Topic of the Week: Humor

  • Posted on: 16 January 2017
  • By: thecollective
George Carlin arrested for using the 'seven dirty words'

How can humor be utilized effectively by anarchists? What are examples of humor changing your perspective politically, anti-politically, or otherwise?

When does humor fail at delivering a message, critique, statement, or provoking a desired reaction--i.e. when does it backfire or become inappropriate? Have you ever experienced an unanticipated or negative reaction to something you thought would be funny? Is it easy to avoid offending people when deploying humor? How does being an anarchist define your taste in humor, what is offensive or appropriate, or who or what topics are on or off the table?

When is humor the most successful? How can humor most effectively cut through defensiveness or alter opinions? What is it about the physical reaction of laughter that causes something to resonate?

Can it be important to offend people? What is it about certain people's failures that can be funny to some and disheartening to others? When is it important to laugh at ourselves and accept the absurdity in things?

Other thoughts on approaching humor from an anarchist perspective? Have any humorous anarchist actions, writings, communiques, performances, artworks, comedians, jokes, comics, memes, etc. stood out as your favorite--or most hilarious?

category: 

Comments

Humor is a blatant display of privilege and that it nothing to be laughing about. We have lots of serious work that we should be doing instead.

Yes, for the... community n shit. Humor is also sexist, and potentially supportive of Trump.

Hahahahahahahaha, good one

How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

White men are the new skin lampshades.

You think this is funny?

Personally I think humor is extremely important. If you can't laugh, you might as well be dead.

It is a verbal form of non-attack. Non-resistance. It provides catharsis while accomplishing nothing. Making fun of your enemy is as useful as parading with signs in front of them. Politically incorrect humor is the weak resistance of civilized people. Serious threats are not swayed by mockery nor marches.

Laugh to death (lod) on my fatalistic satire you politicized fool MWUHAHAHAHAAAA

DAAAAARK HUUUUUUUMOR RUUUUULES I WILL QUAFF DOWN STALIN BURGERS MADE OF HUMAN FLESH AND CABBAGE AND SHIT OUT BULLETS MWUHAHAHAHAAAAA DARK HUMOR STARTS WARS AND REVOLUTIONS

It certainly has an inflated sense of it's own importance … that much is certain.

one of my favs:

"Trotsky's ashes stolen and baked in cookies"
https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/04/427707.html

Omigod why the fuck I didn't read that before!? 2009 were much merrier days for anarchy. Insurrectos were actual real insurrectos instead liberal workerists and other hipster cops.

I would name it Trotsky. At night he'd be Stalin.

Is probably the the only thing off the table for me. Other than that, no taboos.

Humor was important here at one point, but then some humorless cunts decided to word police everyone and act like they are still anarchists. The "cunt" I used is a funny cunt and not a gross or serious cunt. I'm not trying to make you cry and ball up into a big lump of blubbering nothing. And if I was, that'd be funny because when people full of hot air are deflated, it is funny. This is why it is okay to mock a politician's appearance or an anarchist moderator, because they are the same creature, one of manipulation and control, using the soft gloves of authority to impose their world view, allowing only boring humor through, but shunning blue comedy, even while pointing to blue comedy as a source of where their sense of humor comes from! This is ridiculous and you should let us have fun here again. Is your question of the week about how you chased away the humor and you now see how boring this site is without it? That's what it looks like to me. LOL

If George Carlin posted a humorous diatribe here, it would be deleted and if he protested the deletion, he would be called out for being deliberately offensive with no learning value offered, unless, of course, he conformed to the snarky sexless humor of emasculated hipsters. He had many shades to his humor, but the one that matters most is his blue comedy. All his other comedy is rooted in defending his blue comedy, followed by critiquing society for holding absurd values.

"I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." - George Carlin

Seems a lot of people that date back a couple decades (or more) remember when lefty activists proudly claimed that humour was one of their more effective weapons. This was always a bit dubious to me but now it's pretty clear that the alt-right phenomenon has taken the initiative and the ubiquitousness of social media has levelled the field.

It's a small part of the war of ideas which is mostly just a distraction anyway. People sink countless hours in to pointless circle-jerking nonsense and then one day, a reality check! None of it matters! Worse, the only "weapon" you have any skill with is a keyboard. Good luck defending yourself with that kids! Maybe there's much more important things to do if you're not too stoned out of your mind from smoking the pipe of nihilism?

