The Scum Gentry Journal

News from Beyond

The Handmaid's Tale: A Timely Warning

The Handmaid’s Tale: A Timely Warning

Politics
Zack Breslin
The television show The Handmaid’s Tale is nearing the conclusion of its third season and while the show is perhaps not quite hitting the heights of earlier series it remains essential viewing. For those who haven’t seen it (don’t worry, you’ll find no spoilers here), The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the Margaret Atwood book of the same name, tells the story of the fictional theocratic state, Gilead, which has replaced a United States that has collapsed against the backdrop of political instability, declining fertility and environmental catastrophe. In Gilead, the state forces fertile women to become child-bearing slaves (Handmaids) to a Christian Fundamentalist elite. It is a dystopic society in which all the power is held by ...
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A Filmmaker Reflects on Cinema as Art

A Filmmaker Reflects on Cinema as Art

Culture
Mahum Jamal
Today I am in Berlin and meandered into two probing contemporary art exhibits. Actually, the first was a wealthy collector’s personal collection which, for me, did not do much except reflect on a history of powerful, wealthy families defining taste. The second was more my speed, an academic look at two artists at the KN Space for Art in Context. A labyrinth of open spaces webbed together in highly compelling geometry filled with video installations, each piece separated into open rooms, but still together given the unique exhibit architecture. Both artists, David Wojnarowicz and Reza Abdoh, use video to function as powerful statements. Reza Abdoh used film to capture his theatre: dramatic, and surreal. A man is ...
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The Lessons of Rome: Our Neofeudal Oligarchy

The Lessons of Rome: Our Neofeudal Oligarchy

Commentary
Charles Hugh Smith
Our society has a legal structure of self-rule and ownership of capital, but in reality it is a Neofeudal Oligarchy. The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 is not an easy, breezy read; its length and detail are daunting. The effort is well worth it, as the book helps us understand how the power structures of societies change over time in ways that may be largely invisible to those living through the changes. The Inheritance of Rome focuses on the lasting influence of Rome’s centralized social and political structures even as centralized economic power and trade routes dissolved ...
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Corporate Bias in the UK Media

Corporate Bias in the UK Media

Politics
Mark Tweedy
Since journalists overwhelmingly rely on the voices of elites, elites have a disproportionate influence on the media agenda, acting as the ‘primary definers’ who set the framework of interpretation against which all subsequent voices are forced to insert themselves. While voices on the right-wing of the political spectrum often claim that the media has an implicit left-wing agenda, it is corporations, not leftist academics, which enforce politically correct limits on speech. By contrast, ordinary people who appear in the news are constructed primarily as passive consumers, reacting to the agendas set by these elites. If the UK press had a left wing agenda, why would they not support Jeremy Corbyn? After all he embodies many left-wing ideas ...
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Pro-Life, Pro-God, Pro-Ireland: Abort the Abortionists

Pro-Life, Pro-God, Pro-Ireland: Abort the Abortionists

Satire
Fionnuala Hanley Reyes
The story is a familiar one. A fourteen-year-old homeless woman finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy. She has a man in her life, an itinerant, much older than she is, but the child is not his. She doesn’t know how to explain this to him or how they’ll cope with an extra mouth to feed. Will he leave her when he finds out the baby is not genetically his? Pose this question to the liberals and the solution—they’ll scoff—is simple. Abort the innocent, kill the child before it has a chance to stand on its own two feet. Problem solved. Simple indeed. As a former member of Seanad Éireann, as well as a close runner-up in ...
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Starvation Sanctions Are Worse Than Overt Warfare

Starvation Sanctions Are Worse Than Overt Warfare

Politics
Caitlin Johnstone
“We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday,” President Trump tweeted last week. “I look forward to the day that Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again — The sooner the better!” Iran’s economy is already floundering due to the steadily mounting sanctions that the Trump administration has been heaping upon it since its withdrawal from the JCPOA last year. Crucial goods are four times the price they used to be, sick Iranians are having difficulty obtaining life-saving medicine, and life in general has been getting much more difficult for the poorest and frailest Iranian civilians. For this reason, it is a very safe bet that there have been Iranians who ...
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The Psychopaths Want War

The Psychopaths Want War

Politics
Zack Breslin
Once more, tensions are rising in the Middle East as analysts warn that the ongoing strategic contest between the US and Iran might result in war. On the 13th June, two oil tankers were attacked and set ablaze in the Straits of Hormuz, off the coast of Iran. Who the perpetrators were is not clear, although inevitably the US placed the blame on their regional nemesis, Iran. The US military released video footage and photographs that are purported to back up these claims, although the governments of several nations, including Germany, have expressed scepticism. The incident was the latest in a series of unexplained attacks on oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz. The US blames Iran ...
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Britain's Meanest Toughs: Terry Sleach

Britain’s Meanest Toughs: Terry Sleach

Satire
Brip Spears
As the host of “Extreme Wilderness Survival Affront with Brip Spears” as well as “Brip Spears: South American Death Life” and “Introducing: Brip Spears – Explorer Extraordinaire presents”, I’ve faced some of the toughest and most unforgiving climes on the planet. I’ve scaled the peaks of Mount Jillibonzaro (where I was forced to extract nutrition from pearls of my own faeces to reach maximum fitness in advance of my bare-chested run to the bottom), I’ve swam the snake-infested waters of the Zamzo River and survived to tell the tale (with only minor bites to the surface of my scrotum and wider genital area—everywhere else was a mess), I’ve even battled scores of violently frenzied Sherpas in a ...
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