Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Revolutionary is a chameleon who disguises himself as one of us until such time as he springs into action and attacks our way of life

Something we can call the Revolution has gutted the West – absconded with its treasure, destroyed its cultures and faith in God, enslaved it to sex and drugs, stolen democracy, replacing it with a dictatorship indifferent – and impervious – to individual needs, desires and strivings, and reduced us to the lowest common denominator
writes Don Hank (obrigado para Luís Afonso Assumpção), quoting Olavo de Carvalho and his identification and definition of the leftist revolutionary mentality.
It did so in the guise of “democracy,” of the UN, the EU, the IMF, the New World Order, using such revolutionary terms as “diversity,” “peace,” “multiculturalism,” “world citizen,” “saving the planet,” and yes, even “capitalism” and at each step in the Revolution, warning of an emergency and reminding us that if we failed to accept the new measures, we could be in even more trouble. And yet these emergencies were mostly orchestrated by the Revolutionaries themselves.

…the Revolutionary is a chameleon who disguises himself as one of us until such time as he springs into action and attacks our culture, economy, soul and way of life

That Nu EU

Will certainly be exempting the pupils from quizzes on their bloviating lectures on tolerance and human rights if they let in their potential diversity hire:

Minority Sect Protests New Mandatory Islam Classes: The Turkish Alevi federation announced that the Alevi students will not attend religion classes if their protest on October 9 does not change government policy. Fevzi Gumus, chairman of Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association, says: “There are several verdicts of the European Human Rights Court stating no one can be forced to attend religion classes.” However, the AKP government is reluctant to release a decree saying Alevi students are free not to attend the classes.
The EU, a global force for good!

Then there’s this great act of Turkish inclusiveness and trust that will surely go over like a turd in the European punchbowl:
Alcohol raids shut down art gala
But a note on the moral weight and effectiveness of the EU... you KNOW that they are humanity’s conscience, and what with all of that soft power buzzing in your ear, the rayonnement is sure to bring the socialist new man into his happy place.
European Union Critical of Turkey Crackdown on Press Freedom
Nice job working that peashooter, Scooter. The Turkish government is actually proselytizing to unwilling religious minorities (who are not Muslim enough for them), and ignoring your impotent complaints. And to think that pulling them into the EU is someone’s idea of a gesture that will save your population from some kind of latter day version of Moorish and Ottoman beheadings and Danegold tributes.

WORK that paper! WORK it! You’re almost there!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It looks as though the time has come for Obama to stop attacking the fat cats of business and try stroking them instead

“The administration is doing more talking than listening, and several of us are already worried we’ve been suckered into a PR exercise.”
It is hard to find an American boss nowadays with a good word to say about the current administration
laments The Economist — as the weekly editorializes that Barack Obama "has gained a reputation for being hostile to business" (not that the Demonizer-in-Chief simply is hostile to business), again suggesting that America's problem with Barack Obama is, at least, to a great extent, clueless, brainless, and/or myopic members of the public —
and the absence of anyone with a business background in Mr Obama’s inner circle is invariably mentioned as a reason why. The perception in corporate America that the president is actively anti-business, or at the very least doesn’t “get it”, has started to “have a psychological effect on how firms invest”, notes one well-informed insider, who used to see this as a “seven out of ten problem” but now rates it as a ten.

Discontent that started as mostly private grumbling not long after Mr Obama entered the White House has recently gone public. Ivan Seidenberg, the chief executive of Verizon, a telecoms giant, used a recent speech in Washington, DC, to accuse the president of creating an “increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation”, claiming that the administration’s regulatory expansion into “every sector of economic life” is making it “harder to raise capital and create new businesses.” Jeff Immelt, the boss of GE, has said that the administration is not in sync with entrepreneurs. The US Chamber of Commerce, a business lobby, has complained that the Obama administration has “vilified industries”.
After duly using Barack Obama's favorite meme — blaming the situation on his predecessor — and suggesting that "it would be tempting to conclude that Mr Obama’s business critics protest too much", the evermore-turned-to-the-left Economist finally admits that
the bosses do have a point; it is hard to imagine that a president who really understood the depth of America’s economic problems would have pushed ahead with such a huge, disruptive reform at that particular moment.

