February 26, 2012

Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault discuss the nature of power, among other things.

February 1, 2012
For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarcerations on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today — perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system — in prison, on probation, or on parole — than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America — more than six million — than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.
Adam Gopnik. 2012. “The Caging of America” in The New Yorker. January 30, pp. 72-77.

newyorker:

Tim Barber’s Elusive Young People

Tim Barber, former photo editor at Vice and the man behind the online gallery tinyvices.com, has a new book out called “Untitled Photographs.” This compilation of snapshots, which Barber took over the course of fifteen years, is perhaps best summed up by Miranda July, who writes the intro:

What you have here are a few categories of pictures. One category I would maybe call Young People who, from the look of things, just had intercourse, right before or after the picture was taken. Next there is the category, I don’t know what to call it, but Tim seems to have not been able to catch the person in the viewfinder, which is bound to happen, and will probably happen less and less often as he gets more experienced. I will say that he gets an A for effort on these because looking at them, you can almost tell that a person just left or was just about to get there.
January 26, 2012


We Bring Fear
- - -
The reporter may die for committing a simple error. He wrote an accurate news story. He did not know this was dangerous, because he thought the story was very small and unimportant. He was wrong and that was the beginning of all his trouble.
This is because there are two Mexicos.
There is the one reported by the U.S. press, a place where the Mexican president is fighting a valiant war against the evil forces of the drug world and using the incorruptible Mexican army as his warriors. This Mexico has newspapers, courts, and laws and is seen by the U.S. government as a sister republic.
It does not exist.
There is a second Mexico, where the war is for drugs, for the enormous money to be made in drugs, where the police and the military fight for their share, where the press is restrained by the murder of reporters and feasts on a steady diet of bribes, and where the line between government and the drug world has never existed.
The reporter lives in this second Mexico.
Until very recently, he liked it just fine. In fact, he loved it because he loves Mexico and has never thought of leaving. Even though he lives near the border, he has not bothered to cross for almost ten years.
But now, things gave changed. He has researched the humanitarian treaties signed by the United States, and he thinks, given these commitments by the American government, he and his boy will be given asylum. He has decided to tell the authorities nothing but the truth. His research has failed to uncover one little fact: No Mexican reporter has ever been given political asylum by the United States of America.
Suddenly, he sees a checkpoint, and there is no way to escape it.
Men in uniforms pull him over.
He is frightened but discovers to his relief that this checkpoint is run by the Mexican migration service and so, maybe, they will not give him up to the army.
"Why are you driving so fast?"
"I am afraid. There are people trying to kill me."
"The narcos?"
"No, the soldiers."
"Who are you?"
He hands over his press pass.
"Oh, you are the one, they searched your house."
"I have had problems."
"Those sons of bitches  do whatever they want. Go ahead. Good luck."
He roars away. When he stops at the port entry at Antelope Wells in the boot-heel of New Mexico, U.S. Customs asks, as they always do, what he is bringing from Mexico.
He says, “We bring fear.” 
- - -

Charles Bowden. 2010. Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and The Global Economy’s New Killing Fields. New York: Nation Books, pp. 18-19
Image: Murder in the afternoon, Juarez
Photo: Josh Rushing

We Bring Fear

- - -

The reporter may die for committing a simple error. He wrote an accurate news story. He did not know this was dangerous, because he thought the story was very small and unimportant. He was wrong and that was the beginning of all his trouble.

This is because there are two Mexicos.

There is the one reported by the U.S. press, a place where the Mexican president is fighting a valiant war against the evil forces of the drug world and using the incorruptible Mexican army as his warriors. This Mexico has newspapers, courts, and laws and is seen by the U.S. government as a sister republic.

It does not exist.

There is a second Mexico, where the war is for drugs, for the enormous money to be made in drugs, where the police and the military fight for their share, where the press is restrained by the murder of reporters and feasts on a steady diet of bribes, and where the line between government and the drug world has never existed.

The reporter lives in this second Mexico.

Until very recently, he liked it just fine. In fact, he loved it because he loves Mexico and has never thought of leaving. Even though he lives near the border, he has not bothered to cross for almost ten years.

But now, things gave changed. He has researched the humanitarian treaties signed by the United States, and he thinks, given these commitments by the American government, he and his boy will be given asylum. He has decided to tell the authorities nothing but the truth. His research has failed to uncover one little fact: No Mexican reporter has ever been given political asylum by the United States of America.

Suddenly, he sees a checkpoint, and there is no way to escape it.

Men in uniforms pull him over.

He is frightened but discovers to his relief that this checkpoint is run by the Mexican migration service and so, maybe, they will not give him up to the army.

"Why are you driving so fast?"

"I am afraid. There are people trying to kill me."

"The narcos?"

"No, the soldiers."

"Who are you?"

He hands over his press pass.

"Oh, you are the one, they searched your house."

"I have had problems."

"Those sons of bitches  do whatever they want. Go ahead. Good luck."

He roars away. When he stops at the port entry at Antelope Wells in the boot-heel of New Mexico, U.S. Customs asks, as they always do, what he is bringing from Mexico.

He says, “We bring fear.” 

- - -

Charles Bowden. 2010. Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and The Global Economy’s New Killing Fields. New York: Nation Books, pp. 18-19

Image: Murder in the afternoon, Juarez

Photo: Josh Rushing

In her ‘Americas Program’ column on September 3, 2009, entitled ‘Drug War Doublespeak,” Laura Carlsen insisted: ‘Drug-war doublespeak pervades and defines the Mexico-United States relationship today. The discourse aims not to win the war on drugs, but to assure funding and public support for the military model of combating illegal drug trafficking, despite the losses and overwhelming evidence that current strategies are not working.’
Robert Joe Stout. 2012. “Does the United States and Mexico Really Want the Drug War to Succeed?” in Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine, January 2012, p. 38.
People call many of the victims ‘malandros,’ bad guys, riffraff, human garbage. Sometimes they use the phrase ‘limpieza social,’ social cleansing, to describe these killings. The truth is the fewer than five percent of homicides in Mexico will ever be investigated or solved. But what is increasignly clear is that if this is a war, it is being waged, at least in part, by powerful forces of the Mexican government against poor and marginalized sectors of the Mexican people.
Molly Molloy. 2011. “Introduction” in El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin. New York: Nation Books, p. 19.
January 25, 2012
latimes:

Sterilized by North Carolina: Elaine Riddick was only 14 when the state decided that she was not capable of mothering children and quietly cauterized her fallopian tubes. The $50,000 now offered to her only makes her angrier.
Between 1929 and 1974, nearly 7,600 people were sterilized under orders from North Carolina’s Eugenics Board. Nearly 85 percent were women or girls, some as young as 10. The state estimates that 1,500 to 2,000 of the victims are still alive.
The board’s declared goal was to purify the state’s population by weeding out the mentally ill, diseased, feebleminded and others deemed undesirable.
In a 1950 pamphlet, the Human Betterment League of North Carolina said the board was protecting “the children of future generations and the community at large,” adding that “you wouldn’t expect a moron to run a train or a feebleminded woman to teach school.”
The pamphlet went on: “It is not barnyard castration!”
More…

Image: Elaine Riddick, 57, listens as Dr. Laura Gerald, unseen, chairwoman of the Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force, announces on Jan. 10 the panel’s recommendation of a $50,000 payment to each victim. The meeting was held in Raleigh, N.C.
Photo: Shawn Rocco / Raleigh News & Observer
Text: David Zucchino / Los Angeles Times

latimes:

Sterilized by North Carolina: Elaine Riddick was only 14 when the state decided that she was not capable of mothering children and quietly cauterized her fallopian tubes. The $50,000 now offered to her only makes her angrier.

Between 1929 and 1974, nearly 7,600 people were sterilized under orders from North Carolina’s Eugenics Board. Nearly 85 percent were women or girls, some as young as 10. The state estimates that 1,500 to 2,000 of the victims are still alive.

The board’s declared goal was to purify the state’s population by weeding out the mentally ill, diseased, feebleminded and others deemed undesirable.

In a 1950 pamphlet, the Human Betterment League of North Carolina said the board was protecting “the children of future generations and the community at large,” adding that “you wouldn’t expect a moron to run a train or a feebleminded woman to teach school.”

The pamphlet went on: “It is not barnyard castration!”

More…

Image: Elaine Riddick, 57, listens as Dr. Laura Gerald, unseen, chairwoman of the Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force, announces on Jan. 10 the panel’s recommendation of a $50,000 payment to each victim. The meeting was held in Raleigh, N.C.

Photo: Shawn Rocco / Raleigh News & Observer

Text: David Zucchino / Los Angeles Times

- - -

Este video fue realizado por 11.11 Cambio Social como parte de la campaña “Racismo en México.”

Se hizo un trabajo de investigación con niños y niñas mexicanos/as, replicando el experimento con niños/as y muñecos diseñado por Kenneth y Mammie Clark en los años treinta en EUA.

Aquí se muestra parte de los resultados y los niños y las niñas que aparecen en este video reflejan las respuestas de la mayoría de niños/as que fueron entrevistados/as.

Dada la complejidad de la temática, se realizó un Taller de Racismo con los/as niños/as que participaron y sus familias, para generar un espacio de reflexión y contención de las emociones generadas en este intercambio.

January 21, 2012
In the realm of the ‘serious’ traditional institutional news media in the US, increasingly, speculation masquerades as fact, gossip and tripe stand in for analysis, and the titillating and inane trump the sober and sane. The ongoing corporate media feeding frenzy at the trough of the factually groundless and absurd has only intensified over the past decade, whether promulgating faux fears — from killer bee attacks to various flu viruses — or pushing nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and the Orwellian, nebulously defined yet unending War on Terror. Fear and innuendo rule the headlines of the day while television programs are dominated by opinion journalism, empty technological displays, and elaborate computer graphics (perhaps casting the shadow in Plato’s cave). In short, for establishment ‘news’ as we have known it in the last quarter of the twentieth century, it really is the ‘end of times,’ and no amount of ‘reform’ attenuating the current commercially dominated system from the top down will likely resuscitate it, at least in journalistic terms.
Mickey Duff. 2011. “Moving Beyond Media Reform for Censored in 2012,” in Censored 2012: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2010-2011. New York: Seven Stories Press, p. 11-12.
pasttensevancouver:

Communist Meetings, Thursday 22, January, 1931
For some context, see “Vancouver’s Red Army”
Source: The Vancouver Sun

pasttensevancouver:

Communist Meetings, Thursday 22, January, 1931

For some context, see Vancouver’s Red Army”

Source: The Vancouver Sun

Since 9/11, the Bush administration’s response to terrorism has primarily been formulated within the framework of war. The administration argues that the ‘war on terror’ is not merely a metaphorical war but a real war waged on many fronts. Yet these are nevertheless metaphorical underpinnings to the ‘war on terror.’ The characterization of 9/11 as an act of war (rather than, as others have argued, a criminal act) and the response to terrorism as a ‘war on terror’ (rather than an investigation into terrorist crimes) is a discursive achievement. This achievement has naturalized one characterization of 9/11 and America’s response to terrorism as the dominant way to talk about the issue. Moreover, it has laid the groundwork for launching the very real military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Adam Hodges. 2011. The “War on Terror” Narrative: Discourse and Intertextuality in the Construction and Contestation of Sociopolitical Reality. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 23.
December 16, 2011

utnereader:

Vandalizing a statue of a priest by sawing off its face and replacing it with an arrangement of blank tiles, Banksy’s now “pixellated” visage stands to be a comment on recent child abuse crimes perpetrated by the church.

utnereader:

Vandalizing a statue of a priest by sawing off its face and replacing it with an arrangement of blank tiles, Banksy’s now “pixellated” visage stands to be a comment on recent child abuse crimes perpetrated by the church.

(Source: minusmanhattan)

December 12, 2011
cavetocanvas:

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Bird Box), c. 1948
From the National Galleries of Scotland:

Cornell was a keen amateur naturalist and bird-watcher. He began using engravings and cut-out pictures of birds, as well as stuffed birds, from 1942. For Cornell, birds were a symbol of heaven and freedom, their flight path linking heaven and earth. The artist made a number of ‘habitats’, such as this work, in the 1940s and 1950s, using natural materials collected on walks in the woods and fields of Long Island. The box recalls the man-made environments in museums, designed to recreate slices of nature and used for educational purposes.

cavetocanvas:

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Bird Box), c. 1948

From the National Galleries of Scotland:

Cornell was a keen amateur naturalist and bird-watcher. He began using engravings and cut-out pictures of birds, as well as stuffed birds, from 1942. For Cornell, birds were a symbol of heaven and freedom, their flight path linking heaven and earth. The artist made a number of ‘habitats’, such as this work, in the 1940s and 1950s, using natural materials collected on walks in the woods and fields of Long Island. The box recalls the man-made environments in museums, designed to recreate slices of nature and used for educational purposes.

pasttensevancouver:

Mounted police + demonstrators, Heatley Avenue, Tuesday 18 June 1935
Police chased demonstrators around the East End for about three hours, clubbing and gassing them after dispersing a march that was part of a strike. The incident became known as the Battle of Ballantyne Pier. It marked the first time a city police force used tear gas in Canada.
Source: City of Vancouver Archives #371-1129

pasttensevancouver:

Mounted police + demonstrators, Heatley Avenue, Tuesday 1June 1935

Police chased demonstrators around the East End for about three hours, clubbing and gassing them after dispersing a march that was part of a strike. The incident became known as the Battle of Ballantyne Pier. It marked the first time a city police force used tear gas in Canada.

Source: City oVancouver Archives #371-1129