Chuck Zero

artist, author, activist, gardener

September 13, 2016
by Chuck
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Thirty Great Science Fiction Films You May Missed

There are plenty of lists out there which list the X Number of Essential (or Best) Science Fiction Films. Those kinds of lists are great fodder for arguments between fans, or as introductions for people new to the genre, but they really aren’t that interesting. I’ve been a fan of science fiction films since I was a pre-teen, so we’re talking about 40 years of following the genre in depth. I’d like to share my list of 30 science fiction films that I think are outstanding examples in the genre.

You might be a young person, totally unfamiliar with the genre, who hasn’t even seen the popular films like Star Wars, Alien, Wall-E, or Close Encounters of the Third Kind. While I could rave about some of these classics, I’m leaving out the box office classics.

Alphaville (1965)

This French film by director Jean-Luc Godard is also a film that I would include in my Film Noir list.

THX 1138 (1971)

This dystopian film was George Lucas’ directorial debut. I rank it third among his films, behind the original Star Wars and American Graffiti.

Andromedia Strain (1971)

Fantastic Planet (1973)

The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959)

I thought I’d seen most of the mid-20th century science fiction films, but only discovered this unknown gem this year.

Zardoz (1974)

Looper (2012)

This was a recent discovery for me, recommended by a close friend. A time travel movie set in Kansas City? Count me in! Could be described as a neo-noir film.

Silent Running (1972)

Dark Star (1974)

written by John Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon

They Live!

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

This may be one of the few films on any science fiction film list to be regularly screen in high school classrooms. Directed by François Truffaut and based on the famous novel by Ray Bradbury, the film features a story set in a dystopian future. That future looked very modernist for the 1960s, but surprisingly gets our current world pretty accurate. Widely known as a film about the dangers of censorship. Should be noted that Ray Bradbury later criticized the common take on the novel, saying that it wasn’t about censorship, but about the dangers of technology to our society.

Cloud Atlas (2012)

This film did surprisingly poorly at the box office, but I rank it as my second favorite SF film of the 21st century. The film is set in various time period: distant past, recent past, present, near future and far future. The characters in each segment are played by the same actors, so we get to see Hugo Weaving pay six bad guys. The film jumps back and forth in the timeline–really feels like a science fiction novel.

V for Vendetta

District 9 (2009)

Delicatessen (1991)

Rollerball (1975)

Starship Troopers (1997)

The Fifth Element (1997)

Gattaca

Mars Attacks! (1996)

Existenz (1999)

Liquid Sky (1982)

The Running Man (1987)

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Starman (1984)

September 5, 2016
by Chuck
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17 More Days

Looks like I have 17+ days left in my second one month suspension in as many months by Facebook. That’s over 7 weeks this year that Facebook has prevented me from doing anything on Facebook, other than RSVPing to events. This wall due to people abusing Facebook’s “community standards” snitching tools to shut down Infoshop for sharing anti-racist, anti-patriotism and pro Black Lives Matter memes. The Infoshop FB page is still deleted or in Facebook purgatory.

17Capture

What I see when I try and like a page.

September 5, 2016
by Chuck
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New Science Fiction Magazine?

Bork and I have initiated a discussion about starting a new science fiction magazine. It would probably publish fiction with degrees of political content, but the content doesn’t have to be political. We are also talking about publishing works by authors from outside the US and UK. Maybe some translations.

My focus will be on reviews, interviews, art, editing and production. If you are interested in being part of this, get in touch with us.

Oh, we are also still talking about re-launching Practical Anarchy magazine.

September 5, 2016
by Chuck
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Why are Band-Aids so fucking hard to unwrap? By the time they are ready, the bleeding has either stopped or you have lost a limb.

September 5, 2016
by Chuck
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The Art of Food Writing and Reviewing

Here is a gem of wonderful writing about the craft and culture of restaurant reviewing. A New Yorker article about New York Times food critic, Pete Wells. Very interesting insight into writing, reviewing, restaurants, social media and publishing.

Pete Wells Has His Knives Out

If you haven’t read Wells’ infamous review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant in Times Square, it’s worth looking up. A classic put down of something that was poorly executed. I’m a fan of Guy Fieri, but it really sounds like his restaurant was cobbled together by corporate marketing hacks.

August 28, 2016
by Chuck
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Hillary Clinton Wants to Create a Crappy Job for You

There are so many, countless reasons to dislike Hillary Clinton, that it’s hard to understand why anybody would consciously bother voting for her, or spending so much time urging others to do the same. One example can be found in her current batch of campaign ads, which talk about “clean energy” and feature a promise to create umpteen million new jobs. The part about “clean energy” is horrible enough, but that’s grist for another dose of analysis. Her promise to create more jobs reflects the Democratic Party’s long standing policy of pretending to be Republicans. They can’t talk about any kind of solution to people’s economic problems, other than to promise more jobs.

