The Irish Worker’s Monthly Favorites List

The Irish Worker is proud to release our first reading/watching/listening list for February, with the goal of highlighting a range of media for our readers to learn about different issues and see new perspectives on political issues. Let us know your thoughts if you read, watch, or listen to anything on this list throughout the month!

We do not use affiliate links or benefit indirectly or directly from these recommendations.

Film

The Holy Mountain, directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky

A brilliant, psychedelic satire, a Christ figure leads his disciples to a mountain of immortal, wise men. The exploration of state violence, commodification of religion, and capitalism are captured symbolically in a series of disturbing scenes and characters. The cult film has earned acclaim from members of the Beatles, and a week prior to its production, the film crew took LSD and fasted on sleep under the direction of a Japanese Zen master. The lack of dialogue in the film makes it a universal watch for anyone around the world.

The Crisis of Civilization

This is a documentary feature film investigating how global crises from climate change to terrorism are all converging symptoms of a failed neoliberal system. These issues cannot be isolated and studied alone, and historian Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed argues that climate change scientists looking only at climate change or economists looking only at the economy ignores the larger picture. He explores the assumptions behind policies as part of a larger system with Eurocentric, colonial ties and the detriment it has on all societies today. A must-watch for anyone wanting to explore in-depth current issues and their interconnectedness. The documentary is free to view here.

Literature

Acts of Faith, by Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel, one of the most prominent interfaith leaders in the 21st century, writes a powerful account on religious pluralism and its significance to changing the future. An Ismaili Muslim, he journeys through his life in “white-washed” desi America to becoming an activist in religious pluralism. “”To see the other side, to defend another people, not despite your tradition but because of it, is the heart of pluralism.” His journey is one that is universally experienced, and his vision is nuanced with genuine respect for the uniqueness of each tradition. Acts of Faith is available in the Hesburgh Library General Collection, or for purchase here.

If They Come For Us, by Fatimah Asghar

This collection of lyrical and experimental poems by Fatimah Asghar beautifully explores themes of identity, violence, grief, brown girlhood, family, and home. She draws on her experiences as a Pakastani Muslim living in America to add her own interpretations of the Paritition, Americanness, and belonging. The collection is available for purchase on Asghar’s website.

Abolition for the People, by Kaepernick Publishing and LEVEL

Abolition for the People is a project that tells the stories of those most affected by unjust systems, and makes the case for police and prison abolition. The project consists of 30 original essays and conversations, from Black scholars, abolitionists, and people closest to these forms of state violence, including Mariame Kaba, Dr. Angela Davis, Dr. kihana ross, and others. The project addresses the inherent systemic violence, why reform is not sufficient, what a better world looks like, and how we get there. You can view the entire project for free at LEVEL.

Music

Wake Up, America!, by Abbie Hoffman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff

This out-of-the-box album features excerpts from Abbie Hoffman’s recorded speeches and conversations, alongside whimsical songs. Abbie Hoffman, known for leading the Yippie movement as well as his revolutionary politics, shares his thoughts on American imperialism, corporations, drugs, religion, and political figures. In one song, Hoffman sings a farcical version of the national anthem protesting American involvement in the Vietnam War; in another, he recounts being on trial as one of the Chicago Seven. Hoffman and this album are irreverent, strange, unrestrained, entertaining, and ridiculous. You can listen to Wake Up, America! for free here.

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