Saturday, August 28, 2010

Farewell From Monument To Masses

I remember when I very first learned of FMTM and where I was when I heard the first bits of sound. It was in a vehicle with Sergio Robledo-Maderazo in Emeryville. I was very curious but didn't quite get it. In time I got it.
FMTM became everything I think a band or art should be.
'The new noise' if you will. It was impossible to divorce FMTM from the politics and that wasn't done in some contrived RATM fashion. Sure there were the minimal vocals and samples (which I always wished were more audible if just for my own curiosity) but it was infused in the music.
Of course, FMTM to me wasn't just the music. It was also the comraderie and criticism of some right-on friends/comrades who have been a part of my life longer than most. There was a point, maybe in the middle of FMTM's life, that I feared losing the connection to you three due to some real life clash of loyalties. Instead of letting go, I held on. I am glad I did.
The thing that pisses me off about FMTM is how you never caught flight like you should have. We could pontificate about how the stars never aligned but we are too smart for that. Nothing happens by chance in this system. It is all by design and intent. I am not going to waste any more words on the mechanics of music within the capitalist system. Afterall, FMTM certainly does have a vibrant and dedicated following.
I am bummed that I can't attend the final FMTM show. I have to say, I was doubly sad upon learning that the original three would all be partaking. A proper finale.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bloody Beetroots + Dennis Lyxzen pt.2

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August Is Almost Over: We Are Everywhere

August is almost over. What are you up to?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bloody Beetroots + Dennis Lyxzen

I have learned that The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 have worked with Dennis Lyxzen (The Lost Patrol Band / The (International) Noise Conspiracy) on an upcoming song.

Not The New Punk

I must admit, it's been a minute since I have been very excited about any HC/punk coming out and probably even longer since I felt any fresh sense of energy at a HC show. I have even pondered on if punk, as we knew it, is over. In this void, I have found myself finding interest in and drifting towards something else...

I hate to think of it as "the new punk" because it isn't but the (new) electro scene seems to be emitting an energy that resonates with me. What I find most interesting is that two groups I was drawn to also have a history in punk and seemingly a foot in the anarchist milieu. Crystal Castles play discordant electro with influences from punk and black metal. Vocalist, Alice Glass, was apparently part of a punk band and lived in a squat. The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 (or their shadowy ringleader, Rifo) have a background in punk and still spout the semantics of anarchy.
One has to be careful when dealing with these subjects. Are the parties involved co-opting punk aesthetics and anarchy to sell music or is it a genuine integral part of their art? I wonder what it was that drew me to these two acts before I had any idea of their politics or punk backgrounds. Was it just because I thought they looked cool? (And can image actually be divorced from one's politics?)

It is also odd, coming from a punk background, that the majority of Crystal Castle & Bloody Beetroots' audiences do not seem to be counter-cultural nor do they even seem to resemble either group.
Where does this leave the politics? Can anarchist ideas be transmitted through the noise of these corporate channels? Perhaps it could even be the end of punk as the lifestyle ghetto of anarchy. I don't have high hopes but I am curious.

Punk and Anarchy are big words for anyone to shoulder. Anyone who wants to adopt this philosophy has a big responsibility and a duty not to betray it. I try to encourage freedom and independence through the channels that are available to me. In Italy, as usual, the sense of Punk has been misconstrued generating extremism that ends up confining itself to ghettos it builds with its own hands.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


We’d said everything that was to be said in that context, fucking hell. The fact that it’s still just as pertinent today is indication that nothing’s changed. You can’t say more than what we’ve said, really, except possibly offering a few answers. But you know, I’m still looking for them. And they’re certainly not ones that will be found in the context of punk rock. I think within the context of punk rock we did everything we possibly could.

Vice Magazine sucks. They also just did a pretty extensive interview with Crass (at least Penny Rimbaud and Steve Ignorant- which is significant because the other members are in conflict over Penny and Gee's re-issuing of the catalog with no music and info.)

The interview is amazing. It is pretty much always amazing to get into the heads of Crass. Whether you like their music or not is irrelevant as they are much more than music. They also aren't exactly the anarcho gods they are made out to be.


