Rear Left

A Ghetto is a Ghetto

Posted in Media & Movements, War & Culture by rearleft on November 17, 2009

بدم Bidam (With Blood), a documentary on the impact of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza on Palestinian public health, co-directed by Juliana Fredman and yours truly, is screening on December 10 at the Marchmont Community Centre, Camden, London UK. The event is organised by the Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association, and proceeds benefit the Shehadeh Mosen Diabetes Clinic in Abu Dis.

I can’t be there, so help me out by passing the info on to your London folks who can.

Here’s a clip:

Who is that fat bastard?

Posted in War & Culture by rearleft on January 11, 2009

Not sure that OTT was actually something people said, i searched for it, and found that Alexei Sayle got his break on a variety show of sorts called none other than OTT.

Now, if you know me you probably know that I do not generally like standup comedy. I find it deeply unnerving to be told “Hey, this is funny. Laugh…….. now!”. On the other hand, I love the shit out of Alexei Sayle. I remember being, like, I dunno, 10, 11 years old, and my friend Danny O’Donnell (last spotted as  a scientist of sorts who works out how to weigh vast quantities of grain for the Australian wheat industry) doing amazing impersonations of Alexei Sayle on The Young Ones. My primary school crew was pretty bookish…

Sayle’s combination of the absurd and sincere socialist politics was, and remains, an acid response to British neo-liberalism from its beginnings in Thatcher to the present.

Take this clip from OTT, 1982:

(note: doesn’t really start until 00:45, strange English business before that)

The riots he’s talking about were happening all over the joint in the UK in the early 80s. Youth fought cops in the streets of Brixton for several days in the year before this clip was recorded after London police descended on Brixton in what they called Operation Swamp 81, conducting public stop and searches on over 1,000 people in the neighbourhood in one week.

25ish years later, I was pleased to see him speaking as a member of the London Jewish community at the celebrity press conference in support of Gaza this week, in co-ordination with the huge popular demonstrations that took place there and all around the world.

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