…as a person with first-hand experience of Mr Obama’s decision-making points out, the “atmospherics really do matter”. The mere perception that the administration is anti-business is “starting to make the bosses of Fortune 500 companies more risk-averse,” says a billionaire who used to run one of America’s leading internet firms. Another valid criticism is the absence of any former business executive in the cabinet, meaning that there is no “go to” person for corporate America. “Surely he could have given us commerce secretary. Who has even heard of the current guy?”, wails one veteran boss. (The current commerce secretary, by the way, is Gary Locke, a professional Democratic politician and former governor.)

…After all, notes the veteran, just like his boss they have “never had to make payroll”.

…As for Mr Obama, when he meets businesspeople at fund-raisers and the like, he too often shakes hands and moves on, leaving them feeling he was more interested in a photo-op than a conversation. He caused offence and disbelief a while back by turning up for a meeting with a group of prominent chief executives and then reading to them from a teleprompter.

…a cabinet member [who had run a big firm] would have been a particularly valuable counterweight to the influential but rather ivory-tower academics in the current White House. … It looks as though the time has come for Mr Obama to stop attacking the fat cats of business and try stroking them instead.
It is depressing to note that most of the the comments to the articles and the editorial are slated to the left (although that seems to prove the contention that the magazine is equally so), but one reader's reaction stands out:
Obama's idea of a "mixed capitalist economy", as the article puts it, is to take enormous election campaign donations from big business and Wall Street, then once in power hit them with punative policies to pay for his administration's profligate spending. He is a typical liberal hypocrite.
In an editorial, The Economist shows why the leftist media gets it all wrong:
The president has gained a reputation for being hostile to business. He needs to change it
is how the subhead reads, before segueing into a largely-pro-Obama (apart from the White House PR) text. But the problem is not that the Demonizer-in-Chief "has gained a reputation for being hostile to business." The problem is that he is hostile to business. As another reader points out:
Obama seems anti-business because he is. This is not just a PR problem. Every policy is designed to drain the private sector of resources and free choice, add burdens to successful people and businesses, subsidize the politically connected, and make as many people as dependent on government as possible. This is intentional in order to "fundamentally transform America" into a sclerotic social welfare state that is poorer, less free, more accommodative to tyrannical regimes, and less reliable to traditional democratic allies. In 20 months, BHO has made giant strides toward this objective. It will take many years to reverse the damage, if we ever can.

Do Indulge me, would You?

I'll admit to a weakness: old movies, and British films in particular. While my faves date from 1940 to 1955, I thought it would be interesting to present this rare gem. This adaptation of H. G. Welles' "Things to Come" also presents a portrait of the experimental art and design of the era in which it was made. After all, it needed 'futurism', so they let loose.

From 1936, here is "Things to Come":

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Successful European “Get Tough on Iran” Exercise

It’s all political exhibitionism, all the time.

“Reports indicate Germany’s exports to Iran have reached near the two-billion Euros mark in the first half of 2010.”
I guess they can eventually tout the superior qualities of being superiorly irradiated, and that it makes them a glowing light for the rest of the world to follow in stupefied awe.

How about the type flying a ballistic trajectory in your direction?

As Enderlin Publishes His Book on the Mohamed Al Dura Affair, Le Monde Praises His Integrity While Demonizing His "Hateful" Critics

Il est des livres que l'on écrit pour se défendre contre la diffamation, tenter de rétablir sa vérité et laver son honneur. Tel est l'objet d'Un enfant est mort. C'est peu dire que Charles Enderlin, correspondant permanent de France 2 à Jérusalem depuis 1981, a été meurtri par la campagne de dénigrement qui le poursuit depuis dix ans à propos de l'affaire du petit Mohammed Al-Dura.
In his Le Monde review of Charles Enderlin's Un enfant est mort (A Child Is Dead), Laurent Zecchini serves out the same ol' defense of the Mohamed Al Dura affair based on praise for Charles Enderlin (as a poor martyred victim, trying innocently to carry out his journalists' job in good faith) coupled with demonization of his critics (as shameless, treacherous, envious, and virulent members of the "powerful pro-Israeli lobby")…

Among the people of unimaginable bad faith in "the heart of France's Jewish community", engaged in concocting a diabolical plot and creating a "hateful, insulting, sometimes threatening" campaign "of calumnies" against "a journalist" ("whose professional reputation is undeniable" but who has "been bruised by the denigration campaign which has been following him for ten years") are a filthily rich Jewish lawyer and other unsavory characters from France's "powerful pro-Israeli lobby". The review ends by praising the book as symbolic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in that "it illustrates the intensity of the hatreds which the latter feeds on."
…un puissant lobby pro-israélien s'est mis en branle, visant à délégitimer le journaliste (il n'était pas présent sur les lieux du tournage), et instrumentaliser une théorie du complot : le film serait un "montage", une "mise en scène", une "manipulation" et une "imposture".