“We are classical now, we’re not actually just another fucking bunch of kids pissing around with a DIY mimeograph machine, we’re doing this plush, we’re doing this smart.” You have to have a particular arty sense of something or other to want to look at that old Crass stuff. It’s got its charm, but it’s charm only… it’s got no relevance. I want stuff to look slick, I want people to go: “Fucking hell, this is crazily good design.”

Philippines Torture

Have no illusions. When we are a threat, they will try to catch us. If they do, this is what happens.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

La Vida Footy

Let me recommend a fantastic blog on the beautiful game,
La Vida Footy

Joe Bageant: Kingdom of Survival

Prop 8 / Marriage

United States district court Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Proposition 8 on August 4, 2010. Same sex couples are once again allowed to marry (for the time being, at least).

Watching this all unfold, I wonder how long the rich rightwingers are going to determine what agenda we have to spend money and energy reacting to?

I won't deny that this ruling is significant or that, same sex couples shouldn't be afforded the same benefits associated with marriage that are available to heterosexual couples. However, it is ridiculous that such needed benefits are attached to some old religious institution that still equates love with property.

I now turn it over to the awesome folks at Gay Shame:

Marriage Is Murder

Wyclef Jean- Comprador

Haiti's history is a history of imperialism. Is Wyclef Jean the latest comprador servant of American imperial interests?

Instead of spending billions on the war,
I can use that money, to feed the poor.
I know some so poor, when it rains that's when they shower,
when screaming "fight the power".
That's when the vulture devoured

Wyclef Jean is running to become President of Haiti. Wyclef Jean is an ideal candidate for the USA, because his record is one of outright support for American imperialism in Haiti. He attacked the elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and supported the death squad 'rebels' that overthrew him. He has continued to support the brutal MINUSTAH occupation, on the grounds that it must contain the 'gangs' (referring to Lavalas, Haiti's most popular political party).

Sean Penn has come out hard on Wyclef.
"This is somebody who's going to receive an enormous amount of support from the United States, and I have to say I'm very suspicious of it, simply because he, as an ambassador at large, has been virtually silent. For those of us in Haiti, he has been a non-presence," Penn said.
"I see in Wyclef Jean somebody who could well have been influenced by the promise of support of companies. I think Haiti is clearly vulnerable ... There is a history of American interests coming in and underpaying people." Penn openly worried about American corporations and individuals "enamored" with Wyclef becoming "opportunists on the back of the Haitian people."

If I was president,
I'd get elected on Friday, assassinated on Saturday,
and buried on Sunday.

comprador bourgeoisie:
A section of an indigenous middle class allied with foreign investors, multi-national corporations, bankers, and military interests.

Black August

On Aug. 7, 1970, George Jackson’s brother Jonathan, only 17, invaded the Marin County Courthouse alone, planning ultimately to free the Soledad Brothers. “You can take our pictures. We are the revolutionaries!” Jonathan shouted.

Crud Wizard

You should all be reading Crud Wizard!

Crud Wizard is 9yr old Ezra Lux's blog on metal (and whatever else he fancies).

Wikileaks, Project Vigilant, & "Freedom" of Speech/Press

Americans love to shout about their freedom. Americans love to shout about how free and informed we are due to our free press.

Pfc. Bradley Manning is accused of helping leak files to Wikileaks to help facilitate this freedom of press and information. Afterall, we were being misled by our benevolent government.

Now a member of Congress is calling for Manning to be executed. A Wikileaks volunteer was detained for three hours and interrogated as to the whereabouts of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as well as "his attitudes to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and on the philosophy behind Wikileaks."

I guess our government is not as keen on a well informed citizenry.

As a matter of fact, the FBI doesn't even want their blessed seal to appear on wikipedia!

Project Vigilant "monitors the traffic of 12 regional Internet service providers" and "hands much of that information to federal agencies."
Lamo, the hacker who turned in Manning to the federal government for allegedly confessing to being the WikiLeaks leaker, was a "volunteer analyst" for Project Vigilant. Project Vigilant's executive director, Uber, directed Lamo to federal authorities to inform on Manning.
Project Vigilant is but one manifestation of a booming and unaccountable industry: groups which collect vast amounts of highly informative data about American citizens -- particularly their Internet activities -- and then sell it or otherwise furnish it to the U.S. Government.

Another Death for Affirmative Action

CA's affirmative action ban has been upheld.

The struggle for affirmative action and what it means holds a special place with me. I was heavily involved in the struggle to defend affirmative action in CA in the early 1990's and it was a struggle that helped radicalize me. I saw all facts distorted, I witnessed the media straight up lie, I saw the discouraging manner in which Whites rejected any solidarity and sided with self-serving privilege, and I felt the sting of confused defeat.

Affirmative action is far far too often framed as a way to have a well rounded ethnic population on university campuses. (A strategy that has backfired when Asian students become majorities at some campuses.) Affirmative action is something much more important and stronger. Only a blind fool and/or servant of racist privilege will suggest that our country doesn't have a history of institutionalized racism. Affirmative action is a tool to continue to dismantle this institutional racism.

If you hold a running marathon and let the White runners get a wide head start before you decide runners of color should be allowed to participate, those White runners have an unfair advantage no matter how close the runners of color get. Even if some runners of color take the lead over some White runners, they should be even further ahead.

Affirmative action is a tool to right this wrong. White people don't like the notion that the privilege they have is unjustified and could/should be stripped of them. I always thought of affirmative action, while perhaps not revolutionary, as what the Black Panthers would have called a "survival" program. It could help us get 'there.'

Link Roundup

- According to published reports, College prep summer program in LA hosted Justin Pearson and Jose Palafox to discuss DIY culture. "it was their DIY ethic, which celebrates the ordinary person, promising these students that if they are self-reliant and proactive learners, they can each become experts in their own right."

- Eugene Levy is trying to remain relevant by constantly making racist tweets. He isn't funny, just lame.

- Google & Verizon are seeking to destroy net neutrality.

- Casting has begun for Marvel's Runaways.However, instead of seeking an Asian girl for the Asian character, the casting only calls for "Uniquely beautiful, nurturing but guarded Female, must play 16-18." Racebending is on the issue and hopefully will prevent Marvel from pulling A Last Airbender.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Bay Area Action Assembly of Anarchists and Comrades

Aug. 8 2010
AK Press Warehouse
674-A 23rd. (between MLK and San Pablo)
Oakland, CA

After the second round of Oscar Grant Rebellions in the streets of Oakland on July 8 some atrocious events unfolded that made our recently powerful movement against the police feel weaker than ever.

July 9th, 15-year-old Traveon Avila, unarmed, was the THIRD person murdered by ONE police officer in Bakersfield, CA
July 14th, Verna Lisa Hollins, a gun shot victim, was left with no medical attention while the San Jose police “secured the crime scene.” She was dead by the time the paramedics came half an hour later.
July 17th, Fred Collins was shot to death in a hail of 50 bullets fired by Oakland and Bart Police just blocks away from Oscar Grant's murder
July 21st, Youtube video shows San Francisco Police knock out woman with baby. She's unconscious through the duration of the video. Police have not released her name, well-being, or whether there were charges filed against her
July 22nd, 16-year-old James Rivera, also unarmed, was murdered by Stockton, CA police

Anarchists must not be content with one night of riots, as that alone does nothing to put a stop to the police's war on the oppressed. Our lack of action in the wake of the police's newest bout of complete disrespect for human life reveals nothing but our complacency. The Bay Area has the largest population of anarchists in the nation, therefore it is incumbent upon us to develop praxis on how we can both be in solidarity with those most negatively impacted by the police and judicial system and how we can be agents in strengthening the anti-police movement.

You are hereby invited to participate in an experiment in anarchist organizing. Without the presence of an agenda or an expectation to make decisions as an assembly, we hope a wide array of ideas are toyed with, given room to breathe, taken into consideration, and ultimately solidified into actions outside of the assembly.

This is a space for us to determine our capacities to act in terms of innovation, resources, and confidence, but also a space to increase those capacities. The goal is not to produce a united front of anarchist analysis or tactics, but instead to produce a multitude of anarchist analysis and tactics. Respectful debate is highly encouraged. As long as we maintain solidarity with one another against our common enemies, the presence of internal conflicts could be just the substance necessary for us to truly become a movement.

It is not a requirement for participants to identify as anarchists, but is expected that everyone present respect the tone and direction of the assembly to be one that is in opposition to the state, capital, and the police, and a space for self evaluation and inspiration for those who wish to take action in an anarchistic fashion. This assembly will be much more about verbs than adjectives. We should all feel accountable to one another to come together to share thoughtful analysis, critique, inspiration, and especially ideas to move forward in ways that build solidarity and make us all more free from the police.

Although any actions that come out of this assembly will be on people's own initiative – whether they do so alone, through small affinity groups, or in more formal meetings – we should all feel compelled to make a mark on the world we inhabit and not passively let history pass us by!

Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Eminem Crit

I generally don't give White rappers much of a shot. Sorry. I like my White rappers like 3rd Bass: conscious of their White privilege and rapping against it. I never was a fan of Eminem. To me, he was just a White guy with skills that played into everything he could for fame. From his routine silly 1st simgle/video from each album, to his fabricated trailer park cache, to his angry at everything for no fuckin reason. Of course, there was also his strong tendencies towards sexism and homophobia. While both of those may be prominent in hip hop at large, unfortunately, when a member of the ruling strata (i.e. White male) says them, they take on a whole different dynamic.

Em was due for a comeback apparently. The first salvo of which was his verse on 'Forever.' That verse was heralded as amazing but I felt it put on display Em's shortcomings when juxtaposed with Weezy and Yeezy (hell, even Drake killed it on that song!). Eminem YELLS his verses and doesn't seem to have any speed but fast (which he acknowledges on the track).

Then I started hearing tracks off Eminem's Recovery... and I liked them. He definitely has skills. I suppose he always had them but rapping about killing your ex wife in a clever way smells less like real hip hop to me and more like what Juggalos listen to. The beats also felt stronger. Then I found out that he worked with Just Blaze and other non-Dr Dre producers on the album and it made some sense. Stronger beats.

Em teamed up with a lot of female singers apparently. He has a really catchy song with Rihanna. I hear it on the radio enough... but the lyrics...
Does anyone else find it a little unsavory to hear Rihanna, who might I remind you was beaten to a fuckin pulp by her abusive boyfriend Chris Brown, on a hook singing:
I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that's alright
Because I love
The way you lie

Em follows it up with:
If she ever tries to fucking leave again
I'mma tie her to the bed
And set the house on fire

OK OK Perhaps it is a commentary on abuse. Perhaps it is just a dramatic story. Then I saw the video:

If there is any anti-abuse message in that Joseph Kahn video, it is completely lost in the romanticizing of the obviously abusive relationship.

Hip Hop History

The Berrics have THE WORST website I have maybe ever been to. It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to navigate and they must still not be hip to the fact that if we can't link to and/or share their content, it ain't going nowhere. Anyway...
The Berrics hosts Hip Hop History with Dante Ross. First they had a series of vids with Dante just schoolin' on East Coast hip hop from the 80's. Of which, he was a part of. Now they got Hip Hop History with Dante Ross and DJ Muggs and it covers all OG Los Angeles shit.
Really! Do yourself a fuckin' favor and watch every single one of these videos. Make sure you got a pad and pencil to take notes too because so many gems are dropped.

I could go on and on and on and on about things D Ross and Muggs say and how much I relate to some of it but you just gotta watch these vids.

Because The Berrics wants to make shit difficult, all I can do is provide you with a link to video #1 of 6 with Dante and Muggs

in memoriam

It dawned on me that my last 3 posts were in memoriam. Sad.
I only knew one of the three individuals personally but they all affected my life in some way and/or left me with important memories. Individual anecdotes and examples are unimportant. However, if there is a common thread it is loyalty. I ain't talking about blind loyalty. I am talking about critical loyalty.

