling short of their goals.

Why is it that those we have voted for, those who typically seek to represent us, and furthermore provide us with what we as the people need, or with what they have often promised, often fail to deliver? Why is that those we call ‘civil servants’, do everything but serve ‘us’, the people, and end up representing the wishes of those other than the people, or worse, only themselves?

Democracy has proven itself to be a spectacle, a caricature of what it originally intended to stand for. Our leaders appear now as talking caricatures themselves, functioning as conduits rather than human beings. Our bodies—political, physical, social—do not correspond with what our hearts or our minds truly intend.

Perhaps the issue is that, once given the power or authority to represent or to speak on behalf of, those who hold the authority are then destined to get it wrong or simply lose focus. Perhaps the privilege granted comes with a degree of being complicit rather than accountable. Perhaps a conflict of interest is what characterizes the ins and outs of a ‘democracy’. Perhaps leading from the ‘top-down’ is doomed to fail, and perhaps the only and most practical form of leadership is from the 'bottom-up'. Perhaps we are to be the leaders, we the people, not the presidents, not the ministers, not the officers, not the legislators, not the grandiose speakers, not the representatives, not the CEOs, not the PR department, not those who hold their power above us, for it is not the bud or the branches that holds up the tree, but it is its roots, the infinite network, that connects us and holds us together indefinitely, and keeps the entire assemblage standing.

It is up to us, and only us. We cannot depend on others for our salvation, our sunlight. We cannot defer our responsibility and our duties onto others just because they may be more qualified or just because we may have more interesting endeavors at hand. If we wish to see growth, if we want change, we must draw upon the dirt, the mud, the water that trickles around us and nourishes our being, to grow upon it, for only then can we become full. It is we who must sustain ourselves, and in doing so we naturally become the teeming reservoirs capable of sustaining the entire whole.


Filed in: michel foucault power/knowledge philosophy truth power institution theory discourse cultural theory literary theory

11 notes

"Truth is a thing of this world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint. And it induces regular effects of power. Each society has its regime of truth, its “general politics” of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish true and false statements, the means by which each is sanctioned; the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true"

Michel Foucault


Filed in: kahlil gibran quote beauty art nature human religion philosophy spirituality inspiration

1 note

"Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide? Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you enter into it take with you your all."

Kahlil Gibran


Filed in: george orwell art politics aesthetics philosophy inspiration occupy ideology consumerism

5 notes

"The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude"

George Orwell


Interesting historical fact of the day: what’s in a picture?

First, here is a history lesson on Afghanistan. From 1933 until 1973, Afghanistan was ruled under a man named Mohammed Zahir Shah. While he was a devout Muslim, he had a Western education in France. His reign marked four decades of peace and stability. With the introduction of a constitution Afghanistan progressively developed into a modern democratic state with free elections and a parliament, as well as a massive push for women’s rights, universal suffrage, education, worker’s rights, and civil rights. So yes, Afghanistan was doing well in the 60’s as this photo suggests. However, the photo doesn’t give you context for what went wrong.

During this period in time, the Soviet Union had a strong influence in Afghanistan. They supported modernization and education in the Afghan state. The United States, not wanting to risk their hegemony in the region, clearly had a major problem with this. They were terrified of the spread of Communism and quickly developed a plan. Afghanistan would become the Cold War’s chessboard. In the late 80’s, the Saudis, Pakistanis, and the Americans brought in radical Islamists from around the world. They armed, trained, and directed them into a militant force, and they were called the mujahideen. They became the US’ main offense against the Soviets. It wasn’t to defend the Afghans against the Soviets who were ready to pull out, but to deliver as much harm against them imaginable. Carter wanted Afghanistan to be the Soviet’s “Vietnam”. And it was. When they finally retreated Afghanistan spun into chaos and a civil war ensued under the militant mujahideen warriors. Within this framework we saw the rise of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and of course Osama bin Laden. All under the auspices of the United States security forces and American tax-payer monies. Clinton’s bombing of Sudan and Afghanistan was directly responsible for their rise. Oh, and then in what was most likely the greatest immoral injustice of the 21st century the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 only further driving the besieged nation further into turmoil.

What does this mean? The mujahideen, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda do not represent thousands of years of Afghan culture and Islam. They are a direct reaction to Western imperialism. The root cause for the disparity between the two pictures is foreign intervention. Not Islam, and certainly not Afghan people.

Second, here is a history on Iran. Before 1953, Iran was ruled under a democratically elected man called Mohammad Mosaddegh. Under his reign Iran saw a progressive movement of social and political reforms. During this time Britain tried to establish an oil company (British Petroleum) on Iranian soil, and promised to share profit and technology with the Iranian government. However the British, as usual, didn’t honor their agreement. They, and the United States, began to steal Iran’s oil. Prime Minister Mosaddegh would not stand for this and demanded the seizure of the oil fields and the ouster of the British. In response, the British and the United States overthrew him in a coup and installed the Shah who was a brutal tyrant and ruled the nation under an absolute monarchy. His security service, which amnesty international described as “the worst in the world” and “beyond belief” was trained by the CIA in torture techniques. 

The women in this picture did live well, but that was because they were members of a very small minority and in the Shah’s social circle. Everyone else in Iran lived under harsh conditions. The economy was failing, education was abysmal, and the entire nation was rural and very religious.

Today, Iran’s health care is better. They have more political freedom. Education is improving. The economy is slightly better off, however that is quickly changing with the Western world’s sanctions against Iran in midst of their nuclear propaganda campaign at the behest of Israel.

What does this mean? Essentially, the Islamic Revolution had little to do with the rise of an Islamic state; it was the resistance of Western imperialism. Almost every social and political group was united in resisting the Shah, from the communists to the secularists to the Islamists. They demanded Iranian sovereignty and political freedoms. Is the current regime in Iran perfect? Absolutely not, and I’m passionately against it. But this picture is extremely distortive of the truth.

Unfortunately, we have gone full circle. Today, the United States is supporting terrorist cells in Iran in an attempt to oust the current Iranian regime. They want to establish another pro-Western government like the Shah and “try again” where they failed. They have been doing this for decades and it hasn’t been working well. That is why we have seen media hysteria against Iran, and supposed quest to achieve nuclear weapons. Iran is a peaceful nation, and always has been. They have never attacked another nation, and have absolutely no intention of attacking Israel or anyone else for that matter. The United States’ war against Iran is rooted solely to seek revenge for their failed foreign policy in the 70’s and to once again take control of their natural resources.

In conclusion, if you think you can understand decades of history in Iran and Afghanistan, or anywhere for that matter, by looking at a photograph or two, you have absolutely no right to engage in intellectual discussion or give your opinion on anything. Ever.

Filed in: iran middle east imperialism islam taliban al qaeda cia war on terror cold war history politics afghanistan

82 notes

Interesting historical fact of the day: what’s in a picture?

First, here is a history lesson on Afghanistan. From 1933 until 1973, Afghanistan was ruled under a man named Mohammed Zahir Shah. While he was a devout Muslim, he had a Western education in France. His reign marked four decades of peace and stability. With the introduction of a constitution Afghanistan progressively developed into a modern democratic state with free elections and a parliament, as well as a massive push for women’s rights, universal suffrage, education, worker’s rights, and civil rights. So yes, Afghanistan was doing well in the 60’s as this photo suggests. However, the photo doesn’t give you context for what went wrong.

During this period in time, the Soviet Union had a strong influence in Afghanistan. They supported modernization and education in the Afghan state. The United States, not wanting to risk their hegemony in the region, clearly had a major problem with this. They were terrified of the spread of Communism and quickly developed a plan. Afghanistan would become the Cold War’s chessboard. In the late 80’s, the Saudis, Pakistanis, and the Americans brought in radical Islamists from around the world. They armed, trained, and directed them into a militant force, and they were called the mujahideen. They became the US’ main offense against the Soviets. It wasn’t to defend the Afghans against the Soviets who were ready to pull out, but to deliver as much harm against them imaginable. Carter wanted Afghanistan to be the Soviet’s “Vietnam”. And it was. When they finally retreated Afghanistan spun into chaos and a civil war ensued under the militant mujahideen warriors. Within this framework we saw the rise of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and of course Osama bin Laden. All under the auspices of the United States security forces and American tax-payer monies. Clinton’s bombing of Sudan and Afghanistan was directly responsible for their rise. Oh, and then in what was most likely the greatest immoral injustice of the 21st century the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 only further driving the besieged nation further into turmoil.

What does this mean? The mujahideen, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda do not represent thousands of years of Afghan culture and Islam. They are a direct reaction to Western imperialism. The root cause for the disparity between the two pictures is foreign intervention. Not Islam, and certainly not Afghan people.

