Mr. Snippy

DC Has No May Day

Or, why the Institute for Policy Studies can eat shit.

I’ve often groused about how the activist millieu in DC is domesticated, low key and dead. Every event inevitably follows this formula: BORING SPEECH followed by THREE WORD CHANT, with ANNOYINGLY SERPENTINE MARCH that passes by OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, winding up OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, with BORING SPEECH, THREE WORD CHANT, THREE WORD CHANT and BORING SPEECH. Sometimes, BORING SPEECH is interspersed with BORING FOLK MUSIC.

It’s almost as if all of these events are planned by the same central committee. We’ve long been frustrated and irritated by the presence of 501c(3) non-profit groups– they latch on to every movement and suck the life out of it. Suddenly, every event –no matter how grass-roots its origins– is handled like a goddamned rock concert, with backstage passes and VERY BUSY STAFFERS who are VERY IMPORTANT AND CANT TALK WITH YOU RIGHT NOW WOULD YOU KINDLY STEP AWAY FROM THE SPEAKERS. You have to butter these little shits up, too, or else they’ll do everything in their power to keep you from taking pictures or interviewing people.

Politics.

So it comes to pass that every activist event ends up following the same fucking script, with people on the street becoming so accustomed to the routine that they block it all out. The people of DC have acquired ninja-like prowess in dodging and brushing off bright, shiny-faced youth with pamphlets, and shitty, squawking bullhorns just blend into the white noise of the city. I know, you’re getting less than minimum wage to hand out fliers for an hour or two and it looks good on your curriculum vitae when you apply to another 501(c)3, but the people who told you to do this have no connection with the worker you’re slowing down who needs to catch the subway or else she’ll lose her minimum wage job.

This is why no one who lives in DC gives two shits about activism anymore, and why no one bothers to start anything. You’d think DC would be alive with political discourse on every corner, but it’s not. Everything has been domesticated. Tamed. Broken. Every movement, no matter what it is, will inevitably be co-opted by a large, well-funded nonprofit who will then move its own people into leadership positions in the original, grass-roots group. Or– as with the case of Occupy DC, where there is no leadership position– the nonprofits will createleadership positions with their own people already in the position; namely, the Institute for Policy Studies’ involvement with Occupy DC. We were looking up info about tomorrow’s May Day event at Malcolm X park, and saw this press release. That’s odd, Occupy is just supposed to DO THINGS, not have press agents and people who live in very expensive apartments in Alexandria.

“Who ARE these people?” “Hmm… they work for something… Institute for Policy Studies?” “INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES?! A FUCKING NON-PROF?!” “Yeah, fuck that shit, I’m not wasting my time on that crap.”

What DOES MayDay DC have planned, anyway? A carnival? A family friendly outing of happy, puffy, safe pablum that completely undercuts the serious nature of the entire goddamned 99% message? The right wing and corporatists are waging a very literal waron working people, dissidents and anyone who doesn’t fit into their narrow “God-Money-Empire” worldview, and the best way to demonstrate this is by having nonprofit staffers dress up in CLOWN COSTUMESfor a goddamned PARADE?

The common line of apologist bullshit from non-profits is that without the power of a nonprofit, they wouldn’t be able to pull in notable speakers or professional sound systems– which is probably they’ve had their sights set on Occupy since it first appeared. Think about it– a legitimately grass-roots movement that doesn’t want or need your fucking Genelec monitors that you can’t mix properly, and where speakers like Slavoj Zizek spent their own money to travel to and attend. Hell, DC may actually by a perfect example where right wing media may have had its baseless propaganda finally hit a mark: a rich, well-funded group of flatulent, old “establishment leftists” really have taken over the activist scene in DC.

The major difference between what Institute for Policy Studies does and what Americans for Prosperity does is AFP has the backing of the Koch brothers’ billions, and IPS only has donations from a few well-off people from left-of-center. Either way, both of these abominations are the very definition of astro-turf political movements. Nothing of any journalistic importance will happen at Malcolm X park tomorrow, and I’m certainly not going to risk my brand new camera and lenses to cover a fucking astro-turf event that’s already being photographed by talentless hacks working for a fucking non-profit. Fuck that shit.


Pounding Keys Yet Again

The line of thinking that supports the “the only reason that oppressive, orwellian legislation is passed is because of terrorist acts” is a nice cop out. It’s easy to take the administration-friendly line of painting the government as a reluctant oppressor, that it doesn’t REALLY want to spy on its people or treat them as unruly cattle, but plans like the Levin Amendment to the NDAA, the amendment that allows the US military to indefinately detain United States citizens without any access to legal services wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to some imminent threat, it was cooly composed and inserted into the NDAA AFTER Osama Bin Laden was killed. But the argument never takes the opposite track in mainstream political discourse. We always see the erosion of our civil rights, our liberties and our freedoms as the unfortunate result of some grave, dire threat, that somehow taking away the ability to use a megaphone at a political rally will save thousands of lives, or whatever ridiculous example you want to give. We– the news media, the public and our elected officials– never frame the debate in the opposite manner, that the ridiculous, horrible act comes after it is made illegal, and this as a result and reaction to its banning. Everything in society is framed like this: “there was no choice but to invade Iraq because there were terrorists there” is retroactively justified because some ignorant people who rarely pay any attention to the news perk up whenever they hear “terrorist attack in Iraq.” They cannot make the connection that the reason for the existance of that terrorist is a direct result of the invasion of Iraq– for whatever reason, they believe that Iraq has always been populated exclusively with terrorists. Similarly, they do not understand why– after so much high-level diplomacy– certain countries still hate all westerners with a passion. They cannot understand that protestors who are being gassed with tear-gas canisters stamped “made in the USA” is a far more potent diplomatic gesture than all of the five-star luncheons or glad-handing photo-ops ever conducted.

If there’s one major flaw in direct action, it is that it is far too optimistic in its goals of “waking people up to the truth.” People have been conditioned to believe that the government is a generally benign behemoth that has no real desire to oppress, and that “oppression is something for other countries.” People have been trained to accept the model of causality that posits the government as ONLY acting harshly and oppressively as a tactical reaction against something harmful, never vice versa. You know the chicken and the egg metaphor– in this reality, The CHICKEN CAME FIRST. Only commie hippie scum think the egg came first, and even if the egg came first, the chicken was ABSOLUTELY JUSTIFIED in what it did!


Post-modern political philosophy fails because it is intrinsically opposed to humor.

Browsing tumblr for all of thirty seconds netted me a moderately re-posted diatribe aimed at a positively ancient joke, wherein the author of the diatribe either doesn’t understand that said joke is not actually utilized as a serious philosophical attack on body modification, body image politics or gender oriented philosophy. Or they may be operating under the delusion that an amateur “postmodern critique” of a crusty “old people making fun of young people” type joke has any merit outside of facile external validation from an insular peer group.

If you have to ask “Does this make me a bad person?” or “Am I wrong for thinking…?”, it probably does. If your intent is to offer a serious critique and/or condemnation of a particular aspect of social conservatism, the energy expended on your “heroic defense of freedom of choice” would be better utilized if it were not directed at a soft, easy target like an unfunny, widely forwarded joke about a punk rocker and a parrot. The audience for this joke consists of aging social conservatives who have interacted and are uncomfortable with young people who are comfortable with their body image to openly express themselves. It is not being distributed as a part of a larger intimidation and propaganda campaign.

Wasting your time on bad jokes only paints you as an unfunny, touchy, tedious cretin who cannot comprehend the concept of “humor” outside of all jokes being a form of rape or physical assault– and as one who finds critique of more worthy items too challenging.

No, I’m not linking to it or reblogging it.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR, DON’T TRY TO BE FUNNY.

FUCK ‘EM IF THEY CAN’T TAKE A JOKE.


What’s the point of conspiracy theories? Even if the most ridiculous ones were true, and jew lizard aliens from the Pleiades really did kill JFK with a laser and flew hologram cruise missiles into the World Trade Center, they’ve already gotten away with it, and there’s nothing a bunch of alcoholic, paint-sniffing paranoid maniacs are going to be able to do about it. Wouldn’t the person who’s truly interested in the welfare of humanity instead try and busy themselves with the duties of figuring out how to survive under the jew lizard shapeshifter alien government?

What’s the point of spreading histrionic paranoia to other easily excited paranoids?


Muddying the definition of “states rights”: How Ron Paul exploits potheads to advocate for segregation

When did people forget that “states rights” was the battle cry used in the 1950s and 1960s in the fight against integration, the equal rights amendment and being federally prohibited from abusing people based on their skin color?

