Categories
Mental Health Politics Post Punk

Joy Division & Depression

I really wanted to share this paragraph by Mark Fisher about depression, in relationship to Joy Division’s music, but I wasn’t sure exactly about the context I was able to give with this.

It struck a chord with me & I wanted to share it. He’s kind of talking about the difference between sadness & depression. Melancholia & someone feeling melancholic.I think that if someone is feeling sad or melancholic & isn’t sure whether or not they’d describe it as depression, this is a really succinct description of what depression feels like. I hope it helps.

The depressive experiences himself as walled off from the lifeworld, so that his own frozen inner life – or inner death – overwhelms everything; at the same time, he experiences himself as evacuated, totally denuded, a shell: there is nothing except the inside, but the inside is empty. For the depressive, the habits of the former lifeworld now seem to be, precisely, a mode of playacting, a series of pantomime gestures (‘a circus complete with all fools’), which they are both no longer capable of performing and which they no longer wish to perform – there’s no point, everything is a sham.

Mark Fisher, No Longer the Pleasures: Joy Division

In addition to sharing this paragraph, I also wanted to share some of Joy Division’s music videos. Primarily because I love them & hope you can get something out of them too. At the top of the post is an unofficial video for the excellent opening track from Unknown Pleasures, Disorder. Here too is the official performance video for the amazing single, Transmission.

I do plan to write more detailed & helpful posts about depression, & how it ties into our contemporary reality & what we can do to combat it, but I don’t think I’m ready yet. I hope this post helps a little & that you enjoy the music.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Hip Hop Politics Song of the Day

Song of the Day (BLM): Public Enemy – State Of The Union (STFU) (feat. DJ Premier)

Day 17 & I’m breaking the rule of not featuring the same artist twice. Ordinarily, I would find this unthinkable, but on Friday 19th June Public Enemy & DJ Premier dropped this surprise new single.

State Of The Union (STFU) is an incendiary anti-Trump, anti-Police anthem. Furious & articulate, Chuck D holds nothing back. Now Trump has ditched any pretences of not being a fascist, Chuck D draws valid & clear comparisons between Trump & the Nazis. Trump’s supporters are compared to the Gestapo. It’s laid out, in no uncertain terms, that America cannot survive another term with Trump in charge. It’s time to “vote this joke out/or die tryin'”

Also of interest is the fact that Chuck D & Flavor Flav seem to have made up after their public falling out earlier in the year. I guess they couldn’t agree on the Bernie Sanders issue but their hatred & contempt for Trump unites them.

Whatever it takes
Rid this dictator
POTUS my tail
Ass debater
Prime-time
Primo
Rhyme-time crime
Like no other
In this lifetime
White house killer
Dead in lifelines
Vote this joke out
Or die tryin’
Unprecedented
Demented
Many president’d
Nazi gestapo dictator
Defended
It’s not what you think
It’s what you follow
Run for them jewels
Drink from that bottle
Another four years gonna gut y’all hollow
Gutted out, dried up, broke and can’t borrow

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

Mister, I am the law
And you are not
In fact, I’m god
I got a lot
Mister these united breaks
Take over, come over
Orange hair
Fear the comb-over
Here’s another scare
Keep them hands in the air
Better not breathe
You dare not dare
Don’t say anything
Don’t think nothing
Make America great again
The middle just love it
When he wanna talk
Walk y’all straight
To them ovens
Human beings of color
Yeah we be sufferin’

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

Better rock that vote
Or vote for hell
Real generals now
Not some USFL
Not a fuckin’ game
I dare not mention his name
Operation 45
Same thing
Sounds like Berlin burnin’
Same thing
History’s a mystery
If y’all ain’t learning
End this clown show
For real
A state bozo
Nazi cult 45 Gestapo

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

State of the Union
Shut the fuck up
Sorry ass motherfucker
Stay away from me

Looking for some excellent music? Why not check out the SOng of the Day (BLM) Spotify playlist?

