Briefly Noted Movies, Books, Television, and More

Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian, art from the Japanese internment camps, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, M.I.A.'s political pop, and more.

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The music video may have died out as a vehicle for political protest, but in April the eclectic avant-world-beat artist M.I.A. released a haunting, nine-minute protest against the police state tied to her song “Born Free.” The clip sent ripples across the Internet.

The video portrays a squad of police descending on a housing complex, roughing up ordinary-looking people as they’re engaged in everyday activities (eating, sleeping, having sex). As the narrative progresses, the twist reveals the reason for the apparently random madness: The government is rounding up redheads. 

M.I.A., daughter of a Sri Lankan Tamil rebel, grew up amid war, and her music is unquestionably political, if not always coherent. She once claimed she wanted to “write songs about something important and make it sound like nothing.” The images in the video for “Born Free” are less ambiguous. Coming at a time when government abuses are increasingly captured on video, they’re also resonant.—Radley Balko

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  • Take Care of THIS!||

    Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution airs on ABC Friday evenings

    I'll be looking forward to watching this train wreck.

  • Cyto||

    The show brilliantly reveals the nanny mindset as only a pro-nanny show could, ignoring the range of safe choices people can make without privileging health above pleasure always.—Nick Gillespie


    I can't agree with your analysis of this show Nick. The basis of the show is demonstrating choices that are both better and more pleasurable than the existing choices in the community(particularly at the government-run schools).

    In the show they illustrate the less-healthy diet of one very obese family by displaying a week's food on the table. The diet has a very limited variety. The food truisms you allude to are obviously lost on this family. It isn't so much that any one thing is unhealthy, it is that their entire diet consists of a half-dozen high calorie foods.

    Most of the show documents his attempts to convince the town that healthier food can be just as easy to prepare and better tasting and his attempts to reform the government-run school system's cafeteria system.

    During the fight against the school system bureaucracy we see layer upon layer of nanny state rules in place that are theoretically designed to ensure healthy meals for the kids, but in practice they prevent the kids from accessing healthy choices. It was this fight against the bureaucracy that I found most compelling - and hardly anti-liberty. There were many layers to this bureaucratic jungle - including federal agricultural subsidies that practically guaranteed that fried chicken patties would be provided to the kids rather than fresh cooked chicken, whatever the style. This resulted in children who did not know what unprocessed chicken looks like. Because of their steady diet of nothing but chicken nuggets, they readily chose pureed bones, gizards and skin made into a familiar patty over a chicken breast.

    There were government officials mandating that the kids be provided with chocolate and strawberry milk, despite the high levels of sugar - so even if a local school wanted to experiment with alternative drinks, they wouldn't be allowed to.

    I suppose if he was advocating NY style food laws (salt, trans-fat, etc) that mandate certain food choices for everyone you'd have a point. But really his thrust was to provide free cooking classes to people in the community (proselytizing) and advocating better choices for the already-mandatory food programs at the government run schools. I find it difficult to fault him as a nanny-stater for that. A bit of a nanny perhaps, but are we really concerned with those who would attempt to use persuasion to get us to change our behavior? I'm mostly concerned with those who would use the force of government to alter my behavior.

  • DJ||

    I'm mostly concerned with those who would use the force of government to alter my behavior.

    I never got the impression Jamie wanted to force us to eat right. If anything, it seemed, as Cyto put it, that federal agricultural subsidies is largely responsible for providing crap to eat for children.

    Could someone cite something Jamie posted/said, besides the troll below, in where he advocates government involvement?

  • lolwut?||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0

    Here ya go. Cited.

  • Pip||

    "they readily chose pureed bones, gizards and skin made into a familiar patty over a chicken breast."

    Who doesn't!?

  • Suki||

    +1

  • poopy||

    The funniest part was when the surly lunch ladies got visibly angry because his menu required them to do some actual work other than reheating prefabricated garbage that I wouldn't feed to my dog.