When did “states rights” change into a byline for slack-jawed advocacy for cannabis legalization?

Maybe they didn’t forget. Maybe they’re exploiting the fact that younger persons of voting age never had to live through any of the battles and bloodshed around civil rights– and instead realize that the way to having th’ gummit stop enforcing labor laws, reproductive freedom laws and anti-discrimination laws is through a bunch of kind-hearted but naive stoners.

The irony of the fight for cannabis legalization through states rights is ironic, considering that cannabis will never be legalized unless it is dealt with on a federal level. The placement of cannabis on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act is at the behest of congress. This means that actions that sound as simple as “abolishing the controlled substances act” or “rescheduling cannabis” require the full approval of congress– the president can not do this act alone, nor can the president issue a decree ordering congress to repeal a law. For all of their moping about “restoring the constitution,” paultards seem to be blissfully unaware of the separation of powers– no one branch of the government makes the laws; they are created in concert with all three branches of government, and unless a majority of the 535 members of congress are all progressive-minded enough to support a liberalization of existing drug laws, nothing will happen.

Working around the controlled substances act and reclassifying cannabis as a prescription medicine is the most effective way to achieve partial legalization, and to reduce the social stigma of cannabis– which certainly does still exist in many sectors of society.

The other side of the coin is one that advocates for cannabis legalization seem to overlook: are the 535 members of congress sufficiently conservative enough to support legislation that repeals federal regulations on racial discrimination, child labor, abortion rights, gender discrimination, labor rights and prison terms? My point being, of course, that states will see abortion, homosexuality, unions and race-mixing outlawed and criminalized well before cannabis legalization is ever considered.


Sad Truisms For Life In The West

– Your thoughts are your own, unless they are of interest to marketing firms.

– You may believe whatever you want to believe, as long as those deviant thoughts reside solely in your mind. You are free to believe anything, even things that are divergent from the white, christian, capitalist male power structure– but do not act upon them. “Acting upon them” is defined as anything requiring more effort than is required to close the browser window in which said deviant philosophies reside. Penalties may range from light ridicule to several years incarceration.

– You have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, unless these grievances are with any federal law-enforcement agency. In order to save taxpayer money, your grievance will be summarily dismissed in order to dispense with the tedious process of making federal agents appear in court, considering that no judge will ever rule against any federal law enforcement agency or its employees. If in fact your grievance does not involve a federal law enforcement agency, you have the right to have your grievance heard and subsequently dismissed after a long and costly pre-trial process.

-You have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you have a badge, you have the right to other people’s lives, liberties and actual happiness.


heksenhaus:

death in june is terrible, irrelevant, and hasn’t done anything even listenable in almost twenty years.

douglas pearce is a cryptofascist piece of shit.

“I’m not a fascist because I have Israeli and Rainbow flags on my website! Nazis can’t be gay so I’m not a nazi. Now let’s take my band that’s named after a nazi event, dress in wehrmacht uniforms, sing songs about how great German culture is, nazi events and nazi people that’ll later appear on nazi-themed compilations. Then let’s go on tour with other bands who like to sing about the same stuff we sing about. Gosh, sure are a lot of white people with shaved heads in the audience at our shows!”

The first time I listened to them, I really did wonder what all the fuss was about. It’s sub-par folk warbling that wouldn’t last at an open mic night at the coffee shop.

Maybe DiJ is just one big joke on people who don’t like music, because he’s been speak-singing and atonally thrumming his acoustic guitar to the same song for years now, and the sheer volume of absurd EXTREMELY LIMITED EDITIONS of the same songs in a different order is pretty much the same strategy of a car manufacturer taking last year’s model and putting go-faster stripes on it. It’s also incredibly insulting to state that because someone doesn’t like DiJ, they don’t “get” it. What’s to get? Douglas thought up the lyrics, wrote the music entirely separately and then sloppily bolted them together in an ungainly, amelodic and tedious blob of sound.

Out of, what, 40+ albums(?) I think can find six tunes that don’t make me want to fill my ears with cement– and I don’t think it’s any surprise that they’re drone tracks that don’t feature douglas’ voice OR his fucking guitar.


Pacifism yes, Passivism never.

