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MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
An Open Letter to Bono Why Are You Financing a Video Game on Invading Venezuela?

Why Are You Financing a Video Game on Invading Venezuela?

by SCOTT MICHAEL PEREY

It is extremely disheartening to discover your good name closely associated with a business that seeks to profit from a pathological culture of ill-will and military perversion and, more specifically, in tandem with a very pointed and insidious work of propaganda that reads straight out of the playbooks of George Bush, the Republican Party, and the Project for the New American Century.

Without promoting its title, let me describe the story line for a soon-to-be-released video game of the (sadly) popular "kill and destroy" variety: as protagonist, you play by "no rules" and even have access to "mini-nukes" as you lead an invasion of Venezuela to "profit from chaos" as a "power hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela’s oil supply," to quote directly from the video game’s website. As the leader of the madness and destruction that ensues, you, the game player, more or less represent the Halliburton criminals and their ilk: "Dirty deeds, done for exhorbitant fees," as your line of work is described further.

I won’t name the game itself, but I will mention that the company releasing it is called Pandemic, which has very recently been absorbed into a corporate entity called Bioware/Pandemic Studios, which was created by a $300 million dollar investment from the venture capital group Elevation Partners, a new private equity firm which boasts none other than you, Mr. Bono, as a managing director and co-founder. In fact, Bioware/Pandemic was your new group’s very first investment.

I would like to believe that this is something that just happened to slip under your radar, Mr. Bono. I know you’re a very busy man involved in many honorable activities. But your firm’s website boasts only one other portfolio company in addition to this one, and upon inspection of your firm’s own webpage, the obsession with death and warfare seems clearly to be the prevailing tone of this company’s video games, if not the only one.

In short, Mr. Bono, you are notably invested in a video game that is targeted towards young men of prime military recruitment age and promotes Mr. Bush’s very dangerously misguided and malintentioned foreign policy towards a small country that, ironically, is actually reaching out economically to poverty stricken citizens of the United States and Europe. Being both a recent Nobel Peace Prize nominee and a person of sizeable and direct influence in this matter, to say the least, what are you going to do about it?

SCOTT MICHAEL PEREY can be reached at: friendsofvenezuela@yahoo.com