The Democrats are promising more jobs, but in order to fulfill this kind of promise in this late capitalist, automated economy, most of these jobs will have to be shitty ones. People don’t want more jobs right now, they need cash, economic relief and so on. The Democrats fall back on tired campaign rhetoric about jobs that they’ve peddled for decades, while not proposing anything substantial, like slashing the military budget, raising the minimum wage, freezing rent increases, building new homes for the poor, freezing home prices, or abolishing student debts. All of these things would make a more immediate impact for working people and would help boost the economy. Jobs? We’re supposed to work our way out of the mess created by the neoliberal capitalist system?

We can see how resistant the Democrats are towards adopting anything that working people ACTUALLY WANT. The Sanders campaign inspired millions by talking about free college education, but the Clintonists treat that idea like it’s liberal anthrax. The Democrats aren’t even considering a general student loan debt jubilee, or wiping out long standing student debts. A student loan debt jubilee would enable many people to get out of the holes created by banks and universities. They could buy houses, do other basic things, maybe go on vacation. It’s been reported on how Millennials are desperate economically, with many of them living with their parents. This is not a situation that will be solved by creating more jobs.

The promise of more jobs also reflects the Democrat’s odious policies towards welfare reform, poverty reduction, and income inequality. Well, the Democrats aren’t really interested in the last two, but they decided that the only way they could respond to constant Republican bashing of poor and working people, was to do a more efficient job of fucking over poor and working people. Did they go to bat for poor people and the meager benefits we receive? Did they fight to expand programs and fund existing programs better? Did they do anything to put more money in the pockets of poor people (the only thing that ends poverty)? No, they passed “welfare reform.” Actually, that was a proud achievement of Bill Clinton’s term as President.

Welfare reform inflicted on poor people this insane program of tying work to benefits. The Democrats confirmed and institutionalized right wing Republican propaganda against poor people. This bullshit idea that the poor are lazy and that they need to be taught how to value work and having a job (any fucking job). The Democrats institutionalized these conservative moral belief about poor people. So now, poor people have to constantly apply for crappy, low-paying jobs, which don’t do anything to boost them economically. None of these jobs are on tracks towards skills or advancement to better-paying positions.

The constant stress of having to cope with this insane system and having to worry about losing your basic necessities, fuels alcoholism and drug addiction among poor people. It’s a way to cope with this insanity, but then these problem fuel conservative moral idiocy about drug addiction being moral failings.

The Democrats are promising new jobs in a late capitalist, automation-based economy that can’t generate those jobs. So the Democrats are essentially promising thousands of new, crappy jobs. It’s just another empty campaign promise that makes for a good TV commercial about jobs associated with “clean energy.” We’re talking less than a few thousand jobs, if you consider that manufacturing of this equipment will be by robots and automated factories. So, that leaves jobs installing clean energy products, which will be poor paid, but certainly not enough to make a difference for the millions out there suffering economically.

The Democrats are offering the usual Republican poison apples. Don’t eat the poison apples, don’t vote, and fight for class war!

August 28, 2016
by Chuck
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Hillary Clinton and Trump’s Hats

As much as I dislike Hillary Clinton and can’t stand the Democratic Party, they’ve started airing a campaign ad that hits the ball out of the park. This ought to torpedo any hope Trump has of courting undecided Independent voters (all ten of them). It takes some of Trump’s ridiculous campaign messaging and mashes it up with his actual track record as a multi-national capitalist.

August 28, 2016
by Chuck
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Verification isn’t a status symbol — it’s a necessary shield against harassment

In the midst of my ongoing fight with Facebook over my two consecutive month suspensions and Facebook’s censorship of Infoshop’s content and deletion of our page, I looked into what it would take to avoid the constant battle with censorship prompted by online harassment campaigns against us. Even large media pages must be the target of similar campaigns–Trump supporters probably have an irrational hatred of MSNBC, for example. Facebook has a “verification” system that puts a little seal of approval next to your page’s name. But when I looked into this, it appears that this is only available for bricks and mortar organizations and businesses.

There appears to be a similar feature over at Twitter, which is even worse when it comes to online harassment, which is mostly directed at women. Here is one woman’s account of trying to use Twitter’s verification system, to no avail:

Verification isn’t a status symbol — it’s a necessary shield against harassment

August 27, 2016
by Chuck
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Banned by Facebook Again, Infoshop Page Deleted

You may have heard that I received my second one month suspension from Facebook in as many months. This time they also deleted, or took offline, the Infoshop Facebook page.

Here is my newest statement:

Chuck has been suspended by Facebook again for a month, the second such month suspension in as many months. The Infoshop FB page appears to be deleted after being suspended on Sunday for unspecified reasons. Another inactive volunteer has been suspended for 24 hours, while another active admin is still serving a month suspension.

Facebook informed us collectively today that we were suspended over the yellow and black “Black Lives Matter” icon we’ve been using as our profile pic for the PAST SIX MONTHS.

If you haven’t heard about our struggle with months of censorship by Facebook, you can find out more here:
http://news.infoshop.org/focus/facebook-censors-infoshop

The best way you can support us to is SPREAD THE WORD about this ongoing censorship. Don’t sit on your hands. Also, please make an effort to stay in touch with us through other channels. Please visit our news page (news.infoshop.org) regularly.

You can contact Chuck at chuck0munson@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter (@chuckzero) or visit his blog: http://www.chuckzero.net/