Latest Info Virus
When Formula One racer Michael Schumacher broke his crown on a French ski slope last week, Meribel resort spokesmen went into damage control mode by declaring the speed champion was skiing “off-piste”. That’s Anglo-French for off-the-trail or out-of-bounds. Initial reports mentioned the specific slope on which Schumacher crashed, but subsequent press releases amended the account to reassure tourists that this downhill interruptus occurred outside of the permitted area. Isn’t that always the official line of resort operators and their insurers –ski accidents result when patrons stray where they’re not allowed? This theme puzzles regular skiers who know the back country is usually thoroughly demarcated and sealed. It was no surprise then when a bystander video emerged which showed Schumacher’s accident happening exactly where originally stated, on the Grand Couloir (trans: Big Corridor) between Mauduit and La Biche. Thus we discover the disingenuous definition of “off-piste”. It means the piste’s edge! Be it trees, rocks or cliff, it’s the most probable thing with which a skier can collide: the border of a groomed slope. Saying Schumacher crashed off-piste is like saying his Ferrarir didn’t crash at a racetrack, but rather against the track’s wall; or like saying a person didn’t fall from a building but rather died on the sidewalk. Now we know how so many ski accident victims got past barriers, substantial enough to deter most reckless impulses: They didn’t, they crashed into them.
Everyone’s in an uproar about the sign language interpreter at the memorial for Nelson Mandela. Apparently he was illiterate, but what about the speeches he was tasked to translate, were they not gibberish? I guess the hearing-impared missed President Obama criticizing the use of prison walls and snipers. They would have suspected an authentic interpretation of Obama admonishing other leaders for not tolerating voices of dissent. Apparently also, critics faulted the imposter for his emotionless delivery: “He also used no facial expression to convey the emotions of the leaders.” So he got that right too.
International diplomats have secured an agreement with Iran which appears to diffuse current tensions. Hurray! Crippling economic sanctions will be relaxed in exchange for limiting Iran’s capability to produce atomic weapons. Everybody is breathing easier except Israel. Why? Is the Israeli regime worried that critics who want its Apartheid theocracy “wiped from the map” (actually, from the road map to peace) need a bomb to do it? Israel’s racist and inhumane policies are bringing it down all of its own. Are Israelis worried there’s now a precedent to ask Israel to disarm its own nuclear arsenal or face sanctions? The problem is more likely that a less scary Iran will be much harder to warmonger around. Who needs a pretend democracy in the Middle East if there’s no Islamic boogeyman threatening the hegemony of the dollar and calling into question the inherent immorality of banking debt-perpetuated penury?
What’s rich is Israel, and its captive US press, declaring the agreement with Iran a “historic mistake”. Because verbatim, HISTORIC MISTAKE is growing to be the consensus among historians, in answer to the question what-is-Israel? Google it. Israel: the misguided UN decision in 1948 to colonize the Middle East by dispossessing Palestinians to create a Jewish state necessitating a “peace process” which has proven to be just the opposite.
Corporate media doesn’t want to do its job investigating or reporting on security state mechanisms and excesses, and it’s not going to let Edward Snowden do it either. Isn’t it curious that they’re able to allege Snowden’s leaks are “allegations” instead of …LEAKS? Of course they’ve only got their corrupt selves for peer review. The US press leaves the foreign papers to break Snowden’s documents after which it can accurately say the conclusions are “reported”, giving US officials a premise to dismiss the “accusations”. Except they’re not accusations, or allegations or conclusions, they’re unveiled fact. The US security agencies aren’t reportedly violating the privacy of citizens, they ARE! And no, “everyone is[n't] spying on everyone” the security states are spying on their peoples. Neither you, nor I are spying on anyone, except maybe via Facebook. Our oligarchs and their world security apparatus are keeping close tabs on us via wildly illegal surveillance, to the bemusement of media talking heads.
