Pop quiz

Oct. 21st, 2017 06:08 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
What’s more embarrassing:

1) a Kekistan flag, proving that you spend most of your time on porn message boards?
2) a Proud Boys flag, proclaiming that you never masturbate, and which is literally a giant cock?
3) being a cop with a Punisher water bottle that you quickly hide when CP24 cameras come around?


Pics of fash under the cut )Pics of fash under the cut )

sabotabby: (furiosa)
There's a good William S. Burroughs bit called "Did I Ever Tell You About the Man Who Taught His Asshole To Talk."

Imagine that, but instead of one man, it's many men, and not one asshole, but many assholes, and someone has obtained a transcript of the conversation the assholes have amongst themselves, and then they got Trump elected.

It would probably look like this: Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream.

I legit need to go take a shower now.

sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
I vaguely heard that the US was getting an eclipse (as in this was all over my FB feed) but assumed it wasn't going to affect here, but I found out yesterday that, no, indeed, we were getting 72% of an eclipse. A woman's paycheque worth of an eclipse. So I made last-minute plans with [personal profile] metalana. She is an A++ good influence on me as she makes me shoot RAW, so they came out slightly better than expected, and also made pinhole viewers since getting eclipse glasses at the last possible moment is not a thing that can be done. At any rate, we didn't need to bother, because during an eclipse, the usual rules of capitalism and urban living get suspended. Everyone came out to the beach and people were happy to share their eclipse glasses and show off their homemade viewers, which ranged from two pieces of paper to someone's modded-up telescope. The telescope people invited us to hang with them and gave us Coke and were generally lovely. Pointing a DSLR at the sun is not as dangerous as pointing your eyes at the sun, but is kind of pointless unless you have more sophisticated gear than either of us have, but I did get some awesome shots of shadows and things we found whilst wandering around.

Pictures that are not pictures of the sun )But let's be honest here; cool photography and socializing with your neighbours is not what makes Eclipse Day great. The best thing is that, after a number of my friends joked that Cheeto Benito was going to look directly at the sun like a fucking moron, CHEETO BENITO FUCKING LOOKED AT THE SUN LIKE A FUCKING MORON. This is the actual best thing to happen and I am so overjoyed you have no idea.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
 There's so much I want to write about and link to lately, but of course it's June and I'm a schoolteacher, so I've just been reblogging things on Facebook. And that's no way to live. Here are some highlights of the week.

The story gripping the city is of the Toronto Life story about a pair of self-involved, clueless rich kids who bought a Parkdale rooming house, sight unseen, and were shocked that people still lived there and also that you can't hire a contractor based on the fact that he's cycling by. This is all in the context of violent purging of the poor in the Parkdale neighbourhood, most notably an asshole landlord attempting to murder a tenant for striking against deplorable conditions. Quite a lot of pixels have been spilled over this issue, but the best response was my friend Todd's GoFundMe page (you can still donate), and the Metro interview with him that followed. Great stuff, and perfect timing—the Parkdale Rent Strike has the potential to be the most successful political action since BLM-TO forced Pride to ban uniformed, armed cops from getting paid to march in a parade that celebrated the very folks they like to beat up.

The Tories have a new Head Asshole, Andrew Scheer. No one has heard of this guy, and he conveniently had a lot of his more disgusting positions wiped from the intertubes. However, the Streisand Effect is still in play, so you can totally go and read what he's about. Spoiler: It ain't good. Fortunately, he has all the charisma of a mysteriously damp toilet paper roll, so I don't think he has much of a chance against Prince Justin or whoever the NDP nominates.

Do I have a clear preference for an NDP leader? I am shocked to say that no, I do not. I actually like multiple candidates. This is weird. I would be happy if Charlie Angus, Jagmeet Singh (with some reservations), or Niki Ashton won. I tend not to put a lot of hope in electoral politics but I do like having someone I can vote for and campaign for happily rather than someone who's the lesser of three evils.

Speaking of Niki, she's preggers. Yay Niki! She announced it on Twitter, because we live in the darkest possible timeline, and minor douchecanoe Brian Lilley got upset because she did not specify that she was pregnant with a human fetus. What else might she be pregnant with? Speculation abounded. Was it an alien? A tank-human hybrid? A dinosaur? No one knew until she clarified, kinda.

The coolest thing to happen around these parts is that the Ontario Liberals—who I don't even tend to like—announced that the minimum wage would rise to $15 by 2019, along with several other good labour reforms. This is great news, though in Toronto, where the cost of living is stupidly high compared to the rest of the province, it doesn't go far enough for my liking. Almost everyone is in favour, except for this whiny fuckhead, who is such an incompetent businessman that he can't afford to pay people to work for him. He was shocked and appalled to find himself the target of a boycott, and put up an even whinier sign that was immediately mocked for obvious reasons.

I try not to ever think about Barbara Kay, but a hero at Canadaland read that pro-genocide book that she recommended so that you don't have to.

Speaking of genocide against the First Nations, guess how much Trudeau's government spent fighting against indigenous rights in court? #sunnyways #colonialismbutfromtheheartoutwards

In international news, though I hate to go there:

Ivanka Trump makes her shoes in a Chinese sweatshop (no surprise there) and three activists have been disappeared for looking into it.

Laurie Penny continues to be my internet girlfriend. Here's a scathing editorial about freezed peach.

Finally, it is extremely important that we know about whether Melania is getting, and I quote, "federally-funded side peen." Yeah, you're welcome.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
 Things can't possibly get any worse politically, right? I mean, we're already in the Darkest Possible Timeline. What is Cheeto Benito going to do next, open a portal and just up and summon Cthulhu—

portal to hell
"Hold my beer!"

Yeah, we're all fucked.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
it can't happen hereSince no one else has finished their three YA books yet, I get to read adult books until they're done. Yay! I just finished It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, and I have a lot of feels, and need to talk about it.

You may have heard of it as "that dystopian novel written in 1935 that suddenly ended up on the bestseller list again because it predicted Trump's presidency." It is, basically, that—written to warn Americans, well before WWII, about the dangers of fascism in a populist mask. It's not the only such book, but there's something particularly resonant in it—probably because the weird-looking, jovial, outsider president is just so very Cheeto Benito that it's deeply chilling to read.

I also very much related to the protagonist, despite the fact that he's completely a liberal who complains at great length about how the Marxists are a bit shit. (I have to say, as a commie myself, the book's scathing portrayal of communists is pretty much accurate.) This guy has to be one of my favourite dystopian fiction protagonists, as he really just wants to be left alone to sleep in, get laid, and read proper literature, but people keep being fascist at him so he has to actually go out and fight. That's me in a nutshell, or would be before Netflix was invented.

It does pretty well on gender—again, 1935, just in case you're ever inclined to write off a lack of interesting and complex female characters in a book as a product of its time—there are multiple overtly feminist women, one of whom gets to kick way more ass than any of the male characters. It's worse on sexual orientation, if only because the only prominent queer character is based on Ernst Röhm and meets a similar fate (it's unknown whether the writing of the book was completed before the Night of the Long Knives, but one doesn't have to be all that prescient to guess at what happens to people like Röhm under fascist regimes, or Milo Yiannopoulos, for that matter).

At any rate, I was absolutely engrossed and if you want a likely portrait of what the next four years will bring, give this book written over 80 years ago a read. And never sleep again.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
 Discuss. I'm going to sleep. Hope there's still a world when I wake up.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
You know, there's so much about Cheeto Benito's wholesale looting of the scraps of the American Empire that I have to turn my ragebutton off for much of the day just to be mildly functional. Don't get me wrong; I'm angry all the time, but I have to still get up and go to work and do the laundry and grocery shopping and make sure the cats are fed, so I can't be a full-time ball of flaming fury.

But every day or so something happens that is so completely over-the-top that I just drop everything and go like this.

Today, it's Bono, the end product of nearly two centuries of liberalism and Glamour's Woman of the Year*, praising a man who believes in electrocuting gay children for his work on AIDS research.

I got nothin'. Well, that's not really true. I have nothing but hatred and contempt for Cheeto Benito and his bargain basement Stormtroopers. But there is only one species of lifeform lower than a fascist, and that's a collaborator. It's a scumsucking tax-evader who claims the moral high ground when it benefits him and instantly asslicks the Alt Reich because the glamour of standing next to ultimate power gets him hot.

So in lieu of projectile vomiting enough to earn a cameo on season 2 of the Santa Clarita Diet, here's the only thing that helps:

* That's not a transphobic joke, by the way. That's an actual thing that happened.
sabotabby: (teacher lady)
DeVos is the actual worst. It's as though everything I hate in the world took a massive shit and then someone made a shit golem out of it and appointed it Secretary of Education.

Still, I ought to point out that both sides of the Billionaire Party had a hand in this one. It's not like Arne Duncan didn't thoroughly gut public education, and the Democrats love their charter schools, standardized testing, and industry disruptors as much as the Republicans.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
 It was cold. It was well-attended. There were too many speeches and not enough marching, given that the temperature was minus balls.

Much too cold to take proper photos, but here are the two I managed. Note the dudes with guns on top of the US Consulate, despite the fact that it's a Saturday and it was closed:

protesters us consulate

ETA: Better picture, taken not by me, giving a sense of scale:

big crowd of protesters


Feb. 3rd, 2017 07:26 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
 How does one become a "professional anarchist"?

Asking for a friend.
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
Well, that was something.

Despite my awesome powers of prognostication, I did not expect Cheeto Benito's Alt Reich to act as quickly or decisively as they did. My entire experience with authoritarian far-right governments in North America has been that of a slow-burn, frog-in-boiling-water type situation where most of the bad shit goes down in ways far too complex for the average citizen to understand. But this is different. This is a week, and we're all in such turmoil that it is impossible to keep track of all of the horrible shit happening at once.

This is by design, of course. You are meant to be confused and overwhelmed. The point is chaos and disruption. Much of Trump's moves won't stick, can't stick, but the intention is to screw fast and hard, to leave any opposition or resistance bewildered and under-resourced.

One of the reasons why I no longer identify as an anarchist (though I still have many anarchist sympathies) is that I actually believe that a big, lumbering bureaucracy is a healthy thing. It stops, for example, one psychopathic manchild elected by a deluded fraction of the populace from acting on every single chubby he gets when he's sitting on his gold toilet. I may not be that familiar with the US political system, but there are supposed to be checks and balances to prevent this kind of thing. Trump has decided to cut through all that, and because the US government is not typically accustomed to a sole petty tyrant doing whatever the fuck he wants, it is not in a position to respond immediately. And this is what cause the massive clusterfucks at the airports.

This is the age of immediate gratification, and the US now has a Führer who acts only based on immediate gratification. The system may respond, but it's a few hours behind, and those few hours can mean a lot if the bad guy's only plan is to smash and destroy as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

There are a number of avenues for resistance, as many are currently circulating. To be honest, I'm mainly concerned with the ones I can help with as a Canadian. I'm super-pissed, by the way, in the way you can only be when you have a full, normal life going on and you need to halt it because every action that is not directed towards removing Trump from office seems like a wasted action*. In the next few months and years, I may be a stop along an underground railroad, but it can't just be action on an individual or even small group basis.

So here are a few things:

Trump is a Nazi, and anyone who supports him is a Nazi. This is how you need to view things from now on. No compromise, no quarter, no platform. Do not allow representatives of the American state to enter your country. Cut ties with your Trump-supporting relatives. Picture them all in Stormtrooper helmets or SS badges if it makes it easier. They have voluntarily given up their right to be considered humans.