La campagne contre Charles Enderlin, en Israël et au sein de la communauté juive de France, va devenir haineuse, insultante, parfois menaçante. … La mécanique de la diffamation est en marche, elle ne s'arrêtera plus. Elle dispose d'avocats déterminés et influents. A sa tête, Philippe Karsenty, pour qui l'affaire Al-Dura est devenue, depuis dix ans, un véritable fonds de commerce. …

Le livre de Charles Enderlin n'est pas un règlement de comptes, mais une démonstration : il décrit minutieusement, faits et citations à l'appui, la trame et la progression d'une campagne de calomnies. Si Un enfant est mort est d'abord le récit de l'acharnement contre un journaliste, c'est aussi un livre sur le conflit israélo-palestinien, en ce sens qu'il illustre l'intensité des haines dont celui-ci se nourrit.

"Vous avez dit acharnement?" demande JC Durbant, incrédule :
Démasquage par la TV publique allemande, perte de ses procès en diffamation, condamnation de Canal plus, interview-fleuve de Karsenty dans Médias, limogeage de Chabot, deconstruction minutieuse de Taguieff …

A l’heure ou 10 ans tout juste après la tristement fameuse imposture de la pretendue mort en direct du petit Mohammed qui lancait la 2e infifada et contribuait largement à mettre a feu et à sang le Moyen-Orient et une bonne partie du monde …

Le Quotidien de révérence, qui ne rechigne pas lui meme à l’occasion à recourir au bidonnage d’infos, ressort l’artillerie lourde (« opinion arabe et musulmane », « assassiné un enfant », « puissant lobby pro-israélien », « théorie du complot », « mécanique de la diffamation », « acharnement ») …

Pour lancer l’apparemment ultime baroud d’honneur (« Un enfant est mort », Charles Enderlin) censé « rétablir la vérité et laver l’honneur » du tristement fameux faussaire et jusqu’ici indéboulonnable correspondant permanent de France 2 à Jérusalem (bientôt 30 ans au compteur !) …

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nothing Gets those Wise Germans more Worked up than a Hackneyed Old Argument

In fact the further back “the crime against humanity” is in the loon-induced mist, the better. But look at this in basic terms. 9-11 takes place. These idiots, employing the same weak logic that they always have in their overraught and fiction-laden way over the past four decades, want to blame the victims, and the majority of “wizened” folk in this “wizened” land just nod along with them.

Other than among associates of Feisal Abdul Rauf, one could well believe that 9/11 “trutherism” is largely a thing of the past. The main target of the “9/11 truth movement” was always, after all, the supposedly nefarious cabal otherwise known as the Bush administration. With the end of President Bush’s second term, the “movement” had lost its very raison d’être.

In the meanwhile, the vast majority of Americans have other fish to fry. But photographs from a rally that took place in Berlin on the anniversary of 9/11 suggest that 9/11 “trutherism” is alive and well in Germany.
These people are not allies – not of the US, nor to the humanity that they pretend to have a monopoly on the sympathy people have for them.
“Regime change” in the United States appears not to have sated the hunger for “9/11 truth” in Germany. As documented on the German Gnurpsnewoel blog, “truthers” were out in force earlier this month at the “Freedom Not Fear” demonstration that took place on Saturday, September 11, in Berlin.
They have forfeited (for the last time,) any “sure I’ll play along for history’s sake” respect that anyone could possibly have for them. Looking for a “class enemy” fit to rally the proletarian mass? Well, here they are:
The reference is to the February 1933 Reichstag fire, which was famously exploited by the Nazi regime to consolidate its power and persecute its political opponents. It has frequently been suggested that the Nazis themselves were responsible for setting the fire. The “9/11 = the Reichstag fire” equation has long been a preferred trope of Germany’s homegrown brand of “trutherism” – or what might better be called, in light of historical precedents, “9/11 revisionism.”

There is a certain irony in the fact that such 9/11 revisionism would abound at Berlin’s “Freedom Not Fear” demonstration. As German-language publicity materials make clear, the principal practical objective of the sponsoring organizations is to combat so-called data-retention laws. In March, Germany’s Constitutional Court overturned a German law implementing minimum data retention requirements laid out in a 2006 European Union directive.
So if its’ any sort of salve, the reason they persistently find new and rotating ways over the decades to hate American and the United States, is because it’s an easier, more passive-aggressive way to hate their fellow Germans.

“Freedom Not Fear,” indeed...

What is it REALLY all about anyway? The same as it always is. This year’s pretext just has to be a juicy enough lie to keep the kids marching: the idea that everyone not like them, their “class”, their “tribe”, etc., permanently has blood on their hands. And somehow, despite the regimes they love to defend, they don’t.

Without irony, the march started at what was once a divided zone, part of which was the “death strip” of a regime that never seem to understand is had the same ideology as the one most of them promote.

Starting at Potzdamer Platz, any direction you would then go in would run you into a former line in the boundary where people seeking “Freedom from Fear” were shot on sight by fellow anti-capitalists who pretended to have a monopoly on human decency – whose enemy was a faceless mythical super-beast with stars and stripes on their flag, and a flunky German federal state to do its’ bidding.

Nothing has changes. They are simply to intellectually narrow to see events as events, and not a burning bush confirming their theories and world view. They are incapable of dealing with any of the randomness and complexity of the real world.

In fact, I think that the stale repetition of the whole thing actually provides comfort, much in the way that children crave continuity.

By the way, DW-Radio last week, actually reported this event on air. However, they called it a “data privacy” rally, with the gist of the story being that “gee, people just don’t come out for these things like they used to.” The pedantic, old fashioned antikapitalismus, “Black Bloc”, anti-Polizei crap, nor were the terrorist-supporting themes mentioned. In fact the thrust of their complaint is that German ISPs log data, but somehow, by some secrete international magic, it’s all because “9-11 was an inside job”.
Demonstrators also criticized electronic cards for health insurance and the SWIFT agreement, which gives the United States access to bank transaction details in the EU to carry out counterterrorism operations.
Never mind anything else they also, in large margin, said.

Decades ago, I first saw this logic operate in exactly the same manner. It remains as vacuously and morally inverted as ever, as strange as people going on hunger strikes for the release of the Baader-Meinhof gang. Them being "the victims", and all.

George Soros, the State of the Roma in France, and an Old Case From the French Judicial System

Le milliardaire philanthrope américano-hongrois George Soros en a fait une affaire personnelle. A 80 ans, le spéculateur n'a jamais digéré sa condamnation par la justice française, en 2002, pour délit d'initié dans l'affaire du "raid de la Société générale" de 1988. L'unique incident de parcours judiciaire de sa carrière.
Because he was pronounced guilty by the French justice system in 1988 — the billionnaire's only judicial condemnation — George Soros never seems to have forgiven France, writes Claire Gatinois in Le Monde. Perhaps that helps explain why he is now fighting so strongly for the rights of the Roma in France, although his Roma Education Fund has exists for all Europe. The subject of the "raid de la Société générale" is never broached in Le Monde's interview by Sylvain Cypel.
Vingt-deux ans après les faits, M. Soros obtiendra-t-il réparation ? Ce n'est pas impossible. Après avoir épuisé les recours devant les juridictions françaises, le financier avait fait appel devant la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme (CEDH). Celle-ci a jugé, mercredi 15 septembre, sa requête "recevable". Cette décision ne préjuge en rien d'une éventuelle remise en question de la condamnation pénale de M. Soros, mais son avocat, Ron Soffer, se dit "confiant".
One Le Monde readers's reaction is to reply thus:
Le nouvel Obs et le Monde qui prennent la parole de M SOROS pour parole d’évangile ! On aura tout vu ou tout lu. Quand je pense ce gars la a ruiné des milliers de gens par ses spéculations, permettez moi de ne lui accorder aucun crédit ! Qu’il mettent ses milliards au service du peuple Rom serait plus intelligent que se positionner en donneur de leçons. A l’avenir, puissent les journalistes nous épargner de tels interviews !

It’s that Time of Year Again

Oktoberfest is not for your après ski digestif types.

“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son”

- Dean Wormer

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Obama's combative diction vis-à-vis Tehran are "done less to scare Iran than to silence critics on talk radio here in America"

American leadership is difficult to detect. … If the president is uncertain, that’s human. But why offer Tehran (and American allies) new evidence of American indecision?
When a senior member at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (!) puts into doubt the declarations of the Obama administration, you know there must be at least some truth in it… Specifically, George Perkovich, the Endowment's vice president for studies and director for nuclear policy stated that Barack Obama's seemingly combative diction attempts “have no effect on Iran. It appears to me that this is done less to scare Iran than to silence critics on talk radio here in America." (Again, America's enemies being, in the final analysis, not foreign communists or Middle Eastern Islamists but — sigh — inhabitants of the American heartland…)

That is only part of what we learn from John Vinocur's New York Times column:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, just last week, proclaimed that the world was entering “a new American moment when our global leadership is essential.”