Second, here is a history on Iran. Before 1953, Iran was ruled under a democratically elected man called Mohammad Mosaddegh. Under his reign Iran saw a progressive movement of social and political reforms. During this time Britain tried to establish an oil company (British Petroleum) on Iranian soil, and promised to share profit and technology with the Iranian government. However the British, as usual, didn’t honor their agreement. They, and the United States, began to steal Iran’s oil. Prime Minister Mosaddegh would not stand for this and demanded the seizure of the oil fields and the ouster of the British. In response, the British and the United States overthrew him in a coup and installed the Shah who was a brutal tyrant and ruled the nation under an absolute monarchy. His security service, which amnesty international described as “the worst in the world” and “beyond belief” was trained by the CIA in torture techniques. 

The women in this picture did live well, but that was because they were members of a very small minority and in the Shah’s social circle. Everyone else in Iran lived under harsh conditions. The economy was failing, education was abysmal, and the entire nation was rural and very religious.

Today, Iran’s health care is better. They have more political freedom. Education is improving. The economy is slightly better off, however that is quickly changing with the Western world’s sanctions against Iran in midst of their nuclear propaganda campaign at the behest of Israel.

What does this mean? Essentially, the Islamic Revolution had little to do with the rise of an Islamic state; it was the resistance of Western imperialism. Almost every social and political group was united in resisting the Shah, from the communists to the secularists to the Islamists. They demanded Iranian sovereignty and political freedoms. Is the current regime in Iran perfect? Absolutely not, and I’m passionately against it. But this picture is extremely distortive of the truth.

Unfortunately, we have gone full circle. Today, the United States is supporting terrorist cells in Iran in an attempt to oust the current Iranian regime. They want to establish another pro-Western government like the Shah and “try again” where they failed. They have been doing this for decades and it hasn’t been working well. That is why we have seen media hysteria against Iran, and supposed quest to achieve nuclear weapons. Iran is a peaceful nation, and always has been. They have never attacked another nation, and have absolutely no intention of attacking Israel or anyone else for that matter. The United States’ war against Iran is rooted solely to seek revenge for their failed foreign policy in the 70’s and to once again take control of their natural resources.


In conclusion, if you think you can understand decades of history in Iran and Afghanistan, or anywhere for that matter, by looking at a photograph or two, you have absolutely no right to engage in intellectual discussion or give your opinion on anything. Ever.

Filed in: panpsychism philosophy consciousness mind matter being ontology metaphysics psychology

Panpsychism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In philosophypanpsychism is the view that mind or soul (Greek: ψυχή) is a universal feature of all things, and the primordial feature from which all others are derived. The panpsychist sees him or herself as a mind in a world of minds.


Greeley, CO - courtesy of Google Maps - (the little dots are cows)

"You can smell Greeley, Colorado, long before you can see it. The smell is hard to forget but not easy to describe, a combination of live animals, manure, and dead animals being rendered into dog food. The smell is worst during the summer months, blanketing Greeley day and night like an invisible fog. Many people who live there no longer notice the smell; it recedes into the background, present but not present, like the sound of traffic for New Yorkers. Others can’t stop thinking about the smell, even after years; it permeates everything, gives them headaches, makes them nauseous, interferes with their sleep. Greeley is a modern-day factory town where cattle are the main units of production, where workers and machines turn large steer into small, vacuum-sealed packages of meat. The billions of fast food hamburgers that Americans now eat every year come from places like Greeley. The industrialization of cattle-raising and meatpacking over the past two decades has completely altered how beef is produced-and the towns that produce it. Responding to the demands of the fast food and supermarket chains, the meatpacking giants have cut costs by cutting wages. They have turned one of the nation’s best-paying manufacturing jobs into one of the lowest-paying, created a migrant industrial workforce of poor immigrants, tolerated high injury rates, and spawned rural ghettos in the American heartland. Crime, poverty, drug abuse, and homelessness have lately taken root in towns where you’d least expect to find them. The effects of this new meatpacking regime have become as inescapable as the odors that drift from its feedlots, rendering plants, and pools of slaughterhouse waste."

-Eric Schlosser, ‘Fast Food Nation’

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Health/Cogs_Machine_FFN.html

Filed in: eric schlosser fast food nation feedlots cattle midwest greeley colorado meat industry agriculture america health food slaughterhouse vegetarian vegan

1 note

Greeley, CO - courtesy of Google Maps - (the little dots are cows)

