Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Reading



A Steampunk May Day: Black Radicals, Anarchists, Socialists and Reformers
by Phenderson Djèlí Clark
Steampunk itself exists in a radical age, as the blog Steampunk Emma Goldman reminds us in its dedication to “occasionally talk about past and future political actions inside and outside the steampunk community.” The era to which the genre lays claim was one in which labor unions, workers, socialists, anarchists and radicals waged wars of rhetoric and direct action–that could erupt into riots, uprisings and rebellion. In Chicago’s Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886, a labor protest rally turned into a riot after someone threw a bomb at police. Eight people died. In Ludlow, Colorado, striking coal miners attacked their place of work, destroying and looting property. They were met by company guards and the Colorado National Guard with machine guns. Between 70 to 200 men and women were killed.
Read More at Disgruntled Haradrim


Unprotected by Assimilation: Lessons from the Case of Duy Ngo
Duy Ngo, a Vietnamese American undercover police officer working in the Minnesota Gang Strike Force, was struck by a bullet from an unknown suspect while working a case.  The bullet did not pierce his bullet proof vest, but it knocked the wind from him.  After briefly chasing the suspect, he called for backup, and laid on the ground.  Two officers in a squad car arrived on the scene, and apparently one of them mistook Duy for an Asian gang member and opened fire on him while he lay on the ground.  Duy claims he was struck by eight bullets.  Some accounts claim at least six.
Read More at Reappropriate


Vintage Viewing: Mabel Normand, Slapstick Star in Charge
by Brigit McCone
Mabel Normand was once known as “The Queen of Comedy” and “The Female Chaplin.” Her name was featured in the title of her shorts as their star attraction, which she soon parlayed into creative control as director. Normand mentored Charlie Chaplin as well as Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, who went on to mentor Buster Keaton in his turn. Mabel is, therefore, a cornerstone in the development of the American slapstick auteur, but one whose role is regularly overlooked. Her indirect connection with scandals, from Hollywood shootings to Arbuckle’s sensational trial, was used to tarnish her image and spark campaigns to ban her films, exploited by what biographer Thomas Sherman calls “behind-the-scenes Hollywood power brokers seeking to reshape the existing order.” Because of her early death in 1930 from tuberculosis, Normand is now remembered mainly through portraits by male co-workers, Mack Sennett and Charlie Chaplin, rather than her own words.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


The Life and Times of Mr Peter Buckton: Forty four years of walking past Cecil John Rhodes’ Statue
by Abigail McDougall
On Friday, April 10th Mr Peter Buckton walked from the bus station up to his office at the University of Cape Town. For the first time in 44 years of this daily journey, he did not have to pass the statue of Cecil John Rhodes on the university’s upper campus. There was no brass band, no media, just a quietly victorious white-haired man on his way to work. He breathes a slow sigh, and describes the feeling.
Read More at Africa Is A Country


Dove’s #LoveYourCurls Fake Feminist Campaign Reinforces Racism
by Aya de Leon
So I’m watching TV today as I’m cooking dinner, and several of the commercials are for Dove products. Other writers have effectively pointed out how Dove has these faux feminist ads, which are problematic for a few reasons: 1.the ads ultimately suggest that the problem with sexist beauty standards can be solved by buying beauty products. 2. They reinforce appearance and grooming as central preoccupations for women. 3. They don’t reflect a real corporate commitment to eliminating sexism in our culture, because Dove is owned by Unilever, the same corporation that owns Axe body spray, which has notoriously sexist advertising. Their advertising gives give faux feminist messages to women and misogynist messages to men.
Read More at Aya de Leon


Glen Ford at Black Community Control of Police



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