Keeping sane.

Aoû 31

God knows how I’m going to pay my rent this month. 

Toppling an elected government in Pakistan by the help of the army is not revolution. It is tradition.

L’expérience urbaine du monde

Enfin, on assiste à la création de milieux, c’est-à-dire à des émergences singulières qui rendent possible le passage du virtuel au réel en favorisant le surgissement de lieux. Ainsi les réseaux sociaux peuvent être les déclencheurs de rassemblements physiques sur les places publiques. Le lieu emblématique de ces milieux est la place Tahrir. L’occupation de la place Tahrir au Caire a surgi du monde virtuel, des échanges engendrés par les réseaux sociaux, grâce à des acteurs immergés dans la toile numérique. Cette place vide du pouvoir est devenue le milieu du rassemblement des révolutionnaires du 24 janvier 2011. Le 3 juillet 2013, deux millions de personnes occupent la place Tahrir pour saluer la destitution du président Morsi, mais les révolutionnaires doivent se plier au joug de ce qu’il faut appeler un coup d’État militaire. Agora par intermittence, la place Tahrir n’est pas devenue un milieu par hasard : ce n’est pas une place du centre-ville historique et colonial. C’est un assemblage du pays en miniature avec le Musée égyptien, le siège du parti dissous de Hosni Moubarak, le ministère de l’intérieur, de grands hôtels, l’ambassade américaine, un immeubles de style soviétique, des connexions routières invraisemblables, le siège de la ligue arabe, une gigantesque gare d’autobus. La place Tahrir, c’est le symbole d’une manière d’occuper les lieux et de résister aux flux.

(Source : laviedesidees.fr)

Aoû 30

Last time Tahir Ul Qadri staged his street theatre, he compared himself to Imam Hussain. He was standing behind a bullet proof screen when he gave that speech.

Aoû 29

The current political drama in Pakistan is basically an intra-Punjab conflict between the army and a petty vassal like Nawaz Sharif. Power-hungry fools from other province such as Imran Khan are simply being manipulated by the army for its own ends. Once the Punjab settles its fratricidal feud, the Punjabi elite will put Imran Khan in his right place––which will be outside of the Punjab and thus outside the real power centre of Pakistan. If Imran Khan thinks that he can just walk into the Punjab and demand to be made the king, he clearly does not know Pakistan’s history: every time a non-Punjabi takes power in that country, he/she either ends up in exile or in the gallows.

Aoû 26

Halal sexting and Muslim pickup lines: Are you Shia? Because the first time I saw you, I was like Shiite. 

Noam Chomsky to become new X-Factor judge

In his first outing as judge, Chomsky quickly made his mark. ‘Your act is part of a propaganda state promoting a culture-ideology of comforting illusion’, he told one hopeful young girl, before adding, ‘I’m saying yes.’

Not satisfied with attacking the acts, Professor Chomsky then turned his critique on The X Factor audience. ‘You are all complicit in a hegemonic construct designed primarily to keep you from questioning what is really going on in the world,’ he told them, ‘You must learn to think critically and reject the pernicious cult of celebrity.’ It was at this point that the audience went wild, whooping, cheering and chanting his name. ‘We love you Chomsky!’ they screamed as the 81 year-old professor sat at the table with his head in his hands.

(Source : newsbiscuit.com)

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a woman of Arab background, is the new head of the Ministry of Education in France. Giving space in the corridors of power to the upper-classes of the marginalized normally means co-optation. But by French standards, this is progress nonetheless.

Aoû 21

“The central fact for me is, I think, that the role of the intellectual… cannot be played without a sense of being someone whose place it is publicly to raise embarrassing questions, to confront orthodoxy and dogma (rather than to produce them), to be someone who cannot easily be co-opted by governments or corporations, and whose raison d’etre is to represent all those people and issues that are routinely forgotten or swept under the rug.” — Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual

Does Imran Khan actually think he can just walk into Punjab and demand power? The only victor of this drama will be Punjab. Punjab has only one political party: the army. When the army finally tells Imran Khan to go back, people of Punjab will listen to their (emphasis on their) army and will be pretty happy if the army steps in.

Aoû 19

Reparations for Ferguson

Among the many relevant facts for any African-American negotiating their relationship with the police the following stands out: The police departments of America are endowed by the state with dominion over your body. This summer in Ferguson and Staten Island we have seen that dominion employed to the maximum ends—destruction of the body. This is neither new nor extraordinary. It does not matter if the destruction of your body was an overreaction. It does not matter if the destruction of your body resulted from a misunderstanding. It does not matter if the destruction of your body springs from foolish policy. Sell cigarettes without proper authority and your body can be destroyed. Resent the people trying to entrap your body and it can be be destroyed. Protect the home of your mother and your body can be destroyed. Visit the home of your young daughter and your body will be destroyed. The destroyers of your body will rarely be held accountable. Mostly they will receive pensions. 

It will not do to point out the rarity of the destruction of your body by the people whom you pay to protect it. As Gene Demby has noted, destruction is merely the superlative form of a dominion whose prerogatives include friskings, detainings, beatings, and humiliations. All of this is common to black people. All of this is old for black people. No one is held accountable. The body of Michael Brown was left in the middle of the street for four hours. It can not be expected that anyone will be held accountable.

(Source : The Atlantic)

Breaking news: Libya recognizes the protestors in Ferguson as the ‘sole legitimate representatives of the United States.’

Bosnian actress Sabina Sabic and her daughter at the Sarajevo Film Fest.

Bosnian actress Sabina Sabic and her daughter at the Sarajevo Film Fest.

Aoû 18

The only march worth joining in Pakistan was the Baloch long march from Quetta to Islamabad via Karachi. More than 2,000KM. The only protest camp worth a sit-in was the camp setup by Mama Qadeer Baloch, lasting lasting 1,635 days. A march and a stand for human rights and dignity for a people who are being killed for sport by the Pakistani security agencies. That was an anti-establishment march. Where was Imran Khan then? Nowhere. Imran Khan’s march is for deluded fools who like to follow megalomaniacs. Imran Khan is simply pissed because he is not part of the establishment. He does not want to change anything – he wants to be a part of it.

The Militarization of Racism and Neoliberal Violence

The worldwide response to what is happening in Ferguson sheds a light on the racist and militarized nature of American society so as to make its claim to democracy seem both hypocritical and politically insipid. At the same time, such protests make visible what Goya called the sleep of reason, a lapse in witnessing, attentiveness, and the failure of conscience, which lie at the heart of neoliberal’s ongoing attempt to depoliticize the American public. Political life has come alive once again in the United States, moving away from its withdrawal into consumer fantasies and privatized obsessions. The time has come to recognize that Ferguson is not only about the violence and consolidation of white power and racism in one town; it is also symptomatic of white power and the deep-seated legacy of racism in the country as a whole, which goes along with what the United States has become under the intensifying politics of market fundamentalism, militarism and disposability.

Ferguson prompts us to rethink the meaning of politics and to begin to think not about reform but a major restructuring of our values, institutions and notions of what a real democracy might look like. We need to live in a country in which we are alarmed rather than entertained by violence. It is time for the American people to unite around our shared fate as stakeholders in a radical democracy, rather than being united around our shared fears and the toxic glue of state terrorism and everyday violence. Ferguson points to some nefarious truths about our past and present. But the public response points in another more hopeful direction. What Ferguson has told us is that the political and moral imagination is still alive, thirsting for justice, and unwilling to let the dark clouds of authoritarianism put the lights out for good. But for that to happen we must move from moral outrage to collective struggles as part of a wider effort to dismantle the mass incarceration society, the surveillance state and the military-industrial-academic complex. How many more children, black youth, immigrants and others have to die before the struggle begins?

(Source : truth-out.org)