I liked these two memes I saw the first one which is of philosopher Gilles Deleuze speaking then a few days later the other one I don’t know what it’s origin is other than I saw it on Tumblr, Immediately I though of both of them when looking at one, I thought about if the two statements were in agreement with each other or in conflict of course they were only next to each other in my head so now I decided to put these two memes together here and maybe see what others might think about it, I could think out loud or on this post for plenty long about the two, but I’m not done thinking about it? and I’ll keep my words to what I’m sure I think about the questions these memes raise in my mind. The first meme of Deluze says ”Counter-information is not effective until it becomes an act of Resistance” the first question this raises is what is an ‘act of resistance? and second how can information be one? I think that by counter-information is meant that information be it news, history, analyses or theory which comes from outside the ruling system, doesn’t fit under what is Ideologically acceptable to it and it is in conflict with the official constraints of though, consciousness the ruling system wants in it’s subjects, I think that makes ‘counter-information an act of resistance, no it is not an armed revolt but I think it is resistance when you free your mind and help free other minds from official Ideology, you may still be slave but now you know you are & that freedom is an option. and there is a difference between resistance and revolt I think information can be resistance but not Revolt it can though help bring revolt. That brings me to the second meme ”when the revolution comes, guns and rifles will be taking the place of poems and essays” there is something very romantic to it for some of us, but this first assumes that a revolution will be an armed one which in a country like this is hard to imagine more plausible would be a coming together of mass-movements strikes, mass-mobilizations workplace occupations etc. in this case poems and essays might be more powerful in inspiring peoples consciousness than any gun of course every revolution is different in every situation in an armed revolt guns and rifles might be poetry. I’m gonna stop myself because I want to think about these subjects more before writing it and anyway I really posted the memes because I’m curious for opinions from some of us concerned with information & it’s role in a revolutionary situation, resistance, revolution and particularly on ‘counter-information’ which is what you could call a lot of what alternative or social media, blogging or whatever is, as an act of resistance.
”Nobody ever realizes they are a writer, they only ever think they are a writer’ – Charles Bukowski ”Of all that is written I love only what a Man has written with his blood, Write with blood and you will experience that blood is spirit” - Nietzsche And I think about how most what is written is so forgettable so why can’t I do it too, and most importantly I try to remember that I don’t have to say any more than what I really want to say, why make it so convoluted? just strip it down to the bone of what actually made want to sit down and write something, I don’t care to try and stretch it out any longer or dress it up in flowers to make myself seem more I don’t know ‘professional’ or sophisticated or whatever, I like different styles of writing but the one thing that’s common to what I like is there has to be something Real to it otherwise it’s like a beat without a song and not even that good, I’m not saying it’s good, that’s just me,so when all the doubts fill me up I try to remember some of this and other things and then I feel like I can sit down and try to write.
May Day I feel inadequate as an American Leftist watching how Europe, Latin america & Asia make a real event out of it while we watch, last year for the first time in my lifetime there was real excitement leading up to May day among Activist, all the social media activist talk of a ”general strike’ was far too much from the beginning but for the first time in a long time it felt like May Day was a real event in the U.S from NYC to Chicago LA and the Bay Area it looked like something we were used to seeing from Europe even here in Dallas we managed to have enough people for a small rally by city hall this year there is nothing to do here and whatever goes on in NYC or LA, Chicago and the Bay will probably be much smaller than last year, frankly compared to all the build up last year this may day feels like it snuck up on me. Our Failure to make May Day a Real event one the public is conscious of is Especially embarrassing given the history of M ay Day beginning in the states though even then what began as a annual commemoration of the Haymarket affair in Chicago was first called for not in the states but in Europe the congress of the second Internationale in Paris so European workers and revolutionary’s where even then better at remembering american Radicals and working class own history of struggle and every May Day it remains so. But this day is also a reminder that there is another American history one of struggle with Real Heroes not the presidents and businessmen of Official Textbook History but striking workers, Trade unionist, Radicals,Anarchist, communist, Political prisoners those innocent men who where executed after Haymarket and many more, May Day is also for them about remembering them and recommitting ourselves to continuing in the struggle that binds us together through History.
