Bush Inspires New Renaissance…in Political Satire


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

July 29, 2005

Bush Inspires New Renaissance...
in Political Satire and Activism on the Web

As you would expect, political and anti-Bush sentiment finds a ready outlet on 
the internet. The selection ranges from hilarious, to appalling, and everything 
in between. The web is a great place to find alternative viewpoints; this 
article provides a starting point for seeking out independent news and views in 
video and audio formats. For the political activist, musician and filmmaker, 
this introduction may help you find an audience for your material. There is no 
better way to reach an audience with your political message than to put it out 
there on the internet as a humorous video.

Note that this is pretty slow going even with 'high-speed' connection such as 
cable; viewers with older computers and/ or slower (i.e. phone modem speed) 
connections will be frustrated. Be sure to have current browser version and 
plugins, (described in the inset). Some sites will provide media in one format 
only, others in many formats and file sizes for your convenience.

I am aware of a handful of really superb political video websites, I'm sure that
there are many more equally deserving examples, which I will link from the 
electronic version of this article.

Among the best sites providing a broad selection of political videos, we 
recommend MediaThatMattersFestival.org


Easily view 16 of the best entrants in the 5th annual festival. Each film is 
accompanied by links to organizations for further information and to take 

The Pizza Surveillance Feature shows the invasive possibilities of your pizza 
delivery company having access to a government database. Links to more info on 
the Patriot Act and the National ID card. In The Luckiest Nut in the World, a 
singing "Mr. Peanut" and a sock puppet with a British accent tells the story of 
the American peanut and how trade regulations and the world bank policies 
decimated Senegal's ground nut industry... Great lyrics and melody and overall 
production... MediaThatMatters provides easy links to things to do to promote 
fair trade. These films require Quicktime. For info about Quicktime and other 
browser plugins required to view audio and video media online see the inset. 
Films are available on DVD for local screenings and a teacher's kit is also 
available. Submission deadline January 5, 2006.


A contest sponsored by Moveon PAC, to elicit 30-second anti-Bush ads. They got 
some doozies. The contest had 6 six winners from 26 finalists, and 150 top 
submission are now available online. Among the very powerful runners-up, be sure
to see "I am a carpenter", which, as the name suggests, is a very simple 
statement of one man's political, social, and economic reality in 30 seconds. 
Videos are available in high-bandwidth and low-bandwidth versions.

The "Bush in 30 years" contest produced some winning Flash animations on Bush's 
social security plan.


the site has an interesting page of links to articles all about plitical ads.


"JibJab does not endorse issues, just comedy." Austin Lounge Lizards' "The Drugs
I Need" is hilarious, melodious, and was sponsored by Consumers Union to support
voters to "tell Congress to support the FACT Act, requiring drug companies to 
make public all the results of their clinical trial research and improve the 
safety of drugs currently on the market." It's just one of many, many 
entertaining and information animations you can see at JibJab (more than 50 at 
last count). Other political animations include "This Land", "Second Term", 
"Bush v. Gore", and "Funny Foreign Names". JibJab uses Flash.


Archive.org is not a political site per se, but it is one of the largest 
repositories of video and audio on the web, and much of it is political, both 
historic and up to the minute. The moving images archive include the Prelinger 
archives a massive collection in itself. Election 2004, World at War, Universal 
Newsreels, Feature Films, more. Archive.org "would love to host your digital 
artifacts. In order to do so, you will need to log in". If you are posting large
amounts of video to the internet, or you material is getting lots of views, it 
can cost you for storage and bandwidth with your website host, so you might want
to archive your material here for free. Archive.org also has software.


As an example of the powerful ameteur political video statements people are 
uploading to archive.org, take a look at this crass, sarcastic but credible and 
potent personal statement.

"Do have classified information you need to leak to the public? Need to blow the
cover of a CIA agent in a hurry? Or maybe there's some ongoing intelligence work
in a foreign country you'd like to disrupt? How about leaking the sexual 
orientation of a news reporter, just for spite? Then THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION is 
here to help. Put us to work for you, and find out why people say "Team Bush - 
Leaking Like A Greasy Asshole".


This rare archival video footage shows Pete Seeger, one of America's great 
political musicians.


Vital site for creative artists to share some of their works and retain some 
rights. "Offers a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors and 
artists. We have built upon the "all rights reserved" of traditional copyright 
to create a voluntary "some rights reserved" copyright. We're a nonprofit. All 
of our tools are free."


Library of Congress list of moving images archives online from around the world.


This site features a couple dozen flash animations on political themes including
anti-Bush, many of which are quite pointed; however the production quality is 
not top-notch, and after a few selections it can get tiring to read lengthy text
moving in all manners across the screen. "He's a Nazi" featuring Rush Limbaugh 
is one example of the rather crude and mostly unfunny satire. The animations are
in Flash; some are available as standalone .exe files, in other words, that you 
can download and run on your own computer, rather than online. Some are 
available for Macintosh as SWF format files.

There are toons, audio and images also on the site. BushFlash has a store, but 
with only a very few items. There is a forum, but at first glance it did not 
appear to be active when I looked. The links section is well developed.


Animation and production quality is great. Provides a petition to sign, but this
event is a little dusty by now. The 'more movies' link simply asks you to send 
your email address for their list. The site provides a number of other political
flash movies, Chilean sea bass, Phillip Morris and Genetically Krafted, just to 
give a few examples. Clients include Amnesty International and Friends of the 
Earth. Be sure to see Protecting Civil Liberty, a simple animation with a 
surprisingly effective moment.

One of the their sites-campaigns is:

This site based on Cheney's duck-hunting trip with Scalia before a favorable 
High Court decision on the secrecy of Cheney's energy task force meetings. With 
Dubya as their retriever.


A clever campaign to send soap to Cheney to urge him to 'come clean'. Paid for 
by the Washington State Democratic Party.


Leadership happens. Not the slickest Flash production, but shows that anyone 
with a point to make can put together a reasonable video without a budget.


Mark Fiore's animations are slick and fun. Nuclear Fashion is just one of many 
animations available on this robust site, not all are political. New animation, 
"Homeland Stupidity". Flash site.


FulxView USA ~ audio & video directory and documentaries, on a wide variety of 
political topics, not just vote fraud and the September 11 events.


VideoActivism.org has categories for war and peace, food , global justice, and 
environment. Quicktime media for streaming or download.


"Weapons of Mass Deception." One excellent example of many film sites with 
trailers and clips.


I began this research using google, but along the way discovered a site that 
suggested that Google and the Intelligence Agencies are a little too cozy, and 
that this site could provide Google's same search results in a more private 

http://www.democracynow.org/ is a good source for alternative news videos and 
audios online. Archives and streaming live for RealPlayer.


Undercurrents provides a selection of numerous direct action videos, including 
Noam Chomsky, some are in Windows Media Player format.


Street Level TV is a socially conscious, independent, non-commercial news 
program that provides outlets for and information on environmental, social, and 
economic justice movements, as well as other politically relevant content. We 
focus on media produced in the San Francsico Bay Area with content that reaches 
beyond it. Has a Submissions page.


An animated Ant rants for 60 seconds on dozens of topics, including, Karl Rove: 
Sinister Sex Symbol. Funny, and great production quality.


John Kerry music video from gprime along with lots of other animations, games, 


Bush negotiates with Turkey from newgrounds, which has tons of other animations 
and fun stuff, some not suitable for children.

San Francisco Mime Troupe, political theater at its best.

Comedy Central's Daily Show with John Stewart. News that pulls no punches. 
Plenty of great humor and political commentary video clips, including interviews
with politicos. Be sure to see the hilarious(President G.W.) Bush versus 
(Governor G.W.) Bush.


Wikipedia list of modern satirists (as well as "early" and "middle" satirists) 
includes musician Tom Lehrer.

Pianist Mark Russell deserves mention.

Want some good anti-Bush TV and radio links? Look no farther than ToppleBush.com


Videos of Bush doing silly things, and links to more video and audio clips.


