Note — It’s pure satire. Maybe Swiftian, in a modern drone world where everything printed and digitized is collected by our overlords. Comedy. Humor. Something. Avatar — 57-year-old punch drunk minion of the Mighty Dead Middle Class!
How to Paddle Through the Sewage of News 24/7
Oh fools of the never-ending echo chamber. Academics coming on line acting as if they have discovered something. Old hat, old hand. These people today are great writers, talk the talk on National Propaganda Radio, get the gig in the New York Review of Books, and just yammer on and on.
I heard the interview on NPR today, some U of Wisconsin faculty, who “followed” around some folk, black of course (she is NOT), in a neighborhood in America. Absolutely bizarre, the interviewer, another woman, and the faculty, another woman, acting as if discovery is hers, theirs conjoined, that there is a school to prison pipeline, and this sociologist discovered it! What the fuck?
I am not that old, at 57, and I remember my early days as reporter in my 19th and 20th years on planet bizarro, that there was this absurdity in the guys like Ted Koppel, and so many others, as if their two-bit lives and two-bit stories were NEW, new enlightenment. Remember that creep Koppel of Nightline? The 60 minutes mutants? Gerry/Geraldo . . . Rivers-Rivero? Barbara Walters?
Now we have them on the air and in the bookstores. Books books books about the same old, same old.
This continual elitist, East Coast hipster thing, albeit, those chosen few that end up on National Zionist Radio, who get book deals.
As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, Alice Goffman decided to study the crime problem in a Philadelphia neighborhood by completely immersing herself in the life.
Over the next six years, she lived in the neighborhood she calls “6th street.” She hung out with young African American men who were in and out of prison and often on the run from police for both minor and major infractions.
Goffman also experienced firsthand what it was like to be interrogated by the police and what happens when a SWAT team breaks down your door. She also witnessed a young man get killed as he left her car.
Goffman observed how the intense police surveillance of the neighborhood often encouraged the criminal behavior it was meant to prevent.
Now an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Alice Goffman has published her account of those years in the new book “On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City.”
Are you kidding me? This story has been done a million times, way way before this child was born, way-way before we have to hear it on the chillingly simplistic NPR.
It’s what I have been railing against for some time – all the books, little studies, all the cool white man-white woman projects, well, they can just go into the dustbin of assassins assailing junk.
Let me explain – the concept of poor people making the elite like her rich or tenured or whatever she is, and the continual project of lawyers, finers, cops, levy levelers, teachers, bankers, mortgagers, debtors, Hollywood or NY publishing scions, what have you, the idea that it costs a lot to be poor, to navigate the system of middling people making money off pain, drug addiction, minor crime, pre-crime, fines, penalties, bad education, bad public policy, bad transportation planning, the entire mess that is CORPORATE welfare and a world of more and more little and littler Little Eichmanns, those docs and all those creeps answering phones and working for ATT or Kaiser or whatever shit organization, all of them have made their little serfdoms or 401 k’s or lavish CEO pay, all of them, have done it on the backs of the poor, the colored, those immigrants, white trash, kids in bad neighborhoods.
This sociologist is saying what? All of it is a crime in 2014, that there would be this elite, white woman, doing the book in the first place. Do we get it yet? Separate but equal. Jim Crowe in the tenth degree. These people should be just moving aside, moving aside. When will it be that Black man or that Black woman doing the story for National Jewish Radio and for these elite little academies?
An effing joke. I’ve been a reporter since 1979, and I’ve been in small towns like Tombstone, but in Tucson, and on the Southside, in Juarez, in Mexico, El Paso, Willcox, Las Cruces, Spokane. Give me an effing break. The poor and the people of color pay-pay for this system, and if they don’t just stand up and samurai the hell out of the white limpid Christo-Jewish-Demo-agnostic class, tear them new assholes, well, then, we will continue to hear these stories from the mouths of white elites and in their ever nauseating books and in their ever crisp little lectures and book tours.
Gold fish. Carp. Big eyed and big headed white people in planning departments, in the law, in the corridors of city and county department after department. What a toxin to the world, white bubble headed folk. These books, these millions and millions of books, have done not a thing, not a thing. We flounder in the follies of the minstrels and the magicians, all the little Moses, the mud people, whites, smeared with the endless autism of time.
