The Order of Myths

In 2007 Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras is celebrated...and complicated. Following a cast of characters, parades, and parties across an enduring color line, we see that beneath the surface of pageantry lies something else altogether.

Christopher Hitchens & Dinesh D'Souza

Christopher Hitchens and Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great About God: Atheism Versus Religion. Hitchens and D'Souza debate at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Suzanna Gratia Hupp: Second Amendment

Indeed, the Second Amendment is not about duck hunting, as Suzanna here testifies. Bonus material: Suzanna's interview with Penn and Teller, who also explain the Second Amendment to all those who have trouble understanding it.

Secrets of the Occult: What is the Occult?

Bonus feature from the DVD, RT 28:31.

Secrets of the Occult could have easily been a three or four hour project. Instead of opting for comprehensiveness, this production aims to capture the quick, sporadic interest of a casual viewing. In that respect, it achieves a vast amount within a condensed time frame. This documentary is an inclusive, engaging expositional synopsis of alternative thought and practice.

Nausica of the Valley of the Wind

Classic Japanese animated film (1984) directed by Hayao Miyazaki. This version has voices by Tony Jay, Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, Chris Sarandon, and others.

Rock Family Trees: The Fleetwood Mac Story

Fleetwood Mac are a British/American rock band formed in 1967 which have experienced a high turnover of personnel and varied levels of success. From the band's inception through the end of 1974, no incarnation of Fleetwood Mac lasted as long as two years.

The two most successful periods for the band were during the late 1960s British blues boom, when they were led by guitarist Peter Green, and from 1975 to 1987, with more pop-orientation, featuring Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

Buster Keaton: The Playhouse

A 1921 film written and directed by and starring Buster Keaton. The movie runs for 22 minutes, and is most famous for its opening sequence in which Keaton plays every role.

The film is set up as a series of humorous tricks on the audience, with constant doubling, and in which things are rarely what they at first seem to be. It opens with Keaton attending a variety show. In this first sequence, Keaton plays the conductor of the orchestra, every member of the orchestra, the actors, the dancers, the stagehands, the minstrels, and every member of the audience, male and female. This elaborate trick-photography sequence turns out to be a dream when Joe Roberts rouses Keaton from bed. The bedroom then turns out to be not a bedroom, but a set on a stage.

The Godfather: Baptism Scene

Michael Corleone becomes the Godfather of his nephew as well as ascending to the position of Godfather over the rival families by the means of murdering the heads of five families.

Secrets of the Occult: The Scientists

Part 2 of 3, RT 48:01.

At a slightly less frenetic pace, the Scientists portion of Secrets of the Occult addresses many of the modern geniuses that are highly regarded to this day. In fact, when it comes to the study of topics not in alignment with society's current beliefs, most pioneers end up delving into the world of the occult. That's quite obvious reflecting on the works of Galileo, Isaac Newton, and sociologists / psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. To confront the studies of magnetism, gravitational pull, and the complex nature of sexual repression and misconstrued psychoses is a foreboding task for any scientist. Each of these brilliant intellects had to cross the boundaries of all things normal to accomplish what they did. Once more, they had to challenge the beliefs of their preceding trailblazers to update and develop these concepts.

Though following a similar flow of narrative with similar pacing, this portion of Secrets of the Occult is much smoother in context for some reason. It's probably because the names and concepts are more familiar in this section half. Still, this segment is still attempting to cover the phenomenally complex endeavors of history's greatest minds in under an hour. It succeeds quite well, however, in stringing together all of the concepts, the shared pressures, and the reflective attempts at a constructing body of knowledge throughout these scientists' highly driven periods.

The Animals - House of the Rising Sun

The Animals - House of The Rising Sun (1964)

So gifted and ahead of the times! In my humble opinion, Newcastle's Animals circa 1964 were vastly superior to their chart contemporaries, the Beatles and the Stones. The Beatles were loveable moptops then, and the Stones were still a few years away from their songwriting peak, but The Animals were raw, gritty and, in Eric Burdon, they had one of the all-time great blues/rock voices.

The Animals' take on "House of the Rising Sun" sounded wholly new, if you weren't there in 1964 it's hard to imagine today how big a deal this new & gritty sound was, "House of the Rising Sun", was dark, brooding and very, very cool, it had an edge that was lacking from the other Brit-Beat groups and it broke new ground. American music critic and writer Dave Marsh described it as: "the first folk-rock hit," sounding "as if they'd connected the ancient tune to a live wire," while writer Ralph McLean of the BBC agreed that: "it was arguably the first folk rock tune," calling it "a revolutionary single" after which "the face of modern music was changed forever."