Obviously I appreciate humour as much as anyone but over-estimating its relevancy and effectiveness is a mistake. Much like how pouring all your energy in to "anarchist media" when there's not nearly enough people actually doing anarchist shit is missing the forest for the trees, the risk of getting lost in the spectacle is high. Ha ha fucking ha, we wasted our lives, endlessly rehashing the nothing-really-matters fallacy hahahahahaha *BANG* *thud*

That's where a lot of the counter cultural action is at. Kek is what the Church of the Subgenius used to be. The one encouraging thing to see is the rise of Stirnerian shit posters to at least be the post leftist alternative. Stirner was afterall one of the OG philosophical shit posters against modern civilized currency.

Why are you circle jerk shaming people? Its none of your business what people do with their friends in private.

Heh! Well … I mean, if your idea of a circle-jerk doesn't involve harassing your perceived ideological enemies (who haven't already done the same to somebody else) then I don't have any issue with it. For example, I'm not trying to claim that drinking beer and playing video games is important political work, I just do it and assume it's only interesting to me.

Comedic boundaries are often the same as political boundaries. Race politics may be a good example to start with.

The racist and the anti-racist both agree on the existence of "black people" and "white people." Within and without these conceptual territories exists the sacred and the taboo. Each one replaces the other's sacred with their taboo, as is common in binary frameworks.

As such, jokes about "black people" are laughed at by the racists. Jokes about "white people" are laughed about by the anti-racists.

Anarchic comedy, or the anarchy often found in comedy, has its value in the disregard of boundaries. One could tell only racist jokes. One could tell only anti-racist jokes. But the anarch can tell either, or, more crucially, is free to pursue the mechanics of comedy in pure form (twists & punch lines, satire, puns, absurdity, conundrum, juxtaposition), free from needing to maintain sacredness or avoid taboo. In fact, they'll do it just by nature of an anarchic worldview—that they may cross or break boundaries might be unintentional as they do not observe the boundaries themselves. Perhaps this is why children can be funny, as they necessarily transgress territories of sacredness which they are ignorant of. Regardless, this sort of pure boundary-less comic pursuit is likely where we find good comedy. The pursuit of the basics of funniness alone, divorced from political regulations.

A metaphore might be the saying "a camel is a horse designed by a committee." i.e. creations can be hindered by compromise and regulation.

That the end product might offend some is coincidental. That it might cause a pleasurable shock to some is coincidental. That it may satisfy the palette of those who appreciate the mechanics & essence of comedy, is coincidental. In the end, all of this is achieved inevitably, in practice, without really trying, by the truly unique comedian. As when a child, or a cat, or a dog, or someone from a much different culture, might make us laugh without trying to. It's a consequence of an aspect of their nature.

I would bet that if you hung around with one of the comic greats you would notice them constantly making amusing observations. Or think of the people in your life who fit such a description. These people, in my experience, tend to be apolitical & joyful. Which is another way of saying anarchic.

How's all this for some half-formed pseudo-intellectual gobbledegook?

underwhelming … you spent a long time rationalizing being a clueless dumbass because maybe it'll make you more fun? Weak as fuck ...

I don't think you read it correctly. Read it again and tell me what you think. I bet you will find some of it very profound. I know I did when I wrote it.

Well one of us is definitely struggling to comprehend the point of your post, the funny part is that you wrote it.

lol i dunno :p

One could throw rape jokes into the mix as well(see Carlin's 'rape can be funny')

Duck Soup comes to mind as a comedy poking fun at states, in its depiction of "Freedonia." The Marx Brothers I associate with many of other mainstream depictions of anarchy. Usually anarchic characters in media are delivered as comic tricksters, violent/dangerous villains, or musicians. I think for many decades this is how people first associate with anarchy. Comedy, chaos, or music. I think this is somewhat internalized. For example, in the TotW about money, most fundraising suggestions were centered around concerts, performance art, & entertainment.

Jokes aren't really humorous. Formulaic jokes which use stereotypes as currency, they are only funny in a contrived way and people laugh in part as approval and in part lest they be considered unfunny.

the wedding singer really changed my mind about the institution of marriage

Its hilarious you persist with this style of padding out 'articles' with questions. I call this the " Carrie Bradshaw" from the fatuous creation of Candace Bushnell.

Keep up the good work!

I usually appreciate your interventions grumps but that zine is pretty lame. I enjoyed the spelling mistakes, however. Meta-humor?

Cambridge English Dictionary

"humour noun (AMUSEMENT): the ability to find things funny, the way in which people see that some things are funny, or the quality of being funny:

the article speaks of 'humor' as if it were the third understanding, in the limited sense that such 'quality of being funny' is assumed to be 'innate' in a deliverable.

but as we know, what the author intends to infuse into the deliverable does not determine what the recipient makes of it. authorial intent is overpowered by context that will be supplied by the recipient; e.g. the sexual orientation and gender identity of the recipient will supply differing context in reconstituting the meaning of the deliverable.

so, the view of humor as a generic 'tool' to be used to achieve some anarchist objective seems like an odd way to link humor to anarchism; i.e.

"How can humor be utilized effectively by anarchists? What are examples of humor changing your perspective politically, anti-politically, or otherwise? When does humor fail at delivering a message, critique, statement, or provoking a desired reaction--i.e. when does it backfire or become inappropriate? When is humor the most successful?

how utilitarian can one get about an art form?

george carlin has an artistry that allows him to make a joke about almost any subject, taboo or not, including rape. however, few people have carlin's gift and attempts that fall short may induce disgust and fuel 'rape culture' rather than laughter, as this guardian article suggests

if 85% of information content in an oral presentation is non-discursive, then maybe carlin with his pop-eyes and emphatic gestures is delivering a between-the-lines message that takes care of the detox of the lines themselves. this is something that 'is not in' the delivery of some of those that attempt a rape joke, so that they end up delivering an undetoxed message.

when larry david jokes about whether michael j.fox's shaking of a can of coke he hands to larry [which soaks him when he opens it] may be a malicious shake rather than an ms shake, david's comic artistry has already detoxified the joke in the thread of the narrative.

the point is that 'humour' as a 'thing-in-itself' is not like currency you can pull out of your wallet and use to buy some effect.

in linking humour to anarchists, the first of the three dictionary definitions may be most important: i.e. in the ability to find things funny, like being caricatured as a shadowy bomb-tossing saboteur, in the manner that races and genders have been stereotyped. if we don't have 'a sense of humour' [the ability to find things funny] then we would have to 'take seriously' the ridiculous portraits of anarchists and anarchy that are popularly promoted in today's society, which would make us defensive and far less effective in sharing our point of view.

Just because we may observe that his head spends more time in his ass than outside of it, we cannot simply say that "he is a thing-in-itself," or in the vernacular "he has his head up his own ass." The presence of head-body within torso-body presents us with relational-causal fissures in the annular plenum, that if unrecognized can lead to internalized nervo-circulatory septic incongruences, but the mere presence of head-ass proximity cannot guarantee us the co-local fixturing implied within the Western thought-forms of if/then semantic anti-rhythms present in statements such as "he really has his head up his own ass."

Best emile comment this year!!!!

No real separation between his head and his ass, it's a non-binary relation. The absence of western thought forms resulting in constant eye infections from the relation of ass to head and the steady diet of his own shit relating to Poincare, Mach and the talking stick.

The r/leftwithsharpedge reddit sub used to be the number 1 anarchist comedy venue in the world until reddit shut it down for 'black genocide' memes. They all moved to https://raddit.me after the shut down, so hopefully the funny comes back.

How many Anews trolls does it take to change a light bulb?

1,488.

No. Think harder.

Information is power, if you really wanted to destroy oppression instead of just empowering it by escalating the level of violence in the world, you'd use liberatory speech and satire, the state can't stop freedom of speech if we keep ourselves to a level of nonviolence

Oh fuck off, anartists regard the whole notion of a universe as humorous.

Doug Stanhope. Not an anarchist, but definitely @friendly humor. All you identity fools won't like him, making him extra @friendly.

Thank you for recommending this white male cis-gendered comedian. Truly a rare find.

"white male cis-gendered" must surely mean he's an oppressor and also possibly a rapist. You are born good or bad. Either non-White or LGTBQ (GOOD!) or White and attracted to the opposite sex (BAAAD).

