Tag Archives: Class Warfare

London bridge is burning down, burning down…

Reaping a harvest, they are. Since Dame Maggot Thatcher was in office the Crown has been moving steadily back toward Bloody Mary time. They knew they had shat in their soup when Prince Charmless and his lovely bride Camelface came face to face with a mob who made it all the way up to their vehicle. Over the issue of expanding fees and shrinking subsidies, the issue du jour was tuition.
So, instead of reading the signs they proceeded to host at public expense the most lavish wedding in history and then backhand the people with more demands for Austerity on the part of the Working class.
And, all pretense of shock and horror when the people started fighting back. How dare the peasantry loot a few hundred million pounds from shops? And burn a few of Her Majesty’s vehicles too…
Meanwhile, the Crown is extorting billions upon billions, looting the entire country and, counting Iraq and Afghanistan, a couple of Other Countries as well.
And throwing in a little racist vigilantism on the part of the anti-riot rioters.

Scotland Yard is studying the profiling laws used by such progressive dictatorships as LA and Boston. Such a sweet bunch of fellows, they are. As always, when class warfare is declared the guns are pointed at the Working Class and away from the bloated Parasite Class.

Tetra Farries and her family feel blunt trauma business end of class warfare

For all the haters who condemn Ms. Farries, who so far is convicted of NOTHING, you should feel a deep sense of shame, but I know you don’t, for building a corrupt social order, using words like “God” and “Liberty” and “Equality” and “Justice” with absolutely no intent of living up to such mighty words.
 
Here is where Idealism directly confronts Elitism.  And proves itself more honorable.

Farries is charged with defending all that was left of her living and the hope of a better life for her children.  The words of the Assistant D.A. in defending a bond which is more than 3 years minimum wage, Convict the prosecutors instead, “Your Honor, the people ask for this bond because the Defendant had all her belongings in the car, therefore we believe her to be a flight risk.”  

Do the words “economic devastation” and poverty and “eviction” mean nothing to you?  I think so.

The Prosecutors gain more job security from a decaying empire, they probably own stock in the predatory real estate managers who gorge on the carrion of The War Against The Working Class.  As do the cops and the Yellow Journalists if Fox News, Channel 5, Gazette and other Scavenger fowl hired to cheer-lead for the established order.  

For the slight infraction of a parking violation, they were going to rob her and her Children for all  they had.  And in a town where the sanctimonious Pricks say there are jobs everywhere, at minimum wage and you need a car to get hired, they were robbing her of even THAT meager opportunity.  Her car would have been sold at auction, her belongings picked through, and every precious memory, Pictures of, and drawn by, her babies, documents of their lives, those little plaster hand prints that cost a nickel to make, and impossible to replace.  Pictures of parents, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandmas and grandpas long dead, consigned to a landfill like so much trash.

The legalized car thieves who employed the tow truck driver would have gotten maybe $500 for their stolen gain.

The elitist bitches who run this country, state, city… have already sounded their war-drums against My People, no matter the shade of their skin, their countries of ancestry, tho they spell and speak their own names or the many names of God, they are my kin in blood, religion and science agree.

We are the Discarded Ones, when we are no longer profitable to the Landed Gentry, when they can squeeze no more money from our blood, we are thrown away.

If we have very little, the powerful ones, who have gotten their own livings on the sweat, toils and even the shed blood and very lives of us “Lesser Folk”, deem us unworthy to keep even that.

Ms. Farries, in another earlier decade, wearing a lighter tone of brown skin, could easily pass for My OWN Momma.  Her frightened children, easily myself and seven brothers and sisters, watching as Momma gets dragged away in chains for trying to protect her babies, and all they had left.

We, too, experienced the sting of poverty, evicted from slums the Elitists would dread to pass on the freeway in case the Hum-Vees or other over-priced luxury cars should break down so close to the workers to whom they loudly sneer and vaunt their “Superiority,” outside of their customary protected areas, without their usually uniformed Human Shields.  The struggle to find a new house to rent, from a new slumlord, with the money from a slave-wage paycheck that came two days late.  Which such belongings we could save packed into the definitely non-status symbol car.  A familiar story to my soul.  We never came much closer.  That was fortune.  Just not bloody much.

I feel and grieve for the tow driver.  He had a miserable job working for people who had sold their soul to squeeze the last possessions of other people.  And I’m sure also the thieving bastard sons of Satan won’t compensate his family.

Or the family of Ms. Farries, who they ordered him to legally rob.

SpringSpree: Racist Elitist HateFest at Memorial Park/Prospect Lake today

Sponsored by the Gazette, Fox, Channel 5, Chamber of Commerce and the Real Estate Developer Cartel in City Hall and the County Commissioners.
Springs Spree is designed to put a prettier face on their complete disdain of any citizen who has less than a 7 figure annual income. The Colorado Springs and El Paso County Gestapo are out in force to make sure the piglets of the Elite aren’t offended by seeing anybody who is homeless or appears to be Not Wealthy. Gives them a chance to use their tazers and billy clubs on people who commit the heinous dual crime of being a) Persons of Limited Means and b)Uppity enough to believe we’re equal to the Rich with full rights of citizenship.
They’ll have advirtizing booths promoting their “success” stories such as their development of a Toxic Waste Dump, “Gold Hill Mesa” where they’re poised to sell McMansions built on heaps of POISON to gullible people who have a credit line.
Knowingly poisoning somebody would usually be considered an act of murder or even Terrorism, but not so in Colorado Springs, where the Police and Judiciary are firmly in the pockets of the Real Estate Developers.
Meanwhile, my next door neighbor sits on his porch with his oxygen mask. The dust they stir up, laden with Mercury, Arsenic, Sodium Cyanide, Lead, even a trace amount of gold… wafts over OUR neighborhood, filling the tender lungs of OUR children and elderly and disabled or even strong and healthy (for now) neighbors.

Meanwhile, the Chambers of Commerce, City Hall, Real Estate Board, County Commissioners, Princess Lisa Czeladtko, Tim Leigh, Sallie Clark, Karen Cullen, none of them have to worry about that (Or Do They? more to come) because their money and their tame Judiciary at the local, state and federal levels shield them from prosecution for this murderous act. Besides, the West Side is nothing but poor people anyway and the sooner us Untermenschen die off the better it will be for The Rich Elitists.
And as long as they can draw attention away from their crimes by their attacks on the Homeless People the more ill-gotten money they can stuff in their own pockets.

As usual, nothing to see here, citizens, keep moving, nothing to see.
Fox and the Gazette and News 5 and other Right Wing Hate Media will make sure to bury the REAL story in their usual hypocritical manner.

And the fact they’re poisoning their OWN children and grandchildren through their outrageous Greed, doesn’t make a fucks worth of difference to them either.

Why are Indian children still dying of poverty?

There was an AP story about infanticide in India, mostly young girls, and the question attached was “why, with rising prosperity?”
One question immediately answered, the “rising prosperity” is mostly the Rich getting Richer, much like the Class War they “upper class elites” declared in America long long ago and are intensifying now.
Having the top economic level, the “1 percenters” getting an even larger share of even an expanding economy means those in the 80% who have less income than it takes to actually survive, will have even less. A classic example of How Deregulated Free Market Capital works to destroy the poor for the profit of the very richest.
And now, it’s taking its bloody horrid toll on the children of the poor PEOPLE.

I’m slacking a bit, last week was the Bloody Ludlow anniversary.

97 years ago. A lot can happen in that time, yes? Unions finally getting some decent wage and safety laws going, public education, health care, pensions…
Then people got complacent, and the Anti-Worker Greed Heads take back power, just enough to put us back almost to 1914. They say “Oh, but the Unions are Corrupt, everybody knows that! Look at all the RICO complaints the FBI investigates.”
Yeah, sure. Anybody can file a RICO complaint and the FBI would be compelled to investigate it, even if they notice it’s Bullshit after the first phone call to the complainant. So there are Corporate Lawyers, the ones who will clean the latrines in Hell, who make more money in a week than a worker makes in a year just filing RICO complaints. Talk about your Frivolous Lawsuits. Why don’t the Tort Reform Activists get on THEIR ass? Ouch…
That’s Right, I almost forget, it’s because THEY’RE THE SAME GOD-DAMN PEOPLE!
The “Right To Work Law” advocates who tell us that if we just let Reagan be Reagan, take the “handcuffs” off of the Free Market and the Corporate Big Pigs will make sure that the workers will be well taken care of. Nothing to see her, citizen, all is well, The Smart People are taking care of everything, nothing to see, all is Hell….
And those Maxim belt fed water cooled machine guns pointed at you are strictly for your own protection.
John D Rockefeller ordered the 39 murders, including the thirteen kids. And got rewarded by a shitload of extra Government Contracts and his son Nelson made Vice President of the United States.

And probably had, like George W, the Colorado Springs “christian” Schools giving him awards for being such a fine, upstanding, noble and brave christian babykiller.
No, I don’t have any respect for anything a babykiller like any one of the Rockefellers do or stand for. No matter how many “charitable” acts like building a Concert Hall at Public Expense for the enjoyment of their fellow Rich Bitches. Oh, you don’t think so? Every act of “charity” the Rockefellers do, is taken off their taxes so it’s really the U.S. Taxpayers who made the contributions and the Rockefellers, Bushes, Cheneys, Steve Bachs, etc… who get the credit for being such Brave and Noble Christians.
And use publicly funded resources like the Colorado National Guard to murder the workers who feed them, with belt fed water cooled Maxim machine guns. At public expense, just in case anybody didn’t catch that the first few times around. God-damn hypocritical sons of a whore and a goat.
And anybody who Looks up to them? Hey, CSCS, HOW LOW-DOWN FILTHY STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO LOOK UP TO MURDERING POND-SCUM LIKE THAT?
Some of the same TeaTards who were giving Bush the “Lyin’ Ass” award actually voted for Nelson Rockefeller to have a second term, after Nixon and Agnew gave him and Ford the highest offices in the land, then Ford pardoned the subhuman freak who gave him the job and claimed “there was no deal”.

The finery they wore to the banquet, the diamonds and designer clothes, the fancy cars, to a banquet done in the name of The One who in His whole life was only reported to have ridden even a donkey ONCE and the rest of the time, was a homeless preacher who was born in a barn and walked everywhere He went?

Yeah, Lying blasphemous CSCS scum, your money and your finery was bought with the blood of Dead Workers and Dead Children. Be proud of it while you can, you won’t have your fancy blood-soaked robes and jewels and chariots when you take YOUR turn in HELL.

