Monday Blogwhoring

by matttbastard

So much for my day off. Somehow ended up agreeing to work the night shift. Sigh–hate going out in this blustery, blizzardy weather; love you all.

(There’s always a fire burning over @ Fuck Mountain.)

Lenin’s Tomb: Sartre’s Godless Philosophy (h/t Jack Stephens)

All About Race: Disney does Dumb

Anti-Choice is Anti-Awesome: Mothering Mary

unrepentant old hippie: What’s the definition of “insanity” again?

Too Sense: Too Sense Sunday: The Jew In Hip-hop and Iowa Is So Far From Over

10 Zen Monkeys: The Open Source Party Proposal and The QuestionAuthority Proposal

Hoyden About Town: Unilever Ad Man Simon Clift Spells Out the “Joke” to Guerilla Cyber Feminists

a k8, a cat, a mission: December Scientiae Carnival!

Black Looks: Quick Links

A Creative Revolution: Hope You’re Sitting Down

The Galloping Beaver: Firefighters being trained as domestic spies

The Vanity Press: One More Crappy Idea

Feminist Peace Network: Guatemalan Shoe Company’s Macabre Ad Campaign

Slant Truth: 16 Days Of Action Against Gender Violence – Day 7

Red Jenny: Greg Palast on the anti-Chavez Hysteria

The Newshoggers: To Divide And Conquer The Unruly Province Of Iraq (h/t IOZ)

the life of pinky bear: Ti(RED): World AIDS Day and the Coporate Profit Machine (h/t misscripchick)

Feministe: What trans means to me (h/t Lisa)

The Cylinder: Taxi to the Dark Side

The Stormy Days of March: Awww! and Awww! Part 2

pogge: Wingnut welfare: Wolfowitz edition

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Quote of the Day: Cul-de-sacs and Three Way Intersections

by matttbastard

To sit back and ignore this crisis because “it’s not happening here” does a grave injustice to the cause of anti-oppression work. If we allow the U.S. government and ourselves to sit back and ignore this crisis, we might as well sit back and ignore the crises that happen here as well. As long as oppression and hate and genocide are allowed anywhere in the world, it will be allowed and justified at home.

But on the other hand, I feel that I also must remind that it is often easier to stand against oppression that isn’t happening in your own back yard. It’s a two-way street, with a cul-de-sac up the road and one of those three-way intersections a half a mile away where you have to take a left exit to go where you want. It ain’t always easy. Stand up against world-wide oppression, but don’t think that gives you a pass to ignore what is going on in your own neighborhood. You will be tired. You might also find yourself confused at times. But you won’t be nearly as tired and confused as those slaves were after an 18-hour day in the fields.

– The Thin Black Duke, Blogging Against Genocide

Besides the links included in Kevin’s post, make sure to check out Eric Reeves’ invaluable site (though I don’t agree with all of Reeves’ conclusions/solutions):

Eric Reeves is Professor of English Language and Literature at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He has spent the past eight years working full-time as a Sudan researcher and analyst, publishing extensively both in the US and internationally. He has testified several times before the Congress, has lectured widely in academic settings, and has served as a consultant to a number of human rights and humanitarian organizations operating in Sudan. Working independently, he has written on all aspects of Sudan’s recent history. His book about Darfur (“A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide”) was published in May 2007 (available here). He is also at work on a longer-range project surveying the international response to ongoing war and human destruction in Sudan over the past 18 years (“Sudan — Suffering a Long Way Off”).

OTOH, Ken Silverstein contends that some Darfur advocacy campaigns like Save Darfur render an extremely convoluted and chaotic situation to a simplistic battle between good and evil, victim and oppressor. Silverstein points to a recent op-ed by David Rieff:

To communicate a more complicated message may be more accurate but it is inevitably less compelling, and according to the conventional wisdom, campaigns need to be compelling if they are to have a hope of success.

In the case of Darfur, there is in fact considerable controversy about whether the government of Sudan and the janjaweed have committed genocide. Save Darfur, the Holocaust Museum and the U.S. Congress say they have; the European Union and many of the most important relief groups working on the ground in western Sudan say they have not. There is also a heated debate among statisticians, demographers and activists about how many people have been killed or displaced. Understandably, those who are campaigning for an international intervention to rescue the Darfuris tend to accept the higher figures; indeed, for many it is the brute number of dead that drew them to activism in the first place.