I also hate using the term 'Rest In Peace' as it is heavy with religious connotations. I don't mind 'Rest In Power' but that doesn't always feel right. I try to stick with 'Long Live..." because anyone worth remembering lives on forever through us.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Long Live Marilyn Buck

Monday, August 02, 2010

RIP Mahk Daniels

Long Live Lolita Lebron

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Today is August 1st. Don't forget...


To create and maintain points of entry everywhere. To demonstrate our ability to work together despite internal differences and external obstacles. To invigorate anarchist infrastructure rather than lean on it. To orchestrate a show of force in solidarity with anti-authoritarians all over the world. To inspire curious newcomers without exhausting our vigor. To illuminate the map like a starchart of constellations. To remind ourselves – everyone – that we are everywhere.


Can anarchists mobilize to achieve these objectives with a tight deadline? In an effort to test and strengthen our potential, we’re inviting anarchists of all stripes and contexts to participate in a widespread and decentralized demonstration of outreach and infrastructure. To get involved, all that is required is that you facilitate or organize one or more events that will occur simultaneously across North America throughout the month of August.


During August, we make anarchist principles and activity visible and accessible at a scale never before attempted. Consider it an international month of action; the activities can be of any caliber and temperament, and can appear anywhere: in the news, in the library, in the bedroom, in the supermarket, at the Really Really Free Market, on the streets, and so on. Use this as an opportunity to explore and experiment: if you aren’t typically involved in local mutual aid projects, give it a go; if you’ve never gone on a tour before, plan one with your friends; if you write zines, write banners; if you author theory, stage a reading; if you occupy classrooms, teach one for free. Whatever you do, wherever you go, wave the black flag for everyone to see –including, and perhaps especially for, our friends and comrades – and let the world see that we are everywhere.

Deadhead: music you should listen to

Touche Amore continue to blow the fuck up on some retro skramz tip. Now 3/5s of Touche Amore are Deadhead playing some brutal d-beat-esque punk worth checking out.


Download their ep HERE but then buy it when it is officially released or go see them when they play near you!

Are these youngsters from Burbank, who so many people love to hate, some serious students of the game or what?

Hudson Criminal: music you should listen to

Hudson Criminal have finally put out their cd, Last Days of Man. If I had to compare it to something you kids might be familiar with already, I would go with Hour Of The Wolf.

Hudson Criminal plays the occasional show in CA and you should go see them.


Buy Last Days of Man HERE!

Frank Turner: music you should listen to

Frank Turner plays English folk music very much in the vein of Billy Bragg. One of the things that really draws me to Frank's music is his obvious connection to the punk scene. His lyrics often view the world and politics through the eyes of someone who came up through punk and the baggage that tends to create.


Please support Frank!

NeverNothing Show in Philly

"There is a Cop in each of us...

A Now Open Letter to the East Bay Express

To the Editors, East Bay Express,
It wasn’t enough to be faced with your cover editorial of July 7-13 implicitly equating (as “errors”) the killing of an unarmed and prone African-American man at the hands of a white BART cop who “lost his cool” with the breaking of business and automobile windows by protesters who “reacted in anger” to what has recently been deemed involuntary manslaughter. Let’s leave aside how precisely you believe people on the receiving end of routine police harassment are supposed to express their outrage at yet another in a seemingly endless series of extrajudicial—of course we mean accidental—murders.

No, that wasn’t bad enough. Now readers are treated to Robert Gammon’s “Seven Days” column of July 14-20, in which he repeats—almost verbatim from the discourse of OPD and the future bureaucrats of Youth Uprising—contemptuous red herrings as part of a wider de rigueur anti-anarchist frenzy being aided and promoted by mainstream and so-called alternative media. Perhaps anarchists should be grateful that at least you have finally dispensed with the cumbersome and paternalistic qualifier “self-described,” as if journalists who are thoroughly ignorant of the history and philosophy of anarchism could possibly be the arbiters of who authentic anarchists are and what we do.

Ridiculous and hackneyed stereotypes abound in Gammon’s scribblings. First there are the ever-present “angry white anarchists” “bent on violence.” This presumes that non-white anarchists don’t exist, inside or outside of Oakland. And yet there are anarchists all over the world, not only in the US. Some of us are even People of Color. It also presumes that “violence” is primarily a question of breaking windows and setting dumpsters on fire. As if the mere existence of police is not violent, as if the relationships of domination and economic exploitation that characterize industrial capitalism weren’t violent or oppressive. The State reserves for itself an exclusive monopoly on the so-called legitimate use of violence; that sort of violence is not to be called into question. Only the scandalous actions of the disenfranchised and dispossessed are referred to pejoratively as “violence,” while the routine bullying, arrests, thievery, beatings, etc. carried out under the cover of legality are just standard operating procedures.

OPD and many municipal politicos are intent on playing up the fact that people who live outside Oakland make up a large percentage of those arrested on the night in question. Any issue involving BART police affects all those living/working in areas served by BART. Oscar Grant was killed in Oakland, which means that it is perfectly reasonable for any demonstration calling into question the killing, the trial, the verdict, and the sentencing would take place in Oakland, with interested residents from the greater Bay Area participating. As an aside and for more context, it might be interesting to know how many people work in Oakland who don’t reside there—police officers for example?

The pairing of anarchists and looters is facile. Who’s to say that the people who looted the Foot Locker were anarchists? Anarchists usually target the windows of the symbols of capitalism, like banks and multinational corporations. Making anarchists exclusively responsible for violence and crime is an easy way to ignore the other dynamics involved in looting, like the fact that people are constantly bombarded with media images equating the consumption of commodities with happiness and satisfaction. Given the proper circumstances, why wouldn’t people who can’t afford to pay for various commodities but who want them—indeed who’ve been told for years that they need them—not take advantage of their sudden easy availability with minimal consequences?

Saying that anarchists used “the peaceful demonstrators as a shield from police” is a typical canard. The image of human shields is deliberately meant to conjure up terrorists, and the implication is clear: the police and their media pals are beginning to fabricate the equation anarchist = terrorist, the better to make the increased surveillance, eventual arrest and apprehension, and ultimate suppression of anarchists easier to stomach for a public already accustomed to extraordinary rendition and the labeling of anyone the State finds inconvenient as an “enemy combatant.”

Like all the others squawking about the ethnicity and residences of those arrested, Gammon presumes they are already guilty of whatever crimes for which the police decided to arrest them. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? Gammon knows that the innocent (in this case chess players) also get arrested, but blames that too on the anarchists.

Anarchists are accustomed to being off-handedly demonized by agents of the State (in and out of power, and those training to attain it) and their friends in the media. Elisee Reclus, a famous French geographer, who also happened to be an anarchist, had this to say over a century ago: “No reproach is too bitter for us, no epithet too insulting. Public speakers on social and political subjects find that abuse of anarchists is an unfailing passport to popular favor. Every conceivable crime is laid to our charge… Overwhelmed with opprobrium and held up to hatred, we are treated to the principle that the surest way of hanging a dog is to give it a bad name.” But being accustomed to it and accepting it without objection are two different things. The prejudices and insults being tossed around are intolerable and irresponsible, and we hope that people who value rational discourse will be able to see through the haze of irrational and parochial declarations coming from the police, politicians, and the media.

Signed, a half-dozen local anarchists (four who reside in Oakland and two who live about 50 feet from the border).

The Wikileaks Drip

The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel were given 92,000 reports by Wikileaks, including thousands of pages of raw “human intelligence” (i.e., uncorroborated claims and gossip from interested parties and anonymous sources pushing a multitude of agendas), and diplomatic notes passed between the promulgators of the occupation in Washington and their factotums “in country."

As I have referenced before, invoking The Falcon and The Snowman, despite this leak being heralded as unmasking the war to the public, the documents are far too dense and numerous for lay-people to really sink their teeth into.

However, these leaks could play right into the hand of the warmongers.
The Taliban are also reportedly using the leak to cull for spies and collaborators.

There was a delayed response from the state and media but they finally went hard on their narrative that this leak is a "tragedy" and would result in the deaths of innocents. It is insanely humorous how the US military can equate occupying forces and their collaborators as "innocent."

Private Bradley Manning is in solitary confinement subject to who knows what for being the main suspect of the leak. However, now the government is using this leak to expand surveillance on other Americans.

