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London Calling: Will U.S. Riots Follow?

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In an editorial published Wednesday, The Washington Post seeks to sketch out the underlying causes behind the riots which have now burned London for days.

While the Post‘s editorial board clearly goes to lengths to separate the largely peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations of the Middle East with the current violent and criminal unrest which has engulfed London and other British cities, they clearly see commonalities, too.
“The common factors include high unemployment, resentment toward a prosperous and seemingly impenetrable upper class, and hatred of the police,” the editorial says. “In Britain’s case, as in some Arab countries, the trouble is further fueled by racial and ethnic tensions.”

Sound familar? It should. If not all, we have many of those same problems plaguing us right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A, and rather than soothe these tensions, we Americans are intent on making them worse.

A recent analysis by the Center for American Progress (CAP) finds that the recent deal to deeply cut federal spending attacks those federal programs which could help low-income Americans climb out of poverty. However, the price of that budget deal, crafted to avoid the federal government falling into default, will be borne disproportionately by middle class and low income Americans, the analysis says. Moreover, the analysis correctly notes that the budget agreement does nothing to create jobs or reduce massive national unemployment.

Despite 17 months of private sector job growth, there are still 6.8 million fewer jobs on nonfarm payrolls than when the recession began in December 2007. Long-term unemployment remains a significant concern. More than 40 percent of the 13.9 million people who are unemployed, 6.2 million people, have been looking for work for 27 weeks or longer. The CAP study also points out that we need to be bringing more people into our economy, not forcing them out. Millions of Americans will feel pain in the short term due to the debt deal, the analysis adds:

The debt ceiling deal will further exacerbate the income and wealth disparities that grew over the past few decades. The cuts place none of the financial burden on wealthy hedge fund managers but ask struggling families who have lost a job or have an underwater mortgage to shoulder the financial burdens of our nation. 

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to see that this kind of long-term unemployment, widespread personal deprivation, and growing chasm between the haves and have-nots likely will brew exactly the kind of despair and anger that can, in an instant, turn to rage. “At a time of economic disruption, no country is immune from such upheaval,” The Washington Post says.

It may well take water cannons and rubber bullets to end a riot, as the residents of London will see first hand. Fortunately, what it would require to prevent violent unrest in the first place is so much less violent and painful.

If only we would do it.

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About Scott Nance

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think we’re a couple of years away still. Once Obamacare is fully implemented and further unemployment extensions formalize our dolist underclass then you will have the kind of permanently idle, state-funded younger generation who have never worked and have no interest in working and are basically at leisure on the taxpayer’s dime. When that class is well enough established then these “riots for fun” will be what they look to in order to address their feeling of boredom and powerlessness.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    The BBC has a piece up today collating no fewer than ten different theories on why the riots happened.

    Except for the ones that are completely stupid, most of them have some merit. They paint a much more complex picture than Dave’s usual unhelpful kneejerk mud-flinging would have us believe.

    The “idle underclass” theory is a bit undercut by the fact that many of those arrested have turned out to be young professionals and university students.

    What can I say? Strange things happen to the individual in a mob.

  • STM

    How cfome I didn’t see “no respect for authority” anywhere in here.

    The standing notion among many in the age group largely responsible for the London riots is that all authority must be bad even if it seeks to keep the peace and uphold the laws that keep us free, and must be especially gets in the way of stopping “us” from doing whatever the fuck we like, whenever we like.

    Britain could spend a few billion restoring its old national service military system. 18 months in the military might teach people some personal responsibility, help them to move forward and out of the welfare trap, and teach some adult-style self discipline.

    Provided, of course, no one who enters service this way is packed off to a war zone.

    I don’t suppose anyone noticed that the rioters were people of all races??

    In Britain, this lack of respect for any kind of authority – state or parental – goes far beyond race. It’s a mindset that has been created by a system that encourages, as Dave points out, idleness, boredom, petty crime and lack of responsibility beyond “what’s right for me”.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Stan, how does this episode compare to the ’05 riots in your city, from your perspective?

  • zingzing

    dave: “I think we’re a couple of years away still.”

    compare that to the fact that you said obama would have to unleash the tanks in 2009. good to see you’ve calmed a bit.

  • Cannonshop

    Maybe we’ll get rioting, but maybe we won’t. There are a couple of factors in the U.S. that argue that if we get riots, they’ll be in places that typically host riots, like Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, and New York.

    Politics is a reflection of culture, and riots like these are an extension of politics. What is unlikely, is that the rioting (if it occurs) is going to be as large in scale relative to the population, or as long-term destructive, as London’s riots are.

    I suspect the difference is cultural-“rioting for sport” really hasn’t happened much in the U.S. since the late 1960’s, whereas Britain is rather well known for rioting over such petty things as sports (the term “Soccer Riot” or “Football Riot” originate there, after all…)

  • zingzing

    “hooliganism” is what you’re looking for there cannonshop. how’s the patriot act? to answer your question, “never!”

  • STM

    Doc, the Cronulla riots or the Macquarie Fields riots?

    Cronulla riots were a reaction to racial tensions that had been bubbling … a clash of cultures, if you like. Aussie girls getting abused at the beach for wearing bikinis, and a lifesaver getting bashed up. So what happens, a group of idiots then goes out and bashes anyone of “middle-eastern” appearance. Fine, be angry about people coming to this country and not accepting our way of life – why come in the first place – but be mindful that it’s confined to a small group.

    The Macquarie Fields rioting was more like this, although the rioters were mindful not to torch cars, etc, or loot shops, because they knew the effect it would have on their community. Torching someone’s car or house when they are struggling just like you is pretty dumb. Torching the local supermarket is pretty dumb too. They confined their attacks to the police, mostly. It did go for five days, though, and had the same spark factor – anger at how police had treated one of their own. All the same criteria applies: welfare, crime, hopelessness, public housing ghettos, the cycle of poverty, etc.

    But this, what we’ve seen in England, I believe is the end result of an overly liberal attitude to bringing up kids … the result being total lack of consideration for anyone but themselves.

    I understand how things work in the UK and there’s a thin line between looking after people to the point where they no longer care and looking after people so that they might better – for want of a better word – themselves by getting jobs and getting out of their current situations. It’s always on a knife edge, in my opinion.

    In this case, it took nothing to tip it over. That young people from all levels of society became involved says a lot about necessary liberal values that have become a tad too liberal.

  • STM

    Here’s some great quotes on the UK riots in today’s news reports (you’ll probably get ‘em in the US tomorrow, my time):

    In Manchester, ransacked by a mob on Wednesday, judge Alan Berg spoke for millions of law-abiding Britons when two looters were brought before him.

    “You have all the benefits in this country which individuals in other countries would pray for and you bring shame and disgrace upon this country as a whole and upon yourselves and your families,” he said.

    “You do nothing constructive. Everything you do is destructive. This was intolerable lawlessness and no civilised society should be expected to put up with it.”

    Yep, the man’s right.

    Bring back caning in schools, too. Makes you think twice before you open your mouth, although given how kids are today, any teacher trying to cane a 16-year-old on the hand would likely be at risk of stabbing or shooting, or at the very least, a pounding.

  • Cannonshop

    #7 “How’s the Patriot Act?” Um, a problem, a law without reason, a writ of Imperium, a danger to Civil Liberties, take your pick.

    That, and thanks for the term-I was trying to remember it, “Hooliganism”.

  • STM

    That’s indeed what this was … hooliganism.

    Nothing more than criminal. The pity is, that they can’t work out such a simple thing, or if they can, that they don’t give a rat’s arse.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: “”How’s the Patriot Act?” Um, a problem, a law without reason, a writ of Imperium, a danger to Civil Liberties, take your pick.”

    and… still waiting for your history on right wing opposition to it in 2002 and 2006.

    as far as the riots go, it is hooliganism, but can you blame them? their anger is not heard otherwise. i guess it’s stupid, going after their own neighborhood and all… and hitting a record distribution site… oi… that’s a blow… if they’d hit their actual targets it would bet better, but that’s not the nature of the beast.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I think it is more complicated than that, Stan.

    Absolutely, attacking people and burning buildings is unacceptable, but let’s not forget that the straw that broke this camel’s back was the police apparently murdering someone they thought was shooting at them but actually wasn’t. That isn’t even the first time this year the police have killed someone in dubious circumstances.

    Obviously the violence and other criminality is unacceptable and needs to be dealt with under the law but we need to keep sight of the fact that anybody – yes, anybody – can be driven to bad behaviour if put under enough pressure and stressed enough.

  • STM

    Rosey: “the police apparently murdering someone they thought was shooting at them but actually wasn’t.”

    Come on Rosey, that may be the case but the guy was known to carry a firearm, a loaded firearm was reportedly found at the scene, and the task force involved in the death is tasked with investigating the black-on-black gun crime that is a blight on some of London’s neighbourhoods.

    It’s an easy thing to have happen in those circumstances, especially when the cops are a bit jumpy or have had people taking potshots at them in the past. Not saying that Duggan had done that because there’s nothing to support that. However, carrying a loaded illegal firearm in the UK is a very serious criminal offence. Had the cops nailed him far that, he might have done some serious porridge. Nothing excuses it (the killing), and the force needs to weed out trigger-happy cops, but essentially, the task force was commissioned to protect black communities in London from the growing scourge of gun crime. Read: gun/gang/drug murders committed by very dangerous individuals. I mean, call me old fashioned, but I actually think that’s a good thing. So do most of the people in these communities who are suffering terribly at the hands of these gangs.

    I don’t agree, however, that there can be even a single excuse for what followed. You live in a free society where flouting the law carries its own inherent dangers. One would hope the coppers would be able to make an arrest or a car stop without killing someone.

    Should that not be the case, however, there are other avenues for redress – as Mark Duggan’s family have themselves pointed out.

    You know as well as I do how transparent Britain’s system of justice is, and how these things are addressed in full public view. There is an Independent Police Complaints Commission that is not under the thumb of the police and will independently make its findings.

    Yes, be pissed off about a bloke getting shot. It’s crap and shouldn’t happen, but all the circumstances and the history of what happened afterwards are worth examining.

    But don’t use it as an excuse to go out and torch buildings and cars and revert to looting.

    Even if you can understand the fury in Tottenham, it doesn’t excuse the opportunistic jumping on the bandwagon that happened across the rest of the capital and the country.

    It is simply criminal. There is no other word to describe, and it’s inexcusable in a country like Britain, one of the leading lights of modern liberal democracy.

    Like the judge above says, people have things in Britain and freedoms that others can only dream about, and some think it’s OK to do this.

    I don’t care whether there was a spark for it. It’s just bollocks to try to offer any excuses at all.

    Most of the later rioting and looting, BTW,seemed confined to anywhere selling electrical goods.

    Read what you like into that, but last time I checked, burning shops, cars and homes, smashing windows and stealing TVs were still crimes in the UK.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Stan, you are really turning into the classic grumpy old man!

    You are the one that is making excuses – for the police.

    There is a lot of resentment at all levels about many things in this country, which is why we have seen people of a wide range of social backgrounds and situations involved in these events.

    That isn’t to excuse or condone these occurrences, just as one wouldn’t condone an argument in a bar that turned into a brawl, but these things happen and to take your line, that it is all the fault of the rioters, will achieve nothing except to guarantee that it will happen again.
    There is a huge difference between believing someone is armed – in this case with some kind of bb gun – when going to arrest somebody and shooting them dead for no reason.

    the police are trained professionals so it is simply unacceptable to suggest that they might have been a bit jumpy – and then criticising ordinary people for over-reacting!

    Furthermore, I haven’t said that what happened to Duggan justified what followed and nor do I believe that.

    On the other hand, asking people to be completely rational about things is just absurd and unrealistic. So it is actually your arguments that is bollocks, to use your phrase against you!

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’m having a hard time believing that the groups of young men in designer track suits organizing themselves using BlackBerry Messenger on their new smart phones and carrying tall boys really give a shit about Duggan or any sort of social or political causes. I think many, if not most, of the rioters simply wanted to get in on the action and have a chance to break stuff and steal things and, yes, hurt people. There’s a mentality within riots where all bets are off. They think melting in to the crowd offers them protection so they can do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. This explains the mentality of young girls who suddenly imagined it okay to steal from The Bay during the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots in June.

    It’s hard to consider the punks who robbed the Malaysian student in need of help as anything less than crooks. Or the punks who ran down three men trying to protect their neighbourhood. Or the 22-year-old shithead who killed the 68-year-old man trying to put out fires.

    What these actions do is take away from any originating cause. It’s like when we had “activists” for the homeless come and trash our streets, creating more economic strife in the process and damaging the neighbourhoods, businesses and services that many less fortunate come to depend on for help.

    It’s sad.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I wouldn’t say that the rioters cared about Duggan or social/political causes on a personal level but there is a widespread feeling of resentment in many countries about the way the game is organised.

    I completely agree with you, Jordan, about the three cases you highlight above.

    In many senses, what is happening in the English Summer isn’t that different to what happened in the Arab Spring – or indeed in the kind of frustration that the Tea Party seems to act as a lightning conductor for in the USA.

    You can also see similar riots or protests happening in a very wide range of countries, including such places as India and China.

    It doesn’t really require a great deal of insight to see that there is quite a widespread resentment that political and business systems the world over are not serving the needs of people or that the growing chasms between the winners and the losers of the current systems are producing extreme tensions that will explode into “irrational” activity.

    It is for these reasons that I don’t agree that these actions, terrible as they are, really do “take away from any originating cause”, just as equally deplorable excesses in Egypt, Tunisia or Libya didn’t negate the situations there.

  • Baronius

    There have been US riots, or at least flash riots. I’ve read about them in Chicago and Philadelphia, and other cities have experienced them.

  • John Lake

    Minorities in Britain are subject to the British cavalier attitude which makes them invisible. They have we are told no one fighting for their education and employment. They probably have good cause that brings them to the point of rioting, though the rioting takes the form of stealing expensive shoes, and items of greater value.
    America is not so snooty, and minorities have no reason to riot. Cuts in entitlement programs are wisely scheduled for some future time.
    However the American people, adults, are savvy, and when they see that representatives become smug in doing the work of soulless corporations, with disdain for the will of the people, it is that sort of injustice that will bring them to the streets.

  • John Lake

    As an afterthought I can’t imagine anyone rioting over the “patriot act.” Honest people are by far the majority and have little to hide. Many are however offended by G.W.Bush era tactics such as enhanced interrogation, and that is just the sort of thing to bring people to their feet.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    the police are trained professionals so it is simply unacceptable to suggest that they might have been a bit jumpy

    Firearms officers are trained to use restraint but also to shoot without hesitation if they deem that there is an imminent mortal threat.

    That training is absolutely sound, because in a situation where guns are involved the moment in which you hesitate to shoot can easily be your last.

    Which is also why those officers are trained to shoot to kill, because that is the only guaranteed way to stop a person with a gun.

    Since we weren’t there, we have no way of knowing what the specific situation was when the officer pulled the trigger on Duggan, but I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt that in that moment he sincerely judged either his or someone else in the immediate vicinity’s life to be in danger.

    That he later turned out to be wrong is appalling and tragic, but in no way an excuse for the Neanderthal behaviour that followed.

  • John Lake

    The bullet found lodged in the police officers radio turned out to be a police bullet. It is reported that although the killed Duggan was carrying a firearm, the gun was wrapped in a bag and not fired. American police are trained in the use of firearms, and have daily occasions when the training is recalled. In London, phasers and battons can be used effectively to limit the loss of life, in this case, the lives of young people.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “There have been US riots, or at least flash riots. I’ve read about them in Chicago and Philadelphia, and other cities have experienced them.”

    those weren’t really riots, although i guess the immediate effect, if not the duration, is pretty much the same…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    John, even though every American police officer carries a firearm, that doesn’t mean every one of them uses his or her weapon every day.

    For example, my friend Ted was a cop in a major California urban area for 30 years and never had to fire his gun in the course of duty (although he says there were one or two close calls).

    In the UK, despite the gang problem, the incidence of gun crime is far, far lower than in the US. Consequently, the number of police officers authorized to use guns is also very small, and in fact the only officers in most forces who do carry are organized into small, mobile, dedicated quick-response firearms units.

    I don’t know if there are any stats to support this assumption, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the average British firearms officer is called upon to fire a gun more often in the course of his or her career than the average American cop.

  • John Lake

    I’m still lost as to the ref to the Patriot Act.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    zingzing has for some time been challenging Cannonshop to provide support for his claim that the passing of the Patriot Act (which both agree is draconian) was entirely the responsibility of liberals and/or Democrats – apparently without success so far.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    But Doc – isn’t that the way it is? We’re not supposed to blame the Republicans for anything since two wars, Medicare Part D, and the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy somehow don’t count anymore!

    But they can blame us for whatever they want, whenever they want, without anything to back up their claims!

    C’mon, Doc – get with the program!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Doc –

    You might like this research paper that shows a strong connection between austerity and anarchy.

  • Costello

    If they attacked objects of their oppression, they might generate some sympathy, but it’s just a bunch of impotent goons out for cheap, easy thrills

  • John Lake

    The Patriot Act as we recall came shortly after the 9/11 attacks and was overwhelmingly supported by both political parties in the House and Senate.

  • zingzing

    not according to cannonshop’s version of history.

  • Clavos

    @#16:

    Good comment, Jordan!

  • STM

    Rosey: “You are the one that is making excuses – for the police.”

    Well, no, what I’m doing is giving you a bit of my first-hand experience.

    The police have a tough job to do. I know very well how tough because I worked for much of my life as a crime reporter, where this sort of thing occasionally happened.

    I’m not making excuses … I’m saying it can happen, even if it shouldn’t.

    When you’re out dealing everyday with drug dealers and people walking around with loaded guns, something like that is bound to happen at some point.

    Mark Duggan shouldn’t have been shot. There are means of redress that don’t involve burning, looting and killing.

    Simple as that. I’m really wondering where your head’s at on this one, Chris.

    I wonder what those blighted communities in London would be doing WITHOUT the police presence that is aimed at keeping 99 per cent of them – the law-abiding proportion – safe from the other 1 per cent who think they can do whatever they like. That also appears to be the view of most of the people I’ve seen interviewed in these communities.

    “Innitt?” And, seriously, don’t they teach English in UK schools anymore?

  • STM

    John Lake: “Minorities in Britain are subject to the British cavalier attitude which makes them invisible.”

    What an absolute load of bollocks John. Minorities in the UK are treated far better than they are in the US.

    There are laws applied very seriously against such things as racial vilification.

    In many respects, it is a far more tolerant and liberal place than the US when it comes to this stuff. You see far fewer street people in the UK, because the government houses them wherever possible. Far fewer people starve or are forced to beg. That is just one example.

    It is, in my experience, a very compassionate society … far more so than what I’ve seen in the US.

    With respect, you are talking through your arse.

  • Cannonshop

    #26 I never claimed it was entirely Liberals who passed it-but they sure as hell raced to keep it on the books when it should have ‘sunset’, and THAT’s the issue on a partisan level, The Dems helped pass it initially, then, kept it on the books when they KNOW it’s a bad idea, that the provisions are a massive power-grab against the citizenry, etc. etc.

    It’s one of those things that they could dismantle and remain true to their party platform, that they won’t, shows them for the same grasping power-addicts that they paint the GOP as being.

  • zingzing

    what you said was that the gop was always against the patriot act, if i’m not mistaken. in 2002 and 2006, they voted for it almost unanimously, which certainly does not sound like any type of opposition. in 2002, the dems were nearly as guilty, but in 2006, they certainly were not.

  • STM

    And as for my comparisons, John, I’m Australian so I don’t really give a shit one way or the other.

    I’m basing my views on what I know and have seen, having spent a fair bit of time both in the US and the UK, and using that as the benchmark.

    This really wasn’t about minorities, anyhow, beyond the anger in Tottenham. The rest of it was opportunistic criminality pursued by people of all races, colours and creeds – and from all walks of life.

    That’s why nothing excuses it. Social networking might have had something to do with it, which is the only way it bears ANY comparison to the so-called Arab Spring.

    Roset calling it the English Summer is laughable. I’m surprised at you, Chris, honestly. You probably don’t give a rat’s, I’m sure, but I never thought I’d see you making that kind of comparison.

    Arab Spring = We want to be free of dictators so we can have the kind of lives those in the west have.

    English Summer = We want to set a building alight for fun after we’ve bashed a few people up and knocked off a free Toshiba flat screen.

    Fair dinkum …

  • STM

    As for John’s comments, I sometimes wonder whether Americans have a wire loose between their brains and their mouths (or their fingertips, in this case), and just go off half-cocked and spout the first thing that comes into their heads.

    Condemnation prior to investigation is the first resort of those with half a clue.

    Have you lived there John? Or even been there for any period of time?

    Just asking, ‘cos it doesn’t seem so. If you had, you wouldn’t have written that rubbish.

    I suspect if we are making comparisons, the truth is closer to the so-called underclass in the US being so broken and downtrodden and so removed from mainstream society, they no longer even feel like an underclass but something completely separate, and no longer even possess the wherewithal to riot.

    The crumbling edifice that was Detroit is a classic example. No city in Britain resembles the barren wasteland of Detroit, thank God. Not yet, anyway.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t think you are understanding what I am saying, STM, and when I factor in the unusual for you spluttering you are directing to people like JL, you really are sounding like a grumpy old man!

    Whilst there are obvious differences between both the UK and the USA and the Arab Spring and the English Summer, if you think that there aren’t huge financial, political and social tensions rippling through a lot of countries all around the world, then you are fooling yourself.

    People don’t always act in rational ways and simply chuffing on about how specific actions were wrong, which they were, is completely missing the point.

  • Arch Conservative

    “There have been US riots, or at least flash riots. I’ve read about them in Chicago and Philadelphia, and other cities have experienced them.”

    They are actually called flash mobs and they’ve been consisting of gangs of blakh youths attacking white and Hispanic people at random.

    Of course the mainstream media hasn’t bothered to cover it because not politically correct nor part of their agenda to point out when someone who is not a white conservative male has actually done something wrong.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    2-

    Sir Max Hastings, in an article for the Daily Mail, focused on “a perverted social ethos, which elevates personal freedom to an absolute, and denies the underclass the discipline – tough love – which alone might enable some of its members to escape from the swamp of dependency in which they live”.

    Ah the good ol’ swamp of dependency as opposed to the country club of dependency into which Sir fucking Max Hastings (and his class of privileged aristocrats was born) was born.

    Really, the fucking gall of these bastards.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    which elevates personal freedom to an absolute

    Maybe the disgruntled poor who need tough love should just ring for the butler like dear old Max.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    “Bloody hell, things are not going well for us either, Birdie. We’ve had to sell the summer house in Switzerland.”

  • zingzing

    stm: “In many respects, it is a far more tolerant and liberal place than the US when it comes to this stuff.”

    true.

    “You see far fewer street people in the UK, because the government houses them wherever possible.”

    my experience is 4 or 5 years old at this point (and my extended experience of living there is over a decade ago at this point), but i remember a shitload of homeless. they did have that paper they could sell… real change?… and maybe they hadn’t gone to their shelters yet for the night, but there was a massive population of homeless.

    “Far fewer people starve or are forced to beg.”

    it seems to me that most of your experience would then be in more mild-weathered cities in the us. west coast cities seem to have high populations of homeless, but there are shelters as well (not that they are often better than sleeping outdoors).

  • Clavos

    Interestingly, Miami’s homeless population fluctuates in tandem with the tourist population: more of both in the winter than in the summer.

  • Clavos

    Also, I wonder if any of you have seen homeless folks with cell phones where you live?

    I’ve seen more than one here…

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Why not? They are very cheap now…

  • zingzing

    homeless snow birds, clavos?

    the homeless that you see in nyc are usually pretty bad-off. apparently, the shelters are well-run (as opposed to the horror stories i heard in seattle), so many of the homeless that live on the streets have mental issues. rare is the day that goes by that i don’t see some crazy homeless person (although only in manhattan, never in brooklyn), but it’s also rare that i see more than 2 or 3 in my travels. in seattle, i’d see that many in the block and a half to my bus stop. of course, there were several shelters in my neighborhood.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Ah the good ol’ swamp of dependency as opposed to the country club of dependency into which Sir fucking Max Hastings (and his class of privileged aristocrats was born) was born.

    Max Hastings isn’t an aristocrat. He’s a career journalist, the son of a career journalist, and was knighted for his services to journalism.

    The true aristocracy in the UK is a very tiny community. Even the majority of peers (lords and ladies) aren’t aristocrats: they get elevated to the peerage in recognition of public service or lifetime achievement.

    Perhaps, Cindy, you should educate yourself a bit about the British honours system before making snap character judgements. As much as he can be a bit of a dickhead sometimes, Hastings isn’t speaking from a position of ignorance.

  • Vinati

    What’s Going?? First Jasmine movement at China… Lot of street brawls and enthronements of rulers in various countries, now London Riots… Economies are biting the dust.Youth are growing mad… Youth should use their energy constructively… This is the time for the rulers to introspect… the happenings around the world.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    49 –

    I stand corrected on the details. Thanks. The same point still stands sans the ‘aristocracy’ label. He’s still belongs to a part of the culture that is not marginalized and benefits from being dominant.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    Also, I think he is speaking from a position of great ignorance.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The interesting thing is, the response of those in power whenever they’re threatened is always the same, whether we’re talking about Libya, Egypt, Syria or the civilized UK. The dissenters, whatever their crimes, are always marginalized, they’re criminals, blah blah blah.

  • zingzing

    if the dissenters had picked better targets, it would have been more satisfying. take it straight to the man, if that’s what your goal is. but they destroyed their own neighborhoods. and they took out a record distribution warehouse. i mean come on… fucking up independent record labels ain’t cool.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    zing’s right. Idiots who target regular people aren’t “sticking it to the man” or whatever the inane expression is.

    In the town I grew up in, the rioters were denied access to the main commercial district by a police cordon, so they picked on a furniture business that had been in the same family since the 1840s – and burned it to the ground. I’m sure you’ve all seen the pictures.

    These people had no specific target; they weren’t rebelling for any noble cause; they were just perpetrating random destruction. Actually they’re worse than football hooligans because at least football hooligans have a (perverted) focus to their violence. So yes, they’re criminals, plain and simple.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A convenient way to dismiss thousands of British citizens and guess what, home-educated and homegrown. Says something about the system, doesn’t it? Besides, it completely ignores the phenomenon of mass hypnosis and crowd behavior in general.

    The Day of the Locust is a good introduction.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As an interesting aside, we no longer ascribe the term “lunatic” to a solitary individual who commits a heinous crime. Now we’re at liberty to affix the same label to thousands.

  • zingzing

    roger, i’d guess that many individuals would have liked their dissidence to have been more useful instead of destructive. that’s the problem with a lot of riots. you end up destroying your neighbors, not your enemy.

    innocent people suffered because of this, not the gov’t. the gov’t looks bad, but they’ll still go to work tomorrow, and things will be more strict than ever. many people have lost their businesses or their jobs because of this.

    seriously, if you’re going to riot against the british gov’t, take the tube to parliament, don’t fuck up your neighborhood’s businesses. that’s just fucking dumb.

    and the indie record labels… don’t forget about the indie record labels…

  • zingzing

    “As an interesting aside, we no longer ascribe the term “lunatic” to a solitary individual who commits a heinous crime.”

    what makes you say that?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    it completely ignores the phenomenon of mass hypnosis and crowd behavior in general.

    A poor excuse, Roger. Crowds assemble every day without rioting. It only takes one or a few criminal acts to trigger others to copy, but “everyone else was doing it” doesn’t make the copycat any less criminal.

  • zingzing

    i’d like to have an explanation of “mass hypnosis.” unless that’s just a silly way of saying something.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    He’s still belongs to a part of the culture that is not marginalized and benefits from being dominant.

    Hmm… “marginalized”, eh?

    You do realize, Cindy, that by definition marginalized people are a tiny segment of the population, and that by your criterion you’re disqualifying the vast majority of people from having an opinion?

    But that’s the way you and Roger have become of late: dismissing those you disagree with because of who (you think) they are, rather than what they have to say.

  • troll

    1. i’d like to have an explanation of “mass hypnosis.” unless that’s just a silly way of saying something.

    zing – are you asking Rog to explain or would you like links to the century of research?

    But that’s the way you and Roger have become of late: dismissing those you disagree with because of who (you think) they are, rather than what they have to say.

    irony in action – see 1.

    dreadful – wouldn’t it make sense to speak of a (large) population existing on the margins of political power? And if ‘marginalized’ doesn’t accurately express the notion that Cindy is ‘pointing’ to then what might be another better word?

  • zingzing

    “zing – are you asking Rog to explain or would you like links to the century of research?”

    i want roger to explain what he means by it. (also, i’d think that those doing the hypnotizing, if they were any good at hypnosis, would hypnotize you into not doing any research on this hypnosis, but that’s just me.)

  • troll

    I think you’re simply goading Rog with your ‘silly’ remark out of hostility

    but I should know better than to get involved

  • zingzing

    i think you’re assuming too much. but such is the relationship between roger and i. wasn’t always that way, until he decided to make it so.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another interesting aside, a modern-day liberal has turned into a law-and-order guy.

    Spiro Agnew would be proud.

  • zingzing

    roger, what part of attacking the gov’t by attacking the gov’t doesn’t make sense to you? what’s wrong with that idea? why does burning down a local business make more sense to you?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Wrong diagnosis, Dreadful. It’s because what some people say has become transparent.

    It wasn’t always so.

    And for the record, if I dismissed what you said, what did you do that’s different?

  • troll

    why does burning down a local business make more sense to you?

    why should anyone expect a positive outcome to a conversation with someone so obviously hostile

    shit – there I go again

  • troll

    …shout-out to Glenn #28

    interesting paper

  • zingzing

    “shit – there I go again”

    being hostile? yes…

    read those questions again without your assumed hostility.

    roger’s position, it seems to me, is that anyone who doesn’t back the rioters burning down their own neighborhoods is a “law-and-order guy,” no matter what their real position. that simplifies things down to “for or against,” which does no one any good.

    i, for one, don’t want to see mass arrests or draconian crackdowns. nor do i want to see the police use this as an excuse to seize more powers (which is exactly what they are doing and the obvious outcome of such unfocused violence). nor do i want the gov’t looking into how to better control social media (which is exactly what they are doing).

    and if people are going to riot, i’d wish they’d have gone after the target of their contempt: the police and the gov’t. instead of hitting back at them, the rioters have done nothing but ruin the lives of some of their neighbors, killed some people, created whole new ways in which the gov’t will try to control their lives, and maybe they have a nice new flatscreen in the den.

    they managed to embarrass the gov’t, but they did it no harm, and they have emboldened the gov’t in new ways, as real “law-and-order guys” are popping up all over england in response to the riots.

    i am very much for the rioters in what they wanted to achieve. what they ended up achieving through their actions was something not so desirable.

  • troll

    right zing

  • zingzing

    mysterious troll

  • Clavos

    I find it passing strange that zing supports the rioters.

  • zingzing

    oi… now i “support the rioters.” i don’t know how i can make my ambivalence any more clear. ridiculous.

  • Clavos

    Um, zing,

    i am very much for the rioters in what they wanted to achieve.

    Sure sounds like support to me. Granted, your following statement deplores what actually transpired, but what I don’t agree with you about is that those people have a right to even be unhappy, as per the article I cited.

    And that is what I find “passing strange.”

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    Dr D.

    (Here is a lengthy bit I could have posted as a there I said it article, and perhaps should have. In any case, I am growing tired of editing it and reducing it, so you can ignore it or suffer through it.)

    What happens in a society is a direct result of what that society is and does. If we do what we do, we get what we get. The more popular (and culturally indoctrinated) explanation, that there just are good people and bad people (who apparently fell to the earth intact that way), does not seem like the right one, to me.

    When I look at social systems (of both animals and humans) it strikes me that there is no ‘criminal class’ formed ‘naturally’ of ‘those at the bottom’ of societies. That is, there are no effects on humans or animals developing ‘criminally’, that are not direct creations of the workings of their cultures. There are not just rogue criminals. Beacuse ‘people are just different’. There are reasons that criminality is associated with ‘those at the bottom’. One reason is that the crimes of those not at the bottom are not seen as crimes at all, but normal ordinary and acceptable behavior. I can own a company that knowingly underpays for raw chocolate, also knowing that I am the reason that child slavery exists in the chocolate market, but that is not a crime. My actions directly cause people to die and people to be greatly harmed, but since I did not pull the trigger myself, I am not culpable. I can gamble on a stock market with commodities to amass wild riches, which has the effect of starving others to death. But again, those ‘others’ are marginalized. What do you think they would consider ‘criminal’ behavior if they had power? Then you have the other kind of crime that IS considered crime but is apparently a superior form of crime in that it is ‘white collar’. Since it is a product of the ‘productive class’ who uphold many of the normative values, it is not in the limelight for Max, who clearly pits the wage slaves against their masters (in accordance with the values I criticized by mocking the whole royalty narccisism). Max isn’t royaly, and yet he subscribes to the acceptance of the same social reality. Is that accidental (or social indoctrination and a feeling of being a member of the dominant culture)?

    Max: An underclass has existed throughout history, which once endured appalling privation. Its spasmodic outbreaks of violence, especially in the early 19th century, frightened the ruling classes.
    Its frustrations and passions were kept at bay by force and draconian legal sanctions, foremost among them capital punishment and transportation to the colonies.
    Today, those at the bottom of society behave no better than their forebears, but the welfare state has relieved them from hunger and real want.

    Crime is a product of the world that Sir Max exalts. A Product–it is produced by it. The social reality that Sir Max prizes is responsible for the existance of crime and the ‘criminal class’ he describes. The appearance of crime is not an independant abherration. One way the culture produces crime is by making whole groups of people politically superfluous in the power culture.

    I take offense at Sir Max’s construction of the poor (read the marginalized) as prone to becoming a ‘criminal class’ (as opposed to the rich, whose criminality is permissable and/or re-explained and/or hidden and/or merely considered ‘white-color’). I take offense at his construction of the disenfranchized as in need of the ‘tough love’ of the privileged classes.

    What he is ignorant of is the marginalized viewpoint of those he judges. He knows not much about what it is to be born into a non-privileged class or sex or race.

    What he does not deal with is the larger topic that is much richer with explanatory meaning, imo (being based in the reality of those on the bottom as opposed to Max’s authoritarian biases about them), of how people got to be at the bottom of society in the first place.

  • troll

    ‘right to be unhappy’…you’re a funny guy Clavos

    ‘what are you in for esse?’

    ‘unhappiness man – third offense…gave me life dude’

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    who clearly pits the wage slaves against their masters

    That is wrong and would require convolution to arrive at, which would miss the point. So, I would like to make a correction: More clearly and closer to my point is that he equates ‘good wage slaves’ with ‘good people’ and as doing the ‘right’ thing. He portrays those ‘at the bottom’ as earning this position by their indolence and ‘wrongness’.

    If they were ‘good’, they presumably would just get a job and work hard and get out of their situation. He makes some terrible presumptions and implications. One is that those at the bottom of the social order do not work hard, and two: acquiescence to the authority and social reality of those who rule makes one a ‘good’ person.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Sure sounds like support to me. Granted, your following statement deplores what actually transpired, but what I don’t agree with you about is that those people have a right to even be unhappy, as per the article I cited.”

    well, everything up til that point certainly should have qualified that statement as well. and maybe i should have added “at the outset.”

    and yeah, they had reason to be upset, or at least they felt they did. you did hear about the police shooting a guy, right? whatever you think of that story, i’d bet it’s not the first time something like that has happened. riots don’t happen just for the hell of it.

    you make it sound as if they should be grovelling in their praise and love for mighty england…

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    “riots don’t happen just for the hell of it.”

    Tell that to the business owners in Vancouver near the hockey arena

  • zingzing

    now see, they were angry in vancouver. they should have taken their gripes to those they held responsible, like the owners or maybe players. or, they could have chartered a few flights cross-continent to boston and fucked the shit out of that place. again, anger misdirected… when will we ever learn…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    No, Cindy, of course I don’t think the world is composed entirely of “good” and “bad” people, just (for the most part) people who do good and bad things.

    And you have some valid points about western society’s failure to serve all of its members, which undoubtedly contributed to the violence in the UK.

    But even if there are double standards about what constitutes a crime, how would you even begin to police the remedy? How do you prove that because I personally underpaid for chocolate, Maria from Guatemala’s newborn child didn’t make it past his first month because she couldn’t afford to get him vaccinated? Indeed (and I hope I’m not committing the slippery slope fallacy here), I can visualize how a justice system with such a focus could lead to a whole new kind of oppression. All it would take is for me to express some opinion you didn’t like, and you could quite easily construct a case for me being responsible for the death of Maria’s son – or for just about anything else.

    I’m all for striving to be an ethical business owner and consumer, but however hard you try, I guarantee you that some of your actions or omissions of action have resulted, very indirectly, in deaths. In the time it’s taken you to read this comment and for me to type it, for example, who knows how many people have died because we could have been spending those few minutes calling our member of Congress to urge them to campaign to stop the civil war in country A, or donating to famine relief in country B?

    And only by a very warped stretch of the imagination can you say that the person who set fire to the Reeves furniture store in my home town was protesting. If he’d suddenly tossed a Molotov cocktail into the place in broad daylight on a sleepy Saturday afternoon, there’s no way you’d be trying to legitimize his act. Yet just because there was a riot going on down the street, all of a sudden he’s supposed to be some sort of rebel hero.

    He isn’t. He was taking advantage of an extraordinary situation to commit a crime.

    If you’re going to live in a society, you need to abide by its rules, You’d expect people living in your anarchist utopia to do the same. You’d take measures against an anti-social person. Yes, if you strongly believe that those rules are manifestly unjust, then take action against them. But “Don’t go out and set fire to your neighbour-who’s-never-done-anything-to-you’s shop because it’s a good laugh and no-one’s going to stop you” is not an unjust rule.

    The repeated point zing keeps making, which should be blindingly obvious, is that if you want to start an insurrection against your oppressors, then fucking go after your oppressors, not your damn neighbours.

    As I pointed out, and as you’d have seen if you’d managed to read past the first one without having a conniption, there are ten different theories in the BBC piece I linked to for why the riots happened. Some of them, as I said, are just plain stupid (e.g. blaming gangsta rap). But while none of them can hope to provide an all-encompassing explanation (the world isn’t that neat and tidy), most of them do have some validity and to ignore them completely is equally stupid.

    I hardly think that if Max Hastings warned you to duck because a rioter had just hurled a fire extinguisher at the back of your head, you’d ignore him because as a member of the privileged class Max could safely be ignored.

  • troll

    so given the blindingly obvious nature of zing’s point it’s pretty clear that these folks weren’t starting an insurrection…just rioting

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, it’s a clinical observation. But what can you get but a clinical observation/conclusion from all so clinical an analysis?

  • troll

    hmmm…though I’m sure that some participants imagining themselves to be leaders would appreciate the tactical advice

  • S.T..M

    Rosey: “simply chuffing on about how specific actions were wrong, which they were, is completely missing the point.”

    OK, then, Chris. What is the point, exactly?? Alienated youth?

    They’ve been alienated since Cain and Abel. Try to explain it to me, then we’ll all know.

    I still think there can be no excuse for anything, and it’s bollocks. Kids with nothing better to do? Maybe they need to look in the mirror for all the answers to that.

  • troll

    …all this activity makes me nostalgic — the 60s in detroit and newark with their blocks and blocks of ‘pointless’ destruction

    now those were riots

    sigh

  • S.T..M

    Cindy: “The same point still stands sans the ‘aristocracy’ label. He’s still belongs to a part of the culture that is not marginalized and benefits from being dominant.”

    I’ll back Doc on this. He doesn’t belong to that part of the culture because he was born into the aristocracy (which makes up a minute part of UK society and is akin to the Kennedys and the Ivy Leaguers or the nouveau rich of Beverly Hills and their ilk in the US), it’s because he worked his tits off to get there.

    Hastings is simply a journo who’s managed to make a decent living out of it, nothing more. The reason he makes a decent living out of it is because he applied himself to doing so, unlike many of the rioters, who, despite having been given every opportunity through decent housing, a great public education system, scholarships, free health care, etc etc, have chosen to hang around their neighbourhoods extending the cycle of crime, poverty and welfare (which in the UK, is very generous welfare).

    Given the opportunities given to the so-called “underclass” in the UK, and the number of that so-called underclass who go on to do very well for themselves first in colleges and universities and later in business (even politics) as constructive British citizens, one can only conclude that there are certain sections of society who think standing on street corners selling dtrugs while speaking a ling that doesn’t even come close to sounding like English is the preferred option.

    I’m a bit over the heart-on-the-sleeve weepy left on this. Left is fine, but please, just don’t make excuses for complete and utter sh.theads who have no respect for anything … except the idea that they can do or say anything they like and fuck everyone else. That is especially the case when it overrides any notion of respect for the laws that allow them those personal freedoms in the first place.

    What you have seen is not an Engl;ish Summer or an underclass rising up.

    It is an act of complete and total fuckwittery: violence for the sake of it aimed at getting a free hoodie and a pair of nikes or a nice new flatscreen TV.

    These riots should be known as the “‘Ere, Mick, like let’s go and score some free electrical goods, innit *makes ridiculous gang hand signals while moving from foot to foot*” disturbances.

    Sadly, no matter how good and tolerant and compassionate and full of opportunity your society is, there’s never going to be any protection against people choosing to be total fuckwits.

  • troll

    What you have seen is not an Engl;ish Summer or an underclass rising up.

    It is an act of complete and total fuckwittery

    …given the economic climate it might be better/useful to look at it as a dry run — I’ll bet the authorities do

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And don’t forget Watts and Columbia and Black Panthers – only riots!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Shall we say we’re experiencing a climate of global unrest …

    About fucking time!

  • Jordan Richardson

    now see, they were angry in vancouver.

    No, they were drunk and stupid.

  • S.T..M

    Cindy,

    The other thing that makes me laugh in regard to your comments about Britain’s ruling class and their domination of society is that it shows how out of touch Americans are about other countries – and in this case, tend to have no understanding of how the place works.

    All the things I’ve seen you carry on about – quite rightly, too mostly – on these threads generally don’t apply in the UK.

    In fact, since WWII, Britain has instituted huge social change designed to support those being described here as an “underclass”. I prefer to use the term the former “working classes”.

    Like I say, no one starves, everyone gets a good education (if they want it), they get family support, a whole range of programs designed to get them through (and not just to the point of getting a job), free health care, free quality housing (or very cheap at a nominal rent, depending on your taxable wage), etc etc.

    The aristocracy doesn’t run the UK (there’s hardly any of em anyway), but the bureaucracy designed to make sure that everyone gets a fair go. There are whole bureaucracies in the UK that were designed to throw both money and opportunity and basic living neccessities at people.

    The upper classes in the UK aren’t the ones with all the priveleges; the so-called underclass is.

    I still have a lot of family in the UK and Ireland. My cousin comes from a poor background in the UK through family circumstances, and grew up in public housing. As he tells it, there was always food on the table and a roof over their heads in the form of a modern house in a nice area provided at next to no cost by the local council. He took advantage of the opportunities given to him by the government, paid attention and made the best of a wonderful education system, went to university and is now working on the London 2012 games among a range of other projects across Europe.

    There are as many stories like his – many more, probably, if not quite so dramatic – as there are of idiots torching buildings in their own communities, looting electrical goods and bashing defebceless people to death.

    Perhaps that’s the problem. Maybe it needs to go back to how it is in the US: every bastard for themselves.

    This is the real reason why this entire episode in Britain is totally inexcusable.

    And Chris, what rock have you been living under over there?

    You increasingly sound to me like a chardonnay socialist.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #91

    Well, the authorities ain’t no fools.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And that is to say, in spite of the “official line.”

  • troll

    …might be a good idea to brush off the public works manual about now — give the unemployed something to do so they won’t join the hooligans

  • S.T..M

    Proper jobs might be a good place to stary. Despite what everyone on here thinks, there are plenty of those going begging in the UK. If you can’t find a reasonable paying job in Britain, then the truth is, you don’t want to work.

    The other truth is that staying on benefits (welfare) in Britain can often be more lucrative for those with families, especially when public housing is thrown into the picture, than actually going out and getting a decent-paying job.

    And when we’re talking public housing in Britain, we’re nopt talking about a pokey one-bedroom apartment with three kids squeezed into it.

    We’re talking well-maintained two- three- and four-bedroom homes with large yards, often in very nice suburban surroundings.

    The kind of joint you might have to pay $500,000 for if you actually had to buy it.

  • S.T..M

    And with rent that goes from nothing to nominal, depending on a family’s circumstances.

  • troll

    geeze — sounds like the Brits have been screwing up the ‘incentives’ that traditionally serve to keep the poor living happy lives of quiet desperation just like in the States

    fucking socialists

    Dave Nalle for President

  • zingzing

    jordan: “No, they were drunk and stupid.”

    pissed? could that cover it?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    Stan,

    What I mean by ‘dominant culture':

    A Dictionary of Sociology | 1998 | GORDON MARSHALL

    Dominant culture – Whereas traditional societies can be characterized by a high consistency of cultural traits and customs, modern societies are often a conglomeration of different, often competing, cultures and subcultures. In such a situation of diversity, a dominant culture is one that is able, through economic or political power, to impose its values, language, and ways of behaving on a subordinate culture or cultures. This may be achieved through legal or political suppression of other sets of values and patterns of behaviour, or by monopolizing the media of communication.

    Though I am certain you will still disagree, I am sure you are not clear on my statement concerning dominant culture.

  • S.T..M

    The British “underclass” and “working class” might even be the dominant culture in the UK these days Cindy. People have every opportunity to achieve and do well within whatever you might interptret as the “dominant culture”.

    That’s what makes this so bizarre. One of those arrested was a young, anglo female model from a good family … someone who makes a living from putting on clothes and getting her phot taken.

    What statement was she trying to make? There are many similar stories. Only the Tottenham rioting might – might – have had some basis in community anger, although even Mark Duggan’s family has condemned it.

    And the real anger from the community in Tottenham has been directed at the rioters themselves. Same deal in Clapham, where the main targets of “angry rioters” seemed to electrical goods stores.

    Nothing like an – extra – free flatscreen to ease that anger at the British establishment, eh??

    Part of the problem here is that with a few exceptions, a lot of you guys know fuck all about modern Britain or what it’s become in terms of its social engineering, and are looking at this through the warped prism of the American cultural experience.

    It simply doesn’t apply in any way, shape or form.

    The two places are immensely different. Britain is far more tolerant and compassionate as a society for a start, which is what makes this – the opportunistic vandalism and looting and the apologists for it – all the more bizarre.

    If anything, it might indicate the failure of too-big government and a welfare state that now in an almost de facto way discourages the kind of thought process and work ethic that made the place “Great” Britain in the first place.

    Somewhere between the US experience and the UK experience might be what modern socieities should be aiming for … more compassion, but less dependence.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #99 – just to keep STM honest.

    All or Nothing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #104

    ” …more compassion, but less dependence.”

    Sounds like a contradiction in terms, or perhaps to bring things to a peak:

    Does compassion promote dependence or discourage it? What does the former has to translate to in order to produce the first or the second result?

    Perhaps the writer of these aphorisms should consider the implications before venturing ahead.

    No offense, Stan, but you did present a puzzler, don’t you think?

  • Jordan Richardson

    One of those arrested was a young, anglo female model from a good family … someone who makes a living from putting on clothes and getting her phot taken.

    There were similar stories from our riots. One dude who lit a cop car on fire “for fun” was a water polo player and the son of a rich doctor. He came from privilege and lit the thing on fire not for any political cause but to impress his friends. He turned himself in after he couldn’t take the public shaming.

    Several people stealing from stores and businesses in the area had similar MOs.

    Riots create an arena in which people test and break the bonds of normally-accepted social behaviour. In some cases, this can be a positive thing. In cases like the UK riots, this amounted to mayhem, robbery and sometimes murder – mostly focused on their fellow citizens and human beings.

    It’s hard to consider these sorts of people as “raging against the machine” when what they’re really doing is raging against each other.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Sounds like a contradiction in terms

    I think most parents would disagree, Roger. As you raise a child, a good parent fosters more compassion through the years and, yes, less dependence.

    The question as to how a society fosters a similar relationship with its citizens is an interesting one, but I don’t think it’s quite the puzzle you make it out to be.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Society – citizen

    Parent – child

    I’m sure glad you don’t regard the analogy as problematic. Good for you.

  • Jordan Richardson

    *sigh*

    It’s not an exact fit, but I think it fits to illustrate that the issue Stan talked about (compassion/dependence) does work and isn’t a “contradiction in terms.” Unless you think compassion = fostering an attitude of dependence.

    Are you suggesting that the only way to be compassionate is to foster subordination or reliance? Surely not.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Bot at all, Jordan. I should think my meaning is clear. Society is not a parent, nor should it be.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    “This may be achieved through legal or political suppression of other sets of values and patterns of behaviour”

    What sets of values?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Then where’s the contradiction, Roger?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    The British “underclass” and “working class” might even be the dominant culture in the UK these days Cindy. People have every opportunity to achieve and do well within whatever you might interptret as the “dominant culture”.

    Stan’s right. You only have to look at the recent occupants of the highest political office in the land to see that.

    It’s true that the current incumbent, David Cameron, is a minor aristocrat (he’s actually a distant cousin of the Queen), but he’s the only Prime Minister since the mid-1960s to come from the upper classes. Every other recent PM beginning with Harold Wilson was born into a working class or middle class family.

  • zingzing

    power/riches/royalty/aristocracy… all the same, doc. they become the enemy of the people. it may not be their choice, and it may not be their aim, but in the eyes of the “lower” classes, there’s no difference, and maybe there shouldn’t be. authority is never loved. (other than the royal family because they’re so kawaiiiiiiiii.)

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Stan, you are living in a time warp. The Britain you describe is one that still enjoyed the benefits of empire and is gone.

    Starting with jobs, it simply isn’t true that there are plenty of well paid jobs available or that if you aren’t working it is because you don’t want to.

    Nor is it true that council housing is good quality housing stock that you would pay half a million dollars for.

    Moving on, as far as I know, nobody is suggesting that all the rioters were from the deprived classes anyway, which surely just goes to show how far disaffection has spread.

    I find Doc’s point about the nature of politicians equally misleading. Firstly, there is a huge gulf between a working class and a middle class family. Secondly because whilst every Prime Minister since the 60s might not have come from the upper classes, they certainly had an upper class education and bought into the system, which is effectively the same thing.

    The reality of British politics is that the main political parties have become more and more similar whilst arguing more intensely over relatively small matters of political doctrine.

    This is not a uniquely British phenomenon and may well have a lot to do with why people in many different countries are feeling disaffected and voter levels are low.

    I think it is this general feeling of dissatisfaction with politics that lead people of all classes onto the streets recently.

    That is not to condone what happened at all but to blame it all on pure mindless thuggery is completely missing the point and buying into the establishment argument.

    Since the end of the second world war there have been massive changes rippling around the world, including the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of regionalism, on through to the establishment of the Tea Party, the Arab Spring and the English Summer.

    All of these indicate, despite their notable inarticulacy and political naivety, a clear desire of people to have more influence and control over their lives.

    Another major challenge facing all political systems is how to prevent the continuous issuance of more laws and regulations from completely clogging up personal and commercial life whilst actually having systems in place to manage an increasingly complex world. As far as I know, nobody anywhere is even close to getting to grips with that one.

    Taking it back to an English context, one of the main themes of almost all mainstream political debate is opposition to European integration whilst simultaneously opposing independence for the other members of the United Kingdom.

    This two faced argument is more or less impossible to resolve, which is why I would actually support independence for England, the only one of the four states which doesn’t have its own parliament!

    I think authority can be loved, after all children love having parents; it is just the case that these days authority is both overbearing and unresponsive. Nobody would want a parent like that, so why would they want a political system like that either?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @113: in employing the false analogy, Jordan, in employing the false analogy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Chris’ comment is on the money.

    I’d like to add it was always easier to love (or hate) the King, if only because one dealt with personality(ies). Shedding the shackles of monarchy represented a bigger and more momentous rift than one which would obtain as a result of breaking away from an impersonal bureaucracy.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Roger, you accused Stan of a contradiction in terms. I’m asking you where the contradiction is in what Stan said about compassion/dependence. My analogy, inelegant as it may have been, illustrates that you can foster less dependence along with more compassion.

    If you’re suggesting that this is a contradiction in terms in the context of a society (which you cite as being “not a parent”), I still disagree on these grounds.

    Christopher’s comment (which you cite as being “on the money”), makes a similar analogy (“I think authority can be loved, after all children love having parents”), yet you don’t quibble with that.

    So what’s the difference? And again, where’s the contradiction?

  • troll

    living in an interdependent world I find the underlying focus here on the negative aspects of dependence deceiving

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Lay off, Jordan. Stan doesn’t need an advocate, and I don’t need your bullshit.

  • Cindy

    114 (and back)

    You are both now unable to get the meaning of ‘dominant’ culture. The underclass cannot, by definition, be the dominant one. To think that misses the point entirely.

    I am not sure I can walk as far as I would need to to get my message across. Maybe another day when the tide is not flowing against my boat.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    many senses of “dependence” may be at work as well, troll.

    And BTW, apropos of the article linked to by Glenn, it may be reduced to the following.

    Once there were given the circus and bread. Now there’s only the circus, while they’re withholding the bread.

    Dealing more specifically with the UK situation, we may be seeing a general shift as to the nature of resentment. Former modes of expression, hooliganism, etc., were indicative of a turnoff, total disengagement from the political process. Now we’re beginning to see a return to a mode of engagement and confrontation.

  • Cindy

    I could use that mixed metaphor to make a new flavor of martini. But I probably should have shaken it.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Cindy, although I broadly support your point it’s not completely true. If one lives amongst or works with “the underclass”, they are indeed the dominant culture.

    Personally, I seem to suffer from some kind of exotic double exclusion condition, don’t want and am not not wanted by either the haves or the have nots.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t worry about mixed metaphors or misleading analogies, Cindy. Jordan’s sophistry is made of such things.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That makes you, shall I say … an outcast?

    (No offense intended.)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Now we’re beginning to see a return to a mode of engagement and confrontation.

    Well, Roger, why don’t you whizz on over to the UK and talk to the rioters about engagement and confrontation, and see how far you get.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re not suggesting, I hope, your countrymen are that dumb? And thousands and thousands of them?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    I find Doc’s point about the nature of politicians equally misleading. Firstly, there is a huge gulf between a working class and a middle class family. Secondly because whilst every Prime Minister since the 60s might not have come from the upper classes, they certainly had an upper class education and bought into the system, which is effectively the same thing.

    I don’t really see what’s wrong with that. Everybody except for the impractically rich, the suicidal and the completely dysfunctional wants a better life, and if “buying into the system” is what gets you one, why blame the purchasers?

    I don’t know about you, but I’d find a PM without a good quality education a bit suspect. (As far as “upper class” educations are concerned, whereas it’s indeed been de rigeur for Tory prime ministers to have attended Oxford or Cambridge, the same isn’t true of Labour PMs, so I’m not convinced by that one either.)

    With the exception of Cameron, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth (though he nonetheless seems a very able fellow), our recent PMs have “bought into the system” through their own hard work and, in some cases, through their parents’.

    Now if these gentlemen and lady had got where they were by stepping on the heads of others and pushing them down the social ladder to replace them, or if it could be shown that this underclass has increased as a percentage of the population in recent times, your point might be valid.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    You’re not suggesting, I hope, your countrymen are that dumb? And thousands and thousands of them?

    [sigh] Roger, I’ve seldom come across anyone who’s as much a stranger to reality as you.

    Even Dave makes more sense.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    If you could furnish a photo of even one rioter holding a protest sign, that would be something…

  • troll

    I imagine that there is a fair amount of afterglow organizing around ideas of engagement and confrontation going on without Rog investing in plane fare — it’s a basic rule for radicals to use crises as ‘teachable moments’ right?

    …maybe with luck some decent mutual aid groups will be strengthened as a side effect

  • troll

    dreadful – that’s a good slogan for the campaign trail:

    Dave Makes More Sense

    …I like it

  • iball

    Why are these youths looting and destroying shops and homes in the UK and getting themselves in trouble with the authorities, when they could head over to Libya, join the rebels, “legally” loot and destroy homes and businesses, even kill people, and then return to the UK to a hero’s welcome?
    Don’t they want to better themselves?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @131

    Dreadful, you’re just throwing hands up in the air rather than deal with what I said? Weren’t you implying that your countrymen don’t know their asses from their elbows when you suggested I talk to them? And if not, then what exactly was the purport of your communication?

    As to Dave, yes, he does make more sense than the many of you who just can’t tolerate any kind of disagreement – in his own kind of way. At least Dave will go to great lengths to explain his political philosophy when you treat him with respect. You can discuss things with Dave. This hasn’t been my experience with this site’s liberals (and mind you, I’m not accusing you of being one).

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Weren’t you implying that your countrymen don’t know their asses from their elbows when you suggested I talk to them?

    No, I was suggesting that you don’t know yours from yours.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Doc, wanting a better life and buying into a system that is clearly dysfunctional are poles apart.

    I don’t think a good education is necessary to be a good politician. What a good politician needs to be is an effective manager, honest and non partisan.

    As to Labour PMs, Tony Blair WAS educated at Oxford and Gordon Brown at Edinburgh University, both firmly part of the establishment and about as far from working class as you can get.

    I’ve no idea what you’re on about with your reference to people becoming successful by stepping on others, nor do I see its relevance.

    Finally, the size of the underclass HAS been growing steadily for the last 30 years.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Me: If you could furnish a photo of even one rioter holding a protest sign, that would be something…

    Roger: [crickets]

    No? Then allow me to be of service

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @137, then you’re just being rude.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Doc, wanting a better life and buying into a system that is clearly dysfunctional are poles apart.

    Is the current system more dysfunctional than 1st century Rome, or feudalism, or the Industrial Revolution which cared so little about its underclass that it sent women and children as young as four down mines and up chimneys with no hope of ever escaping that life, and beggars were as commonplace as on the streets of Indian cities?

    While I agree with you that Stan paints too rosy a picture of modern Britain, he’s right that few people are starving or forced into that kind of life.

    It’s fascinating how people tend to perceive that of all the eras in history, the one they personally are living through just happens to represent the zenith of social malaise or the precipice before the fall or the End Times or whatever. I mean, what are the chances?

    I don’t think a good education is necessary to be a good politician. What a good politician needs to be is an effective manager, honest and non partisan.

    Hmm. By those criteria the last one of those we had was Churchill, and then only for five of his various years in office.

    As to Labour PMs, Tony Blair WAS educated at Oxford and Gordon Brown at Edinburgh University

    And Wilson and Callaghan?

    I’ve no idea what you’re on about with your reference to people becoming successful by stepping on others, nor do I see its relevance.

    My point is that I’m not convinced “buying into the system” automatically perpetuates an underclass.

    Finally, the size of the underclass HAS been growing steadily for the last 30 years.

    If by “underclass” we should read “poverty level”, then you’re correct that it has grown since 1980, although not steadily, at least according to this source.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Doc, I’ve no idea about 1st Century Rome or feudalism but I think that, yes, the current system probably IS more dysfunctional than the Industrial Revolution.

    As to starvation, according to the BBC tonight, there are over 1.4 million children in the UK living below the poverty line, so at least double that when you add in their parents, then factor in poor adults and even poorer old age pensioners and we might be talking about 3 to 6 million people or 5 to 10% of the population.

    That may not be starvation on a par with what is happening in Eastern Africa right now but it is certainly a lot of people going hungry tonight.

    Maybe Churchill WAS our last great PM; clearly, however, the establishment couldn’t tolerate him a moment longer than absolutely necessary.

    Wilson DID go to Oxford and even lectured there whilst and Callaghan tried but failed and became a leading civil servant before entering politics. Both establishment to the core then, Doc.

    I didn’t say that buying into the system perpetuates an underclass, so you are arguing with yourself on this point.

    I don’t think that the underclass and the poor are interchangeable terms, although obviously closely related.

    As someone who feels disenfranchised by the system in my country, I identify more with the underclass than the establishment although, as I said earlier, I don’t feel wanted by or want to be part of either.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Assuming that all or most of the rioters have political motivations is an assertion without evidence.

    A significant number of young men in interviews seem to indicate they have been brainwashed by materialism: “I want that stuff, so I’m gonna take it. I’m entitled to a nice big flat screen just because.”

    But then there were the people who took bottles of water, or handfuls of candy.

    And those that burned buildings.

    Perhaps there is no principal motivation, beyond “kicks.” Some of it reminds me of “A Clockwork Orange” — which [the original novel] was disturbingly ambiguous about the motivations and “cures” for antisocial violence.

  • troll

    Rog #123 many senses of “dependence” may be at work as well, troll.

    true — thus the need to register dissent against STM’s framing

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Which is precisely what I’ve done. The rest is predictable though. Whenever a pet liberal formulation is challenged, they all jump to the rescue.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    If you’d stop using “liberal” as an all-purpose pejorative, applying it to people who have very little in common, you’d have a lot more credibility…and not just with so-called “liberals.”

    It’s bad enough when right-wingers lump everyone to their left together into one convenient target. It is no more accurate, and just as obnoxious, when the fire comes from the left.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d gladly do so when I’ll see less and less evidence of what surely comes across as a nearly-identical, group-like response from yourself, Glenn, Jordan and zingzing.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    And STM too? Give us a break. In this thread especially, your tendency to over-simplify various shades of meaning in order to pin dumb labels on people is way off base.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    Christopher,

    I am sure that I have no idea what is meant by ‘dominant’ in the uses I am seeing here.

    Dominant culture consist of that part of the culture which may exercise the political power, it should not be construed as those who get the most hand outs. It is those who make laws and get elected and those who command markets who are the dominant culture. The rest of the mass culture is very busy either sopping up versions of the latest ‘in’ in social reality or reacting against it or perhaps doing various other things I haven’t considered here.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    135 – ;-)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    As to starvation, according to the BBC tonight, there are over 1.4 million children in the UK living below the poverty line…

    How does that reconcile with the version of dominant you mean Christopher? I am thinking about what happens when they grow up, potentially angry about the circumstances forced upon them.

    Also, that seems quite different from Stan’s version of a 3 bedroom house in every ‘pot’…

    Stan, how did 1.4 million kids get to be below the poverty line in the land of plenty where the are members of the ‘dominant’ culture?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Wasn’t trying to oversimplify anything, Handy, only provide a friendly push and shove to make people clarify their meanings. You should be familiar by now with my methods.

    And I do thank you, BTW, for identifying me correctly as “being from the left,” I mean it. The other day I was called by Glenn a “tea party extremist,” or something to that effect.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Children in poverty in the UK = 2.5% of the total population.

    Children in poverty in the US – 5% of the population.

    Not taking a side in the STM/Christopher/Cindy discussion, but:

    It does seem that by this measure at least the UK is more egalitarian than the US.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy, don’t you think Chris was making a somewhat valid point about there being more than one frame of reference? Considering a number of his comments on this thread, shouldn’t you view him as an ally?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Well, Roger, you do keep praising the Tea Party, even though I suspect you agree with just about none of their “ideas.” And you share this with them: sometimes your combativeness is more visible than any rigorous fact-checking in your assertions. You think loudmouth shouters serve a useful purpose. I generally disagree.

  • Clavos

    It’s bad enough when right-wingers lump everyone to their left together into one convenient target.

    Pot? Kettle?

    Didn’t you do just that in that sentence?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    There’s plenty of ‘lumping together’ on all sides in politics, Clavos, it’s true. I was making a rhetorical point about Roger, so I spoke in shorthand. But your rhetoric, Nalle’s rhetoric, and the Tea Party’s rhetoric do seem to be coalescing in ways I wouldn’t have thought likely a few years ago. I don’t see this as a favorable development in the history of ideas.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I recognize the Tea Party as a populous movement, Handy, that’s all. And any populous movement, in my political playbook, deserves serious attention.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “You think loudmouth shouters serve a useful purpose.”

    Never even intimated such a thing.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    154

    Ally?

    What in my comment to Chris did you take as indicating that I was being anything but friendly and cordial to Chris and his pov?

    I thought I was embarking on a real conversation with him. Perhaps I just don’t know how to act.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Lay off, Jordan. Stan doesn’t need an advocate, and I don’t need your bullshit.

    Still having trouble pointing out the contradiction huh? Maybe you should look before you leap.

    Highly ironic that you tell me to “lay off,” by the way.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    I was also addressing Stan in my comment to Chris, Roger. Probably wasn’t that clear. Perhaps you saw that as relating to Chris’ comment rather than Stan’s.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Jordan’s sophistry is made of such things.

    You wish. Kinda weird how you can’t actually point out what the problem is, but I guess you’re more than comfortable pecking away from your position of relative comfort. Nice housecoat.

  • Jordan Richardson

    You should be familiar by now with my methods.

    1. Miss the original point by a mile.
    2. Mischaracterize and stereotype the person making the original point.
    3. Judge based on the incorrect stereotype.
    4. Ignore any subsequent replies or dialogue.
    5. Repeat 10x.
    6. Leave conversation in a huff.

    Yeah, your “methods” are terrific, Roger.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m aware of that. Still, I’m more than pleasantly surprised by Chris’s no-nonsense, levelheaded response. I find it all the more significant that he speaks as his own person, in spite of the fact that some of it challenges the view by the fellow Brits.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You know, Jordan, that I’m going to ignore your wrath, so why bother?

    Save your energy, bro.

  • Jordan Richardson

    You know, Jordan, that I’m going to ignore your wrath, so why bother?

    Because you think you can piss on everyone and not be held accountable, Roger. Because you fancy your “methods” as working when they’re nothing but a smokescreen for when you get shit really, really wrong. And because you said “bro.” And because your promises to ignore me are about as honest and heartfelt as your repeated exits are.

    Talk about sophistry.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    I guess the KKK could be viewed as a populist [or even “populous”] movement as well.

    #165 = wickedly funny and quite accurate.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I ignore you, Jordan, because you’re acting like a child. Re-read this thread, including troll’s comments, and if and when you’ll come to your senses, I’ll start taking you seriously. Right now, all you display is an emotional reaction.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I submit it ought to have been taken seriously as well, and it was.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Roger, I bet if you looked up the word ignore in the dictionary, it wouldn’t offer the definition “to respond to Jordan within 7 minutes”.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    166 – I agree, Roger. I probably should have displayed more of my actual positive feelings regarding reading Chris’ pov. I did feel them.

    (It’s just I am fighting with physical therapists who seem to think their job is to guess what cuts to my husband’s treatment the insurance company may want and beat them to the punch in cutting him off. Meanwhile, in a damn weird tern, the insurance company is claiming they have no part in this and it is all on the therapists. They have even referred me to other rehabilitation services. I have no clue who to trust. They consider my husband done and are shoving him out the door, when I casually point out that they have not even begun working with him on full height steps and he might need to have that skill–among other things. It makes me very not inclined to notice positive things. My apologies.)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    tern? a little bird that runs along the shoreline? ha! i meant ‘turn’.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    Other viewpoint #1:

    The riots happened at a particular moment, a moment when capitalism is in deep crisis. Indeed the riots occurred at the same time as yet another crash in global markets. The two competed with each other to be the lead story on the news. This is not a coincidence; the crash, and the cuts unleashed to impose it’s costs on ordinary people, mean not only rocketing unemployment but also the slashing of public services. And while the focus is on the estimated £200 million of destruction caused by the rioting, this pales into insignificance in comparison with the huge destruction of wealth taking place on the stock exchanges. Likewise, while the media focus has been on the hundreds of workers and small business owners who will face unemployment because of the destruction of their workplaces, the system that bred the riot has refused work to millions – around one million people between the ages of 16 and 24 are unemployed in the UK today.

    Now, in the aftermath, it has become clear that those who made the mistake of taking what they had been told to desire are to be brutality punished, to set an example to others that the laws of property are to be respected at all costs – after all, if we could all take what we needed where would be the room for capitalism? There is no other explanation for the sentences handed down, which have included six months for taking bottled water worth £3.50!

    And, of course, the bankers that triggered far more destruction and unemployment have been rewarded rather than facing similar punishment. Russell Brand asks, in a blog post on the riots, “How should we describe the actions of the city bankers that brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? Mindful? Kind? But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that’s why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.”

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    Other viewpoint #2:

    The fury of the estates is what it is, ugly and uncontrolled. But not unpredictable. Britain has hidden away its social problems for decades, corralled them with a brutal picket of armed men. Growing up in the estates often means never leaving them, unless it’s in the back of a police van. In the 1980s, these same problems led to Toxteth. In the ’90s, contributed to the Poll Tax riots. And now we have them again – because the problems are not only still there, they’re getting worse.

    Police harassment and brutality are part of everyday life in estates all around the UK. Barely-liveable benefits systems have decayed and been withdrawn. In Hackney, the street-level support workers who came from the estates and knew the kids, could work with them in their troubles have been told they will no longer be paid. Rent is rising and state-sponsored jobs which used to bring money into the area are being cut back in the name of a shift to unpaid “big society” roles. People who always had very little now have nothing. Nothing to lose.

    And the media’s own role in all of this should not be discounted. For all the talk of the “peaceful protest” that preceded events in Tottenham, the media wouldn’t have touched the story if all that happened was a vigil outside a police station. Police violence and protests against it happen all the time. It’s only when the other side responds with violence (on legitimate targets or not) that the media feels the need to give it any sort of coverage.

    So there should be no shock that people living lives of poverty and violence have at last gone to war. It should be no shock that people are looting plasma screen TVs that will pay for a couple of months’ rent and leaving books they can’t sell on the shelves. For many, this is the only form of economic redistribution they will see in the coming years as they continue a fruitless search for jobs.

    Much has been made of the fact that the rioters were attacking “their own communities.” But riots don’t occur within a social vacuum. Riots in the eighties tended to be directed in a more targeted way; avoiding innocents and focusing on targets more representative of class and race oppression: police, police stations, and shops. What’s happened since the eighties? Consecutive governments have gone to great lengths to destroy any sort of notion of working class solidarity and identity. Is it any surprise, then, that these rioters turn on other members of our class?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Re-read this thread, including troll’s comments, and if and when you’ll come to your senses, I’ll start taking you seriously.

    I don’t need you to take me seriously, Roger.

    You clearly didn’t grasp what I was saying, so you decided to dismiss it and told me to “lay off.” Tell me why I should do you the courtesy of “re-reading the thread” when you didn’t even bother to understand what I was saying.

    Right now, all you display is an emotional reaction.

    Another mischaracterization based on an incorrect assumption. I’d say we should make a drinking game out of this, but I don’t think there’s enough booze in the world for it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t need to look up dictionaries, Dreadful, before I think or speak. The term was used to reflect “continuous present,” if you get my meaning. You’re an editor, Dreadful, so don’t ignore context.

    Get with it, will you?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    Then there is : Rioting & Looting: As a Modern-Day Form of Potlatch with it’s very interesting thought-provoking insights.

    A spectre haunts the modern world. It is the spectre of the gift. Everywhere the ?ght goes on, to get people to respect property, and to accept the miseries that come with such respect, such as work, destitution, and injustice. It is an endless ?ght by necessity. The minute it ceases, or weakens (e.g., gets caught on videotape), people break out into activities of an altogether di?erent nature.
    They riot, and they loot. They relieve things of their ?xed commodity values. The redistribution of these relieved things does not take the form of a sale, nor even a trade. Without a ?xed price, they can only be considered as gifts.

    More perspective from The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy by Guy Debord

    The Los Angeles rebellion was a rebellion against the commodity, against the world of the commodity in which worker-consumers are hierarchically subordinated to commodity standards. Like the young delinquents of all the advanced countries, but more radically because they are part of a class without a future, a sector of the proletariat unable to believe in any significant chance of integration or promotion…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, Jordan, it is an emotional reaction. For some reason, you can’t think straight when talking to me.

    Seriously, bro, I don’t mean to put you down, but I will not take you seriously until you take me seriously.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Is “silliness” an emotional reaction? If so, guilty as charged.

    For some reason, you can’t think straight when talking to me.

    Point out ONE thing I’ve got wrong, Roger. Just one. Where am I mixed up?

    I will not take you seriously until you take me seriously.

    See comment #177:

    “I don’t need you to take me seriously.”

    What part of that don’t you understand, bro?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    What of the looting of the pockets of people to keep this awful inhuman system afloat to the benefit of the few.

    In the land of the free, if I, and others, don’t contribute a lot of money to the youth indoctrination system, my house will be automatically taken away. No mind that I don’t believe in that system and think it is an assault on children. No one cares what I think about it. There is no forum for me to vote on whether I want such a system or think it is detrimental.

    It’s pay up or we’ll take your house.

    Sounds like looting to me, sound like what terrorists would do to people.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Not everyone who thinks calling mindless looting “economic redistribution” is laughable and ridiculous would disagree that bankers should be held more responsible for the damage they did. One idea does not lead to the other.

    [Of course the unfortunate fact is that much of what the bankers did was legal, whether it should have been or not, and thus outside the provenance of the courts.]

    [And: only people who agreed to plead guilty have been summarily sentenced, many with the identical 6 months. It’s deliberately aimed at potential copycats as a deterrent. Seems to be working so far. I’m not saying I agree. But I do not sympathize with thieves and arsonists. Well, Jean Valjean maybe.]

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jordan, it’s not worth the effort. You’ve got to do your own groping and searching. And the first thing you should try, stop being obsessed about always being right.

    Really wish you the best, but for the time being, excuse me for saying that this conversation is going nowhere.

    Best of luck.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    #182 is an example of the type of de trop stuff that could lead Jet or Glenn to mistake certain “anarchists” [rolling my eyes, sorry] for Tea Partiers, or at least Tea Partiers’ weirder cousins.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    More food for thought: LA ’92: The Context of a Proletarian Uprising

    Distorted by the bourgeois press, reduced to a mere ‘race riot’ by many on the left, the L.A. rebellion was the most serious urban uprising this century. This article seeks to grasp the full significance of these events by relating them to their context of class re-composition and capitalist restructuring.

