Popular Culture Part 16
Mainstream popular culture must be exposed. It is owned and controlled by the corporate leaders and the multinational banks. It has been used to promote propaganda from the selling of products to the advancement of the myth of American exceptionalism. For years and decades, courageous, intelligent human beings globally have exposed the economic exploitation of the industry. Many have created YouTube videos and books that accurately outline the occult connections to many in the industry (nothing is new under the sun. Centuries ago, Dr. John Dee and other occultists used rituals and wrote literature to promote the same ideas that many people of the elite promote today) as well. We congratulate the activists who are exposing the truth for real. Likewise, we have to also look at the social and economic dimensions of the popular culture system. Popular culture in the mainstream level never exists by accident or by a vacuum. Corporations monitor people, paparazzi take pictures of celebrities, and many firms dictate to numerous celebrities on how to act and how to conduct themselves in places worldwide. So, popular culture is a business and it has ruined the lives of so many human beings. No good fruit comes from a rotten tree. The fruit of Hollywood and popular culture has been rotten to the core. There are many tactics that the popular culture sues to harm society. One is the promotion of unhealthy foods, the usage of distracting anti-human TV shows, and the usage of the corporate mass media to spew lies and deceptions in the world. The corporate mass media has leaders who are members of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, and other high level political organizations. The corporate media never shows anything in public unless it is supported by the establishment. If a media host steps out of line, he or she is fired. True consciousness is not about materialism and cultural exploitation in a sick way. The mainstream world is filled with violence, evil, and destruction. That is why we shouldn’t be of the world, but have a renewing of our minds. True consciousness is self-acceptance, community building, following the wisdom of the Most High, going to respect and honor shown to women, and helping others, so the community as a whole can be blessed. Success is about growth of consciousness.
One of the political films in our generation is “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.” It was directed by Michael Bay and it was written by Chuck Hogan, which was based on a book by Mitchell Zuckoff. The movie relates to the war in Libya and the civil war aftermath in the country. The terrorist attack in Benghazi has been debated by people from across the political spectrum. The film has many explosions and special effects, which relates to Michael Bay’s directorial style (as found in his others movies like Bad Boys, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and Transformer). The movie deals with the 2012 evil attack on an American compound in Libya by Islamist militias. This evil, unjust attack killed 4 Americans including the U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. This film outlines the continuous trend of pro-American militarism in film (when we should not murder and do imperialism). Such films showing the unabashed promotion of such militarism include Zero Dark Thirty, Lone Survivor, American Sniper, etc. The first few minutes of the film shows not the complete truth about what happened in Benghazi during 2012. The film mixes or juxtaposes the lynch mob extrajudicial murder of Col. Muammar Gaddafi (when he has experienced no trial or due process) with the titles that explain how the Libyan people rose up against Gaddafi and how the U.S. and its allies fought to free the people (but then Islamist militias began fighting each other once the war was won, etc.). The truth is that after 2003, Washington allied once with Gaddafi. He even used his nation for CIA torture “black sites” to fight Islamist militias. Then, Gaddafi wanted more independence from the U.S. /EU faction. He was unifying his nation and wanted more African unity. Libya before the NATO attack had a lot of progressive resources and it was a developing rapidly as a nation. Gaddafi wanted to his Libyan gold to promote a pan-African currency (as documented by recently revealed Hillary emails), which was against the interests of the West. Later, the Tunisian and Egyptian mass uprising came out. The U.S. government exploited the popular hostility to Libya and the West aided the same militias (once called “freedom fighters” when they were murdering people like innocent Black Libyans) to the teeth. Gaddafi was overthrown in a war when NATO killed tens of thousands in overt war crimes. The militias fought each other even in a civil war.
Chaos and violence came about and then the massacre in Benghazi happened. Libya was once secular and now Western imperialism as torn the country apart (in the agenda in getting Libya’s oil and mineral wealth). The CIA compound and diplomatic outpost in Benghazi was attacked in the realm of “blowback” on September 11, 2012. Some accuse the CIA of using Benghazi as weapons conduits for smuggling arms and fighters into Syria (to fight the Assad regime). According to Dr. Christof Lehmann:
"...U.S. Embassy in Benghazi a hub for liaison with multiple terrorist brigades. It is also noteworthy that the CIA (under the auspices of the State Department) deployed agents as liaison to eastern Libya in early 2011. The hearing would, however, disclose that both the State Department and the CIA had contacts to various radical Islamist organizations. It is not surprising either, that Hillary Clinton’s statements during the Benghazi (Bengazi) Hearing suggested that the primary U.S. presence during the attack in Benghazi a year ago was a CIA presence. The CIA and JSOC had been present even before the eruption of the first violent protests..." ("U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, A Terrorist Hub: The Case for a War Crimes Tribunal instead of a US Senate Hearing" By Dr. Christof Lehmann).
The movie "13 Hours" portrayed the Libyans as non-people and not really diverse. The focus is on the Americans obviously. Jack Da Silva (John Krasinski), who we learn is a CIA security contractor, a euphemism for mercenary, with a wife and children back home. From a McDonald’s drive-thru, with kids in tow, she tells her husband over the phone that she is expecting a baby. The scene wanted to humanize the Americans mostly. The movie shows events about Benghazi favorable to FOX News and other reactionaries. Conservatives believe that there were not enough US forces to guard the compound in 2012 thanks to back-stabbing officials in Washington (i.e., Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama). There is a legitimate discussion about Hillary supporting the evil Libyan war policies, etc. but it isn’t just Hillary or the President involved in the Libyan fiasco. Bay’s film turns reality on its head. Here, US imperialism, the greatest perpetrator of violence in the world, is under siege, with its hands tied behind its back by bureaucratic red tape and cowardly civilian officials. If only “our boys” could get the support they really needed is the reactionary view of the promoters of imperialism. There is more than a whiff of fascism in this.
The movie says that CIA station chief “Bob” (David Costabile) tells our military champions to “stand down” from defending the ambassador’s compound until they can figure out what is going on. According to the real-life CIA station chief, however, no such order was given. Moreover, the Republican-led committee investigating the Benghazi events concluded in November 2014 that there was “no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support.” The movie premiered in Arlington, Texas at the large AT&T Stadium, which is the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys (because of the demographics, etc.). The actors and the producers of the film from Paramount didn’t want to be political they claim, but an event like Benghazi will cause political debate regardless. The actors say that they wanted to just applaud the military for their courage. Yet, the best way to applaud people is to tell the people the truth that imperialism is wrong, that the Libyan civil war is a disaster, and that the West’s policies neo-conservative policies in the Middle East have failed.
The movie Trumbo exposes the McCarthyism era and the Hollywood’s blacklist. This era was about how the government illegally used policies to try to ruin the lives of movie directors, producers, etc. because of their political views. The First Amendment clearly states that people have the right to peacefully believe in whatever economic or political philosophy that they want to. The movie “Trumbo” was directed by Peter Askin. The film shows the life and career of screen writer and novelist Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976). Trumbo was part of the so-called Hollywood Ten (or the active members of the Communist Party in the film industry). They went to jail in 1950 for contempt of Congress at the height of the McCarthyite witch-hunt. Trumbo, once one of the most highly paid writers in Hollywood, was subsequently blacklisted until 1960, although a number of his scripts made their way to the screen attributed to other individuals (known as “fronts”). The movie is based on the stage play by his son Christopher Trumbo. His son and daughter Mitzi shows their memories and opinions. 90 year old Kirk Douglas helped to break the blacklist by openly employing Trumbo on Spartacus. Kirk Douglas has an appearance in the film. The letters, or portions of them, are read by a talented group of performers: Donald Sutherland, Liam Neeson, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Michael Douglas, Brian Denehy, Paul Giamatti, Nathan Lane and Josh Lucas. The letter described his diverse emotions. In response to efforts by liberals in 1956 to legitimize informing, Trumbo wrote, “[I]f I could take a census of all the American faces I have seen and of all the dead whose graves I have looked on, if I could ask them one simple question: ‘Would you like a man who told on his friends?’ there would not be one among them who would answer ‘Yes.’”
Trumbo was born in Montrose, Colorado and he moved into Los Angeles in 1924. He worked in a bakery for nearly 10 years. He was the manager editor of the Hollywood Spectator. He wrote his first novel Eclipse in 1934. He wrote famous films too. He wrote the Johnny Got His Gun novel to attack war and war makers. Once Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 and the US entered World War II, Trumbo, presumably in the Stalinist periphery at this time, withdrew his novel and suppressed it for the duration of the war. He actually joined the Communist Party in 1943. The film just portrays Trumbo as a contrarian liberal and a defender to the U.S. Constitution. The Communist Party in America by the 1940’s was Stalinized. During this era, people saw the Russian Revolution, the anticommunist raids in the US after World War I, the great battle over the fate of Sacco and Vanzetti, the Scottsboro boys’ case. Even some American liberals agreed with the anti-freedom witch hunts. Yet, many people spoke their minds to defend free speech and free expression during that time. The film outlines the principles that the loss of personal freedom is not only anti-human rights, but it’s damaging to any progressive society.
