Police Accountablity March

Today is a march downtown to protest the regular killing by Portland police of people of color. It was organized by ARISSA, a group led by Craig Rosebraugh that advocates for "a revolutionary movement in the United States of America." Read more>>>

Planning for the RNC

I'm tentatively planning to be in New York for the Republican National Convention, or rather, for the protests of same. However, I've been procrastinating on buying plane tickets, mostly because of money, but also because it still seems far off, and I'm not sure what will happen there or how I can contribute. I mean, obviously I'm going to be shooting video, but I don't know what my plan is, what my angle is, as a videographer - as one of maybe hundreds of independant radical videographers that will be there. What can I do that will be different or unique, rather than just milling around in the crowd and shooting whatever everyone else shoots?

Anyway, hopefully I will get some brainwidth to really consider this and other plans for the RNC. I am encouraged by all these sites I just found out about:


this article from the Guardian.

Lord of the Rings according to Socialism

I am given more food for thought about one of my favorite books of youth with a socialist look at The Lord of the Rings in Socialist Review by science fiction writer (and presumably socialist) China Melville. The review seems to be a couple of years old, since it also talks about the first installment in the Peter Jackson film trilogy (and Melville doesn't even mention that it is a trilogy, referring to the film simply as 'Lord of the Rings'). At any rate there are some interesting facts about Tolkien that are a bit surprising, and critiques of his writing that in some cases are very good points.

Here is a particularly good passage about the escapism of LOTR:

"Tolkien and his admirers (many of them leftists) gave his escapism an emancipatory gloss, claiming that jailers hate escapism. As the great anarchist fantasist Michael Moorcock has pointed out, this is precisely untrue. Jailers love escapism. What they hate is escape."

Ever since the films started coming out I've been telling myself I should read the books again. This is more reason, or maybe reason to NOT. I'm curious to know what my adult self will think of the book, and yet, it's an immense time investment. I read them 5 times before I was 20, but not once since.

And speaking of LOTR, I was directed to (thanx jason) a funny little flash movie about George W. Gollum. It's also a bit old, but still great. I was thinking about printing it to videotape and screening it at one of Portland Indymedia's video showings.

Zia Mian & Project for New American Century

I just heard an amazing speech on the radio by
Zia Mian, a physicist at Princeton who studies nuclear proliferation and related topics. His talk was about The Project For A New American Century and U.S. imperialism. It was really really great. I just found a sort of abridged version of the talk.

He talks about the U.S. strategy for global hegemony, basically, and deconstructs the plans that the neoconservative intellectuals like Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle wrote up years ago. It's scary stuff, from his descriptions of their long term geopolitical strategy, to details of plans to build new nuclear weapons and use them, to the misconceptions of the american people Read more>>>

Ashcroft porn

I'll join the numerous other blogs linking to this photomosaic of John Ashcroft, made from tiny photos of porn stars, courtesy of Hublog.
This is a fairly easy thing to do with software, now, but it's great to see the technique put to such great satiric purpose. A while back there was a really disgusting one of Bush made from pictures of assholes. That was conceptually great but hard to look at.

Now imagine if all the porn stars filed a class-action copyright infringement suit against the makers of the collage, and Ashcroft and the Justice Department had to prosecute it, and it got all the way to the Supreme Court.... (ah, to dream...)

Anyway, I wish there was a larger amount of clever appropriation for progressive, political ends. I'm sure it will be a growing area as we move closer to the election.

(thanx Hooker.)


Has everybody seen FafBlog? I'm sure you all already read it every day and this is old news. boring, steev, you're thinking. Well, in case not, go look, it's hilariously great critical satire. It's sort of dadaesque humor and/but(?) there's some real insightful political barbs in there too.

I especially like this recent post about television news.
(thanx jose.)

James Howard Kunstler

I know about Kunstler from a book that's been on my "to read" shelf for the last couple years, called "The Geography of Nowhere." It's all about how screwed up the American way of urban planning is. The book is supposedly very radical and full of gloom and doom.

I've just discovered his website (thanx ken) which has all sorts of interesting things, including various characteristically dark and forceful rants. Particularly interesting is his eyesore of the month page, and his Clusterfuck Nation Manifesto.


Here is an article about neoliberalism and what comes after it.
And here is another about the history of neoliberalism and liberalism. very interesting.

I came acros this second one because a friend took offense at the word Neoliberalism, as if it was a reference to "liberal," which is how he defines himself. I tried to explain that "liberal" as in "not a conservative" is different than liberal in the classic, historical sense, the liberalism that is the foundation for our market democracy. But this essay describes it much better than i could.

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