Bush Inspires New Renaissance...
in Political Satire and Activism on the Web
As you would expect, political and anti-Bush sentiment finds a ready outlet on the internet. The selection ranges from hilarious, to appalling, and everything in between. The web is a great place to find alternative viewpoints; this article provides a starting point for seeking out independent news and views in video and audio formats. For the political activist, musician and filmmaker, this introduction may help you find an audience for your material. There is no better way to reach an audience with your political message than to put it out there on the internet as a humorous video.
Note that this is pretty slow going even with 'high-speed' connection such as cable; viewers with older computers and/ or slower (i.e. phone modem speed) connections will be frustrated. Be sure to have current browser version and plugins, (described in the inset). Some sites will provide media in one format only, others in many formats and file sizes for your convenience.
I am aware of a handful of really superb political video websites, I'm sure that there are many more equally deserving examples, which I will link from the electronic version of this article.
Among the best sites providing a broad selection of political videos, we recommend MediaThatMattersFestival.org
Easily view 16 of the best entrants in the 5th annual festival. Each film is accompanied by links to organizations for further information and to take action.
The Pizza Surveillance Feature shows the invasive possibilities of your pizza delivery company having access to a government database. Links to more info on the Patriot Act and the National ID card. In The Luckiest Nut in the World, a singing "Mr. Peanut" and a sock puppet with a British accent tells the story of the American peanut and how trade regulations and the world bank policies decimated Senegal's ground nut industry... Great lyrics and melody and overall production... MediaThatMatters provides easy links to things to do to promote fair trade. These films require Quicktime. For info about Quicktime and other browser plugins required to view audio and video media online see the inset. Films are available on DVD for local screenings and a teacher's kit is also available. Submission deadline January 5, 2006.
A contest sponsored by Moveon PAC, to elicit 30-second anti-Bush ads. They got some doozies. The contest had 6 six winners from 26 finalists, and 150 top submission are now available online. Among the very powerful runners-up, be sure to see "I am a carpenter", which, as the name suggests, is a very simple statement of one man's political, social, and economic reality in 30 seconds. Videos are available in high-bandwidth and low-bandwidth versions.
The "Bush in 30 years" contest produced some winning Flash animations on Bush's social security plan.
the site has an interesting page of links to articles all about plitical ads.
"JibJab does not endorse issues, just comedy." Austin Lounge Lizards' "The Drugs I Need" is hilarious, melodious, and was sponsored by Consumers Union to support voters to "tell Congress to support the FACT Act, requiring drug companies to make public all the results of their clinical trial research and improve the safety of drugs currently on the market." It's just one of many, many entertaining and information animations you can see at JibJab (more than 50 at last count). Other political animations include "This Land", "Second Term", "Bush v. Gore", and "Funny Foreign Names". JibJab uses Flash.
Archive.org is not a political site per se, but it is one of the largest repositories of video and audio on the web, and much of it is political, both historic and up to the minute. The moving images archive include the Prelinger archives a massive collection in itself. Election 2004, World at War, Universal Newsreels, Feature Films, more. Archive.org "would love to host your digital artifacts. In order to do so, you will need to log in". If you are posting large amounts of video to the internet, or you material is getting lots of views, it can cost you for storage and bandwidth with your website host, so you might want to archive your material here for free. Archive.org also has software.
As an example of the powerful ameteur political video statements people are uploading to archive.org, take a look at this crass, sarcastic but credible and potent personal statement.
"Do have classified information you need to leak to the public? Need to blow the cover of a CIA agent in a hurry? Or maybe there's some ongoing intelligence work in a foreign country you'd like to disrupt? How about leaking the sexual orientation of a news reporter, just for spite? Then THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION is here to help. Put us to work for you, and find out why people say "Team Bush - Leaking Like A Greasy Asshole".
This rare archival video footage shows Pete Seeger, one of America's great political musicians.
Vital site for creative artists to share some of their works and retain some rights. "Offers a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors and artists. We have built upon the "all rights reserved" of traditional copyright to create a voluntary "some rights reserved" copyright. We're a nonprofit. All of our tools are free."
Library of Congress list of moving images archives online from around the world.
This site features a couple dozen flash animations on political themes including anti-Bush, many of which are quite pointed; however the production quality is not top-notch, and after a few selections it can get tiring to read lengthy text moving in all manners across the screen. "He's a Nazi" featuring Rush Limbaugh is one example of the rather crude and mostly unfunny satire. The animations are in Flash; some are available as standalone .exe files, in other words, that you can download and run on your own computer, rather than online. Some are available for Macintosh as SWF format files.
There are toons, audio and images also on the site. BushFlash has a store, but with only a very few items. There is a forum, but at first glance it did not appear to be active when I looked. The links section is well developed.
Animation and production quality is great. Provides a petition to sign, but this event is a little dusty by now. The 'more movies' link simply asks you to send your email address for their list. The site provides a number of other political flash movies, Chilean sea bass, Phillip Morris and Genetically Krafted, just to give a few examples. Clients include Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth. Be sure to see Protecting Civil Liberty, a simple animation with a surprisingly effective moment.
One of the their sites-campaigns is:
This site based on Cheney's duck-hunting trip with Scalia before a favorable High Court decision on the secrecy of Cheney's energy task force meetings. With Dubya as their retriever.
A clever campaign to send soap to Cheney to urge him to 'come clean'. Paid for by the Washington State Democratic Party.
Leadership happens. Not the slickest Flash production, but shows that anyone with a point to make can put together a reasonable video without a budget.
Mark Fiore's animations are slick and fun. Nuclear Fashion is just one of many animations available on this robust site, not all are political. New animation, "Homeland Stupidity". Flash site.
