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Jeez, Doodles, you almost make it sound like you're in favor of voting. :P
I'm in favor of the democratic rights of voting, I just think voting for the twin parties of the plutocracy is an activity best left for ninnies.
Speaking of France, I've for the past couple of months been amused by the government censorship of black French fascist comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala (what's going on with him, Europaizonians--last I heard he was banned from Britain) at the same time that the French government has been rousting and deporting all the gypsies they can find. It's ironies like these that make me go Hee hee!
Yesterday morning, the Americans for Austerity and Citizens United held a confab here in lovely New Hampshire, with such luminaries in attendance as Rand Paul, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee and other assorted plutocrats. There was a protest rally called by the AARP at, of course, 8:30 in the morning, so me and my comrade went to stand on the picket line with 15 Now! signs and peddle socialist newspapers.
Anyway, we weren't allowed to park in the lot of the convention center hosting the event, so we snuck into the parking lot of the abutting Best Western.
Anyway, blah blah blah, talk to the pissed off retirees, talk to pissed of young white kids who staff over at the NAACP (this is New Hampshire, after all), talk to the pissed off Democrat staffers and front group members all dressed in matching sexy soccer mom chic bought straight off the rack at Macy's outfits, etc.
Protest kinda ends when it's time for all the liberals to drive across Manchester to St. Anselm's to see Bernie Sanders speak. Comrade and I go back to the Best Western parking lot where we see four well-dressed men ascending a small staircase leading to a secluded path between the hotel and the convention center.
"Is that Donald Trump?" my comrade asks. I look over and, sure enough, it's Donnie. "Yup," I say. "That's f!+%ing Donald Trump!" my comrade says, rolling down the window. I start the car and begin backing out.
My comrade leans out the car window. "Hey, scumbag!" Donald Trump freezes. "Yeah, hey you, scumbag!" Donald turns around, his face red, and like a good New Yorker, starts to puff up from across the way.
"Hey, scumbag! You're fired!"
I gunned the Doodlemobile and we raced off into great New Hampshire morning, cackling, cannabis smoke pouring out the windows, neither of us wearing our seat belts.
Live Free or Die!
Re-reading the Gore essay, he talks about how after the success of the first Oz book, Baum (who had a background in theater) successfully adapted it to the stage and that, in Gore's opinion, many of the bad jokes and Dorothy's lapse into baby-talk was the influence of vaudeville and other stage-y stuff as Baum wrote them with the intention of adapting them to the stage (the female soldiers as a chorus line, etc.).
That may be the single worst sentence I've ever written, but I'm tired.
....Recently I was sent an academic dissertation. Certain aspects of Baum's The Land of Oz had reoccured in a book of mine. Was this conscious or not? (It was not.) But I was intrigued. I reread The Land of Oz. Yes, I could see Baum's influence. I then reread The Emerald City of Oz. I have now reread all of L. Frank Baum's Oz books. I have also read a good deal of what has been written about him in recent years. Although Baum's books were dismissed as trash by at least two generations of librarians and literary historians, the land of Oz has managed to fascinate each new generation and, lately, Baum himself has become an OK subject, if not for the literary critic, for the social historian....
...Lack of proper acknowledment perhaps explains the extent to which Baum has been ignored by literary historians, by English departments, by....[in original]As I write these words, a sense of dread. Is it possible that Baum's survival is due to the fact that he is not taught? That he is not, officially, Literature? If so, one must be careful not to murder Oz with exegesis....
The introduction to Moore's book [Wonderful Wizard, Marvelous Land by Raylyn Moore, 1974] is written by the admirable Ray Bradbury in an uncharacteristically overwrought style. Yet prose far to one side, Bradbury makes some good points: "Let us consider two authors" (the other is Edgar Rice Burroughs) "whose works were burned in our American society during the past seventy years. Librarians and teachers did the burning very subtly by not buying. And not buying is as good as burning. Yet, the authors survived."
The hostility of librarians to the Oz books is in itself something of a phenomenon. The books are always popular with children. But many librarians will not stock them. According to the chairman of the Miami Public Library, magic is out: "Kids don't like that fanciful stuff anymore. They want books about missiles and atmoic submarines." Less militaristic librarians have made the practical point that if you buy one volume of a popular series you will have to get the whole lot and there are, after all, forty Oz books.
Bradbury seems to think that the Oz books are disdained because they are considered "mediocre" by literary snobs (the same people who do not take seriously Science Fiction?). But I think that he is wrong. After all, since most American English teachers, librarians, and literary historians are not intellectuals, how would any of them know whether or not a book was well or ill written? [Hee hee!] More to the point, not many would care. Essentially, our educators are Puritans who want to uphold the Puritan work ethic. This is done by bringing up American children in such a way that they will take their place in society as dilligent workers and unprotesting consumers. Any sort of literature that encourages a child to contemplate alternative worlds might incite him, later in life, to make changes in the iron Puritan order that has brought us, along with missiles and atomic submarines, the assembly line at Detroit where workers are systematically dehumanized.
It is significant that one of the most brutal attacks on the Oz books was made in 1957 by the director of the Detroit Library System, a Mr. Ralph Ulveling, who found the Oz books to "have a cowardly approah to life." They are also guilty of "negativism." Worst of all, "there is nothing uplifting or elevating about the Baum series." For the Librarian of Detroit, courage and affirmation mean punching the clock and then doing the dull work of a machine while never questioning the system. Our governors not only know what is good for us, they never let up. From monitoring the books that are read in grade school to the brass handshake and the pension (whose fund is always in jeopardy) at the end, they are forever on the job. They have to be because they know that there is no greater danger to their order than a worker whose daydreams are not of television sets and sex but of differently ordered worlds. Fortunately, the system of government that controls the school system and makes possible the consumer society does not control all of publishing; otherwise, much imaginative writing might exist only in samizdat.
Hmmm. Well, it's beyond a paywall and he must have added to it after '77 because the version in my copy of United States: Essays 1952-1992 has, like, five pages before it gets to the beginning of the essay as shown. Wow, there's some great bits in here, I feel like typing....
For the record, I have never, not even once, used the word "Stalinian" in all my life. Also, I'm not a people, I'm a goblin!!!
Fill your hand, elf!
Andrew R wrote:
Maybe you have, I try not to read your posts if I can help it.
The ACA is just a handjob for the insurance industry
Down with handjobs for the insurance industry!
That's what I don't get about the right-wingers argument against Obamacare. I mean, I don't want to get involved with the whole "taxes are theft" argument, but it seems pretty clear to me that Citizen R. and whoever are "being robbed" not for the benefit of drug-addicted, never-holding-a-job parasites, but for the benefit of CIGNA, Aetna, Wellpoint, whomever.
As a sectist leftie, it is my duty to state that I am currently a member of the Rattvisepartiet's American sister section and, although I am familiar with many criticisms of the Committee for a Worker's International (and I doubt my criticisms would be the same as yours), I joined them specifically because they're the only Trotskyist group active in my region of the United States.
Anyway, when you get the time, I'd love to read your criticisms. I will, of course, maintain a stony democratic centralist silence, but I'll read them all the same.
Andrew R wrote:
many of the stupid ones (and very few of the smart ones) end up relying on govenment dollars (our dollars) to live, be it welfare or inside a prison. They would be doing much worse if we didn't spend so much on them
How many of the smart ones end up working graveyard shift at the convenience store catering to welfare leeches? Just curious.
I visited Citizen Doug's webpage when I first ran into him and, IIRC, it had the slogan "Marxism is the Enemy of Humanity" emblazoned across the top. I may only have a Wisdom of 6, but even I know when an argument's futile.
Also, I hate Obamacare, so this really isn't my fight.
Have you ever checked out A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman?
No, I haven't done any Gaiman. I think Kajehase, maybe someone else, publicly scolded me last time I said that.
The snobby completist in me turned up my nose at my cheapo cheapo Anderson find, I tried to restart the second Corum trilogy (interrupted by thieves, dear fans may recall) but the print was real small and it was late at night, and I thought to myself, I've been meaning to re-read all the Sherlock Holmes tales, plus there's lots of the original illustrations from Strand (?) Magazine, so...
Dude, I have no fantasies that the Democrats are anything other than the Other Plutocratic Party.