My job is cutting hours so they don’t have to offer people healthcare when ‘obamacare’ kicks in that same law fines people if they don’t purchase health insurance but it doesn’t fine corporations for cutting employee hours to legally avoid offering them a plan that is a particularly offensive and for many people painful example of liberalism’s higher concern for it’s image of america than actually solving it’s problems, which means going up against corporate interest, so now in liberals can pat themselves on the back for everyone being legally required to have health insurance, ignoring that people who already can’t afford it will now have less work hours less money to buy it but then the fine for not buying it might be cheaper than insurance so what is happening that people will still not have insurance less work hours and a govt. fine on top of it all that is liberal reformism and then liberals wonder why working people don’t vote for them? so a lot of working people end up voting for the right thinking neither liberalism or conservatives will ever make represent their class interest, leaving them easy pray for even more elitist conservativism to appeal to those with more socially backward beliefs and there’s always jingoistic propaganda for the rest, the struggle for the Radical left is an old one to open the peoples eyes to the possibilities outside the official confines of liberalism & conservativism to real Revolutionary possibilities that are far infinitely harder to achieve but would be Real change a struggle that does not ask them to sacrifice themselves to their enemies in the name of compromise reform that doesn’t seek to distract them from their economic pillaging with hatred of ‘others’ ddomestic or international, that is conservativism and liberal reformism, how ‘Radicals’ those of us outside those confines can show people that they have other choices the real possibility of Revolution is a question that can only be answered by history that is when it actually happens
Phil Donahue sat right behind me at the movie theater last night, that was something I never expected to say I’m just old enough to remember watching a episode or two of his daytime talk show when I was a little kid of course since then he’s known more of as a liberal political commentator, it was a screening of his documentary http://www.bodyofwar.com/ at my favorite theater in Dallas the Angelika film center it’s the best place to watch independent, foreign and documentary films in Dallas and it’s across the street from the SMU campus where this week the george w bush presidential library will open, the movie is about Iraq veteran turned antiwar activist Tomas young who recently made news publicly announcing he is ending his life after years of deteriorating health since returning from Iraq in a wheelchair paralyzed from the chest down. http://www.npr.org/2013/04/07/176509136/after-years-of-struggle-veteran-chooses-to-end-his-life . The film chronicles young’s life since sometime after becoming an antiwar activist in 03′ or 04′ not only attending marches and protest, giving speeches to peace groups but also his daily struggle to live trapped in a sick body. the other two people in the film are his mother and wife who take care of him in every way from pushing his wheelchair in antiwar marches to helping him with his catheter,one of the films most striking parts is juxtaposing the congressional ‘debate’ over or more appropriate Chorus for war in the lead up to it’s vote for a joint congressional resolution to authorize George w bush to invade Iraq with the routine struggle the veteran faces get about his day as a result of the war they are responsible for, the film ends shortly after his marriage ends a marriage which you see ruined slowly and painfully as his health takes more and more of a toll on his relationship over time it might be uncomfortable to watch very personal scenes including very frank talk by both about their lack of a sex life due to his paralyses I wont try to psycho-analyse it but I’ll say while the most ‘personal’ part it was the most touching part I think of a very ‘political’ film. After the film there was a q&a with Tomas young via skype he introduced his new wife, defended his plan to end his life and talked with a few audience members from Iraq, fellow vets turned activist and other paralyzed people. I can’t go without mentioning how throughout the film and then in the q&a no matter how hard his life gets evf course his story is not the only one like it across the country there are thousands of young people whose lives where ruined by their time in the military not to mention how their family’s are affected or the thousands who died and even more the MILLIONS of Iraqi lives destroyed a whole country ravaged by the war this is just one example of millions of the devastating consequences of a war doesn’t even make the news anymore. I don’t like the media idolization of veterans it’s propaganda for the military this film doesn’t do that and I certainly wouldn’t ‘thank’ him for having been in the army, I agree with what one audience member told him ”thank you for your service AFTER leaving the military’.
Capitalism is always the biggest killer, bigger than individual wars it causes, bigger than the diseases it makes the life saving medicine unaffordable for millions of people,bigger than any natural disaster it is the driving force behind human caused climate change, bigger than any famine it caused or made worse by putting a price on food. Even if there isn’t always such a clear example of it’s superior killing power to bombs, this is an example of the difference between the violence of individuals and systematic violence, subjective vs objective violence. But the corporate media has people living in fear of bombs instead, the government wants us to fear foreign countries or ‘Terrorist’ to distract us from the real Terror of the world. will the executives responsible for the fertilizer plant explosion that killed 35-40 people destroyed 50 buildings in
west,TX die in a shootout with the police too like the ‘terrorist’ in Boston? no of course they won’t, maybe a small fine at most, some lawsuits that will drag on for years and won’t lead to anything or the particular executives might step down with an obscene severance package to be replaced by new suits, it’s not about the individuals it’s the system
those surveillance camera still shots are really good at making anyone look suspicious almost like they’re saying ‘look here’s a pic of him by a surveillance camera what more evidence do you need?” never-mind if it’s in a public space where countless more people were viewed by that same camera, the ‘news’ showing a picture over and over and the police/govt. calling the individuals in it suspects is more than enough ‘evidence’ for a country conditioned into never ending state of fear and bloodthirst by those same institutions to want the death of whoever is offered up to them as a sacrifice. I don’t know if those two in Boston were really responsible maybe they were or not I don’t know anything more about it than everyone cheering for their deaths, this isn’t unique to this week or any bombing it’s the same for common crimes covered only in local media with local officials but when it becomes a National event national media and government be it a bombing or the latest war it feels like the country is going through a Ritual which it has gone through so many times & though it might not admit it or even be conscious of it enjoys on some level it gives them a sense of meaning to their own lives at least as a relief from a confusing boredom and it feeds the idea of america they have been brought up on, what is america to those that believe in ‘american exceptionalism’ if not a ‘Hero’ country and a hero always needs new Dragons to slay. the government & media have their reasons for perpetuating this simply to better control them that won’t change the only question is if people will ever get tired of it and perhaps realize that it will only end when they end the institutions that benefit from it
