The United States of Atrocity

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6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The same guy who a decade earlier had put a bounty on scalps of FN men women and children.

That would be my people, k. The first ones, anyway.

Thing is, whether it is your nice settler ancestors or my nasty ones doesn't matter one bit. A lot has happened in 400 years, and as settlers we're all equal in terms of responsibility here and now.

 

quizzical

what responsibility are you talking about in the here and now?

i'm having a hard time figuring it out and i'm FN heritage.

should i go back and live in Chetticamp and fight their/my fight? live here and fight the fight with my BC FN cousins because it is all the same fight? move to Greenspond and get my DNA tested for Beothuk heritage as my mom won't? or return to Barra? or maybe Ireland?

or just forget it alll and live life?

so many choices........

quizzical
6079_Smith_W

quizzical wrote:

what responsibility are you talking about in the here and now?

For those of us who aren't original people, in the first place we all have the same treaty responsibilities.

And in the second place, any of us who had family here over the past 100 years reaped all those benefits  while genocide was committed against FN people, and agreements were broken with Metis and other Native people. The difference on this side of the border or the other was simply a matter of degrees, and we were racing to gobble up the land just like the Americans. When Riel had to run or be lynched he found safety in Montana. Whatever the Americans are guilty of our Canadian legacy is also one of war and shame here in the west.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

"I was almost another dead black male."

Democracy Now wrote:
We feature a video just released by the oral history project StoryCorps called "Traffic Stop," in which Alex Landau, an African-American man, recalls how he was raised by his adoptive white parents to believe that skin color didn’t matter. But when he was pulled over by Denver police officers in 2009, he lost his belief in a color-blind world when he was nearly beaten to death. Alex and his white adoptive mother, Patsy Hathaway, discuss what happened that night and how it continues to affect him.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

"West Germany"? That poster must be pretty damn old.

6079_Smith_W

Or perhaps they mean it's all West Germany now.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

For those of us who aren't original people, in the first place we all have the same treaty responsibilities.

And in the second place, any of us who had family here over the past 100 years reaped all those benefits  while genocide was committed against FN people, and agreements were broken with Metis and other Native people. The difference on this side of the border or the other was simply a matter of degrees, and we were racing to gobble up the land just like the Americans. When Riel had to run or be lynched he found safety in Montana. Whatever the Americans are guilty of our Canadian legacy is also one of war and shame here in the west.

What a piece of drivel, Riel was a fucking settler also so I don't seem to get your point. You may thinnk it is all Columbus all the time but I prefer to look for the places where FN's and settler societies coexisted and prospered instead of your, " we're just like Americans anyways, ya'll know."  This issue is just too complicated for a simplistic anaysis like yours.

Canada has treaty obligations, there are no obligations in Treaty's that citizens are responsible for. Before Treaty 8 the Cree and the Metis had a different relationship. Like the Bay of Fundy both the people who resided there lived in relative harmony. Treaty's are better than nothing but I think that the FN's in BC that live on unceded land and borrowing money to reach a Treaty agreement are being suckered in by the Howe Street cabal.  Those are the Canadians who own many global mining interests and are the ruthless face of NATO imperialism in indigenous communities around the world.

One thing the Cree and Metis and Acadian's and Mi'kmaqall shared is they had their relative peace and security as neighbours destroyed by imperial forces that wanted their lands.

As humans who live in Canada we have the duty to try and right the wrongs of our governments. in my personal life I've been trying to get FN's issues a wider settler audience for 30 years now. Of course it is like talking about racism to other white people and rape culture with men. The results are mixed at best and many people like to say it is really just a matter of degree.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

What a piece of drivel, Riel was a fucking settler also so I don't seem to get your point.

Not according to the Supreme Court of Canada he wasn't.... that is to say, he was Native.

And the situation at Red River before the Canadian invasion was one of relative harmony - or balance of power; that kind of changed once Mr. Macdonald had to get his railway through and bring the western colonies into confederation.

And my point, k, was that it has nothing to do with being supposedly good or bad settlers. We are all treaty people by virtue of us being able to use this land - not to mention by contract.

http://www.otc.ca/education/we-are-all-treaty-people

And regardless of what happened 400 years ago, the fact is that our history in the past 150 years is one of swindles, broken promises and genocide, which ALL settlers have benefitted from. I know some people seem to think they live in a bubble outside of that reality, but coming from Winnipeg, there is no way around the fact that the place I grew up in was stolen. They broke the Act of Confederation that brought Manitoba into Canada in order to steal it.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Here's a map of firearm homicide rates in the Americas in 2010.