The Law, in its Majestic equality, forbids rich and poor from being alike

At least when it comes to Urban Camping. Seems the “no camping” ordinance didn’t apply at the mall when Greed rather than Need was the motivation to take to the tents. People started camping out early Thanksgiving day to be the first in line for “doorbuster” specials on Black Friday. How about it, Doug, Janis, Sean, Lionel? Chief Meyers? Sheriff Mussolini errr Maketa? How about it Tame Ass Right Wing Media in town, Praising the HomeFull campers for their bravery in voluntarily pitching their tents with plenty of police protection, unlike anything the HomeLess PEOPLE ever got.
Hypocrisy, thou hast a name, and thy name is Colorado Springs Establishment.
Maybe they could redeem themselves by publishing stories detailing how many of those purchases were made on Credit and in 6 months how many of the Credit Cards used are in default. Black Friday is allegedly a Triumph of Capitalism. Yes, once again the Corporate BigPigs got the commoners to push themselves further into debt which they’ll never be able to repay. What a lovely victory that is!

Tennessee Firefighters watch house burn down

This is what we can expect when Mayor Lyin’ Hell Rivera and his cronies privatize city services like the thieving bitches are going to tell us at next Monday’s budget announcement.
One of the fire-non-fighters said that it’s an example of “robust Christianity, rather than that sappy effeminate version of Christianity where people help each other”. Well, you KNOW that got my blood pumping. First off, the guy came off as being really insecure about his own masculinity. And rather than coming out of his closet, he tries to “drag” Jesus in with him.
Let’s take it a notch further. Why not have the police be on a for-pay basis? Anybody who can’t afford police protection, too bad so sad. Make it even better, have fully privatized “police” auxiliary groups like the Minutemen patrol, and people who DON’T pay up, well, they must have something to hide, so let’s just drag them down to the court, which of course will be a pay-for-play proposition too, can’t afford an attorney? Too bad, you should have planned ahead and been born rich.

And if bad people dress up like the Private “police” and just break into your house and rob you at gunpoint, then the Real Minutemen Private “police” will investigate, if you pay their fee. What’s that? The Bad Wicked Naughty “pretend” private police took all your money so you can’t pay that fee? Awww… too bad, maybe we can get Glenn Beck or his Zombie followers to lecture you about Christianity. For a fee of course.

Which brings it back to the Other Side, the nonsensical non-secular non sequitur about Jesus telling the closet case Mucho Macho “christian” to torch the place errr Watch it burn to “teach the punk a lesson about paying up”.

(By the way, that’s Rural Tennessee, means the guy whose house they Burned Down errr… watched it burn down, was probably their cousin.)

See, the anonymous Rich Man from the Lazarus parable, he wasn’t in Hell for having no compassion on Lazarus, O good Heavens No!

He was in Hell for being effeminate and not calling the cops and locking his dumpster to keep that bum Lazarus from eating a free meal.

And the Samaritan, helping that fellow who got robbed and beaten and left laying in the ditch, he should have just gone right up to the fellow, kicked him in the face and told him it was his own fault for not hiring the local Minutemen to guard him. Then walk away laughing.

And that Jesus dude, What The Hell?

DYING for people who couldn’t possibly pay Him? Damn, He must have been a really effeminate sissy-boy. Probably had long hair and didn’t wear pants either. Or boots. Bet He had sandals or something sissy like that.

The ConservaTards like Glenn TeaTard Beck and Ms Stupid Sarah are all on the side of the Redneck Assholes who watched one of their cousins get burned out of his house.
From Macho Christian Values.

But that’s what we’re going to have if Mayor Rivera, Doug Bruce and all the others who want to use the “invisible hand” of the free market to take away any kind of Equal Protection from the Poor, and only their Very Rich Parasite Class Cronies will have any kind of city services.

Paradigm, Buzzword, Keyword, and persuasion

Paradigm is a “consciousness” term. One of the best known ways to demonstrate it is visually, not verbally, there’s a really famous illustration of three forms, if looked at one way, the form in the middle would be the first thing you see, a lamp with a fancy shade. Looking at it from the two side forms it’s two human faces close to each other.
I think but could be wrong, it’s part of the Rorschach series. Much like when we look at clouds, and see faces in them, or animals, flowers, sometimes extremely profound abstract concepts. But whatever we see is a projection of what we were looking to find anyway. Fear or hope, love or hate, friend or foe, food or poison, human faces or lamp. In European Celtic lore the moon has the face of a man, in Japan it’s a rabbit.
Abstract the paradigm a little, with the faces in the original, are they arguing, speaking words of wisdom, about to kiss?
Advertising companies need the psychological data from mass sources, years ago it would take, well, years… to form a basic paradigm from data collected around the world. And then modify it as needed. Which would also take considerably longer than it does now, each modification taking between a week or a year.

Now, with Twitter especially, web logs and Facebook, which could be described in advertising terms as “Weblog Lite”, we (or more importantly “they” whoever “they” are on any particular day) can analyze with a fair amount of accuracy what the people across the world are thinking on any subject, simply by counting the occurrences of any given word or short phrase.

Key Words. If the keywords show up steadily over the course of a normal work day, 8 hours would be a good arbitrary starting point, they become “Trending” keywords.

Using those trending keywords in the short term could make huge differences in Capitalist Stock Exchanges because you can literally buy or sell an entire nation’s production within those 8 hours. Knowing what words are most interesting to most people, at least from the representative sample of words used on the internet, can show you which products, services or concepts people are most willing to buy within those 8 hours. From the point of view or “base paradigm” of an independent grocery store owner, who purchases a week or month in advance, the keywords have to trend for whatever his spending cycle is, a week, two weeks, a month..

People in marketing literally sell their own lives because in order to succeed they have to buy other peoples thoughts and then resell them. They HAVE to live on what other people are saying.

In 1925, Aldous Huxley wrote a short novel, “Brave New World”, where he didn’t mention things that were on the verge of becoming technical reality, like the Television, Nuclear Explosives, antibiotics, reliable chemical birth control, or advances in what was then a 250 year old invention of a French mathematician named Blaise Pascal, “the Pascaline”, a mechanical calculator using binary logic. Instead he focused on technologies, some of them apparent dead-ends, like eugenics, Pavlovian conditioning (not a dead end) and Marketing.

Or “Social Engineering” or “Emotional Engineering” and one of his characters actually references Shakespeare as being a “Brilliant emotional engineer”.

Huxley noted the degradation of language through simplification of keywords.

Nearly two decades, several revolutions and another world war later, Eric Blair (Orwell) wrote a book mirroring the Capitalist Dystopia of Brave New World… “1984” where, again, deliberate perversion of language in a totalitarian government which used a socialist economy as a control mechanism (Orwell was a Socialist himself) presented another path to totalitarianism.

It wasn’t the economic models themselves which made the Dystopia, it was the (uncomfortably true) nature of “Type A” personalities to desire dominance over other people and systematically taking it, using the one tool at the core of each such system, persuasion. Getting the other people to “buy into” being controlled.

So now we have in OfficeSpeak (NewSpeak from 1984) the “buzzword”.

Why that becomes important to blue collar people such as I used to be until the day I stepped off that roof, is the white collar office workers are all, in one way or another, selling. And using buzzwords, keywords, paradigms, catch-phrases.

If people ever wonder what an English Major or Creative Writing in college has to do with the “real world”. that’s it.

Aldous Huxley wrote a sequel to Brave New World, tacked the word “Revisited” on the end, taking into account data processing with word usage as the original data. Still before the internet.
The Right Wing are so frightened of that concept that they held massive rallies last September because the President of the United States dared to have a televised address to schoolchildren telling them that education is important. And they have attempted steadily to cut off Public Education since its introduction.

The “leaders” apparently don’t want Blue Collar children to even have the capacity to express or understand anybody else expressing the concept of them gaining social or economic equality with our Masters in the Parasite Class. They’d prefer that the children are indoctrinated by perversions of Religion which teach that the King/President/Policeman/General is always right and that God commands us to Obey our leaders. Thus making it not only treason, a capital offense for which the King can kill you, to dare to think yourself his Equal and not his servant… it becomes Blasphemy, a capital offense where you suffer the pains of Eternal Hell Fire for daring to suggest that we, the Working Class, are equal to the “management” Parasites.

That and they condemn Brave New World as “pornography”.

From last Friday’s action, some pictures, some linked commentary

The linked commentary isn’t about the bus lack-of-service, it’s to fellow local activist Loren Wirbel made a short documentary film just showing a FEW of the multi-gazillionaire “defense” plants around town. You know the ones, our Magnificently Superior Business Experts at City Hall made the command decision for us to give them Tax Exemptions that would make Reagan blush, to draw them to a Strategic Location where they were going to come anyway. So they get local services on the local dime far disproportionately to what they actually paid for. It’s bad enough that We The People have to subsidize Corporate Welfare Cheats like Lockheed but they’re also Corporate Warfare Daddy Warbucks types who make their money from other people DYING.
Deathmongers getting a free ride from our Wise and Noble and Ever So Much Better that us City Hall. The rest of us paid our fare, but we don’t get the ride. That’s not fair.
By the way, that last line isn’t complaining, it’s telling the Ayn Rand worshipers that they’re complete Liars when they say stupid shit like they’re actually a Free Market where everybody has a chance. Lying… Cowardly… PUKES. A swarm of Parasitic Slugs in search of a bag of salt.

A LOT of canes and wheelchairs, and a few burnout refugees-from-the-70s Ahem..

Cyrus of course.

Just some of our friends. Notice the preponderance of canes and wheelchairs.
There’s a reason for this, it’s because the other people who depend on the buses were at their jobs waiting their turn to be injured then disposed of.
Timing of the event has to be when buses are running, it’s a Catch-22 of massive proportions.
The bus service abruptly cuts off at shift change.

If you’ll notice, the Bus Service people had their Q&A session scheduled for the middle of the afternoon as well. Intentionally? Orders from Above? Eh.
One of the people who uses the bus to go to and only occasionally FROM work, said “Hey, they didn’t even actually pay attention to the badly disabled, how are they going to handle the Working Poor?”

How indeed. Republicans and Ayn Rand “libertarians” tend to take the short view when it comes to Workers and our rights. If it isn’t happening to them personally, immediately, they just don’t see it happening. If they personally aren’t staring down the barrel of the gun, they’ll simply say “Gun? What gun? I don’t see any gun… nothing to see here, citizens, keep moving, nothing to see..”

Mondovino: globalization and terroir, Robert Parker versus your good taste

American wine cowboy conquest with tankFor those with a curiosity for how wine terroir is holding up against the onslaught of wine factory farming, the 10-hour miniseries version of MONDOVINO is finally available on DVD. For viewers curious about viniculture globalization under Californian colonial domination, the original feature length documentary delivers, with a long finish. Any time critics accuse a film of being one sided, you know it’s about class war.

I had my first lesson in vineyard terroir when my college-aged aunt visited my family in Alsace and spent a season picking grapes. She informed us to our horreur that everything gets stomped in that barrel, bugs and all. I didn’t drink wine then, so what did I care, but it was easy to decide that such was the artistry that probably made French wines great.