What liberal America has a difficult time swallowing is that for one side to win, the other must lose.


I despise the hocus pocus self-help of Oprah and her empire. Joshunda Sanders and Diana Barnes-Brown have put together a TERRIFIC article for Bitch Magazine critiquing this privileged market and its anti-feminist underpinnings.

For decades, self-help literature and an obsession with wellness have captivated the imaginations of countless liberal Americans. Even now, as some of the hardest economic times in decades pinch our budgets, our spirits, we’re told, can still be rich. Books, blogs, and articles saturated with fantastical wellness schemes for women seem to have multiplied, in fact, featuring journeys (existential or geographical) that offer the sacred for a hefty investment of time, money, or both. There’s no end to the luxurious options a woman has these days—if she’s willing to risk everything for enlightenment. And from Oprah Winfrey and Elizabeth Gilbert to everyday women siphoning their savings to downward dog in Bali, the enlightenment industry has taken on a decidedly feminine sheen.

“Live your best life!” Oprah Winfrey intones on her show, on her website, and in her magazine, with exhausting tenacity. Eat kale. Lose weight. Invest in timeless cashmere. Find the perfect little black dress. But though Oprahspeak pays regular lip service to empowerment, much of Winfrey’s advice actually moves women away from political, economic, and emotional agency by promoting materialism and dependency masked as empowerment, with evangelical zeal.

As Karlyn Crowley writes in the recent anthology Stories of Oprah: The Oprahfication of American Culture, Winfrey has become the mainstream spokesperson for New Age spirituality because “she marries the intimacy and individuality of the New Age movement with the adulation and power of a 700 Club–like ministry.”

It’s no secret that, according to America’s marketing machine, we’re living in a “postfeminist” world where what many people mean by “empowerment” is the power to spend their own money. Twenty- and thirtysomething women seem more eager than ever to embrace their “right” to participate in crash diets and their “choice” to get breast implants, obsess about their age, and apply the Sex and the City personality metric to their friends (Are you a Miranda or a Samantha? Did you get your Brazilian and your Botox?). Such marketing, and the women who buy into it, assumes the work of feminism is largely done. Perhaps it’s because, unlike American women before them, few of the people either making or consuming these cultural products and messages have been pushed to pursue secretarial school instead of medical school, been accused of “asking for” sexual assault, or been told driving and voting were intellectually beyond them. This perspective makes it easy for the antifeminism embedded in the wellness jargon of priv-lit to gain momentum.


Cultural Generation Gap

AZ pigs are ready for battle but Sheriff Arpaio can't stay away from TV cameras.

Arizona's xenophobia is the result, in large part, of a cultural generation gap. As other states led by older White elites salivate at Arizona's attempt to enact fascist racist laws to protect the Whites' hold on power, it is interesting to look at this cultural generation gap.

Whites compose a majority of the senior population in every state except Hawaii. Minorities compose a majority of the youth population in seven states and at least one-third of young people in 17 more. In 11 states, minorities already represent a majority of elementary and secondary public school students.

Over time, the major focus in this struggle is likely to be the tension between an aging white population that appears increasingly resistant to taxes and dubious of public spending, and a minority population that overwhelmingly views government education, health, and social-welfare programs as the best ladder of opportunity for its children.

At the root of the generational mismatch are federal policies that severely reduced immigration from the 1920s until Congress loosened the restrictions in 1965. With immigration constrained, whites remained an overwhelming majority of American society through the mid-20th century, including the years of the post-World War II Baby Boom. (Demographers date the Baby Boom from 1946 to 1964, the year before the restrictions on immigration were eased.) The result was a heavily white generation of young people.

read more: The Gray And The Brown: The Generational Mismatch

Mob Rule

Link Roundup

- USA USA USA... Americans are more patriotic than other nations. (no surprise)

- Israeli Police killed a Palestinian-American in cold blood. (no surprise)

- A snitch led to the arrest of ALF suspect, Walter Bond. (no surprise- Why is the animal liberation movement(s) so rife for infiltrators and informants?! Is it the social/class makeup of these movement(s)?)