Foreclosure Crisis Leaving Community Group Homeless

17 06 2008


Since 1992, the “recycled” house has been home to six young people, living in community – dividing up chores, holding biweekly house meetings, organizing community potlucks and parties. It has been a haven for college students trying to complete their theses, recent graduates making their way into the workforce, and others enjoying the “community” feel of the house. Known as “The 47th Street House”, this house has seen over 100 residents in the past 16 years, always full, with reasonable rent in this high-priced town and prospective roommates on a long waiting list. Residents work together to keep the house full of renters, the yard neat and clean, and everything in working order. “Living in this house has changed my life,” said resident Lynn Jacobsen, noting the sense of responsiblity and community living in the house entails.

In January, tenants were served with a lis pendens notice – the rent that they had been paying for the past 1 1/2 years to an absentee landlord had never been applied to the mortgage. The house was to be foreclosed. Right away, residents and friends organized. They secured a loan and got in contact with the bank in hopes of buying the house themselves. The only problem? The bank was virtually silent, would not return phone calls, and in the end, was not willing to sell.

The house will be up for auction at a foreclosure sale on Wednesday, June 18 at 8:30am. Current residents will be in attendence, with video cameras, as part of a documentary in remembrance of the house. Bidders would need to supply the full amount owed in cash at the time of the sale – no mortgages allowed.

This is just one example of effects of the nationwide foreclosure epidemic, which has hit Sarasota hard. If places like these which offer affordable rent are virtually inaccessible for purchase by “the little guy” then who does buy them? How can the cost stay down? And where do low income residents live in the meantime?

Contact: iggyspoon [at] gmail [dot] com





Steal This Film

4 03 2008

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Tuesday, March 4th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

6:00 PM to 6:40 – Steal This Film pt 1

Steal This Film is a film documenting the movement against intellectual property released via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol.

The film is notable for its critical analysis of an alleged regulatory capture attempt performed by the Hollywood film lobby to leverage economic sanctions by the United States government on Sweden through the WTO. Alleged aims included the application of pressure to Swedish police into conducting a search and seizure against Swedish law for the purpose of disrupting The Pirate Bay’s BitTorrent tracker.

6:45 PM to 7:30 PM – Steal This Film pt 2

This part examines the technological and cultural aspects of the copyright wars, and the implications of the internet for copying. It includes an exploration of Mark Getty’s infamous statement that ‘intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century’. It was selected for the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival and South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It was also shown during the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow called it ‘an amazing, funny, enraging and inspiring documentary series’.

 





THE CENTURY OF THE SELF: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

3 12 2007

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Wednesday, December 5th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

5 PM and 6 PM – Century of the Self Part Four – Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering (60 min)

This episode explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfil the inner desires of the self.

Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people’s inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products.

Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s.

The politicians believed they were creating a new and better form of democracy, one that truly responded to the inner feelings of individual. But what they didn’t realise was that the aim of those who had originally created these techniques had not been to liberate the people but to develop a new way of controlling them.





THE CENTURY OF THE SELF: There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads- He Must Be Destroyed

27 11 2007

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Wednesday, November 28th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

 

5 PM and 6 PM – There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed (60 min)
In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas in America. They were inspired by the ideas of Wilhelm Reich, a pupil of Freud’s, who had turned against him and was hated by the Freud family. He believed that the inner self did not need to be repressed and controlled. It should be encouraged to express itself.

Out of this came a political movement that sought to create new beings free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people’s minds by business and politics.

This programme shows how this rapidly developed in America through self-help movements like Werber Erhard’s Erhard Seminar Training – into the irresistible rise of the expressive self: the Me Generation.

But the American corporations soon realised that this new self was not a threat but their greatest opportunity. It was in their interest to encourage people to feel they were unique individuals and then sell them ways to express that individuality. To do this they turned to techniques developed by Freudian psychoanalysts to read the inner desires of the new self.





The Century of the Self: The Engineering of Consent

17 11 2007

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Wednesday, November 21st in the TA ( HCL 8 )

5 PM and 6 PM – The Century of the Self: The Engineering of Consent (60 min)

The beginning briefly recaps the previous episode so don’t worry if you missed the first part!

Description: The Engineering of Consent

The programme explores how those in power in post-war America used Freud’s ideas about the unconscious mind to try and control the masses.

Politicians and planners came to believe Freud’s underlying premise – that deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires and fears. They were convinced that it was the unleashing of these instincts that had led to the barbarism of Nazi Germany. To stop it ever happening again they set out to find ways to control this hidden enemy within the human mind.

Sigmund Freud’s daughter, Anna, and his nephew, Edward Bernays, provided the centrepiece philosophy. The US government, big business, and the CIA used their ideas to develop techniques to manage and control the minds of the American people. But this was not a cynical exercise in manipulation. Those in power believed that the only way to make democracy work and create a stable society was to repress the savage barbarism that lurked just under the surface of normal American life.





The Century of the Self: Happiness Machines

12 11 2007

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Wednesday, November 14th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

5 PM- The Century of the Self: Happiness Machines (60 min)

The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn’t need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.

Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar.

His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.

It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today’s world.





The Pharmacratic Inquisition

2 11 2007

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Wednesday, November 7th in the TA ( HCL 8 )

Forward Escape is back with one of the most blasphemous and heretical documentaries to date. If you’ve ever wondered whether Jesus Christ was a psychedelic fungi here’s your chance to find out. In truth, this documentary is a wonderful tour through Astrotheology, Religions, Shamanism, and the theories of John Marco Allegro, the first British representative on the international team who worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

5 PM- The Pharmacratic Inquisition (120 min)

Thousands of years ago, in the pre monarchic era, psychedelic/entheogenic substances where publicly known world wide, and respected for their ability to bring forth the divine, Yahweh, God, The Great Spirit, etc. by the many cultures who used them. Often the entire tribe or community would partake in the Entheogenic rites. These rites were often used in initiation into adulthood, for healing, to help guide the community in the decision process, and to bring the direct religious experience to anyone seeking it, that might take these psychedelic sacraments properly. Crusades were fought, Inquisitions were enacted, and the so-called “Pagan” or country people lost their lives for their Shamanic beliefs. This happened not only in Europe and the Middle East, but in the Americas under the Spanish Inquisition as well.

Trailer: