Filtering by Category: 2010

What are the consequences for those who kill lions?

Added on by PS Cat02.
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I'm a (mostly) peaceful cat. But when I see videos like this my heart goes up in flames and I want to shoot these people. Same with smugglers who cut beautiful tigers in half. Or anyone who'd kill a Snow Leopard to make a fancy rug. These cats are essentially defenseless, these people must be stopped. What am I doing making art and videos to increase understanding when I could be fighting cat killers?

Posted by Bunny.

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Bunny do you think your computer stopped working because it wanted us to go and fight people who kill cats?

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Kim, Bunny - You can't stop all the bad people who want to kill cats by killing them with guns. You just can't. You might be able to kill some of them but there will always be more and eventually one of them will kill you too. What about trying to dismantle the system that produces lion-killing as a desirable and available commodity?

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Pinky - if someone showed up here and was aiming to shoot you, wouldn't you want me to shoot them first?

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I don't want to die, but the answer is still no.

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Well that's where you and I are different then.

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I agree with Bunny. Because she is defending you who doesn't have a way to defend yourself.

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So... are we going?

Pinky Show named Most Awesome On Planet

Added on by PS Cat02.
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It has been brought to our attention that The Pinky Show was named one of "9 Amazing Political Art Projects of 2010" by ArtThreat. Obviously those guys at ArtThreat are smarter than the clueless editors at Artforum, ARTnews, Art in America, etc., who still haven't identified us as the best artists in the world.

Doesn't matter, we'll keep making things.

Here's what culture+politics writer Michael Lithgow had to say about us in the top 9 list:

"The Pinky Show received a lot of attention in 2010 and for good reason. Using unstoppably cute animation, the creative duo behind The Pinky Show is presenting unflinching critical analysis of some of the most difficult political issues of the day. Up for consideration: the relationship between colonialism and the construction of memory through museums and world’s fairs, the Hawaii indigenous sovereignty movement, the role of public education in producing conformity and subjugation, academic freedom, creepy children’s toys...
What makes this project so noteworthy is the way complex and abstract meditations on power and oppression are rendered in entirely accessible ways — a rendering of discourse to match the simplicity and yet charm of the animation. There are resources galore here for teaching, if addressing the obscured consequences and marginalized experiences under the current global regime — whatever it is: colonial, capitalist, democratic, fascist — is your goal."
Nice write-up, Thank You Michael Lithgow!

Another nice thing about being included on lists like this is that we get to find out about other amazing (their adjective, not mine) artists/artist collectives without having to do any research of our own. Which is so convenient because I don't follow the art world and wouldn't know where to start looking. If anybody out there knows about super-fabulous art projects out there, please let us know. I wouldn't mind learning more about art -n- stuff.

Posted by Bunny.

Bunny mailbag: Do you celebrate Christmas?

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Today's "Christmas e-mail", from Cecile:
Dear Bunny, I hope you answer this email in your mailbag. Do you and Pinky celebrate Christmas? Are either of you religious or at least a member of a religion?
Reply:
Dear Cecile, No. No. Best wishes, Bunny

Macintosh computer R.I.P.

Added on by PS Cat02.
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I feel a little sad. After Pinky and I drank morning coffee I went to turn on our computer like I do everyday. I pressed the "on" button but then nothing happened. It was dead. I almost couldn't believe it because day in, day out, it always works fine. I tried everything I could think of but it is still dead, so I guess it is dead permanently. I was surprised how sad I felt because actually Pinky and I don't own a lot of things so I never thought I would become attached to an object. But when I realized our computer wasn't going to wake up anymore I felt a little like I lost a small metal friend or something.

I was using that computer even before Pinky & I launched the Pinky Show in December 2005. We planned out our whole project on it and used it to make every single script, video, sound recording, cat drawing and every other Pinky Show thing we've ever done. It worked 18 hour days every single day and quite a few 24 hour days too. It was seven years old. Good computer!

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R.I.P. computer, I'm going to miss working with you. Welcome to your new job: nightstand.

Posted by Bunny.

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Note from Kim: Hey Bunny, Did you see this? Were you going to replace dead Pinky Show computer with a new Apple computer?

"On December 21, Apple pulled a WikiLeaks application from its iTunes store, banning it forever. When reporters queried the company about why it did so, the response was: "We removed WikiLeaks because it violated developer guidelines. An app must comply with all local laws. It may not put an individual or target group in harm's way."
And so Apple has joined capital's war on WikiLeaks; adding its power to that of the credit card company's online retailers and even Swiss banks who refuse to do any business with the grassroots whistleblowing organisation that has done more to bring the malfeasance of governments and corporations to the light of public scrutiny than any other organisation in at least two generations...
...And Apple has also banned apps with political cartoons and gay travel guides, leading the Guardian to declare in May that "many magazine publishers developing 'apps' for the new iPad... have had to self-censor."" [ complete Mark Levine article here ]

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Yeah I saw that. When we've saved enough money to buy a replacement I literally don't know what to do (yet). I don't like the way computer & software corporations operate and I don't feel like supporting ANY of them. I feel stuck. If anyone out there knows of computer and software developers who function according to more ethical principles, please let me know. B.

Bunny Recommends: Rap News 6 - Wikileaks' Cablegate

Added on by PS Cat02.
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Our friends at RapNews (http://thejuicemedia.com/) have another new video and as usual their take on the whole Wikileaks "Cablegate" story is more right-on than 99% of the stuff we've been encountering in the mainstream newspapers. Nuff said.

As always, make sure you read the lyrics [posted here], because the writing for all the RapNews episodes are always excellent. Wikileaks website currently accessible [here]. 

Posted by Bunny.

Bunny mailbag: Yes, we like Wikileaks

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Today's e-mail:

Dear Bunny, My name is Laurie and this is the first time I've ever written to a program before. I love the Pinky Show a lot. Thank you for making your work because I've learned so much from reading and thinking about things from your different perspective! I'm currently a freshman at [x] High School in Texas, and I do pretty well in school but I'm worried that I'm not getting a well-rounded education. I appreciate especially how you always explain complicated things in such a clear way and not only that but how important it is to be ready to speak the truth even if it may not be the most popular position to take. But I'm embarrassed to admit that the last blog post about Wikileaks you wrote (11/30 entry) left me confused. Sometimes I think I'm not too bright! I read it several times but still don't understand if you think Wikileaks is wrong to do what it did or if actually you think what they're doing is right in some way. I apologize for not getting it! Could you please explain what you meant to me? Also, what do you think about Julian Assange? Do you think he really raped those two women? Thank you, Laurie
Reply:
Dear Laurie, Thank you for writing. There's no need to be embarrassed whenever you don't immediately understand something. Pinky and I frequently (every day!) come across material that we think is hard to understand. When that happens we usually try to find a bunch of related materials to see if we're missing some background information. Other times something may be hard to understand simply because it's just presented poorly, or maybe it's being presented in an unfamiliar style. Like my last post - I probably shouldn't have written it using cat sarcasm, which I think many people find weird or confusing. So today I'll try to restate my comments from the other day more clearly. Thank you for your patience.
1) This thing called "international diplomacy" is not a wholesome activity. It is, as the released U.S. diplomatic cables illustrate, frequently vicious business, where the fates and lives of millions of ordinary people are traded like currency. We, Pinky Show nobodies, have frequently noted that government representatives who do their work beyond the view of the people they supposedly serve often abuse their positions and privilege. They make deals that benefit the elite classes of their respective nations while ignoring the needs of the majority. Our position is that EVERYONE needs to know what their governmental representatives are saying and doing. Today, however, only the deal-makers and their pals have the 'inside-scoop' on that kind of information. If EVERYONE were to have access to this kind of information, that would be an extremely important first step towards eventually achieving things like a fair or democratic world-society. If governments are not going to be open about their dealings, and the media can't or won't report what's really going on, then things like Wikileaks are necessary. When governmental representatives start speaking honestly about what they are doing and journalists also start doing their jobs, then perhaps Wikileaks will be considered obsolete. Of course all this is hard to achieve but important or valuable things are rarely easy to do.
2) The way the world is currently organized, "International diplomacy" is something that happens between the elite class (governmental, corporate, military, etc.) of one nation with the elite class of another nation. [Side note: Of course, more powerful nations are often able to apply pressure to less powerful nations in order to get what they want. So when I say international diplomacy is a game between international elites, I don't mean that makes anything fair or equal. I just wanted to point out that the interests of ordinary people are usually considered irrelevant when diplomats sit down at the negotiation table.] This is the reason why no one should be surprised that there's currently worldwide criticism of Wikileaks for this latest round of leaked information. It's not just the U.S. leadership that's upset; this time it's also all their counterparts from other countries as well. This is a nice example of how political elites from different countries usually have more in common with each other than they have with ordinary people from their own countries (and they definitely know how to show it, too!). And now they're all mad because the leaks has allowed everyone a peek at how corrupt the whole system is - it illustrates how the entire diplomatic corps, regardless of what country you're actually from, conduct business. It offers insight (if the public is willing to look) into what kind of values dominate nation-to-nation relations. None of these guys want ordinary people to know what they're up to. They know that if more people caught onto their way of doing business they'd be in greater danger of losing credibility or being pushed out of office.
3) World leaders (and their many journalist minions) currently condemning and/or attacking Wikileaks have good reason to do so. Their collective neck is on the line. Ordinary individuals, on the other hand, who are only members of the elite class in their dreams, condemn Wikileaks at the risk of being delusional or stupid. Practically everyone who get all their news and information from the dominant coercive instruments of society (schools, the media, the various governmental bodies such as the State Department, the White House, etc.) have uncritically accepted arguments and logic (a.k.a. propaganda) that's been carefully prepared for their consumption. Which is all very good for the rich and powerful - life's easy when you have a gullible mob to fight your battles for you.
4) Please don't forget to go read the actual cables! There's nothing wrong with reading New York Times/Guardian UK/Al Jazeera/CommonDreams/DemocracyNow!/etc commentary, but it's always good to read 'the thing itself' whenever possible (better hurry - who knows how long Wikileaks will still be around? [search for new links here]). Also, there are thousands of writers and thinkers out there who have spent their whole lives carefully mapping out the larger global political context from a counter-hegemonic perspective: Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Derrick Jensen, etc. - the usual suspects - are a good place to start. Pinky and I often find that these are the guys who are providing the analyses that have the most explanatory power for the questions we have relating to big, inter-national structural stuff. The leaked cables are themselves only the fragmentary residue from a gigantic system, so it's important to always keep the structure of that system in mind while reading and thinking about the small fragments.
Okay, this is getting way too long so I guess that's enough from me for now.
Oh wait, regarding your final questions about Mr. Assange - I don't know if he did did those sex crimes or not. But here's something to think about: Did you know that out of more than 7500 Red Notices issued by Interpol, not a single person from the USA is wanted for war crimes, genocide, or crimes against humanity? Considering the history of U.S. military interventionism, covert operations, and decades-long campaigns of state violence against indigenous peoples throughout the 20th century, don't you think that's pretty..., um, "astounding"? Kinda makes me wonder what it takes to get on (or be exempted from) these important 'Wanted' lists.
Okay, Laurie, I will end here. Our best wishes for your continued studies.
Take care,
Bunny 

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Hey Bunny, this video is very related to what you're saying and it's really good. It's from  Democracy Now, Nov. 30, 2010, Noam Chomsky: "[the cables] reveal a profound hatred for Democracy on the part of our political leadership...")

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/30/noam_chomsky_wikileaks_cables_reveal_profound

Posted by Kim.

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12/8: Another note from Kim. Okay, every day there are new important Wikileaks developments. Now hackers are fighting back! Here is the link to the page where Democracy Now is keeping their excellent Wikileaks coverage:

http://www.democracynow.org/tags/wikileaks_collateral_murder_video

Constitutional attorney Glenn Greenwald on the arrest of Mr. Assange and the US war on Wikileaks:

"Whatever you think of WikiLeaks, they have not been charged with a crime, let alone indicted or convicted. Yet look what has happened to them. They have been removed from Internet … their funds have been frozen … media figures and politicians have called for their assassination and to be labeled a terrorist organization. What is really going on here is a war over control of the Internet, and whether or not the Internet can actually serve its ultimate purpose—which is to allow citizens to band together and democratize the checks on the world’s most powerful factions."

Also, information-in-general about civil liberties & the internet at the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

http://www.eff.org/

Bye!

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Excerpt from John Naughton's (London Observer, UK) article The Wikileaks Wake Up Call:

There is a delicious irony in the fact that it is now the so-called 'liberal' democracies that are desperate to shut WikiLeaks down.  Consider, for example, how the views of the US administration have changed in just a year.  On January 21 last year,  Hilary Clinton, US secretary of state, made a landmark speech about Internet freedom in Washington DC which many observers interpreted as a rebuke to China for its alleged cyberattack on Google. 
"Information has never been so free", declared Mrs Clinton. "Even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable."
She went on to relate how, during his visit to China in November 2009, Barack Obama had "defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity. The United States' belief in that truth is what brings me here today."

Posted by pinky, 12/8/2010.

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I'm not a member of the Founding Fathers Fan Club but those guys sure generated lots of quotes that I can get behind!

“[W]ere it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” - Thomas Jefferson

(I'm assuming he meant to say "a free internet" instead of "newspapers", but then again, it could be this was before the invention of computers.)

Posted by Bunny, 12/8.

I fixed the famous snake drawing.

Added on by PS Cat02.
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I saw this drawing by Benjamin Franklin a while back and it really bugged me that the snake's head looks so much like a bird head.
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Finally this morning I couldn't stand it any more so I finally fixed it. And while I was doing that I figured I might as well fix the whole snake while I'm at it. So there it is.

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I hope you like it.

Posted by Kim.

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Note from Bunny: Hey Kim, don't you think the tongue on your snake looks weird? Don't snakes have a skinny, forked tongue?

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Kim: Uh oh, I think you're right.

Bunny mailbag: So I herd u leik Cablegate?

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Today's featured e-mail, from "Efren":

Hey there fools. I am dropping by to give you a friendly reminder that this time you and your so-called allies are outnumbered by absolutely everyone smart enough to read a newspaper regarding the Wikileaks of U.S. cables. Even the most liberals are condemning this unauthorized release of government secret. I'm sure you still can find some lame reason to support treasonous acts such as selling out your own country and endangering the lives of countless allies around the world. I expect nothing less from infoterrorists such as yourselves. So tell me how do you call it this time around? Ready to apologize for supporting Wikileaks? or still sticking to your loyalties against a montain of evidence. I will appreciate an answer but don't embarrass yourself too much

.Reply:

Dear Efren,
I think you are mistaken. Like you, I am also deeply troubled by the most recent leaks by Wikileaks. I am worried that international diplomacy will no longer be able to function as it always has in the past - with dignity, compassion, transparency, and democracy as its guiding principles. I happen to have a few friends in the (cat) diplomatic corps and they are currently FREAKING OUT that their game has been very publicly spilled all over the interwebs for everyone to see understand (please don't tell anyone, this is a secret between you and me). The important question for now is: How will we (God-fearing citizens) hold Wikileaks (jerks) responsible for their very naughty troublemaking? This is serious! Because of Wikileaks, the mutual respect and cooperation which now characterizes relations between nations may potentially become imperiled. None other than Wikileaks is to blame if governments were to suddenly begin treating ordinary people as mere cannon fodder or gambling bits. I shudder to imagine a world like this.
Efren, perhaps you can help me with a certain analytical puzzle I am working on. Pinky and I took several well-circulated quotes from Monday's and yesterday's news reports and tried to decipher them, from professional politician-speak into something that we can more easily understand. To guide our translation we followed the logic and interests exhibited in the cables themselves - not a problem, I assume, as I've yet to hear anyone challenge the authenticity or veracity of the cables or their contents. The real problem, unfortunately, is that Pinky and I are only on the first quote and are already hopelessly stuck - perhaps we could borrow some intellectual horsepower to help us along? (*hint hint*) For some reason we simply cannot reconcile the disturbing implications of the translated comments with the honorable intentions of the sample politician (judging by her comments, I'm sure she's highly qualified to remark on the subject of honor). So, if you would be so kind, please reply with all significant elements from the quote below ideologically sorted and mapped with respect to whatever aspect(s) of this most recent Wikileaks disaster you find most alarming. (As soon as possible please, we would like to move on to Sample B!) Thank you.
Your friend,
Bunny

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[ Sample A: Hillary Clinton: from the Guardian UK; translations by Pinky & Bunny in red ]

Clinton told reporters corporate media functionaries at the US state department: "It is an attack exposé on of the international community of governmental, corporate, and military elites, the alliances and partnerships which allow us to maintain our dominance over the world citizenry-at-large, the conversations and negotiations secret back-room deal-making between us, that safeguard extracts maximum use-value from the universally accepted narrative of global security and advance economic prosperity while intensifying our exploitation of labor, resources, and strategic potential all across the planet." ...[Clinton] predicted: "I am confident that the any "mutually beneficial" business partnerships on one hand, or arm-twisting on the other, that the Obama or previous administrations has have worked so hard to build impose, will withstand these challenges in the end amount to offers very few will dare to refuse."

