Category Archives: 10. Labor Power is Suppressed

At a Guess

“At a guess, it will make a subset of random minutiae of everyday life more like Facebook while we continue to change the climate, burn up all our energy without developing any sort of sustainable replacement, turn dwindling supplies of rare earth metals into bullshit lifestyle gadgets that basically serve only to functionally make people be on call at their jobs all the time while socially engaging them in a hollow shared experience of morally and intellectually bankrupt media while isolating them from actual human contact, which will shortly be thrown into a landfill along with an undifferentiated torrent of unsorted solid waste, while we steadily push our population towards a peak of nearly 10 billion, and a tiny population of unimaginably wealthy oligarchs continue to further transform the global economic and political systems to their overwhelming benefit, whilst the majority of those 10 billion slip further into poverty, amongst endemic war, increasingly unreliable access to usable water, and the continued, heedless creation of pesticide resistant pests, herbicide resistant weeds, antibiotic resistant germs? Et fucking cetera?”

Commenter on Metafilter, Internet of Things: how it will change the world.

David Brooks is an Elitist Asshole

“Here’s the crux of what makes their system so admirable in [David Brooks’s] eyes:

‘Britain is also blessed with a functioning political culture. It is dominated by people who live in London and who have often known each other since prep school. This makes it gossipy and often incestuous. But the plusses outweigh the minuses.’

It has long been the supreme fantasy of establishment guardians in general, and David Brooks in particular, that American politics would be dominated by an incestuous, culturally homogeneous, superior elite “who live in [Washington] and who have often known each other since prep school.” And while these establishment guardians love to endlessly masquerade as spokespeople for the Ordinary American, what they most loathe is the interference by the dirty rabble in what should be their exclusive, harmonious club of political stewardship, where conflicts are amicably resolved by ladies and gentlemen of the highest breeding without any messy public conflict. In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, Brooks fondly recollected that “once, there was a financial elite in this country” — “middle-aged men with names like Mellon and McCloy led Wall Street firms, corporate boards and white-shoe law firms and occasionally emerged to serve in government” — but that glorious “cohesive financial elite began to fall apart” in the 1960s.”

Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com.

Feudal System 2.0

“America is the one place in the western world where, if you profess to liking leisure time, travelling, working-to-live instead of the other way around, you eventually get branded as a lazy do-nothing and, consequently, rarely build up enough years of service at one place to get more than two weeks per year of paid vacation. It’s not enough to put in 10 to 12 hours a day and several hours on a Saturday to be recognized as putting forth the minimum effort to do your job. You have to sacrifice the scant bit of time you get away from your masters promising to work on projects and answering your phone and work email. Combine that with flat salary growth, diminishing benefits, the disappearance of pensions, and essentially what we’re working toward is the feudal system 2.0.”

Commenter on MetaFilter.

Roseanne Barr on the Lack of Change in the TV Industry

“The line was a ridiculously sexist interpretation of what a feminist thinks—something to the effect of “You’re my equal in bed, but that’s it.” … Matt, who was watching from his office, yelled over the loudspeaker, “Say the line as written!” I said, “No, I don’t like the line. I find it repulsive, and my character would not say it.” Matt said, “Yes, she would say it. She’s hot to trot and to get her husband in bed with her, and give it to her like she wants it.” I replied that this was not what she would say or do: “It’s a castrating line that only an idiot would think to write for a real live woman who loves her husband, you cocksucker.” ABC’s lawyers were called in. They stood around the bed while the cameras filmed me saying, very politely, over and over, “Line change, please.”

I made a chart of names and hung them on my dressing-room door; it listed every person who worked on the show, and I put a check next to those I intended to fire when Roseanne became No. 1, which I knew it would.

When the show went to No. 1 in December 1988, ABC sent a chocolate “1” to congratulate me. Guess they figured that would keep the fat lady happy—or maybe they thought I hadn’t heard (along with the world) that male stars with No. 1 shows were given Bentleys and Porsches. So me and George Clooney  took my chocolate prize outside, where I snapped a picture of him hitting it with a baseball bat. I sent that to ABC.

If I could do it all over, I’d sue ABC and Carsey-­Werner under those provisions. Hollywood hates labor, and hates shows about labor worse than any other thing. And that’s why you won’t be seeing another Roseanne anytime soon. Instead, all over the tube, you will find enterprising, overmedicated, painted-up, capitalist whores claiming to be housewives. But I’m not bitter.”

Roseanne Barr on the Lack of Change in the TV Industry, New York Magazine

Making the Rich Look Poor

“Democrats have been arguing that their tax increases should solely affect income over $250,00 a year. The Journal makes that pot of income appear small by divvying it up into seven different lines [on the left]. See, the $100,000-$200,000 line is tall, and all the other lines to the right of it are short. That tall line must be where the money is!” … “As a public service, I’ve redrawn the chart for the Journal. On the left is the original. On the right is the chart that shows the actual amount of money earned by the tiny handful of people making over $200,000. It’s a lot.”

 

Mother Jones

Outrage Over TSA Was Right-Wing PR to Prevent Workers from Unionizing

“Republicans have used this playbook before, of course, it’s just that Wisconsin finally made us all too aware. Perhaps the most obvious example — and the least understood — is from last November, when the same basic strategy was used to wage war against the TSA’s 55,000 employees, who have been locked in a savage decade-long battle to gain the same collective bargaining rights that employees of all other federal agencies enjoy. Unlike in Wisconsin, the Republican right succeeded in burying the story about the TSA employees’ struggle for collective bargaining rights underneath a sophisticated, well-PR’d campaign demonizing TSA screeners as modern-day Gestapo agents, rapists and child molesters.”

By Mark Ames and Yasha Levine – The eXiled.

The Empty Pulpit

“This has been the signature failure of the Obama administration. Instead of standing on principle, Obama’s modus operandi has been to accede before the battle has really been joined. We have seen this repeatedly in the major issues of his presidency: the emasculation of the so-called “stimulus package”; the abandonment of the health care public option; acceding to the Bush tax cuts; failure to push for effective global warming legislation; surrendering to the hawks on the Afghan war; failure to stand up for the rights to public trial for those detained in Guantanamo; and now complicity in irresponsible and unnecessary cutting of critical government services.”

The Empty Pulpit: The Obama Problem « SpeakEasy.

Walker Says 19,000 Letters of Support, News Outlets Say Show Us, No Response

From the Raw Story:

On February 17, Walker claimed to have received more than 8000 emails on his budget repair bill, with the majority urging him to “stay firm.” The next day, he upped the figure to 19,000. Isthmus presented Walker with a request to see those emails, first by hand-delivered letter and the next week by emails to Walker’s spokesperson and his legal counsel. Wisconsin’s Open Records Law requires prompt responses to such requests, but according to Isthmus, “As of today, the governor’s office and his legal counsel have not responded to these requests for records, or provided information on their status.”

News outlets sue Wisconsin governor over lack of response to email requests | The Raw Story.