In his reaction to the Grand Jury decision not to put Darren Wilson on trial, Barack Obama again showed pretty well why politics won’t help us change anything unless they are forced. Politicians don’t care, that’s not their job, and Obama is no different in that than anyone before and probably after him.
As I came into one of my classes today, the students all gathered around me, waving red pamphlets and telling me we have to go outside! I didn’t know what was going on until I realized there was a demonstration going on, right outside the building, visible from the classroom window. My students tried to convince me that they were really interested in that demonstration and wanted to go there, which I doubted since they obviously preferred this to a lesson. Eventually we went outside to see what it was all about.
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Is it possible to follow the Michael Brown case and not be amazed how things don’t change in our society? The incident itself is reminding us of Rodney King and Trayvon Martin, but also of the countless others who did not get the big media response. But even the “big” cases always ended in an unsatisfying way because as much as we celebrate justice and freedom in our society, it always boils down to injustice. The protests following the shooting are remindful of the 60s and 70s, showing that people’s frustrations can increase and eventually explode. Politicians’ responses are as always embarrassing in their lack of anger and Barack Obama certainly has foregone any chances to react accordingly in such cases, just playing the “calm down and forget what happened” game with fake sentiments and empty phrases, that politicians have played since politics exist. The imbalance that exists between black and white, poor and rich, authorities and citizens that make our culture so inherently flawed is very visible right now and won’t change through ignorance (because ignorance caused it in the first place). We learn that certain ethnicities are worth less and policemen learn that they have power over other people. We also learn that we’re in constant danger of our possessions and life and need to defend ourselves, no matter what, ask questions later. These are all central memes of our culture and they lead to such incidents.
Fear Itself is a Marvel event comic. Every year one of the Big Two (Marvel and DC) publish a series of comic books that ties into every major character they have and tells of some big world-changing event after which nothing is the same. Which normally means a big character dies (and comes back 1-2 years later). As you probably can see, event comics are a mixed bag. They are mostly event- or hype-driven and rarely story-driven. Some are good, most are okay, some are bad. Fear Itself is, in my opinion, one of the worst Marvel events, despite being written by the mostly good Matt Fraction and illustrated by the always good Stuart Immonen. It looks great, but the story is not really interesting and gets caught up in too many details that don’t necessarily make sense.
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Slut’s Alienation (released in 2013 on Cargo Records) is one of the most persistently favorite albums I’ve ever known. You know those albums that you listen to and you realize you like them and whenever you want to listen to music, it’s the first thing that comes to your mind? And how that, depending on the album, stays this way for some days, weeks, maybe months, but then the really big thrill has gone? I’ve got Alienation in September 2013 (as an especially pleasant birthday present, because I didn’t even know there was a new Slut album) and it’s still the first thing I think of when I want to listen to music. I don’t think that happened before over such a long period of time. The album is a variety of styles, reminding the listener of Radiohead and The Beatles at the same time. But to me, that obviously works, mainly because it’s the music Slut does best but in those different, often electronic, styles. I really loved their previous album StillNo.1, but four years later Alienation hits all the right notes for me. Continue reading Music Box: Slut’s “Alienation”
Great article on street art in Brazil showing the discontent with the World Cup.
After reading about the anniversary protests in Turkey at the moment, I wondered that this has been featured so strongly in German media. Sure, Germany has a higher interest in Turkey than in most other countries but it reminded me again how one-sided and hysteria-driven the media can be and mostly is. Because at least since the Arab Spring and Occupy in 2011, protest movements have become as strong as they haven’t been since the 60s. Especially since they happen all around the world and cannot be centered on one idea but reflect the general unhappiness of people with our society. So I wondered if those protests in Turkey are really the only ones worth reporting about right now. Well, they’re not. So I googled “protests” in GoogleNews and here’s what I found on one day.
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