Monthly Archives: August 2014

Michael Brown/Ferguson Shooting FAQ

Via Metafilter:


Q: What’s going on?
A: A cop murdered a kid and his department is trying to cover up for him.

Q: Is any other part of this story important?
A: No.



Q: But what about the convenience store thing?
A: Not important. A cop murdered a kid and his department is trying to cover up for him.

Q: All’s I’m saying is, what IF Brown really assaulted a convenience store clerk?
A: We’ll have time to talk about the appalling criminality of shoplifting and shoving people after we talk about the part where a cop murdered a kid, and then his department tried to cover up for him.

Q: I heard some protestors were trying to loot liquor stores.
A: Things go to shit when the institutions in charge of maintaining civility and order completely fucking fail to do so. A cop murdered a kid and his department is trying to cover up for him. That is literally a failure of civilization.

Q: How about—
A: A cop murdered a kid and his department is trying to cover up for him.”

From the massive thread

Image from Michael Brown’s funeral

How to Raise Independent-Minded Daughters

From a parenting discussion on Metafilter:

“You don’t have to have a degree in women’s studies or a nuanced understanding of gender politics to raise independent-minded daughters. My father certainly didn’t – he went to trade school instead of college and that kind of theoretical book-study was really not what he was into.

“But what my father did do, though, was encourage thinking in general. And he let me see that that was something in me that he valued. I’ve talked before about how Dad liked playing devil’s advocate in discussions just for the sake of getting a discussion going – I was actually one of his favorite sparring partners, in fact. I remember when I was in high school and we somehow got going on a conversation on the death penalty one night at dinner, and at one point he said something that just really got me fired up to the point that I forcefully put down the fork I was holding and said one of those “now, HOLD UP a minute” kinds of comments that lets you know that someone’s about to launch into an impassioned statement – and I was surprised to see Dad burst out with a grin like a kid on Christmas and hear him mutter, “oh, I love this.” And that’s when it hit me that Dad was excited to hear what I thought, and valued that I got impassioned about ideas.

My father valued my brain, and let me see that he valued it. He put value on me as a person rather than as a girl, and let me know that. And that’s a big part of what made me a feminist. Reading about gender theory and such can help you wrap your own brain around things, but your daughters may respond much more to having an example of a person who treats them as a whole person.”

Full thread

Image from this post about Girls Who Code

How Big Music Labels Fake Indie Cred

I’ve always told people that nobody comes from nowhere. There is no such thing as a self-styled or self-made or overnight-sensation anything anyone anywhere. From Reddit:

“You can’t pump a pop star onto the radio and have people accept it anymore, you have to tap into the rest of the market that still gobbles up that sound, but wants to avoid being force fed music.
So you put the artist in the inbox of the right ‘music journalists’, set up a front label, and let the virality do the work.

I’ve made a little hobby out of taking fast rising content in this sub, and when I can’t figure out who the label really is – I rip the song and upload it to youtube, then wait for one of the big 3 labels to claim their content.

Remember indie sensation Ryn Weaver with her song of the Summer Octohate, which she made in her basement and uploaded to her soundcloud?

She even showed up in the comments of her Stereogum piece to say how indie she is. She was on a label that was nothing more than a twitter account, turned out to be created by the famous producer that made her hit single.

To this day, there is nothing on the internet saying who her label actually is, and the only reason I know she is on Universal Music Group is because UMG claimed her content on my youtube upload This is how it works now.”

Ryn Weaver’s song :

Cornel West on The Obama Presidency

From an interview in Salon with Cornel West:

“No, the thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free.

And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair. And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are—we’re an empire in decline. Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life.

You would think that we needed somebody—a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility. That’s right. That’s true. It was like, “We finally got somebody who can help us turn the corner.” And he posed as if he was a kind of Lincoln. And we ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist. …

I think Obama, his modus operandi going all the way back to when he was head of the [Harvard] Law Review, first editor of the Law Review and didn’t have a piece in the Law Review. He was chosen because he always occupied the middle ground. He doesn’t realize that a great leader, a statesperson, doesn’t just occupy middle ground. They occupy higher ground or the moral ground or even sometimes the holy ground. But the middle ground is not the place to go if you’re going to show courage and vision. And I think that’s his modus operandi. He always moves to the middle ground. It turned out that historically, this was not a moment for a middle-ground politician. We needed a high-ground statesperson and it’s clear now he’s not the one.