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Journalism Politics

David Bowie grills interviewer on why MTV doesn’t play black artists (1983)

I apologise for publishing three posts in such a short space of time, but I absolutely had to share this wonderful video.

Watch as David Bowie turns the tables on MTV’s MArk Goodman in 1983. Bowie expertly questions him on why the music video network doesn’t play black artists. Watch as Goodman squirms his way through an explanation which sounds completely ridiculous (even, Im sure, to himself). Makes you realise that Bowie would have made an excellent journalist if he’d chosen to go that way.

Just another reminder that David Bowie was one of the good guys & he thought that Black Lives Matter.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Funk Metal Politics Punk

Song of the Day (BLM): Rage Against The Machine – Down Rodeo

Day 9. Rage Against The Machine, particularly guitarist Tom Morello have been in the news quite a bit this week. As a revolutionary socialist band who have been burning Stars & Stripes & wearing Hammer & Sickles since the early ’90’s it is quite surprising that RATM have any right-wing fans at all. Somehow they do. And these right-wing fans have been getting very upset about Tom Morello expressing his opinions about the current revolutionary actions of the Black Lives Matter movement. This is one of them.

Needless to say, Morello’s response was both witty & humorous. A true Twitter professional.

Check out this equally brutal Twitter putdown from a couple of years ago. Just glorious. Textbook.

Down Rodeo is a scathing blast of metallic funk. It’s lyrics deal with systematic racism, the shameful legacy of slavery & forward looking revolutionary ideas. A personal highlight for me.

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

Bangin’ this bolo tight on this solo flight can’t fight alone
Funk tha track my verbs fly like tha family stone
Tha pen devils set that stage for tha war at home
Locked wit out a wage ya standin’ in tha drop zone
The clockers born starin’ at an empty plate
Momma’s torn hands cover her sunken face
We hungry but them belly full
The structure is set ya neva change it with a ballot pull
In tha ruins there’s a network for tha toxic rock
School yard ta precinct, suburb ta project block
Bosses broke south for new flesh and a factory floor
The remains left chained to the powder war

Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So make a move and plead the fifth ’cause ya can’t plead the first
Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yes I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

Bare witness to tha sickest shot while suckas get romantic
They ain’t gonna send us campin’ like they did my man Fred Hampton
Still we lampin’ still clockin’ dirt for our sweat
A ballots dead so a bullet’s what I get
A thousand years they had tha tools
We should be takin’ ’em
Fuck tha G-ride I want the machines that are makin’ em
Our target straight wit a room full of armed pawn to
Off tha kings out tha west side at dawn

Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
Make a move and plead the fifth ’cause ya can’t plead the first
Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

The rungs torn from the ladder can’t reach the tumour
One god, one market, one truth, one consumer

Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance for the things we’ll never have
Just a quiet peaceful dance for the things we don’t have

While looking for the YouTube video for Down Rodeo, I came across this excellent video of a man reacting to it for the first time. His enthusiasm is so infectious that I just had to share this with you as well. I was especially interested that the line he picked out as a stand out was one of the most revolutionary, “Fuck tha G-ride I want the machines that are makin’ em.” We don’t want the shitty scraps from the capitalists tables, we want the means of production.

Looking for some great music to listen to? Why not check out the Song of the Day (BLM) Spotify playlist.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Philosophy Politics

Momentum, autonomy & censorship

I feel as if the Black Lives Matter protests have started to make some real advances in a relatively short period of time. This is the third week of protests & so far, for the first time in history, the defunding, demilitarisation & eventual disbanding of the police has entered mainstream political discourse. Several states have agreed to it in some form, even if not completely. The main thing is that it’s currently being negotiated & that would have been unthinkable a few short weeks ago.

