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Don't tell Alex-in-Ciderland.
I did start to skim read about two thirds in.
there was a similar blog on the third estate but it seems to have been taken down for some reason.
and only partially bollocks
acting like this is in any respect a human/moral/personal issue rather than inevitable noise in a very complex system.
sure Alec, the main problem in our society is that The Kids just DON'T have ENOUGH irrational and impossible aspiration to fame and fortune.... o_o;?
imagine if you'd lost your house in these riots, lost all your clothes and books and cds and dvds and all the rubbish consumerist products that define you as an interesting person
understood this post
or do you just like imagining stuff
he just organised the @riotcleanup twitter account i think.
yeh there are question you ask about the ideology behind some of the organisers/participants in that...the guy who wrote that article unironically paraphrasing 'Keep Calm and Carry On' was quite something, the photo-op with Boris was quite something, and the Daily Star cover with several attractive blonde white women, one with 'rioters with scum' on their t-shirts was quite something. Operation Tea Cup or w/e was silly. The EDL being one of the most prominent examples of 'communties fighting back' was problematic'.
BUT I think those things (with the exception of the last) are largely understandable reactions and I think the idea as a whole is positive etc. given the context...it's just frustrating given how far manifest fingers-in-your-ears tweeness has taken over the entire political debate.
the redistribution of clothes & goods to people affected by the riots however is an entirely worthwhile thing and was organised by local community centres as far as i am aware, so nothing to do w/ Sam Duckworth.
*'rioters are scum'
from the home paper of the edl that is a quite plausible implication
'looters are scum'
but there may have been more than one
oh yeah ok.
looters arse cum
in a way that's a slightly lesser shade of disagreeable...at least she's specified she doesn't think those burning buildings, mugging people or charging at police were scum...
or is part of a larger rhetoric shift that wants to see as just looting because looting is easier to turn into being about greed - as Paddick etc. overlook people don't risk their lives burning buildings, fighting police etc. just to get a quick, convient free pair of shoes
yes i could plausibly agree there. there was some irony/ambiguity intended but may have been a bit subtle for conversation at all/conversation at 1 on a saturday.
is reported to turn out to definitely not belong to him/exist
were those not true?
Sam Lowry: You killed Buttle?
Jack Lint: Sam, there are very strict parameters set out to prevent such things happening. Besides, it wasn't my fault that Buttle's heart condition didn't appear on Tuttle's file.
FUCK THE PO-LICE
Young People's Question Time was surprisingly good...if kind of hard to follow (understandably).
the panel hardly had a chance to say anything which was definitely for the best.
richard bacon. it was an audience made up largely of black, and there was a funny moment where a posh white girl at the back went 'oh i guess the riots were just motivated by boredom'...then everyone got pissed off w/ her, then she went 'oh well look how can they be in poverty when they've got a £100 blackberry??111'...and people got more annoying with her.
they also got on a family that run the big funiture that was burned down to be really upset and that made for lots of uncomfortable moments, eg. when Bacon asked: 'So how is your family coping?' and the lady was saying 'Oh yeah it's really heartbreaking' and a girl in the audience shouted out: 'What about the family of Mark Duggan?'...and everyone winced...not really the moment.
sorry i started writing that first sentence, was going to come back to it then forgot:
*audience made up largely off young black and minority ethnic young people...and 3/5 of the panelists were black....which I think is a first for any discussion programme on the bbc ever.
."The problem is that the whites have become black".
."Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood prophesy was right in one sense.".
the one sense it was right in was not the non-racist sense if you were wondering
It is also true, then, that this looting is a form of labor, even as it ruins the category of labor. It is, like credit, an inflection of the crisis of full employment. It is high-risk, precarious, informal potentially high-yield activity. Those who loot are trading a portion of their time - a few brief minutes or hours, but with the potential for years in jail or with death, such that the hourly wage is highly uncertain - and intellectual and physical skill and energy in exchange for access to a set of goods which they are not alone in wanting.
They are working, in a time in which work is hard to come by. They are working together, which, we all know, is really what scares you all. 'We know we told them to band together and work as a community to improve their lives, but we didn't mean it like this...'
Even if you are among those who can rarely afford them, you want, and you work and scrape and cheat and borrow to get, expensive trainers, big screen TVs, sport utility vehicles, prams that resemble sport utility vehicles, expensive vodka, pants with the name of a certain brand on the ass and that make your ass look good, earrings, cologne, cigarettes that don't taste like cardboard, video games, diamonds, good quality beef.
(Or worse, you play at being above that. And so you want a brand new hybrid, soap made from hemp, something locally farmed, a flat with bamboo floors, the complete works of Matthew Arnold.)
And so, even before the question of criminality emerges (how those goods get gotten), you are condemning the looters for something else: for wanting the very objects you want.
You are condemning them for your desire.
You are declaring that desire to be abject and unacceptable, as soon as it is untethered from the legitimation of labor. You think, then, that they are supposed to desire and be refused its payoff. That such is the fundamental condition of the poor: to want and to go wanting. That want is supposed to be identical to access.
Such that when you bend the stick toward counterfactuals (as many of the condemners slightly left of center do) and say, 'well, it would be different if they were just taking food, nappies, medicine, you know, the things you need to get by', what is being said is that they should steal only goods of a quality equivalent to their social standing. The poor, whose standard of life is not very high, should have goods whose standard is not very high. They should not be taking pre-rolled cigarettes. They should not be taking champagne, or at least not the good stuff and only for special occasions. They should not be taking large televisions. For they do not deserve these things. And they should know better.
Wait, do you guys agree with this?
If you don't believe in the ownership of private property then sure. But imo most people do.
and dare I say I think this guy sounds a bit detached from the demographics of the poor in this country. E.g. he doesn't point out that those who are most socially excluded are not taking part in this. I guess I think this means he can't explain the peculiarity in experience of the (mostly young) people who take part in looting. Even though he says "we want to understand the world in its historical particularity."
I mean, I get that most of the people condemning them are taking part in this big inane mystification (re class and race) and I know riot is a language etc etc.
But he doesn't leave room for anyone who condemns this purely at the point of the finality of the acts (and if he does, fails to differentiate). I'm very well aware of the idea of criminalising poverty etc. but in this case it simply does not account for what is going on. I see the acts as being, in general, anathema to any tradition of solidarity (a lot of the older members of the communities affected seem to hold very similar views). I can't blame them for not having a sense of solidarity but I certainly see it as a threat to the realisation of (my own idea of) a better society.
This bothers me mostly because I think this sort of argument thwarts the possibility of new avenues of radical ideas (he's kinda made a false dichotomy) at the very time when we need to re-organise society. If we are going to rectify the massive structural problems that this whole thing has given expression to, one of the points of contact has to be with the individuals involved and we need to treat them as autonomous and rational.
oh man i still haven't read all those essays about the tree of life & heidegger yet. maybe this is more urgent.
What follows may therefore represent one half of a dialogue in the way that yelling at a jukebox made of ice does. Perhaps the sheer exertion of speaking - a certain quantity of hot air - will soften the surface a bit, but it's a pretty one-sided discussion. And it doesn't mean you can or will stop repeating the records you have been given to play, those looping phrases and evasions.
"Now I wanted to say something about the fact that we have lived over these last two or three summers with agony and we have seen our cities going up in flames. And I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. I'm absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white
community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say
tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity."
from M.L.K. jr.'s "The Other America"
."At the level of individuals, violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect.".
this makes a similar point: http://libcom.org/library/criminality-rewards-max-von-sudo
?."[T]he unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.".
tell that the producers of newsnight, huh?
actually rephrase that: it's doesn't make a similar point but it could be useful for a similar argument because it points out the liberal lines that 'it all comes from poverty' and 'these people are desperate' which immediately get shot down with 'well, why are they smiling then?' or 'why steal a massive telly then?' or something like that because to some extent, unpalatable an idea though it may be to some it was perhaps the aimlessness and lack of direction that was miserable & desperate, feeling in control of the streets and being able to take whatever you wanted regardless of harm caused was sadly in some cases probably the fun bit.
you may enjoy this, you may not. i thought it was pretty astute,heads-screwed-on discussion of the events on resonance.fm
as an aside this one about Autonomism movement in 70s Italy was excellent too http://soundcloud.com/richard-3/novara-5th-july-2011
+ background http://deterritorialsupportgroup.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/workerismautonomism/ (from the people who bought you 'Gaga 3> Zizek' & 'Hari's a Dick-gate')
Louise Mensche, Paul Lewis & Prescott talking about banning twitter
not that worth watching. (spoiler: paul lewis wins.)