[IMG]http://i61.tinypic.com/14o3cet.png[/IMG]

That lone orange nation is Venezuela.

Seems whoever made that graphic in post #155 chose not to compare the U.S. to Venezuela.  Maybe they just didn't have a pistol with the Venezuelan flag on it?

quizzical

it quite clearly said HANDGUNS  not firearms. 

there's 1 red nation too. looks like El Salvador. and wouldn't all those middle ammericas and SA "firearm" deaths be related to US sponsored coups of governments anyway?  let's just add them to the USA's anway, and call it done.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
it quite clearly said HANDGUNS  not firearms.

And that matters a great deal because why?

Maybe Venezuelans just use the much more virtuous "long guns".

If citizens being murdered with guns is a problem then it's a problem.  If you think it's not a problem then just say so.

quizzical

you're not the only one who can be sarcastic

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Michael Moore introduces his latest film, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, which will have its world premier in Toronto at TIFF in September.

"Thanks to those wacky Canadians for inviting," etc. Moore gives a little greeting to the NSA, that follows him around everywhere he goes and, thereby explaining, at least in part, why he keeps new films under wraps, and it looks to be a very good one.

After all, the subject is the endless, obscene, murderous, genocidal, meglomaniacal, misanthropic, hateful, wasteful wars that the USA continues to conduct, to prepare, and to wash humanity in blood with.

Did I say that Moore is a great film maker? Of course he is. But those who don't like the humanistic content will shit on him anyway.

6079_Smith_W

What... critical reviews are forbidden because of "humanistic content", whatever that is?

Don't get me wrong, I do like Moore's films; I look forward to seeing this one, I just wouldn't confuse them with documentary, since he always tends to go for the sentimental hook (or ambushing and badgering senile old men) over evidence.  His comments not too long ago about snipers being somehow worse than every other tool of war (and the assumption that there is such a thing as moral and sporting war) is a prime example.

Again, though his heart is in the right place, Moore is himself as much an example of American pop culture as his subject matter. Not exactly Geraldo, but the needle is definitely drifting to style over substance.

Besides, I think Errol Morris set the bar on this subject already.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

What a piece of drivel, Riel was a fucking settler also so I don't seem to get your point.

Not according to the Supreme Court of Canada he wasn't.... that is to say, he was Native.

And the situation at Red River before the Canadian invasion was one of relative harmony - or balance of power; that kind of changed once Mr. Macdonald had to get his railway through and bring the western colonies into confederation.

And my point, k, was that it has nothing to do with being supposedly good or bad settlers. We are all treaty people by virtue of us being able to use this land - not to mention by contract.

http://www.otc.ca/education/we-are-all-treaty-people

And regardless of what happened 400 years ago, the fact is that our history in the past 150 years is one of swindles, broken promises and genocide, which ALL settlers have benefitted from. I know some people seem to think they live in a bubble outside of that reality, but coming from Winnipeg, there is no way around the fact that the place I grew up in was stolen. They broke the Act of Confederation that brought Manitoba into Canada in order to steal it.

I get your point about history. I live in an area that was dominated by coal barons and they screwed everyone but in varying degrees based on race and ethnicity. As a current resident of this area you are telling me I have to take responsibility for the crimes of the Dunsmuirs. That appears to be your view but I do not share it at all.

Like my Acadian history that I remember and relate I also remember the settler heroes of the place I live in like Ginger and the proud folks of Bevan and refuse to accept that my heritage is the coal baron and not the resistors. For your information people of Acadian descent were a significant part of the population of Batoche and environs. But according to you I should not consider myself part of that resisitance history but should instead accept that my history is in fact the history of the Canadian Expedition that destroyed some of my distant kins second homeland. 

Fighting for change means finding alternatives that have worked. The Acadians and Metis share the common traditions of reasonably friendly relations with their FN's neighbours. In the case of the Acadians they had explicit Mi'kmaq consent to their settlements and a communal lifestyle and economy centered on diking the Fundy lowlands. The Metis had the communal buffalo hunt as the center of their economy and comunity and peaceful relations.

I prefer their stories to telling myself that it is all my fault and that all stories are the same and they only differ in degree. Instead I try and learn those stories and tell them to my grandchildren and teach them they are the resistance not the problem. The problem has always been imperial greed driven by men of capital. The USA/NATO imperial order is the current centre of that vile evil that once again prevades our globe and is destroying the planet while trying to crush any peoples movements that stand in the way of the dominant global oligarchy.

6079_Smith_W

The moral relationship between settlers and original residents is a pretty specific one, k.  In part, it is legal one, in fact.

I get the sentiment, but it isn't a matter of blame so much as recognizing that there is a debt there, and a situation where we - even the poorest of us - have benefitted and continue to benefit. Again, it is mind-boggling how to sort it out, but the fact remains that half of the city where I was born should rightly belong to people who got swindled out of it.

Sorry, but we are a part of this system regardless of our personal values and feelings (and that of our nice or not-so-nice ancestors).

It's not fair? Well I am sure those who experienced the worst of this system would agree completely.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Besides, I think Errol Morris set the bar on this subject already.

Yeah, Moore should just shaddup already. :rolleyes:

quizzical

ikosmos wrote:
6079_Smith_W wrote:
Besides, I think Errol Morris set the bar on this subject already.

Yeah, Moore should just shaddup already. :rolleyes:

yup, let's not meet people where they can perceive the message. let's speak over the majority's heads and then complain when they don't get it.

6079_Smith_W

Hey... I said I like Moore, I said nothing about him shutting up, and I do think his heart is in the right place.

But his razzle dazzle wouldn't pass for journalism in most countries other than the U.S.

Again, this thread is kind of a caricature of itself. Unfortunately that is what you wind up with when your message is essentially a propagandist one.

 

 

quizzical

aren't all messages propaganda at their essence?

 

quizzical

and for those who believe Canada is better

 

 

 

 

quizzical
kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Sorry, but we are a part of this system regardless of our personal values and feelings (and that of our nice or not-so-nice ancestors).

Who the fuck every said we weren't. The reason I hate trying to discuss anything with you is you always seem to eventually resort to a strawman argument.

We live in the Atrocious US/NATO imperial center. That is a fact. Unlike you my response is to highlight it at every chance. Yours seems to be to say its all relative and really nothing is better than anything else. The US is the largest shit hole on the planet and they are destroying themselves and most of the reat of the planet.

I like the thread title because I find the imperilaism of the US/NATO oligarchy atrocious not just slightly different by degrees from other minor players on the world stage. .

6079_Smith_W

quizzical wrote:

aren't all messages propaganda at their essence?

No, they aren't. Not even all messages from a position of advocacy are propaganda. If that were the case, this whole site wouold be guilty, and I don't think that is true. To be propaganda one has to stoop to the point of intellectual dishonesty.

6079_Smith_W

@ kropotkin

If I made a straw argument, what is it?

My response was regarding two things: first that whether any of our ancestors 400 years ago were nice guys had any relevance at all to our situation here and now, and secondly, whether we as Canadians have any call to get up on a high horse. We don't.

And frankly, I am a bit torn, because if Sir John A had not been successful our part of Canada probably would probably now be part of the United States. But that sure doesn't make our securing of the 49th parallel anything to crow about, because the only difference in how bad we were is a measure of how much power we had to murder people.

We have certainly shown that we have just as much of an ability to abduct, torture and murder little children as the evil Americans do. Does the head count really matter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

lagatta

This thread was started by someone who consistently views the world in terms of "camps" and not social classes.

And no, while nobody here is disputing US military might and the so-called "military-industrial complex", the US is not the only significant imperialist power. Just look at what the EU is doing to Greece.

This thread also starts of on a mendacious premise that anyone who disagrees with the campist view is somehow a sop to US imperialism and military violence. It is a "have you stopped beating your wife" type of premise.

And it is utterly contrary to the ethos need to build international working-class (or non 1%, whatever you want to call it) solidarity.

I've been involved in many international and internationalist workshops devoted to the difficult task of building international solidarity. The guilt crap is swiftly evacuated. After all, the people from the global North who are there WANT to build bridges with those in the so-called periphery, and are well aware of the gulf, or many gulfs, between peoples, cultures and place in the world.

People from the Global North (hmm, including Russia...?) have to acknowledge historical debts, but expecting ordinary working-class people to wallow in guilt is a surefire means of sending them to the poisonous lies of the racist and ethnocentric far right.

And trolling really, really sucks. site:rabble.ca Russia

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

lagatta wrote:

People from the Global North (hmm, including Russia...?) have to acknowledge historical debts, but expecting ordinary working-class people to wallow in guilt is a surefire means of sending them to the poisonous lies of the racist and ethnocentric far right.