Sometimes applying old manichean moral binaries makes it sooo simple. Avoids making you thinking too hard.

Perhaps thinking too hard is your problem? It's not a "manichean moral binary" to say a straight white dude is straight and white, just simple observation.

Why make note of a simple observation? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but sometimes its a big brown dick.

Why not? Must have been contextual. Are you just pretending to be dense or actually?

What's the problem with white male cis-gendered comedians in and of themselves? Have you ever heard any of his comedy? Certainly some of it could be interpreted as "problematic", but on the other hand a lot of what he has to say is actually pretty sweet. His on-stage critiques of work, marriage, morality and the military, to name a few, are not only totally spot on -- they're totally fucking hilarious. I recommend it. If you know of any disabled POC, LGBTQ women comedians, or wtv... who are straight up killin' it on themes and topics of interest to @s -- I would love to give them a listen. So, what's up?

Margaret Cho

"Margaret" is an appropriation of a French name. As a woman raised in the west she occupies a privileged position above most men in her amnesty from genital mutilation perpetrated in infancy. As usual there is the awkward attempt to frame east asians as a group "of color," stealing the moniker out from under the feet of actually oppressed groups. I know your trying, but it comes off as cringy as best and grossly offensive at worst when people try to frame heavily privileged as something other-than...

"Thank you for recommending this white male cis-gendered comedian."

george carlin and bill hicks are 2 more white male cis-gendered comedians you oughta love hating.

There's a Jewish cis-gendered Milton Berle.you oughta hate loving and the black Jewish cis-gendered one Sammy Davis Jnr,,,,,love love-hating?

Who's There?

...

Who?

Immediately, the Aesthetic Dimension by Herbert Marcuse comes to mind.
If comedy provides relief from the pressure and stress of capitalism, if it allows for fellow workers to let their guard down and communicate, to put down the concept of identity struggle and take on the vantage point of a fellow worker--then it definitely has its place in the struggle against capitalismo!
I can think of scenarios in which humour agitates, educates, and inoculates workers. Humour provides the comfort to build rapport and relationship over common struggles. Satire and absurd realism, e.g., against the wage slave system, provides points of view and commentary that is perhaps more accessible. Humour, during a labor organizing campaign, is indispensable. Caustic or goofy, humour at the right time serves as an entreaty to think critically about the disease of capitalism and its many deleterious symptoms.

Oh, wow! You're a worker, too? That's neat! I bet we have so much in common. Wanna be friends? Huh? Well? Do you? WELL?! I said do you wanna fucking be my friend or not, comrade? Why aren't you caling me comrade, comrade? YOU BETTER BE MY GODDAM FRIEND COMRADE OR YOU'LL BE FIRST IN THE PITS WITH THE REST OF THE COUNTER REVS. ARE YOU OR AREN'T YOU CAPABLE OF CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS BRO. BETTER FUCKIN ANSWER ME BRO.

Well the first thing anarchists should do is get a sense of humor to start with. Cause... none of y'all got one.

It's okay to smile y'all. You don't have to act like a hardass and a prick every waking moment.

All y'all seem to be way too focused on a spectacular form of comedy and humor. You keep bringing up either like standup comedians or forums where peoples' only purpose is to produce "funny stuff". There can be humor in all forms of action, thought, and life. This isn't to re-hash some cardboard cutout "worker" stereotype of the blue-collar, can have a laugh and a beer, non-person, but to say that often injecting your life and actions with humor isn't necessarily a tactic to make it somehow more effective, though I'd argue it can, it's often to keep yourself alive, to keep yourself sharp, and to never become so blinded by the seriousness of your subject to become an ideologue about what you're doing.

Yeah, but what if you're doing really serious work like human rights law or voter registration? Some things should never be joked about and doing so only reveals how insulated & comfortable one's social rank is.

Some of the best jokers are the people that have been through human horrors themselves. Comedy partly comes from tragedy.

I don't see too many holocaust survivors joking about the holocaust.

Zizek once mentioned Bosnian women who would joke about rape after the horrors of the Balkan wars. Of course it's not widespread joking however it's also not unheard of. Joking and humor can be a coping mechanism for people who have suffered immensely.

