You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2013.

I see this in the classroom and I do my best to prevent it. Uphill battle yes, worth it, yes.

A word poem with pictures – listen, watch and learn.

15George_Carlin“Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice … you don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own, and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls.”  — George Carlin

capitalisminfographic1

I suggest you go to Counterpunch and read the whole article, but here we see the benefit of Marx’s analysis of capitalism.

“In Stack’s “manifesto”, he quotes Karl Marx.  Ironically, Marx is useful here.  Explaining how human labor-power is objectified in commodities, which then become realized as social relations once they are put to use, Marx demonstrates how through our labor, which is our dominant mode of social relation, we are all connected.  Marx was fond of using linen as an example.  A weaver’s social value is realized after a person wears a coat made by the tailor.  That is, these heretofore unrelated persons now share a common relationship.  If we expand upon this and ask how many people today are involved in producing the coat we wear, from the electricity that powers the sewing machines to the petrol used for delivery, the answer is infinite; the answer is all of us.  Marx further explains how once the “universal equivalent”, or money, is supplanted as a metric for our labor, that organization of production tends toward profit rather than collective good.

This is a powerful tool in understanding how we share a common relationship with a destitute Greek worker or an Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD and/or other psychological disorders.  With wages earned from our labor we purchase German goods, exacerbating the economic imbalance between Germany and peripheral countries like Greece, thereby adding to the extreme suffering Greek workers are being forced to endure.  It can explain how a solider, upon his or her return home, cannot easily reveal that the jingoist notions of freedom, liberty and security we are all imbued with had no role to play in the killing that we as a society, at least through our taxes, tacitly asked of them.  It can further explain how police can criminalize the indigent for their own victimization.  As Stack described, the loss of jobs from L.A. caused some Los Angelians to lose their already precarious footing in American society, namely Blacks and Latinos.  Combined with systemic, inter-generational poverty and racism, it is all too easy to mistake the symptoms of this malaise for its etiology.”

MarxistItsyBitsySpider

hearts-filthy-lesson-2

Stop behaving as if you have feelings, because religion!

Considering the amount of revenue generated on Valentine’s Day (I’m looking at you 9.99 roses that mysteriously appreciate to 29.99) it can be safely said that Valentine’s Day will never be banned in North America.  However, in societies that still give the religious the time of day, Valentine’s Day is in trouble.  That little bastard Cupid promotes lustful, shameful, immodest-ful behaviour and represents the totality of all the six hundred and sixty six layers of hell.

“LONDON — While much of the world celebrates Valentine’s Day on Thursday, Pakistan’s religious political parties are exhorting the country’s youth to celebrate a “day of modesty” instead.”

You can always count on the religious parties to hoist themselves up by their own flaming petards of assholery.  What is next?  Banning cinnamon hearts for being tools of the devil (who knew?)?  Expressing love and affection is obviously evil evil evil and must be stopped at all costs.

“On Tuesday, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, a major religious party, condemned Valentine’s Day in Peshawar for encouraging “immodesty” and threatened to shut down any celebrations if law enforcement agencies failed to take action first.”

Tell me again about how we need to have more respect for religious freedom and ideas.

“The growing outrage against Valentine’s Day, which has been observed in recent years by young couples in Pakistan’s major cities, is the latest sign of the culture clash underway in Pakistan.  Condemnation of the day has not been restricted to Peshawar, a conservative city in the northwest. A group of female students at the University of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest public university, called on their peers to mark the day by wearing the hijab. Anti-Valentine’s Day billboards also sprang up this week in the city’s affluent, Westernized neighborhoods.”

Woo!  Let’s embrace dehumanizing garments to show how awesomely modest and “god approved” we are.  See also how god thinks our testimony is worth about half of a man’s.  I’m pretty sure that by embracing the hijab and other allah-approved rituals is the same as pressing the “I win” button for women because further investing in the system of your oppression is totally-awesomely-effective!

“On Wednesday, the government joined the call: Media companies across the country received notices from the media regulatory authority warning them not to broadcast programs promoting Valentine’s Day — which, according to the letter, is “not in conformity to our religious and cultural ethos” and is “perceived as a source of depraving, corrupting and injuring morality of Pakistani youth.” The last-minute timing of the notice, and its claim that it was responding to the complaints of a “large segment of society,” reeked of an official attempt to play it safe ahead the general election, which is expected to take place in May.”

Because traditional practices like oh say, honour killings, acid attacks and gang-rape are in conformity with religious and cultural ethos.  Your noble treatment of people in accordance with cultural and religious “ethos” is nothing to proud of and ejecting these cancerous notions should be fracking priority Number One.

“In November, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority ordered mobile phone service providers to discontinue cheap, late-night calling rates, arguing that these special packages promoted “vulgarity” and went against “social norms” by enabling teenagers to spend hours on the phone with their boyfriends and girlfriends.”

People talking?  To Each Other?  Outrageous!  Dear North American Religious Nutters:  this is what your family values/religious society looks like in action (the only sane reaction to people wanting to be more religiously orientated looks something like this).  You are worried about a loss of rights and religious freedom now?  Let’s elect more idjit theocrats and see how much of our freedom we can sacrifice to make your imaginary friends happy.

 “But in trying to clamp down on young love, Pakistan’s conservatives are fighting a losing battle. Having earned the legal right in 2003 to marry without their guardians’ consent, Pakistani women are increasingly risking everything — even their lives — to marry men of their choosing, not their family’s. The ability to mingle via Facebook or in online chat rooms is also leading to soaring numbers of “Internet marriages” between Pakistani youths.”

At least in this Disservice there is a happy ending.  :)

Do scroll around and see what your mind is made of. :)

ilikechips

Most of the articles on Cracked.com induce you into becoming a crazed euphoria-seeking serial-clicking monkey.  Not necessarily a bad permutation, but almost always a drain on the productive use of ones time.  However, I really enjoyed this article on the misconceptions we hold about what will make us happy in life and found it to be quite thought provoking and informative.  The first bit is here, the rest can be found at Cracked.com.

5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won’t)

By: February 17, 200

“If 80s movies taught us anything, it’s that at some point you’re going to run into a mysterious relic that lets you switch bodies with other people.

Would you use it? Would you choose to switch lives with, say, Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie or Dale DeBone? Most people would.

But let’s say the artifact doesn’t let you choose, but will instead switch you randomly with one of the other six billion people on the planet. Virtually nobody will take that deal, for fear they’d switch with some poor villager in Nigeria.

So what does that say about us? Well, according to experts, it says almost everything we think about what would make us happy is dead wrong. Let’s look at the five things we’re most wrong about, with some pictures of adorable animals for good measure.”

Go to the little girls’ aisle at the department store, if you’re not there already. On the shelves you’ll see the dominant little girl fantasy isn’t Cinderella or even Dora the Explorer. It’s Hannah Montana. Playsets come complete with a camera, makeup and a mirror for Hannah to admire herself in.

The girls play with that when they’re eight, and by 16 they’re on MySpace, pouting at the camera in their underwear and watching the friend requests pour in. In a recent survey of high school kids, 51 percent said their ultimate goal was to become famous.

This is brand new to humanity; for thousands of years, material goods and security dominated. Now, fame is at the top. Obviously part of the reason is the perception that anybody can get famous these days–reality TV and YouTube have proven that you can become a celebrity for doing not a goddamned thing. But there’s another, less obvious factor. And it explains why so many famous people are miserable.

So What’s the Problem?

Experts say where you find kids who desperately want to be famous, you find a history of neglect at home.

Continue reading.

 

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