FulxView USA ~ audio & video directory and documentaries, on a wide variety of political topics, not just vote fraud and the September 11 events.
VideoActivism.org has categories for war and peace, food , global justice, and environment. Quicktime media for streaming or download.
"Weapons of Mass Deception." One excellent example of many film sites with trailers and clips.
I began this research using google, but along the way discovered a site that suggested that Google and the Intelligence Agencies are a little too cozy, and that this site could provide Google's same search results in a more private manner.
http://www.democracynow.org/ is a good source for alternative news videos and audios online. Archives and streaming live for RealPlayer.
Undercurrents provides a selection of numerous direct action videos, including Noam Chomsky, some are in Windows Media Player format.
Street Level TV is a socially conscious, independent, non-commercial news program that provides outlets for and information on environmental, social, and economic justice movements, as well as other politically relevant content. We focus on media produced in the San Francsico Bay Area with content that reaches beyond it. Has a Submissions page.
An animated Ant rants for 60 seconds on dozens of topics, including, Karl Rove: Sinister Sex Symbol. Funny, and great production quality.
John Kerry music video from gprime along with lots of other animations, games, etc.
Bush negotiates with Turkey from newgrounds, which has tons of other animations and fun stuff, some not suitable for children.
San Francisco Mime Troupe, political theater at its best.
Comedy Central's Daily Show with John Stewart. News that pulls no punches. Plenty of great humor and political commentary video clips, including interviews with politicos. Be sure to see the hilarious(President G.W.) Bush versus (Governor G.W.) Bush.
Wikipedia list of modern satirists (as well as "early" and "middle" satirists) includes musician Tom Lehrer.
Pianist Mark Russell deserves mention.
Want some good anti-Bush TV and radio links? Look no farther than ToppleBush.com
Videos of Bush doing silly things, and links to more video and audio clips.
Folk music is the original American political music. This site archives folk audio and video, for RealPlayer, Quicktime, low and high bandwidth. Folkstreams was kind enough to post a copy of their successful request for grant from NEH:
Great modern political songsters include:
Sweet Honey in the Rock.
browse the catalog for soundclips.
Site has lyrics and refers to Smithsonian for soundclips. (Broken link reported.)
This soundclip collection from the Smithsonian is not particularly political but it is astonishing and I like the geographic aspect of its catalog and searching. You can also search by instrument.
Jack Chernos is an activist musician in San Francisco, California. Armed with a five-string banjo, small amp and large songs, Jack Chernos plays pickets, protests and rallies across the country and around the world. His songs of historical significance include:
* Sold Down the River -- the song played from the Steelworkers' billboard truck during the WTO protests in Seattle,
* The Union Grand -- theme song of the Million Worker March, and
* The Silence of Good People -- inducted into the National Civil Rights Museum.
Jack is also the brother of this author and sponsored this article by requesting research on political music online.
Extensive list of political songs to download free from many various little-known independent musicians.
links to anti-bush songs
Radio's answer to Rush Limbaugh et al.
Independent Media at its best.
Union Songs list of more than 100 links.
FreeSpeech.org has countless hours of video on news you won't see in the corporate media.
Not the biggest site on the list, but a good selection of political videos from a small to medium-sized production company.
Top-notch political video company and site. Submit your own video to the growing collection.
Political satire and animation.
Some of these political cartoons are not for children due to subject matter and language. Here are a few that are appropriate for children:
Characters in this animation are from Star Wars.
Meatrix, a commentary on factory farming and well-done (no pun intended) spoof on "Matrix", where "Morpheus" is a cow, "Moopheus".
Many of the ads are appropriate for children, and many use child actors.
Some websites with video are obvious sources for political news, such as cspan and ccn.
cspan.org uses RealPlayer.
Video is "now free". Nice feature of this page is that it gives the length of each clip, so you have some idea if you're choosing a small or large clip.
At first glance, it's not obvious if they have much video online. Some Newshour segments are available in audio only:
For pure fun, check out the official website of Will Vinton, the creator of Claymation, and of the California raisins and many other lesser known, more twisted characters.
updated daily to convey information and provide community. About 300,000 people a week use ZNet's articles, watch areas and sub-sites, translations, archives, links to other progressive sites, daily commentary program, and more. Z has tons of articles, and blogs, and 10 videos available for sale, but not for viewing online.
You can read sample chapters of Mike's books online here but there's no sign of video clips at this site:
Michael's site provide links to actions your can take, and teacher's guides.
Controversial director OLIVER STONE has hit out at US President GEORGE W BUSH for "misusing" his powers after the terrorist attacks on September 11th (01). The NATURAL BORN KILLERS film-maker, who is currently preparing the first major Hollywood movie to deal with the 2001 atrocities, believes Bush is the wrong man to lead America at the moment, and he is particularly angry about the US invasion of Iraq.
In my hours of research political video sites, I found that the conservative right is humorless.
Top 10 Website Tips for (Political) Musicians
1. Get your site listed on well-known sites with good search engine standing and trafic. It's just not possible for you to get as much notoriety and traffic otherwise.
2. Make your site easy to use. It's hard enough to find you, don't make visitors have to look around your site to hear your songs.
3. Make sure its easy to buy your CD's. Set up a Paypal account. Consider a Paypal donation button.
4. Want to play more gigs? Set up a page just for bookings.
5. If your site requires a media player, provide a link to that download site.
6. Provide your media in various versions, for high and low bandwidth, and for various players.
7. Connect to relevant campaigns so peope can take action.
8. Make it fun.
9. Have your audio accompanied by video if at all possible. The internet is a visual medium.
10. Call me for website services.
Download the most current version of Media Players:
Quicktime is an Apple product that is also for Windows.
Windows Media Player is a Microsoft product.