Although, for the record, I'd line up with those arguing that the blame for Detroit's decline is more appropriately placed on the Auto Bosses (and the class-collaborationism of the UAW leadership) than the local city government.
Detroit's larger trends were exacerbated by horrible mismanagement, a general failure to contain crime or educate kids, and an inability to create anything resembling an attractive place to start a business.
Not for lack of trying, though. Coleman Young, IIRC, was one of a long line of liberal Democrats voted in by a riled up, in this case, black electorate, who then turned around and served the interests of the plutocracy.
From the wiki page: "Although Young had emerged from the far left element in Detroit, he moved to the right as mayor. He called an ideological truce and won the support of Detroit's economic elite. The new mayor was energetic in the construction of the Joe Louis Arena, and upgrading the city's mediocre mass transit system. Highly controversial was his assistance to General Motors to build its new 'Poletown' plant at the site of the former Dodge Main plant, which involved evicting many long-time residents. Rich argues that he pulled money out of the neighborhood to rehabilitate the downtown business district, because 'there were no other options.'"
Anyone wanna place bets on DiBlasio?
"A lot of people think that the only reason you listen to vinyl is because the sound quality is better; that's a common misconception. The real reason that you listen to vinyl is that listening to vinyl makes you better than people who don't listen to vinyl."
I've been having some friction with my new full-time supervisor on my new shift, so I filed three grievances.
Had a sit-down with the shift manager and my steward (and also drunken anarcho-syndicalist hetero life partner) and, at the end, the manager said, "Doodlebug, is there anything else that you want to tell me?" and I said, "Yeah, this is the best job I've ever had, I love it here!" to which he replied, "You know, I don't like it when people lie to me."
When I was a young goblin lad, peddling socialist newspapers and attending UMass Boston, I befriended a left Irish nationalist Catholic emigre who also served as a steward in HERE (the Hotel and Restaurant employees--I think they merged with somebody else and are now UNITE!).
We were chatting and he told me about a case where he was representing a trans union sister who wasn't allowed to change in the women's dressing room. This was the mid-90s, so I don't remember how the case ended, I think the company ended up providing her with her own dressing room.
Anyway, I remember being impressed that this pretty devout Catholic was going up against his employer in defense of trans rights and then he ruined it at the end by saying some pretty transphobic shiznit but then reeled it back in by saying "Whatever, she's a union sister and I'll be damned if I let them gobshites push her around."
Union members: Not always the most enlightened folk, but generally on the right side.
I think it comes down to the imperfections of trying to reduce a variegated body of thought to a flippant line from an old suffragette that has become immortalized on bumper stickers.
More broadly, I love unions, but the concept needs to be changed. Workers definitely need to organize and support each other, but the specific model of how that happens is outdated. I don't know what unions should look like, but something about them needs to change. Things shift faster and faster in the economy these days, the underlying principles and structure is the same, but the speed of it is ever increasing. The collective bargaining structure is too slow and enduring.
Yes, they need to break with the Democrats and stop playing by the rules of the NLRB. They need to start employing the tactics that built their strength in the first place: mass pickets that nobody dare cross, secondary strikes, sit-ins, etc., etc. That is, all the things that were bipartisanly outlawed by the Taft-Hartley Act and the other anti-labor laws of the Democrats' "glory days."
Of course it does. To quote the Socialist Worker piece:
"From the vantage point of the Obama era, it's easy to remember this Democratic Party as the party of Social Security, Medicare and the National Labor Relations Act. But it was also equally the party of Jim Crow, Japanese internment and the Vietnam War. Even at a time of Democratic ascendancy, the seeds for organized labor's defeats in the postwar era were sown with the 1947 passage of the Taft-Hartley Act and the anti-communist witch hunts of the McCarthy era.
"The Democrats were never a party for 'our side,' and they won't be won over to our side in the future. The big business interests that control it will assure that--regardless of how 'social democratic' the aspirations of its 'base' are."
Male Goblin Druid 4
...Miralda, you kinda look like a boy elf...ummmm...yeah, like that...Huh?!? What?!?
Cricket wakes up, sees the gaunt corpse thingies and emits the Tuelvi warning cry which sounds like a little girl shrieking.
Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Since Cricket doesn't have any spells, he's going to have to fight with his staff. Wolvie doesn't fight undead, so he'll cower in the back.
Off to work, alas. Feel free, Kirth, to run Cricket's attacks.
How much pressure do you think Obama and the West are going to put on Israel after this Golan Heights thingy?
Usagi Yojimbo wrote:
Social democrats? Does that mean socially liberal but conservative about something else?
I guess so, if that something else is international proletarian socialist revolution.
I'm sure Comrade Jeff, maybe Comrade Pravda, maybe others, will be happy to tell you all about it.
I saw some picketers for increasing the minimum wage outside a local McDonalds today (here in Southwest Missouri we do things late). My favorite sign: Boycott the Hamburgler.
I was standing next to a sweet grandmotherly black woman at our picket line in Worcester. After I made up my super-size ode in the other thread, I asked her what she thought we should chant. She replied,
Kick the bosses in the ass!
Turns out she's been in PL since the mid-70s.
Huh, according to wikipedia there are four different types of "bourgeoisie" in French. I only knew two.
Citizen Koroboff wrote:
Also,in Soviet Russian(which is substantially different from modern),Citizen is far more formal honorific than Comrade,and was almost never used exept in official circumstances.
I'm from the Glorious People's Republic of Galt where we use the formal "Citizen" (or "Citoyen") until either a) some basic political agreement has been established; or b) we decide we like you.
"In a democratic republic, Engels continues, 'wealth exercises its power indirectly, but all the more surely', first, by means of the 'direct corruption of officials' (America); secondly, by means of an 'alliance of the government and the Stock Exchange' (France and America).
"At present, imperialism and the domination of the banks have 'developed' into an exceptional art both these methods of upholding and giving effect to the omnipotence of wealth in democratic republics of all descriptions. Since, for instance, in the very first months of the Russian democratic republic, one might say during the honeymoon of the 'socialist' S.R.s and Mensheviks joined in wedlock to the bourgeoisie, in the coalition government, Mr. Palchinsky obstructed every measure intended for curbing the capitalists and their marauding practices, their plundering of the state by means of war contracts; and since later on Mr. Palchinsky, upon resigning from the Cabinet (and being, of course, replaced by another quite similar Palchinsky), was 'rewarded' by the capitalists with a lucrative job with a salary of 120,000 rubles per annum — what would you call that? Direct or indirect bribery? An alliance of the government and the syndicates, or 'merely' friendly relations? What role do the Chernovs, Tseretelis, Avksentyevs and Skobelevs play? Are they the 'direct' or only the indirect allies of the millionaire treasury-looters?
"Another reason why the omnipotence of 'wealth' is more certain in a democratic republic is that it does not depend on defects in the political machinery or on the faulty political shell of capitalism. A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession of this very best shell (through the Palchinskys, Chernovs, Tseretelis and Co.), it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democratic republic can shake it.
"We must also note that Engels is most explicit in calling universal suffrage as well an instrument of bourgeois rule. Universal suffrage, he says, obviously taking account of the long experience of German Social-Democracy, is
"'the gauge of the maturity of the working class. It cannot and never will be anything more in the present-day state.'
"The petty-bourgeois democrats, such as our Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, and also their twin brothers, all the social-chauvinists and opportunists of Western Europe, expect just this 'more' from universal suffrage. They themselves share, and instil into the minds of the people, the false notion that universal suffrage 'in the present-day state' is really capable of revealing the will of the majority of the working people and of securing its realization."
Yeah, I don't know, Citizen Koroboff, I always thought Lenin (or, at least, Lenin's translator) was alright.
Yeah, the victim-blaming was rather obnoxious, but I sat through many such conversations regarding Occupy so I guess I'm inured to it.
Anyway, the small "illegal" anti-war demos that my comrades got detained at were more threatening to the authorities than the "legal" anti-war demos that seem to have mobilized tens of thousands? (Although, linked article suggests that, in fact, there were arrests at the latter. Whether or not they were carrying Nazi flags, I couldn't say.)
I mean, it's flattering for my comrades and all, but I'm not sure I believe it.