NMT has for some time been writing about how the NSA is recording all phone calls and internet transmissions, not merely “meta” data. Of course our reports were suppositions, so THANK YOU EDWARD SNOWDEN for the confirmation. Any credible response to Snowden’s revelations, whether from the White House or Angela Merkel, must begin with expressing gratitude for the moral superiority of a brave whisteblower.
If you’re bleeding from a rollover accident and you’re a black male who’s prompted a white suburbanite to call the police, who arrive and shoot you; if you’re a non-suicidale teen who’s fallen from an overpass, broken your back, only to be tased a dozen times for non-compliance; or if you’re a 107-year-old man in his bedroom tormented by mischievous tenants who connive to have you terminated by SWAT, you can’t say “fuck the police”. We can hope each of these victims had the chance to curse the officers before their demise. It’s probably not unimaginable that these law enforcement overreactions might have been occasioned by the victims’ expressed astonishment, no doubt profane, that one, police were called without cause, two, they responded anyway, and three, their reaction was to escalate. If you are breaking no law and police are obstructing your pursuit of happiness, disabuse them of their misconception of authority, or they will kill all of us.
I attended Occupy Denver’s forum “What Does Democracy Look Like?” this weekend to hear activist scholars of considerable repute throw in their two cents. The first day was a splendid gathering, except where a curated discussion of intentional community lapsed into theology. Yes, a distillation of mostly white reform literature (Fanon was dismissed as wayward) yielded three steps for The Way Forward: Egypt, Exodus and the Promised Land. Yep.
IF the bodies in Syrian videos purporting to document a chemical attack aren’t littering hospital floors like so many fictional Kuwaiti incubator babies, we are compelled to ask who unleashed the chemicals? Bashir Assad? The rebels? Our “rebels”? The odds favor us and even our western media agrees, refusing to remove the quotes everytime they refer to the “chemicals”. If covert western forces struck a Dow Chemical plant effecting a Bophal-like result to resemble a “chemical attack”, neither our soldiers nor the chemical agent supplier are going to confess. Dow still won’t apologize for the original Bophal.
Funny how Americans think the Nazis are still the ne plus ultra of evildom. Isn’t it about time we stop pretending the cruelty of Hitler’s machine exceeded ours? The US military has of course blown well past the benchmark of “Godwin’s Rule” by any measure of war crime both in quality and quantity, the question is, for how long has this been true? The initiate might think Vietnam marked our trespass into the Ugly American of infamy, our ensuing exploits in Latin America cementing our ignoble national character, but US colonial possessions worldwide know we’ve applied American moxie to a Final Solution stratagem wherever we’ve roamed. Before our westward expansion domestically, we settled with genocidal intent under a crown’s mentorship. America’s plan for its indigenous populations was the model for the Nazi relocation and extermination system, so for the Germans we were the “Nazis”. Odd how that perspective got lost in our history of WWII, our “Good War”.
Remember the jokes-on-them cautionary tale about admen trying to sell the Chevy NOVA in Latin America, oblivious that “no va” means “doesn’t go?” in Spanish. You’d think Capitalism’s missionaries would know their “freedom” brand has already been unmasked. Translated it means “World Bank Compliant Fascist State” whose media is embed only. How ironic that capitalism in democracy’s clothing is heralding World Press Freedom Day. I suppose Russia and Iran are held as examples where the press isn’t free, although RT and PRESSTV are by far more reliable sources of news than anything in the “free” world. I most appreciated WPFD for the light it brought on its international supporters, bloggers who I might not have immediately known were sock puppets for western tentacles. Here’s someone in Colombia who depends “in great part on international co-operation” to fund her work.
Must we say please? “OBAMA, PENDEJO, POR FAVOR CLOSE GITMO!” When the chants on your march are multilingual, even in Colorado some people need the Spanish translated for them. Do you know what “Obama, Escucha, Estamos en la lucha” means? Is it true, we’re prepared to fight? This is irrelevant bluster from the mouths of SEIU organizers, paid to rally volunteers in spite of the futility, probably only if futility is guaranteed actually. Otherwise they’re Obama supporters, who assure everyone “This is what democracy looks like” and promise victory through electoral politics. Here’s a popular one: “El pueblo, Unido, Jamas sera vencido!” Really? Shout it with conviction all you want, it doesn’t make success inevitable. For English speakers who don’t drink the Koolaid that’s : The people, Kept busy, Run circles til they’re dizzy.
LOCKDOWN. The term has become ubiquitous, though lifted easily out of context, being self-explanatory. Its predecessor “batten down the hatches” used to be too. Before the advent of recreational sailing it came from a work environment synonymous with incarceration, in the days of debtors prison for penury, before which were slave galleys. As an idiom, batten the hatches still means to fasten things down, brace for difficult weather. “Lockdown” was used this week to describe the city of Boston, as its neighborhood of Watertown was swarmed by militarized police, the residents commanded to “shelter in place”, officers barking at them to stay in your houses, under penalty of being shot, by accident we like to suppose, for their own safety is the implication, or be arrested for obstructing justice. We’ve come to know what lock-down means. It’s a prison term for everyone stuck in their cell, until further notice, sometimes indefinitely. Colorado’s Supermax prison operates in a permanent state of lock-down. Of course in this age of school shootings –another self-defining expression, like “going postal”– lock-downs have become an educational tradition, and isn’t likening schools to prisons forcing an interesting slip into Freudian reality?
It’s probably older than Latin. “De mortuis nil nisi bonum” is a propriety imposed at death, as if to offer the deceased a false comfort that, however fraudulent the pretense of their reputation in life, they can take it with them. Well, most commonly, “Don’t speak ill of the dead” is a reminder not to rehash petty grievances in the face of another’s mortality, death being after all mankind’s mutual adversary. It’s a pact I suppose that’s meant to benefit everyone equally. But the tradition does sort of cement history as written by the victor, where revisionists dare not speak truth to power while that authority is alive.
I saw the adage used in a disturbingly upbeat eulogy for Margaret Thatcher in this week’s New Yorker. Disturbing because it was fair handed enough, but mired like New York City, insulated by the growing wealth and cultural disparity, in the Western master narrative. I find that not speaking ill of the dead is completely irresponsible with historic figures like Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger. If we are prevented from hanging them to hasten their death, we must at the minimum garrotte their memory before it’s set in stone. To beat a dead horse.
YES, MORE CSI DIY CROWDSOURCING PHOTO-ANALYSIS! If you could anticipate that criminologists would scrutinize surveillance videos for who left what at the scene, or who behaved oddly after a bomb blast, you could probably plan to evade detection, by, for example, bringing a larger bag to conceal the bag you’re going to drop off.
“Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf and his security team pushed past policemen and sped away from a court in the country’s capital on Thursday to avoid arrest after his bail was revoked in a case in which he is accused of treason.” Obviously that’s what a private security team is for. Dethroned Egyptian despot Mubarak proved it takes only a presidential physician to divert an accused mass murderer to a hospital instead of jail. Could such private Praetorian guards be protecting America’s criminal political class from federal law enforcement? We don’t know because we have yet to charge any of them.
By “power the world” does Time Magazine mean HEAT IT?! To a rolling boil? –How incredibly inane. This piece of rock’s jagged asymmetry (probably to differentiate it from a lump of coal – the other fossil fuel) and its other-earthly lighting, mean to suggest shale has a meteoric value. The disingenuous cover story, “why shale can solve the energy crisis”, is a curve ball pretending the problem is supply not demand, and FRACKING is the hero not the terminator. Let’s throw this projectile back like we would ordinary crowd control ordnance deployed to disorient waking masses. I think it’s fitting that Time has given its cover to a rock. In the hands of children it’s the bane of US and Israeli occupiers, it’s what defended Tahrir Square, and it will probably be the only sidearm we’ll be left to bear as our own occupiers try to forestall global revolution. But it’s enough.