I don't really see how this conversation can be furthered by considering a theoretical genocide victim. Like, that would obviously be up to the individual who experienced it to decide whether it's a topic for humor. Our conversation is broader, and should probably consider the fact that yes, people who are historically marginalized can still be hilarious people.

Ziggy would cheerfully scour the world for that one person with gallows humour and pretend it justifies or normalizes his own bullshit. Why? Cause he thinks Stirner told him to do bong rips of his own farts.

There seems to have been a supreme misunderstanding here that I don't totally get. I don't think the conversation has been whether we should find some example of gallows humor and thus hold it up as "Hey, it's ok to joke about this!". That's not what this conversation, in my opinion should be about. This is too much of a separation between ones life and humor. Making humor a part of ones own unique life and action is what interests me, not whether some douche on the internet is "allowed" to think rape or racism is funny. This is what continues to confuse me about this conversation, the fact that when humor is brought up it only exists as something separate from ones actual life and thus spectacular in nature. I'm more interested in people using humor in their lives, projects, and actions which speak to themselves, not whether memes are cool.

Then that's admirable and you're probably trying to have that discussion in the wrong place?

Probably, this is the first time I've ever commented here, lulz

It's not so bad. I get the impression that 90% of the trolling here is perpetrated by one person pretending to be different people.

This place has a pretty low ratio of good faith discussion to trolling and half-baked, ego shit-posting but I guess that's normal for open forums

i agree with your point. and it's not just true of humor, or online, or anarchists. i was an early participant (briefly, and before it became a joke) in non violent communication training, and it was remarkable how this group of people who were there for the goal of communicating effectively, got more and more intolerant of people who didn't have the same training or use the same jargon. CWS is an example of the same thing, i think.
arguably, "anarchist," among other labels, is also something best used as a word to measure our own personal behavior and understanding, rather than something to apply to other people.

(ps: i would be wary of people who complain about inadequate conversation, instead of just having a good one...)

Thank you!

I was raped by an indigenous woman twice my age and bear no grudge or negative retributive notions, I just moved on and regarded the incident as an act of reciprocity from her because my ancestors had raped their woman and ravaged the land. Its a subjective call and also something which requires an holistic re-evaluation of criminal law, the extent of physical and psychological damage and the practice of rehabilitation or restitution rather than confinement. And this has nothing to do with pedophilia with pre-pubescent children which is best left in the hands of the mother and father or family members to decide their own punishment. I refuse to get drawn into another Bey/NABLA thread on this topic, just tired of the same old arguments. I expect this comment to be deleted oh well.

What?! Holocaust survivors form the basis of American comedy. The second and third generation even more so. Seinfeld!

Everyone's a holocaust survivor.

Yep, including many people being misrepresented in North America as "white European colonialists or colonialist-sympathizers."

God it feels good to finally be the victim of multigenerational trauma & oppression.

Who exactly is misrepresenting them and assuming that you're right, how would this misrepresentation be a bigger crock of shit to swallow than being forcibly colonized by people who then complain about how they're being misrepresented?

That's the point though. Nearly anyone can point to a historical moment in which their ancestors were forcibly colonized. War, subjugation, enslavement, these phenomenon predate post-enlightenment western nation states and have been carried out by many different cultures across the globe.

So?! We can't talk about specific examples because "it happened to everyone"? That's just a relativistic fallacy.

What about these specific examples, which are almost never given even a glancing mention:

The Holodomor in Ukraine, the Great Purges and gulags of Russia and Poland, the Irish potato famine, the Highland Clearances of Scotland, and the English enclosures

If you don't see the current over-saturation of certain plights over others as a problem, then you are part of the dynamics I am attempting to deconstruct. It's a false version of history, keeping common roots hidden, and it's not going to get us anywhere.

I don't live in those places … The fallacy you're labouring under seems to be that just because genocides happened in the Ukraine, etc, you don't think people living in north america should have to acknowledge the colonial process that's still underway there? "Over-saturation"? If I was in the Ukraine and people who had lived there for generations placed a lot of emphasis on their culture and a legacy of genocide, I'd be respectful of that, same as anywhere else. But it sounds like neither of us is in the Ukraine ….

No, but Ukrainian people are living in North America today, struggling with the aftermath of those practises today. This is right now. It's current. It's going on.

This distancing from the true collective reality is really rampant...

People DO place a lot of emphasis on their cultures. This is the entire point. But their histories and struggles are not taught in the schools or in the history books or taken up by an army of left-wing sympathizers and are pushed to the wayside. They're kept invisible. At this point in North America, people are being severed from their own histories.

In order to understand the reality of North America, you have to bring those stories to the table in a fairly major way. This is the only way we are going to have true peace or justice. And that is not being done.

Let's recap. You're IN north america but somehow, you take issue with the amount of attention that the legacy of colonialism pertaining to WHERE YOU ARE gets? Shouldn't this be an occam's razor thing?

It's not some "race-based agenda" that discounts shitty things that happened in europe, it's just people tending to talk more about the land they're actually standing on. If you want to go down to the nearest Ukrainian cultural centre and talk about Ukrainian history, folks will indulge you but instead … You're going to take issue with people focusing their attention on examples of genocide that occurred just down the street from where they live, or impacted people that they know, or whatever.

Wow, you really don't get it, do you?

The "white people" now living in North America had the same practises done to them (often at relatively the same times) and are trying to survive the same residual trauma and dysfunction. I'm one of them. Almost everyone I know is one of them. This is going on RIGHT WHERE I LIVE. This is going on RIGHT INSIDE ME AND INSIDE MOST OF THE PEOPLE I KNOW. This is as much a part of the "legacy of colonialism" as the plight of native people. You think it just disappears because we left a certain location??

You're illustrating the exact problem I'm outlining with the current discourse and the focus (almost solely) on one group of people.

A great deal of the dysfunction we are seeing in North American society is due to this, and in particular, with white people, it's due to the lack of acknowledgment that this is even an issue - by people like you.

Don't get what?!… I AM a mostly white person, with a bit of indigenous ancestry. I'm fucking part Ukrainian too in fact! Nobody is disputing anything that you're going through … it's just fucking weird how you seem to think that other folks are somehow affronting you by discussing their own struggles. You're straw-manning the shit out of me and probably most of these other people you take issue with too.

You're completely distanced from elements and dynamics that make up huge swaths of North American society RIGHT WHERE YOU EXIST. There is no legitimate context, and this is a major problem with the current race-based agenda.

You're just trolling, aren't you? I didn't say anything about legitimacy ...

YOU didn't say anything about legitimacy.

I'M saying there is no legitimate context for the genocide and land-dispossession discussion in North America if we don't have everyone at the table.

Yep, everyone who disagrees with you is a troll. Just go with that.

I'm just wondering how it's possible for you to be this obstinate and strawman this hard if you're sincere …
You can't really disagree with me until you actually understand what I'm saying. You're straw manning too much to read very carefully, it seems?

Yeah, when certain politicized and race-based angles are pursued to the exclusion of almost all others, we have a major, major problem. A major imbalance. And this is what's going on, especially in anarchist and left-wing/liberal groups.

You yourself are arguing that the genocide and oppression faced by other members of North American society are less important to recognize because they "didn't happen on site."

Not what I said. I said you're assuming people are doing that but they're just having a different conversation. Doesn't mean it's "more important".

Oh that's pretty much exactly what you said:

"Let's recap. You're IN north america but somehow, you take issue with the amount of attention that the legacy of colonialism pertaining to WHERE YOU ARE gets?...

It's not some "race-based agenda" that discounts shitty things that happened in europe, it's just people tending to talk more about the land they're actually standing on. If you want to go down to the nearest Ukrainian cultural centre and talk about Ukrainian history, folks will indulge you but instead … You're going to take issue with people focusing their attention on examples of genocide that occurred just down the street from where they live, or impacted people that they know, or whatever."

Yeah, they're having a different discussion that absolutely dominates the current discourse and public life to the exclusion of all else, refusing to open the discourse to a fuller spectrum of reality, and getting hostile and argumentative when people like me attempt to do so.

You really don't need to copy/paste my own posts. I know what I typed …

They're having a different discussion but it's not some conspiracy to discount european history. If our little back-and-forth here is any indication, the reason they get hostile is because of HOW you address these topics, not because they're trying to say one genocide is more important than another. I'm certainly not trying to argue that and I doubt many folks would.

You backtracked on what you said pretty hard there...

