[*this is a follow up article to “Anti-Racism/Sexism & Individualism” where I liken postmodern politics to a modern form of divide and conquer.]

0_todel_boston_drones

A bomb in Boston:
   – Outcry! Terrorism! Bad!
   – What terrorism? The US is the real terrorist!
   – Why are they blaming brown people! That’s racist! Racism is bad!

A school shooting in America:
     – Tragedy!  Ban guns!  Guns are bad!
     – Arm the teachers; bad guys are bad!
     – I hope it’s not a shooter of colour.  [see: “Racism is bad.”]

Here’s the thing.  I’m equal parts sympathetic, and confused and saddened, by this standard Western outcry.

I’m confused because of the gap between the reaction and the root causes.  And I’m sympathetic because it’s a fully understandable reaction—if not for accidents of personal history I would most likely be of similar mind.

Looking at media (mainstream and social) after moments like these, it seems to me that we in the West live with a cough syrup political mentality.

Millions of people swear by cold medicines, good people, friends and family even.  They feel a cold coming on and they pop the pills, or gulp down the syrups.

And yet–
–they don’t work. (more…)

22 October 2012

Gangnam Style.  You’ve seen it I’m sure (I mean it’s in the Guinness Book for highest number of likes on Youtube).  At first I just dismissed it as just some fad, completely harmless and at most just the latest weirdly ironic thing people picked up on to pass the time.  And yet… in retrospect it’s a lot more than that, it’s a great excuse to write about ideology today.

Ideology.  The word is most commonly used these days to refer to ideas (usually “evil” or at least misguided) that we disagree with.  Western society likes to think of itself as ideologically neutral—you know, in the same way that White people are the default type in the West—but a serious look at pop culture and the evening news is all you need to see that ideology is alive and kicking. (more…)

*this is the copy of a talk I gave on 26 January 2012 at “The Politics of Protest” conference at the University of Toronto.

ImageAs one of the organizers of this event, wrote on her FB wall the other day (in all caps no less):  “OK SERIOUSLY, LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND HOW THEY NEGOTIATE POWER AND PRIVILEGE!!”

Ok.  Lets.

So let me start by saying something very bluntly: White people ARE superior to people of colour.  Men ARE more important and more valuable than women.  And greed IS far superior to “love.”

Let’s not beat around the bush about should be’s or the use of non-oppressive language.

THIS is the society we live in.  THIS is reality.  You don’t like it?  Good.  Change it. (more…)