But as I said, Mondovino was about much more than wine, and now I’ll get to the point. We may lament the new commercialization of wine, but historically the occupation has always had its strictly-business types. Vintners were rarely agriculturalists who subsisted, they were wine lovers subsidized. We can wince at the Napa Valley nouveau gauche, but even Bordeaux’s great chateaus, and especially all the Premiers Crus, are owned and have been owned by businessmen money lenders, going back centuries.

The modernization and standardization which is destroying contemporary wines is simply the evolution of production control. At last, technology and the ascent of a gilded age have brought vintners to believe they’ve bested nature. It’s true if you don’t care about wine, if you’re content to bottle a soft drink as opposed to allowing wine the breathing space to develop personality. Basically this documentary demonstrates that these gentlemen hobbyists, now plaintively bourgeois about profit, welcome the new global fascism.

Old World Fascists
Of course it is no stretch to imagine that the Mondovino filmmakers are going to ask, how did your father or grandfather like Fascism under the Nazis? They point the question at an Italian family who date their wealth back 900 years as bankers.

Any European documentary delving into family histories will always ask particularly about the war years. In America it’s what did you do during the war Daddy? In Europe it’s about weathering the occupation. Most working class French want to tell you what they did in the Resistance. Rich people you don’t ask because of course they were collaborateurs.

Mondovino’s subjects are the perpetually wealthy, who don’t even register the affront. Of course their families thrived under Fascism, quelle betise to imagine it would be otherwise. How curious it is we are surprised they embrace it so again.

Such moments are the highlights of Mondovino, rich folk posing in elaborate foyers, plaintively matter of fact about Fascism.

One opulent reception room in Florence is packed with ancient paintings, among them a painting of the very room full of paintings, you imagine if you peered closely enough you would see the infinity of mirrors scheme, a Baroque era black velvet number. The Grande Dame mentions that Prince Charles inquired about that painting at breakfast.

Let me add, critics have held Jonathan Nossiter’s camera work to be unstable. Actually he was very easily distracted by momentously relevant tchotchkes and biographical details few commoners are granted audience to encounter.

Fascists in the New World
Mondovino allowed the Napa Valley entrepreneurs to hang themselves. Open mouth, insert vacuous blather, often racist. These nouveau riches landscaped new vineyard for themselves, praising the terrain like it was classic architecture, their aesthetic tributes could only reference the National Mall. That classic.

Over at Mondavi, talk fixated of expansion and conquest. The film’s main plot addressed the Mondavi’s ongoing acquisition of the world’s most treasured appelations. For the worse of course, because what do they know about wine but that it should all taste the same? Son Mondavi dreams of someday having a vineyard on the moon, for no other reason than he thought of it. Wouldn’t it be exciting, he asks, to be able to say: “hey, let’s open a bottle from the moon,” my paraphrase.

The issue of terroir, English readers, has entirely to do with terre which is French for “earth.” Terre with a capital T is “Earth.” Of course the earthbound distinction was lost on this Californian.

Yes, Mondavi is surely alone in pondering what earth, sun and elements would have feed his moon vines.

Most vile of all the New World vintners was a family outfit in Argentina. They sit on a spacious veranda and explain how every boy in the family is named for founding father, the original title holder. Their wealth goes back to the early Spanish settlers and they express the perennial colonizer’s lament, that Los Indios of the regions have no work ethic. Centuries ago the Spaniard had to devise cruel torments to drive their slave laborers to produce. It was an inefficient system to impose on the indigenous and transplanted tribes, unaccustomed to a hierarchical workforce supporting do-nothings at the top.

Globalization
Key to Mondavi’s quest for wine world domination, is a market that has standardized the consumer’s taste. No longer are customers hopping in their car for a Sunday drive, to stop by a neighboring chateau to sample a vintage take a case home. Today the global consumption of wine has meant having to market it without being able to taste it. For that consumers have come to follow the ratings of critics. It was inevitable of course, but Mondovino reveals how hilariously flawed and phony the system is.

Mondovino focuses on two celebrity tasters who make or break wines. Robert Parker and James Suckling. Let’s dispatch the latter quickly.

James Suckling
James Suckling made a niche for himself nurturing Italian wines and coined the term “Super Tuscan.” I didn’t know that, but Mondovino records Suckling attributing the phenomena to the ether before being made to admit that the meme was his own.

More hilarious was a hypothetical question posed to the critic after confessing in an unguarded moment that he might have been too generous with the rating he gave a friend’s wine. The friend, a wealthy vintner, was letting Suckling a villa, which meant he was also his landlord. Naturally Mondovino asked if a discount on the rent would move Suckling to consider a more favorable rating. Suckling took the bait, laughingly nodding, of course, his friend under his breath suggested in such case he could have the villa for free.

It’s not corruption, merely a gentleman’s game. Can we even assert that the ordinary consumer suffers? Taste is subjective. Suckling’s ultimate rating is of negligible consequence to wine drinkers, except to commerce.

Robert Parker
I’m sorry to be getting around to Parker’s scheme so late in this article, because he plays such a profound part in the homogenizing of world wine production. The mechanism is beyond the pale, but it’s simple. Parker is influential and has a distinctive appetite, he has a best friend who consults with vintners about how to make their wine to Parker’s taste. The result has been devastating. Vines that have for ages had their own distinctive gouts have now been McParkered. The consultant charges a large fee to monitor an increasing stable of wines, for the camera his preoccupation was “micro-oxygenate,” and after it’s bottled parker comes around and bestows the high marks. The more they pay, the higher the score.