The 2016 movie “Race” is a very important one. It is the second feature biopic about the great African American athlete Jesse Owens. Jesse Owens was a black man who overcame so much and won a record breaking four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. The movie was directed by Stephen Hopkins and written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse. The film stars the following actors and actresses: Stephan James (as Jesse Owens), Shanice Banton (as Ruth Solomon-Owens), Jason Sudeikis (as Larry Synder), Jeremy Irons (as Avery Brundage), William Hurt (as Jeremiah Mahoney), Adrian Zwicker (as Adolf Hitler), Anthony Sherwood (as Rev. Ernest Hall), and Carice van Houten (as Leni Riefenstahl). The film was released in America in February 19, 2016. TriStar will release the film in all other countries worldwide. The film was supported by the Owens family, the Jesse Owens Foundation, the Jesse Owens Trust and the Luminary. The story of Jesse Owens is inspiring. Jesse Owens was the youngest of 10 children (three girls and seven boys) to Henry Cleveland Owens (a sharecropper) and Mary Emma Fitzgerald in Oakville, Alabama. He was born on September 12, 1913. His family moved to the city of Cleveland, Ohio for better opportunities as part of the Great Migration. During this time, about 1.5 million African Americans left the segregated South. He called himself J.C., but his new teacher called him Jesse because of his strong Southern accent. He delivered groceries, loaded freight cars, and worked in a shoe repair shop while his father and his older brother worked at a steel mill. He had a great love of running. He was very athletics. Throughout his life, Owens attributed the success of his athletic career to the encouragement of Charles Riley, his junior high track coach at Fairmount Junior High School. Since Owens worked in a shoe repair shop after school, Riley allowed him to practice before school instead.
Owens and Minnie Ruth Solomon (who lived from 1915 to 2001) met at Fairmount Junior High School in Cleveland. He was 15 and she was 13. They dated steadily through high school. Ruth gave birth to their first daughter, Gloria, in 1932. They married in 1935 and had two more daughters together: Marlene, born in 1939, and Beverly, born in 1940. They remained married until his death in 1980. Owens first came to national attention when he was a student of East Technical High School in Cleveland; he equaled the world record of 9.4 seconds in the 100-yard (91 m) dash and long-jumped 24 feet 9 1⁄2 inches (7.56 meters) at the 1933 National High School Championship in Chicago. He attended Ohio State University. Jesse Owens won a record eight individual NCAA championships, four each in 1935 and in 1936. He worked at part time jobs to pay for school. He was forced to stay in “black only” hotels and he ate at “blacks only” restaurants. Jesse Owens' greatest achievement came in a span of 45 minutes on May 25, 1935, during the Big Ten meet at Ferry Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he set three world and tied a fourth. He equaled the world record for the 100 yard dash(9.4 seconds); and set world records in the long jump (26 ft 8 1⁄4 in or 8.13 m, a world record that would last 25 years); 220-yard (201.2 m) sprint (20.3 seconds); and 220-yard (201.2m) low hurdles (22.6 seconds, becoming the first to break 23 seconds).
He came to Berlin in 1936 to compete for the United States at the Summer Olympics. During this time, Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany. Hitler was a racist, an anti-Semite, an evil murderer, and an extremist. Fans in Berlin celebrated Owens’ arrival according to fellow American athlete James LuValle (who won bronze in the 400 meters). He usually had soldiers to protect him as he left the athletes’ village. Just before the competitions, Owens was visited in the Olympic village by Adi Dassler, the founder of the Adidas athletic shoe company. He persuaded Owens to wear Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik shoes, the first sponsorship for a male African American athlete. The 1936 Summer Olympic Games had huge crowds in Berlin. On August 3, he won the 100m sprint with a time of 10.3s, defeating teammate college friend Ralph Metcalfe by a tenth of a second and defeating Tinus Osendarpof the Netherlands by two tenths of a second. On August 4, he won the long jump with a leap of 26 feet 5 inches (8.05 m), later crediting his achievement to the technical advice he received from Luz Long, the German competitor whom he defeated.
On August 5, he won the 200m sprint with a time of 20.7s, defeating Mack Robinson (the older brother of Jackie Robinson). On August 9, Owens won his fourth gold medal in the 4x100 sprint relay when coach Dean Cromwell replaced Jewish-American sprinters Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller with Owens and Ralph Metcalfe, who teamed up with Frank Wykoff and Foy Draper to set a world record of 39.8s in the event. This performance was not equaled until Carl Lewis won gold medals in the same events at the Soviet-boycotted 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. On the first day of competition, Hitler shook hands with only the German victors and then left the stadium. Olympic committee officials insisted Hitler greet every medalist or none at all. Hitler opted for the latter and skipped all further medal presentations. Historians have noted that Hitler may have left the games at this time due to looming rain clouds that might have postponed the games. This happened well before Owens was to compete, but has largely come to be believed to be the "snub.” There has been debate on whether Hitler snubbed Owens or not. Eric Brown and Mischner claimed that Hitler shook hands with Owens. Regardless of the truth (Hitler was an evil murderous person and I’m glad that the Nazi Empire was defeated in 1945), Jesse Owens made extraordinary and excellent accomplishments during the Olympics.
