Monday, July 21, 2014
In the Eighties, when I was in college in 1988. That was almost the end of the military dictatorship. I was a student protester. I was part of a lot of demonstrations against the government and I would have to run away from riot police. In one particular instance, I ran away and opened a random door and ended up in a very classy, high-end hotel. I found myself in this lobby where there was piano music and just two seconds ago they were shooting tear gas at me. There I was listening to Mozart and guests were dressed up in nice clothes drinking coffee as if nothing was going on. I was just in a daze, thinking ‘where am I’? That feeling is definitely a part of the sushi bar scene. Bong Joon-ho (x)

(Source: strangeturnip)

Friday, July 18, 2014

(Source: straightallies)

Friday, July 11, 2014

safaiagem said: Snowpiercer opinion question! After I saw the movie with a friend the first thing he said was 'the anarchists are going to love this one. You literally have to destroy the entire system with violence'. I'm not 100% sure I buy into that but I was wondering what you thought?

well, it sounds like your friend kind of misunderstands what anarchism is, for one thing.

in my experience, virtually every piece of “political” dystopian fiction winds up being interpreted in vastly different ways by people of differing political viewpoints.

for example, the Hunger Games has been described as a communist, fascist, socialist and capitalist dystopia, depending on who you speak to. an american republican might think that the Capital represents a surveillance-obsessed liberal nanny state, while others might focus more on the struggle between the oppressed working classes and the idle rich.

generally speaking, people tend to perceive dystopias as having been created by a political viewpoint that they oppose and/or fear in real life. that’s reasonable enough, because things like propaganda, bigotry and systemic violence are common to pretty much any society that goes off the deep end into a dictatorial regime. and the easiest way to illustrate a dystopian society on film is to show a few scenes where violence, propaganda and bigotry ruin the lives of relatable protagonists.

but in the case of Snowpiercer, it’s difficult to see it as anything other as a specific commentary on the pointlessness of the capitalist class system. the main characters are forced to live in squalor by a malevolent, controlling white patriarch who created a pointlessly stratified financial caste system because he felt it was the best way to “balance” humankind. he then kills off a bunch of poor people whenever they start seeming like they’ll upset the “balance” and/or take some wealth away from the rich. 

the idea that “destroying the system with violence” is an anarchist idea doesn’t really make sense, because it applies to virtually any violent revolution or conflict, and most of them… are not anarchist in the slightest. the main characters (Curtis, Namgoong Minsu, etc) don’t really express any particular ideology, they just want to be free. which is more or less the struggle of every dystopian movie hero ever.

p.s. i write more about the dystopian politics of Snowpiercer in my review.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 Tuesday, June 24, 2014



John Oliver explains why we should all be very excited for the World Cup. And why we should also hate FIFA with every ounce of hatred we can collectively muster. 

Hey, non-brazilian followers, here’s a fairly good explanation of what’s going on around here. Please don’t support Fifa in any way. Ever.

One thing he didn’t say: there are some cities in which areas around the stadiums have, “for security reasons”, been declared “FIFA areas”. That means that during the Cup there’ll be days in which we won’t have the right to go there. There are parts of our cities that have been forbidden to us by a sports organization. If you live in a “FIFA area”, you have to fucking register your name in order to be allowed to go home. I have an elderly great-aunt in this situation. If during one of the forbidden hours she happens to get ill or suffer a fall or any of those things that made it really hard for elderly people to be alone, she will have to go stay someplace else, because no relatives will be allowed to stay with her at her home, or even go pick her up with a car.

Also, people who sell products in those areas are forbidden to work on game days, because FIFA will be selling their own products and won’t allow competition.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The only political compass that matters


The only political compass that matters

Thanks, BBC


The BBC, the UK’s officially entirely neutral news outlet, has basically decided not to report on any of the austerity protests and demonstrations that are going on.

Yesterday, 50,000 people marched against austerity, and they started their march at the BBC headquarters.

This wasn’t reported by the BBC at all yesterday. Today they ran a three paragraph article with only vague, somewhat misleading information. (Apparently ‘thousands’ of people attended, ‘organisers say’.)

It’s sinister and it has to stop. The BBC is ours. We pay for it.

Here is a petition.