  • Tim||

    I recall a minor scandal wherein the lunch ladies prepared tater tots by dumping the entire plastic bag of frozen tots into the fryer.
    The plastic dissolves and "vanishes"- no need to waste time and effort opening the bag and putting it in the trash.

  • Martin||

    I'm with you. I don't know why they have it out for this guy at Reason. This is the second article. Obviously, we think people should be allowed to eat whatever they want, but it'd be nice if more of them realized a semi-healthy diet is in their best interest.

  • ¢||

    bla bla M.I.A. bla

    We get it. You're white. Like, super-white. Calm the hell down.

  • Suki||

    He probably uses white pepper for everything.

  • Cartman||

    Gingers have no souls...

  • CopperCab||

    Gingers have souls! I go to church. I'm a Christian! You don't know me. You're not God! HYUAHAHAH! BLERDERPHURPDERP!

  • ||

    Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger.

  • Geotech||

    You know, regarding that Executive Order 9066, I have a little story about that.

    My father's cousin e-mailed him a scan of an interview with my grandfather from The Times Picayune of New Orleans that I can only assume was done immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor. My grandfather joined the Navy in '37 and spent 2 years there before getting dishonorably discharged and signing on as a merchant marine to do the New Orleans to Havana runs. Mostly he talked about the layout of the base and how the Japanese missed some food and weapons stores. But right at the end, the article mentioned stories he claimed to have heard about camps being built to hold Japanese nationals. I don't really know what year he was thrown out of the Navy because he never told my dad or my aunts about his sketchy time between age eighteen and his early thirties.

    But hell, I guess it was probably common knowledge that they were building up to that anyway.

    Not trying to drum up any conspiracy bullshit, by the way.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Conspiracies from a long time ago are OK. It's only considering the conspiracies in the present that makes you crazy.

  • Geotech||

    Yeah, like I said, I don't even know what year he got the dishonorable. And the article isn't even dated, just mentions his age, 23, which means it could be 1941 or 1942, and the order was signed February 19, 1942.

    But then he mentions that people who said "Japan can be handled within a few weeks" were underestimating their capabilities and then he says "It will take a year, anyhow", which leads me to believe he was interviewed right after the attack. I don't know why you'd interview a 23 year old merchant seaman who happened to be stationed there before being dishonorably discharged and was now staying in a cheap hotel on Canal Street unless the attack had just happened and you couldn't find anyone more respectable who could tell you anything.

  • ||

    RE: MIA.

    Get with the program "old", the song is shit, the video is meh, and Pitchfork has already pronounced her unworthy.

  • ||

    But she is a "eclectic avant-world-beat artist". Radley has to like her no matter how much she sucks. They will take away his Cosmo card if he doesn't.

  • Suki||

    +1 Cosmo card usage

  • Neu Mejican||

    Pitchfork is meh and any pronouncements by them are about as useful as pronouncements from John. Pitchfork is just Spin for the new century...pretend hip for the mainstream.

  • ||

    We have been properly chastised. I guess we will never be hipsters now.

  • Suki||

    +1 hipsters

  • ||

    It may not be cutting edge anymore but Pitchfork still has a lot of relevance and it's a lot better than when it started. The Spin comparison is silly.

    Straight ripping a suicide track is lame, as it the tune. The video is an instantly forgettable stunt (and far from the director's best work).

    MIA is old news. Any dickhead with a blog can tell you that.

  • ||

    Pitchfork suuuuuuucks. I can prove this through their championing down the years of a single band. Ever heard any Xiu Xiu? Pitchfork's highest rated band for a few years in the mid-2000s. Some of the absolute worst fucking music I've ever heard.

    Xiu Xiu sounds like a 100 tranny hookers being beat to death in a high school gym with an ambulance.

    For example...

  • ||

    "Xiu Xiu sounds like a 100 tranny hookers being beat to death in a high school gym with an ambulance."