Any company that supports Trumpism is the enemy—more so than regular capitalists. Delete the Uber app. You shouldn't have it in the first place—I never have, because I look at them and I see the last chance for a peaceful social democracy in which workers are able to earn a living wage yanked from under us. Punching Nazis in the face is good, but punching them in the wallet is just as effective.

Donate to the ACLU. They are the first line of defence, as we saw this weekend. I just donated and you should too.

Write, call, email, tweet your MP or whatever elected representative you have. Any government that does business or maintains ties with the US is practicing appeasement, and ought to be treated with the respect due to Neville Chamberlain or Vichy France. We should all be withdrawing our ambassadors, shuttering our embassies, and threatening to cut business ties. I don't even care if the latter is realistic right now—these are not realistic times.

Trudeau's tweets are not enough. It is public grandstanding, not actual policy. The quota was capped at 1000 and is now closed again.

Fight fascism wherever you are, in any way you can, be it with your words or fists or finances. The discourse is changing. Nick Kouvalis, officially the Worst Person In Canadian Politics**, gets away with calling people "cucks" on Twitter now. Fight them. Fight them all. We are at war.

* Incidentally, though, in the future, can we please allow the entire world to vote for US presidents, not just Americans? If your actions are going to affect everyone, we ought to get a say.
** Campaign manager for Rob Ford and now Kellie Leich.
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
 [livejournal.com profile] resonant  put me in mind of an important point, which is how closely the Cheeto Benito parallels our own Honourable Wifebeater, Rob Ford. Which had me thinking about timelines. There is a fundamental difference between a competent reactionary and a wildly out-of-control narcissist, and I really believe that the Tangerine Rapeclown falls into the latter category.

So here is my projected timeline for the major phases of the Trump Administration, written here with all of the scientific rigour and accuracy of a Nate Silver poll.

Year One: Trump is allowed to rampage unmolested*. He sells off what is left of America's public assets to the lowest bidder—well, maybe the highest, depending on how closely he is related to them. The media cannot respond, because they have no framework for this. Any genuinely populist moves are blocked by the party apparatus, whereas reactionary legislation, particularly if it targets women, people of colour, trans people, or poor people, gets rubber-stamped. Towards the end of the first year, rumours of a scandal—a really serious one, more serious than Russia or golden showers or raping teenagers—is uncovered, mainly by the non-serious press.**

Year Two: The Year of the Breakdown. Trump's further actions are stalled by a hostile party establishment, and Mike Pence takes over as the de facto president. Expect at least one hospitalization or arrest, though charges are not laid. You will almost certainly see Trump's dick by the end of the year, either via still photography or, more likely, video.

🍆 you're 🍆 welcome 🍆 sweet 🍆 dreams 🍆

Year Three: I expect that he will die. Not, I should note, as the result of foul play or revolution, but these big loud guys tend to not live very long. Heart failure, exacerbated by the stresses of the job and the staggering quantities of Colombia's finest going up his nose. Pence is sworn in as president. Tearful eulogies, in which his good points are stressed at the expense of all actual reality.

Year Four, and thereafter: Get ready for the era of Trumpism Without Trump. Understand that the sole purpose of allowing a creature like this to be elected is to allow the next guy, who looks less like a clown and has policy objectives, to look reasonable by comparison. You will not get your country back. You never had your country.

Sorry about this but I'm probably right.

* Unlike all the women in his life, amirite?
** Think Buzzfeed or, before Peter Thiel showed his commitment to FREEZED PEACH, Gawker
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
 The only thing worse than fascism is amateur fascism. Sloppy fascism. This isn't Leni Riefenstahl, neoclassical architecture—let alone Futurism—or Hugo Boss*. This is fumbling, belching, red-cheeked and unshaven, unsophisticated fascism. This isn't even skinheads with swastika tattoos; at least they have an aesthetic, good taste in boots. This should be repulsive to anyone with sense. I don't get it. Why does your nation aspire to this? What makes it appealing?