Mondovino underscores this plot by filming a Burger King billboard as Parker drives past it, while he sings the praises of uniform quality. The filmmakers notice an FBI cap on Parker’s desk and make sure to keep it in the frame. Parker is quite candid and friendly in Mondovino, probably because he had no inkling they did not share his eagerness to see viniculture’s eccentricities ironed to a uniform flat.

When the film was released and Robert Parker emerged as enterprising accomplice to Mondavi’s villain, Parker was enraged. He wrote rant after rant against the film and its makers. I’m not sure he’s over it yet. I wanted to be sure to document what I thought was Mondovino’s most brilliant assault on the witless benefit the Parker-Mondavi venture think they’re bequeathing with their anschluss of world wine. It’s about the subjectivity of taste. Robert Parker’s.

A recurring motif of Mondovino’s interviews was a fascination with dogs. It’s cute, and often we give ourselves leave to believe we have learned something about the owner by just looking at their dog.

In one memorable scene, we’ve met a quite unassuming South American vintner who has only one hectar, but is none the less generous with his wine, his time and friendship. He has a black dog, and when the filmmaker asks his name, the vintner laughs such that the revelation is self-effacing. “Luther King” is his name, because, he tells us in Spanish, he’s “negro.” Mondovino’s dark hats are so distasteful, it’s important that the heroic characters aren’t too pearly clean.

All the asides with the dogs were entertaining in their own right, but could have served entirely to set up Robert Parker’s scene. We’re invited to Parkers home and immediately discover he has something for bulldogs.

Do you like bulldogs? Taste is of course subjective. Robert Parker and his wife love their bulldogs, two, and their home is festooned with Bulldogephemera, statuettes, paintings, the camera frame’s worth. Imagine a wall covered with watercolors and oil portraits of bulldogs as you consider the subjectivity of taste.

Then just as Parker is prompted to discuss that his nose is ensured for a million dollars, we discover that one of the dogs has become incontinent, and there’s the near unbearable dog flatulence from which not even conversation can escape. Imagine Robert Parker’s nose not ensured against that. The interview concludes with Parker rambling about something as a bulldog sits sneering on the carpet forcing the filmmaker to keep a safe distance, and so he focuses in close capturing the ugly, perhaps infirm, definitely defensive, unlikable mug.

The next time you chose a wine because it has a high Parker score, ask yourself how it integrates an atmosphere of dog.

EAT THE RICH!

Wall Street protestMy favorite visual from Thursday’s Wall Street action: EAT THE RICH, invoking Peter Richardson’s Class War cult classic. The bastards are making a grab for $700 BILLION in this salvo. Which proposition is the more preposterous?
 
What’s with the Wall Street building garbed in the Stars and Stripes? Odd enough that the architecture impersonates a courthouse or mausoleum. Is the stock market a federal agency? Draped in Red, White and Blue it looks like the command center of the Capitalist empire.

Let the greedy bastards eat cake

Class struggle posterThe tax break for the rich wasn’t enough, the GWOT siphon on the US treasury isn’t flowing fast enough, CEO bonuses aren’t enough, usury is not unregulated enough, bankruptcy laws to ruin small borrowers aren’t predatory enough, the disparity between rich and poor is not obscene enough.
 
It’s not enough that the parasitic rich contribute only smoke and mirrors to the economy. Now the [investment] bank robbers are dropping even that pretext to demand that US taxpayers simply fork over the money. And don’t anyone try to follow them out.

Michael Hudson on paying for the bailout AND the fallout:

It is bad enough for the government to buy $700 billion of bad bank investments at prices that no private-sector investor has been willing to approach. This itself is an undeserved giveaway to the financial institutions that caused the problem by living recklessly in the short run. But making them – and indeed, helping them – pay back this gift with the aid of favorable tax and deregulatory policies will simply shift the cost off their shoulders onto those of bank depositors, credit-card users, mortgage borrowers and hapless pension-fund contributors to the money managers who have taken most of the current income in the form of commissions, salaries and bonuses to themselves. This will sharply add to the price of doing business in the United States, and specifically to the economy’s debt overhead by the banks making even more predatory loans.

It gets worse. In order for the existing junk mortgages to be “made good,” real estate prices must be raised further above the ability to pay for this year’s five million homeowners in arrears and facing default. Is this a good thing? Is it good to raise access prices for housing even more, forcing new homebuyers to go further into debt than ever before to gain access to housing? Mr. Paulson has directed the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA (Federal Housing Authority) to re-inflate the real estate market. They are to pump nearly a trillion dollars into the mortgage market.

Fiscal policy is also to be brought to bear to turn the real estate market around by pressuring cities and states to “help homeowners pay their mortgage debts” by cutting property taxes. The idea is to leave more revenue available for property owners to pay mortgage bankers. Unfortunately, this will oblige cities to make up these cuts by taxing labor and sales, running deeper into debt than they already are, or cutting back their spending on basic infrastructure, education and public services and continue shortchanging their pension funds. This is the price to be exacted to “protect the taxpayer’s interest” by bailing out irresponsible banks. The solution is to let them make even more money by acting in a yet more predatory way.

And:

The most egregious pretense is that the problem is only temporary, not structural. We are merely “freeing up” the market for new loans. This is precisely the opposite of what the classical economists meant by “free markets.” What America has is a bad debt problem, not a “liquidity” problem. There is no “illiquidity” when people refuse to buy a junk mortgage on a property worth only a fraction of the mortgage’s face value. Many of these bad mortgage loans are fraudulent. The Treasury bailout seeks to make $700 billion of fictitious financial claims “real” – that is, way overvalued as compared to their actual worth(lessness).