To suggest that things may be more complicated is in no sense to deprecate their commitment. But it is to say that if, proverbially, the first casualty of war is truth, then the first casualty of activism is complexity. If Save Darfur had said, “Look, the situation in Darfur is very convoluted and, while the government of Sudan deserves the lion’s share of the blame, the rebels are no prize either,” how many contributions would the group have received, and how many volunteers would they have inspired?

Precious few, most likely. And yet — although it probably was the case that in 2004, the conflict in Darfur could accurately be described as a campaign of terror and murder against Darfuri civilians orchestrated by the Khartoum government — in 2007, the conflict has degenerated into one in which rebel factions are fighting one another while factions within the janjaweed are doing the same. In other words, it’s a war of all against all.

[…]
None of this is to say that the crisis in Darfur is manufactured. It is all too real. But a crisis that involves innocent victims and evil victimizers is different from one in which there is evil enough to go around — which, as the headlines demonstrate, is what is actually going on in Darfur.

Also see Lenin’s classic Sudan and lurid morality tales for young imperialists*:

The current crusading about Sudan reminds me of the old saying from the pan-African movement: nothing about us, without us. That it is also a slogan of the disability rights movement is somehow appropriate, since oppressed or marginalised groups tend to suffer from a great deal of imperious generosity by philanthropists and charitable overseers who think of them as children.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

*And here’s where my anti-imperialist/interventionist leanings come into play, which is why, after much thought, I ultimately chose not to directly participate in the Blog Against Genocide campaign. A difficult decision, one that will likely breed much inner turmoil and second-guessing (which neatly sums up my overall relationship over the years with the situation in Darfur; confusion, cul-de-sacs and three way intersections, indeed.)

Thursday Blogwhoring: The Chairman Of The Bored

by matttbastard

Even when mired in the depths of illness and ennui, love reign o’er me! (Once again, Melissa McEwen gets the lion’s share of props. Rawr, etc.)

First Draft: ‘Not My Job’ and Those darn hurricanes are never there when you need them!

AngryBlackBitch: Lies beget lies beget lies beget drama…

Lenin’s Tomb: Which ones are the Nazis again?

Rox Populi: Attention MSM

at-Largely: This is what passes for journalism at the JPost these days…

Arms and influence: O captains, our captains

Dawg’s Blawg: The anthropology of blogging (1)

Montreal Simon: The Throne Speech: Is it Time to Leave Canada?

Renegade Evolution: Why we love Amber & Trinity, entitlement, and other assorted tales…

Nexy’s Cocoon: on mutilation & provocation

Daisy’s Dead Air: October 16, 1859

The Galloping Beaver: “What would be their specific need to see?”

Anti-Choice is Anti-Awesome: Some Days it’s Hard to Think of a Title

Leftist Looney Lunchbox: DNA pioneer’s lecture cancelled after comments on race (“Me thinks they ought to revoke his nobel…” Ditto.)

Jack and Jill Politics: Tis the Season to Claim Black Inferiority and Dr. James Watson — Racist

Feministe: Why diversity is important, Why not illegalize it?, OMG Teh Hysterical Feminists Again! and Questionable statistics

Idolator: Is Indie Rock Black Enough? Presenting The Sasha Frere-Jones Score and The Sasha Frere-Jones Score: Emo Swings More Than Acoustic Guitars Do (via Racialicious)

Tiny Cat Pants: Who Does Kay Brooks Hate More–Men or Women? (via Feline Formal Shorts)

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Mission Accomplished

by matttbastard

Via Lenin, after working so goddamn hard at re-branding our international image, we’ve finally hit the big time:

Shouts of “Death to Canada!” were heard among the clamour yesterday on the main highway west of Kandahar city, as an estimated 300 to 400 protesters voiced their anger against the violent searches of local homes.

Our little wanna-be empire, she’s growing up so fast. Well done, Steve.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers