Tuesday, August 29, 2006

American politics

Let me preface this, something I do a bit too much, with the strong disclaimer that the following is not intended as some sort of praising by default of the Democrats. The leaders of the Democratic Party are, by and large, every bit as racist and wicked as the Republicans. Just because the son of one of the most prominent Republicans was caught in a hood doesn't mean the democrats didn't make it over the fence in time.
Bill Frist, cat killer, eugenic supporter (?), invasion and torture supporter, Senate Majority leader, cretin, has a few sons. Those sons have blogs. What did the little Bryan Frist write on his blog?
“I was born an American by God’s amazing grace, let’s bomb some people.”

Oh? That doesn't sound like the usual hogwash of spreading democracy to the people of the world. In fact, that sounds a lot closer to what Bll Frist actually thinks. Daddy Frist talks a lot about helping Iraqis and voting on his website. Hmmm, what does the other son write in Facebook entry? Let's let him chime in on the debate:
"Roll Call, the Washington insiders’ newspaper published on Capitol Hill, recently reported that Jonathan Frist’s Facebook entry declared him a member of the “Jonathan Frist appreciation for ‘Waking Up White People’ Group”. It also mentioned a group where there were “No Jews allowed. Just kidding. No seriously”."
(Both quotes courtesy of The Times).
Oh. Thanks for clearing that up, Jon. So let me get this straight. Two sons of three make these kinds of statements but we should instead accept the public statements that Frist MD (or, as I like to call him, doctor evil) has actual concern about the Iraqis and the people of the world and his Jewish and non-white constituents? What do we imagine the big doc talking about around the dining room table with the kids? The Martin Luther King legacy? Buiding an inclusive society from the ashes of a slavocracy? Democracy?
Or maybe he was talking to his kids about the need to forment revolutionary struggle by the strategy of making it so bad that people wake up. Because what has to happen before we do? As you read this, they're shooting Iraqi children, two million people sit in cages, and the system is just churning out poverty like hot dogs at the oscar meyer wiener factory. When are we going to move?

Monday, August 28, 2006

David Wojnarowicz

I'm reading David Wojnarowicz right now. He made one of the central pictures that loads on the reader's main page (the one with all the text and the little boy, hit reload until you get it) and the one other piece of his I've gotten to see has similarly stirred me with its raw power. It was made just before he died of AIDS and the backdrop, this is from memory yall, is a photograph of these battle scarred boxer fists.
“Sometimes I come to hate people because they can’t see where I am. I’ve gone empty, completely empty and all they see is the visual form; my arms and legs, my face, my height and posture, the sounds that come from my throat. But I’m fucking empty. The person I was just one year ago no longer exists; drifts spinning slowly into the ether somewhere way back there. I’m a Xerox of my former self. I can’t abstract my own dying any longer. I am a stranger to others and to myself and I refuse to pretend that I am familiar or that I have history attached to my heels. I am glass, clear empty glass. I see the world spinning behind and through me. I see casualness and mundane effects of gesture made by constant populations. I look familiar but I am a complete stranger being mistaken for my former selves. I am a stranger and I am moving. I am moving on two legs soon to be on all fours. I am no longer animal vegetable or mineral. I am no longer made of circuits or disks. I am no longer coded and deciphered. I am all emptiness and futility. I am an empty stranger, a carbon copy of my form. I can no longer find what I’m looking for outside of myself. It doesn’t exist out there. Maybe it’s only in here, inside my head. But my head is glass and my eyes have stopped being cameras, the tape has run out and nobody’s words can touch me. No gesture can touch me. I’ve been dropped into all this from another world and I can’t speak your language any longer. See the signs I try to make with my hands and fingers. See the vague movements of my lips among the sheets. I’m a blank spot in a hectic civilization. I’m a dark smudge in the air that dissipates without notice. I feel like a window, maybe a broken window. I am a glass human. I am a glass human disappearing in rain. I am standing among all of you waving my invisible arms and hands. I am shouting my invisible words. I am getting so weary. I am growing tired. I am waving to you here. I am crawling around looking for the aperture of complete and final emptiness. I am vibrating in isolation among you. I am screaming but it comes out like pieces of clear ice. I am signaling that the volume of all this is too high. I am waving. I am waving my hands. I am disappearing. I am disappearing but not fast enough.”

His book is similar; righteous anger and long sentences. This isn't the anniversary of his death or anything, but he deserves to be remembered.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Act Up History

There is a page of Act Up videos about Act Up History. You should spend an afternoon watching them because Act Up is one of the most inspiring groups of the last thirty years and they never get the credit they deserve.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

New Graphic

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Great PSA and Some Questions

First, watch this!

If Youtube isn't working, go to http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5473.shtml. (h/t abmwal)

Hello, readers. A couple questions. I figure you get the reader, now it is your turn to help. Has anyone read When John Wayne Went Out Of Focus?" Is it any good? Second, does anyone know drupal? How difficult is it to learn?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Some notes

Our apologies for the dearth of new additions to the reader. Besides some huge events in our offline life, we're also debating over what to add exactly. There's the Manual for a Living Revolution, which is simply great, and some other stuff we're thinking about. There are also some readings from this project's first generation that might be scrapped. Our promise is that it'll all remain online, in case people have linked to it, but we'll no longer upgrade and it may not be on the central table of contents. Nonetheless, there have been some fairly invisible additions to the pages. For example, there are now about a million distinct quotes on the blog's right panel. I hope everyone's summer is going well.

p.s. Everyone seems to be whispering sweet nothings about Al Gore these days. Please do not forget what he did in South Africa on behalf of the pharmaceutical corporations vis-a-vis the AIDS pandemic. Not to be ultraleft, but Al Gore may be a mainstream politician who will loudly talk about the existence of global warming, but his environmental gestures should not be a feather in his cap and instead be seen as an indictment of the rest of the crooks. People seem like they're a little quick to pat the guy on the back for pointing out that the earth is, in fact, round.

p.p.s. The New York Times has been particularly egregious in its coverage of Israel's naked invasion of Lebanon. Buried in their article about Hezbollah's Secretary-General, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, there is one interesting paragraph (amid numerous ones denouncing him and dismissing him):
But Sheik Nasrallah is definitely in touch. He gloats over the evident confusion reflected in the Israeli news media about their military offensive. He is known to have read the autobiographies of Israel’s prime ministers. He always calls Israel “the Zionist entity,” maintaining that all Jewish immigrants should return to their countries of origin and that there should be one Palestine with equality for Muslims, Jews and Christians.
(Emphasis added) I don't know enough about Nasrallah to form a firm opinion, but why isn't this last point central to the debate? One side is a clear apartheid state while others want an egalitarian society; obviously there are some who are not anti-zionist, but anti-semitic and who should be included in the debate: they reveal the foolishness of zionism. I'm curious about what Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi is saying about all of this.