Monday, August 30, 2010

Praise Pastor Terry Jones

Of course the man is a beyond reprehensible piece of shit who will hopefully fall into his bonfire, but hooray for him for being stupid enough to do the things necessary to speed us towards the ultimate goal of getting the fuck off the planet.

Mr. Jones, 58, a former hotel manager with a red face and a white handlebar mustache, argues that as an American Christian he has a right to burn Islam’s sacred book because “it’s full of lies.” And in another era, he might have been easily ignored, as he was last year when he posted a sign at his church declaring “Islam is of the devil.”

But now the global spotlight has shifted. With the debate in New York putting religious tensions front and center, Mr. Jones has suddenly attracted thousands of fans and critics on Facebook, while around the world he is being presented as a symbol of American anti-Islamic sentiment...

Mr. Jones who seems to spend much of his time inside a dank, dark office with a poster from the movie “Braveheart” and a picture of former President George W. Bush, appears to be largely oblivious to the potential consequences of his plans. Speaking in short sentences with a matter-of-fact drawl, he said that he could not understand why other Christians, including the nation’s largest evangelical association, had called for him to cancel “International Burn a Koran Day..."

He acknowledged that it had brought in at least $1,000 in donations. But he said that the interviews he had done with around 150 news outlets all over the world were useful mainly because they had helped him “send a message to Islam and the pushers of Shariah law: that it is not what we want.”

Mr. Jones said that nothing in particular had set him off. Asked about his knowledge of the Koran, he said plainly: “I have no experience with it whatsoever. I only know what the Bible says.”

Fuck all religions. They are all wrong and stupid. Nothing but old stories and morals, threats to keep in line. All gods are myths. There are no prophets. We have no saviors.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Crimethinc. sucks

This is the final entry regarding my thoughts on Gabriel Kuhn's Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge and Radical Politics.

For a while, I was pretty sympathetic to a lot of Crimethinc. stuff. The more I hung around people who are into it and a part of it, the less I was into it. I could never get into most of their writings. It's a lot of super-verbose, dense, dry articles that don't relate in the least to the reality the overwhelming majority of people on this planet face. Which is fine, of course, but please do not position yourself as any type of revolutionary organization, much less one that has the faintest hope of winning favor with anyone outside of a nearly infinitely small group of people who essentially do nothing productive toward actually making a revolution.

I was really into Evasion when it came out. I related to a lot of it - the hardcore, the veganism, the shoplifting, the dumpstering bagels. Some of it was a bit much (positing anything related in the book as revolutionary outside of a selfish dimension, a tendency to over-romanticize some of his experiences), and I realized it was kind of a "best of" account of the guy's life. Truth be told, I likely wouldn't have dug it nearly so much were the guy not vegan and edge. But that's not a Crimethinc. publication. They just published it. Someone who had nothing to do with them wrote it.

Crimethinc. advocates a lot of ridiculous "lifestyle anarchism" positions, from dropping out of school at sixteen years old with no plans except traveling and shoplifting (I have no philosophical problem with shoplifting in many circumstances, but please understand that there is absolutely nothing inherently revolutionary or radical about it whatsoever) to the concept that one must abandon life within "the system" or whatever to actually be a revolutionary, at least by their terms:

It's the same with talking about quitting one's job and changing one's lifestyle - people who are currently trying to do that have much more useful perspectives on it than full-time anarchists who dropped out ten years ago. (172)

Breathtaking, to be sure. Let's meditate on that for a minute. "Full-time anarchists." What could that possibly mean, especially with regard to the United States. First, it must be stated that there is no legitimate, viable anarchist movement in this country. That is a fact. There has not been for close to one hundred years. Anyone who says otherwise is delusional, by my estimation. No doubt there are lots of people who define themselves as anarchists, and also a number of groups specifically dedicated to anarchist struggle, but I am unaware of any real "full-time anarchists." Especially ones without jobs. I know people who are pretty serious anarchists (adults, over forty) and have been involved with anarchist groups and organizations for sizable portions of their lives. If they are not in prison, though, they have jobs. You can't tell that they are anarchists by looking at them. They look like real people. Cause they are. The reality is that if you are a "full-time anarchist," which I take to mean dedicating your life to making revolution (like Lenin, Mao or Castro did for communism), you are either gonna be in jail (not for shoplifting or spray painting, or even cause you threw a rock at a pig), are out of jail after a long stint, in exile, in hiding, or dead. These Crimethinc. people fit none of those profiles. Likely, they never will.