I never said it was a conspiracy. I said it's going on. I said certain race-based agendas are dominating the scene and this paints a skewed picture of things (intentionally or not), including that all white people are from a privileged, imperialist or imperialist-sympathizing background, which is not the case.

And no, you'd be wrong with your summations there. Just bringing this stuff up is like Kryptonite in certain activist circles. And you would certainly be hard pressed to find people as willing to advocate for white Europeans in these matters or to educate the public.

Maybe you can help me out with this. A few months ago on a local indie radio program, I heard a snippet of a lecture given by a Native American woman (probably an academic from the tone of the lecture, but I am not sure) making almost exactly the same argument you are making: that the enclosures and industrialization of Europe - and the ensuing dispossession and atomization of its population - were quite literally a testing ground for the techniques of colonization used just a short while later by the major European powers. But I didn't catch the woman's name because I didn't hear the whole program. Do you know who this person is? It seems like you might be familiar with her.

No, sorry, I don't know.

I don't really agree that it was a "testing ground," though...that still frames it in reference to what happened to the native people of North America, as in, what happened to the native people was the primary event, what they were building toward. I can see why she would frame it like that if she is from a native background, but it's problematic, in my mind.

These tactics have been going on for thousands of years to every racial background. There is no single event that this has been building towards. It's a continual thing.

There was no "backtracking" … just you projecting and then me clarifying that no, I'm not the liberal activist devil you apparently have nightmares about. I'm somebody with a working understanding of why these topics need to be discussed carefully because they're a bit of a minefield.

I'm dealing strictly with what you said and with the arguments you made. I have no idea who you are and it really doesn't matter to me.

You don't have a working understanding of the points I'm making re: the current discourse being dominated by certain interests in a detrimental way, and this reflects the current scene.

So you say but you spent an awful lot of time telling me what I was saying instead of either a. asking for clarification or b. actually reading what I posted. Even that bit you copy/pasted doesn't actually say the things you're insisting it did. You're too certain of who you're arguing with and not nearly interested enough in what people are actually trying to say.

To limit your speech. You said that 'the colonizers' were complaining about being misrepresented. But the point, if you read my previous post, is how do you in good faith frame people as colonizers when many of them were immigrants or victims of colonization themselves.

Because they WERE colonizers as well as victims of colonialism. One doesn't cancel out the other...

Victims, in your estimation? Some group who had never engaged in war with another group, nor taken slaves, nor engaged in any colonialesque practice within some as yet undefined statute of limitations. Who were these noble ones?

Their intention was not colonizing. Their intention was surviving. They were refugees and their desperate statuses were used by the state to further its agenda.

And now these people are supposed to accept being shamed and guilted for surviving.

Pretty whack.

You're only supposed to accept the reality of colonialism and the dynamics of it, anyone who's trying to personally shame you is just using identity as a cudgel for their own reasons but that's not what I'm doing.

Nobody claimed anyone was "pure and holy"

Excuse my flourishes... We are, however, undoubtedly talking about victimhood. I ask you to consider how indigenous populations, whether they be in the Americas, or Europe, or Africa, etc, who'd been at war with each other, enslaving each other, raping & cannibalising each other for centuries, claim they should have been spared from this same sort behavior, repackaged semantically as 'colonialism.'

Presumably the same way that you would make various claims if I came to your house right now and took your shit.

And we've ALL had people come to our houses and take our shit, using that analogy.

But when it happens to certain groups, it's considered less bad and when it happens to other groups, it's more bad, apparently.

Nope. That's your fallacy, it's definitely not what I've been saying.

These sorts of claims are inevitable. And the weighing of claims & actions is what we're talking about. Your rejoinder underlines the point I'm trying to make. Thieves will complain about being stolen from. Warmongerers will complain about being genocided. All making convenient claims of innocence or deserved exemption.

And … it would be essentialism (which is of course, a logic fallacy as well as good ol' fashioned racism) to say that because some members of an ethic group participated in war, colonialism, whatever, that other members of that same ethnic group should shut up about their own experiences of oppression. That's just relativism, not a valid critique.

You throw big words around without understanding what they mean. As well, I asked for no one to shut up. You seem to have a finely tuned ability to become offended. I wonder if it's your only talent.

You make claims about the value of individual experience, distancing one's self from the action of a group when it is convenient, only to, moments later, take up that mantle of that group again in order to claim its historical oppression for your own benefit.

