Paul Krugman has a Nobel Prize in Economics and, besides writing a column for the New York Times, keeps a personal blog, “The Conscience of a Liberal.” He regularly posts music videos in some way relevant to what he’s writing about, and they are always excellent picks.
Today it’s Canada’s Arcade Fire performing “Wake Up” at the Choacella Festival in California.
Previous Krugman musical post here. Earlier Arcade Fire post here.
It’s difficult to watch this video and not be angry. Scott Olsen is an Iraq war vet who did two tours of duty. As this video demonstrates, he appears to have been deliberately shot in the face with a tear gas canister by Oakland police. The people who were trying to rescue him were obviously the targets of a concussion grenade thrown by an identifiable police officer. Both of these assaults by police upon demonstrators were also clearly unprovoked. This is a reminder that the police and the officials responsible for them too often appear to behave like a praetorian guard rather than servants of the public as a whole. It is almost a guarantee that no police officer or public official will face any charges or even be held accountable for this incident. We see every day that this is not how it is done. It is, however, a guarantee that there will be a campaign to blame the protesters and even Olsen himself for the injuries he suffered. We see every day that this is how it is done.
Olsen is currently in hospital awaiting brain surgery.
The autopsy results today reveal alcohol poisoning.
I thought I’d give a pass on any comment on Winehouse because her life and career were so tragic. Whatever might be said could only be trite. She had an immense talent and behaved as though possessed by demons.
But I discovered this performance at Austin’s SXSW festival in 2007. Everybody should know about it. Hear it once, you won’t forget it. When you see the expressions on the faces of the audience members, you’ll realize that’s probably how you look too.
Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone provides some context for the stubborn growth of the Occupy Wall Street protests, despite the efforts by the mainstream media either to ignore or dismiss them out of existence. It can’t be said too many times, when it comes to taking down Wall Street with the kind of journalism that’s hard to find anywhere these days, Taibbi’s the best. A couple of his articles here and here.