The mythology that Gandhi practiced “pacifism” is part of a larger mythology fed by the state to discourage political activism. Gandhi practiced asymmetry- his tactics were effective because they were diametrically opposed to the previous one hundred years of bombings, assassinations and violence. If the situation were flipped, with the previous one hundred years of resistance to the British composed entirely of non-violent, pacifistic actions and Gandhi appeared with a methodology of bombings, assassinations and violence, that too would have been effective in removing British colonial rule from India. How this would have played in the broader scope of international affairs at that point in history is probably best left to Speculative Fiction writers, but I could venture that Japanese interest in India would have been increased significantly.

The concept of “pacifism” is now used as a cudgel to bludgeon any talk of any political activism deemed “militant” even if said activism is no more militant than occupying an abandoned bank. To be clear, Gandhi’s pacifism worked because the “militancy” it displaced was actually militant– to compare squatting, picket lines, port blockades or marches to bombings, organized assault units and a network of assassins is ridiculous state propaganda.


NPR to Occupy Wall Street: FUCK YOU.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ombudsman/2011/09/26/140815394/newsworthy-determining-the-importance-of-protests-on-wall-street

NPR will give wall-to-wall coverage of nearly every single Koch-funded teabagger rally, from a bunch of racist old coots in the middle of nowhere to multi-million dollar spectacles on the National Mall, but they not only specifically *ignore* a legitimately grass-roots protest put on by angry, politically motivated youth who are protesting relatively complex economic policies— they BRAG ABOUT IT TOO.

I wager that at some point in the day, an NPR host or two will air a piece whining and complaining about “voter apathy” or “lack of political motivation” among young Americans. Look, these people aren’t getting beaten, maced and arrested for fucking Justin Bieber tickets, they’re making the *very clear statement* that Wall Street controls far too much of the political process in the United States government. Gosh, I wonder if THAT has anything to do with “voter apathy.”

Everyone on the ground in NYC protesting knows this stuff like the back of their hand, and they’ll happily tell any reporter all about it— but NPR thinks that a bunch of mouth-breathing idiots who can’t verbalize their angst over the fact that a black man is president has far more “message clarity” than anybody on Occupy Wall Street.

The irony of the whole matter is that the average teabagger has a deep, searing, burning hatred for NPR. The simple fact that NPR exists *at all* —least of all in part due to government contributions— sends the typical teabagger into an apoplectic rage, but NPR still panders to people who would never be caught dead listening to NPR in the first place.

I know what will happen— NPR will air an apologetic, 30 minute long piece about these protests and it will be played once on a Sunday at 3AM PST, so the least amount of people will listen. Then they’ll whine again about the extreme duress they’ve been put under to air this *awful piece* and never say anything about it again. Fuck that.


Why do I even bother listening to this show?

I have come to the earth shattering conclusion that Coast to Coast AM is little more than a collection of people with very little familiarity with science attempting to:

-Comprehend the as-yet unexplained world around them with fairy stories

-Use what little knowledge they may have of the scientific method to “do science” to these fairy stories in order to make them sound like they have some sort of academic worth.

Case in point: tonight featured a segment about spontaneous human combustion, wherein the guest postulated that spontaneous human combustion could be the result of the atoms of water molecules inside the human body being split into hydrogen and oxygen, thus producing a release of stored energy.

Callers suggested that what might happening is that all of the sodium in the human body— in the form of salt— reacted poorly with the water and produced a typical sodium-water reaction, namely an explosion. The caller did know that salt and sodium are two different materials, but didn’t understand that sodium doesn’t simply “have one extra particle” to it and can’t just freely disassociate itself from chlorine to form pure sodium. If that was the case, the formation of pure chlorine in the body would probably kill the person faster than the sodium-water explosion would, and even then there are a myriad other substances for the sodium to bond with.

The guest then went on to theorize that instead what may be happening in spontaneous human combustion is a release of such tremendous energy that a quantum entanglement event may actually be occurring. This, unfortunately, does not satisfy any inquiry as to why an event of such astonishing cosmic significance that it cannot yet be produced in the largest particle accelerators happens in the extremely localized and absurdly specific location of inside a random human being and does not go on to affect the surrounding twenty-mile vicinity.

So, to explain the burning deaths of people who most likely died as a result of prosaic means (candles, cigarettes, electric blankets), people will utilize every single explanation regardless of its plausibility. The biggest question is not why people spontaneously combust, but why people honestly believe nuclear fission is capable of occurring inside peoples’ bodies.