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An Erratic Orbit

A bipolar perspective on the 3rd planet

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Racism

Identity

People often say to me “Dave, in today’s fraught and polarised world, how can I tell if I’m turning into a bigot?”

And I say,

“Have you found yourself using any of the following four phrases in a negative way, in some rant about things that you didn’t have much interest in until you found yourself turning either reddish pink, or with an almost imperceptible alteration to your skin tone ( because I don’t want to be “racist against white people” or bloodpressure-ist)? Have you found yourself getting angry and ranting, whether your skin colour changed to something resembling a joint of ham or not? Whether you’re white, straight, a farmer, a Tory, a foxhunter, an immigrant-hater, a murderer…. Whatever your orientation… whether you loathe the NHS or want to see us all vaporised in mutually assured nuclear destruction… Whoever you are, gammon or any other kind of red faced man. Or magistrate-

Peter Cook as a judge
Image: https://garethstack.com/category/history-of-comedy/

-Have you found yourself using any of the following four phrases in some kind of rant about how the world isn’t concentrating on The Important Things… ?”

Now I’m not trying to stereotype people, because I know there are people who say “I’m on the left. I bought that Sting album once. I sing along to Billy Bragg at festivals. I hate the Tories. I want the working class to, well, not own the means of production- Let’s not go overboard- but maybe smell the means of production. Or at least have weekend visitation rights to the means of production, for a small fee. And that small fee will help pay for a theatre project, perhaps. I don’t know. The point is, Dave, I’m not a right wing reactionary…I actually want to renationalise the railways and…stuff…”

…some people who would say those exact words without hesitation, deviation, or repetition… Yes them… some of these people might accidentally use the four phrases. So you see, its not a straightforward thing, turning into a bigot. It can sneak up on the most liberal people… And those four phrases that, if you use them disparagingly, might give you a clue you are turning into a reactionary bigot, or the supposed concepts they represent, are, according to people who are turning into reactionary bigots, the reason we aren’t living in a Socialist utopia like Canada (where workers can view the means of production through a coin operated telescope).

This country could be a paradise, so they say, were it not for four things:

Cultural Marxism.
Political Correctness Gone Mad.
Identity Politics.
And, Gary Lineker.

Gary Lineker
Image: Christophe95 (Wikipedia)

And you might say in response,

“Well… Hold on. What you’ve done there is yourself conflate four things you dislike but are all different. Namely, genuine right wing reactionaries, misguided liberals, unsophisticated Marxists who fear any challenge or nuanced approach to a tentative 19th century historical framework, and Piers Morgan.”

Maybe so but to me they are all the same. These minor differences of identity are irrelevant, I say, and cannot be allowed to detract from the overarching narrative. That is, they are all shitstains.

They say these four concepts are the REASON FOR the rise of fascism, the literal cause of Donald Trump. A Tanzanian Lesbian Mothers’ Bookclub: That’s what’s causes Nazis! Don’t know about you but I had to start worshipping Hitler when I heard about Disabled Irish Men Against Hate. How dare they? Fucking up our radical post-neoliberal economics with their collective organisation and critique of failures to put in wheelchair accessible entrances in Cork. No wonder America embraced the right. You made Steve Bannon happen, feminism, with your demands for maternity leave and equal pay.

Bing image search: Tanzanian Lesbian Mothers Bookclub

Then Piers Morgan or the dogmatic resident of the 19th Century says “No. It’s not those things. Obviously we are for those things. But the failure to put them in the proper socio-economic context allowed Thatcherism to take hold.” And I say, yeah, thats why the public rejected Keynesianism. Nothing to do with the oil crisis, unemployment, stagflation, or the undermining of the unions by various forces. It was black women in academia! It was Alan Turing having the thoughtlessness to get chemically castrated as a punishment for being gay despite not being remotely proletarian.

“But the GLC alienating the public by building multiculturalism when what the people needed is Volume 3 of Capital…”

Page from Capital Vol 3

Volume 3 of Karl Marx’s Capital, also known as ‘Raw Sex: The Hot Bits’.

“But all this about hedgehog flavour crisps insulting gays… It’s identity politics gone mad. It’s a Gary Lineker marketing ploy!”

It invariably turns out that it wasn’t like that at all. They got the wrong end of the stick.

“But what about all the books they are highlighting as racist? Why are they bringing attention to racist books? What harm have racist books ever done?”