    Hey. That sounds kind of interesting.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I always knew John was the type to masturbate to crush videos.

  • ||

    What are crush videos?

  • ||

    I was in my garden and a Townsend's Solitaire hung around so close to me that I could have easily stopmed it. I think I'd be in trouble if I did, unless I was a naked lady and the stomping was being filmed.

    It's an odd country in which we live.

  • ||

    Holy shit, that sucked. It must be really difficult pretending to like that.

  • WTF||

    Just the other day, I turned to my wife and said, "you know, honey, I wonder what a 100 tranny hookers being beat to death in a high school gym with an ambulance sounds like."

    Well, now I know. Apparently, it sounds like Xiu Xiu.

  • ||

    I had to listen to Hair of the Dog just to expel that ten seconds of tranny hookers being beaten by an ambulance from my ear canal.

    "Now you're messin' with a...."

    (better cowbell than Don't Fear the Reaper)

  • Butts Wagner||

  • marlok||

    Butts, was your link supposed to support your claim? Because to me that song sounds like 10 crackhead eunechs breaking a pacman machine. Not my thing, I guess.

  • ||

    I think that just took several years off my life.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Any dickhead with a blog can tell you that.

    Hey, that's me! Why haven't I already said this on my blog?

  • ||

    You must be a special dickhead with a blog.

  • Neu Mejican||

    It may not be cutting edge anymore but Pitchfork still has a lot of relevance and it's a lot better than when it started. The Spin comparison is silly.

    Your first sentence explains why your second sentence is incorrect.

    Well, except no music magazine really has any "relevance" other than letting people know what music is available. Quality judgments are always based on the actual experience of listening to that music. Spin, in its day, and Pitchfork, currently, serve the purpose of promoting the "about to break" bands that have, actually, already achieved enough recognition that they are widely known. It is rare for Pitchfork to dig very deep into the underground. But, like Spin, they do it on occasion. Just enough to make their readers feel like they are hipsters.

  • ||

    Oh bullshit, Pitchfork are not as cutting edge as the blog coverage (they are a bit behind xxjfg, valerie, keytars&violins; for example) but they generally break stuff within about 6 months of when it hits other areas.

    You're talking to an ex- techno and breaks promoter so don't try and bullshit a bullshitter. If you're going to get all "underground" on everyone you're going to have to have do better than that south-west.

    Since you're too cool for reviews, blogs and whatever you'll have to say what you actually think is "cool." I don't want to know when you first read Chunklet or that you were really the first guy with a Zola Jesus EP.

    PS. Dude, Pitchfork isn't a magazine.

  • dhex||

    that's why i only read the wire, you fucking corporate cocksuckers.

    :)

    xiu xiu gets some cool keyboard sounds but the singing is not my thing.

    ps fuck chunklet. those guys have worse taste than 50 year old cardboard.

    pps the very notion of underground kinda died with myspace i.e. even cascadian eco-fascist black metal is sold through labels with email.

    ppps out of the aforementioned group i have to heavily recommend a band called leech, which kinda sounds like a mixture of slint and weakling played in a sweaty basement.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Dude, Pitchfork isn't a magazine.

    Dude. Same fuckin thing. The distribution method is irrelevant.

    As for your "ex-techno & breaks promoter" cred ... never tell a musician that you are/were a promoter. If you don't know why, well, I am too old to 'splain it to ya.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Since you're too cool for reviews, blogs and whatever you'll have to say what you actually think is "cool." I don't want to know when you first read Chunklet or that you were really the first guy with a Zola Jesus EP.

    What a funny bunch of name dropping that was from someone accusing me of being too cool for school. You, of course, are missing the whole point of my comment. I am an old man who has been putting out DIY cassettes/CD's for about 3 decades. I have no interest in being hip or pretending to be hip. I got over the "musical taste as a way to fit in with a preferred social crowd" thing a long time ago.

    If you want to know what I like to listen to, here's the songs that came up on the iPod during the walk to work this morning:
    Kitty Loop- Peter Jefferies
    Zombie Warefare - Chrome
    Headphone Lens from Shock City Shockers
    In the Crowd - Warning
    Idlewild - Julia Kent
    Revolution Action- Atari Teenage Riot
    Moja El Pan - Irakere
    Nabi An - Mariem Hassan
    Kongas Intro - Kongas
    Hunter- Have a Nice Life
    Lately I've been dreaming of drinking sound from a fountain - Herzog
    Frozen Fountain- Offthesky
    Khao nok na - chanthana kitiyaphan
    Kess sagger plaint Zoviet France

  • Jamie||

    Keep laughing you fat greasy wankers!

    Your children are hideously obese, completely inept at using basic eating utensils, and can't tell what a vegetable is let alone eat one! Need some food, porkers? How about a huge American size helping of processed food from right from my hairy arse?

    It's bloody pathetic, really.

    That's why there needs to be government intervention. Americans are too fat too morbidly ginormous and stupid to take care of themselves, let alone intelligently exert a coherent thought. Fact is: Ban all unhealthy foods now. Else the 'Cans are going to continue wallow in their shite infested BBW deluded egos (as they gorge themselves to death).

    It's quite fitting, actually. Squeal, piggy! SQUEAL!

  • Jamie||

    losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/w4m/1877247164.html

    An L.A. 10, right? Haha! Oh, jolly good!

  • ||

    If the rest of the world hates us, why do they try to save us? Why don't they just let us die of obesity and lung cancer and infighting? Do they need to keep us thin and cohesive so we have an effective military that can rescue them...again?

  • Anon||

    Haters gonna hate.

  • ||

    OK that makes a lot of sense dude.

    www.real-privacy.at.tc

  • Jamie||

    Shut it! You fat wanker-bot.

  • waffles||

    talk american when speaking to skynet, thank you.

  • Suki||

    LULZ

  • Rudan||

    Having sex is not an everyday activity. :(

  • poopy||

    You must be married.

  • Gabe E||

    +1

  • Neu Mejican||

    Re: MIA

    It was surprising to hear a sample of a great Suicide song serving as the basis for an MIA track. I think it works and the video is certainly better than average. MIA's albums are very uneven...when she's good, she's good, when she not...she's really, really bad.

  • nobody||

    She needs to stick with Diplo and Switch.

  • Cyto||

    MIA's albums are very uneven...when she's good, she's good, when she not...she's really, really bad.

    Sounds like Yoko Ono. Well, except for the "when she's good, she's good" part.

  • B.P.||

    M.I.A. is unlistenable crap that people pretend to like.

  • ||

    Exactly.

  • Neu Mejican||

    crap that people pretend to like.

    'Cuz if I don't like it they must be pretending...durh.

    Musical taste is entirely subjective.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It was surprising to hear a sample of a great Suicide song serving as the basis for an MIA track.

    It would indeed be surprising to hear a great Suicide song. Hell, it would be surprising to hear a good Suicide song.

    They were influential enough to make Rik Ocasek fuck up the Panorama album, though.

  • ||

    Sometimes bands don't sell records for a good reason. They suck.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sales and suck are more often correlated positively, imho.

  • ||

    Sometimes sales and suck are correlated. But sometimes bands don't get anywhere because they suck. Just like sometimes talented people get famous. Sometimes justice is served the other way.

  • ||

    agree, you only hear about the famous sucky bands.

  • Neu Mejican||

    BP,
    Well, Suicide is not for everyone, that's for sure. Musical taste always says more about the listener than what the opinion is being based on. Suicide was certainly a very influential group...primarily because musicians liked them and incorporated their style.

  • BakedPenguin||

    You're right, NM. And while minimalist techno (or however you'd describe Suicide) isn't (usually) my thing, it's good that not everyone is into the same thing. It would make for a boring world otherwise.

  • dhex||

    i'd call suicide "proto-everything" because they were so influential and groundbreaking in a wide variety of genres. sui generis, if you roll that way.

    that rev and vega are still doing shows at all is honestly really scary. those guys are ancient. vega is 70!

  • BakedPenguin||

    dhex, I could say The Ramones were an equally, if not more, influential band. And while they're popular today, through the early 80's, they were nearly as outre as Suicide.

  • dhex||

    true, but suicide actually inspired good artists.

    but i'm biased, as i quite literally joe biden hate the ramones.

  • ||

    Is it bad that I hope Oliver drops dead of a heart attack? His shows are unbearable.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's a bit extreme, anyway. You could always hope that he gets caught trying to beat 100 tranny hookers to death in a high school gym with an ambulance, and has his career end as a result.

  • Suki||

    +1

  • ||

    Okay. I will take that. That sounds fair.

  • ||

    Just as long as no Tranny hookers are hurt. It is not like they are telling people how to live.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Haven't seen (nor will I see) the new show, but when JO does a cooking show, he does it just about right. Just enough technique to be worth watching.

  • ||

    He is just over the line as a foodie. Alton Brown is over the line. But he is so over the top and funny and such a nerd you can forgive him. Oliver with his garden and such is just insufferable.

  • ||

    And that fake cockney accent. Burn him.

  • GO TEAM RED!||

    Yeah, fuck people who have gardens, who do they think they are? They should get a real hobby like spending all day on a blog instead of working.

  • ||

    Wow. Rarely does someone not named Chad go full retard on here. That is a good trick.

  • GO TEAM RED!||

    Wow. Rarely does someone not named Chad go full retard on here. That is a good trick.

    Says the guy who thinks murder is a reasonable response to someone leaking another person's private information.

    Here's the relevant passage if anyone is interested.

    John|8.3.10 @ 10:51AM|

    "if someone just hands me a list of the members of the BNP one day I abso-fucking-lutely can publish it if I want to."

    You would be a complete shitbag for doing so. Further, if that information was obtained through criminal means, I would say you are aiding and abetting that crime.

    Your publishing it is a gray area criminally. But it is not a gray area morally. And if one of the people whose names you published blew your head off and I were on the jury, I would vote to acquit.

  • ||

    Well, if you spend your life leaking people's personal information and claiming the first amendment right to do so, you really can't be too surprised when one of those people takes the law into their own hands. It is an extreme example, but one given to make a point, which went right over your head.

    It is funny how I can get under left wing trolls' skins so well. More so than anyone on here. I have lots of disagreements with the Libertarians on here. But I never get under their skin. But, boy do I seem to do so to to the left wing trolls. It is really funny. I drive you people to sockpuppet yourselves.

  • GO TEAM RED!||

    Well, if you spend your life leaking people's personal information and claiming the first amendment right to do so, you really can't be too surprised when one of those people takes the law into their own hands.

    And if you're a girl and you wear suggestive clothes, don't be too surprised if someone tries to rape you, right? Wow, great ethos system you've got there buddy.

    I have lots of disagreements with the Libertarians on here. But I never get under their skin.

    I wouldn't be so sure of that.

  • ||

    "And if you're a girl and you wear suggestive clothes, don't be too surprised if someone tries to rape you, right?"

    You are on quite a roll of stupidity. If you leak someone's personal information you are directly harming them. A woman walking in suggestive clothing is not harming anyone. The analogy doesn't work.

  • GO TEAM RED!||

    If you leak someone's personal information you are directly harming them.

    Yeah, I'm going to have to call bullshit on that. Telling people that John Doe is a member of the BNP is not directly harming him in any way.

  • ||

    Just directing the mobs where to go to harrass their children or burn their house down. Where I work is my business. BP is not the government. It is no one's business but theirs who works there and who doesn't.

    If privacy means anything, it means people having the choice what information about themselves to make public. And that includes where they work.

  • GO TEAM RED!||

    Just directing the mobs where to go to harrass their children or burn their house down.

