Five hundred years after the publication of The Prince, the informative BBC documentary “Imagine… Who’s Afraid Of Machiavelli” asks how relevant is The Prince today, and who are the 21st century Machiavellians? [Via]
History Of The Devil is an entertaining documentary about the origins of Satan that Top Documentary Films sums up best:
“The History of the Devil is wickedly good, informative and concise. A no-frills Welsh film produced in association with SBS Australia and distributed by Siren Visual, it’s roughly 52 minutes in length and packs a fair dinkum amount of history into its slender running time.
The documentary itself is made up entirely of mostly still images alternating sporadically with talking heads; religious scholars, theologians and reverends.
Directed by Greg Moodie and written and produced by Dave Flitton, it was researched by Eibhleann Ni Ghriofa, Deirdre Learmont and Craig McGregor.
It’s an impressive and very open-minded account and offers some fantastic insight into the evolution; the hows and whys the specter of the Devil has existed and morphed through the ages from the dawn of civilization through to the new millennium.
So despite its relatively low-fi approach, the richness and diversity of its imagery; the historical plaques, plates, engravings, illustrations, paintings, drawings, and the occasional staged re-enactment (some dude dressed up in rather bemusing demonic attire), keeps the documentary at a high level of beguilement.”
Image: Engraving made by Cornelis Galle I, After Lodovico Cigoli, Belgium, 1591-1650. Lettered extensively around image with excerpts of Dante’s Divina Comedia.
Increasing numbers of ‘terror suspects’ are being arrested on the basis of online and CCTV surveillance data. Authorities claim they act in the public interest, but does this intense surveillance keep us safer?
“I woke up to pounding on my door”, says Andrej Holm, a sociologist from the Humboldt University. In what felt like a scene from a movie, he was taken from his Berlin home by armed men after a systematic monitoring of his academic research deemed him the probable leader of a militant group. After 30 days in solitary confinement, he was released without charges. Across Western Europe and the USA, surveillance of civilians has become a major business. With one camera for every 14 people in London and drones being used by police to track individuals, the threat of living in a Big Brother state is becoming a reality. At an annual conference of hackers, keynote speaker Jacob Appelbaum asserts, “to be free of suspicion is the most important right to be truly free”. But with most people having a limited understanding of this world of cyber surveillance and how to protect ourselves, are our basic freedoms already being lost?
(Source: Boing Boing)
“Between 1948 and 1986, during his career as a prison guard, Danzig Baldaev made over 3,000 drawings of tattoos. They were his gateway into a secret world in which he acted as ethnographer, recording the rituals of a closed society. The icons and tribal languages he documented are artful, distasteful, sexually explicit and provocative, reflecting as they do the lives, status and traditions of the convicts that wore them. Baldaev made comprehensive notes about each tattoo, which he then carefully reproduced in his tiny St. Petersburg flat. The resulting exquisitely detailed ink drawings are accompanied with his handwritten notes and signature on the reverse, the paper is yellowed with age, and carries Baldaev’s stamp, giving the drawings a visceral temporality – almost like skin.” ~ Fuel Deisgn
‘This is what is destroying us!’
This tattoo is widespread in criminal circles. There are several versions, with and without text.
A ‘warrior’s grin’.
‘I love smoking men’s cigarettes’
A youth tattoo known as ‘The Smoker’. Made in a women’s corrective labour camp in Novozybkov, Bryansk Region in 1990.
The acronym stands for ‘If you’re unfaithful, I’ll cut your balls off’.
The tattoo of a criminal ‘authority’.
First recorded in 1954. it was later widespread in the corrective labour institutions of the Urals.
Widespread male eyelid tattoos.
‘Queen’s firm – sotzsupersex’
A prostitute’s tattoo.
Images via The Russian Criminal Tattoo Archive.