The historic track record of ‘journalism’ is Horrific. Journalist lie to the public every day in every part of the world, journalist deliver the propaganda of their corporate and state bosses, journalist limit public debate to what fits the Ideological needs of the regime they serve, they train the public into cheer leading the stock market and ignore the poverty around them, they tells us to be afraid of whatever country the govt. wants us to fear, they fear monger the public into supporting the next war like they do the current war or the last war and that goes for this or any other country American journalist sold the public the govt. line for war in Iraq as german journalist did for their govt in world war 2 British journalist supported the British Empire and so on, it’s not only the lies journalist spread it’s the truths they don’t spread, it has always been this way in most countries. yet ‘journalism’ is seen as some kind of noble profession a ‘special calling’ even for noble minded people mostly because journalist themselves keep repeating it so to anyone who will listen the propaganda is so powerful that even mass media with suspicion still have a romantic notion of ‘journalism’. Of course there are exceptions to the rule there always have been and they have always been the exception journalist who report truth about war, economy and power in society who don’t sell themselves as mouthpieces to the highest bidder and do hard sometimes Heroic usually unappreciated work I could think of many, the mainstream journalist like to think of themselves in that way it’s easier to live with themselves that way, whatever the many ‘True, independent, citizen journalist’ want to do we might as well call it something else the word journalism still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I’m not going to immediately call it a gov. false flag without knowing anything anymore than the media immediately screams terrorism though I know the US govt. has a record of false flag attacks even in the US http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods … whoever is responsible what’s sure is the government will use it to manipulate (with the eager help of the media) the public’s emotions and justify whatever it wants to use it for be it war mongering, gun control, expanding the surveillance state, the pentagons budget or all of the above.
I worked briefly as a canvasser for a non profit here in North Texas activism is not as big here as it is in other big cities so finding work as in activism is not so easy but this environmentalist group gave me a chance with no profesional activism experience my only activism had been voluntary which I used to think was the more ‘pure’ form of activism free of carreerism, oppurtunism and free from the strings of financial donors as such more free to be Radical and take risk, but I was sick working only to pay my bills without any passion for my job and I figured at least these proffesional activist groups are doing SOMETHING when I’m not, so I threw out my old assumptions and began looking for such work & soon enough I got a job as a canvasser which I took without thinking about how unlike me it would be to go door to door asking people to donate money, the door to ddor was fine it was the asking for money which would be a problem but I underestimated just how much of my work would be just that, I found that most of the work of the group and pretty much all of mine was fundraising to keep the group going I got to the groups office in a very ‘nice’ part of Dallas which on the inside looked pretty much like you might imagine an office full of hippies, painted lime green and coverd in inspirational quotes and posters & leaflets from by it and other activist groups we spent the next hour or so mainly practicing our ‘raps’ how we would talk to people when they opened their doors everything from introducing ourselves & our group work to finally asking for a donation was all pretty structured our only part as canvassers was to memorize it and make it our own so it didn’t sound so much as the sales pitch it was after this we were off in the two group suvs to the neighborhood we would canvase that day for the next five or six hours depending on how far the drive was Ironicaly for environmentalist in suvs but we were 6 to 8 canvassers in each so smaller cars weren’t an option, I wont go into detail of actually canvassing as it was pretty boring, giving the same rap to every person that answered the door knocking on every door on your turf writing down which doors didn’t answer so you would knock on them again when you went through the block again, writing down which doors did answer so you didn’t bother them twice, nothing exciting or funny ever happened as least not to me though I was told by others of a few occasional funny things happening to them, most people I encountered I don’t remember the few I do weren’t so interesting to talk about finally after finishing canvassing the neighboohod we loaded back in the suv back to the office counting our collected money along the way the goal each day was $178 which I didn’t make enough, back at the office the only thing left was to take the letters we had gotten people to write for whatever campaign we where working on and put them in envelopes & stamp them ready to be mailed to the city, or some state legislators or some company we were trying to put pressure on to support our campaign which was usualy going to be something small scale with money such a top concern we could only focus on one or two very small or ‘niche’ campaigns at a time for a few months, It was clear that while there were successes there would also not be any radical change brought about by us, we couldn’t afford to try, it was somewhat dispiriting to see such intelligent, creative, big thinking and ‘radical’ people have to limit themselves to such narrow and modest goals, while in another part of texas activist were blockading construction of a pipeline, being arrested and making news we were asking people to write letters to some company ceo on some much less dramatic issue like the asking them to recycle their electronics, I still don’t know which strategy makes the biggest difference in the end but it definitely feel like us though that feeling may be wrong more than a couple of the canvassers would say they should be in east tx blockading the pipeline chaining themselves to machinery or camping on a tree instead. I was fired soon enough as I wasn’t bringing in enough money, I was more relieved than anything because I knew my heart was’nt in asking people for money even If I believed in the cause but I didn’t want to feel like I was giving up on something positive even if I didn’t like my role in it, nonetheless some small victory’s were won and I value that time greatly as It was a learning experience and I honed skills some of which I simply didn’t have before, I met some cool interesting people I wish them success in all their campaigns though for me activism will have to remain free of asking people for money