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failing the system

Just about two months since my last post, and I just want y’all to know that the neglect is never intentional. December was bananas and my pace still hasn’t quite slowed, but here’s a little something anyway, before I get too ashamed:

Bitter Vibes has been giving wicked insight on what it’s like working for a major entertainment mag (though, would anyone really be surprised if the insider tales were any different?), and this post in particular had me laughing out loud. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the sort of lazy dumbness displayed at places like Vibe, Source, and various other shitty examples of the same genre are motivating a few of the smarter, younger writers out there to grow some courage and step up to the game. If this is what they can do, imagine what you can do.

On a similar tip, SergDun (from The Shrimp) put a lot of my own sentiments and frustrations into words right here:

The average person is a fucking bitch who is to scared to be critical of those around them. Everyone wants to believe that they and all their good neighbors are going to heaven because they are good fucking people who are friendly to each other. Rather than deal with the fact that they pull bullshit maneuvers every single fucking day. Whether it’s how you treat people, what you say, what you don’t say, or what you do with your dollars everything people do affects others and it’s up to all these pieces of shit to make a decision on whether or not they want to perpetuate this cycle of shit.

He hits it, bang on. I don’t feel it’s necessary to add too much more to what he’s said, though I will take this opportunity to tack up a rant I posted as a myspace bulletin about a month ago in a moment of rage-fuelled clarity:

FROM NOW ON, DIPLOMACY IS DEAD

i had another one of those conversations — the kind where i approach someone i feel might have some questionable intentions and viewpoints to figure out what they’re all about before i sit too comfortable with my initial judgement call (i have a surprising number of these) — and when i found out that this person was just as shallow, as self-serving, and as complacent in white – supremacist – dominant – culture – of – systemic – and – strategic – oppression – and – power as i had suspected them to be… i just let it go. i played diplomat, thanked them for sharing their opinion, and moved along.

this was the wrong thing to do. i’m not doing this anymore. if you (general you, not specific you) say something ignorant, i’m going to call you on it. if you say something passively (or actively) offensive to me, i WILL get on your ass. silence is consent. i don’t consent to classist, racist bullshit.

“tolerance” is a passive, lazy thing. it requires no action, no thinking, just an easy-breezy wave of the hand, non-offensive, non-stance, laissez-faire. it is GARBAGE. if you’re not actively trying to change the bad things around you (and there are a million ways to be active, you don’t have to be a flag-waving hippie), as far as i’m concerned, you’re supporting that same bad shit. you are supporting the shit that keeps my people stupid and poor and powerless and on the fringes. you are supporting the system that discredits their art and their intelligence and their complexity as beings. and if you don’t see any bad stuff, sweetheart, that just means that you’re benefiting from it. move outside of your bubble and talk to some people, you might learn something. just don’t expect me to feed you those lessons — i may call you out, but i’m not doing your damn homework for you.

(Yeah, I regret tossing in the word “sweetheart” towards the end.)

I tend to make a pile of resolutions at the end of every old year, stepping into the new, and DIPLOMACY IS DEAD is just about at the top of that list. I started off 2006 somewhat right — dancedancedancing for hours at Blue Dog (shouts to La Belle Province!), but still feeling sharp enough at 3 AM to grab some guy by the necktie and call him out for using the n-word. Sucka got caught off guard. Face blanked for a second and he struggled to find something to say. Maybe he’ll re-evaluate his swagger, maybe he won’t — all I know is that for a good solid slice of time I made him feel intensely uncomfortable and embarrassed by his choice of words. Not that I condone physical violence or stupid acts of bravado, but the world would be a better place with a little more confrontation.

Oh, and Jason is back from Antarctica. I totally missed my opportunity to make a “hey guys, a dude I know is in ANTFRICKINARCTICA right now!!!” post, because the trip is all over and done with. Sorry, man. I suck.

I’m out. Back in a couple with more substantial updates here and here. Comment responses coming soon, too. Peace.

5 Comments

  1. buns buns January 25, 2005

    can I get one of these blog things too? I hate hip-hop magazines too.

  2. Susana Susana January 15, 2006

    Dear Bunsy,

    I’ve seen your <a href=”http://babylonbuns.blogspot.com” rel=”nofollow”>attempts at blogging</a>, and I would work on your writing skills first. Not just anyone can do this, you know. BLOGGING IS FOR CHAMPS ONLY.

    With love,

    Susana

  3. jace jace January 17, 2006

    yes.

    (&: i know — or knew — that building)

    but, yes. on top of it all, diplomacy is not only dead, it was never alive; the idea of ‘diplomacy’ is a bit of makeup on the various forms of economic and actual violence that powerful nations use to get what they want.

  4. Susana Susana January 21, 2006

    Jace:

    “Knew”? Past-tense? Are you no longer in Barce, or is the building gone? I only spent about a week in the city, back in 2003. Spain feels good to me, like home.

    I agree with your points on economic & social forms of violence, and definitely agree that it’s not real, something fabricated — a new, prettier word for acts fueled by self-interest. I was speaking more in terms of people-to-people relations, though.

    In a personal sense, diplomacy is just a coverup for cowardice. It’s not wanting to say what’s really on your mind or take responsibility, because you’d rather cover your own ass, save yourself some trouble. Being “nice” is sometimes the worst thing anyone can do. And North Americans, Canadians especially, are often so caught up in being polite, they forget what it’s like to be real.

    I appreciate you coming through and taking the time to throw down your thoughts. I love where your head is at.

  5. jace jace February 16, 2006

    months later… a lot of the high profile squats in bcn were raided by cops & otherwise shut down. a bunch remain of course. i’m not so up on it, but the pic reminded me of a famous now defunct one squatted in old military barracks of pig hqs up near parc guell.
    hasta luego j

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