"You can smell Greeley, Colorado, long before you can see it. The smell is hard to forget but not easy to describe, a combination of live animals, manure, and dead animals being rendered into dog food. The smell is worst during the summer months, blanketing Greeley day and night like an invisible fog. Many people who live there no longer notice the smell; it recedes into the background, present but not present, like the sound of traffic for New Yorkers. Others can’t stop thinking about the smell, even after years; it permeates everything, gives them headaches, makes them nauseous, interferes with their sleep. Greeley is a modern-day factory town where cattle are the main units of production, where workers and machines turn large steer into small, vacuum-sealed packages of meat. The billions of fast food hamburgers that Americans now eat every year come from places like Greeley. The industrialization of cattle-raising and meatpacking over the past two decades has completely altered how beef is produced-and the towns that produce it. Responding to the demands of the fast food and supermarket chains, the meatpacking giants have cut costs by cutting wages. They have turned one of the nation’s best-paying manufacturing jobs into one of the lowest-paying, created a migrant industrial workforce of poor immigrants, tolerated high injury rates, and spawned rural ghettos in the American heartland. Crime, poverty, drug abuse, and homelessness have lately taken root in towns where you’d least expect to find them. The effects of this new meatpacking regime have become as inescapable as the odors that drift from its feedlots, rendering plants, and pools of slaughterhouse waste."
-Eric Schlosser, ‘Fast Food Nation’

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Health/Cogs_Machine_FFN.html

EARTHLINGS | Full length documentary, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix

Filed in: earthlings documentary joaquin phoenix food meat animals conservation planet sustainability vegetarian vegan ecosystem capitalism inspiration nature

161 notes


Filed in: art 99 percent commodification 1% occupy wall street capitalism postmodernism culture visual culture blog art market christies saatchi damien hirst elite financial market business marxism socialism politics economics gursky photography critical theory political theory cultural theory

1 note

The 99 Percent and the Value of Art | Visual Culture Blog

The commodification of art as image, not product:

"A major crisis is currently occurring in the global art market. This crisis is precipitated by a global elite recognizing in the 1980s and 1990s that the acquisition of artworks, as tangible objects of value, can be used as an investment vehicle alongside other more traditional investments. This trend of investing in art at the top end of the market was in part fuelled by the global phenomenon of the art fair and the widening network of art biennales now stretching from Sao Paolo to Vladivostock…

…This is the 1% as described by Paul Krugman. Whether it is Hong Kong, Moscow, London or New York, the long arms of the oligarchy are reaching deeper and deeper into the global art market, driving up prices of a commodity that is, increasingly, produced for this specific clientele. This form of art trading has, in fact, become a spectacle in its very own right: the London art fair Frieze Art combined with Frieze Masters recently charged the exorbitant entrance fee of £50, or about $80, for the pleasure to bask in the presence of the global super rich…

…In this context it is important to specify that it is only the works of a few handful of artists represented by an even smaller number of galleries that are actively participating at the top end of the market. It usually excludes emerging artists, it excludes smaller galleries and it most likely excludes not-for-profit organizations. In that sense the art world is perfectly reflecting the economic conditions of the 1% as the art market too is only controlled by a small number of individuals, institutions and corporations. Recognizing this warped economic dynamic, in 2012 one of America’s foremost art critics, David Hickey, launched a fierce attack on contemporary art, arguing that it is made for extremely rich people for whom the critic acts as ‘intellectual head waiter’…

…Inasmuch the huge influx of money created a crisis of meaning in art at the top end of the market, the art produced by and for the 99% acts as an agent advocating social change. In the first instance, this art is not shared in galleries that are haemorrhaging the finances of the plutocracy, it does not constitute an ‘investment’ in the strict financial meaning of this term, nor is it exclusively visible to those who can buy it. Rather, this art of the moment is ubiquitously available via the Internet, it bears a resemblance with a meme in that it is widely shared and evokes ideas that help to explain the present condition. This art taps into the imagination of a generation who is frustrated about the present status quo yet who is equally optimistic about the future. This art does not simply represent the world that we live in, but rather, it provokes ideas about how this world can change for the better, how it can be more sustainable, how it can be more equal. Like a virus spreading rapidly across geographic, religious, political or ethnic boundaries, this art is powerful – it has the power to change people’s perception of the world and, as such, it has the power to change the perception of one’s position in this world. Such art usually bypasses considerations about authorship or about originality. The craft apparent in this art cannot be found in the eloquence of a brushstroke or the aesthetic composition of an image, but rather, the craft of this artwork can be found in the ‘beauty’ of the idea that it communicates. The more powerful the idea the more this art is shared amongst others. The cultural and social value of this art, as opposed to its financial value, lies in its ability to communicate, or, as the Latin origin of the word suggests, in its ability to relate to the common.”

http://visualcultureblog.com/2013/11/the-99-percent-and-the-value-of-art/Mishka Henner, Feedlots, 2013Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007


Clip from the movie, ‘Samsara’

Filed in: samsara mass production factory farming agriculture sustainability capitalism consumerism film cinema timelapse art photography china america pork chicken meat industry healthy living documentary

18 notes