Another positive step taken in this last week is the widespread disgust at statuary of rich, white men who participated in, & became rich from, the Transatlantic Save Trade. Confederate statues across the states were either torn down or defaced by protesters or removed by concessions made by local authorities. On Monday, the statue in Bristol, UK, of vicious slave trader (& Tory MP) Edward Colston was pulled down by protesters, defaced & thrown into the river. Across Europe more statuary was taken away by local authorities, who finally acknowledged the offensive & insulting presence these monuments to brutality had in the first place. Right-Wing freaks & headbangers waste no time accusing protesters of “erasing history.” You can’t help but wonder where their love of history was when the Tories were closing Libraries & Schools, defunding museums & generally wreaking havoc with our societies cultural fabric.

We’ve also seen the debate about the legitimacy of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill as a figure of worship. This came about after some protesters sprayed “was a racist” beneath his name on a statue of him. Many on the right worship him & attribute defeating Nazi Germany directly to him. There is also a mass cognitive dissonance in people saying things like: “I know he was a racist but he was still a great man.” When speaking to rational people, this is easily countered with teaching about the many failures (Gallipoli) & war crimes (Bengal Genocide, Black & Tans etc.) he was responsible for. Another common counter is that Alan Turing should be the one worshipped this way, & perhaps the Churchill statues should be replaced with Turing states.

Back in the States, the sport of NASCAR announced that it would be banning the Confederate flag from its events. This is the flag flown by soldiers fighting to the death for the right to profit from human misery. The flag of a defeated upstart nation which failed to survive past its formation. A failed nation. A flag of failure. Racist fans, & even drivers, came out on social media decrying the decision. “Well done for ruining the sport,” said the detractors. Well, fuck them. They’re racist.

One of the most exciting developments is the formation of Free Capitol Hill, or the Seattle Autonomous Zone. After ten days of clashes with protesters, the Seattle PD abandoned their East Precinct & quit their barricades around the neighbouring streets. Protesters wasted no time in turning around & reinforcing the barricades, closing off a large area in the heart of Seattle & declaring it the Seattle Autonomous Zone. We are a few days into this now & it is unclear how it is going to pan out, but so far it has remained peaceful & communal. Trump has made some rumblings on Twitter, but WA Governor Jay Inslee told him, figuratively, to fuck off. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also told Trump to “go back to your bunker.”

This situation is obviously on a knife edge & no one is quite sure how it is going to be resolved but the protesters in the Autonomous Zone are, according to The New York Times, in talks with the Mayor. Its a beautiful omen, & more than a coincidence, that it has remained peaceful since the Police have left the protesters alone.

The final point I wanted to make is about the various TV programs & movies which have been removed from streaming services over racist or racially insensitive material. The reactionary right-wing, & so called liberals, have erupted in apoplectic fury at this. Screams of “freedom of expression”, “free speech” & “Stalinist censorship” have reverberated around social media. Going under the block were the slavery glorifying Gone With The Wind, & several British comedy shows which have used blackface insensitively. Raging right-wingers & closet racists are demanding, literally demanding, to be told why the blackface in unfunny sketch show Little Britain is racist but the comedy movie White Chicks (which features two black actors playing undercover cops disguised as white ladies) isn’t. Never mind that the show’s creators have admitted to the insensitivity & stand by the decision to pull the programs. I’m hearing that League Of Gentlemen & The Mighty Boosh have also been pulled.

An overlooked issue with this is the right-wing complainants sense of entitlement. They have become so used to having what they want to watch at their fingertips, at the push of a button, for so long that they’ve become incandescent with fury over this decision. Questions of censorship & freedom of expression are moot unless you completely disregard the streaming services right to choose what they do & don’t want on their services. These streaming services regularly rotate shows out of their lineups anyway, so there was no guarantee that any one show would be available to stream permanently. Suck it up, act like an adult & watch something else. If you absolutely must watch Little Britain, buy it on fucking DVD, you entitled pricks.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Philosophy Politics

The Paradox Of Tolerance & Misinterpreting Freedom Of Speech

I’ve been seeing & participating in a lot of conversations recently which often accuse people on the left (often myself) of being intolerant when we call out people whose views we disagree with.

