Tag Archive: politics
Here be the first single off it. Fight Them Back.
Feel free to go fuck the questionaire this animated gif originally led to.
In 1997 Arundhati Roy released The God of Small Things. It won the Booker prize (now the Man-Booker, as The independent have been pointing out all week whilst writing about it and the recently launched Literature Prize). I haven’t read it although I probably should. I reckon I’d like it as the plot revolves somewhat around the fucked up class system in India (The Caste System) – which i find equal parts interesting and horrific. She hasn’t finished a novel since.
Now, to not follow up the winning of such a prestigious literary prize (or formally prestigious – whatever) would seem like career suicide. Frankly, I don’t think Miss Roy gives a fuck. She’s been far too busy doing more important things. Namely, challenging the capitalist and human being fueled industrialization of India, getting down and dirty in the trenches of India’s hidden war and generally horrifying the countries burgeoning middle-class by writing essays like Walking With The Comrades:
After dinner, without much talk, everybody falls in line. Clearly, we are moving. Everything moves with us, the rice, vegetables, pots and pans. We leave the school compound and walk single file into the forest. In less than half an hour, we arrive in a glade where we are going to sleep. There’s absolutely no noise. Within minutes everyone has spread their blue plastic sheets, the ubiquitous ‘jhilli’ (without which there will be no Revolution). Chandu and Mangtu share one and spread one out for me. They find me the best place, by the best grey rock. Chandu says he has sent a message to Didi. If she gets it, she will be here first thing in the morning. If she gets it.
It’s the most beautiful room I have slept in, in a long time. My private suite in a thousand-star hotel. I’m surrounded by these strange, beautiful children with their curious arsenal. They’re all Maoists for sure. Are they all going to die? Is the jungle warfare training school for them? And the helicopter gunships, the thermal imaging and the laser range-finders?
Why must they die? What for? To turn all of this into a mine? I remember my visit to the open cast iron-ore mines in Keonjhar, Orissa. There was forest there once. And children like these. Now the land is like a raw, red wound. Red dust fills your nostrils and lungs. The water is red, the air is red, the people are red, their lungs and hair are red. All day and all night trucks rumble through their villages, bumper to bumper, thousands and thousands of trucks, taking ore to Paradip port from where it will go to China. There it will turn into cars and smoke and sudden cities that spring up overnight. Into a ‘growth rate’ that leaves economists breathless. Into weapons to make war.
Everyone’s asleep except for the sentries who take one-and-a-half-hour shifts. Finally, I can look at the stars. When I was a child growing up on the banks of the Meenachal river, I used to think the sound of crickets—which always started up at twilight—was the sound of stars revving up, getting ready to shine. I’m surprised at how much I love being here. There is nowhere else in the world that I would rather be. Who should I be tonight? Kamraid Rahel, under the stars? Maybe Didi will come tomorrow.
The reason Roy hasn’t finished the novel she’s working on is because she is living a different one.
I’d heard of God of Small Things, but i hadn’t really heard of its author, not until a few months ago. I’ve become a bit of a newshound since I got my kindle due to the fact that I could download a free copy of The Guardian every day if I wanted to, thanks to their liberal licencing and API. I should be reading novels but I’ve gotten a bit obsessive about it. Right now, for a change, I’m on a two week free trial of The Independent instead. I’ve always considered The Guardian and The Independent the only two decent papers in the UK – but i’d never put this to a taste test. Now I have I think I might prefer The Independent.
And that is the reason I have written this post, so I could link to those two interviews. Do yourself a favour and go read them, because Arundhati Roy is quite obviously a remarkable woman, not to mention an amazing writer.
A surge of re-energized American citizens positioned in cities across the country are carrying out the grassroots “Occupy Wall Street” movement (or the “99 Percent Movement”) with an intelligent and provoking agenda that invokes real patriotic citizenship – much unlike the backwards Tea Party protests that have done little more than pervert our founding ideals while hidden under the guise of Americanism.
Also unlike the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street is not fueled by corporate dollars or any major television network (aka, Fox News), but by a vast, grassroots network of individuals who have either been negatively affected by the pro-regressive sentiment in the country or by those who have grown disillusioned by the Right wing’s strangle-hold over our country’s future and its catering to corporate citizenship.
The moniker “We are the 99%” is touted proudly by diverse groups of everyday Americans, ranging from teachers and students to firefighters, nurses, construction workers and Marines.
Unfortunately, though – if you listen to many Congressional Republicans, Right wing pundits and Tea Party aficionados – when common citizens across the country representing the vast majority of America peacefully protest in mass numbers against unbridled greed by Wall Street and the banking industry, they are just angry mobs of un-American thugs engaging in anti-capitalist propaganda mongering.
But when corporate-sponsored Tea Partiers protest outside the White House or other public centers (albeit carrying signs promoting bigotry, racism, hatred and/or violence), they are symbolic of the purest form of patriotism in action…
< link shit >
Europe’s hopeof a better future is faltering, as the financial crisis and spending cuts bite, according to a Guardian/ICM poll of five leading EU countries. It finds trust in government at rock bottom and widespread fear of further economic decline. Few people are convinced that the present signs of recovery can be sustained.
Harry Potter billionaire J.K. Rowling on why she chooses to continue living in Britain even though she could reduce her tax bill considerably by residing elsewhere:
I chose to remain a domiciled taxpayer for a couple of reasons. The main one was that I wanted my children to grow up where I grew up, to have proper roots in a culture as old and magnificent as Britain’s.
….A second reason, however, was that I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that Mr Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism.
It’s good to read pieces like this from time to time, something that reminds you why you have that niggling mass of cells somewhere in your head that baulks whenever such matters come up, either on tv or elsewhere in the media, even if you don’t give it any serious thought on a regular basis because your too distracted by other things. Intuition still has its place you know, but explict knowledge does too. To operate on one whilst sacrificing the other leads only to myopia:
All their energy is aimed at making their identity group more respectable within a patriarchal, racist, and capitalist society. They don’t care about the systems of oppression that affect society as a whole: racism, patriarchy, and they don’t even care to know what’s wrong with capitalism, so their analysis stays at the level of petty, singular “issues” which only pertain to specific groups who live in that society. All they’re trying to do is make their group more integrated into racist, patriarchal capitalism. And by doing so they feed the systems that generate the system of oppression for everyone.
It has no fixed meaning, and thus applies to virtually anything the user wishes to demonize, while excluding the user’s own behavior and other acts one seeks to justify. All of this would be an interesting though largely academic, semantic matter if not for the central political significance with which this term is vested: both formally (in our law) and informally (in our political debates and rhetoric).
hours of post-modern fun! An automatic comunique generator, creating calls to arms (or uncalls to disarm) at every click of the refresh button! Release your inner derevolutionary!
In the construction of communes, we negate those who would have us give up the radical ecstasy of zones of indistinction which need no justification for the catastrophe of mobilization. What’s needed is not impotentiality, and even far less representation, but a putting-into-practice of singular rupture, a rejection in all forms of the logic of normalization. Confronted with those who refuse to recognize themselves in our orgies of negation, we offer neither criticism nor sympathy but only our contempt. This is a call to indifference, not an insistence on humanism.The pathetic totality proposed to us is like a bad joke, and instead of laughter we respond with social war. Every c-clamped pushbar is a refusal to organize, a blow against the being of liberalism, a recognition of the inoperative structure inherent in the articulation of zones of offensive capacity. We must destroy all absence—in secret. It is necessary to commence absolutely; not to dream of new ways to negotiate, but to make manifest the subterranean multiplicities in the heart of each smashed window.
via utopia or bust