Write poetry. Fiction. Haiku. A song. But stop writing these non-fiction things, oh, my, oh, my, it’s endless the chronicling, the ever clearer chronicling, reporting and researching until absolutely nothing changes, or in fact, the words, the spines, all those millions upon millions of pages and tens of thousands of subjects, until all of that lures us to believe something has changed, will change, is about to change.
Printed words and loose lipped interviews.
Not a thing is being done with those tomes. Do they realize that? Policy changes? What, drones, SWAT, and how many murders do the cops get to do before they end up in Hell in 2150 when their little hideouts are finally torched by climate instability?
I am not opposed to enlightenment, to learning and to broadcasting that, but really, this story is emblematic of the myopia, the shifting baseline syndrome, the agnotology, the ever-recycled theses. But change? Solutions? Humor? Anything oh anything but the same story on how screwed you are if you are born on the wrong side of the track, inside the wrong hood, inside the wrong vortex.
I was just at traffic court. The effing highway patrolman got me in April for putting my wallet up to my ear. Tinnitus, and I had just pulled a 20 hour shift, and, well, he pulled me over, and like any good radical, I was, well, worried something would come up on his SWELL SWAT FBI linked computer.
He was chipper, hard faced, and like all cops that are all punks and chickens, he had on his big gun and big badge and daft little video camera on his sternum.
We are a sissy society, to be sure, as I say every time I line up for Homeland Security and TSA and the taking off the shoes in the airport and putting toothpaste in baggies and these high fructose corn syrup creeps, schmucks, working stiffs, I know, but still . . . with the badge, the mean look, and purple non-latex gloves.
He said I was being stopped for distracted driving. He finally got my junk out of the messed up glove box, and came back with a $124 ticket. I told him that hell, the wallet was the distraction, and that I just did 20 hours at a job working with adults with developmental disabilities, and I have a van I take them in, and, well, working stiff that I am, texting and cell phone talking while driving is a no-no. Grounds for firing.
So, people said, both to my face in person and over the daft internet, that you CAN’T beat that one, no-sirree. Pay the fine and pray.
I did win, with my wit and charm and logos and ethos. Told them a wallet is a wallet, and if I sing Dixie or the IWW song while my Calvin Kline wallet is up to my right ear to hear how bad the ringing is, well, call it what you want, but there is no Washington statute around wallets and singing the L’Internationale!
I reminded her – the thirty something not smart judge, like most judges, old or young, dumb –that I was here, taking up my time and my taxpayers’ money in the taxpayers’ court, my court, and losing out on a substitute teaching job because I was appearing to appeal the cop’s brazen bravado.
The thing is, though, a bunch of white, twenty-something women were in the lobby, bartering for pleas, with those people that the above sociologist thinks she discovered in her “research.” It was like an auction. White, quasi liberal just-out-of-law school junior prosecutors, all Nordstrom dressed up, smug, smirky, all powerful, manipulating truth, dealing in the lies, making their money, their little pathway toward the next legal thing, on the backs of the poor, white, black, brown, Asian, Native American.
The entire system stinks, and it’s a house of cards, rigged against most of us. The demons in the equation of course are the little, skinny, plump, tall, dumpy, large, masculine, feminine, asexual, hip, nerdy Eichmanns.
Law, med, sci, ed, money, retail, military, media, arts, entertainment, all of them, those middlings and their upper echelon bosses and owners, they are the Eichmanns and Mengeles of a new World Order of marketing and mayhem.
I doubt that many readers even here at DV get that. Living as working class schlubs, and add to that Mexican or African American, or Navajo. Then, well, we have these great white interpreters schilling their snake oil charm, their academic mumbo and jumbo, and oh, it sounds so-so smart on NPR. Safely and squarely in their academic blankets.
Throw it off, and get into the streets. Muckrake, scam the system, poison the poisoners. Nah, let’s work in the rule of law, let’s keep on truckin’.
Hmm, slum landlords, evictions, driving while Indian-Black-Mexican-Poor. Hmm, you betcha the system is broken, and in many cases as a police reporter, I ended up in courtrooms where Jewish judges and Jewish lawyers were hashing it out with their mental gymnastics. Lives in the balance — reservation blues, barrio blues, black man’s and black kid’s blues. A game, a sick sick rule of law, lawyers’ game, and they are part of a secret and not-so-secret society of people writing the narrative, rules, and fall of millions of people, boys, girls, old and young men and women.
Name the victims, name them. Entire families, too poor to pay, really, debtors prison is real today, for years, but the sociology teacher is telling like it is on National Petroleum or National Koch Radio. If only the narratives could be rejiggered, out of the hands of white dominion, out of the chroniclers’ pockets. Something better than the same-same noise and nifty accepted and acceptable scripting.
Now what do we get out of reading her book? What, now? Help?
I dare you to not throw a rock at the nearest college sociology department as you read her excerpt. This is what America produces – ebonics and all. Read it and weep!
So get this – I won a first place for a two-part series on Hanford and downwinders. The Society of Professional Journalists 2013 contest announced last week. General reporting. Who would have guessed fellow journalists would have picked my work. Region 10 SPJ, that is – WA, OR, MT, ID, WY.
What makes this prize fine is that the people who I wrote about, downwinders, are rallying to get a downwinder museum going.
Think of futures where all people on earth –except the Point One Percent helled or holed up in their hell-hole survival communities—are downwinders, downstreamers, downroaders, downsmokestakers, downGMOers, downoceanrisingers, downslavetraders, downgullagers, downtrodden.
This limitless white man-white woman world of shit for sell every nanosecond of the day. Seems the exfoliates in products women and men love have micro-cut plastics that end up, well, in the ocean and killing life. Seems like almost everything the white race touches is meant to bend and twist and collide with every natural system on earth.
We are the cloning race, the race of nanoparticles, microchips in the front cortexes, a race of species who think terraforming Mars is some answer to our own wasted and genocidal lives. Cop shows, rape shows, military academies. We are a race of racers, yammering, stringy voice box creeps selling selling fast food, fast school, fast psychology, fast ideas, fast nothingness. One more zetabyte toward stupidity. One more nanny, NSA, CIA, corporate hell hole running the show.
Has anyone felt that the words coming from the entire matrix of middlings, the mushers, the news to unfit to not print, any of it is forlorn? You will read columns today discussing the dea-zone of American thinking, American marketing, American White Sickness, whether in the New York Zionist Times, or Philly newspaper, or what the pigs of Republicanism do about military funding, climate change, or the Ukraine lies.
These are the days of fines and levies. In blue city Portland, yet another ass mayor, white, Democratic, new urbanism, sort of, planning guy who loves killer cops and hates the homeless, Hales, is proposing a street user fee. This is America, white America – tax businesses and residents in Portland for using the streets. Again, RETROGRADE. Never ever tax the Phil Knights (Nike is oh such a great company, so give them millions of taxpayer money, throw it at it), the companies with Panamaian flags, off-shore drug money, thug money. Nah, never tax the corporations, and never close their noose loopholes. Charge US.
These a thinned lipped wonders, who make the $100 K a year, or more. They think that $40 here and $10 there and a few $50’s there don’t add up. This is the money changers’ epoch, the dead from the neck up education system, one that can’t teach youth that these millionaires, these Obama Family Walmart hours are scams, and to learn how to stand down, hack the system, throw monkey wrenches into it, sugar in the rich class’s Mercedes Nazi Mobiles.
Is it possible to lead dying Ebola-quenched parasites to water?
And the beat goes on . . . and on . . . and on: Listen to National Privatizing-Neoliberal Radio, and Market Place (sic). The sewers of London (Are those the bedrooms of the rich?) tour. What the Economist wrote over a hundred years ago:
Marketplace explores the growing income inequality in the U.K. in general, and in London in particular. The five wealthiest people in the U.K. have more money than the poorest 20 percent of the population. And by 2020, an estimated 800,000 children will be living below the poverty line.
Round five of the EU-US talks are coming to an end. But how have recent world events colored the conversation? And what’s at stake for US products like autos and natural gas? Plus, back in the UK, we report on the history of the sewers of London and uncover their current plans to build a super sewer system there. Then later, we talk to the BBC’s Andrew Walker about David Cameron’s attempts to bring business from China to the UK and his goal of having London be one of the great capitals of Islamic Finance.
The transcript is not up yet, over at Market Place, but paraphrasing – “The vermin of London, the poor, the street people, all the laborers, may they all die. No need for the beautiful rich to help build a sewer for London’s inner city, the poor neighborhoods. Let them all die.”
Really, the neoliberals’ Economist, the nirvana of their Wall Street and investment lives. Check it out later.
