Category Archives: gripes

Honky Tonk University

As I was chatting to Tony who wanted an update, here it for economies sake for the family and friends too: we are in week 12 of homeschooling. Heaven forfend, help the kids. We sailed past the ‘we have this’ phase into stir crazy part three in and out the other end of ‘this is how it will be forever’. Playing the Animals ‘We Gotta get Out of This Place’ over dinner. Vietnam = 0 deaths, under 300 infections found, yaaay, and all of those traced to a couple of folks returned from pommyland, one airline pilot who went clubbing!! Nevertheless, great effort and a system that works – go figure, communism for all, I say – and we hope it will just be a few weeks more before the schools welcome us back, otherwise, its forever and, well, at least life is cheap here. On the other hand, life is cheap here. Thankfully some factories and businesses have been paying wages and there’s a lot of govt support, but marginal, part-time, street-level workers, waste-pickers., lottery tix people, etc, must have it tough, so very, tough times for many people, but I am still surprised, a little, since not all that many are visibly losing it. People sit around as casual as ever in the smaller outdoor street cafes that are still functioning in a minor way; for the bigger cafes – and in our area, every second house is a small cafe or foodie joint – in terms of the near-subsistence level businesses here must be a lot of pain – 80% of shops still closed (though the guy selling Security System’s can’t be an essential service can he? I mean, everyone is at home, and the restaurant tips are empty. Who needs security gadgets right now?). There was a moment when we could think, ah, it is just like a long long staycation, – endless Tet – but its harder to concentrate on anything the longer this goes on without a clear outcome/prognosis. I guess we have a lot of people starting to construct these. Home kit versions mostly – and often prognosis by numbers. And Guesswork. When I do get a moment to think work things, apart from just getting the few articles out with others, the analytic side is a minefield of doom and chaos. Again, maybe in some ways, Vietnam should be ok because not so many foreign students come here compared to say, Australia, UK and US uni’s, who are gonna suffer extreme measures – part inflicted by the ‘crisis’, partly by the bodgy silver budgie management types that will cut to the bone to save their skins. Especially UK ones who recently spent tonnes of money on tarting up their facilities to attract more students. Expect a huge crash in the higher education sector there. That, plus travel, are going to be a long time coming back. Venture capital will no doubt be looking to invest in remote digital services for rich folks on islands. If they can secure private armies to defend their fibre optic links and helicopter/drone Amazon deliveries, their life will be the same – well, wall-to-wall Rolling Stones ‘at home’ videos are the saddest part of it. Quite a long way from the Honky Tonk, eh Mick.

https://www.academia.edu/42809668/The_pecuniary_animus_of_the_university

exoticism, revolutionary tourism, solidarity

What does solidarity look like? There have not been enough in the way of critiques of revolutionary tourism, of the exoticist trap of romanticising rebel movements abroad while ignoring practical tasks at home. A critique of that from an internationalist position would have to stress the co-constitution of the oppressions over there and over here. Often the same corporate and government players, yet, also often the same sort of privileged myopia within and among those who say co-constitution and act only, or at best, in the ways Amnesty International or similar might do – insisting on the expertise of the well placed, thriving on the time drain of those accessed at the front lines. Trying to hold the two ends together is no doubt hard, but hang on to only one and you float away into la la land. Learn from those cut at the cutting edge, and don’t be the cutter.

Comedy

Screen Shot 2020-01-23 at 05.44.37

The times are those of distraction. Intensive scrutiny of slights and perceived hurts, while the libidinously ironic engage in rampant expressive display of mildly unacceptable comic-cum-outrageous transgressive provocation. At the same time substantial, world destroying, crimes of armaments, pollution, resource obsession, privatised prisons and obscene wealth carry on regardless.

While we should no doubt be interested in efforts to extend a ‘theoretical framework for how appropriations contribute to both the construction and reception of visual icons and how personification constitutes the main link between icons and their appropriations’ (Mortensen 2017: 1143) maybe we want to stress context as key to what is called personification. The personification is, we might contend, of a moment, a period, a, tragically, zeitgeist, that would identify as emergent, even established, cynicism on the run. Never wants to be tied down, and never thinks of its own identification as such, but fascism might be another name for it. Sure, we can recognise the difficulties of this as context – it looks back too far and the danger of any interest in Adorno is that some people think a postcolonial Adorno is not plausible. The contexts of appropriations that took place then, already dated in WW2, are also now, and the now is a time when the critical power of irony has been stolen. The memes and edgelord culture of the far-right thrives on a cynicism that is hardly worth the name, it is ironically cynical and all the worse. There is no telling some people. Yet, conversely, on the other side, an eroded ‘left’ politics is often where irony and perspective have been eviscerated by an unexamined warrior earnestness, exaggerated and solemn intensity, unable to recognise self-inflicted, humourless, damage and futility. The ancient idea of humour being about having a laugh has long, long gone, if from Freud and others, as we note, it never was without power plays. For the caustic circulation of name-calling and regimented thinking that refuses to laugh, even sometimes inappropriately, is what Adorno had already diagnosed as a taboo. An injunction that ‘nothing should be moist’ (Adorno), and even if this has still has not taken hold absolutely everywhere, sometimes even the moisture just tastes like what Michel Leiris called a ‘sexual lozenge’ (Leiris), an approved limit to desire imposed with a sales pitch effectively keeps us quiet, keeps us from getting at them with a bat as the bombing continues.

Research on posters

Can someone in the UK souvenir one of these fab posters for me please (for ‘research’ purposes). I find them amazing. Yes, I know, it was the flip-floppery on Brexit, the contempt of the class (failure to purge the party, and inexplicable tolerance of the Blairite Right with their vicous articulation of privilege in a virulently prejudiced class system) and media demonisation. And yes, more youth and more votes and etc.

But this poster is truly awesome:

Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 16.48.49

 

Is this poster even true – crikey, there were posters like this! So bad, I want one. The absolute gobsmacking craziness of the three-toed mugwumps that dreamed these up. Oh, wait, maybe here, and here, and here:

Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 16.45.39

 

Foolish to ask if Jeremy can sue them – sue who? – for this kind of smear. Its of the level of the “For Wider Streets Vote Conservative” poster (that I love, and used in Australia) or the Saatchi and Saatchi (Thatcherite) campaign posters of yore. Only lawyers would gain from such a move. And, well, maybe that will permit the luvvies to indulge in still more endless recriminations, rather than getting in the way of a larger necessary project. They will never be the ones able to transmute the interest in the ‘manifesto’ into something that really is for the many.

The point is, if you can hear this outside the triple echo-camber, with the three scourges of pointless reaction: going off social media for a while, sniping at everyone, or I told you so (well, I did – can only support labour for so long) you can get on with generalising and universalising the so-called little Britain manifesto. Then, whatever the vote tally that so reassures you however you do the sums, it is still the case that a left labour step towards a larger communist future has to be better than what Boris has in store.

(NB. Before I knew he was labour party, that Jeremy bloke came to demonstrations I’d helped organise – eg a London group against the Internal Security Act in Malaysia, a protest of 6 people outside Malaysian Airlines office decades ago. So, you know, if he keeps on, it is a good thing. He does not have to be Jezza the superstar to do worthwhile things). So, in return for joining an overlooked cause, please see the video:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FJeremyCorbynMP%2Fvideos%2F448002489199292%2F&show_text=0&width=476

Then, finally, to bring something forward from elsewhere,there is Neil Davenport, who I also knew as a journalist in Manchester long ago. He seems spot on to say:

‘It is wrong to assume that a re-run of mild social democracy was to blame for Labour’s catastrophe on Friday. Instead it was a reliance on continuity Blairism that led to the collapse of its northern heartland. There are a number of key aspects of Blairism that Corbyn and Momentum continued and went further with. The most obvious one was Blair’s peace with the EU and outright Europhilia, a position miles away from Labour’s old left and ex miner’s in the north. Secondly, the replacement of class solidarity with institutionalising diversity and identity politics, with the narrative of suspicion and at times outright hostility towards its traditional constituency.”

and to point out the pressing need to dismantle the middle-class drive

“to culturally reform the masses along middle class hairshirt lines”

Yes – it is high time to abandon that moralising sermonizing class and tone – the very middle-class hairshirt which is so beloved of moaners of many stripes. It has always been a less scratchy version of hairshirt than usually imagined. I mean, it seems like it comes in a whole variety of designer styles, slinky, sexy, never take it off, dom-fem versions, versions approved by your valet, gortex and microfiber outdoor hiking versions and more. Suits you sir, they say. Wearing political t-shirts with a 800 thread count. That hairshirt comes tailored and home delivered in Rugby and Superdry options. Nothing should be moist. They for sure aren’t taking it off for a proper scratch anytime soon.

Care – a Christmas Carol

gates

The inadequacy of charitable care as an international cure is evidenced despite the widespread propagation of philanthropic intervention. Bill Gates dedicates millions towards eradication of less glamorous diseases, and receives favourable blanket coverage across BBC World and other outlets. All manner of charitable organisations leech goodwill from the small-scale individual touristic concern through to huge Christian institutions with administrative apparatus and sans frontiers bureaucracy. Newspapers give support to campaigns to outlaw genital mutilation or to screen for trachoma, but a general inability to scale-up to the required distribution of universal well-being is structurally implied in philanthropic effort, even among those who would reject the injustice of global inequality. All very well-meaning and caring for sure, but fundamentally inadequate as a ‘cure’, dealing in a terminology of medical symptom and unable to confront the epidemiology of capitalism itself.

Here is a grotesque let them eat cake image – it shows the three billionaire amigos: Bill Gates, Akilo Dangote, Mohammed Ibrahim, and 2 women. The women are not named in the first five paras of the Forbes article I could read before the paywall closed on me. Erm, paywall? These are the richest guys in the world, and we all know no-one earns a billion dollars – do the math – you need to get $4578 per hour working ten hours a day every day for 60 years to ‘earn’ a billion. Of course, if you had $100 billion to invest in shares that rose 1% you would earn a billion in a day. Its nabbing that first $100 billion that is the trick. Anyway, instead of stealing all that money, there could be a global health service run by Governments rather than the discount Gates love-in reported here. Gates claims he pays more tax than anyone, at 10 billion on 106 billion, that is still a lower rate than I pay on my not even $1500 a month, and even as he says he’s given away $35 billion in charity, he is still ‘worth’ $106 billion (after tax? = good accountants). How can anyone be worth that, when clearly – do the math – they are still stealing the money, and asking you to smile at how generous their gifts are. Take a hike Bill. I mean, instead of thanking Gates for his self-aggrandising alibi donations in favour of a spot of science research, he could without fanfare pay proper taxes and that science x 10 could be funded by Governments without any of us having to see these cake-cutting bloated egoist philanthropists that even Charles Dickens would have mocked at Christmas.

The counter-revolution in Venezuela, by Saleh Mamon

Indexing

The requirement imposed upon untenured ‘early career’ scholars to target only alleged “quality” publications is academic narrowcasting. Zines fall between the cracks of experiment and necessity. Over time necessity produces conformity. A conformity encouraged by pressures of dubious provenance, a consequence of the new privatisation championed by parasite aggregator companies like Elsevier, academia.edu and Taylor and Francis that prefer not to employ many people (as is the way of platform capitalism) and so engineer elite sector data compliance through simplification and regularity of product – electronic proletarianisation, insofar as this enables algorithmic automation (full luxury uniformity, replicant writing and dalek alliegences)….

An export industry in ‘defence’ is a croc of shit – Turnbull comes the raw prawn.

Just in, the BBC misses the opportunity to call bullshit on Australia, which they can’t do of course because they also export ‘defence’ weaponry. Both as daft as can be:

Australia aims to become ‘top 10’ defence exporter

An image of an Australian flag on an army uniform[Image flopyright GET IN THERE IMAGES
Scrimage craption Australia has unfooled a new stranglgy on defiance industry expoarts -as square brackets indicate the pesky klingons are fiddling with my feed]

Australia[‘s puppet PM doing the bidding of his corporate arms dealer masters] has said it plans to become one of the world’s top 10 defence industry exporters within a decade.

The [fat cats of the] nation currently sell about A$2bn (£1.15bn; $1.6bn) in defence equipment each year, making it the 20th largest arms exporter [set blasters to stun]

Manufacturers would now be offered government-backed loans to stimulate the industry, [kiss-arse squib, Guab’gina Gil, you puny earthling] PM Malcolm Turnbull said.

Aid groups [bleated harmlessly as they] said the move would not help global efforts to build peace, an assertion rejected by the government [time warp].

The nation[al embarrassment, doing a mind flip] said it would primarily focus on boosting exports to the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, but it would also target markets in Asia and the Middle East.

“This is all about [killing other people so as to safeguard a half-dozen or so Eddie-level] Australian jobs,” Mr Turnbull told reporters on Monday, adding that “the goal is to get into the top 10”.

The [latter-day colonial wish for federation space] expansion includes setting up a A$3.8bn loan scheme to help Australian companies sell [killing machines, erm um blasters, ] defence equipment overseas.

The government will also establish separate agencies to better [kill] co-ordinate [maim] and promote [murder through] industry exports [and a mass shadow generator of Turnbull’s own twisted design].

‘Price of liberty’

[unable to contain the hypocrisy] Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said prospective buyers would face stringent checks to ensure “[we] don’t get into markets where we don’t want to be” [from the deck of his personal Eclipse Class dreadnought].

Critics said Australia should not deepen its [pockets through yet more corrupt] investment in defence exports.

[in the first somewhat sane voice of the day, we heard on Millennium Falcon radio that] “We should not be getting into the game of marketing weapons which kill, maim, and bring great sorrow and destruction to communities around the world,” Marc Purcell, chief executive of Australian Council for International Development, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

However, Mr Turnbull said nations could not forgo defence spending because the “price of liberty is eternal vigilance” [and other howlers from the cliche songbook of the dark arts, blood money, rogue crazy book of sell your own mother for a poll boost playbook]

“So that is why every nation, responsible nation, including our own, sets out to have the capabilities to defend itself, whatever and however circumstances may develop in the future,” he said [while onlookers gasped at the opportunism, and some choked on the smell of sulphur]

The US is the world’s largest arms exporter, making up a third of all sales, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. [ugh, I cannot even say what it took to get this far. still more smoke, we are not on Dalari Prime anymore, last ticket to Baskerville sells in 4 hours]

The next biggest exporters are Russia, China, France and Germany and the UK [amidst the strange stench a patriotic thought squeezes through the asphyxiation of my last remaining brain cells as the cryo chamber fires up – and I think that really, its the world cup that matters, who is in the play-offs, and did they have the right kind of ball skills? Yes, I watch the football, it distracts me from any recognition that typed cynicism is never going to step up to the level required to defeat these bastards. The possibility that humour might somehow keep alive the slim chance that all this could be wiped away in an angry uprising – canberra in ruins, the national gallery turned into a hospice, Kara Thrace as Joan of a new Ark – is, frankly, not sufficient, but then I stupidly turned on the BBC news channel. Like a fool. All I’ve left is these three tellurian credits. Burn it to the ground, incarnadine …

Turkey.

Gah. Still. No. Change.

>Subject: Call for solidarity for the academics for peace on trial

Dear colleagues,

Our colleagues in Turkey are facing incredible repression under a populist leader. This is part of a wider, global trend where academic and speech freedoms have increasingly been stifled due to neoliberalism and authoritarianism. I hope you can spread this call below widely and show your solidarity by following and publicizing peace academics’ court hearings that are scheduled to begin soon. Kind regards.
Call for solidarity for the academics for peace on trial

Violations of academic freedom and freedom of speech in Turkey have reached a dire situation.  The intimidations from Turkish government and its affiliates toward academics have escalated to legal action, whereby peace signatory academics face 7.5 years’ imprisonment if convicted for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.”

In January 2016, 1128 academics signed the Peace Petition, titled ‘We Will Not Be A Party To This Crime’ in order to draw the public’s attention to the brutal acts of violence perpetrated by the state in the Kurdish regions of Turkey.  Immediately after the release of the petition, many signatories were prosecuted, dismissed from their posts, and their citizenship rights were seized. A large number of academics including Nobel Prize laureates and members of major science academies around the world initiated a support campaign nationally and internationally. People from different professions, such as journalists, artists, screen actors and actresses, and writers voiced their support for the persecuted academics. More people signed the petition, yet the suppression on the signatory academics got fiercer; hundreds of more academics were dismissed with statutory decrees, their passports were confiscated, they were banned from public sector employment, and criminal investigations were launched. Many of those academics had to leave the country and are now facing extreme difficulties in resettling their lives and professions. One of the signatory academics –Mehmet Fatih Traş– could not stand this injustice and committed suicide. The declaration of state of emergency in July 2016 after a military coup attempt further blurred the distinction between criminal investigations and political punishment, and opened an arduous and painful avenue for not only the academics but also for journalists, writers, teachers, artists and others who demand freedom of speech in Turkey.

The signatory academics abroad have recently initiated a targeted boycott towards the Turkish higher education system, and its complicit universities. The aim of the academic boycott is to ensure that all dismissals are revoked and the persecution of academics, exacerbated under the state of emergency regime, is ended. To this boycott, and continuous struggle of Academics for Peace, the government recently responded by a harsher strategy: signatory academics are sued on an individual basis based on the accusation of terror propaganda according to the Law on Struggle against Terrorism, Article 7/2. The public prosecutor proposes imprisonment extending to 7.5 years. The number of academics with indictments is increasing day by day, and their trials start on December 5, 2017.

Since the petition, one of the most important acts of support for the academics who demanded peace has been the solidarity from colleagues who are not content with Turkey’s oppressive regime and its fatal actions on freedom of speech. In this new turn, we are well aware that we will need a stronger voice of resistance and call for justice! This solidarity can be through standing by us in the court hearings starting December 5, 2017, sending monitoring teams, observers, and news-makers; spreading the word and raising the awareness for what is happening now in Turkey regarding the academics.

In order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted academics, we, the peace academics from North America, call on you to:

1. Share and spread this call for solidarity; show your solidarity by following the trials,
commenting on them in your blogs, social media and/or writing a news article. For more
info on the latest attacks on academics in Turkey, please visit <https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/English>
https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/<https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/English> or http://mesana.org/pdf/Turkey20171017.pdf
2. Contact bakuluslararasi@gmail.com<mailto:bakuluslararasi@gmail.com> if you want to attend the trials as an observer, or
write to a human rights organization to send a delegate;
3. Sign the petition https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/petition/ to support the
targeted boycott on complicit universities in Turkey;
4. Inform your professional organizations and university senate to take action against
complicit institutions, such as The Scientific and Technological Research Council of
Turkey (TUBITAK; www.tubitak.gov.tr/en<http://www.tubitak.gov.tr/en>);
5. Support dismissed scholars financially by donating to the education union that supports
them https://www.youcaring.com/academicsforpeaceinturkey-763983

This call can also be accessed via this link for posting on social media: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ktAwJ6tS5xVZa6uKqXu1rH843u7NDj5aj0OwGvPv7bo/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

Do you remember when Australia did this for CHOGM? So its not just a ‘commonwealth’ thing.

Urban beauty. I dunno if I am more disgusted by this event with Ivanka or the WP’ article’s failure to do proper comparative memory work – since I do remember various round-ups for dignitary visits in Australia. Malcolm Fraser, bizzaro now a lefty icon, had Alice Springs cleaned up for a visit of Commonwealth Heads. And then the area around Sydney was to be cleaned up before the Olympics as I remember. Tom Forgan, head evangelist for the Advanced technology Park, said: ‘well, you don’t want all your poor people standing around in the middle of the city do you’. Oh, and who was being cleaned up? Not poor white folks, of course. Bleaaagrrrrr:

Ivanka Trump’s impending visit to India prompts roundup of beggars

 November 10 2017
(Hyderabad police via Twitter)

NEW DELHI — As Ivanka Trump’s visit to India nears, the south Indian city of Hyderabad is getting ready to dazzle its foreign guests — by locking its homeless and destitute people out of sight in prison rehabilitation centers.

Nearly 400 beggars were picked up from city streets and trucked away to one such center at the Chanchalguda jail, the Indian Express reported.

As the city scrubs up to impress its foreign guests, police plan to clear away 6,000 beggars and have banned begging entirely in the city until the first week of January.

The beggars are “employing children and handicapped persons to seek alms at the main junctions of roads,” said the ban order. “Such acts are causing annoyance and awkwardness.”

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Habeebnagar PS staff conducted Beggar- free city at Dargha Yousufian Nampally

“Some beggars argued that we were taking their freedom to live anywhere they want but we told them it was for their own good because they are going to the rehab centre where they will be taken care of,” an unnamed official told the Express.

The beggar clearance comes weeks ahead of the three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit that starts Nov. 28, where the first daughter will lead the American delegation to co-host the summit.


Ivanka Trump delivers a speech at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo on Nov. 3.  (Eugene Hoshiko/AFP/Getty Images)

Authorities told ABC News that they want Trump and foreign delegates to see India’s good side and not the “Slumdog Millionaire” stereotype commonly associated with the country.

The event’s theme is “Women First” and its tagline, “Prosperity for All.”

In the past few decades, Hyderabad has rapidly rebranded itself as India’s Silicon Valley, as an outsourcing hub for global firms and the Indian headquarters of international tech companies, including Apple, Google and Microsoft. But despite rapid growth, wealth is unevenly distributed and a huge homeless population lives off the scraps of the city’s techie middle class.

In recent years, the city’s fortunes have begun to turn for the worse. Automation threatens jobs and new visa restrictions in multiple countries, including changes to H-1B in the United States, have dampened the hopes and ambitions of many young technology students.

To bring back some of its sparkle, India’s government is keen to portray the country as a pioneering technology hub and attract foreign investment.

George Rakesh Babu, founder of the homeless charity Good Samaritans in Hyderabad, said, “The preparations are happening in every corner of our city. But the prison capacity in Hyderabad is not enough to look after all these people.” He pointed out that the central jail’s maximum capacity was only 1,000.

Vanishing acts like this are not unprecedented when foreign dignitaries come to India. They happened in Hyderabad in 2000 when President Bill Clinton visited the city.

To judge from some of the reaction on the police department’s Twitter account, the move was welcomed by many.

Habeebnagar PS staff conducted Beggar- free city at Dargha Yousufian Nampally pic.twitter.com/AuAqQ0j0P1

We want to see begger free Hyderabad for ever. Hyd witnessed such things in the past when Presidents of America visited. Nevertheless we appreciate your efforts and best of luck.👍🏼

Others lamented that the roundup was temporary.

” . . . After the international conference has completed, situation remains same,” tweeted one man.

“Super job,” tweeted another. “But see that they r not allowed again on road.”

Habeebnagar PS staff conducted Beggar- free city at Dargha Yousufian Nampally pic.twitter.com/AuAqQ0j0P1

We hope it should be implemented successfully but after the international conference has completed situation remains same…

trashed film paragraph on Reagan-Arnie-Trump

I dunno where else to dump this, which will now not be used in a review I was writing on regional film traditions:


Yet here is a topic ripe for serious comparative consideration if one, as necessity needs must, thinks across to the USA where a movie star became president, another became state governor – and only missed his ultimate ‘I’ll be back’ moment of becoming president because he was ineligibly born in Europe. Presently a real estate mogul is republican frontrunner on a virulently crazy platform of thinking Jesus wants him for a sunbeam (hat-tip Gore Vidal), his finger itching to blow immigrants, Moslems, Mexicans, Ruskies and whoever else to kingdom come. Reagan was a comic actor after all, Schwarzenegger a muscleman, or mechanical robot – his nuanced performance as a machine is itself interestingly dialectical. There are, nevertheless, distinct kinds of heroes in the social films – the robin hood character, the working class hero, the prince among fools – such that affection can build upon identification of repeated performance in such roles. Reagan did not benefit from the monkey movies perhaps, but the muscle man for California makes a certain Sky-net sci-fi sense.

Anthropoinsults

Referring to industrial pollution as the anthropocene lets the polluters off the hook. It has gone on some time now, so as the word isn’t going away its high time to ask just who is the anthro in this anthrobscenity? The generality is clear, but maybe it would be worth considering a few things that should be more obvious; that the ruling classes of the capitalist world system profit from polluting and have done so all along; collective control of the machinery of production would imply collective responsibility and collective decisions about how we all live; blame for the anthropocene glossed as blame on humans as such of course obscures entrenched privileges and hierarchies of class, region and nation, and history; capitalism is not the only global option, nor even the first ‘world system’, but it’s disconnect of responsibility and control of the means of reproduction is unique and appalling; reproduction of life need not pollute, need not harm, need not waste lives or energies – you do not have to fuck people over to survive; the Eurocentrism of the formulations here – anthropocene century climate change and scarcity discourses is blatant but underexamined; recycling tokens, reform targets or regulatory mechanisms mean little change while wealth determines power via control of the means of production; exclusivist opportunist private control turns means of production into means of pollution every time; Anthropocene means nothing more than a few of the usual suspect fuckers fucking the planet and getting away with it, with obfuscation – it’s really fucked up, fuckity fuck your filthy polluting class privilege, oil slick dodges, legitimacy excuses, the obscenity of your scams and all your dirty anthro-words. 

.
– part of a gripes version of a future essay/chapter/book that will be rehearsed online here or on academia.edu

– to share (gift “pay” forward) other articles and texts, click here

Begging Wars: Nottingham Police’s dodgy Prince tribute 


Begging Wars. This ghastly bin-hoarding in Nottingham – truly ideological but with colour palette decisions that are more spurious than the ten levels of prejudice this Police ad entails. 1. Charities also beg. 2. Syringes are medical tools, not shorthand for filthy junkies 3. Junkies aren’t filthy, recall the cocaine wraps found in the Houses of Parliament 4. This associative illogic is on a bin. 5. ‘Alcohol problems’ are also rife in the parliament, and across every other sector of every class 6. Alcohol worse than drugs. 7. Distraction logic: begging should be unnecessary with a living wage for all. 8. Need to hack these shameful shit sheets. 9. Purple haze = dubious Prince reference, someone signed off on this design. Also insults Hendrix. 10. Racist, classist, badly framed. Posters at kid’s level. Nearly missed it but for T.

For this and many more reasons… This is #shameful

[update 1 October 2016 – banned by the advertising standards agency. Took long enough, and only 4 out of 5 of them were banned, dunno what the other one was, but think whoever thought this whole lot up ought to get a free ride to the job centre].

Tasks for acceleration 2. 

Success and failure of the left. Accelerated change via anti colonial and revolutionary movements in the peripheries but the metropolitan left was never strong enough to shake complicity and confirm or consolidate those transformations such that the old elites clung in and/or adapted. Whether it was du Bois’s general strike or the 1926 one, rosa Luxembourg or the Prague Spring, May 68 or Occupy, the failure to really generalise the strike action and halt the reproduction of labour capacity in the service of capital – the hippies dropping out perhaps came closest, punk too – seems the crucial story of defeat. These defeats then permit the restitution of colonial andcomprador elite control on the accelerated nations too. Defeats that should indicate some harsh lessons for the next wave of struggles. 
– part of a gripes version of a future essay/chapter/book that will be rehearsed online here or on academia.edu
– to share (gift “pay” forward) other articles and texts, click here

Tasks for accelerationists?

The long wait for the transformation of the world: begun with the anti colonial push back against colonialism, itself subjected to cooption and complicity under the new post colonial elites, ably assisted by the sheer ineffectuality of the western lefts, their trades union tops, and their naive social democratic compromise with a take no prisoners privatising neoliberalism. Today, massive pivot to Asia, Africa and Latin America induces panic and military attack from NATO. It invokes possibilities of an organised global south up for grabs and provides clear indications of what the organised European lefts should do, which is to do all it can to transfer assets, technology and focus from the over privileged but now wastelands of the NATO home states to the emergent terrain we need, where loosening constraints and forging new alliances scan favourably. 

– part of a gripes version of a future essay/chapter/book that will be rehearsed online here or on academia.edu

– to share (gift “pay” forward) other articles and texts, click here

Ontofuckry

The pseudo-dominant hype that comes alongside ontological thinking: a kind of extension of postmodernism’s apolitical arabesques, which then moved into the digital. This most likely reflects a lack of political consequence amongst the wider left in the metropolitan centres. Spare time on their hands, fairly comfortable economic circumstances, and no practical occupation, meant speculations and flights of fancy with ‘radical’ inclinations but no connection to expressed political needs or mobilisation. A theoretical dominance that treads water in the flow of cultural politics.

  • part of a gripes version of a future essay/chapter/book that will be rehearsed online here or on academia.edu
  • – to share (gift “pay” forward) other articles and texts, click here

Trinkets…

The analysis of trinkets, objects, souvenirs or commodities remains wholly bourgeois if things are not seen as first up, against the grain, the embodiment of social labour power and prevailing relations of production. From there the examination of class struggle and the relations of production as they shift according to distribution of resources,  labour, machinery, market and state becomes the necessary context to understand the role trinkets play in crises, conflicts and historical change.  Trinkets do not have autonomy, but are contexted by the political, social and historical conditions they nevertheless allow us to describe. Appearance form.

  • part of a gripes version of a future essay/chapter/book that will be rehearsed online here or on academia.edu

passive aggression 101

Am continually amazed at the truly fucked up and arrogant entitlement of the middle class Brit – especially those of that middle class which still claims some distant working class origin. It manifests in a unbroachable passive aggression as if the Empire continued, as it objectively does, for them by right of a trickle down inheritance. It almost makes one prefer the polite but honest nostalgia of the debauched ruling class in their sanatorium suburbs. They at least can be put to work as national treasures and relics. The spectrum of those from rich off shore fund pig fucker to arsehole self-regarding Wikipedia entry tending bureaucrats of the Arts constitute the real impediment to any sort of social transformation in the back of the queue Isles.

  • this is not about YOU (or ME) but rather just an experiment in rhetorical flourish [who am I kidding, its you https://wewantthruthsaraa.wordpress.com/]
  • part of a gripes version of a future essay/chapter/book that will be rehearsed online here or on academia.edu
  • – to share (gift “pay” forward) other articles and texts, click here

Dumping or Trumping

Bright side of the current reaction. The decline of the European powers was bolstered by the land grab that was the USA – basically the oppression of indigenous and slave Americans was invested in a temporary world domination culminating in the Marshall Plan and Marilyn (the famous Monroe doctrine of coca-colonisation). But the only America that can be made great again by incompetent boorish land speculator Trump will be his accidental spurring of central and south America towards cross border action. Take a longer view and recognise how the anti-colonial triumphs of the 20th Century will, no doubt in convoluted ways, deliver on the promise of the massive transformations (Russia, China etc) of populations and aspirations for justice in the 21st. The centre is real old and the periphery is on the up, dialectics is not just propaganda but recognition of patterns and analysis of historical shifts. Migration changes the world for the better, and  claims to any other outcome are myopic idealism, racist self-harm and stalling of the inevitable.

(On inadvertently hearing The Donald on the radio).

Dig for the humanities

What if: the digital humanities represents a wanna be elaborate theoretical effort with a retrograde political conception and naïve economic complicity – an intellectually restrained class bought off with moderate comforts one step above the austerity imposed by upon the majority lower tiers by a cynically corrupt ruling class.

  • part of a gripes version of a future essay/chapter/book that will be rehearsed online here or on academia.edu

  • – to share (gift “pay” forward) other articles and texts, click here

The Syndication of Plagiarism SZ: (For Nicole Pepperell)

Was reading and discussing with a comrade Dinesh Wadiwel about his stuff on animals in Marx, and took up discussion of the bit from Capital 1867 edn , cited by Endnotes 2, on animals as general equivalent (dropped in subsequent editions). This since I am giving a talk on related themes: Marx, Animals, India, a certain rhinoceros, in Senegal this Saturday.

But then I did a search of the phrasing (english trans of 1867 edn from Value Studies by Marx <download here>). There, discovered a bit of suspect website scrubbing.

Let me put it neutrally, and let the people decide <the people know I have nothing against Zizek, except for my polemic in Pantomime Terror, that is: (see here)

OK, this involves two instances of people we know using that quote. Nicole Pepperell’s one from her blog in 2008, and Slavoj Zizek from Less than Nothing in 2012. Of course there is no guarantee Zizek did not already use this phrase previously, because he has hardly ever had a thought that was not published two or three times (see below), but here the use of the exact same words does indicate some level of something more than general equivalence.
 .
What do you all think? See the attached screenshots if you don’t want to follow up, the first exhibit is Nicole from Rough Theory <full post here>, the second is SZ <Pdf here>.
Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 23.30.35
and
Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 23.29.51
***
Romping heterogeneity. Ba bah boom.
.
*********************
.
ahhh, and since SZ does the rerun thing so often, its also in a 2012 volume called God in Pain: Inversions of the Apocalypse, with Boris Gunjević <here>
Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 00.16.11
***
AND syndicated in Italy and translated as a 2013 bog post: <here>
Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 00.18.22
***
and then it circulates unawares, we get “Žižek says” in <this> otherwise fine piece:
Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 00.35.17

docket

Against descriptive abstracto-clerical abstentionism,

Down with soft-time precariosectionallerationism,

Forget hard core solidarnozaprojevognosticism,

Exotico-vanguardianistas running remedio-databurst

In reeducational therastuparative ontoantileninburgola deepspair

Willi not teleseparational ultranarcolexcptospirational

waste-maskarting for debt-breath-dream-hole tuckffeory,

There unreally else no-one to kick out the codewebs,

Only youblamemetruly now. mthanks. uuu uuu.

Rename Australia now – it is derivative and insulting, so let it be changed to Nomgolia or Yarra Yarra or #referendum #renaming #greatsouthernland #aussies

AcburkeandwillsWent for a passport renewal interview yesterday. Isn’t it really really overdue to change the name of the country to something other than Australia?

I mean, the term is a problematic one, given by Spanish, Dutch, British colonists – first given by Mathew Flinders writing in prison in Mauritius – terra australis incognita, and this name, Australia, proposed by Macquarie and authorised by the Admiralty. Why accept what those pirates had to say? Flinders adopted the phrase somehow from the Spanish “Austrialia del Espíritu Santo” (Southern Land of the Holy Spirit) – and sure it was holy in some sense, but certainly not incognita, nor nullis, as we know well. The Dutch preferred New Holland, but that is equally problematic, and given that they also used Austrailis, with no disrespect to the Dutch, why do we follow their ascription (and while we are at it, surely New Zealanders should get about to changing their name as well – Aotearoa (Māori: [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]), is the obvious candidate). But what to rename the Great Southern Land? I am not going to propose we adopt anything from the Italians either, despite the very welcome migration of good cofeee adn pasta to Carlton etc., but in Latin, auster does connotes south or place from where the hot wind comes. It also had an earlier sense of East, and indeed the prefix aus can mean to shine or burn, ausre means dawn, if we look to the cognates: Greek eos “dawn,” auein “to dry, kindle;” Sanskrit usah, Lithuanian ausra “dawn;” Latin auster “south wind,” usum “to burn;” Old English east “east”.

Since other countries on independence from the colonial powers had no problem changing their names – Sri Lanka from Ceylon, Taiwan from Formosa – I think there is a case for renaming Australia in recognition of the potential for mass inward Chinese migration, perhaps New Tibet would be something to have in mind, lets call it Newbit. Or how about in recognition of the pomo linguistic muddle that we clearly have here around names, we could use Nomgolia. I like that because as a mostly arid country we have the potential to appeal to the Chinese as a migration destination option that would something like southern Mongolia. Well, sadly the racists won’t accept the argumentation that relies on China to populate the great expanses of the Murray basin, clearly we need to explore some indigenous names. Myself, coming from Melbourne, I like Yarra. We could name the country after a great river, apparently a koorie word for water, or waterfall, misheard by the early settler-colonists as a name for the river – yarra yarra they said, and pointed to the waterfall. So we could elevate that error as the name for the country in appropriate recognition of the early mistakes of occupation – a kind of sorry name gesture would not go astray. And after all, the droughts and flooding rains routine did leave some of the early error-making trekkers padding around in the desert begging indigenous folk for water – Burke and wills for example, set off to cross the country south to north, starting from the banks of the Yarra in 1860, died trying to get to Mount Hopeless on the way back (see the statue by Charles Summers, pic by Adam Carr).

I am proposing, as executive member of the Australian Government in exile, founded 1994, Manchester, now also with an office in Hsinchu City, that we have a referendum (that’s a fancy word for guessing game) on a new name.

My preference is for Nomgolia, but I would also accept Yarra Yarra. What do other people think?

[addendum: yes this was a Halloween post, but after all the pics of folks I know dressed in Halloween garb – adults I mean, not just kids – I wonder why it did not occur to me that we should just apply for US statehood. Especially as ex-glorious-leader Abbott crowed about so much in the UK this week, ever closer all the way ties. On Abbott’s overseas tour – does anyone know how he is getting back to Australia? – now is a good time to stop his boat, or plane, or broomstick]

Filthy bastard mining corp Riotinto slips the (legal) noose once again (the law is an ass)

Rio Tinto wins end to human rights abuse lawsuit in U.S.

Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:47pm EDT
* Bougainville residents sued over activity linked to mine
* 9th Circuit rules after top U.S. court narrows law’s reach
By Jonathan Stempel
June 28 (Reuters) – Benefiting from a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Rio Tinto Plc has won the dismissal of a nearly 13-year-old U.S. lawsuit accusing the Anglo-Australian mining company of complicity in human rights abuses on the South Pacific island of Bougainville.
Friday’s ruling by a majority of an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ends litigation begun in 2000.
Roughly 10,000 current and former Bougainville residents had sought to hold Rio Tinto responsible for human rights violations and thousands of deaths linked to polluting a copper and gold mine it once ran.
The ruling follows the Supreme Court’s April 17 decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, where the justices limited the sweep of a 1789 U.S. law that lawyers had used for roughly three decades to fight human rights abuses worldwide.
Five justices said the Alien Tort Statute was meant to cover international law violations occurring in the United States, and that violations elsewhere must “touch and concern” U.S. territory “with sufficient force” to displace that presumption.
The Bougainville residents alleged that after workers in 1988 began to sabotage the Rio Tinto mine, the company goaded Papua New Guinea’s government to exact retribution and conspired to impose a blockade, leading to thousands of civilian deaths.
On April 22, the Supreme Court threw out an earlier 9th Circuit ruling that let the lawsuit proceed, and asked it to revisit the matter in light of Kiobel.
Steve Berman, a lawyer for the Bougainville plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
He had asked the 9th Circuit to send the case back to the Los Angeles district court so that his clients could try to proceed with other claims, “sans invocation of the ATS.”
Kiobel was also cited this week by a Virginia federal judge who dismissed a lawsuit accusing defense contractor CACI International Inc of conspiring to torture detainees a decade ago at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The judge in that case said that because the alleged abuse occurred outside the United States, he lacked jurisdiction to consider claims by four former detainees. They plan to appeal.
The case is Sarei et al v. Rio Tinto Plc et al, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 02-56256.

The Hanging Channel spin offs

A new satellite service from the people who brought you ‘Captive Camera (Gitmo)’, ‘America’s Funniest NSA Surveillance Videos’, the YouTube viral sensation ‘LiveScream direct from the heart of Bhagram’ prison, and ‘The Hanging Channel™’ (the one with the ‘real’ – accept no substitutes – Saddam Hussein billion dollar drop – hosted by Devilish McCall).

Must see screen moments on this new service include (live links to be provided later):

– George Bush snr golfing

– George W reading stories to children when the TT were hit

– Obama watching the snuff film from Abbottabad with Hilary

– Hilary saying ‘wow’ to her blackberry when Gaddafi was killed

and other gems. Do not miss this. Parental misguidance recommended.

 

(essay on the Hanging channel see here)

 

 

Osscyclopedia

wikiredAnnouncing the immanent launch of a new free Osscyclopedia, written from the other end – no longer referring to the DDR as Former East without remembering the BRD is the Former West; no longer lauding Captain Cook as anything other than a daft chook-chasing pom; no longer reading the history of plunder and ursprüngliche Akkumulation as adventure; no longer thinking the middle passage was some sort of migration/travel narrative, rather than murder-death-kill genocide; no terra nullis, no thinking that Calcutta was only the second city of Empire; no thinking that Marco Polo and Vasco de Gama were heroes; no axis of evil; no deaths in custody; no mockery of cynicism (which after-all is a valid response to the fucked up way the mainstream media describes this vale of tears … you get the drift – so get Osscyclopedia [still in pre-beta testing]

state execution by neglect?

This from Tom Henri. It looks to me to be an attempted State premeditated murder, aka Capital Punishment, for a minor offense. There is also an open letter to the Ministry of Justice, signed by various luminaries.

Scrubbed to death

Daniel Roque Hall suffers from Friedreich’s ataxia, this debilitating and fatal illness means he requires around the clock care.  In 2011 Daniel pleaded guilty to smuggling cocaine into the UK.  The judge sentenced Daniel to three years in prison, on the proviso that a prison place could be found which would meet his health care needs.  The Governor of Wormwood Scrubs (widely regarded as the London prison with the worst health facilities) stated that his prison could meet Daniel’s needs.  After three weeks of neglectful treatment in the Scrubs, Daniel was rushed to hospital and placed on a life support machine.  Without exaggeration, the care (or lack of) that Daniel received in prison nearly killed him.  His man has a fatal degenerate disease, he requires full-time care, he is no harm to anyone else and he need to be with his family – NOT in Wormwood Scrubs.  Earlier this week, Daniel and his family won a seven day reprieve on Daniel’s return to jail.

You can read more about Daniel’s story at http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/02/disabled-daniel-roque-hall-injunction-return-prison

#madconference number 137

Somehow I have been targeted by pranksters who keep making up neoliberal sounding fictive conferences that could not possibly exist even in this benighted corporatized world. This one is a spoof on the UfSO, no? The fee is £395, with a whopping £70 off if you are gullible enough to even consider going to this bore-a-thon. ‘opportunities to network’ – wow.

 

answers to all questions about trinkets, and Capital.

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