Presumably, that’s good news. But when it comes to leading, the task involves clarity, and on Iran’s sprint toward a nuclear weapon, there’s reason to see the Obama administration heading into confusion.

With Iran now estimated to be in possession of enough low-enriched uranium to produce, with further enrichment, two nuclear weapons, and administration officials saying manufacturing one would take the mullahs about a year, American policy is hard-pressed to be credible.

Either the administration is demonstrating a new toughness, or it has once again decided to reach out a diplomatic hand in Iran’s direction.

People who heard President Barack Obama out on the subject here last month left a meeting divided about which of those notions he has in mind.

If this is a new American Moment, the administration’s approach to Iran appears to be providing its friends with at least as much uncertainty as motivation and resolve.

…The problem with evaluating the tough talk, which preceded Mr. Obama’s meeting with the writers, was that nothing was reported among the president’s comments to match it in substance or tonality.

I asked George Perkovich, vice president for studies and director for nuclear policy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, how real or effective the seemingly combative diction sounded to him.

His answer: these attempts “have no effect on Iran. It appears to me that this is done less to scare Iran than to silence critics on talk radio here in America. It would be desirable for the United States to have credible use of force in relation to Iran, but in my view we do not.”

Ingrid Betancourt's Tale of Her Six Years of Captivity Goes on Sale, But She Is Still One of the Most Unpopular People in Colombia

Ingrid Betancourt has published the tale of her six years of FARC captivity in the Colombian jungle, writes Josyane Savigneau in Le Monde.

But while Even Silence Has an End goes on sale in French, in English, and in Spanish, only Josyane Savigneau's article in the print edition of Le Monde (a rather positive review of the book) is available online. The article by Marie Delcas does not seem to be available, in which Le Monde's correspondent in Bogota explains to what extent Ingrid Betancourt is unpopular in Colombia, second only to Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.

Meanwhile, Michel Garroté asks why journalists in France have turned on the woman they once (during her captivity) considered a martyr and a heroine:
Que se passe-t-il donc chez certains journalistes pour qu’ils virent à 180° ? Les conditions de la libération d’Ingrid Betancourt ne correspondaient peut-être pas à leurs fantasmes progressistes. Ainsi par exemple, ces quelques médias qui assimilaient et assimilent toujours les narcoterroristes farcistes (Farc) à des guérilleros marxistes. Ces quelques médias qui auraient tant désiré qu’Ingrid Betancourt soit libérée dans le cadre d’un accord tripartite entre l’omniprésident Sarkozy, le caudillo autocrate vénézuélien Hugo Chavez et les psychopathes des Farc. Ces quelques médias qui n’ont pas supporté qu’Ingrid Betancourt soit libérée par les Forces armées colombiennes.

Ces quelques médias qui ont vu rouge lorsqu’Ingrid Betancourt a remercié le président colombien Uribe et l’armée colombienne. … Quelques médias, ulcérés par le succès d’Uribe et de son armée, garderaient-ils rancune et exerceraient-ils vengeance ?

An Object Lesson in Libertarian Thinking

I'll admit to a weakness: old movies, and British films in particular. While my faves date from 1940 to 1955, I thought it would be interesting to present this rare gem. This adaptation of H. G. Welles' "Things to Come" also presents a portrait of the experimental art and design of the era in which it was made. After all, it needed 'futurism', so they let loose.

From 1936, here is "Things to Come":

Monday, September 20, 2010

Say It Ain't So, Bjørn…

According to Hervé Kempf's interview of Bjørn Lomborg in Le Monde, the skeptical enviromentalist has become a dyed-in-the-wool proponent of global warming of climate change…

Update (from Radegunda in the comments section):
A few days ago, I read somewhere an email in which he explained to a concerned blogger (sorry I can't remember who) that he hasn't changed his views at all. It's just that his views had been misunderstood by the ideologues who tend to be enraged by any questioning of climate catastrophism--and who probably saw a propaganda coup in saying "Even Lomborg has come around ...."

“Something for Nothing” Watch

Just as the mindless outburst of university students in California demanding unlimited subsidies of something they will be the only beneficiaries of, the swirl of non-intellectualism surrounding “the Bologna Process” is no different.

However one does need to distinguish between the Bologna documents, the praxis of the Bologna Process, and the political use of the label "Bologna" in the national context. The introduction of the two-tiered degree as planned in Austria results most significantly in a hierarchization of university education that cannot immediately be inferred from the Bologna Declaration. The planned BA courses basically follow the logic of higher education as provided by a technical college – job-oriented, mid-level, applied – in new, modulated form.
But the logic of the protests don’t differentiate. Past efforts in the UK to merge the Polytechnik and University systems were treated with similar bloviating, but oddly enough they fell along the same strange lines of those interested in constructing evenness, equality, yadda yadda, not wanting to be though of in the same area of interest with those pursuing practical interests, even if they required more rigeur, let alone those in trade schools.

Again, the Protests for an “Egalitarian” Model were Dominated by Elitism

And an “Identity” elitism, by way of the heritage and provenance of the subject of study at that.

On one hand, the evils of the “two tier system” which could preserve the higher reaches of areas of studie that are not in applied fields are protested against on grounds of inequality, but so is the “commercialization” that would enable it. So what exactly is a lit department to do? Protest against the preservation of its’ own field?

Of course! The goal is to object!

Because it happened in the benighted center of the universe, it needed to be called “a process” and named after yet another city, but what it amounts to is that governments are looking for a way to get out of the business of paying the full ride for university educations that amounts to a subsidy to the few.
At the time of writing, universities throughout Europe and the US are being occupied. In Austria, the protests that started at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna have spread throughout the country and students and teachers are expressing their solidarity with the international strike in higher education. Among the issues being criticized by the protest movement are restrictions on access, the under-funding of universities, the demotion of university education to mere schooling and the introduction of tuition fees. Also among the protesters' concerns are the European university reforms and the way they have been propagated and implemented at the national level over the last decade. The protests have made clear the contradictions between the national and the supranational goals of the university reforms.
What they are protesting is the fix, but who’s really keeping track or footnoting. The idea of invoking an anachronism like Die Uni Brennt! seems to have little to do with the students themselves, but rather a sentimentalism of a much older and more disinvolved group of people: those getting weepy about the good old days of trying to dismantle anything functional in civilization.

As to the students, all they really want is to come up with a reason to have access to resources confiscated for others, and pulled out all of the stops. The scare tactics included the non-sensical: literature will die, education will be commoditized (as if it was an ethereal gossamer of no defined shape or meaning now,) and that fewer students could study. This, rather nonsensicly, was identified with a specter of evil identified with “Americanization”, where somehow more people have the chance to study, and actually go further with it from even a modest entry point on that holy “academic” scale.

The feebleness of it all is hard to avoid:
It is still the case that all protesters are judged by the idealized benchmark of the '68ers, often solely in order to point out differences. Mouse click is thus compared to street fighting, "recreational strikes" to social critique, hedonism to political motivation – ultimately doing justice to none. Many of these misunderstandings can be explained by the way in which the respective movements were structured, internally and externally. The iconography of the '68ers was marked by spectacular one-off protests and provocative displays – from the performances of the Vienna activists, to the naked photographs of the Kommune 1, to the sit-in demonstrations. In the latest university protests, things have been turned inside out – partly consciously, in the name of transparency (setting up and maintaining the live web-stream from the Audimax) and partly as a side effect of the relatively widespread use among students of platforms such as Facebook, StudiVZ and Twitter. The result is that the material from which conclusions can be drawn about the occupiers is not only considerably broader, but also extends further into the trivia of participants' daily lives, beyond the "performance" of the protest. After all, it seems improbable that partying after the day's protest was first conceived of in the Audimax – it is just that in '68, only those who were actually there could share in the post-protest beer. Today's journalists, by contrast – even, or especially, those suspicious of "flashmob voodoo" – do not necessarily have to be at the actual site of an occupation. Thanks to "lifecasting" (the constant transmission of events through the course of the day) they have been able to follow the debates, look up pictures on Flickr and Twitter, and even get hold of participants to interview.
Which underlines not just the fakeness of it all, but the lack of sincerity that it’s “performed” with.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yankee Gal

Directed by Celine Desrumaux, Gary Levesque, Antoine Perez, & Francois Pons, Yankee Gal is a 2008 short created at Supinfocom (gracias por Jane).

The Pause that Depresses

Have you ever wondered what to give people who think they’re funny/witty/intelligent? At least on the college sophomore level - when they’re unaware of how tedious they really are?.