No … I didn't do that either. Sigh ...

Also, obviously resent you claiming that I don't know what words mean. Pretty arrogant and hostile of you ;)

Ah, so you are one of the people I speak of...

You need to understand that genocidal practises, including being forced off land, having homes and businesses destroyed, being starved out, or being turned into de facto slaves by the state, has been a widespread practise, affecting pretty much every race in existence.

If you want to talk about land claims, you have a longggggg and complex history to delve into involving most countries of the world. That's the only way you could really get up to speed as far as the current North American population.

Many of the "white people" in North America came here as refugees in a state of "emigrate or die." It wasn't a choice to come here.

The genocide has happened a hundred times before to people with skin of all colours. And it continues to happen.

But all y'all are up on your high horses only about the oppression of certain groups.

And are regularly railing against the "white oppressors" without a lick of acknowledgment of the real history of most white people in North America.

So that often creates a scenario where all white people are erroneously painted as privileged oppressors, whether those exact words are used or not.

Willow …you don't know shit about me but your haughty tone is most likely the actual problem when you attempt discussion with people on these subjects.

It would feel better if the people shoving the current race-based agenda down our throats would come to the understanding that the state has tried to/is trying to exterminate pretty much everyone, not just Jews, natives, and black people.

Hmm...how can I make that statement funny?

Can't. Too lazy/untalented for humour.

I'd feel better if you could let "jews, natives and black people" (among others) express their perfectly understandable dissatisfaction with modern society and not resent this process as a "race based agenda" being "shoved down your throat".

If some groups suggest they've been getting a disproportionate amount of the repression, with a lot of scientific basis to their claims, that, in no way, diminishes the larger reality of state repression of everyone. It's just a more specific conversation.

I would appreciate you letting me express my perfectly understandable dissatisfaction with modern society as a person with roots to genocidal practises by the state (which we pretty much all have). But you won't. Cuz people like you never do. And that's the problem I'm talking about.

I'm not talking about "general state repression." I'm talking about the very same tactics that were used against the groups that are now getting over-saturated play.

Just a tiny smattering of examples of genocidal practises against white Europeans by the state include: the Holodomor in Ukraine, the Great Purges and gulags of Russia and Poland, the Irish potato famine, the Highland Clearances of Scotland, and the English enclosures.

And when I can't interact with a single anarchist group or in a single left-leaning public meeting without being told right off the top that "we're operating in unceded *fill in blank* tribe territory," yeah, you bet your ass it's being shoved down people's throats.

What …? How am I preventing you expressing anything? You need to stop dwelling on race so much altogether IMHO, it's just a mirage anyway. You're stuck in a swamp of who has the right to play the victim card and now you're assuming an awful lot about a total stranger you can't even see … You don't even know my ancestry or anything.

And you're preventing it (or interfering with it) by telling me what I SHOULD be doing or saying and what you would feel better about me doing or saying.

Aw come on, now you're just whining that I'm "silencing you". I'm challenging your arguments, it's not the same thing.

Because you can't even talk about being white or male without being called a fascist or rapist. You all fucked it up for everyone because now people would rather identify with fascists than having their identity repeatedly shat on.

hahahah...well, so many assumptions coming from a total stranger...

I don't dwell on race. That's the whole point. I focus on the common roots and common struggle. But the current race-based agenda/identity politics are making it so that certain plights are reinforced and institutionalized in the current discourse while others are skipped over altogether, and a really skewed and unbalanced view of reality is being furthered.

I'm just trying to open that discourse up to be more representational of reality.

And yeah...it doesn't go over well with people who like the current race-based agenda/identity politics.

This place is a shitshow

What... you mean the US/Canada? Society for all that matters!?

This is what ya call meta-humor
Cosmic comedy
Transcendent tragedy
Black gold
Texas tea
Ya see
One man's conflict
Is another man's carnival
And if y'ain't laughin' yet
I encourage thee
To eat more greedily
from the tree
of misery
yippee kai-aye
kah-yee

George Carlin (photo) was an anarchist-leaning comedian. Everyone should listen to his albums, and watch his HBO specials.

I 2nd on George Carlin RIP!

cause nothing beats toilet humor.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
CAPTCHA
Human?
N
d
F
F
T
k
x
Enter the code without spaces.