Few can cast a cynical eye upon history and society quite like the Brits. From the Angry Young Men to Monty Python, the Clash to New Order—fatalism and futility were never so well-appointed. Perhaps it’s the gloomy pragmatism of the post-Imperial British imagination, which documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis taps into with a particularly wry eye for the unintended consequences of utopian political ideas about science, math and technology on both the right and left in his new series All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. Truly, this series is a post-modern Animal Farm told with bewildering leaps of historical imagination not seen since James Burke’s amazing BBC series Connections. Of course, we had to share it with you, particularly since it includes a particularly unflattering portrait of power as it pertains to the Buckminster Fuller-inspired hippy communes like Drop City in Trinidad, which we featured two weeks ago HERE, in Episode 2. Most amazingly, these three episodes manage to be polemical without taking political sides. We definitely recommend his other documentaries as well, and there’s also a great interview with Adam Curtis about the series HERE.

 

2 Responses to OK, Computer?

  1. Mary H says:

    Weird & funny, but so long, I may never watch it all…
    I’ll bet it took a long time to produce as well.

  2. Kron Kite says:

    Monolithic systems of politics, science, economics, etc. are always imperfect descriptors of a world in flux. The people who sell the system du jour to the masses are the ones who profit by it. Even in the sciences there is not 100% objectivity, but ALWAYS a bias, a motive, an agenda. Why? Because scientific research costs tons of $$$, and today our universities are funded in large part by the Pentagon and corporations. Of course, they will get the “answers” they pay for. And everyone will call it the Truth because science can’t be wrong. But as perceptive people notice more and more each day: the establishment elites in politics, business, and academia get it WRONG much of the time. The result? War, impoverishment, environmental destruction. Buy products you don’t need. Take drugs that kill you. Vote for candidate X in a One Party system. Pursue target goals at work. Trust the god inside the computer. And know that Rich Uncle Pennybags loves you.

News

AP
February 23, 2017 | NPR · A “March for Science” is set for April 22 in Washington, D.C., to show support for evidence-based public policy. But some worry the march will be seen as partisan, and may even undermine sound policy.
 

NPR
February 23, 2017 | NPR · Entrepreneur Keitra Bates is opening a shared commercial kitchen to help keep culinary traditions alive on the city’s gentrifying west side.
 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
February 23, 2017 | KHN · A lot of people are confused about when and if Republicans can “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Kaiser Health News’ Julie Rovner clears things up in the first of a series.
 

Arts & Life

February 22, 2017 | NPR · The Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minn., is the largest mall in the United States, and it is now looking for a writer-in-residence.
 

February 22, 2017 | NPR · Late night TV shows heavy on sharp satire of President Donald Trump are scoring well in the ratings. NPR takes a look at the phenomenon.
 

Fantagraphics
February 22, 2017 | FA · Set amid the political swirl of late ’60s Chicago, Emil Ferris’ graphic novel debut reflects on race, class, gender and the holocaust. Critic John Powers says readers won’t want to put it down.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
February 23, 2017 | NPR · It’s rare for a band to make a comeback album like Last Place that stands up alongside its best work.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 23, 2017 | NPR · Nigerian singer Eno Williams has crafted a collection of irresistible, multidimensional anthems that reach far beyond the borders of geography, music and emotion.
 

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February 23, 2017 | NPR · The Los Angeles band’s distinct sound includes touches of Rio de Janeiro’s tropicalia, Lima’s cumbia, and American soul and funk.
 

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