    The release of the information didn't cause direct harm. The people who harass kids or burn down houses cause direct harm. Sure, you can argue that releasing the information lead to that, but that is the same sort of argument people use to keep drugs illegal i.e. that addiction will lead to people committing real crimes. Nevertheless, how many of the BNP members had their houses burned down after their information was leaked?

    If privacy means anything, it means people having the choice what information about themselves to make public.

    This is pretty silly. There are so many ways to find out where people work without them telling you. I can be driving by an office building at the end of the work day and see someone I know leaving. I can notice a neighbor has a sticker to park in a company parking garage. I can find out from a good friend that an old college buddy works at the same company. And so on. Now granted, in most cases, those people would probably tell me where the work if I asked, but why would anyone expect that information to be private?

  • ||

    Yes. There are lots of ways to invade people's privacy. You can stalk your neighbor and figure out where he works. But just because it is easy, doesn't make it any of your damn business or you right to do so.

    And as far as the harassment goes, as RC Dean says, a foreseeable consequence is not unintended. Releasing those names was assholery of the first order

  • Suki||

    GTR sounds like he spends his time stalking you.

  • Suki||

    GTR sounds like he spends his time stalking you.

    Goes under John's 1:54PM comment.

  • waffles||

    I resemble that remark!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, given your handle, Jamie Oliver hates you.

  • ||

    He wasn't made with fresh, locally grown, organic vegetables. Penguins on the other hand or generally free range organic. So you would be welcome at Oliver's table.

  • Suki||

    I thought you wrote "OJ" and was going to point you to Dolcett's work he might draw from.

  • ||

    Oh wow, no way dude thats insane.

    www.remain-anonymous.at.tc

  • Savage Jason||

    I know, right?

    www.remain-anonymous.at.tc

  • Tim||

    Spock:
    Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell BAD. Are you sure your circuits are functioning correctly? Your ears are green.

    "I, Mudd (1967)"

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I gotta get me one o' them cable TV thingies one o' these days.

  • ||

    Jamie Oliver is on record as supporting taxpayer funded cooking centers in England because he regards obesity as the government's business due to the costs the government incurs under nationalized health care.

    So, there's that.

    I never got the impression Jamie wanted to force us to eat right.

    He may not be advocating government control of your diet, but he is certainly paving the way for it.

  • Cyto||

    I've never followed the guy, just seen the show. Where he crosses from advocacy into government coercion, he dons a douche hat. "Government funded cooking centers" sounds like cooking schools funded by the government - which pretty much comes under the heading of wasting tax dollars. Better than fascist nanny-state stuff, but still to be opposed on fiscal responsibility grounds.

    Still, we have lots of "Government Funded Cooking Centers" here in the states - just go to your local community college for examples.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Just curious...is he advocating government funded education about nutrition and how to prepare more nutritious food?

    If so, how is that in anyway paving the way for government control of your diet?

  • ||

    Well, first, he adopts and promotes the idea that your diet is the government's business.

    Then, he uses tax dollars to establish a bureaucracy to "educate" you about what you "should" be doing.

    And I'm sure none of the regulars here will be shocked when that education fails to produce the desired results, and rather firmer measures are taken.

    So, yeah, he's paving the way. In Britain, at least.

  • DesigNate||

    I don't think he necessarily wants the government to control our diets. However, if we (god forbid) were forced to accept a healthcare system similar to England's, wouldn't it be in our best interest to control what other people were eating?

    If you're using my money to fund your shabby lifestyle, it is most certainly my right to tell you to stop.

    Don't get me wrong, I would prefer it if healthcare stayed my choice and everybody stayed out of my business.

  • ||

    What is it with all the pathetic posts that equate profanity with intelligent, witty conversation? I am a 30 year retiree from the navy and never found the need for gutter talk to express a cogent thought. I fear that all these fxxxxng axxxhxxxs are of a retarded mentality. Oops!

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

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