Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I'm hungry.

Took a day off from blogging yesterday, but I'm back like cooked crack... and I learned the "font size" code for this one! Woo! My HTML game is on the come up.

- Killing It: The boy Steve Gilliard is absolutely killing it inthis post. Video games aren’t the problem, “[our] flawed culture comes not from entertainment, but from economics. A culture where parents work 10 hour days, where children come home to empty houses as young as six years old. Where after school programs are rare and part time jobs so consuming that kids fall asleep in class.”

- Why is Manhattan Sucky? Rich folk!: Journalist and novelist (a) James Walcott and journalist (b) Tom Watson both respectively have some (a) interesting things (b) to say about rich folk in Manhattan in response to this New York Metro article about the super-rich.

- Pitchfork Gets it Right!: Finally, a good review of a good album. Good shit. Bravo. Two years ago, guaranteed, these motherfuckers would be hating on Beanie Sigel, though. In fact, this is the only album they've reviewed by him. Oh well. Things change, and that’s good. Nobody ever mentions the bols Oschino and Sparks, though. Well, Byron Crawford does, but only to hate on Beanie’s “weed carriers.”

- Carry my weed!: Speaking of weed carriers, this site has got some funny stories about those that carry weed for the big boys.

- The Weather Underground = Hitler Youth: Seen the documentary about the Weather Underground? It’s a pretty darn good documentary that shows these well-intentioned goofballs for what they were: proto-fascists that had more in common with the Fascism they claimed to despise than with groups like the Black Panthers that they repeatedly tried (and failed) to align themselves with. The movie is a great lesson in how NOT to start a revolution. Some thoughts I posted on a message board are below:

What I saw in that documentary showed me a group of kids (I don't particularly care about their up-bringing or skin color) who were just trying to stir some shit up under the guise of "revolution" until their beliefs ended up occupying a potentially dangerous space of moral superiority. As has been already said “when revolutionaries like the Weatherman envision a perfect society around the corner, they become convinced that in order to get there, the deaths of ‘ordinary people’ don’t count.” I mean, it's not really debatable that horrible shit like the Holocaust happened because of a very basic extension of the exact same logic….Hitler exterminated millions of people because he believed he was cleansing and benefiting society-- because his understanding of the world was based on a "Truth" he felt was morally superior to any other "truths." Which, if we extend the Weathermen logic, very rapidly starts to parallel this thinking. Again, I’m not saying that these dudes are even remotely as “bad” as Hitler or anything. I’m not even really suggesting that the Weathermen were “bad” at all. I’m just saying that they are “jackasses” because their project was doomed to failure from the beginning because of this “perfect society” ideology that would never do much more than ruffle a couple of feathers—that is, until the systematic killing began.

And, frankly, that's my main problem with a lot of these so-called "revolutionary" protests. They aren't really attempts to really revolutionize anything-- they're attempts to proselytize and force a version of "Truth" upon people who just might not agree with it. And, it’s a difficult question as to what is an effective way of communicating your views to these people who disagree with you in a convincing and still respectful manner. That’s the modern dilemma of postmodern political efficacy. I think it’s the most important question of our time: how exactly can we as activists be politically effective when it is clear that things like protests and protest songs and sit-ins have lost a great deal of their effectiveness? (And, I still stand by the fact that I find most of the tools of the sixties to be, if anything, counter-productive in the postmodern world.)

In sum, I don’t know much about the Weathermen beyond what I saw in the documentary (which I, admittedly, haven’t seen for several months). But, I do know that they embody everything I find dangerous about many of the current activist modes of thinking that focus on and operate on this morally superior sense of “Truth.” There are of course certain qualities I can respect about what the WU did, but for the most part, they read to me like “jackasses” who didn’t really think too hard about the shit they were doing—and, come on, when you’re blowing up shit, the least you can fucking do is think really long and hard about the realistic effects of your actions—and furthermore, I still contend that their logic (and, unfortunately, a great deal of the activist logic that is currently pervasive in this country) isn’t a far cry from fascism

More of that ready rock tomorrow.



At 10:16 AM, Blogger David said...

Re the pfork review: Tom Breihan is (relatively) new and a bunch of their current critics (scott plagenhoef and jess harvell esp.) are positively great.

However - why did Tom keep bigging up that last track? Its the only blight on the record as far as I'm concerned.


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