Statue of Robert E Lee being taken down
Image: https://abcnews.go.com/US

“And the statues. General Lee… Wilfred Rhodes. Who next? Before you know it, they’ll be wanting to tear down the statue of Churchill. Or the one of Oliver Cromwell outside Parliament.”

I don’t discriminate. I don’t get bogged down in these insignificant differences of identity. So to all of those people:

Fuck off, Piers Morgan.

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Bob Dylan had a Jewish name. So he changed it.

One saviour. A man imposing his considerable will on the world. The artist endlessly reinventing themselves. (And, America isn’t racist). These narratives are why you have to include the search term “Jewish” to find mention on the internet of the most simple reason Bob Dylan changed his name. Every Jewish entertainer did back then. Simon and Garfunkel, formerly (no lie) Tom & Jerry, were amongst the first to buck the trend and they were already IN New York and that was in 1963. The far less urbane Zimmerman was calling himself Dylan before the start of the decade.

“It wasn’t the right name for Rock N Roll”. Well of course not. It’s not Anglicised. It’s actually the same point, disguised.

If we want to credit Dylan for invention, of course he is fundamental to the new form Rock (as distinct from Rock N Roll) that emerged from the mid 1960s. Often grandiose, rambling, and cryptic. The same goes for most Rock Journalism. As someone who is themselves often grandiose I don’t mean it as pure criticism. Reach for the cosmos by all means. Employ labyrinthine structures. The Wasteland is grandiose and none the worse for it. Rock was, in many respects, Pop outgrowing its form, embracing modernism, getting literary, getting symphonic… all that. As much precocious as pretentious. Yet, this is why, especially on the internet, simple truths are sometimes set aside or overlooked.

Racism, censorship, exclusion, and The Labour Party

Until we stop ‘hunting for bigots’ and can start to have proper discussions of the institutional nature of racism and its relation to power, and especially the primary props of State power and inequities of capital, actions taken will be ineffective and in fact will contribute to oppression, in UK cities to the USA to Palestine and beyond.

The supposedly liberal outrage at inherent “racists” as if we have to find only those pure souls for The Labour Party without a ‘racist bone’ is ascientific and privileges the white liberally educated. Ultimately, it is itself racist. 

We see few better illustrations of the centrist and right tendency to enable fascism by perpetuating oppression than the bull-in-a-china-shop approach to anti-Semitism of the supporters of the Labour Party organisations where the current Israel government has most influence. 

If you want to find bigotry and prejudice, and you are capable of questioning yourself, you’ll find it within you and without you. It’s probably there in your perception of white van man, your views on benefits, your most laissez faire attitudes to redistribution of wealth, the demographics of your friends, and those implicit attitudes you’ve never bothered to uncover about the minorities you have least interest in finding out about.

What do we hope to find? The racism gene?! Education not witch-hunts and education for YOU (me) first of all.

The Labour Party and the Dumbed Down Discourse on Racism

We are still a long way away from sensible discussion about racism across the Labour Party. Racism in the modern sense as understood by those who take the most trouble to examine it as methodically as possible is not just the evolutionarily ingrained (and most probably adaptive before civilisation) distrust of people recognisable as “strangers” by appearance, and neither is it the bigotry of individuals (presumably acting from some nineteenth century notion of sinful free will). It is most certainly not an excuse for the categorization of individuals based on isolated statements or Facebook posts. It is trivial to demonstrate prejudice on such a basis in almost any adult, particularly public figures. Harvard University have tests that will show anyone at least some of the implicit prejudices that are prone to sway our opinions, often unconsciously: racist, sexist, and homophobic.

Racism word cloud
Image: http://www.kharmasworld.com

Modern racism has the distinguishing feature of virulence. That is, both in the sense of a hostility to ethic minorities unknown in the ancient world and in terms of pervasiveness and harmfulness. The isolation of left wing individuals does practically nothing to combat racism in The Labour Party, although it might make some of us feel better that ‘something is being done’ about racism. This is of course an illusion. You and I are far from immune from its influence. In fact, it is striking that the most high profile recent cases of suspensions involve long-time anti-racism campaigners, almost all women, and almost all from ethnic minorities. This should cause consternation and discomfort to anyone who wants to inoculate themselves from white supremacy.

Modern racism has its roots in, especially, Elizabethan England’s uneasy relationship with Spain, Spain’s own power battles, and the greed of Europeans who saw profit in free African labour. To make it all about individuals is  superficial analysis, conservative commentary, and plays into the hands of reactionary forces.

​The history of “SJW” (“Social Justice Warrior”)

There is close association between the American atheist and skeptic movements. Tensions between progressives and everyone else, especially atheist economic Libertarians,  have exploded over the last three years, after a number of high profile incidents at  conventions involving thoughtless casual misogyny, harrassment, and even rape. An alarming, very ugly,  anti-feminist backlash has emerged centred around a handful of well known figures on either side of the rift and two websites. The only person you will probably know is the blithely privileged and  ever more reactionary  Richard Dawkins. 

As for the web,  Freethoughtblogs.com is an illuminating site. Slymepit.com  not so much. Here you will find links, human and hyper-, to Breitbart, Donald Trump’s favourite news source.  I’ll leave it to you to work out where SJW gained popularity. 

There is further overlap between anti-feminist gamers and anti-feminist atheists. Gamergate, which was a non-scandal aimed at silencing and shaming females in the  gaming world, further popularised the use of “SJW”. 

A little glimpse into the online festering of American middle class prejudice that has exploded into public consciousness via Trump.   

The algorithmist – It’s a Facebook Thing

Try giving this post the angry emoticon. Unless you are a breastfeeding keep your tits in Hitler was right about one thing. British values. Poor Jayda. Can’t stand em. moslems moslems moslems do you have to do it in public? Breast milk is free. You sell baby food. From the industrial revolution to good old Maggie sinking the Belgrano and beyond lefty scum wining bloody remoaners, tits have gone out of fashion. Not Civilised. Get back in the kitchen. 1950s was the time. Good old keep em in your blouse no blacks and buy Buy Buy babyfood.

Then the Krays. In my day we was safer. Two fifties and straight to the seventies. Proper gentlemen, rape your arse, and change for five bob. Oi that’s my watch. But I bought-

Crackle crackle burning flesh.

Counterculture and feminism bloody feminism. Cultural Marxism more like. What’s all these breastfeeding articles and Marxism crap in me feed. Feed me mama. Behold the rise of the human billboard. That’s you mate. Breast milk is free. Keep yer tits in.

Advertising shits in your head
image: revoltdesign.org

The new ellipsis moslems moslems moslems

You are free to sell baby food, to eat baby food, only what baby likes. Don’t like this.

Why do you think that? You don’t. think

you’re so clever and classless and free

admit it you fucked up. When will you accept yourself. Smart animal not as smart as he thinks. In the instructions go. Out the advert comes. Baby food.

Breast milk is free. You will shit babyfood adverts. You’re so free. You’ve taken back control. This is Control. We can’t market breast milk. You hate breastfeeding in public. Puts you off your baby food.

Sweet dreams John, Mike, Bill, Adam, Brian, Hal, Steve, Dave.

Johnboard. Mikeboard. Poor Bill. Sweet dreams.

Arbeit Macht Frei. My little human billboards. And not forgetting the indignant Lexiteers. 

This post sponsored by the sickly dream that brown sugary fizzwater makes you happy:

In Defence Of Jackie Walker – Gary Hollands

Gary has given a thorough response to the article backing the suspension of Jacqueline Walker written by Joe Muchall and published by Hope Not Hate:

​When an author writes serious allegations they have duty to hold themselves to a high bar, to be scrupulously fair in their arguments, to avoid distorting or putting words into the mouth of the one(s) they accuse.

Sadly, this article fails badly by that criteria.

It is mixture of straw man arguments, distortion and innuendo designed to discredit someone who has actively engaged in anti-racism all her political life.

Read the full article

Statement from Jewish activists re Jacqueline Walker

On the ousting of Jacqueline Walker 

Omo. How white your shirts can be. Purity, the Christian myth, repackaged for mass consumption. So, when a black Jewish woman emphasises the Black Slave Holocaust, we have a convenient fix for that sort of nonsense. Out, damned spot, Party scrubbed clean with an application of blame culture. 

Jacqueline Walker with

Once we knew everyone’s business. Now we play Wolf in the dark, our cluelessness intermittently assuaged by electric light. This is how the hegemony is preserved. It’s not conscious. We go for the “trouble maker”. There’s no room for nuance, dog must eat dog. White dog comes out top dog. 

The tragedy is, you play the game but you don’t even know you’re playing.

Wolf

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