So, all these quaint stories, all these elites chugging on with their quaint lives, hipsters, cultural consumers, big city folk on the East and on the West Coast (Seattle now the 29th largest city in the USA with a 2.8 percent growth rate last year – Whoopee: Coders, Bio-terrorists, Amazon dot Monopoly-CIA Bezos and his Little Eichmann’s working as High Tech Data trolling and robotics engineers – oh the fun crew in libertarian-democratic party Seattle, food and civet-shit coffee whores and, whoops, all those tax loopholes for the Boeings, and, darn, a $15 an hour push, by the immigrants working the hard jobs in those suburban ghettoes, as they service the $200 K a year 25-year-olds and millionaire thirty-somethings.
Check out John Steppling’s latest column, all about a society without qualities:
But this raises an important question that has to do with what I see as a degrading of curiosity. And curiosity has to do with learning and education. And curiosity is linked to authority. Or rather its surpression. Sven Birkerts, a few years back, wrote: “Knowledge, certainly in the humanities, is not a straightforward matter of access, of conquest via the ingestion of data…the past is as much about the disappearance of things through time as it is about the recovery of traces and the reconstruction of vistas.” Birketts was arguing that multi-media packages, platforms, and interactive databases had made the field of knowledge being studied a lateral and synchronic enterprise, one which allowed faster data consumption, but which eroded the sense of depth, eroded a quality of learning that came from struggle and the study of difficult forbidding material. Rather, this is the post modern learning of flat affectless shine and the illusion of transparancy. I say illusion because in fact, just like the architecture of domination and efficiency, these paradigms are efficient, but only for those in control. The instrumental logic that has given birth to political strategies such as those employed now by the NSA, is now one in which the machine, the hyper-space, far exceeds human capacity to integrate all this harvested information. Whether that info is a classics department data bank about Plutarch and Horace, or Ezra Pound or Rubens, or whether it is how much porn each citizen in the United States watched each day of the last ten years; the lateral data accumulation is impossible to fully grasp. The scale is not human. There is some kind of zero sum game involved, I suspect, and it certainly feels increasingly like a failed Borges story. The point is that study, driven by curiosity and not grades or institutional approval, often means *not* understanding a good deal of what one studies. For understanding is not a simple thing. There are layers and qualities of understanding. In science, like math, one must memorize and retain information. Everywhere else, this is far less true. Philosophy and art are about finding the parameters for interrogating rules.
Have a nice day, and remember, conversations are out, Flickr is in. Talk and debate are out, blip thinking and blogging are in!
A reminder — one third of all retails sales, soon to be 50 percent: The Next One, POTUS, Clinton, the world of America — SMILE, You are on Candid Camera!
BAR — Black Agenda Report, a vital source for looking at the whitness of the wicked, including BM (B& M) Obama!
Again, do you see the lack of critique, the lacking sources that might be away from the right-right of center-center that NPR et al pawn off as liberal? Find that Economist quote of 1870. Guy Fawkes my ass — compliant and CCTV London, what it is now, zombies:
There are startling reasons why London’s wealth distribution caught our eye from the states: the five wealthiest families in the U.K. have more money than the poorest 20 percent of the population. By 2020, an estimated 800,000 children will be living below the poverty line. London was recently passed over by New York and Singapore to claim the top spot as the city in the world with the most economic clout.
Marketplace explored the growing income inequality in the U.K. and London over a week’s time. As income inequality has become a primary economic concern in the U.S., especially in the aftermath of the Great Recession, Marketplace has focused reporting in recent months on what income inequality’s impact is on how we work and live. But we also wanted to see what our neighbors across the pond had to say about living in a society where unequal wealth distribution is the norm.
First, we learned that London’s real estate has skyrocketed in value, making realtors happy, and critics crying “bubble.” Sound familiar, Americans?
We saw, too, how poor Londoners are being priced out of neighborhoods they live in and were raised in, and even wealthy residents are concerned. We toured the bustling markets across the city in an everyday adventure filled with bright citrus and fresh fish.
We ended the week with a report from 30-feet below ground level in the notorious sewers of London. There’s a campaign underway to build a new super sewer system to replace the current one that frequently overflows into the Thames River. We took a tour of London’s sewers, which have a surprisingly excellent way of exposing what Londoners keep and discard in a shifting economy.
Even though there are a lot of concerns about its economic progress, London still has some things going for it: the PwC Cities of Opportunity Index (PDF) noted the city still “finishes first in technology readiness, economic clout and city gateway – all measures of its stature as a thriving centre of the world economy.”