Independent Media

Numen: The Magical Nature of Plants (FILM REVIEW)

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"NUMEN" FILM SCREENING!: Montpelier's SAVOY at 7:00 on Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11.

I have sat through many “talking head” documentaries in my years as a film reviewer, but never before have I found so much to laugh, cry and think about as when I screened “Numen: The Nature of Plants" for the first time just a few days ago.

FILM/BOOK Review: The End of America: The Wolf At The Door

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“Billions of dollars are made in shredding the Constitution.
Not a single penny is made in restoring the Constitution.”

Naomi Wolf - January 17, 2009
Big Picture Theater - Mad River Valley, Vermont

BOOK REVIEW: Secession

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It is always appropriate, in my mind at least, to write one’s last media column of the year about the most interesting media text one has discovered over the past year.

For me, that media text would have to be Secession.

MUSIC REVIEW: Frigg-ing Awesome - Scandinavian "Power String" Music


What do you name a seven-piece power string band with enough acoustic groove to set the fjords on fire?

How ‘bout, well…


Stay with me here.

Yes, this band’s name is Frigg.

I know.

A bit strange, perhaps, until you consider their home turf: Scandinavia.

Frigg, as any self-respecting Scandinavian will gently remind you, is the Norse goddess of love and fertility.

MUSIC REVIEW: Songwriter Lucy Kaplansky Comes To Vermont..

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“A truly gifted performer, full of enchanting songs,” gushes The New Yorker.

“The troubadour of modern city folk,” exclaims The Boston Globe.

“As warm and tasty as cinnamon tea, as hopeful as daybreak,” proclaims Rolling Stone.

MUSIC REVIEW: Singing the Blues, Effortlessly: Chris Smither Plays Mad River

Most folks who’ve ever listened to the blues casually assume that this time-worn and much-appropriated musical genre is more or less focused on all things depressing – cheatin’, lyin’, stealin’, boozin’, lustin’, heartbreak, and life’s many other sorrows and woes.

While this is certainly true, there is an often-overlooked playful aspect to blues music, as well, and few blues musicians capture the clever side of blues better than Massachussetts blues veteran Chris Smither.

THE DARK SIDE: Life Without Television

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ROB'S NOTE: Thanks to Frank Baker for passing on this fascinating article.

I was asked last week by a local reporter here in Vermont's Mad River Valley how I was coping with the digital set top box conversion, the subject of much consternation and angst in my community these past few weeks.

I answered as truthfully as I could - "I have no opinion since I have not owned or watched television since 1985."

Now I am trying to decide if I am "crunchy granola," "a religious right ultraconservative," or just a plain cave-dweller.

Enjoy, and happy Friday,


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Vlogging from Minny: the 2008 National Conference on Media Reform

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I've got one word for you.


It is so good to be amongst old friends and colleagues here at the 4th National Conference on Media Reform.

Where to start?

ACME Teach-In 2008: MEF's Kendra Hodgson's Screenings

MEF's Kendra Hodgson shares some powerful MEF film clips in her discussion-driven workshop about using documentary films for social change.

Letter From Minny: Blogging the 2008 National Conference on Media Reform

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I am fired up.

I am sitting in the Best Western hotel room here in Minneapolis (I like this town, and affectionately refer to it as "Minny") with my old friend - ACME co-founder and co-president Bob McCannon.

We are preparing for ACME's first-ever TEACH-IN at the National Conference on Media Reform.

ACME has attended all four of Free Press' National Media Reform conferences, beginning with the one in Madison back in 2003, running workshops and an exhibit booth advocating the importance of media education for media reform.

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