Many of these conversations will eventually boil down to the catchphrase “so much for the tolerant left”. I think it’s necessary to explain people who have that mindset that, as per the cartoon infographic above, tolerance of the intolerant is dangerous & even leads to the “extinction f tolerance”.

Furthermore, as Enrique Dans explains below, freedom of speech does not protect intolerant speech against anything other than prosecution for saying what you want. Private companies like Facebook, Twitter & YouTube are not bound by this. If you have content censored on one of these platforms the you have no legal recourse. The companies do not have to provide you a platform for your intolerant views.

Even in a country where the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, we should remember that this doesn’t mean anybody is obliged to listen to it, provide a platform for it, or be tolerant of intolerance. If, because of what you think or say, other people ignore, insult or exclude you, that’s your problem, not the state’s.


Enrique Dans
, Facebook Grapples With The Paradox Of Tolerance

Recently, impeached president Donald Trump has fallen foul of his misinterpretation of Freedom Of Speech when Twitter have added Fact Check warnings to one Tweet & flagged him for glorifying violence on another. These Trump Tweets broke the platforms community guidelines & were therefore challenged. Trump’s response to this was to declare social media companies instruments of the “far-left” & to threaten them with state intervention. Obviously this would be akin right-wing claims of state intervention in socialist countries. I wonder if his followers have noticed that?

In fact, no private individual is bound by law allow intolerant views to be aired unchallenged. It is our duty, as tolerant people (as paradoxical as it seems) to be intolerant of the intolerant. We must call out, boycott & where possible de-platform all far-right & far-right tolerant views we see.

xkcd Webcomic

My thoughts on this came about as a result of a couple of conversations I have had on Facebook with friends who I respect. We were discussing Krist Novoselic’s recent Tweets in support of Trump. I had posted a link to an article with the comment “Never thought I’d write this sentence but fuck Krist Novoselic”. Part of the conversation included my friend saying that “you cannot fight fascism with a ban on […] someone whose beliefs don’t align with your own.” Obviously I know this & don’t believe that is what I was doing. I was exercising my own freedom of expression to call out intolerance as & where I saw it. I was, per the webcomic above, calling Novoselic an asshole & showing him the door.

There is one other small thing to bear in mind too. Not everyone who shares these intolerant views is doing so out of malice. They are pervasive & often dressed up in reasonable & logical sounding language. This will nearly always crumble to nothing if subjected to even the slightest critical analysis. We need to remember though, that not everyone has been taught the critical analysis skills that many of us take for granted. Day 1 of University level study taught me ways to analyse the veracity of content found online as well as general critical analysis of evidence you’ll be using to back up what you say in your academic writing. This has become second nature to me (even though I sometimes slip up) & I have caught myself taking these taught skills for granted in discussions with people who haven’t being taught it. This can make me come across as a bit of an arsehole & I am trying to be better.

Here’s some good advice for spotting fake news.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Hip Hop Music Politics Song of the Day

Song of the Day (BLM): NWA – F*ck Tha Police

Day 2. Fuck Tha Police by NWA is a furious slice of scathing political commentary. The lyrics detail the band members experiences of police violence & racist police attitudes. There’s a real palpable sense of anger & energy & maybe even youthful braggadocio in Fuck Tha Police. It’s refreshing & revolutionary.

As an interesting & pretty much unrelated aside, I was watching a livestream of protests in Minneapolis last week on Unicorn Riot & a car drove past the camera man with Fuck That Police blaring out of it’s open windows. The comments on the livestream quickly filled up with people acknowledging this. “check the car with Fuck Tha Police playing”, “mad respect to that Fuck That Police car” etc.

Edit: It has come to my intention since publishing this post that Fuck Tha Police has seen a 272% rise in streaming from 27th May.

Source: Rolling Stone

“Right about now, N.W.A. court is in full effect
Judge Dre presiding
In the case of N.W.A. vs. the Police Department
Prosecuting attorneys are: MC Ren, Ice Cube
And Eazy motherfuckin’ E”

“Order, order, order
Ice Cube, take the motherfuckin’ stand
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth
And nothin’ but the truth so help your black ass?”

“You god damn right!”

“Well, won’t you tell everybody what the fuck you gotta say?”

Fuck the police comin’ straight from the underground
A young n**** got it bad ’cause I’m brown
And not the other color so police think
They have the authority to kill a minority
Fuck that shit, ’cause I ain’t the one
For a punk motherfucker with a badge and a gun
To be beatin’ on, and thrown in jail
We can go toe to toe in the middle of a cell
Fuckin’ with me ’cause I’m a teenager
With a little bit of gold and a pager
Searchin’ my car, lookin’ for the product
Thinkin’ every n**** is sellin’ narcotics
You’d rather see, me in the pen
Than me and Lorenzo rollin’ in a Benz-o
Beat a police out of shape
And when I’m finished, bring the yellow tape
To tape off the scene of the slaughter
Still gettin’ swoll off bread and water
I don’t know if they fags or what
Search a n**** down, and grabbin’ his nuts
And on the other hand, without a gun they can’t get none
But don’t let it be a black and a white one
‘Cause they’ll slam ya down to the street top
Black police showin’ out for the white cop
Ice Cube will swarm
On any motherfucker in a blue uniform
Just ’cause I’m from the CPT
Punk police are afraid of me!
Huh, a young n**** on the warpath
And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath
Of cops, dyin’ in L.A.
Yo Dre, I got somethin’ to say

Fuck the police
Fuck the police
Fuck the police
Fuck the Police

“Example of scene one”

“Pull your god damn ass over right now”

“Aww shit, now what the fuck you pullin’ me over for?”

“‘Cause I feel like it!
Just sit your ass on the curb and shut the fuck up”

“Man, fuck this shit”

“Aight, smart ass, I’m takin’ your black ass to jail!”

“MC Ren, will you please give your testimony
To the jury about this fucked up incident?”

Fuck the police and Ren said it with authority
Because the n****s on the street is a majority
A gang, is with whoever I’m steppin’
And the motherfuckin’ weapon is kept in
A stash box, for the so-called law
Wishin’ Ren was a n**** that they never saw
Lights start flashin’ behind me
But they’re scared of a n**** so they mace me to blind me
But that shit don’t work, I just laugh
Because it gives ’em a hint, not to step in my path
For police, I’m sayin, “Fuck you, punk!”
Readin’ my rights and shit, it’s all junk
Pullin’ out a silly club, so you stand
With a fake-ass badge and a gun in your hand
But take off the gun so you can see what’s up
And we’ll go at it, punk, and I’ma fuck you up!
Make you think I’ma kick your ass
But drop your gat, and Ren’s gonna blast
I’m sneaky as fuck when it comes to crime
But I’m a smoke ’em now and not next time
Smoke any motherfucker that sweats me
Or any asshole that threatens me
I’m a sniper with a hell of a scope
Takin’ out a cop or two, they can’t cope with me
The motherfuckin’ villain that’s mad
With potential to get bad as fuck
So I’ma turn it around
Put in my clip, yo, and this is the sound
Yeah, somethin’ like that
But it all depends on the size of the gat
Takin’ out a police would make my day
But a n**** like Ren don’t give a fuck to say

Fuck the police
Fuck the police
Fuck the police
Fuck the Police

“Yeah man, what you need?”

“Police, open now”

“Aww shit”

“We have a warrant for Eazy-E’s arrest
Get down and put your hands up where I can see ’em”

“What the fuck did I do, man, what did I do?”

“Just shut the fuck up
And get your motherfuckin’ ass on the floor”

“But I didn’t do shit”

“Man, just shut the fuck up!”