Folk music is the original American political music. This site archives folk 
audio and video, for RealPlayer, Quicktime, low and high bandwidth. Folkstreams 
was kind enough to post a copy of their successful request for grant from NEH:

Great modern political songsters include:
Sweet Honey in the Rock.


browse the catalog for soundclips.

Site has lyrics and refers to Smithsonian for soundclips. (Broken link 


This soundclip collection from the  Smithsonian is not particularly political 
but it is astonishing and I like the geographic aspect of its catalog and 
searching. You can also search by instrument.


Jack Chernos is an activist musician in San Francisco, California. Armed with a 
five-string banjo, small amp and large songs, Jack Chernos plays pickets, 
protests and rallies across the country and around the world.  His songs of 
historical significance include:

* Sold Down the River -- the song played from the Steelworkers' billboard truck 
during the WTO protests in Seattle,

* The Union Grand -- theme song of the Million Worker March, and

* The Silence of Good People -- inducted into the National Civil Rights Museum.

Jack is also the brother of this author and sponsored this article by requesting
research on political music online.

Eminem's Mosh Music Video

or see it in various formats along with other political news and videos at this 


Extensive list of political songs to download free from many various 
little-known independent musicians.

links to anti-bush songs
Radio's answer to Rush Limbaugh et al.
Independent Media at its best.
Union Songs list of more than 100 links.

FreeSpeech.org has countless hours of video on news you won't see in the 
corporate media.


Not the biggest site on the list, but a good selection of political videos from 
a small to medium-sized production company.


Top-notch political video company and site. Submit your own video to the growing

Political satire and animation.

Some of these political cartoons are not for children due to subject matter and 
language. Here are a few that are appropriate for children:

Characters in this animation are from Star Wars.

Meatrix, a commentary on factory farming and well-done (no pun intended) spoof 
on "Matrix", where "Morpheus" is a cow, "Moopheus".


Many of the ads are appropriate for children, and many use child actors.

Some websites with video are obvious sources for political news, such as cspan 
and ccn.

cspan.org uses RealPlayer.

Video is "now free". Nice feature of this page is that it gives the length of 
each clip, so you have some idea if you're choosing a small or large clip.


At first glance, it's not obvious if they have much video online. Some Newshour 
segments are available in audio only:


For pure fun, check out the official website of Will Vinton, the creator of 
Claymation, and of the California raisins and many other lesser known, more 
twisted characters.


updated daily to convey information and provide community. About 300,000 people 
a week use ZNet's articles, watch areas and sub-sites, translations, archives, 
links to other progressive sites, daily commentary program, and more. Z has tons
of articles, and blogs, and 10 videos available for sale, but not for viewing 


You can read sample chapters of Mike's books online here but there's no sign of 
video clips at this site:


Michael's site provide links to actions your can take, and teacher's guides.


Controversial director OLIVER STONE has hit out at US President GEORGE W BUSH 
for "misusing" his powers after the terrorist attacks on September 11th (01). 
The NATURAL BORN KILLERS film-maker, who is currently preparing the first major 
Hollywood movie to deal with the 2001 atrocities, believes Bush is the wrong man
to lead America at the moment, and he is particularly angry about the US 
invasion of Iraq.

In my hours of research political video sites, I found that the conservative 
right is humorless.

Top 10 Website Tips for (Political) Musicians

1. Get your site listed on well-known sites with good search engine standing and
trafic. It's just not possible for you to get as much notoriety and traffic 

2. Make your site easy to use. It's hard enough to find you, don't make visitors
have to look around your site to hear your songs.

3. Make sure its easy to buy your CD's. Set up a Paypal account. Consider a 
Paypal donation button.

4. Want to play more gigs? Set up a page just for bookings.

5. If your site requires a media player, provide a link to that download site.

6. Provide your media in various versions, for high and low bandwidth, and for 
various players.

7. Connect to relevant campaigns so peope can take action.
8. Make it fun.

9. Have your audio accompanied by video if at all possible. The internet is a 
visual medium.

10. Call me for website services.
Download the most current version of Media Players:
Flash Player
Quicktime is an Apple product that is also for Windows.
Windows Media Player is a Microsoft product.

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