We have fed you all for a thousand years

One two three four, I declare a class war
 
Here’s an old labor anthem, addressed to the idle rich who claim the fruit of other men’s labor. To whom belongs the wealth generated by work?

We have fed you all for a thousand years

We have fed you all for a thousand years
And you hail us still unfed,
Though there’s never a dollar of all your wealth
But marks the workers’ dead.
We have yielded our best to give you rest
And you lie on crimson wool.
Then if blood be the price of all your wealth,
Good God! We have paid it in full!

There is never a mine blown skyward now
But we’re buried alive for you.
There’s never a wreck drifts shoreward now
But we are its ghastly crew.
Go reckon our dead by the forges red
And the factories where we spin.
If blood be the price of your cursed wealth,
Good God! We have paid it in!

We have fed you all a thousand years-
For that was our doom, you know,
From the days when you chained us in your fields
To the strike a week ago.
You have taken our lives, and our babies and wives,
And we’re told it’s your legal share,
But if blood be the price of your lawful wealth,
Good God! We bought it fair!

And for good measure, from Finian’s Rainbow:
When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich

When the idle poor become the idle rich.
You’ll never know just who is who, or who is which.
Won’t it be rich?
When everyone’s poor relative becomes a ‘Rockefellative’,
And palms no longer itch. What a switch!

When we all wear ermine and plastic teeth
How will we determine who’s who underneath?
And when all your neighbors are upper class,
You won’t know your ‘Joneses’ from your ‘Ass-tors’

Let’s toast the day
The day we drink that drinky up, but with a little pinkie up.
The day on which the idle poor become the idle rich

When a rich man doesn’t want to work
He’s a bon vivant. Yes, he’s a bon vivant.
But when a poor man doesn’t want to work,
He’s a loafer, he’s a lounger,
He’s a lazy good for nothing, he’s a jerk!

When a rich man loses on a horse
Isn’t he a sport, oh isn’t he a sport?
When a poor man looses on a horse
He’s a gambler, he’s a spender,
He’s a low life, he’s a reason for divorce!

When a rich man chases after dames
He’s a man about town, a man about town.
But when a poor man chases after dames
He’s a bounder, he’s a rounder,
He’s a rotter, and a lot of dirty names!

When the idle poor become the idle rich
You’ll never know just who is who or who is which.
No one will see the Irish or the Slav in you
‘Cause when you’re on Park Avenue,
Cornelius and Mike, look alike

When poor Tweedle Dum is rich Tweedle Dee
This discrimination will no longer be.
When we’re in the dough and off of the nut
You won’t know your banker from your but…ler.

Let’s make the switch.
With just a few annuities, we’ll hide these incongruities
With clothes from Abercrombie-Fitch
When the idle poor become the idle rich!

Lucy Parsons and the call for class war

CLASS WAR we have found new homes for the richThe death of Utah Phillips reminded me of a favorite story he would tell about the Haymarket widow Lucy Parsons. Shoot or Stab Them was advice that got the anarchist agitator arrested whenever she tried to speak in public. Lucy’s husband was among those anarchists framed and executed for the infamous 1886 Haymarket bombing. Lucy continued to advocate for labor rights and social change. Here’s how Utah told the rest of the story:

Lucy lived well up into this century,
well into this century, died in 1940.
One time, she was speaking at a big May Day rally
back in the Haymarket in the middle 1930s, she was incredibly old.
She was led carefully up to the rostrum, a multitude of people there.
She had her hair tied back in a tight white bun, her face
a mass of deeply incised lines, deep-set beady black eyes.
She was the image of everybody’s great-grandmother.
She hunched over that podium, hawk-like,
and fixed that multitude with those beady black eyes,
and said: “What I want
is for every greasy grimy tramp
to arm himself with a knife or a gun
and stationing himself at the doorways of the rich
shoot or stab them as they come out.”

Lest her zeal need a little explaining, Lucy Parsons made this declaration at the founding convention of the IWW in 1905:

“Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth.”

Very little remains of the pamphlets which Parsons published over the course of her life. The authorities considered her “more dangerous than a thousand rioters.” They blocked her entrance to public halls and arrested her whenever she addressed a crowd. When Parsons died, the police confiscated and destroyed her library and papers.

A number of websites have emerged to celebrate Lucy Parson’s legacy. Would it be racist of me to suggest that a book entitled FIFTY BLACK WOMEN WHO CHANGED AMERICA should have mentioned Lucy Parsons at least in the index? The list complied by author Amy Alexander included Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Florence Griffith Joyner.

A short biography of Lucy Parsons is reprinted at Red Robin’s Red Channels, Left Links, and Proletarian Places. There’s also the Lucy Parsons Project. Her essay on “The Principles of Anarchism” is archived at LucyParsons.org. An oratory class at the University of Washington includes Parsons’ infamous call to arms:

Lucy E. Parsons, “To Tramps,” Alarm, October 4, 1884.
(Also printed and distributed as a leaflet by the International Working People’s Association.)

TO TRAMPS,
The Unemployed, the Disinherited, and Miserable.

A word to the 35,000 now tramping the streets of this great city, with hands in pockets, gazing listlessly about you at the evidence of wealth and pleasure of which you own no part, not sufficient even to purchase yourself a bit of food with which to appease the pangs of hunger now knawing at your vitals. It is with you and the hundreds of thousands of others similarly situated in this great land of plenty, that I wish to have a word.