“Eazy-E, won’t you step up to the stand
And tell the jury how you feel about this bullshit?”

I’m tired of the motherfuckin’ jackin’
Sweatin’ my gang, while I’m chillin’ in the shack, and
Shinin’ the light in my face, and for what?
Maybe it’s because I kick so much butt
I kick ass, or maybe ’cause I blast
On a stupid-assed n**** when I’m playin’ with the trigger
Of an Uzi or an AK
‘Cause the police always got somethin’ stupid to say
They put out my picture with silence
‘Cause my identity by itself causes violence
The E with the criminal behavior
Yeah, I’m a gangsta, but still I got flavor
Without a gun and a badge, what do ya got?
A sucker in a uniform waitin’ to get shot
By me or another n****
And with a gat it don’t matter if he’s smaller or bigger
(Size ain’t shit, he’s from the old school, fool)
And as you all know, E’s here to rule
Whenever I’m rollin’, keep lookin’ in the mirror
And ears on cue, yo, so I can hear a
Dumb motherfucker with a gun
And if I’m rollin’ off the 8, he’ll be the one
That I take out, and then get away
While I’m drivin’ off laughin’, this is what I’ll say

Fuck the police
Fuck the police
Fuck the police
Fuck the Police

“The verdict
The jury has found you guilty of being a redneck
White bread, chicken shit motherfucker”

“But wait, that’s a lie!
That’s a god damn lie!”

“Get him out of here!”

“I want justice!

“”Get him the fuck out my face!”

“I want justice!”

“Out, right now!”

“Fuck you, you black motherfuckers!

“Fuck the police
Fuck the police
Fuck the police

Looking for some great music? Check out the Song of the Day (BLM) playlist.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Indie Rock Music Politics Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): The Cranberries – Zombie

As we reach the end of the alphabet I’m glad to finally come to a political song. Zombie by The Cranberries is a brutally real & honest art. It’s an ode to The Troubles in Northern Ireland, the armed conflict between Catholic & Protestant militias which was aggravated, & worsened at every step interference from the British government, military & Police.

Zombie paints a vivid picture of the bombed out streets, killed children & selfish indifference which characterised the bloody conflict.

Another head hangs lowly
Child is slowly taken
And the violence, caused such silence
Who are we mistaken?

But you see, it’s not me
It’s not my family
In your head, in your head, they are fighting
With their tanks, and their bombs
And their bombs, and their guns
In your head, in your head they are crying

In your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie
What’s in your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie, oh

Du, du, du, du
Du, du, du, du
Du, du, du, du
Du, du, du, du

Another mother’s breaking
Heart is taking over
When the violence causes silence
We must be mistaken

It’s the same old theme
Since nineteen-sixteen
In your head, in your head, they’re still fighting
With their tanks, and their bombs
And their bombs, and their guns
In your head, in your head, they are dying

In your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie
What’s in your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh ie-ie oh

Stuck for something to listen to? Why not wrap your ears around this playlist of my Song of the Day (A-Z) series.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00

Categories
Politics

No Justice, No Peace

Protesters after overrunning & burning down the 3rd Precinct, Minneapolis, 28 May 2020

This post is to express solidarity with the thousands in the USA (& allies worldwide) who are protesting against the racist, white supremacist police system. These protests, referred to by some as revolution, uprising or an insurgency, were sparked by the murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of black man, Georg Floyd. Chauvin murdered Floyd by kneeling upon his neck causing him difficulty to breath. Floyd repeatedly told Chauvin that he couldn’t breathe. This murder was committed in front of members of the public, who filmed the crime, & three other police officers (Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng & Thomas K Lane) who either stood idly by or helped restrain Floyd.

George Floyd mural painted on Pensacola’s Graffiti Bridge

Scruffy Theory, as I’m sure you know, is not politically neutral. Black lives matter. “All Lives Matter” cunts can get in the fucking sea. All lives cannot & will not matter until Black Lives matter. “Blue Lives” don’t matter because they don’t fucking exist. Being a cop is a JOB, a choice. You are not born a cop. If you have any self-respect, you don’t define your identity as being a cop. To quote the excellent visual artist, Teenage Stepdad, “Imagine having one life to live and deciding to spend it being a cop.”

Teenage Stepdad

ACAB, All Cops Are Bastards. Yes ALL cops are. The ones who you might define as “good cops” are standing by & allowing the white supremacists to murder Black people for the crime of being black. Many insist that most cops are good & only a small majority are bastards. This logic is ridiculous. A popular rebuttal against this is that if you have 1000 good cops & 10 bad cops, but the 1000 good cops don’t stop the 10 bad cops, then you have 1010 bad cops.

Another organisation hitting the nail on the head here is Existential Comics. They are posting regular facts & rebuttals to those who are supporting the police. Or bootlickers as they’re technically known. This is a favourite. These so-called “good cops” should probably find a useful job which supports communities rather than continuing in theri roles as antagonistic wreckers of communities.

Another disingenuous & morally reprehensible tactic for defending police & attacking protesters is to say something along the lines of “it’s horrible that an innocent black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop”. Obviously, as any rational human being can see, the linguistic framing used here is designed to engender support for the police & hostility towards the protesters (who are simultaneously being painted as “rioters” or “looters”). By framing the issue the other way around we can get to a more morally positive take on this. “It’s horrible that property is being destroyed, but killing innocent black men has to stop”. By reordering the priority given to the two supposed wrongs by the importance of human life over property, we reach a much sounder conclusion.

The framing of protesters as “rioters” or “looters” is probably the biggest problem, public opinion-wise, that we face right now. From my own observations of watching the protests (by live-streams on Unicorn Riot, Redfish & others), they are largely peaceful affairs. They remain peaceful until the police begin aggravating & threatening the crowds. There is at least one case where St. Paul police officer, Jacob Pederson, was filmed in plainclothes vandalised a branch of AutoZone. Just before this he spray painted “Free shit for everyone zone”.He was identified from the video by his ex-partner. Right-wing authoritarian governments have always relied on the use of Agent Provocateurs to rile up crowds of protesters & to incite violence. A simple Google search of the term “Agent Provocateur” will lead you down a rabbit hole of both anecdotal & hard evidence for this. [editorial note: I have taken the editorial decision to report that Umbrella Man was Jacob Pederson because a) I believe it to be true & b) various American news services reported the Saint Paul Police’s denial of it as fact, without evidence.]

As for “looting”, there are genuine legitimate arguments for expropriation of goods from the ruling, capitalist class (which helps to maintain the systematically racist status quo) into the hands of the working classes & marginalised groups. I have heard reports of people expropriating things like car baby seats, nappies (or diapers since this is the US), children’s clothing & other things which improve the quality of their lives. In addition to this, water, milk & food which was expropriated from stores such as Target & Walmart, have been redistributed throughout the crowd & used to protect themselves against the police violence. Many people wash out their eyes with milk after being targeted with teargas or pepper spray (Sometimes colloquially referred to as Mace, after a popular brand). A famous example of this is the 9 year old girl who was pepper sprayed by cowardly Seattle police officer, Jared Campbell (badge #8470).

There are also strong arguments that expropriation & redistribution of goods like this actually helps communities economically. Rick Sauermilch, Green Party Candidate for Michigan’s 110th District, argues this so eloquently that I’m just going to quote it entirely:

A lot of people have been talking about the effects of looting on “small businesses” and the general economics of the community and I think a big piece that’s missing from this conversation is that there are positive effects of looting for the people who are involved in it.

When Target loses goods they don’t just disappear from the economy. People take them home and use them. This has widespread economic effects in the community. 

It’s been said that Hip-hop would have never existed if it wasn’t for the 1977 New York blackout and the looting that followed it because overnight the neighborhoods went from having one DJ to 20 or so DJ crews, all that gear they stole got turned into a business prospect. You can talk about all the economic activity that was “lost” but do we talk about how much money has hip-hop made for that community since?

How many young people just started a new business today in Minneapolis?  
How many people woke up today and can finally start being a real photographer, or start coding on a laptop that finally has the specs, or finally got that sewing machine and can start working on their fashion career?

Please stop acting like looting is “destruction of property” and start looking at it for what it really is, a wealth transfer from corporations to the poor in the form of property.

Rick Sauermilch, Green Party Candidate for Michigan’s 110th District.

So, in respect for Black people fighting for their lives against the murderous police force & corrupt authoritarian government, I stand in solidarity with them & their allies on the front lines.

No Justice, No Peace.

Black Lives Matter

All Cops Are Bastards

Categories
Indie Rock Politics Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Parquet Courts – Violence

Day 22 (V). I was originally going to choose Venus In Furs by The Velvet Underground for today. Event’s in the world have forced me to reevaluate though & it feels correct to choose Violence by Parquet Courts from their 2018 album Wide Awake! Violence is a rallying cry against the Violence inherent in American society. “Violence is daily life”.

In the wake of the murder by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin of unarmed & handcuffed black man, George Floyd, it seems respectful to acknowledge & pledge resistance to the systematic racism which grips America an always has done.

This post signals solidarity with the people of Minnesota & wishes them well in their uprising. Keep up the pressure, comrades, & watch out for police agent provocateurs in your midst, like Jacob Pederson, the Minneapolis police officer who donned a gasmask & smashed the windows of a branch of AutoZone while carrying an umbrella.

Violence is the fruit of unreached understanding 
That flowers from the lips of scoundrels
It is a forest so dense and rooted in our past
It tempts us to become lost in its darkness
And stinks like the piss test you were forced to take
Just before you were told that you didn’t meet
The standards of integrity that this organization strives to maintain

Why are there no folk songs about ATM machines
That produce the likeness of the blazer of the trail of tears
Issuing overdraft fees from beyond the grave
Prison TV shows in an endless queue
Containing the robust nourishment of a commissary
This is why we cannot afford to close an open casket
You protect no one by obscuring the mirror 
That reflects our own problematic reality
Allow me to ponder the role I play
In this pornographic spectacle of black death
At once a solution and a problem

A cause, an effect, a rejoice, a regret
Violence is daily life
A promise a pact that the world never kept
Violence is daily life

A cause, an effect, a rejoice, a regret
Violence is daily life
A promise a pact that the world never kept
Violence is daily life

Violence is daily life
Violence happens every day
It’s hard to get used to getting used to violence

Savage is my name because Savage is how I feel
When the radio wakes me up with the words “suspected gunman”
My name is a warning for the acts you are about to witness
Which contain images that some viewers may find disturbing
My name belongs to us all
So if they ask for yours give them mine
My name is a threat

Riot is an unfinished grave that was dug to deposit undepleted anger
Like barrels of uranium leaking into something sacred
It is a word to use to delegitimize your unrest
And to make your resistance into an overreaction

The pink tube of paint called flesh
Used in portraits of chairmen of boards and
Men who clean up streets named after those who fought
For erasing the lives they now claim to protect
What is an up and coming neighborhood and where is it coming from?

A cause, an effect, a rejoice, a regret
Violence is daily life
A promise a pact that the world never kept
Violence is daily life

A cause, an effect, a rejoice, a regret
Violence is daily life
A promise a pact that the world never kept
Violence is daily life

What’s wrong with the air you breathe?
The water you drink?
Violence is so omnipresent
So ingrained in your daily reality
You forget to notice it happens everyday

Stuck for something to listen to? Why not wrap your ears around this playlist of my Song of the Day (A-Z) series.

Buy Tom a coffee?

Tom loves coffee. If you’ve enjoyed any of the content he’s created then please consider donating a few quid to buy him a cup.

£3.00