Tuesday, June 29, 2010

G8/G20

before i delve headlong into the inanity, let's have a moment of quiet reflection. our inspiration: my harbord fish'n'chips haddock dinner last night.

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

okay, let's carry on then, shall we?

my thoughts on the g8/g20 gathering and the resulting protests and media frenzy and looting and chupidness can be basically summed up in the following series of random musings and pithy quips:

- people i want to hear talking about global capitalism: 1) not you 2) economists and economic theorists

- apple products advertising brainwashing > g20 media coverage brainwashing. p.s. 9/11 was an inside job, right?

- as much as i romanticize paris, 1968 - i do blame it for the commodification of protest culture. violence against protesters is totally traded as cultural capital.

principally, i'm just tired of the rhetoric and ideological nature of the discourse. like, COULD IT REALLY HAVE GONE ANY OTHER WAY? of course not! this is the only way that these meetings of global leaders can play out. what's tiresome is how predictable the narrative and roles are. on the one hand you have your protesters - the peaceful and the jacked-up-on-delusions-of-grandeur machismo/garbled anti-capitalist types. on the other hand you have "the state" the face of which are the police. if there HADN'T have been any violence or any s**tshow, would the protesters have been satisfied? i doubt it, because an essential part of the narrative is that there be some kind of police crackdown and resulting media frenzy. would the cops have been satisfied? no, because there has to be a justification for the expenditure of funds. the space is there and people just blindly step into it and act their roles...so banal.

everything is so garbled and messed up. what does it MEAN to be anti-capitalist? what does it MEAN to have people protesting? and protesting WHAT? to me, the seattle riots make more sense, that's the WTO, and we all know those guys are MAD shady. but it's ridiculous to me to be protesting world leaders getting together to talk stuff out. and seriously? you're complaining that there's no binding resolutions that come out of the g8/g20 talks? DO YOU REALLY WANT THERE TO BE?!? have you ever read through UN resolutions? it's MIND-NUMBING!!! guess how effective the UN is?!? guess how NOT bound up by bureaucracy they are?!? crikey. there is nothing that comes out of the g8/g20 meetings that wasn't already in place before or was planned a long time ago. they're only meeting for like, 3 days. let's be realistic here. haven't you ever sat in on a committee meeting at your own workplace? (anarchists: obviously not, which is YET ANOTHER REASON why you're so stupid). how effective are those meetings? holding the world leaders to what's discussed over a 3 day period on issues that affect THE GLOBE is beyond stupid. it's for people who want the coles' notes versions of global events.

you know what the most effective way of making sure that your views are represented? WORKING AT A GRASSROOTS LEVEL TO MAKE SURE THAT LEADERS WHO REPRESENT YOUR VIEWS ARE ELECTED TO BRING THE ISSUES YOU CARE ABOUT TO THE TABLE. that means NOT preaching to the converted but getting your ish together to persuade people who stand on the opposite side of the fence. that's WAY harder than marching along and staging silly, situationist type flashmobs and the like.

what is OXFAM working towards? how are they aligned with labour, native groups, women's groups, etc? in this day and age, can we really subsume all these issues under ONE banner that maintains a tight, cohesive, coherent, critical, and above all INTELLIGENT message? what does protesting in this way actually achieve in this day and age (i've been saying this since 4th year university - watching the quebec riots, thanks cultural studies!!!)

how is it surprising to anyone that cops are racist? guess what? old people are racist! and probably in higher percentages than in cops! accountants are racist! engineers are racist! instead of focusing your energy on the most visible caricature of "the state" your energies would be better applied working in your communities to raise kids who are going to go out into the world, and be whatever they're going to be (doctors, cops, teachers, etc.) and NOT be racist. instead of pointing out the obvious. let's fight racism on a SYSTEMIC level!

the dotytron had a fairly brilliant idea. he was like, all the protesters and groups should band together, sign an affidavit agreeing NOT to protest at all, and then direct the 1 billion spent on security towards a clean water initiative in africa. that's money well spent. because marching in the street is one of the most impotent forms of expressing dissent in a DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. especially marching in the street like this - when you have like, 50 bazillion different groups who all want different, amorphous things, banding together.

it's just so adbuster-y/culture-jamming-y: the collusion of soft, a-critical minds trading in tired, entrenched ideological positions that have no nuance. it's as predictable and threatening as cream of wheat.

i also think that protesters should be honest with themselves and agree that there's a certain fetishization of these clashes between themselves and the state. violence against protesters is courted to a certain extent, because those stories are then traded as cultural capital. as much as drinking stories or getting high stories or tales from the trading floor. if it had been entirely peaceful there would have been nothing to report, no machine to feed from all ends and it's the WILLINGNESS of people to participate in this narrative that i find the most saddening. such a lack of creativity, vision, context, imagination. don't you SEE?!?

also, how DARE you talk about state oppression IN ONTARIO, CANADA. how dare you?! how DARE you in the privileged north try to align yourselves with people who ACTUALLY experience oppression in iran, china, countless other places as a ROUTINE part of their daily lives. how dare you smash blackberries and then record the smashing with your iphone? how dare you try to make your life more meaningful in the cheapest way imaginable - simultaneously exerting colonial privilege AND trivializing the struggles of people who ACTUALLY have it bad? are you serious?

blargh. so frustrating!


in more pleasant news, tonight for dinner we had zucchini blossom and little baby zucchini pancakes with sour cream and mint.


we also had slow grilled kolbassa served with caramelized onions and sauerkraut in beer on a bun with spicy mustard. my inspiration was from this recipe here, with some minor tweaks. i grilled the kolbassa but caramelized the onions on the stove as i wanted them to get all sweet and sticky and then drained and rinsed the sauerkraut so it wasn't all so briny. i was trying to be carb conscious so i only ate half a bun. ta-da!

fin.

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