You see, and again, this is only my estimation, Crimethinc. is the privileged person's anarchism (has anarchism been much else in this country for decades?). This is for people who can run back to mom and dad when things get rough. And they do. Rich kids living "the dream." It's for people who can choose "homelessness" and "poverty." It's hard for people of color to lead the Crimethinc. life. Shoplifting from a supermarket while traveling through Iowa ain't gonna go too smoothly, likely. You know what I mean?

If you've been poor, and I mean real poverty, not the kind that you choose and out of which you can move again at will, it fucking sucks. Being on food stamps because otherwise you don't eat unless your aunt brings your family food, sucks. Getting welfare because otherwise you are (literally, not "traveling") homeless, as a family, sucks. Not having a job because you have no car and you cannot afford a taxi to get to a potential job, sucks. The fetishization of poverty is offensive to those who live it with no choice. Only rich white kids choose "poverty." Fuck all these people on poverty vacations. Your existence grates on those with whom you claim solidarity.

But I know, you've really got one over on everybody cause you don't work. Someone has to, otherwise there would be no one from whom you could mooch.

And finally, you know what? I don't work either. I haven't had a "job" in over five years. But I don't fucking care. I don't go around telling people about it. And I certainly don't think that it puts me on some road to nirvana or whatever. I've long (always?) recognized that people have to survive, and in this world, it largely means working for someone else.

Monday, August 16, 2010

If this man were Muslim (or just non-Israeli Arab)...

what would the people say?

ATLANTA – Elias Abuelazam was about to board a plane for Israel when police arrested him in connection with a three-month stabbing spree that left five men dead, 13 others wounded and a Michigan city in terror. In the moments before the bald, pudgy man in flip-flops and shorts was handcuffed, passengers saw him nervously talking on his cell phone, insisting he wasn't violent.

The Israeli citizen and legal U.S. resident was charged Thursday in just one case out of Flint, Mich., the battered industrial city where most of the stabbings occurred, but authorities said more charges are expected there and in Ohio and Virginia. At least 15 of the 18 victims were black but it was unclear whether the attacks were racially motivated.

Flint residents hope the arrest ends their summer of fear. Roughly every four days since late May on average, the killer approached men on lonely roads at night, asking for directions or help with a broken-down car. Then he'd pull out a knife, plunge it into his victim and speed away; in one case he used a hammer. The youngest victim was 15; the oldest 67.

Nothing good, I can assure you. He's Christian, by the way. Or at least his family is.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Still hate this place

Fuck these people. Holy shit, I cannot emphasize "fuck them" enough. Were there a god, or if I had the slightest delusion that there were one, I swear I would dedicate entire days to praying for the extermination of such people:

Protect Marriage, the coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored the ban, said it would immediately appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"In America, we should uphold and respect the right of people to make policy changes through the democratic process, especially changes that do nothing more than uphold the definition of marriage that has existed since the founding of this country and beyond," said Jim Campbell, a lawyer on the defense team.





Get me the fuck out.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ian Mackaye is very insightful

Next in the series of responses to Gabriel Kuhn's Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge and Radical Politics.

Reading/listening to Ian Mackaye can teach you a lot about life. It has me. This is a guy who has really thought about shit his whole life and ACTUALLY FIGURED SOME THINGS OUT. That's the big deal. Lots of people think about stuff, but this guy got somewhere. It's really something. That's what it means to be wise, to actually reach conclusions that can help people, to which people can relate.

I don't know how many times I would have a car go by and someone would scream, "Fuck you, you fucking punk faggot!" But then I realized that if you do not speak that language, you recognize that they are not talking to you. Let's say that I'm in Sweden, and a carload with a bunch of guys goes by and they yell something at me in Swedish. I don't know what they're saying. As far as I know, they are saying, "I love basketball!" Who knows? So when I'm walking along the street here and some guys go by in a car, and they don't know me, I don't know them, but they say, "You're a fucking punk faggot, fuck you!" then it should have the same effect. They are not talking to me, they don't know me, and I'm not what they say I am, so they must have me confused with someone else. In short, if you don't speak the language of violence, you are released from violence. This was a very powerful discovery for me.

It's a discovery on which I'm still working, but at least I've got some directions on how to get there.

Here is the other quote that really struck me in his exchange with Gabriel Kuhn:

There was a certain period in my life when I was very angry, when I was really agonizing over things. It made me feel miserable, and I began to question everything: What is the point of all this punk rock? What is the point of me singing? What am I trying to do? Eventually, I realized that the reason I was so angry was because I want people in the world to be well. And I realized that it was a worthwhile project to pursue in my lifetime. But I also understood that I myself needed to be well to do that. So I figured that I would do my best to live a life of wellness. This doesn't mean that I'm trying to bask in my riches. It means that I'm trying to release myself from the anger and agony. Remember what I said earlier about someone going by in a car and calling me a "fucking asshole?" They are not talking to me - 'cause I'm not a fucking asshole.

