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
May 24, 2017 | MTPR · Greg Gianforte’s campaign spokesman claimed The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs was the aggressor and knocked both men down, but an audio recording and witnesses suggested otherwise, and authorities cited him.
 

Prairie Public Broadcasting
May 24, 2017 | NDPR · The oil industry is coming out of a two-year slump after OPEC cut production. In oil-rich North Dakota, there are more energy jobs than available workers and local businesses are seeing a revival.
 

Daniel Fishel for NPR
May 24, 2017 | NPR · The latest evidence that a chocolate habit may lower your risk of heart disease: A study finds people who ate small amounts of chocolate several times a week had a lower risk of atrial fibrillation.
 

Arts & Life

May 24, 2017 | NPR · The new ABC version of Dirty Dancing will air on television Wednesday night. NPR looks at the legacy of Dirty Dancing and why it’s been a favorite — albeit corny — movie over generations.
 

Courtesy of Unicornland
May 24, 2017 | NPR · Unconventional relationships are all over TV. Open marriages and three-ways have driven stories on scripted shows like House of Cards, Transparent and Orphan Black — and reality TV isn’t far behind.
 

Netflix
May 24, 2017 | FA · Now that the second season of his Netflix series is out, the comic is looking forward to some down time. “Forget season three of Master of None,” he says. “I’m … doing season 34 of Aziz Ansari.”
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
May 24, 2017 | WXPN · The Canadian rocker has always been known for bringing the party, but his latest album includes more sober reflection on his relationship with his father.
 

Leon Neal/Getty Images
May 24, 2017 | NPR · An attack like this scares women into submission, says ElsaMarie D’Silva, who works to stop street harassment in India.
 

YouTube
May 24, 2017 | NPR · The North Texas trio reaches across humankind with a body-rattling, desert-swept heft. Watch a gorgeous black-and-white video for The Angelus’ brooding and beautiful track.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab