You add it up it brings you down
A preoccupation with management of risk has often been observed in post-millennial culture’s efforts to express itself. The immediate past and future, however, almost belabour the point that this is not some marginal, hysterical obsession: at its disposal is all the apparatus with which constituted power’s deadly earnest will is done. April Fools’ Day 2003 heralded the third week of a total war waged pre-emptively on the pretext that a subaltern state’s remaining industrial capacity could be used in unauthorised slaughtering ventures (something true of any such infrastructure in the world). Meanwhile Britain awaits the passage of more legislation encouraging counsellors and other police to intervene, as the Home Secretary puts it, ‘before bad behaviour becomes criminal behaviour’. Blunkett’s Anti-Social Behaviour Bill deserves special mention, in fact, for its doubly anticipatory structure. The trigger for therapeutic enforcement is behaviour ‘likely to result in members of the public being intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed’. Here the problem is twice removed into the future tense, once in the wager ‘likely to’ and again the way ‘alarm’ and ‘distress’ imply as yet unaccomplished cruelty.
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NEO-LIBERAL GEOGRAPHIES AND WORKER INSURGENCY IN OSAKA
“I realize as the train pulls in that the station is on fire. The platform is aflame and below the streets are empty with people running past occasionally. Something is happening. I pick up some rocks and start throwing them at a police line.”
-anonymous rioter at Kamagasaki
“You must help yourself.”
-Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS
October 2nd, 1990. The day started as any other does in Osaka’s Nishi-Nari ward, men lined up around the yoseba employment center, in the thousands, waiting for work. If it came, they would load into the cars of construction contractors in groups, with parachute pants and wrapped heads. For eight hours they might wave light wands ‘guiding pedestrians’, dig concrete roads, re-pave highways or variously break their backs in the sun. This proletarian fate was ceded by the city’s bourgeoisie over a period of thirty years of continuous unemployed unrest; all the union officials touted it as labor ‘won’ from an inhuman system. After all, without work, one does not eat, and once conditions have worsened to the point that this phrase becomes dictatorial, one works in a fervor; for work leads to ‘independence’. Work might one day lead out of the slum.
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PUNK ROCK AND ANTI-RACISM – or,
DEATH IN JUNE NOT MYSTERIOUS
The hoary debate about punk rock and politics was recently given a boost by the publication of Punk Rock: So What? edited by Roger Sabin. (1) The editor’s essay ‘I Won’t Let That Dago By: Rethinking Punk and Racism’ is one of several pieces that raises the issue of punk politics directly. Claiming that there is a consensus about British punk rock of the seventies being ‘essentially solid with the anti-racist cause’, Sabin sees a punk alliance with the organisations Rock Against Racism (RAR) and the Anti-Nazi League (ANL) as providing the capstone of this myth. Sabin deflates what he sees as the fable of punk anti-racism by trotting out a few examples of unsavoury lyrics and media sound bites. [Read more →]
One of the central events of 1999 was the conflict and then war in the then Yugoslav province of Kosovo. The dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has happened over the last decade with Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia becoming internationally recognised sovereign coutries. Montenegro and Kosovo were the last non-Serb provinces and the last obstacles to a Balkans divided along ethnic lines.
Why, many people have asked, have people who – seemingly at least – lived together for decades suddenly decided to kill and rape their neighbours and reclaim ethnically cleansed territories as their national states?
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RTS NYC began under the auspices of a giant iron hand- disembodied and reaching out blindly from the side of a hulking office building at union square- and a huge digital clock laid out like a racetrack across the same building, with green numbers that were increasing exponentially; at 2 pm the crowd was gathering, swelling closer to a critical mass. having anticipated a movement south towards the village, a heavy contingency of nypd thugs had taken up glaring positions along 14th street. i would have loved to see their faces once RTS whistles started blowing and the crowd turned north instead and poured down into the union square subway station, where a smiling girl handed out free tokens at the turnstile. thanks to the mta, party-goers, protesters, and assorted culture-jammers were transported quickly and (relatively) coplessly uptown, to that center of fucking consumer culture, TIMES SQUARE.
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