Owens was allowed to travel with and stay in the same hotels in Germany as whites, while at the time African Americans in many parts of the United States had to stay in segregated hotels while traveling. During a Manhattan ticker-tape parade along Broadway's Canyon of Heroes in his honor, someone handed Owens a paper bag. Owens paid it little mind until the parade concluded. When he opened it up, he found the bag contained $10,000 in cash. Owens's wife Ruth later said, "And he [Owens] didn't know who was good enough to do a thing like that. And with all the excitement around, he didn't pick it up right away. He didn't pick it up until he got ready to get out of the car." After the parade, Owens had to ride the freight elevator at the Waldorf-Astoria to reach the reception honoring him. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) never invited Jesse Owens to the White House following his triumphs at the Olympics games. While the Democrats had bid for the support of Owens, Owens rejected those overtures: as a staunch Republican, he endorsed Roosevelt's Republican opponent, Alf Landon, in the 1936 presidential race. By the 1940’s, he ended his track and field career. He worked baseball leagues. He ran businesses and worked in other ventures. It is a historical fact that at first, Jesse Owens refused to support the black power salute by African-American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Later, he changed his mind.
In his 1972 book "I Have Changed," he expressed a more revolutionary opinion by mentioning the following progressive words: “I realized now that militancy in the best sense of the word was the only answer where the black man was concerned, that any black man who wasn't a militant in 1970 was either blind or a coward.” A few months before his death, Owens had tried unsuccessfully to convince President Jimmy Carter to withdraw his demand that the United States boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics. He argued that the Olympic ideal was supposed to be observed as a time-out from war and that it was above politics. He died of lung cancer at the age of 66 in Tucson, Arizona. He was buried in Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago. He was heroic black man who represented black excellence and his strength plus courage of the human spirit. So, I do recommend the film “Race” as it shows the story of the life of a strong black man who performed despite the odds. Hitler wanted to show the world that Aryan people were the dominant race, which was a lie. Jesse Owens proved him wrong and he was the most successful athlete of the 1936 Games. His four track and field gold medals at the single Olympics included the 100m, 200m, 4X100 relay, and the long jump. The record was unbroken for 48 years. Black excellence is real and Black is Beautiful.
The Bridge of Spies
The movie Bridge of Spies is about the events of the Cold War. It was directed by Steven Spielberg. The story was about the arrest of Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in New York City in June 1957 and his subsequent exchange for U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers some five years later. The lawyer, who represented Abel in court, was the lawyer James Donovan. James Donovan was played by the actor Tom Hanks. The spy trade would come in early 1962. The film’s script was co-written by British playwright Mark Charman and American filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. The film is based partly on Donovan’s 1964 memoir “Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Abel and Francis Gary Powers.” The movie begins in 1957 during the peak of the Cold War. Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), under surveillance by the FBI, goes about his business in Brooklyn, which includes amateur painting and retrieving hidden messages. FBI agents raid his apartment—quite illegally as a matter of fact, as they have no search warrant or “probable cause.” James Donovan was a prominent New York attorney whom was defending a life insurance company against a legitimate claim. He is called on by the local bar association to represent Abel. Donovan is hesitant about it first, because he said that his law days are far behind him. Yet, he represents Abel since he believes that Abel was unlawfully arrested and he feels a sense of duty. “Everyone will hate me, but at least I’ll lose,” he quips.
Donovan is selected in part because of his role in the Nuremberg war crime trials, where he served as an associate prosecutor on the staff of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, and as general counsel to the OSS (forerunner of the CIA) during World War II. He sees Abel as a very intelligent human being. In his memoir, the lawyer wrote that the Soviet agent “was an extraordinary individual, brilliant and with the consuming intellectual thirst of every lifetime scholar. He was hungry for companionship and the trading of thoughts.” Donovan was Abel’s only visitor during his imprisonment of almost five years. Abel is calm, collected and highly intelligent. When Donovan notes that “You don’t seem terribly alarmed,” the Soviet spy replies, “Would it help?” This line will recur several times. Donovan views Abel (who worked with Soviet Intelligence in 1927. Her survived the purges of the 1930’s and he refused to cooperate with the FBI) not as Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (who were executed a few years earlier as authorities accused them of being Soviet spies. People debate on the Rosenbergs' innocence or guilt to this very day). Donovan (who was a well connected person to Wall Street and the intelligence community) said that he or Abel is not an U.S. citizen, but just an honorable “soldier” working for his homeland of the Soviet Union.
