We strongly recommend the talk by "Shirin Neshat; Art in exile" held at TED (here). The new "social imaginary" that we are constructing will be strongly influenced by a number of streams, art being one of the predominant ways that the existing order is challenged.
First Mubarak abdicated and now the People have brought him to trial. Then, after a long hard slog, Gaddafi has been driven from power and is on the run - sure to be caught or killed. What's next for the Arab spring? Many commentators look to Iraq where Saddam is hanging on tenuously to power, violently putting down peaceful protests.
BREAKING NEWS ---
Shiite protesters blockade roads against Saddam.
Sunnis join in solidarity with Shiites, forming a "Democratic Parliament in Opposition" (DPO)
Several generals in the Iraqi army have joined the DPO
Saddam declares that he will crush the DPO traitors
Protesters have swollen the streets of Baghdad. All services have been shut down.
High ranking ambassadors from Iraq to the United Nations resign from the Iraqi government
Rebels have cut Iraqi pipelines, depriving Saddam of his much needed cash
Saddam claims the protesters are Western agents and swears to crush them
The Iraqi army turns on Saddam, surrounding him at his presidential palace
After a three day standoff between the Iraqi army and Saddam's palace guards, Saddam arrested.
The DPO is recognized by Western and Arab countries
Saddam placed on trial
Sunnis, Arabs and Kurds form new government
Too bad Bush, Rumsfield and all the other neo-cons deprived the Iraqi people of their Arab spring (year). And let's not forget all the American soldiers who were needlessly sacrificed, the bloody civil war that was sparked, and the economic ruin that has resulted from this war. Here
"Oil giant Shell is struggling to contain the worst North Sea spill in a decade amid criticism over how honest the company is being with the public" off the coast of Scotland. Learn more here
And take a guess: Who isn't covering the story? Yup: CNN doesn't have it listed today under its "top world story" nor is it on the front page. It comes up if you search it. So, why isn't this news worth elevating to the top? Who wants to keep it down? Who's pressing for more off shore drilling? Come on CNN show some guts!
Most questions in the popular media concerning the threat of Standard and Poor's downgrade of the USA credit rating (from AAA to AA+) has focused on what it means to consumers. In other words, will interest rates go up? However, here are a couple points often missed:
1. The downgrade may negatively affect USA soft power - its ability to persuade the world that it is both unique among nations and rightfully the world's leader.
2. The downgrade may convince highly skilled immigrants to think twice about immigrating to the USA. As is a well known fact, much of the USA economy hinges on the energy and drive that immigrants bring to the USA.
3. We predict a growing number of global players will begin discussing how to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency. If this were to happen, the dollar would probably go into free fall for some time and capital would likely shift. (see the Chatham House report: "Beyond the Dollar..." here
4. Unfortunately for the Green Movement, less available capital in the future would mean a slowing down of investments in the "green economy" (although this would be offset by a reduction in consumption and the dangers that the "throw away economy" poses to the environment).
If any of these three possibilities were to emerge, the downgrade could prove more threatening to the current position of the USA than is currently being discussed in public.