Thoughts on politics, religion, violence, inequality, social control, change, and random other things from an autonomous, analytical, adopted, abolitionist, anarchist who likes the letter A

Archive for February, 2012

Things You Might Have Missed

February 28, 2012 By: Mel Category: Misc

The video is now up from our protest for the National Day for Prisoners. You can check it out here.

Last Friday, anonymous took down The Geo Group’s website and replaced it with a picture of Mumia.

I am so incredibly creeped out that corporations have been patenting the human genome.

Excellent piece by Laura Augustin on Granting Agency to Migrants. I love the way she questions who we label a tourist, a business traveler, or a migrant.

This moss grafitti is kinda cool.

How did I miss this hilarity the first time around? I think the ” photo of 19th century mustachioed Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata” is what really brought it over the top.  Here’s hoping you never stop being a “bit of an asshole” CD.

And finally, this story from This American Life leaves me speechless. It is about one cop who actually had some sense of ethics, a whole lot of cops who had none, and some real New York police horror stories. I really, really recommend listening to it.

On Porn Stars and Seamstresses

February 23, 2012 By: Mel Category: Conflict, Sex, Work

I know Chris Hedges has been blowing up the internets lately because of that piece he did on the black bloc. But I’d like to take him to task for something he said back at the beginning of January in this C-Span interview.  It comes about 12 minutes into the second hour when he starts talking about pornography.

I get very angry with the liberal class and the left over their refusal to condemn pornography. Why is it morally indefensible to physically abuse a woman in a sweatshop in The Philippines or in Southern China, but somehow it is an issue of free speech when it is done by the sex industry in the United States?

When I started interviewing these women who came out of the porn industry, having suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, I instantly after literally a minute or two said these people all have PTSD. And I wrote it graphically and brutally. And I think intended to engender a kind of disgust.

I never write in the chapter we should or shouldn’t ban porn. I just said if you want to defend porn than you better understand what it is you’re are defending. These women, and they are just thrown up, ya know they last one or two years on the sets. And then if they continue within the industry they just in essence become call girls shipped around the country in hotel rooms and its just awful.

But they are popping handfuls of painkillers before they go on the sets. This violence which sells, and porn it’s not the soft lit porn of the playboy channel anymore. It is so-called gonzo porn. The violence is not simulated. It’s real.

These women are black and blue by the time they finish. They are constantly going in for surgery for anal and vaginal tears because they are penetrated by two three dozen men in the course of an afternoon, knocked around, abused, insulted verbally, assaulted physically. And I was, as somebody who doesn’t watch porn, I was pretty blown away. It was really sick.

You are going to be surprised to find out that I actually agree with Hedge’s analogy at the top of that quote. There are comparisons between the porn industry and the clothing industry. But not every person who makes clothes is a sweatshop worker. And not everyone who is a sex worker is brutally gang raped for two years and then thrown on the streets to be interviewed by white knight book writers.

Donatella Versace is no more in the same place as a sweatshop worker in The Phillipines than Jenna Jameson is in the same place as someone making a gonzo film in Vegas. Every industry we have in our society brutally exploits people somewhere in the world. If it isn’t a sweatshop worker, it is a farm worker. But just because farm workers are exploited, poisoned, and dying from heat stroke does not mean that Mario Batali and his whole industry should be shut down. (Well, o.k.  Maybe him.)

I don’t know what pisses me off the most about this crap. How someone can be so smart and so intellectually dishonest? How sanctimonious it is? How he turns every woman in porn into a victim with PTSD? How he erases every man or lesbian from the porn industry? It is just so hard to chose.


Things You Might Have Missed

February 21, 2012 By: Mel Category: Misc

Holy crap. How have I not put up a TYMHM since January 10th. I seem to have lost a month of my life somewhere along the way.

As you must have gathered from the couple posts I have put up, one of the things keeping me busy is the Criminal INjustice Committee of occupy. We had a good turnout for our protest yesterday for the National Occupy Day for Prisoners. You can check out the video here. And if you are on twitter, follow us.

Have you all seen the promo for Occupy Unmasked? Brought to you by none other than Brandon Darby. You know. The guy who inspired Why Misogynists Make Great Informants. Oh yes. He is back. He’s been trolling occupy protests and twitter feeds all over the place.

You know that HUGE figure that represents our “defense” budget? Not even close.

I really do love free speech. But it takes some serious nerve to actually sue so that you can lie about ballot initiatives. I mean politics is nothing but lies. But I feel like we have turned a corner here.

Wow HRC!  Just Wow!  (P.S. My friend has a petition up on this one.)

Russian punk women in snazzy balaclavas. What could be better than that?

So with all this reading I have been doing on prison issues, I’ve come across some really bizarre shit. But I think the fact that Rivers Correctional is on Yelp must be the most surreal thing yet. Shockingly, there are no reviews yet.

I love this research. Mind you I have not looked at the methodology. But I’d like to see a lot more people try to calculate the real value of what garbage collectors and strawberry pickers do.  If people were actually paid by how useful they were to society, things would look so much different.

And finally, I will leave you with this minor and hilarious rebellion by some Vermont inmates with a sense of humor.


Natl Day in Support of Prisoners

February 17, 2012 By: Mel Category: Events

Apologies for falling off the map again. I have just about dug myself out of a hole and should be back on a posting schedule (fingers crossed) next week.

In the meantime, one of the things keeping me busy has been the Criminal Injustice Committee of Occupy. Our Wells Fargo boycott website is up and running. Though not all the content is up yet. Please check it out and share.

This Monday is a national day of action in support of prisoners. We will be gathering at the DC jail to talk about mass incarceration, dehumanization, and how orgs like Wells Fargo and the private prison companies they support are making bank off of it all. If you are in DC, please come out. And please share the info with your friends. You can get more info on the website or through this Facebook event.

See you there!