TV NATION- Can Americans no longer embarrass themselves? This year’s pregame holiday extended to Super Bowl Eve with an un-ironic commemoration ceremony, an all-star gala tribute to football, acclaiming it a venerated touchstone of the American character, the public mob like drunken monks feasting the humanitarian contributions of the Spanish Inquisition. Football celebrates America’s cultural blood lust, a surrogate for our preemptive senseless war making, whose shared cartoon violence is expunged of its real antisocial inhumanity. Probably owing to this season’s pre pregame homophobia scandal, where collegiate casualty Manti Teo showed signs of early onset Mohammed Ali’s disease, fans learned about the concealed football side effect of compounded concussions, akin to IED survivors’ collateral brain damage. Next we’ll probably hear that footballers’ home lives spread PTSD. As football injuries become more difficult to hide from battle-weary audiences, fans will be calling for more Kevlar and then of course commensurate armor piercing anti-Kevlar. I already think football offensive lines look spectacularly under equipped without drones. Or would that position be pretended to play defense?
You know it’s GROUNDHOG DAY when newspaper weather forecasts read like articles in the Onion. The unseasonably warm winter that followed a record breaking hot summer has been declared by Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania’s mascot meteorologist to be an “Early Spring”. FOR NATURE. The rat.
OMG YES. OF COURSE. STOP THE VIOLENCE. Wait. By whose pinheaded definition? “Too many children are dying” exclaims Gabrielle Giffords! But looking into the eyes of these posterchild sociopaths, you know they’re only talking about domestic gun deaths, the collateral damage of our Western culture of violence. Time Magazine isn’t taking us yahoos to task on football, rape, enslavement and WAR. These three neo law-enforcers are not talking about American systemic acts of aggression, one Sandy Hook after the next behind the curtain of this theatrical “OUR children!” frenzy, the genocidal capitalist global war on people.
Who can say what is the cause? But this began in November when suddenly images on the Not My Tribe website would no longer appear alongside the NMT articles being crowd-aggregated by Facebook users. Now a link to our Snooze article failed to resolve into a post headline, instead remaining a raw http link, further reducing NMT’s visibility on the social network. If eventually we are completely blocked you won’t know it. Facebook is the new AOL. Already if a tree falls outside the shopping mall, America doesn’t hear it.
Lance Armstrong appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Confessional TV franchise to admit he doped and lied. If Oprah polled her television audience for who should be next episode’s guest star, it might have to be Manti Te’o explaining that his dead fake internet girlfriend was a beard. Imagine the ratings if Oprah could book ex-dope-in-chief George W. Bush minus his minder Dick Cheney. Iraq’s fake WMDs would be the least of it.
So, no, the twenty schoolchildren killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut were not Pakistani. That’s apparently what everyone is so upset about. I’m rather embarrassed how distraught Americans are about the Connecticut school shooting, considering equivalent child-massacres happen daily in Pakistan, victims of US drones, to no public outcry. In Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and all the far reaches of our multinational corporate empire, child killing is public policy, far from being a subject of public anguish.
Remember the “Financial Crisis” from out of nowhere when Obama first came to office? Now it’s Bank Heist, the Sequel, branded most assuredly with the assistance of Madison Avenue as a “Fiscal Cliff”, shall we call it FC2? This time instead of extorting a so-called “bank bailout”, the oligarchs want austerity concessions. Having looted the public treasury, they’re after the public wealth we call government’s primary social benefit to which the public thought it was “entitled”. So our herders are crying FISCAL CLIFF hoping to divert the public beast to a real cliff, another Buffalo Jump, in urban terms, a shakedown.
If the Iron Dome works, Israel won’t have to retaliate after each Hamas rocket! These acts of desperation by the besieged Gazans, victims of Israel’s occupation, will become like the rocks thrown by Palestinian youth, futile. Hopefully Israel will expand its dome of impunity to protect Gazans too, from whoever is striking at them.
I write you as a longtime, enthusiastic fan, and please pardon me if the deference and affection I’d like to convey have been overcome by my shock at your recent emails. My question may sound rhetorical, but I would really like to know: what the hell compels you to shill once again for Barack Obama? Beside the campaign pablum.