I have a certain affection for the noblesse oblige brand of conservatism, old money and all that. It may be hideous but it gilds opera seats and knows how to spot a well-fitted suit. Of course, they're all secretly pigfuckers, but they do it behind closed doors. Before these next four years are up, I promise you that you will see Trump's cock hanging out in all its glory, or lack thereof. 

This isn't even urban versus rural—the tangerine Nazi rapeclown** is as New York as it gets, and there's something a little dignified in broken-down trailers and opioid overdoses. This is tacky. Your fascism is tacky. It makes me want to puke.

There's my political analysis. Vomit. We need to bring back the concept of shame and squick to politics, and yesterday isn't soon enough.

* Yes, I know, I know. Not all Nazi uniforms.
** Thanks 5ever to Hal Duncan for this
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
Today isn't the day that a fascist, racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic rapist becomes the Pissmonger In Chief.

Today is the day that a moderate does. A centrist. Yesterday's extremist, hard-right views are now, as of 11:30 today, the mainstream.

I'm listening to the radio—the publicly funded, reality-based, Canadian radio–present this story as if there are two equally correct opinions, as if there is a fucking chance in hell that Trump may not be that bad. I'm listening to people on the radio say that he is not that fascist actually.

Debating whether the media has it in for him, as if the media didn't create him in the first place. This is the new balanced. This is where the Overton Window has settled. 

Good luck to all of you.
sabotabby: (books!)
I know it ranks pretty low on the things that are shit about the tangerine bezoar, but y'all have to read the inaugural poem—that's a thing? I guess it's a thing—by Famous Lyric Poet You've Never Heard Of, Joseph Charles MacKenzie. It contains such gems as the following:
True friend of the migrant from both far and near,
He welcomes the worthy, but guards our frontier,
Lest a murderous horde, for whom hell is the norm,
Should threaten our lives and our nation deform.
And my absolute favourite:
Academe now lies dead, the old order rots,
No longer policing our words and our thoughts;
Its ignorant hirelings pretending to teach
Are backward in vision, sophomoric in speech.
Now we learnèd of mind add ourselves to the crowd
That cheers on the Domhnall, the best of MacLeod!
§ The refrains at the end of each stanza are to be recited by the Inaugural crowd.


You can read the whole thing here. It is not a good poem.

The real comedy gold, however, lies in the website of Trumpistan's newly appointed Poet Laureate and State Propagandist. Go, feast your eyes upon the majesty. I understand that it may be hard to find a poet willing to write such a ballad announcing the crowning of our Orange and Saviour, given that the good poets mainly lean left, fed, as they are, on arts grants and food stamps. The best the Trumplings could do band-wise was fucking 3 Doors Down. But this guy:
One of my professors, an Oxonian named Charles Bell, indicated that some of my sonnets surpassed many of Shakespeare’s. Indeed, a sequence of 154 sonnets I had then completed later received First Place in the Long Poem Section of the Scottish International Poetry Competition.

joseph mckenzie shakespeare

You have boycotted modernist so-called "poetry" for over half a century, but arrogant publishers have ignored your rejection of pseudo-intellectual nonsense in chopped-up prose.

Backward old elites have censored traditional lyric poetry because it clashes with their Marxist-totalitarian world view. The result has been complete censorship of traditional lyric verse and the loss of the ability to produce it.
This is what I mean about how art under authoritarian regimes is typically Not Very Good.

Fortunately for all of us, an actual Scottish writer has responded, no doubt echoing the sentiments of most of his countrymen. After all, these are a people who famously welcomed Trump thusly:

trump is a cunt

Take it away, Hal Duncan.

From Scotland With Love )

In cheerier news, Obama commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence. So that's something.
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
 So Trump likes getting peed on. This is going to be so much worse than the Honourable Wife-Beater. Worse than #piggate, though admittedly not quite as funny. 
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (socialism with a human face)
I don't actually think it's World War III or the end of the world at the moment, so more ranting about the problem of balance in politics. Two positions I've taken, both in response to stupid comments by supposed centrists:

1. Trevor Noah would never invite an ISIS member onto his show to “get the other side’s perspective.” That’s why the liberal narrative of free speech is so ethically vacuous.

I don't remember the last time I encountered an ardent defender of the concept known as "free speech" who wasn't a raging racist. I'm not sure how the right managed to snatch that one out from under our noses, but like "libertarian," I don't think we're gonna get this one back. Sorry guys.

The reason why ISIS is not included in debates about free speech is because we're all sensible people and we know where that kind of discourse leads. Yeah, a certain percentage of people reading/watching/listening to an ISIS ideologue's opinion—let's be generous and say most people—are going to say, "wow, that guy's a real shithead, listen to him say shitty things, ugh." But a not-insignificant number are going to react in the opposite way—this fellow's saying something I've felt deep in my heart for a long time, and look, he's saying it publicly, it must be socially acceptable."

This is how the Alt Reich gained ascendancy. The media gave them a sympathetic narrative, stopped portraying them as fringe freaks not even worthy of an interview, reported on their hairstyles and suits, demanded that the liberal elite sympathize with their plights. (Can you imagine a similar discourse around ISIS? Even though for the average fighter—not the ideologues—there may be a much more compelling reason, such as starvation, forcing their hand?)

An ethically consistent liberal or centrist would fight as valiantly for the rights of terrorists to be heard as it does for the rights of racist white dudes to spout off hate speech, but there is no ethical consistency in liberalism or centrism.

2. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing people who don't know very much about politics that the horseshoe theory has any sort of intellectual merit.

I was halfheartedly debating with a self-described centrist who was insisting that fascism could be either a right- or left-wing ideology, and that neo-liberalism was a left-wing ideology. I guess 227 years of political history, fought for and bled for by countless Very Smart People, was just not good enough for this fellow, who like so many on the internet, believes that a 15-second Google search qualifies him as a political scientist. (To be fair, I'm not even sure he did that.) The horseshoe theory is referenced commonly amongst the walking Dunning-Kruger effects that inhabit certain corners of the internet, and I'm sick to death of it.

There are, of course, common features in the extreme left and the extreme right. However, all of these commonalities can just as easily describe those in the centre (not to mention that the centre is a rightward-drifting moving target). Probably more so—anecdotally, the most authoritarian types I've encountered in meatspace described themselves as centrists. A conservative may have some moral convictions, even if I disagree with them; a centrist is merely politically and ethically avoidant. It is the perverted sense of balance that led to the above problem wherein the Alt Reich were given a platform rather than being sent scuttling back to the sewers where they belong.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (racist!)
Spotted in my neighbourhood.

If I read one more thinkpiece about the poor neglected American white working class men I swear to fuck I'll scream.

Their lives suck, sure. Hillbilly heroin and outsourcing. Their lives suck because of decisions made by rich maggots like Cheeto Hitler. Boo-fucking-oo. Their lives will continue to suck under Trump, in exactly the same way, except worse without Medicare and the ACA or whatever else half-assed government programs y'all have down there.

I ask you: Where were these guys when we were in the streets protesting NAFTA in the 90s? Voting for Bush, calling us terrorists and anarchists for holding up traffic, that's where. Yelling at us to get jobs.

But you know who else's lives suck? Black working class men and women. Trans working class men and women. Latino working class men and women. Muslims and Jews. Immigrants. Disabled people. None of whom are rich, coastal elites. And their lives are going to get worse in the same way that white working class men's lives will get worse, only exponentially more because their government has now declared open warfare on them. Losing your job is shit, trust me, I know; losing your job and then getting beaten to death by some brownshirt wannabe fuckhead is apparently something most whites can't empathize with, so why should they get empathy in return?

To the extent that any working class people actually voted for this bargain basement Mussolini, they have rendered themselves undeserving of your sympathy and understanding.

P.S. Same with white American women, though I see less pity pieces about them.


sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)

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