Brilliant, just fucking brilliant. I cannot explain how deeply I relate to that. I burn for people, animals and the planet to be well and the ensuing certain frustrations make me so angry and hateful towards the bulk of the human population. I feel this every day. It is constant. I just don't feel that there is really anything I can do to make anyone or anything well. It's all a series of frustrating, crashing defeats. Over and over.

Releasing oneself from the anger and agony, that is the challenge of my life. If nothing else, it's very comforting to read this and only further cements the idea that Ian Mackaye is an exceptional thinker.

It's so important to realize that Ian did this stuff, this letting go and moving ahead, without giving up. He didn't get a stupid haircut and snazzy new jeans. He didn't lose himself in some empty fashion, he didn't immerse himself in an indulgent, vapid, solipsistic music scene. No. He has been vegan forever, he is still straight edge and punk as fuck. He still cares about people and animals in a serious way, but figured out how to do it without destroying himself. I need to figure that out cause you better believe I'm not going to go out like the rest of those pieces of shit. I'll die alone and in misery before that happens.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dennis Lyxzén - what is he talking about?

Here's the next installment of my thoughts on what I read in Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge and Radical Politics. I read Dennis' interview with great enthusiasm. Some of it was pretty rad, but overall, I was not that into it. He's really image-oriented, which I am just so not about. He talks about how the Noise Conspiracy change their sound and their aesthetic every time they put out a record, saying crap like this:

I mean, we've been playing for ten years now with Noise Conspiracy, and you can look at our outfits throughout the years, and they've changed a lot, and so did the whole aesthetics. With every new record, we try something new - not only with the aesthetics, but with the politics and the music too. We maintain our ideas and our musical foundation, but we kind of switch and twist them a little bit every time and try to spice them up with something new.

You know, a lot of people try to decide what exactly it is that people should like about their band. We just figure that people can dig the politics, they can dig the snazzy outfits, they can dig the music, they can dig whatever - it's up to them to decide what to take with them when they leave our show or listen to our record. So while many bands are like, "This is what we are and this is what you should like about us," we just say, "Whatever you like is cool with us. If you don't like the politics, we're sure you find something else that you like."

I am just so turned off by that. It's like a fucking stage show. Politics is fun everybody. Whoo whoo, revolution rules! Slogans and marketing, fashion and image. Fuck all of that. Empty shit. Judging by people's responses to the last nine Noise Conspiracy full-lengths, I would say that lots of people realized that they are full of shit. Then he goes on to say something that made me like the dudes in Refused a whole lot:

I was always into this concept [changing images and ideologies], so with Noise Conspiracy I got a chance to realize it. Actually, when we did the last batch of touring with Refused, I tried to get the band to wear matching outfits, but the guitar players just happened to "lose" them. After a week of shows they were just like, "Eh, these jackets that we had tailor-made are gone..."

Good, fuck those jackets. What a bunch of boy band crap. Fuck.

Speaking of changing images, up top is a very recent picture of Dennis. He's punk as fuck these days, looking like it's 82. I guess it's appropriate, now that he's got his matching band.

So anyway, this is what Dennis has to say about his ideological and philosophical inspirations:

Personally, I like to mix different sources and hope that something cool will come out of it. Anarchism and socialism I've always been into. Situationism - which is as much an art movement as it is a political movement with an amazing critique of capitalist society, right at the breaking point of modernism and postmodernism - is just really well suited for lyrics, especially if you look at Raoul Vaneigem. And poststructuralism helps you understand how the world works today. Then you throw in some surrealism and some dada, and everything becomes even more interesting.

Interesting indeed. What a fun political collage life is. Anarchism and socialism? Situationism is not just well suited for lyrics, but also verbose, dense and largely irrelevant to those who aren't highly educated or pseudo-intellectual.

I guess he really does want revolution with a catchy phrase. What's after that? A bunch of well-dressed revolutionaries speaking to one another about a bunch of esoteric ideas? Way to be practical. So intensely privileged.

It's not like there's really any hope in anarchism (or socialism, or anything else he references), but come on, this guy is just making a mockery of it all and yet somehow has stood as an icon for radical music for years. People who are so into crafting their public self image really bum me the fuck out.