Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

“Counter-culture”

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Michael Lind posits on Salon.com that we are witnessing a conservative counter-culture not unlike the progressive revolution of the ’60s and ’70s.

My only question to him is: So when can we expect the assassinations of notable conservative leaders to begin?

Actually, you know what? Fuck that:

When do we get to lynch Republicans and beat them up at the polls? When do we get to target and murder pro-life activists for stepping into the wrong side of town? When do we get to beat heteros to within an inch of their lives on the fear that they might try to hit on people of the opposite gender? When do we get to make sure their revolution isn’t televised? When will white men get overlooked for management positions and get paid less than their distaff counterparts? When can we spray Tea Partiers with fire hoses and use live ammunition if they come in too large a number? When can we burn down megachurches? When will white men be racially profiled, stopped randomly and frisked on the off-chance they may be investment bankers? Can we now burn a giant Star of David on Pat Robertson’s lawn? When can we blacklist known members of the GOP from getting a loan or getting a job in certain industries? When will rednecks be barred from restaurants? When can we burn down rich neighborhoods while the cops and national guard protect the poor? When will having too many white people drive down a neighborhood’s value?

It’s so totally a legitimate counter-culture and not cynical astro-turf at all, what with all the anger and none of the persecution!

Gumshoes

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Najibullah Zazi hasn’t seen much of the national news because the plot he had to bomb the NYC subway was foiled – within days of the potential attack – by the NYPD and the FBI, making the entire thing non-news and business as usual.

That’s some funky business.

Leslie Gelb, formerly of the Council for Foreign Relations once pointed out that the NYPD Intelligence Unit is better funded and gets more done than the State Dept. Yep. And it’s nice to see the rule of law – complete with proper warrants and lack of torture – prevail in a non-aggrandizing manner.

Three Things

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1) This shit would not have occurred had Modern Warfare 2 had dedicated servers.

2) Anybody else find it somewhat disturbing that the producers of a game have the power to ban people who have paid for the game from the game, for any reason?

3) Since when was modding verboten in a multiplayer FPS? Oh right, when Infinity Ward wanted to up its profits by selling what modders used to make for free.

And this is why PC gamers look down upon the console crowd. It’s a barefaced marketing tool wherein the product and its distribution is under total control at all times by its purveyors. By buying a console you are locked in as a captive audience to whatever arbitrary rules the company allows, including forcing you to convert your money to Disney Dollars, selling what used to be free, and strictly controlling the environment under which you can play.

Just like what Bank of America does to its debtors, making sure your target market stays in debt to the company store is fantastically profitable, but it’s ultimately a losing proposition.

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  • Published: Feb 24th, 2010
  • Category: Society
  • Comments: 4

Facts Rendered Obsolete

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Film at 11.

This. A thousand times this. Well, a hundred times for Leonard Pitts. The other nine hundred go to Stephen Colbert’s White House Press Correspondent’s Dinner performance.

Tax-Dodging Survivalist Motherfuckers

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Or “terrorists,” for short.

Joseph Stack tried to set himself up as a church to avoid paying taxes, then when that ploy failed railed against the Catholic Church. He took a tax code revision that clarified whether IT workers were independent contractors or employees (and thus subject to payroll taxes) as a direct attack on another of his schemes. He got very incensed that his family was caught by the IRS and forced to pay back taxes. And he himself admits to a relatively light tax burden:

While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair
share of taxes (as can I)

And so when he tried to burn the Austin IRS office down, instead of being reported as the textbook case of terrorism that he so clearly perpetrated, there’s a marked reticence in the mainstream media to call him such. I mean, he’s domestic! White! And Christian! Never mind the last white guy to try to blow up a government building…

Indeed

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Evan Narcisse of the Atlantic rather adeptly illustrates science fiction’s ability to make poignant political and cultural statements when written well; in this case in the first two iterations of the Mass Effect trilogy.

It’s funny, considering the debates I’ve had with folks on the same topic, especially regarding the Krogan – basically, that even in hypothetical circumstances people are quick to accept the rationalization for the destruction of another race so long as it’s not them and to exploit the Other so long as it is always kept under one’s thumb.

They stick to the hardest line “they’re expendable, we’re not” colonialist attitudes with nary a thought to abstract the concept – The Sepoy Rebellions and their subsequent retaliatory crackdowns, for instance, or the Warsaw Uprising. Afghanistan – under the British, the Soviets, the Americans.

Even now we teach soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight a proxy war that they are likely never to win but gives us an excuse to leave. Our legacy as an empire is marked a great deal by how well we keep the death our policies cause at arm’s length, politically and socially. Heady concepts to stuff into a softcore sci-fi thriller, but that’s what the genre is for, after all.

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