Politika: Art & Local Power In Manchester, UK

While the dominance of London in British political, social, cultural, and economic life is beyond question, the UK’s disputed second city of Manchester holds its own as a city of firsts, with current discussion following the Scottish referendum that it could become England’s first devolved city. With further devolution promised to Scotland, there are widespread calls from Manchester’s leaders and citizens to have control over the region’s taxes and public spending. Greater Manchester has a population of almost 3 million and an economy larger than Wales, yet full financial control and decision-making of the region’s and country’s affairs remains centralized in London. Manchester council leader Sir Richard Leese recently wrote: “Comparable cities in Europe, the likes of Munich and Barcelona, have far greater autonomy. The current position [for Manchester] is untenable.” Continue reading

Australian Imam Yahya Adel Ibrahim In The Wake Of Extraordinary “Anti-terrorism” Raids In Australia

Imam Yahya Abel Ibrahim

Imam Yahya Adel Ibrahim

ImportantCool associate Karun Cowper speaks to Australian Islamic educator and chaplain Imam Yahya Adel Ibrahim in the wake of extraordinary “anti-terrorism” raids targeting Australian Muslims sparked by intelligence reports that Islamist extremists were planning random killings in Australia. Continue reading

Confronting The NSA On Camera

ImportantCool associate Andy Beale puts an NSA recruiter on camera and on the spot, prompting an aggressive response

l Z" speaks with IC associate Andy Beale at the University of New Mexico careers fair on 17 September, 2014, before accosting his colleague.

“Neal Z” speaks with IC associate Andy Beale at the University of New Mexico careers fair on 17 September, 2014, before accosting his colleague.

I had a rather intense encounter with the NSA the other day.

On Wednesday 17 September, I decided to pay a visit to a University of New Mexico careers fair to have a chat with the NSA representative in attendance. Two videos, shot from different angles and featured on The Intercept, show an NSA employee identified only by his name tag as “Neal Z” becoming increasingly angry at having some basic facts about what the NSA does pointed out to him. He proceeds to attempt to steal a phone being used to record him before angrily storming off to call security. Continue reading

ImportantCool’s Ultimate Blacktop Team (And Assorted Drinking Games)

Photo by Austin Gerassimos Mackell

NBA 2K Blacktop mode might just become your favored drinking game.

With the release of NBA 2K15 just around the corner (7 October), it seems now is the time to offer the most informed opinion of who best to play with in NBA Blacktop mode. Some choices may seem obvious to you, and they are, but they have been hand-picked after months of trial and error with similarly brilliant players who, for whatever reason, just didn’t work out. While one could say having an all-time five this close to the new release is redundant, I say it just took the maximum amount of time to suss out who is the best. Continue reading

Why Ecuador? Change The Media, Change The World (Part 1)

Pichincha Volcano looms over Quito, the capital of Ecuador.

Pichincha Volcano looms over Quito, the capital of Ecuador.

Part 1: The Three Greatest Disasters of Our Time

In the first part of this two-part series, ImportantCool explains why the corporate media aided and abetted the invasion of Iraq, the financial crisis, and fossil-fueled global warming; and why we’ve looked to Ecuador as our headquarters in our quest to change the media and change the world.

This is a story of hope, but to tell it we need to start with the three biggest disasters of our time. When I say “our”, I’m referring to you, me, and the rest of the English-speaking world. Let’s not make the mistake of tacitly assuming that America or Britain speaks for the entire so-called “international community”. Continue reading

Why Ecuador? Change The Media, Change The World (Part 2)

Corporate Media vs People’s Government

In Part 1, we discussed the corporate media’s interest in profitable disasters, before explaining how the Ecuadorian people have managed to throw off the yoke of the 1 Percent. In Part 2, we’re going to break down Ecuadorian people government’s ongoing battle with the corporate media in its own country and in the United States, as well as drawing some lessons from Ecuador’s efforts to change the media.

When Ecuador brought a people’s government to power in 2007, it became the ideal headquarters for ImportantCool. Yet all throughout the Ecuadorian government’s years of success in improving the basic standards of living of its people, it has been locked in a political battle with its own domestic and international corporate media. Ecuador’s recent history shows us not only why we need to change the media, but some of the ways that we can do it. Continue reading

Rio Favela Media Building The Future In The Present

At 8 am on a weekday, the favela of Jacarezinho in the industrial North Zone of Rio de Janeiro is buzzing. Small traders selling everything from fresh fish to printer cartridges to enormous gold earrings line the favela’s main road. Residents heading to work and the community’s installed military police officers stand drink strong, sweet coffee and buttered bread at the lanchonete snack bars. One of Rio’s largest, and most stigmatized, favelas, Jacarezinho wakes up early. Continue reading