Occupy Friday Links

October 28th, 2011  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

At times I am reminded that I do indeed live in a strange foreign land:

Specialite maison: Steak de cheval

But from over here, it seems like life in America got substantially weirder in the past week. A lot of things are happening that I couldn’t have imagined a year ago.

– Reading assignment of the week: Jo Freeman’s [“The Tyranny of Structurelessness”](http://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/tyranny.htm), a timeless classic that’s once again been on my mind in light of recent Occupy Wall Street related craziness.

– You should be reading [Aaron Bady](zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/14th-and-broadway/) for all your news on this week’s police violence against Occupy Oakland. See [this post](http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/passing-the-hat/) to find out how you can help some of the folks documenting the occupation.

– Besides being appalling, the decision of Oakland authorities to call in the riot squad is initially a bit puzzling: like the skits on a rap album, it’s hard to understand how anyone convinced themselves that this was a good idea. But Mayor Jean Quan probably just failed to grasp the new dynamic in which protesters actually [*win* standoffs](http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/686295/jean_quan%27s_about-face:_oakland_mayor_now_supports_the_occupy_movement,_orders_%22minimal_police_presence%22/) with the police. At any point in the recent past, Quan could have reasonably assumed that massive police repression of peaceful demonstrations would result in a few days of bad press, followed by the whole problem going away. But now she’s finding that times have changed, and she has only managed to escalate the situation and give the movement its first martyr; as an additional bonus, Mayor Quan has temporarily sidelined the “what are our demands” argument by providing Occupy Oakland with [the demand](http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/why-quans-got-to-go/) that’s worked so well in other places: [ash-shab yurid isqat an-nizam](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash-shab_yurid_isqat_an-nizam).

– I mean seriously, did the cops really think they could stop a crowd that contained [Boots Riley](http://twitter.com/#!/BootsRiley/status/129068159566225408) *and* [MC Hammer](http://twitter.com/#!/MCHammer/status/129461162663362560)? [This picture](http://4.thisbeatgoes.net/files/2011/10/MC-Hammer-Occupy-Wall-Street.jpg) belongs on [Awesome People Hanging Out Together.](http://awesomepeoplehangingouttogether.tumblr.com/)

– Speaking of Boots, this is an appropriate occupation soundtrack:

– [Solidarity](http://boingboing.net/2011/10/28/tahrir.html) with Occupy Oakland from Egypt; [strategic advice](http://www.juancole.com/2011/10/sefat-top-10-ways-ows-can-succeed-counsel-from-irans-green-movement.html) from Iran.

– Mainstream media is failing harder than usual this past week or so. NPR conducted a purge in response to the threat of [biased opera coverage](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/21/npr-dumping-opera-show-ov_n_1026121.html), and we discovered that they also fired the holder of a [famous protest sign](http://boingboing.net/2011/10/28/how-occupy-wall-street-cost-me-my-job.html). Then the New York Times ditched a reporter after my own *Jacobin* magazine’s [recent event](http://jacobinmag.com/blog/?p=2012) got sucked into the meat grinder of [Limbaugh](http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2011/10/24/nyt_reporter_outed_as_protester_occupy_wall_street_caught_putting_its_money_in_an_evil_corporate_bank) and [Beck](http://www.glennbeck.com/2011/10/25/leading-occupy-wall-street-activist-beck-has-a-better-analysis-than-most-people-on-the-left-about-where-this-could-go/). Meanwhile, it is of course no problem at all that the Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief is [promoting a war against Iran](http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/10/26/353954/ethan-bronner-clarion-fund-islamophobic/) in his spare time, alongside noted lunatics John Bolton and Richard Perle. And to top it all off, ABC and CBS politely turned off their cameras so the cops could gas peaceful protesters, and the Washington Post illustrated a story about the police riot with a picture of [a cop petting a kitten](http://wonkette.com/455265/washington-post-illustrates-oakland-police-brutality-with-cop-petting-kitten).

– Hooray, I get to be part of my very own [micro-generation](http://www.slate.com/articles/life/culturebox/2011/10/generation_catalano_the_generation_stuck_between_gen_x_and_the_m.html)! Take that, Reagan babies.

– Corey Robin on [political repression](http://coreyrobin.com/2011/10/25/fear-american-style-what-the-anarchist-and-libertarian-dont-understand-about-the-us/) in the private sector. Or to put it another way: [“He, who before was the money-owner, now strides in front as capitalist; the possessor of labour-power follows as his labourer. The one with an air of importance, smirking, intent on business; the other, timid and holding back, like one who is bringing his own hide to market and has nothing to expect but — a hiding.”](http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch06.htm)

– I have a visceral disgust for superstitious “alternative” medical quackery, but [this is why](http://brodyhooked.blogspot.com/2011/10/farewell-to-xigris-counting-lessons.html) people don’t trust mainstream capitalist medicine.

– Cool [interview with Vint Cerf](http://interviews.slashdot.org/story/11/10/25/1532213/vint-cerf-answers-your-questions-about-ipv6-and-more), who co-designed the TCP/IP protocol that makes the Internet go. “I wish I had realized we’d need more than 32 bits of address space! At the time, I thought this was still an experiment and that, if successful, we would develop a production version. I guess IPv6 is the production version!”

– Cosma Shalizi, quantitative Marxian economics, *and* stochastic models of society? [Yes, please](http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/820.html).

– Finally, more relevant information from the [Ice Cube library](http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/13/arts/pop-view-rap-after-the-riot-smoldering-rage-and-no-apologies.html):