During this time, the CIA created the U-2 spy plan. A group of former Air Force pilots have brought in to fly the aircraft like Gary Powers (played by Austin Stowell). The U-2 flies at high attitudes, CIA officials explain, and takes pictures with it large format cameras. The pilots are instructed to go down with their planes and are provided with poisoned needles that will kill them instantly. In the Abel case, Donovan said that even a “communist spy” like Abel deserves due process. Yet, judge isn’t buying his argument. The judge, Mortimer Byers (played by Dakin Matthews), makes it evident in conversations with Donovan and the prosecutor that he expects and plans to facilitate a rapid conviction. He dismisses Donovan’s argument that the FBI raid was illegal and generally ensures the case goes smoothly for the government. When Donovan’s eventual appeal, on the grounds that evidence had been seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment, reaches the US Supreme Court, it is rejected in a 5-4 decision. Abel was almost sentences to death (as the first count conspiracy to transmit defense information to the Soviet Union was a capital offense), but the judge sentences the Soviet spy to decades in prison. Abel served time in an Atlanta federal penitentiary. Gary Powers in 1960 was shot down in the USSR in 1960. He was interrogated. In a Soviet courtroom, he is sentenced to three years in prison and seven years hard labor. (American officials mistakenly believed that at an altitude of 70,000 feet the U-2 would be out of range of Soviet radar and ground-to-air missiles. They were wrong on both counts. Moreover, they sent Powers on a spy run on May 1, a holiday, when there was much less air traffic than usual). The CIA becomes anxious that Powers will spill the beans.
Abel is essentially railroaded to prison. As law professor Jeffrey Kahn observes, in The Case of Colonel Abel, by the time of his indictment in August 1957, “Abel had been held by federal agents in solitary confinement and total secrecy for forty-eight days, two thousand miles from the place of his initial arrest, without meaningful access to counsel, and without having appeared before any judicial officer for any reason.” Donovan goes to Berlin to negotiate the release of Gary Powers in exchange for Abel. Donovan is successful, but there was tensions. The Soviets and the East German governments are united. Also, an American student is released by East German Stalinists. East Germans wanted to be respected as a sovereign nation. Donovan succeeded in his mission. During this time, the American establishment promoted “democratic values” overtly while carrying on imperialist goals overseas. In essence, Donovan sincerely believed in his defendants’ basic constitutional rights while remaining a Cold Warrior. The movie showed Soviet and East German officials as more negative while giving Abel a very sympathetic characterization. Today, we face torture, imperialism, and Guantanamo Bay, which is similar to the times of the Cold War. The Cold War dealt with anti-communism, the overthrow of the Czar in the 1917 Revolution, CIA war crimes, various wars, and other issues. US-Russian relations today are strained. Also, we face torture, police state actions, militarism, state violence, and violations of constitutions rights in American society today. So, the movie (whose first half is stronger than the second half as the second half goes into jingoistic American patriotism) omits the complex nature of the Cold War while it should instruct us on due process and the struggle of the fight for justice that we must fight today.
The 24th James Bond film came out in 2015 and its name is Spectre. Sam Mendes is the director of the movie. The film was very expensive to create having a budget of about $245 million. In this movie, James Bond fights against the global criminal organization called Spectre. Spectre wants a global surveillance network. Yet, Bond works with British Intelligence too. So, Spectre and British Intelligence are two sides of the same coin (which deals with a hegemony seeking global influence in the world). The Aston Martin DB10 was driven by Bond (played by Daniel Craig) in the film. The movie has a lot of predictive programming and information about how the world is indeed much stranger than fiction. The James Bond character is a fictional character that is based on the novels written by Ian Fleming. Ian Fleming got his insights from his time as a naval intelligence officer, Agent OO7. Ironically, Daniel Craig appeared as Queen Elizabeth II’s escort in the opening ceremony video of the 2012 London Olympics, which shows the fictional story of how James Bond is tied to the British Royal system. In essence, the story of James Bond is a story of how James Bond wants to guard the elite’s interests. Ian Fleming’s novels and the James Bond movies have James Bond defending the British Empire ultimately and its interests globally. Historically, the British Empire has been complicit in imperialism, economic exploitation, murder, slavery, and other evils. The movie Spectre is about different factions of the global power structure fighting each other for the same goal, which is the takeover of the world system (or the new world order). Spectre has James Bond fighting a mysterious enemy with global reach. James Bond in one scene is walking with people in Mexico celebrating Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead. James Bond works for the British government and MI6 and the Spectre group is representative of the global, occult elite that works behind the scenes. The octopus is the logo of the Spectre organization in the movie. The Octopus has tentacles everywhere hence the symbol. In real life, the octopus is the logo of the US National Reconnaissance Organization. That group has its spy satellite NROL-39, which his used for mass surveillance in space. Its logo has an octopus over Earth with the words “Nothing is beyond our reach.” Spectre in the film acts as a surveillance group too.
