Ignoring class divisions in Black America over the last 40 years has allowed the benefits of racial progress to be concentrated upon the Black middle- and upper- classes while the Black poor have largely been excluded. Popular culture embodies the problem in the same way higher education does, which is a problem because inequity is always a problem. However, the centrality of popular culture to America’s understanding of Black people, and the fact that popular culture contains within itself all the best platforms for sharing stories about ourselves, imbues the situation with a particularly bleak and sinister air.
Link: “Juanita Nielsen's suspected murder brought Arthur King back to Kings Cross after his terrifying ordeal”
Great story that really sums up 1970s Sydney, encompassing organised crime, the property development industry, the total corruption of NSW Police, organised civil resistance, the BLF’s green bans, and of course, murder and kidnapping. You could hardly ask for more.
China is ruled by a Communist Party, and has been for seven decades—but it’s a “Communist” party more committed to international free trade and globalisation than many major pro-capitalist parties in the West. The state controls all of China’s most important industrial sectors and the financial system, and treats the private sector as a tame subordinate—yet China is producing new billionaires faster than anywhere in the world, has only the shadow of a welfare state and produces more consumer commodities for massive corporations like Apple and Honda than any other country. What kind of a society is this, that so freely and easily mixes the features of a capitalist market economy with an old-school Stalinist dictatorship?
(Spoiler: It’s a state capitalist one 😉)
Good piece comparing the indifference of our government to the very high risk of catastrophic climate change to their panic over the 0.00044% chance of dying from an AstraZeneca blood clot… (Published a couple of weeks ago, but because I had the tab open on my phone, I forgot to save it until now.)
We will have to migrate back to a world in which we are not controlled and dominated by our intimate enemy – our mobile phones. We have to try to rebuild our lives, struggles and social movements outside the asphyxiating realm of digital surveillance. We must dislodge the regimes that are deploying it against us. We must do everything we can to prise open their grip on the levers of power, everything we can to mend all that they have broken, and take back all they have stolen.
Arundhati Roy on the Pegasus project.
The Irish Times does a good job calling out those responsible for Australia’s current Covid mess. The only thing I would add is that not all Australians are even free to choose whether or not to “wait for Pfizer”; sure under-40s can ask their GP about getting AstraZeneca now, but the GP is still free to say no, and for the many small practices that aren’t doing vaccinations themselves, what can your GP do for you anyway – write you a letter? If under-40s could just walk up to a hub and get vaccinated on spec, taking their chances with a blood clot that’s probably less likely to happen than getting hit by a car on your way to the hub in the first place, I think we’d see a high take-up. I certainly would be more likely to do that than deal with the current obstacle course, considering I’m already making so many medical appointments with unfamiliar clinics for other issues right now. (And also, anecdotally, I’ve seen people wondering where the fuck these “surplus doses” even are because in their searches, appointment slots seem all booked up for weeks.)
This is a good, creatively-written piece on “indecision paralysis” (whatever you call the phenomenon – as it notes, it goes by many names). It reminds me of something similar I’ve read in terms of what immigrants from Eastern Bloc countries to the West would experience when they first went to a supermarket, and people would be like, “Isn’t it so great you have so many options for toothpaste now?!” and they’d respond like no, this does not enhance my life at all. For so many things, some options are good, too many is a burden.
For more than a hundred and twenty years, the United States has “stood with the Cuban people” — or, perhaps more correctly, has stood over the Cuban people. Cuba seems always to be at the receiving end of American history. To stand with the Cuban people has meant armed intervention, military occupation, regime change, and political meddling — all normal events in US-Cuba relations in the sixty years before the triumph of the Cuban revolution. In the sixty years after the revolution, standing with the Cuban people has meant diplomatic isolation, armed invasion, covert operations, and economic sanctions.