Well, it's starting a little earlier than MAY have been expected by some, but Round 2 of this election cycle's Protest Pornography Theater is ramping up to full scream this morning in Minnesota. Many alt-media reports are coming in about various houses full of activists waking up to M-16s in their faces while the pigs ransack their houses and accuse of them of 'conspiracy to riot' and other crazy crap. What a great show!
Let me be perfectly clear: This is absolutely reprehensible on the part of law enforcement, but on the other hand: WTF did you expect, activists? After the RNC in New York 4 years ago, and the "Miami Model," did you really think it would be any different or better? The piles of civil liberties lawsuits against the NYPD are still in their early stages - is there anything to indicate that the Twin Cities popo, not to mention regional or national agencies, will have any incentive to act in a more gentle manner, other than some facile lies that have occasionally spewed from the mouths of local politicians about how this time it will be different?
If the same thing doesn't work, again and again, why not try something new? You'd think more people would think of other ways to improve the world than going to another mass mobilization, than organizing another mass mobilization.
But no, because everything looks like a nail when you're a hammer.
So, here we are once again all over, with an army of stormtroopers in armor occupying the city to meet the threat of a horde of raggedy peaceniks, blackblockers, traveller kids, and the privileged off-Broadway journalists whose hobby it is to "cover" the epic struggle. And so expect all week to see (if you bother to look at any non-mainstream news), from the cameras and pens of those reporters who aren't getting swept up now in the pre-raids, an endless stream of distracting descriptions of the mayhem that these poor freedom fighters are experiencing at the hands of the brutal shock troops of Amerikkan Fascism.
Jesus H. Christ. Oh, yeah, and what was it all for? I forget... why are these people sitting in the street waiting for the batons to split their skulls?
Oh, I think I remember, something about voicing our opposition to this old white-haired wrinkly dude who everyone already knows is full of shit, and his stupid-ass party and the corporations and jesus freaks that run it that we already know are full of shit, who happen to be having a big theater production called a "Convention" where they act like they're choosing the old wrinkly guy to be their candidate for Suppsedly Most Powerful Man in the World.
Who the fucks cares??! Go home. Go back to your own fucking cities and towns and work in your own fucked up communities to make them better. Because nothing you're doing in the Twin Cities this week is going to make a goddamned bit of difference, other than waste money, time, and add a couple entries to your FBI file. Oh and maybe you'll get laid at the big after-party in the park before the midnight peace vigil, and catch scabies or HPV.
At least for Allah's sake try something different. I'm so tired of this shit.
And if you're an indy-reporter and you insist on staying and trying to tell this story - just stop and remember to tell the story of WHY these protesters are there. What do they want? What do they REALLY want?
Oh and one more thing - remember your raincoat, and remember the 150 mile-an-hour winds that are making life total fucking hell for the residents of Havana right now, and the poor folks in New Orleans about to get totally screwed over again...
Holy smokes, my friend Onto the Ontologist, activist, Indymedia comrade, and philosophy student, got detained after displaying a "free tibet" banner at the Olympics! OMG! He and his co-protesters are expected to be out soon. Fingers crossed.
Damn, I wish I could afford to go to China (I wouldn't go, I'd probably buy a new tripod and a shotgun microphone and pay next month's rent, but anyway, I wish I had the money)...
author: Geert Lovink
average rating: 3.00
book published: 2007
read at: 2008/08/10
date added: 2008/08/10
Some good ideas, but some of the ideas just get belabored for far too long. It's basically a new way to describe anarchism. (But don't tell anybody!)
A cowardly troll from Phoenix took exception to my characterization of the Tucson Weekly on my blog post the other day, indicating that I was a whore because I've availed myself (or more accurately my causes) of publicity thanks to the Weekly and yet I complain about that same publication.
I'm pretty much done sparring with this jerk but he/she sparked an interesting train of thought that I want to follow for a moment. What exactly is a whore? Besides the literal, sex-work definition, I assume that what was meant is a signification like this one from Wiktionary: "A person who is unscrupulous, especially one who compromises their principles for gain."
Well, as I've often observed, pretty much nobody is pure. In this un-free society where everyone is locked in a web of greed and fear and necessity, constructed by capitalism and fascism, pretty much the only people not compromising their principles for gain are those that have none. For instance, by that definition,
These are just a few examples. I could go on and on. Everyone makes compromises. But, so, yes, I'm a whore. We pretty much all are. Suck it up. The person I know who comes closest to being free of all compromises lives alone in an abandoned town off the grid, drinks from a rainfed lake, grows and shoots his own food - but he still drives to town occasionally to buy more bullets and other supplies.
Besides this compromise issue, there is the issue of tactics. If it's a crime to critique something but to also tactically exploit it as a resource or tool, then I'm guilty as charged. Lock me up. But many others who work for a better world (not to mention those who don't really work for one but rant about how one is possible) do this every day. How many freegans rail against consumer society waste yet benefit regularly from it by the dumpster-load? Primitivists who type their essays and fly to gatherings (and wear glasses and use clocks and language, etc etc) is one of the other more extreme examples. I myself think computers are evil, but I use one every day to do the work I do - that is the best way I have right now for my skills to help better the world.
So, if, to promote a screening of a film about brutally raped and murdered women, I utilize a piece-of-shit newspaper like the Tucson Weekly which I hate, well, I see no problem with that. Corporate media is a tool to be used judiciously and tactically to accomplish valuable things. Sticking my head in the sand and refusing to exploit such tools in the name of some sort of ethical purity is counterproductive and stupid.
And so is heckling and name-calling a blogger from behind the shield of anonymity.
Unconventional Denver, the group of radical activists that has been organizing protests against the Democratic National Convention this September, has issued an offer, which contains the best idea I've heard of in a while regarding this upcoming act of political theater and associated protest theater: They're offering to "call off all protests during the convention if the city, federal government and the DNC agree to redirect the current $50 million earmarked for heightened security during the DNC and invest it in Denver communities."
What a great concept! Better yet, how about calling it off ANYWAY, and using the money you WOULD have spent on bus tickets, gasoline, spraypaint, sign materials, pot, beer, cool activist t-shirts, black hoodies, black bandanas, etc, and funnel THAT cash into Denver communities, and/or your own communities if you plan on travelling to Denver from afar?
And wouldn't it be hilarious if all the riot pigs showed up armed for a superrumble, and the streets were completely empty? Wouldn't the city feel stupid for spending that 50 million?
But no, you'll probably go ahead and run around the streets chanting and yelling and dancing and sewing new patches on your Carharts, and give our overlords all a reason to make people feel so glad that they spent that money on more guns and tear gas. A win-win situation: the rulers get to point at another excuse for strict security measures, and y'all get another huge summer street party and formative experience.
Rock on, everyone!
Al Gore gave a speech the other day about global warming and called for making the nation's energy use 100% renewable in the next 10 years. Right on.
Gore has been so exemplary, it makes me wonder what would have happened if the 2000 election had gone a little differently and he had been put in the White House like he lawfully should have been. Probably the demands of being a more political animal would have made it impossible to concentrate on the issue of global warming, and quite plausibly the world's wake-up to the problem may have been delayed for x number of years. So it may have been for the best, in the long run, that he was not president, ironically.
Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency
Hilarious, as usual, from the Onion (via Demarcated Landscapes).
I wasn't going to say anything about George Carlin shuffling off this mortal coil, but when I saw some very topical for our times quotes of his I just had to re-cite them. This is from a bit he was doing in the late 90s:
As far as I
Via a blog called Feministe I found out about a gaff that Senator McCain committed 16 years ago that should by rights cost him at least all of his female voters, all but his most piggish male voters, and certainly the election. He called his wife a cunt - in front of reporters. Absolutely inexcusable.
It's interesting that one story on the incident concentrates on it as an example of McCain's bad temper - yes, this is a problem, but the way I see it, the bigger problem is that it's a sign of a basic disrespect or even hate for women.
What an asshole. He doesn't deserve to have a wife, much less be president or a senator.
Wonderfully, when you google the word, you get the story as the 3rd entry, right after the wikipedia and wiktionary entries. Let's try and make it the first! Keep linking to the story and any other stories about it.
And now for your further entertainment, here's this humorous little video about the incident by The Public Service Administration, an LA-based comedy group. It had me LOL: