Apr 6, 2015
commented on Garissa Exposes the Racism at the Heart of the Paris March
I agree with Mudede on virtually nothing. I find most of his philosophy to be self indulgent and nebulous, with vague Marxist overtones that don't really track in any kind of coherent, actionable set of ideological principles.
That said, fuck all of you. What is being criticized here is not the incidental, but the systemic. Mudede, who actually has the qualification to make this observation, is pointing out the inherent racism not in the dichotomy of little domestic attacks like the ones Westerners experience, but in the way that white culture conflates them to be worthy of more importance or notice than those that happen every single fucking day. Why? Because they happen in Africa, in black Africa, not in South Africa, or in North Africa, but in the parts of Africa we equate with genocide, rape, FGM and terrorism to the point where we treat the attack on a university as a GIVEN.
So yeah, there is a problem with that. There's a problem that we're more concerned that Turkey doesn't have twitter than we are with the fact that a full scale assault was made on the most promising young people in Kenya. There's a problem with the fact that we forget that terrorism in the west is a drop in the fucking bucket compared to terrorism in the rest of the world. Domestic attacks in the west? You could reference the height of the IRA and not even be comparable.
We- the media, the populace- ignore terrorism in Africa even more than we ignore it in the Middle East. Never mind that these organizations are now forming an alliance. This shit happens every day. Boko Haram? Bring back our girls? #alreadyforgot.
Terrorism is not about Islam vs the West. It's not about shutting down a newspaper- as if they even could, they have no power to do so. But they do have power in their own jurisdictions. THAT'S the point of terrorism. It's to build power where you are, and you do that by killing your neighbours, abducting their children, burning the crops and salting the earth. To pretend for an instant that having someone kick sand at your freedom of speech is somehow a greater offense is racist because of the tremendous number of black people, millions upon millions, who are excluded from our notice every single day. Why don't we pay attention to Cambodia or Kosovo? Because the frequency of which violence occurs in places like Nigeria or Kenya or Uganda is so astounding that under the same conditions there wouldn't BE a Cambodia or a Kosovo.
So fuck all of you. The problem with free speech is that anyone who has it can use it any way they want, and that means for every single person who feels that an ideologically violent message should be permitted in order to protect the universal freedom of speech for its own sake, there are going to be ten more who will use that as an excuse to say that gives them the right to hate Muslims. In which case, they should be supporting terrorism, because terrorists kill Muslims more than they kill anyone else.
The question is, why don't we feel the same outrage, the same sense of kinship or heartbreak when a group of African university students is slaughtered? Because the perception of Africa is a racist structure. As long as we let it stand, terrorism will always have a home.
Mar 10, 2015
commented on I Was the MFA Student Who Made Ryan Boudinot Cry
Wow, look at all the comments by people who resent the fact that they consider themselves to be superior writers, and are confused as to why the Stranger hasn't hired them. Admittedly the paper has been falling off for some time, but this is a pretty cogent assessment.
I too found Boudinot's comments to be disheartening and discouraging, and I'm not even applying a masters, I'm applying to UBC's creative writing BFA program. They have about a 30 percent acceptance rate, and they're top ranked. So yeah, I didn't really need all that shit about The Great Gatsby or other literary masterpieces I've failed to read. But I also came out of the hardest film program in Seattle and I learned more from the teachers that showed no mercy than I ever did from the ones that chivvied us along. They were few and far between. But at the same time, the boot-camp style instructors always gave us something to chew on, a direction to go. They threw us a fucking bone, in other words.
I think the problem here is not the quality of the writing students, but the fact that a Creative Writing MFA is pointless for anyone who wants to learn how to write. It's for people who can write already, and who are interested in furthering an academic career. So maybe if Boudinot is so fucking concerned about that, he should, I don't know, have a portfolio requirement. I'm only at BFA level, and I only have 30 pages or so to prove that I've got enough talent to fully take advantage of the workshops I'll hopefully be taking. I'm already fucking terrified about not getting in, so reading MFA teacher's rant about how most writing students are useless is not what I need.
So thanks for taking him to task on that. The only way that writing is going to remain a viable skillset in today's attention-deficit world is for education to be more open, not less. MFA programs need to be more than a club for the professor's favourites. In that scenario, they should be paying the goddamn students.
Jun 20, 2014
commented on Mike Daisey Announces New Show Titled Yes All Women
@8 listening to you try and cover for your fabrications on This American Life pretty much demonstrates to me that I don't want you for an advocate. The level of self aggrandizing you do with your appealing to the integrity of the work (which isn't there) is embarrassing and difficult to listen to at the least.
I don't want to hear you exploiting an emotional moment, knowing that my interests will be brought under the scrutiny of the paradigm of your lack of credibility. You could find other ways to help besides attaching your name to a cause, which you will damage by doing so. I don't need to hear you manufacture feelings of compassion over things that happened to other people. You are not helping.
Jun 6, 2014
commented on Aaron Ybarra, Alleged Seattle Pacific University Shooter, Appears In Court
Incidentally (and before I moved to Canada, where they feel it's a better social investment to medicate people with mental illnesses than put them in debt or let them harm themselves or others) I've been through the mental health system in Washington State and I can tell you a few things about it. Let's just put aside the obvious shit about guns needing to be regulated, and mentally ill people not getting enough treatment/attention/blame because facts are hard for people who want to keep their guns.
1. Washington has one of the absolute worst mental health care structures in the nation. Western State Hospital turns out more assault on staff claims (and probably one for five not reported) than any other institution in the state. 2011, I believe, was 311. To be a nurse's aide or a nurse there is the most dangerous job in the state.
2. This isn't because mentally ill people are intrinsically dangerous, though getting into that hospital takes some seriously gravely disabled status, it's that overcrowding them into mixed gender ward and then having only a 4/10 staff to patient ratio, zero constructive or rehabilitative programming, frequent facility break down, terrible food, limited access to social workers, and perpetually existing in a state of heightened anxiety and fear for your own safety can actually MAKE YOUR ILLNESS WORSE.
3. It's a bus ride from there to the Tacoma Dome, where they can have gun shows requiring no background checks or authorization.
4. There is no real permanent solution for housing the criminally insane. If there was, Isaiah Kalebu wouldn't have escaped to kill and rape my friend's neighbour. If they troubled to spend the kind of money they do on nonsense, and spent more on creating a system that separates the violently mentally ill from people who are less likely to become violent while mentally ill by being shoved in with the former, that would help rehabilitate a lot of people who might otherwise offend.
5. I wouldn't willingly commit myself again in Washington state, because being in WSH is like being in a warzone. It's terrorizing people who are terrified already. And that needs to change. People need to feel like they can ask for help when their thinking or their actions are disordered. It needs to be easier to walk up to a hospital desk and say "I'm having these thoughts and I'm afraid" than to walk into a gun shop and buy firearm. There is no one or the other. It all needs to be addressed, right now, and the state and federal supreme court needs to get on that shit because the Republican legislator who has WSH in his bailiwick? He shakes his head about how awful it is, says he's working to help rectify the problem, and that's what he'll say next time one of his addled constituents kills someone or themselves.
Apr 16, 2014
commented on Council Member Kshama Sawant Replies to Small-Business Owner Mike Klotz
@7 you really can't read, can you? You write at the sixth grade level, which probably means your reading comprehension is pretty bad, too. You can't be trusted to actually think critically with any accuracy.
@troll. What a profound ignorance of irony you have. Why don't you shut the fuck up, get elected and pass the bill yourself? But you won't. You'll just make anonymous comments on Slog. That'll fucking compel Sawant to follow your agenda. We applaud you for your civic participation. You'll sure show us with your initiative, connections and diplomacy.