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Bourgeois society is adept at absorbing any ostensibly radical blow and selling it back to us partly tamed. This clothing, like punk itself, was meant to be a slap in the face of mainstream culture, but it was also meant to sell. The Marquis de Sade (and, more recently, Camille Paglia) might argue that after a period of liberationist optimism (such as the hippie episode), a more aggressive period of negativity is inevitable, as people remembered that unfettered human nature is not all sweetness and light. There’s a sense in which de Sade was conservative relative to Rousseau simply because de Sade was more pessimistic, more aware of our potential for violence. The same is arguably true of the punks relative to the hippies. And perhaps even of those Republican bondage fans recently reimbursed by the Republican National Committee relative to, say, mellow residents of a free love commune. –“Capitalism for Punks,” Todd Seavey, Reason
A roar of banging metal, screams and shouting is approaching. Passersby stop in their tracks. People had heard rumors of riots in the provinces but their eyes swell with shock as they see what is marching forwards. Hundreds of men are on the move. Their eyes have turned to glares. Men enter this mob as shopkeepers, drivers or factory workers — only to lose themselves in the surge. They are moving as one body, copying each other as they pick up the rhythmic chants and grab rocks to hurl at police. A man in a gas mask is waving an AK-47. All work has stopped. Shop fronts are being boarded up.
Society is dissolving. The grief of a people who have seen their quality of life slide continuously since the fall of the Soviet Union is turning into a frenzy born of despair. A middle-aged man grabs me. His hair is grey and his eyes are brown. He wants me to understand. “We are living like Africans now … we are not blacks …” –“Blood in the Streets of Bishkek: My two days running with the mob in Kyrgyzstan,” Ben Judah, Foreign Policy
A novel definition of feminism: “a well-meaning, highly successful, very colorful denigration of maleness as a force, as a phenomenon.”;
dictators and their hideous works of art;
the dubious joys of unemployment
Once categorized as fighting dogs, the pit bulls were assumed inherently dangerous, too aggressive to live—no matter the evidence of their friendliness and vigor and regardless of the absence of any proof of actual fighting. Deemed “threats to the public,” they could be killed summarily. According to Louisiana law, “fighting dogs are contraband per se.” An arbitrary label put an end to their lives, without any recourse, appeal, even notice to their owners. Not only were they no longer personal property, but once seized from their owners, the dogs were legally disposable too. –“Dead Dogs: Breed bans, euthanasia, and preemptive justice,” Colin Dayan, Boston Review
Wait a minute–there’s such a thing as a seven alarm fire, or is that just turning an inferno up to eleven?
if a Vietnamese industrial park ever “lifts its game,” one can only hope to be there to witness it;
kill the mail!
More from TedRoss:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”