The lack of news coverage for this weekend’s austerity protests is disgraceful.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Apartheid in Detroit: Water for corporations, not people
June 18, 2014

Biill and Hillary Clinton were up to their ears in more than $10 million worth of legal debt at the end of Clinton’s tenure as president. Donald Trump was bailed out of four bankruptcies. But Detroit residents are having a basic human right – the access to water – cancelled for being late on bills of $150.

In the spring, Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr ordered water shutoffs for 150,000 Detroit residents late on their bills. Orr is an unelected bureaucrat accountable only to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who appointed Orr and several other “emergency managers” in largely poor, black communities like Detroit, Benton Harbor, Flint, and Highland Park, to make all financial decisions on behalf of local elected governments.

Orr’s plan will shut off water for 1,500 to 3,000 Detroit residents each week. Neither Orr nor Homrich, the contracting company Orr hired to shut off residents’ water, answered calls for interview requests.

Detroit citizens have been protesting the decision on the basis that water is a human right that cannot be denied to families who need it for cooking, bathing and flushing toilets. Many residents facing water shutoffs are currently on monthly payment plans with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), paying upwards of $160 per month as water rates continue to rise, and were given no prior notice that their water was about to be cut off. Last week, the Detroit City Council held a public hearing to discuss a proposed 4 percent hike in water rates.

“The families I’ve talked to in my neighborhood and others around the city are confused about why they’re being hit (in this way),” community activist Russ Bellant told the Michigan Citizen. “Some knew they were behind, but thought they’d have time to pay it. These are people who mow the lawn on the vacant lots next door (to them).”

As the Michigan Citizen reported, residents with delinquent water bills are losing their water while prominent Detroit corporations with much larger delinquent water bills are being left alone. The Palmer Park Golf Club owes $200,000. Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, owes DWSD $80,000. Ford Field owes $55,000. Kevyn Orr is arguing that the shutoffs are necessary to pay for the DWSD infrastructure – yet when Detroit raised $1 billion in bonds to pay for new infrastructure, $537 million of it went to banks like JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Morgan Stanley to pay off interest instead.

Community activists are placing blame on the structural, institutionalized poverty in Detroit that forces the people to foot the bill for corporate mismanagement. Detroit’s bankruptcy and urban blight is a direct result of the housing bubble that burst, putting over 60,000 homes in foreclosure and rendering thousands of families homeless.

Dan Gilbert, the billionaire owner of Quicken Loans who is financing much of the gentrified development of downtown Detroit, has been particularly blamed for his company’s role in exacerbating the foreclosure crisis through its intimidation of homeowners, pressuring them into risky subprime lending schemes.

“Instead of going after the corporate institutions who owe millions, they’d rather turn off the water for poor people,” said Demeeko Williams, an organizer with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management.

To fight back, Williams and other community activist groups like Moratorium NOW! and the Detroit After Party are teaming up to create theDetroit Water Brigade, a mutual aid effort aimed at providing residents with water and stopping water shutoffs with nonviolent direct action. The Detroit Water Brigade has set up a bridal registry on inviting those interested to help purchase necessary supplies like water coolers, cases of bottled water, heavy-duty contractor bags, and orange safety vests.

Some of the more radical direct actions being promoted by the Detroit Water Brigade include distributing flyers instructing people on how to turn their own water back on after it’s been shut off, and how to pre-emptively stop contractors from shutting water for their home. The flyer reads:

“Step 1: If your water is off, have the neighborhood water person or a friend (not you) obtain a water key and turn it back on 1st. (If you expect your water to be turned off, go to step 2.)

“Step 2: Purchase ready mix cement from the hardware [store].

“Step 3: Fill lockbox pipe 3/4ths full with dry cement mix.

“Step 4: Add water to top off. Don’t use rocks because rocks can be sucked out.”

The Detroit Water Brigade is also meeting regularly to train interested residents in nonviolent civil disobedience. Residents are planning to form human chains putting themselves between water lockboxes and contractors hired to shut off water. The water brigade is counting on Detroit’s understaffed police department to not have the resources to arrest and jail everyone participating in the water shutoff demonstrations.

In response to sustained protests from Detroit residents, the DWSD has removed the “Water Shut Off” decals from its trucks.


(Source: thepeoplesrecord)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

(Source: benkling)