come on people now

There are some interesting things happening.

I'm very excited by the recent surge in the Immigrant Rights movement (so called). This is a massive polity and, though it's probably insulting to consider all the participants as a monolith, I can only hope the energy gathers and results in a radical political shift for the whole country. Already there are frightening racist noises coming out of the Right, at least if Bill O'Reilly can be taken as exemplary, about how supporters of Immigrant Rights, "the real racists who want a color-based country", are seeking to destroy "what they call the white privileged Christian nation". Xenophobia is tapped for CRAZY mana.

Those of you not local to New York City might be unaware of this, but there's a growing push to give a vote in city elections to documented non-citizens who have been residents for at least six months. I fully support this. The borough of Queens, where I live, has one of the largest immigrant populations in the entire United States and they've come from all over the world. Africa, Asia, The Caribbean, Central and South America, India, The Middle East, Europe and elsewhere. Local elections can have more impact on a given person's quality of life than any other, state or federal, and New York City is quite possibly unique among US cities in the sheer amount of resources available to the city government. In our supposedly globalizing society, isn't citizenship more meaningfully defined by participation in a society rather than an accidental intersection of birth and cartography? Anyone who works and creates and hurts and struggles and cries and shouts with joy and falls into bed at night in New York City is a New Yorker, and can you think of anyone better to run the place?

France stands as an example again of a culture that has some actual political life to it, as massive nationwide demonstrations against the CPE have resulted in at least nominal concessions from the government. I see paralells to the Transit Worker's Union strike down here last December. From the point of view of those unconcerned with the condition of the laboring classes both actions can appear to be excessive noise from people in an already relatively privileged position. On face value the CPE is creating jobs for "youth" in France, so how could that be bad? The devilish compromise, of course, was to make effectively second-class citizens out of young laborers as an incentive for businesses to hire them. And if they become such, doesn't that become incentive to unload an older, expensive labor force in favor of a cheaper, more pliable one? Why shouldn't young workers enjoy the same rights that have been won for their elders? Much as with the TWU strike, the necessity lies in retaining the few rights and protections remaining after decades of successful worldwide assault by capital. It has been remarked that it's sad to see such public political energy exerted merely to retain the status quo.

China is rumbling around a bit as well. China, much like the US, has a huge migrant labor pool (though the Chinese have enough dirt poor people within their own borders that they don't need to import any) working for pittance wages and living in squalid group housing in order to improve the lot of their family back home. As in the US, massive sectors of the economy rely on a flood of cheap laborers with no political rights. These people are not stupid. They have lived their entire lives under a government that preaches a flavor of Communism and the worth of The People, and the government's economic shift to State Capitalism after 1989 was radical enough to have caused, by now, cognitive dissonance in even the most undereducated field hand. There are tens of thousands of incidents every year in rural China featuring the people facing off against the government as economic disparities increase. If history teaches anyone anything it is that you ignore the the Chinese peasantry at your peril.

Tiananmen Che

If only there were some kind of technology that allowed all these groups of people to communicate and possibly organize to further common goals! Speaking of which I was thinking again about Yahoo and Google and Cisco and Microsoft and their recent activities aiding and abetting repression in China (and, as an aside, AT&T facilitating the NSA-related technical difficulties we are experiencing) and I think my attitude is now this: these companies are the epitome of a technocratic culture and, as such, made the decsion one would expect of a self-aggrandizing technocracy. What else did we really expect? After all Colombian Coca-Cola employees have a habit of turning up dead after agitating for improved conditions, so it's not like the tech companies are doing anything unique to their industry.

On the plus side? GENERALS ARE ALL "U=pwn3d, L@M3R" TO RUMSFELD. Right the hell on.

On the recommendation of a certain ninja (definitely NOT the kind that would be captured by ATF agents on the UGA campus) I picked up J Dilla's record "Donuts" and Madlib's Beat Konducta disc. Both are excellent. I have just now heard, on the Jaylib track "Strip Club", the use of a Jaco Pastorius sample that I've always wanted to do something with.

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