David Bowie recently passed away in 2016. He has been praised by many people throughout the world. It is a fact that the artist David Bowie was influenced by the occult and his last video “Blackstar” has many esoteric meanings that he wanted to convey to the public. He passed away as a public of cancer and he was a very private person in terms of disclosing illnesses and so forth. His last album is also called “Blackstar.” In essence, his final video was a swan song that outlined his conclusion of his musical career. He knew that he has little time left, so his final video fully outlined his personal views on esoteric thinking and spirituality. He has been an artist for over five decades and he produced 28 albums. He influenced punk rock, rock, and other genres of music. David Bowie has used drugs and he was obsessed with Western occultism. He was born in 1947 as David Robert Jones. In one of his famous previous songs named “Quicksand,” he wanted to be closer to the Golden Dawn and wear Crowley’s uniform. He said that he has a potential of a superman. Those lines outline the views of the secret society of the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn was a magical secret society. It was formed during the 19th century that mixed the Kabbalah, astral travel, magic, yoga, etc. to communicate with that its followers claim to be “angels” and demons.
Aleister Crowley was the 20th century British occultist who was a member of the Golden Dawn and he founded the O.T.O. The OTO is the Ordo Templi Orientist. Crowley loved to promote sex magick, the occult, and he followed his Thelema philosophy (or do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law). Crowley was a wicked man who died in the 1940’s. David Bowie dressed in Egyptian garb.
In 1976, David Bowie admitted in an interview that: “…My overriding interest was in Kabbalah and Crowleyism. That whole dark and rather fearsome never world of the wrong side of the brain.” (David Bowie, from “Bowie on Bowie: Interviews and Encounters with David Bowie” by Sean Egan).
The Kabbalah is mystical view that the Universe was created by various beings or entitled like Kether, etc. It also has other complex spiritual views as well. The Kabbalah according to Albert Pike is linked to Freemasonry. Like the album Space Oddity, Blackstar is about Bowie’s desire to float into space and ascended into enlightenment. Like many artists, he developed an alter ego called Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy is portrayed as an androgynous alien rock star who sent by the “Infinites” to announce the coming of Starmen to Earth. In his mythos, Ziggy is the legendary a count or vision that society will collapse and the Infinites will come. Ziggy is the prophet or “Messiah” to sacrifice his life and change the essence of the Universe. The androgynous nature of Ziggy Stardust occultly represents a state of higher spiritual level. In occultism, the highest stage of illumination is achieved through the internalization of duality and the equilibrium between opposing forces – good and evil, active and passive, male and female. This concept is symbolically represented by the horned, hermaphrodite god Baphomet. It is also represented in alchemical symbolism such as the Alchemical Androgyne (as shown in an ancient picture from the Turbae Philosophorum from 1750). Ziggy Stardust represents a contradiction. Ziggy claims to be enlightened, but he is a promiscuous rock star bent on heavy drug use, which is the anti-thesis of conscious behavior. Ziggy ascends from the “heavens” to Earth to show a message to humanity. Bowie’s song “Station to Stations” praises the Kabbalah with words like “from Kether to Malkuth.” This is in reference to the Kabbalistic tree of life from lower levels into high levels go into “enlightenment.” The Kabbalah believes that power from the Godhead to the physical realm created the Universe.
Blackstar was the video that he released 2 days before his death. The video in essence shows Bowie’s transition from a human being to a “god.” The video starts with a dead astronaut in a remote planet. A young girl opens the helmet and finds an ornate skull. The skull is revered by people as some artifacts form the gods. The grand priestess held the skull between two rows of women who tremble in its presence. The lyrics express themselves in an incantation like an occult ritual. The video has men and women being separated like two (of male and female). 3 crucified scarecrow look to be animated by an unholy force. They move around. The video relates to sex magic and a mocking of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the thieves. It is Crowleyan as admitted by the director of the video Johan Renck has said. The term Blackstar refers to the Midnight sun occult concept as shown by Manly P. Hall’s “The Secret Teachings of all Ages.” He possibly made reference to his impending death and he spoke of himself as “I’m the Great I am (I’m a Blackstar). “I am that I am” is the response God used in the Bible when Moses asked for his name. Bowie plays the role of three characters in the video. He acts as a blind follower with buttons used instead of eyes. He acts simple and ignorant. His blind character is scared of what is to come during the afterlife. He acts as the preacher holding the Book of Blackstar with his followers behind him. He also acts as the trickster acting flamboyant and acts in an eccentric way. The video shows his personality. The masses question his motivations in his life (he acts eccentric, he shows a message, and he feels that he is blind to many ways of the world), but ultimately he is a person who desires to be the Blackstar. Lazarus in the New Testament died of an illness and was resurrected four days later by Jesus Christ. Bowie had terminal illness. So, the video shows Bowie as believing in spiritual eternity.