And so what did he do? Every time you’re headed toward middle ground what do you do? You go straight to the establishment and reassure them that you’re not too radical, and try to convince them that you are very much one of them so you end up with a John Brennan, architect of torture [as CIA Director]. Torturers go free but they’re real patriots so we can let them go free. The rule of law doesn’t mean anything.

I think a post-Obama America is an America in post-traumatic depression. Because the levels of disillusionment are so deep.”

Full interview (image from the article)

This Is The Police State

A cop writes an op-ed in the Washington Post, saying:

“here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.

A commenter on Metafilter responds:

“No. Absolutely not. I refuse to recognize the legitimacy of any police force that says this. My rights aren’t niceties too delicate for the real world. The right of the citizens of Ferguson to assemble is not something the police or anyone else has the authority to revoke arbitrarily, either.

But this is the conventional wisdom right now, and it’s deeply, irreparably pathological. This is antithetical to a free society, it’s morally indefensible, and as we know, even complete, humiliating submission to a thug with a badge doesn’t guarantee a goddamn thing about my safety, or yours, or anyone’s.

The police in America have always brutalized Black people and non-Whites disproportionately, and they’ve always brutalized some White people. But since the federal military surplus program started in the 90’s, and especially after 9/11, they’ve become ever more paranoid, violent, lawless, and have replaced their imperative to serve and protect citizens with a mission to viciously stamp out any and all perceived disobedience, no matter how unthreatening or justified it may be, to state authority. This is the mentality of the authoritarian state. This is the police state. We can stop dreading its arrival because it’s here. Now let’s do something about it.”

Photo from an ABC News story on the Ferguson shooting

The Cicero Race Riot of 1951

From Metafilter:

“White people would be, and have gotten, furious and have rioted over much smaller things. Isabel Wilkerson writes about the Cicero Race Riot of 1951 in her book The Warmth of Other Suns. This occurred when this young black couple tried to move to Cicero, IL, a Chicago suburb. 

4,000 whites attacked the building that the couple, the Clarks, were moving into. The 60 police officers sent to control the situation did not do so. In fact the police chief told the Clarks “You should know better. Get out of here fast. There will be no moving into that building”.

The rioters threw rocks, destroyed the building, set fire to it. Firefighters called to the scene were met with bricks and stones by the mob. The Illinois National Guard moved in, and rioters fought with them. This went on for 3 days after $20,000 (in 1951 money) was done to the building. Cruelly, the rioters threw a piano, which Mr. Clark had save for for years for his kids, out the window, destroying it. 

The riot was front-page news in Asia and attracted worldwide attention. The Cook County grand jury did not indict a single rioter. Incredibly, the Clark’s attorney from the NAACP, the owners of the building, and the rental agent, were indicted on charges of inciting a riot and conspiracy to damage property (though the charges were dropped after widespread criticism).”

Image is a screen cap from The Sunday Herald

Irish Hypocrisy on Abortion

“I love Ireland. I really do. But fuck this shit. This shit makes me so angry.

So here’s the thing. If you are a middle-class woman in Ireland, you can get an abortion without any problem. You tell everyone you’re going to London for the weekend to do some shopping or whatever, you fly to Stansted, you have your abortion, and you fly back home. Even if you’re not middle-class, you can probably find a way to afford it: it’s 40 euro round-trip on Ryanair, and the abortion itself is free. It’s a perfect Irish solution to an Irish problem: Irish people get to feel good about the fact that no sinful abortions are being performed on their soil, but everyone who matters still has access to abortion. The only people who can’t get abortions are people who don’t matter anyway: refugees, foreigners, kids in state care, that kind of person. Basically, what this is about is that Irish people are willing to sacrifice the most vulnerable women in their communities so that they can feel pure and virtuous without sacrificing anything themselves. It’s vile and it’s hypocritical and it makes me incoherent with rage.”

From a thread about the forced c-section of a rape victim

Photo from coverage of the protests in Ireland