Have you not worked hard all your life, since you were old enough for your labor to be of use in the production of wealth? Have you not toiled long, hard and laboriously in producing wealth? And in all those years of drudgery do you not know you have produced thousand upon thousands of dollars’ worth of wealth, which you did not then, do not now, and unless you ACT, never will, own any part in?

Do you not know that when you were harnessed to a machine and that machine harnessed to steam, and thus you toiled your 10, 12 and 16 hours in the 24, that during this time in all these years you received only enough of your labor product to furnish yourself the bare, coarse necessaries of life, and that when you wished to purchase anything for yourself and family it always had to be of the cheapest quality?

If you wanted to go anywhere you had to wait until Sunday, so little did you receive for your unremitting toil that you dare not stop for a moment, as it were?

And do you not know that with all your squeezing, pinching and economizing you never were enabled to keep but a few days ahead of the wolves of want? And that at last when the caprice of your employer saw fit to create an artificial famine by limiting production, that the fires in the furnace were extinguished, the iron horse to which you had been harnessed was stilled; the factory door locked up, you turned upon the highway a tramp, with hunger in your stomach and rags upon your back? Yet your employer told you that it was overproduction which made him close up.

Who cared for the bitter tears and heart-pangs of your loving wife and helpless children, when you bid them a loving “God bless you” and turned upon the tramper’s road to seek employment elsewhere? I say, who cared for those heartaches and pains? You were only a tramp now, to be execrated and denounced as a “worthless tramp and a vagrant” by that very class who had been engaged all those years in robbing you and yours.

Then can you not see that the “good boss” or the “bad boss” cuts no figure whatever? that you are the common prey of both, and that their mission is simply robbery? Can you not see that it is the INDUSTRIAL SYSTEM and not the “boss” which must be changed?

Now, when all these bright summer and autumn days are going by and you have no employment, and consequently can save up nothing, and when the winter’s blast sweeps down from the north and all the earth is wrapped in a shroud of ice, hearken not to the voice of the hyprocrite who will tell you that it was ordained of God that “the poor ye have always”; or to the arrogant robber who will say to you that you “drank up all your wages last summer when you had work, and that is the reason why you have nothing now, and the workhouse or the workyard is too good for you; that you ought to be shot.” And shoot you they will if you present your petitions in too emphatic a manner. So hearken not to them, but list!

Next winter when the cold blasts are creeping through the rents in your seedy garments, when the frost is biting your feet through the holes in your worn-out shoes, and when all wretchedness seems to have centered in and upon you, when misery has marked you for her own and life has become a burden and existence a mockery, when you have walked the streets by day and slept upon hard boards by night, and at last determine by your own hand to take your life, – for you would rather go out into utter nothingness than to longer endure an existence which has become such a burden – so, perchance, you determine to dash yourself into the cold embrace of the lake rather than longer suffer thus. But halt, before you commit this last tragic act in the drama of your simple existence.

Stop! Is there nothing you can do to insure those whom you are about to orphan, against a like fate? The waves will only dash over you in mockery of your rash act; but stroll you down the avenues of the rich and look through the magnificent plate windows into their voluptuous homes, and here you will discover the very identical robbers who have despoiled you and yours. Then let your tragedy be enacted here!

Awaken them from their wanton sport at your expense! Send forth your petition and let them read it by the red glare of destruction. Thus when you cast “one long lingering look behind” you can be assured that you have spoken to these robbers in the only language which they have ever been able to understand, for they have never yet deigned to notice any petition from their slaves that they were not compelled to read by the red glare bursting from the cannon’s mouths, or that was not handed to them upon the point of the sword.

You need no organization when you make up your mind to present this kind of petition. In fact, an organization would be a detriment to you; but each of you hungry tramps who read these lines, avail yourselves of those little methods of warfare which Science has placed in the hands of the poor man, and you will become a power in this or any other land.

Learn the use of explosives!

Socially Retarded Animated Sphincter

Who ran over my cane yesterday.

I had gone downtown, complete with my bicycle and trailer, to pick up a computer for my landlady. (it’s a nice one too…) Just by co-inky-dink it was right across the street from Toons and in a truly amazing co-inky-dink Eric happened to be there… and Marie, and we shared some Vegetarian Munchies and good fellowship, then I went on home… with a minor mishap on the way.

I’d gone about a block or so, and the load shifted on my trailer.

I stopped in the alley and was rearranging the stuff when some freak Yuppie in a big ass SUV came down the alley. Seeing me in distress and struggling to get everything done so as not to inconvenience folks, by dropping everything off my trailer or something, he did the natural thing, instead of spending maybe a half minute of his time turning around and going out one of the 5 or 6 other exits from the alley, he crowded past me, and in the process of so doing, ran smooth over my cane.

I only assume it was “he” all I could see was a massive Grey Monster Car running over my cane and barely missing me. Then drove off like nothing had happened.

What could possibly be so damned important on a Friday evening that he couldn’t invest a half minute of his time avoiding actually running over somebody’s only means of transportation? When I’m not on the bicycle, that cane is my lifeline.

Jonah's CaneIt’s still useable, as one can see from the picture, just ugly as home-made soap.

(I need a better camera)

Maybe he thought I was homeless, which shouldn’t make any difference. People ALL have rights… unless the rich or Near-Rich want to take those rights, in which case never mind…

This action is mind-boggling rudeness. If he had run me personally over, instead of just my cane, I strongly believe it would have made him not one whit more difference.

This is a not very gentle reminder that the first shots in any Class War are never fired by the “lower class”.

I’m sure it’s possible to drive an SUV without being a total asswipe. Just seems this guy didn’t want to put out that much effort.