The last part of the video has Bowie returning to the closet as saying goodbye to the physical world. So, David Bowie is creative and has inspired many artists. Also, part of his legacy is his investigation and glamorization of occult philosophies.
I haven’t written my thoughts completely on my views on Beyoncé’s views on Formation in elaborate terms until now. I will divide my thoughts into many sections. First, I will outline the major parts of the video. Then, I will show the strengths of the video Formation or what I agree with in the video. Later, I will show what I disagree with the video. After that, I will expose the white right wing backlash against the video (which I find deplorable and repugnant) and finally I will show my conclusion. It’s time to begin. The video was recorded in LA, but it references to New Orleans. It begins with Beyoncé standing on a New Orleans cop car with a flood of water everywhere. That is to signify the deadly, tragic events of Hurricane Katrina when a lot of black people died by the waters, neglect, murder, and starvation. The Bush administration and all levels of government, during late 2005, made a terrible response to help the victims of Katrina, especially in its early stages. Post-Katrina New Orleans has shown many black teachers being fired from their jobs unjustly. Many teachers filed and won a lawsuit against the government because of their terminations and that still didn’t save their jobs. Later, it shows people in New Orleans and a lot of the culture of the South (from people dancing to religious leaders). Beyoncé dances with other people and she shows her daughter Blue Ivy. There are black women of many shades dancing. The video talks about black sexuality and black religious expression (as it shows a church service where black people celebrate God). There are black men with suits and ties. It shows Beyoncé having tons of celebration of Southern life and she is just not caring what her haters have to say. She talks about Red Lobster and she shows marching bands with black people on them. It shows a Southern plantation home and a shot of graffiti on a wall that reads “Stop shooting us.”
I do disagree with the video on many issues. I don’t agree with the video on its massive usage of profanity. Little children in my view shouldn’t be listening to this song's lyrics. Anyone can promote social consciousness without the massive usage of profanity. Also, the end of the video has lyrics that defend capitalism (with reference to Bill Gates and other material items) and we know that capitalism in general has been a detriment to the growth of the black community and humanity in general. History has shown us that we can never accommodate to the capitalist system. Deray McKesson claims to be part of the BLM, but he supports TFA, which supports neoliberal policies in education. Also, he Twitted a question on whether the Postal service should be privatized or not. That is telling and Deray is running as a Democratic for the Baltimore mayorship, which is not part of political independence. In this time, many Democrats want to co-opt the Black Lives Matter for their own ends. We know that many Republicans are xenophobes, misoygnists, bigots, etc. That’s easy to witness, but we don’t need to worship Democrats either. We must end neoliberal capitalism and replace it with a system of justice. Beyoncé sings that: “…Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess.” That is in reference to the Illuminati rumors about Beyoncé and Jay Z. The truth is that occult symbolism is found all over the music industry and the corporate heads of the industry use many symbols for the making of profit. That’s a fact. People, who sincerely investigate symbolism, secret societies, and things of that nature, should never be unfairly shamed or disrespected. On the other hand, those who use slander against people as Illuminati members (whether they are celebrities or not) under the guise of showing “Illuminati” information, should be condemned. That’s my position.
The disrespectful, evil right wing backlash (which is opposite of the legitimate critiques of the song) against the Formation video is filled with lies and slander. The far right backlash is what I deplore. The parts of the video which show the experiences of many black people is inspiring. Art will be shown in diverse ways and the lie that Beyoncé wanted to bash all cops is the nefarious slander that many conservatives want to advance. Blackness is not about embracing respectability politics unconditionally. Blackness is diverse and it will be unapologetic filled with intellectual courage, dance, art, music, and other facets of human existence. These are many of the same ones saying that we need to get over slavery, which is offensive. Yet, these same people are not getting over Formation. Defying bourgeois expectations and to show Blackness without shame is sacrosanct. For people like Rudy Giuliani and Tomi Lahren to call Beyoncé’s video and Super Bowl performance as race baiting and anti-police is the height of absurdity. Tomi Lahren totally lied about Dr. King, Malcolm X, and the Black Panther Party. Dr. King sympathized with democratic socialism and wanted civil disobedience. The Black Panther Party wanted self-defense against white racism. It was created in 1966 and the BPP supported Malcolm X’s views. Malcolm X wanted unity (not division) among black people in the pan-African Diaspora.
Malcolm X always condemned injustice and he believed in opposing capitalism too by his own words in 1965. The Black Lives Matters movement talked about the injustice of police brutality. For something as simple as opposing police brutality being reviled by white far right people shows that we need more Black Unity. White racists do have this guilt complex and they constantly stalk black people all of the time. The Black Panther party members were victims of assassination, lies, and abuse of their human rights by the FBI, the local police, etc. The FBI once called the BPP as the most dangerous domestic threat in America, so the original Black Panther Party was the real deal. Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were murdered by the Chicago Police when Hampton’s pregnant girlfriend was almost killed. The Black Panthers never burned crosses, they never invaded lands, they never organized hate rallies, they never and went and advanced racism. So, real history must be shown in the world.
The racist backlash against Beyoncé is deplorable and it is overtly an attack not only on the Black Panther Party and Beyoncé. It is not so slick, blatant attack on black people's right to celebrate our black cultural heritage. Many times of the year, I saw Brothers and Sisters creatively perform in marching bands. Our dances, our foods, our rhythm, and our presence signify the diverse qualities of the black experience. These racist haters don't understand and they don't desire to understand blackness. They (when these extremists are filled with arrogance, hate, and total jealousy of black people) believe in the two myths of the infallibility of nearly all police and American exceptionalism. We should control our lives not the cops. The cops should never own or control our every move. We should live in the streets of America without cop oppression. We own ourselves as human beings. The police institution, the courts, and the prison system (which has ruined lives and violated the human rights of many people as documented by Sister Michelle Alexander and the late Brother George Jackson) perpetrate the same system of oppression against black people, people of color, the poor, immigrants, the homeless, women, etc.
Also, we have the right to express ourselves as black people. I believe in Black Unity and in the power of Black Love too. These bigots don't know is that they are being used as pawns to promote divisiveness among people of every color (while the financial capitalist class is laughing all the way to the bank. Members of this same class are responsible for the Great Recession too. Class oppression must be fought against too). We believe in truths of black liberation and human cultural expression beyond the crippling limitations of respectability politics. They want to have a backlash. So, we will respond by increasing the volume and showing our dynamic, black image even more as Black is Beautiful.
In conclusion, Beyoncé’s Formation has caused spirited debate. Many people love it and many hate it. It is very important that people should be more concerned with freedom and equality than a video. The truth is that the video has strengths and weaknesses that must be shown. Formation is filled with creative imagery, great dancing, and profound images. Also, it is important for us to be revolutionaries. A music video alone doesn't cause a revolution. Revolutionary actions involve sacrifice, courage, civil disobedience, and standing up against oppression plus being opposed to tyranny. Revolutionary deeds mean that we ought to fight for justice and realize that we reject neoliberal capitalism, xenophobia, sexism, and imperialism (as the white and black bourgeoisie want privilege and we are against the agenda of the establishment). We want justice and black liberation. I am all in formation for anti-imperialism, pro-truth, and pro-freedom totally. We want black expression and we desire black freedom without compromise.
The truth exists. For generations and thousands of years, righteous men and righteous women have told people about how mainstream society has done corruption and people have the right to repent and change in a more positive direction. Since Hollywood’s inception, stereotypes and other evils have been promoted from it. Many films even show themes related to Gnosticism since some films promote diverse spiritual traditions. It should be no surprise that many Hollywood pictures show a hatred of God or disgust with God. Also, Hollywood is linked to the military industrial complex. Hollywood movie producers and directors regular consult Pentagon leaders and other military officials to develop their own stories or movies about various themes. As we have seen, the military industrial complex has done coups, torture, unjust wars, drone strikes, and other evils for a long time. That is why we not only want to reject materialism and human exploitation. We are against the evil of war as we believe that peaceful coexistence is better mutual co-annihilation. We believe in environmental justice. That means that the poor should never live in housing filled with high levels of lead and they should never drink water filled with lead either. That means that toxic waste dumps should never exist in poor communities or any community where human beings live. That also means that animal species must be protected and pollution must be combated by progressive means. So, justice means that all people should have freedom and human liberty. Morality is not just about how we treat each other. Morality is about promoting economic justice in the world. We want people to have a living wage, we want adequate housing for people, and we desire progressive education to be shown among the human family too. We believe in love and we believe in community as we are interrelated as human beings. Therefore, we will continue to talk about these issues, stand up for truth, and believe that Hollywood never defines us. We can use our power to make the world better via courageousness and determination.