Pinky & Bunny recommends: The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book

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I can't remember the last time I made a blog entry to draw attention to a particular book, but we just got our copy of The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book in the mail yesterday and it is so good that we felt like we had to tell everybody about it. I like to judge books by covers (not exclusively, but still...) so I knew I was going to like this one as soon as I pulled it out of the box:

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Wow! This Gord Hill guy is NOT messing around! And the inside is even better. I like it because 1) everything is unambiguously presented from a Native warrior's perspective; and 2) the information is both factually correct and meticulously distilled down to its skeletal minimum to help the reader (that would be you) focus attention on the basic moral and ethical questions that lie at the heart of each historical example. Some people might think this book is only about death and devastation, but to me this book is more about living and surviving.

Pinky and I read the entire comic book last night, it took us only a few hours. Now Kim is reading it. After Kim & Mimi are done, we'll be passing it along to someone else. I think that's what it was designed for. It's not big - just long enough to present a very basic outline of colonization and genocide in the Americas (more emphasis on North America) - but it's also short enough that people who can't or won't do fat books will feel encouraged to pick it up and start reading it right away. Plus it's a comic book - this is a teaching tool with amazing possibilities!

Who should read this book? I'll say "everybody", although it's predicable that a lot of indoctrinated citizens of the settler state ('serious' teachers, students, and activists included) will feel more turned off than enlightened by it. (Nothing new there, these are the same people that think Ward Churchill got fired for committing academic indiscretions or that there's good kinds and bad kinds of resistance in the face of genocide.) What excites me most about material like this is that it has the potential to throw open a whole universe of histories and wisdom already recorded by hundreds and thousands of Indigenous writers and warriors, to practically anyone with a hunger for truth and justice, Native or settler. I know these people are out there.

So here is a book that also happens to be powerful medicine. What will be done with it?

[ Link to: 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book by Gord Hill, 2010. ]

Posted by Bunny.

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[ note from pinky: I wanted to mention that the book also includes a powerful introduction and five pages of "recommended readings" by Ward Churchill, which will probably turn into my reading list for the next three or five years! ~pinky ]

Bunny mailbag: Here comes Thanksgiving

Added on by PS Cat02.
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Since the Thanksgiving holiday (November 25-28) is right around the corner, I thought I'd post this very short e-mail we received tonight:

To Pinky et al., Please consider doing a story on the "real" Thanksgiving. It's not the turkey or stuffing we should be giving thanks to - how about Tisquantum and the Native Americans? - Kawahine
My reply:
Dear Kawahine,
We're not making any videos right now, but I agree with you that Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity for Americans to re-examine the historical origins of the United States. Personally I am thankful that so many scholars have made the effort to write so many useful books on the subject, so that the rest of us don't have to spend our lives believing racist misinformation and fake creation myths. I will post some of my favorites in our blog. Thank you for the reminder.
Bunny 

So, for those of you who prefer reading to watching football, here's my list, as promised. I guarantee that spending your day with any one of these books + a cup of hot chocolate will dramatically improve your Thanksgiving, though probably not your mood.

500 Years of Indigenous Resistance (Gord Hill)
Basic Call to Consciousness (edited by Akwesasne Notes)
A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present
(Ward Churchill)
American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World (David Stannard)
Conquest: Sexual Violence And American Indian Genocide (Andrea Smith)
Custer Died For Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto (Vine Deloria Jr.)

Facing West: The Metaphysics Of Indian-Hating And Empire-Building
(Richard Drinnon)

In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided
(Walter R. Echo-Hawk)

And, since Hawaii is also claimed by the United States and lots of turkeys get eaten on Thanksgiving Day over there too, I'll add in this one:

Islands In Captivity: The International Tribunal On The Rights Of Indigenous Hawaiians (Sharon Venne and Ward Churchill, editors)

"Enjoy".

Posted by Bunny.

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Note from Kim: Hey Bunny, you should mention that Gord Hill's book is now available in a comic book version!

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Bunny: Oh yeah, I forgot. Thanks Kim.