    I see similarities with what is happening in England.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    #185 That comment exemplifies why I say you (and other liberals) who believe that going along with the status quo is the only reality acceptable are the problem.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Roger, what I said in this thread was so simple and so straightforward that only you could get it completely wrong. I actually think it takes effort to be so wrong about others, so I hope you get plenty of rest between posts.

    I’m glad you wish me the best, but I have no idea what any of that means. I’m not obsessed with “being right,” Roger, but I am “obsessed” with getting you to stop tainting every single conversation with your incessant need to (mis)categorize. Call it my White Whale, but I think it would make things a lot easier if you’d stop doing that.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    You insist that anyone who challenges the status quo is worthy of ridicule. And you, thereby, seal your fate as the anchor that weights down the ship of change.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    That is how liberals fuck up the world, handy, et al. Not because they don’t do ‘as much as’ or they do things in a slightly different way, but because they prevent any radical change, they are arms holding the door shut againts a better society.

    They fucking take out a permit, whereby the city grants them the right to march around the pentagon patting each other on the back for all their contribution to a better world–whilst the fucking place is entirely empty and they have done worse than nothing. Worse because they believe that what they are doing IS something.

    The sentiments of #185 disgust and dismay me.

  • Jordan Richardson

    You read an awful lot into #185, Cindy. All I got out of it is that handyguy can see how others might mischaracterize you based on your remarks in another comment. You’ve gone and assigned a wholesale political philosophy on that basis, but I’d really like to see where you got that from.

    I know you’re angry, rightly so, but where’s this really coming from?

    Also, we all fuck up the world. You included. We have the arrogance to think that our virus of a species can produce a “better world,” but all we can really do is make changes so that we fuck up the world a little less. We should be striving for that, each one of us.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    an example of the type of de trop stuff

    I think that is pretty clear. He chose his words carefully.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    Also, we all fuck up the world. You included.

    Yes, that is true.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’m still not seeing the same handyguy you see, Cindy. But then again, perspective is everything. That, I think, is what we’re all stumbling to understand in our own incoherent, clumsy ways.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @188

    It’s not just what you said, Jordan, it’s your reacting that turns me off. Try to change that and some day we may talk. Not until.

    I’m really done with this for a while Please try not to tax my patience just because out of politeness I’m bound to reply. Can you respect that?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Okay, Roger.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t approve of Cindy’a #182, except in spirit, and neither does she. Still, it’s a kind of payback in a manner of speaking.

    Why do we all approve of “killing me gently with kindness,” while we abhor outright brutality?

    As to revolutions, just or unjust, sorry, there are no hostages. We raise up a great stink about innocent lives lost in London riots, and yes, it’s very regrettable, while we sit in the comfort of our living rooms watching news broadcast about US drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan with God knows what cost to the innocent civilians.

    Taking about liberal brand of hypocrisy? Give me a fucking break! If half of you were as adamant and vocal about crimes and atrocities committed by this and other Western governments against populations the world over, I’d give you half the credence. Until then, your words are empty and hollow.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I appreciate that, Jordan. I mean it. And please try to understand I’m not your enemy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I;m sorry if I haven’t made it clear, Jordan. STM made “the argument,” and I found his phrasing, or shall we say, juxtaposition of terms? rather intriguing and calling for elucidation, that’s all.

    In light of that, I thought it most proper to direct my puzzlement at STM rather than at anybody else. Since he was responsible for the utterance and what I regard as peculiar phrasing, I naturally assume he was the person most qualified to field my query. Again, I apologize for not having been crystal clear about my intent, in light of which, sideline comments, in spite of the best possible intention, I viewed as subversive.

    I’m still looking for STM’s response, and I sure hope it’s forthcoming sooner or later. Perhaps then the meaning of my query will become more evident. But you can understand, I hope, why I don’t want to reveal all of my cards at this point, before, that is, STM decides to respond.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    Roger,

    Are you sure you disapprove of my complaint about paying real estate taxes to indoctrinate children? Do you really think I disapprove of that comment? Surely you were meaning some other comment than #182?

    (Really though, I meant every other thing I said, in the context I said it in. I challenge what liberals are fond of claiming–‘there is nothing we can do to change that’, ‘you must accept ‘reality”, etc whilst working their little guts out to insure that the social order is a bitch to change…and making fun of and dismissing anyone who dares challenge it. If handy was not doing that, then I acquiesce. But that will be for him to admit.)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    UK: Feral Capitalism Hits The Streets By David Harvey

    Prof. Harvey has a very interesting take and quite different:

    Thatcherism Unchained

    What I say may sound shocking. Most of us don’t see it because we don’t want to. Certainly no politician dare say it and the press would only print it to heap scorn upon the sayer. But my guess is that every street rioter knows exactly what I mean. They are only doing what everyone else is doing, though in a different way – more blatantly and visibly in the streets. Thatcherism unchained the feral instincts of capitalism (the “animal spirits” of the entrepreneur they coyly named it) and nothing has transpired to curb them since. Slash and burn is now openly the motto of the ruling classes pretty much everywhere.

    This is the new normal in which we live. This is what the next grand commission of enquiry should address. Everyone, not just the rioters, should be held to account. Feral capitalism should be put on trial for crimes against humanity as well as for crimes against nature.

    Sadly, this is what these mindless rioters cannot see or demand. Everything conspires to prevent us from seeing and demanding it also. This is why political power so hastily dons the robes of superior morality and unctuous reason so that no one might see it as so nakedly corrupt and stupidly irrational.

    But there are various glimmers of hope and light around the world. The indignados movements in Spain and Greece, the revolutionary impulses in Latin America, the peasant movements in Asia, are all beginning to see through the vast scam that a predatory and feral global capitalism has unleashed upon the world. What will it take for the rest of us to see and act upon it? How can we begin all over again? What direction should we take? The answers are not easy. But one thing we do know for certain: we can only get to the right answers by asking the right questions.

  • STM

    What a load of bollocks.

  • STM

    Why is the viewpoint of the small-L liberals and intellectuals and handwringers of the chardonnay left more important than the view of the working left, or those occupying the political centre (which is really what British conservative politics are when compared to the political stands of the major parties of the US, in particular).

    Democracy demands more than one participant. In a progressive, liberal democracy like Britain that has gone out of its way to provide equal opportunity – perhaps more than equal – to its so-called “underclass” makes this even more pathetic than it really is.

    That some people prefer to be part of the “underclass” means they are the problem … all the answers to their problems can be found in the mirror.

    Like I say, there are plenty of jobs going begging in England that pay decent wages. But when it’s more luvrative to stay on welfare, what’s the point besides a desire to escape the welfare trap.

    It’s making me sick listening to the apoligists for vandals, arsonists, looters, rioters, bashers, robbers and killers who are the ONLY ones responsible for what happened.

    The only statement most of the rioters were making was: “I need a new flatscreen TV, let’s take that one then we’ll burn the building down for fun.”

    F.ck me, what is it with you f.cking people. And not knowing sh.t from clay is no excuse for such ridiculous, blinkered views.

  • STM

    Cindy: “Stan, how did 1.4 million kids get to be below the poverty line in the land of plenty where the are members of the ‘dominant’ culture?”

    Because, Cindy, no matter how much opportunity and money you throw at people, you just can’t guard against parents who don’t give a rat’s. Alcohol abuse is rife in the UK and always has been, and now drugs run a close second.

    When people prefer to spend their money of grog and drugs instead of their kids, that’s not the fault of the government or society. Like I say, welfare/benefits paid in the UK is extremely generous.

    That some people can’t feed their kids is down to them, not to what they’bve been given, because the level of government help to anyone in the UK means that no one in the UK needs to do without anything.

    Even parents who for whatever reason can’t afford school uniforms for their kids are provided with school uniforms so their children won’t feel out of place. They are also fed for free if parents can’t afford the nominal fee charged.

    Those are the facts, despite what you might want to believe.

    Perhaps you’d get a better idea of how it is if you actually went there and had a look yourself.

  • STM

    Roger, my meaning is crystal clear.

    Some societies need to be more compassionate, withouit fostering so much dependence.

    The US is at one end of the spectrum (no compassion), the UK at ther other (having fostered a no-work ethic through welfare and a bureacracy that throws money, grants and opportunities at people at a frightening rate).

    Somewhere between the two might be what we’re all looking for. The utopia that seems to avoid us all.

    I don’t understand how you couldn’t work that out in the first place Rog, unless you didn’t read the original comment properly. Which is, ah, not like you at all …

  • STM

    Here’s a great UK government website detailing the levels of help given to people who can’t afford certain things that others in their peer groups might take for granted.

    The idea in all that, and it is admirable, is to create a level playing field for all Britons. That is also why fury and disgust should be the only response we should use to address the non-causes of this opportunistic mass criminal action.

    And this, BTW, as detailed, is only a very small part of what’s available, as you might pick up from a decent study of this site.

    Actually, unless you are mentally challenged, even a quick look will give you acc accurate picture.

    A detailed look, however, should be somewhat illuminating for Americans who don’t understand how it all works in Britain and are basing their views on the American cultural experience, which simply doesn’t apply.

    And BTW, Rog, I’m glad to have an advocate in Jordan, except I don’t think that’s what he was doing. He was just pointing out the bleeding obvious.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Thanks, Stan, that’s what I thought.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Stan, although there are some useful social benefits available to certain people, mostly parents – although why this life choice deserves special treatment I don’t quite understand – your other points that there are plenty of well paying jobs available in the UK or that the benefits system pays out generously are total garbage. Where do you get these ideas from?

  • troll

    …let’s start again

    gee Stan — when you use the word ‘dependency’ realize that it’s a repub/teaparty/neo-liberal buzz word frequently used to denigrate what is essentially a positive (in that it beats starving) relationship between the individual and his community

    without some clarification your continuum supports this narrative

    and Jordan can’t the process of child development be legitimately viewed as one of transferring the locus of dependency more than an act of shedding it (psychologically speaking that is)?

    I find this a productive way to view it anyway

    …continue your mission Paladin — just realize that some of us take our silliness very seriously..we live it unlike so many who attack us…

    and remember: silliness if felt deeply enough transcends both politics and art

    (Cindy – aren’t there any reasonable client advocates in the system to shield you guys from this nonsense?)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    “De trop” referred to the rhetoric:

    youth indoctrination system

    assault on children

    sounds like what terrorists would do to people

    If you think this is a reasonable way to express yourself, we speak different languages.

    Public schools certainly have their problems, but tens of millions of kids depend on them. Not all public schools are alike, so using propaganda terms to slander them all is pure foolishness.

    And if those schools were defunded, would you actually be pleased with the results? Do you really, really think parents who just want their kids to go to college and get a decent job are, in effect, part of a ‘terrorist’ system?

    Words have consequences, and your outlandish words are absurd, beyond the pale, nearly useless.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ cindy

    112 – Dr Dreadful
    Aug 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm
    “This may be achieved through legal or political suppression of other sets of values and patterns of behaviour”

    What sets of values?

    Whatever sets of values are held by the subordinate culture–whatever they may be. Here is one example:

    Pacifism belongs to a value set that is not in line with the values of the dominant culture–which indoctrinates, rewards, and prizes competition and aggression and sees violence as normal, natural, necessary, and inevitable and trains its children to reproduce it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @205

    ” … He was just pointing out the bleeding obvious.”

    Far from detouring the discussion, Stan, baby, let me dispel your illusion. Consider these remarks as a prelude to any meaningful conversation.

    Any text, no matter how “bloody obvious,” lends itself to a variety of readings, and it’s got nothing to do with the best intentions of the author. It’s the reader which makes it so.

    Why? We all bring different experiences to a text, different upbringings, different political convictions and understandings. Shoot, Stan, you and I even live in different continents. Hasn’t this fact alone made you wonder how communication is possible at all? Hell, you yourself, as you grow up, don’t view the same text in the same light ten years after you’ve first read it. We’ve all had that experience.

    Personally, I think you should welcome the fact that all these different readings and yes, creative misreadings are possible. I certainly do, because no matter how I myself try to be “crystal clear” in saying what’s “bloody obvious,” I always find, it’s been my experience, I fall short off the mark. We all do. It’s for that reason I always welcome people challenging my intended reading, for it’s only then I am exposed to my deficiencies as a writer and thinker. It’s only then that a real conversation and the meeting of minds can begin. I hope you feel the same way too.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy, my qualms about your #182 had less to do with the principle of it, more with the language you use. Looting and theft do carry negative connotations. Granted, these connotations are predicated on a system of private property which, both you and I may agree, is not the most happy social arrangement. But for as long as that system is in effect, property ownership is going to be regarded by most folk as something to be protected, whereas things like looting or theft, which takes away from them their property, as immoral. (Never mind for now the question of how the property was obtained in the first place or by what means. Most people don’t even consider it or are not prepared to consider it; that’s a topic for another time). Which is why your language generates an adverse kind reaction, as for example, from Handy; it always will. Well, we don’t need that. Besides, looting and theft only validates the private property system. It says that those who commit it are no different than those from whom it is taken away, that all people are about the same thing, the only difference being their different circumstances.

    That’s why I like the sixties slogan, “Burn baby, burn!” It makes for a stronger revolutionary statement than mere looting or theft.

    I hope we’re on the same page

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @204

    OK, let’s go at it again, Stan baby (Breakfast at Tiffanies in case you’re wondering).

    … more compassion, less dependence …

    I’m going to reiterate the question I originally put to you way way back:

    Does compassion promote dependence or discourage it? What does the former has to translate to in order to produce the first [as opposed to] the second result?

    Personally, I think you should thank me, Stan baby, for trying to milk your meaning and giving you an opportunity to shine.

    And the answer is …

  • troll

    …I view the rioting as akin to cutting

    a desperate diagnostic release indicating the need for revolutionary changes in the way one lives

    no ‘good vrs bad’ needed here

    ‘Burn baby, burn’ — how ’bout ‘General Strike’?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Now, to complicate matters a bit, here comes Jordan (#108, I believe):

    The question as to how a society fosters a similar relationship [compassion/dependence]with its citizens is an interesting one, but I don’t think it’s quite the puzzle you make it out to be.”

    Well, isn’t a puzzle, Stan baby? What exactly is meant by “society” here. Three ideas have been floating around: the government (see Chris’s remarks on authority, and how it’s possible to love authority); the society; and the community. Now, Chris’s model comes the closest to lending itself to a parent-child analogy, doesn’t it? Not the middle t4rm, certainly, for our societies are surely fragmented, aren’t they? Which presents us with an interesting dilemma: Who should listen to whom? Lastly, the community. And yes, in the context of a community, the very notion of dependence and interdependence assumes different dimensions, doesn’t it, Stan baby? because our societies aren’t quite communities.

    Anyway, these are some of the complications. I know you hate complications, Stan, because you’re a straight-shooting kind of guy, but forgive me for asking, again, which of the three you’ve meant?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    True, but “burn baby, burn” was in the nature of an important catalyst which paved the way to subsequent formulation and refining the terms of the struggle. No different, in a way, than the storming of the Bastille. So yes, these are some of the “desperate diagnostic releases” which foretell the future of things. I agree.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Cindy @ #210:

    I was rather hoping you could explain what sets of values Joe Rioter espouses that the dominant culture is supposed to be suppressing.

    I don’t think you buy into Roger’s wet dream of the UK riots as a manifestation of some sort of benevolent global revolution, but your take still seems quite a bit removed from the actual mood on the ground.

    Perhaps you spotted or heard something I didn’t, but as far as I could tell, the only “values” on obvious display last week were the sociopathic ones of Me Me Mine.

  • troll

    …well — inversely –he certainly isn’t keeping a stiff upper lip

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @218 – referring to Joe Rioter? That’s the only way I read it, along with the implication.

    And BTW, Dreadful, it ain’t no wet dream of mine. Still have fantasies that go beyond politics.

    As a matter of fact, I believe I happen to be more detached from the situation than you apparently are. But even accepting your formulation for the time being, if I’m having a wet dream, then you certainly exhibit all the signs of having a nightmare.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    The British stiff upper lip died with John Major, who not matter how much he shaved still looked like he had a walrus moustache.

  • Igor

    IMO, the rioters have simply decided that theirs is the best strategy, that it is better to throw the whole system into chaos and hope that the next system works better. They have good reason to discard The Adults commands to ¨work hard, study well, apply yourself, and, most of all, be obedient¨

    Because they see the adults in their families stripped of their 401K savings, homes foreclosed by crooked bankers bribing politicians. They see that abuse, violence and criminality PAY!

    Bankers freely cheat people of their savings, hedge fund operators arrogantly defy the tax authorities, media moguls bribe politicians and pervert childrens privacy.

    No one goes to jail.

    You can´t blame them for concluding that anarchy reigns.

    All your pretty talk about how the wonders of the capital system will raise everyone up are wasted. No matter that they are false.

    All your pretty talk about communism liberating them: wasted. They saw the results in East Germany and Russia.

    Crime pays!

    Don´t miss your chance to cash in on the crime spree!

  • Fred Brock


    A recent analysis by the Center for American Progress (CAP) finds that the recent deal to deeply cut federal spending attacks those federal programs which could help low-income Americans climb out of poverty”

    This is utterly false. These programs don’t people out of poverty!..They ensure that people stay in poverty. Self confidence, commitment, personal responsibility, will power and an environment of opportunity will get you out of poverty. Look at the numbers the more programs we introduce to help those in “poverty” the more “poverty” increases.

  • STM

    Troll: “without some clarification your continuum supports this narrative”.

    No mate, it doesn’t, because the narrative here is not about America. When your talking dependence of the kind on offer in Britan, it bears no resemblance whatsoever to what the right is banging on about in the US.

    If they think America is a socialist country or heading that way, they know diddly squat.

    If they had half a clue, they’d look overseas and see what’s happened there.

    That’s why I say, the ideal might be somewhere between lack of compassion (the US) and dependence on big government (the UK).

    The rea part/repuclicans/right in the US certainly faill into my idea of no compassion.

    So the narrative doesn’t apply.

  • STM

    Rosey: “plenty of well paying jobs available in the UK or that the benefits system pays out generously are total garbage. Where do you get these ideas from?”

    What rot Chris. I don’t agree with your agenda or your worldview in your eyes, so your first resort is to put sh.t on me. I never thought I’d see you do it.

    The figures are there for all to see, Chris. It’s not up to me to present them, but if you don’t agree, why not post what two unemployed parents of, say, five children earn through benefits, factoring in the nominal rent of a council house and some of the other benefits I’ve posted above on the Citziens’ Advice Bureau website, like free school lunches and grants for musical instruments and school uniforms (including sports gear). Make it the maximum amount available … in US dollars – so that our American friends will understand.

    It’s all publicly available. The job ads are still there too.

    Please, do it.

  • STM

    And there’s still no excuse for a criminal rampage on the scale we’ve seen.

    It says more about the youth of modern Britain – modern anywhere in the west, probably – than it does about the system or democratic governments.

    It’s OK to dislike the system and to feel it’s shafted you, but the system also provides many other means of redress that don’t involve arson of homes, businesses and cars, looting, wanton, mindless vandalism, bashing people, or killing people.

    Stop apologising for these idiots, all those you who are apologists.

  • Jordan Richardson

    can’t the process of child development be legitimately viewed as one of transferring the locus of dependency more than an act of shedding it (psychologically speaking that is)?

    I don’t honestly know what this means, troll. All I was doing was giving an example as to how what Stan said was not a contradiction in terms necessarily.

    You’re assigning an awful lot of meaning to that small statement and I’m not really sure why. You may think of “dependency” as a “buzzword” with political connotations, but that was not how I saw it. I also do not and did not necessarily assign negative connotations to it, so that’s another incorrect assumption.

    Honestly, I thought the whole thing was pretty clear. I was wrong.

  • Jordan Richardson

    No mate, it doesn’t, because the narrative here is not about America. When your talking dependence of the kind on offer in Britan, it bears no resemblance whatsoever to what the right is banging on about in the US.

    Bingo. This is why I’ve continued to rail against your weird-ass labels.

    When troll says a term has certain connotations, it may have those connotations for troll but troll should know that we all don’t share those connotations – negative or positive. Some of us are attempting to speak plainly and not in riddles or with hidden meanings, no matter what labels or “emotions” we are assigned. I suppose more is getting lost in translation than I originally thought. That could be a big part of the problem here.

    I’ve voted for the Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats, Greens, and indies throughout my relatively short voting experience in Canada. In all of those political parties, “socialized medicine” is on the table and climate change is a “real thing.” Other issues in Canada are universal, too, and there isn’t such an obvious schism.

    Stan is trying to walk the middle road here and he’s doing so in the framework of his own political understanding.

  • Jordan Richardson

    we live it unlike so many who attack us…

    1. You’re not being attacked as much as you think you are, troll.

    2. The fact that you don’t think I “live it” is arrogant and insulting. You have no idea.

    3. What I referred to as “silliness” was my own emotion, not what you do or say.

    Really, it’s not that complicated.

  • troll

    Jordan my whole ‘dependency’ spiel was based on Stan’s stated desire for less of it — I assumed that he was focusing on the negative aspects

    and the ‘silliness’ thang was a spoof of our exchange over democracy — I missed your reference that you reference?

    but you are too cruel…

    and Stan — I only speak seppo…what do you expect?

    words like ‘dependency’ clearly don’t translate directly and I’m sure that there is no similarity of Brit and US neoliberal theory and narrative

    …seriously dude – I do realize that there is there and here is here….most of the time

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry for butting in, but I can’t make up my mind just nyet who’s the biggest jackass of them all. I have at two candidates in mind, and thus far remain undecided.

    Look forward, Mark, to “Animal Farm Revisited,” I mean it. Perhaps I shall put the matter up to a vote, if only to make it official.

    One of our old banished and departed who shall remained unnamed called one of our BC contributor “registered vulgarian,” a clever turn of phrase, come to think of it. Well, I’m gonna have to scratch my head real hard to bestow a proper title to the next winner of BC’s “imbecile of the year” award.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I assumed that he was focusing on the negative aspects

    He may well have been, I’m not sure. I was only speaking of the simplest version of the concept; I didn’t attach any further meaning, despite the protests of some to the contrary. I apologize for not making this clearer.

    and the ‘silliness’ thang was a spoof of our exchange over democracy

    Refresh my memory? I don’t recall having an exchange over democracy with you.

    Again, I’m coming at this from a very simple angle. There’s a whole fleet of meaning that’s being attached that just isn’t there, at least how I meant it. I cannot speak for how Stan meant anything.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @223

    Stan, your response is full of sound and fury, but it still doesn’t clarify jack shit, let alone the multiplicity of concepts and meanings involved: what the fuck are we talking about, the government, the society, or the community? Who is in the position of dependence and with respect to whom? Wherein the model of parental authority resides, and by what right? Can that right be subject to question, and if not, why not? Who is supposed to listen to whom? Until you’re ready to deal with these questions, yes, questions pertaining to your own bloody utterance, crystal clear, as you yourself have put it, sorry mate, but in my book you’re evading the issue.

    Contrary to what you claim, mate, your statement is loaded. I’m trying to unload it, mate, to unpack it, if you catch my drift. In any case, I’ll be out of your hairs on this one, STM Have nice conversations with those who are apt to agree with you, but if that’s your standard, count me out, mate.

    Cheerio.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Stan hasn’t been evading any issue, Roger. If he had, how would you know enough to suggest that his statement was a contradiction? It seems you have some valid questions, but instead of simply putting them to him properly you drag it out into another one of your silly games.

    You loaded his statement, Roger, just like you load most of mine with a bunch of shit that isn’t there. Then you claim to try an “unpack” a statement filled with connotations and assumptions of your making. Wow.

    The thing is that you don’t see this, even after it’s been pointed out to you several times by several people here. I guess talking to you really is futile after all. I held out hope far beyond many who’ve long since abandoned you, but now I see that you’re so trapped in your own reality that you don’t dare see beyond it. You force others to examine themselves and their statements but put yourself on a pedestal.

    I know you’re going to categorize this as a “rant” or a “diatribe” filled with emotion. I wish it were true. All I can muster for you now is indifference.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jordan, forgive me for saying, but there’s bad blood between us. I really don’t appreciate you engaging me anymore on this. If Stan has anything to say, I’m willing to listen, but thus far he has made his intentions clear by not fielding my questions. In the long run, perhaps it’s better this way. But whatever he thinks about your contributions or advocacy, I certainly don’t need a three-way conversation here. I regard it as static. So excuse me if I bow out and not honor you with a reply.

    And especially, in light of your last paragraph, I just noticed, why do you even bother to address me? What is the fucking point?

  • STM

    What the f.ck is Roger going on about? Seriously, I’m gobsmacked.

    Sorry, but this seems to be in your mind only Rog … I hadn’t even given it a second thought.

    If there’s any bad blood, it’s on your part, not mine.

    There’s nothing going on here Rog besides the usual near-civilised banter which is standard BC discourse.

    Get a grip old boy! It’s not always about you …

  • STM

    Rog: “I’m gonna have to scratch my head real hard to bestow a proper title to the next winner of BC’s “imbecile of the year” award.”

    Mate, I don’t suppose you’ve ever considered nominating yourself for that, have you?

    :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry, mate. It’s a stale topic by now. I’m done with it, if you don’t mind. Shouldn’t have raised the stink in the first place, so just forget it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Goes to show, Stan, how full of yourself you really are. Was talking about Jordan. WTF did you assume I was talking about you?

  • STM

    Yeah, I’m full of myself but you’re a lilywhite.

    Rog, do you understand how you come across sometimes in these discussions?

    It appears to be very self-obsessed stuff, especially when you’re creating arguments where none previously existed.

    I simply don’t understand.

    You have had another go at me over some piddling perceived (but not actual) slight, and then you decide you’re going to take your bat and ball and go home. Most of what I’ve written here isn’t even addressed to you. It’s addressed to no one in particular. It’s simply a point of view … pixels on a screen, what passes for civilised discourse on the internet.

    Is it really any wonder others get tired of playing your game? I don’t care one way or the other because I’m not here nough to worry about it, but seriously, you do need to get a grip on reality.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Shoot, Stan. I don’t give a shit how I come across to you or anyone else. I posed a question to you, and you chose not to deal with it. Fair enough, it’s your right. Whatever else transpired on this thread further down the line, it was between Jordan and me. So what’s that to you? Now, you’ve completely misread my comment which was addressed to Jordan, thinking I was talking to you. And you’re telling me to get a grip?

    No, thank you, mate. Save your lectures for somebody else, and don’t be worrying about me.

  • zingzing

    stm, if roger pisses you off, i think that’s what roger was trying to do. roger may have his own plan, but that seems to be the entirety of it at the moment. he’s just trying to piss people off.

  • STM

    Rog: “I posed a question to you, and you chose not to deal with it.”

    Yes, you did … and I answered.

    Probably not in your desired time frame though because I’m not here 24/7 giving everyone the screaming english lits.

  • STM

    I suspect you might be right, zing

  • STM

    As usual, as much as it pains me to say it ..

    :)

  • STM

    I reckon we should have a contest for “Who’s the greatest tosser on BC?”

    Should be an interesting vote, that. I’ll nominate me if Rog nominates himself.

  • zingzing

    that’s like getting cats to vote. or liberals, i guess. i love cats.

  • STM

    Might be more like herding cats

  • troll

    231 – Jordan Richardson

    I cannot speak for how Stan meant anything.

    and since my concern has been with Stan’s continuum I’m not sure what your and my issue is here

    as for my little psychological speculation that was directed at you – I was just questioning your characterization of the parent-child relationship…my notion is probably too half-baked for you

    Refresh my memory? I don’t recall having an exchange over democracy with you.

    ah — a trick question…truly it would be more accurate to describe it as your dramatic diatribe on the evils of dissing liberal seekers after democracy

    as to your whole ‘labeling’ accusation – you’ll need to come up with some examples…I agree with your underlying attitude (though I also understand the legitimate need to categorize for the purposes of argument) and try to avoid constructing strawmen

    and there are of course plenty of occasions when labels like jackass fit

    consider zing and his hostile comments for example

  • Jordan Richardson

    I was just questioning your characterization of the parent-child relationship

    I don’t recall making a “characterization” and I’m going to have to plead ignorance on this one.

    From my perspective, I used the example in simple service of what Stan said. Again, it’s something I thought was pretty straightforward. I certainly didn’t expect what happened to happen. It was far from my intent and I certainly didn’t mean to infer anything beyond the fact that some parent/child relationships can have less dependence and more compassion at once. I didn’t see the two as being contradictory. Maybe I misunderstood what Roger was after, I don’t know. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    a trick question

    No, it isn’t. It’s an honest one.

    truly it would be more accurate to describe it as your dramatic diatribe on the evils of dissing liberal seekers after democracy

    My “diatribe” was solely concerned with the way certain people around here approach things, namely the mischaracterization of others’ views. I’m far from the only one playing this tune, troll.

    From my perspective, I wasn’t “discussing democracy” – hence my confusion. Again, not a “trick question.” I actually, contrary to your trio’s belief, don’t do that. More often than not, I’m actually asking what is, in my mind, a legitimate question. It’s usually categorized as “playing dumb” or something along those lines, but that’s not a true assessment.

    I don’t find zingzing’s comments “hostile,” by the way. He is appropriately defending himself against a constant onslaught from the usual suspects. He’s been called every name in the book and categorized as every negative thing you can imagine by the usual suspects, troll.

    Whether you want to believe it or not, I have a lot of respect for you. But one thing I can’t stand is the continued labelling going on around here. It stifles discussion and it prevents us from actually understanding each other. On another thread (Roger’s “The Modern Liberal,” in fact), handyguy was saying something similar to Cindy.

    I’ve had to assert countless times that I’m not a liberal in the face of deafening claims to the contrary. I’ve been told that I haven’t written any articles on the subject of politics, even after I’ve proven otherwise. I’ve been told that I don’t care about anything but music. I’ve been told I hate women. I’ve been told I hate children. I’ve been told I hate democracy. I’ve been called a fascist. I’ve been called a moron. I’ve been told I don’t “live it.” I have had a simple question considered a trick question. And so on and so on. All on this site, troll, and all by the same three people. Those are just some of them, yet for some reason I persist trying to wrap my head around the bullshit. That, if you ask me, is dumb.

    Nobody else in my life has ever reached these insane conclusions, yet three strangers from a website seem to think that they can categorize me in the aforementioned ways – convenient, maybe, but wrong in nearly every instance.

    So yeah, I get pissed off sometimes. Maybe that’s wrong of me, but as a thirtysomething dork trying to carve through this world it sucks and I don’t always react like I wish I would. I’m human enough to admit it and, nine times out of 10, all I’m looking for in you guys is the same. But you act like you’ve never done anything wrong or missed the boat on any concept. There’s always some angle, some game to be played.

    Almost everyone around here admits to being wrong when they’re wrong. Almost everyone. That’s what makes this place what it is: a community.

    But for me, I’m through playing, probably several months (maybe years?) too late, but it’s in my best interest to just avoid these sorts of things. There’s no point in talking to people who are consistently misreading and misunderstanding; there’s a very basic failure of communication here. I’m willing to shoulder more than my portion of the blame for that, trust me. I’ve been consistent on this point, too.

    I’ll read your posts and articles, sure, but I won’t butt in to try to make sense out of your approaches or “methods” any longer. They are, shall we say, beyond my purview. Maybe it’s more accurate to say they’re beyond my patience level.

    Like I was trying to explain to Roger in #233, all I’m managing on this front is indifference. I used to care, off and on, for a while. Now? Not so much. This is the last patch of crap I can muster on the subject, thank God. There are more important things to concern myself with than this.

    I’m nothing if not a slow learner, yeah?

  • troll

    Jordan – wanna know a secret?

    I have a lot of respect for everyone participating in this essentially ‘off market’ (despite the owners’ best efforts) thinking machine/idea generator

    except of course the bloody comments editors etc etc yada yada

    I also agree with you that the conflict paradigm is worn thin

    I’ve been contemplating a Pollocky kinda piece on this very topic — probably not publishable here

    that said:

    my responsibility for your list oh hurtful labels includes “moron” and “not living it”

    1. I was attempting to characterize my view of your comments which I think were…off base — I fell short I guess – sorry

    2. I’ve seen little evidence that you are particularly dedicated to silliness and don’t quite get your upset at being told that you don’t ‘live the life’ of silliness

    btw – about that research on absurdivism I’ve been doing for you — I think that it might be an ailment common to many speed typists

    xxoo

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Oi, troll, what did I do to deserve such exclusion? I’m gonna tell me mum!

  • troll

    Chris – there’s gotta be a better way*

    I remain pretty bitter about Ruvy

    and besides there’s a certain troll quotient that my comments have to meet or I lose my decoder ring

    *to deal with really nasty people

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    For the record, troll, the decisions about Ruvy and the other two “really nasty people” were taken at a higher level, and over Chris’s objections.

    They are, BTW, by no means the only people who’ve had their privileges removed due to persistent failure to abide by the comments policy and general unpleasant behaviour. Recall Moonraven and JOM, for instance? I believe there was also another female regular – her handle escapes me at the moment – who got the boot before my time.

    The difference between them and the “nasty people” causing your current bitterness was that the latter were BC writers.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Kudos to Mr. Rose, in that case. I wasn’t aware of that. His shouldn’t have been used in emails to — shall I say, justify? the ban.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … name …

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Doc you just HAD to mention that name didn’t you? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaargh

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Furthermore, although I strongly disagree with Ruvy’s religious fundamentalism and his mass murderous preference for the use of nuclear weapons against people he disagreed with, which included the city of Tel Aviv amongst many others, I think Kurtz and Cohen had valid points to make, both in their general perspectives and with regard to Blogcritics itself, but they both seemed to be incapable of understanding or accepting the reality within which this site operates, which was very disappointing.

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I’d wondered what happened to Ruvy, he was great up until a couple of years ago when he moved and all of the sudden he became more and more radical and seemed to lash out at everyone… pity

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, they’re past being reasonable now. Even I became a target because my piece on censorship wasn’t direct enough to meet with their approval.

  • troll

    dreadful – I’ve been consistent in my opposition to all of the bannings

    I see them as failures of the community

    I don’t have any solutions — my suggestion to experiment with an ombudsman was rejected and probably for good reason — but relying on editing (which only aggravates and escalates the most aggressive cases) and censorship seems dated to me

    besides authority sucks

  • troll

    memories…ahhh Moonraven

    if I weren’t a short hunchbacked bald trollish white guy with a genetic predisposition to slave trading indian hunting and other forms of sexist domination we might have been friends

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Add my name to those who are bitter about Ruvy being kicked off BC. That was unnecessary. Others here are just as bad or worse, but at least Ruvy was more than capable of having a mature and cogent discussion, and had a particular understanding of certain facets of history that no one else on BC does. It was WRONG get rid of him.

  • troll

    Irv –

    1. I had the censorship thing covered in #260
    2. I don’t give a rat’s ass about your antics over at savebc
    3. You should’a figured out a way to remain a bc contributor

  • Costello

    Is Irvin the Vermin still popping up over here. Take a hint. BC no longr wants to date you. Take a hint

  • Jordan Richardson

    Add my name to those who are bitter about Ruvy being kicked off BC.

    Me too, same for Al and Irvin.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    [personal attack deleted by comments editor] I worked my ass off for over a month with Clavos to get a piece published concerning this very subject, emails going back and forth until we’d settle on final version. After countless revisions, it finally saw the light of day. So where were they, these instant heroes who now exhibit all the signs of bravery and courage because Mr. Rose was kind enough to open the subject to a limited discussion? Where were they when the iron was hot?

    I’ll tell you where they were. They were nowhere to be found. Haven’t uttered as much as a beep. Which is why “Mice and Men …” was such an appropriate title.

    Yes, I’m being an asshole in this here respect, and I cherish the role.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Costello, Irv won’t take a hint. If you think he and his pal were obnoxious when here — no reason, IMO, for their banishment — you should see them now. They’re frothing at the mouth, that’s all they’re capable of right now.

    What a waste of Kurtz’s satirical talent.

  • zingzing

    “So where were they, these instant heroes who now exhibit all the signs of bravery and courage because Mr. Rose was kind enough to open the subject to a limited discussion?”

    elsewhere?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Just because I don’t agree with the banning of three people doesn’t mean I’ve got the time or interest to dedicate my life to their cause.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Neither do. Just thought the subject important enough to merit rethinking, and I acted accordingly. Done my duty, that’s all.

    You say politics is personal to you, you live it and breathe it — your own words. Well, the least you could have done is chime in, that’s all.

    See, it’s those kind of contradictions that bug me, sorry to say.

    Notice I’m not addressing this comment to your pal, Zing. I view him as corrupt. I don’t see you that way, never had.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Ruvy, Irvin and Alan got banned from a website. There was nothing “political” about it in any meaningful sense, nor did I see any reason to take it personally. Blogcritics can, as its own entity, make whatever decisions it wants – nobody is forced to be here.

    People get banned from websites for violating comment policies all the time, so it was far from a cross I had any desire to take up in a formal fashion.

    I did “chime in a few times,” however, but I’ve got absolutely no interest in doing anything beyond that when the stack of review materials on my desk grows and my workload expands. I waste enough time here as it is.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Censorship is a political issue, Jordan, whether within the confines of this little community or elsewhere.

    But I have no intention of imposing on you. Later.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I would agree that sometimes censorship is a political issue, but I don’t see it that way in this instance. They violated a comment policy on a website and did so repeatedly. They were punished accordingly and, while I disagree, that’s the way it is in this instance.

    Even if it could be argued as “political” in this instance, I don’t care enough about the context to raise more than a few comments about it. And I did just that. If I have to choose between dedicating time, effort and money to combating censorship in China, for instance, and the banning of three douchebags at Blogcritics of all places…well, I think you get the picture.

    So woopty-doo, you “did your duty.” Want a cookie? I wasn’t aware it was a contest.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    Add my name to those fine with their banning. They were told repeatedly, as everyone I have ever seen banned from this site has been, what behavior would no longer be tolerated. If I visit someone’s house and they tell me what the rules are and I willfully break them, I don’t expect to be welcomed back.

    If you are truly bothered, your real gripe is with them as they are the ones ultimately responsible. They chose to ignore the multiple requests and made pointless martyrs of themselves so I shed no tears. They might have gotten away with just a brief timeout, as many others have, and then returned, but no, they chose to get ugly and personal, burning the bridge behind them. Obviously they regret it as they refuse to move on and keep trying to worm their way back in.

    For those who miss Ruvy, here’s a little something for you: “Kill all the Arabs. Kill all the Jews who won’t kill all the Arabs.” Hope that tides you over.

    And don’t conflate this into a political issue, Roger. The reason you are upset is because no one commented on your grand thesis. Of course, it’s everyone else who is the problem. That should take you far and encourage future comments on your next piece.

  • zingzing

    they (al and irv at least, i didn’t see what happened with ruvy,) certainly earned a vacation. the outright banning was a bit premature. if they’d been given a couple weeks to cool off, they may have learned to play by the rules. i kinda doubt it, but i wish they’d been given the opportunity.

  • STM

    Ruvy was a decent bloke I reckon, despite his insane political views. You could at least reason with Ruve, and he didn’t hold a grudge or pound aweay at you in a nasty way. Once it was out there, it was out. The only problem with Ruve was that even a thread about Kentucky Fried Chicken rapidly turned into a discourse about the possibility of using nuclear weapons to get rid of the enemies of Israel, or a story about the American hotdogs soon became a history lesson on the settlers in the occupied territories.

    I must say, I also object to bannings in the interest of free speech, but given where the discourse often used to end up with Irv, Ruvy and Al, I can understand why others might have wanted it to happen.

    Doesn’t make it right, though.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Hey, I enjoyed butting heads with Ruvy (because of my innate curiosity about other cultures) and especially Irv, since his vocabulary alone forced me to reach for a higher level. Both forced my brain to work harder, and I miss the different challenges they presented.

    Bring them back, BC editors – because they DO add positively to the discourse here!

  • STM

    Talking of riots. How’s this for classic stuff.

    The Clash, London Calling … the riot-police chase scene in industrial northeast England from the movie Billy Elliot, … posted in loving memory of Maggie Thatcher’s divided, bloody and torn England in its move to modern, post-industrial Britain. It’s classic Brit cinema.

    RIP.

  • STM

    For all the good it did … look what they ended up with.

  • Jordan Richardson

    From what I understand, the decision isn’t and wasn’t the editors’ to make. Yet they shouldered the bulk of the blame nonetheless.

  • zingzing

    no al, glenn?

    say that out loud… it sounds like an anti-itch product…

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    anti itch… well at least the subject isn’t pap smears again tonight.

  • zingzing

    YOU WOULDN’T KNOW, JET! you wouldn’t know…

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Praise the lord

  • zingzing

    damn straight.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/haveno handyguy

    the comments section is none the worse for the lack of vituperative nonsense posted by those banned folks,imho

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I haven’t had enough interaction with Al to say, zing.

    Noalglenn – it DOES sound like an anti-itch product! It fits right along with the henway!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #274

    “The reason you are upset is because no one commented on your grand thesis. Of course, it’s everyone else who is the problem.”

    See, Jordan, goes to show you. It’s precisely comments like this which are a complete turnoff. Right of the bat, you’re accusing me of inauthentic speech and ulterior motives rather than taking what I say at face value. And you’re foolish if you think I’m anything like upset about not cornering the bulk of BC audience. Don’t you think I realize that much of what I write about is not of greatest interest to the majority of BC participants? Of course I would welcome greater participation because I believe in what I write and in the force of the ideas and concept I labor with, but an important part of my motivation is to attain greater clarity for myself in order to be able to press forward. So no, I’m nowhere near being upset, only realistic.

    Besides, I do get sufficient feedback from troll, Cindy and Anarcissie, and since I value their thinking and instincts, that’s good enough for me. Wish you could join the circle as well, but that’s not up to me. In some future time perhaps.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Forget the last comment, Jordan. Didn’t take time enough to realize it was by that joker LB. I doesn’t matter to me what he posts, which isn’t the case with you.

    Apologies for jumping the gun.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    217 – Dr Dreadful
    Aug 16, 2011 at 10:09 am
    Cindy @ #210:

    I was rather hoping you could explain what sets of values Joe Rioter espouses that the dominant culture is supposed to be suppressing.

    I don’t think you buy into Roger’s wet dream of the UK riots as a manifestation of some sort of benevolent global revolution, but your take still seems quite a bit removed from the actual mood on the ground.

    If you are talking about those who would injure their fellows, I think those are actually embracing the values of the dominating culture, which uses violence (and considers it authorized when IT does so) to get what it wants, in the same brutal and inhuman manner as any individual–albeit, it is considered ‘legitimate’.

    Brutality is not a ‘different’ set of values, it is a response by the powerless to a society that has marginalized them, using that society’s own tactics.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Apart from that, individual people have been known to go into rage in absence of articulation of what it is that they’re enraged about — sort of like reaching a tipping point. Crowds can behave that way too, and there is such a thing as crowd mentality.

    Articulation often takes place later, once you’re over your rage.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dr.D,

    I found the other thing I wanted to reply to. Sorry for my late reply.

    But even if there are double standards about what constitutes a crime, how would you even begin to police the remedy? How do you prove that because I personally underpaid for chocolate, Maria from Guatemala’s newborn child didn’t make it past his first month because she couldn’t afford to get him vaccinated? Indeed (and I hope I’m not committing the slippery slope fallacy here), I can visualize how a justice system with such a focus could lead to a whole new kind of oppression. All it would take is for me to express some opinion you didn’t like, and you could quite easily construct a case for me being responsible for the death of Maria’s son – or for just about anything else.

    In my example, it is clear. That is, such as you have above is not clear cut.

    The example I used is of the largest chocolate producing corporations, which know that their actions are causing death and slavery. They even signed agreements based on the Harkin-Engel Protocol, to end practices which promoted child slavery and human trafficking. They agreed to end these practices by 2002. They did nothing.

    In Britain they have developed lines that are fair trade because the public demands it. They pat themselves on the back for doing this as if they are heroic. And vow that one day all their chocolate will be fair trade. The only reason it isn’t is because the local community does not demand it.

    Knowing who the culprits are is a clear as knowing which companies are using sweatshop labor. Once you find out it is evident and not at all questionable as your objection implies.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    In Britain they have developed lines that are fair trade because the public demands it. They pat themselves on the back for doing this as if they are heroic. And vow that one day all their chocolate will be fair trade. The only reason it isn’t is because the local community does not demand it.

    It sounds as if even these companies’ fair trade practices aren’t good enough for you. You’re still going to condemn them because they’re not sincere.

    A wise man once coined a term for that…

    “Thoughtcrime”.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    Stinky-stanky-bankers, spoiled punks and politicians can all be little piggies.

    “What they need’s a damn good whacking!”

    What’s going on US stateside this week, turns out to be protests DONE RIGHT!