Well said.

6079_Smith_W

Not sure if that was the intent, but I am not trying to guilt trip anyone. I just don't think we have anything to crow about. Our nation may not have done as much damage as the U.S, but we are cut from the same cloth in a lot of ways.

 

 

voice of the damned

delete

voice of the damned

Kropotkin wrote:

"We live in the Atrocious US/NATO imperial center. That is a fact. Unlike you my response is to highlight it at every chance. Yours seems to be to say its all relative and really nothing is better than anything else. The US is the largest shit hole on the planet and they are destroying themselves and most of the reat of the planet." END QUOTE

Yes, I believe your phrase on another thread was "a disgsting nation full of disgusting people" to describe the US.

Out of curiousity, though, what do you make of those Canadians(ie. 60% of the 2011 electorate, assuming the Bloc and Greens are anti-NATO) who vote for one of the pro-NATO parties, thus actively endorsing Canada's participation in this US/NATO world-order? Are they also disgusting, just like Americans who vote for their warmongering parties? Or are they just basically good people being led astray by whatever forces? Or some other possibility that I'm missing here.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

OMFG. Guilt? I read Hedges, or Giroux, or people like that, and I have for some time, and the thread title perfectly fits that country. This is no exaggeration. It really is the US of Atrocity. And the listing and elaboration of those atrocities really often makes me numb with the horror of it. Not "guilty". I can't read stuff to the end. As others on this thread have put it, there is a quantitative and qualitative difference between that regime and any other. Any other. That degree of unending violence, of wanton and ubiquitous slaughter of the citizenry, changes things. The forms of resistance have to change.

re Smith's remarks on Michael Moore. Yeah, he's an American. That's what they're like. Even plenty of the "good" ones. And he acknowledges that he is telling stories, and he wants to "entertain" his audience, etc. It's right there in the tabiya. Stories that make sense. That's all we are.

Harsha Walia wrote:
We are our stories. That's all we are.

The horror in the basement of Canada, as it were. We all know what happens when you go down to the basement in a horror flick. You never come out alive.

So maybe a thread on the Canadian State of Atrocity as well? Why not? I certainly have no objection and I would be happy to contribute to it. Supplemental: Yves Engler has been doing this for years now, and good on him.

Sick and tired? You bet. I'm sick and tired of this "what-about-ism" when it comes to the US of Atrocity.

6079_Smith_W
ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Yeah, you sometimes see film trying to be all things to all people and instead becomes nothing to no one and sugar-coated tales.

voice of the damned

Thing about that film, is that the guy isn't mad about any specific, identifiable issues, he's just kind of raging against the whole modern culture, more or less symbolized(in a non-tangible sort of a way) by television.

And I find it somewhat jarring when, at one point, he berates the audience for being obsessed with "Archie Bunker"(probably being used as a stand-in for TV characters generally). As far as I'm concerned, Norman Lear sitcoms did a far more trenchant job of illuminating real social problems than anything in Network.

Not that I don't like the film, I really do. But something about it just has an air of "old fogey film-makers ranting against the modern world".

voice of the damned

ikosmos wrote:

Yeah, you sometimes see film trying to be all things to all people and instead becomes nothing to no one and sugar-coated tales.

John Q. used a lot of the same tropes as Network(specifically the guy ranting publicall), but to explore a specific issue, ie. the lack of universal healthcare in the US. I didn't think it worked as a tribute, though, for that very reason, ie. Network wasn't about any one political issue.

Dog Day Afteroon, also by Lumet, does manage to deftly tie in specific issues(the Attica riots) with general social malaise(the public smpathizing with Sonn, though it's not exactly clear why). Maybe that works better because it's portraying the way things unfolded in an actual historic event?

6079_Smith_W

@ VOTD

But it is actually very current in terms of the manipulation factor, and style over substance, which was my point. One only take's that rant at face value if one doesn't see the subtext.

It was after all, completely rhetorical, if you look at william holden's character shaking his head, and how Faye Dunaway's character jumps on it as a "motherlode". It is clear that Howard Beale (Albert FInney's Character) is someone who has gone off his head and is being exploited. Of course everyone falls for it, because that is the nature of mass media (and why he gets murdered when he turns around and points that out). That is the message of the film.

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

OK, Lumet, yeah, anything by him is worth looking closely at.

6079_Smith_W

And Network did point out several important issues - not just the manipulation of mass media, but also the concentration of corporate power, in very explicit terms. Here's the rant that gets him killed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFvT_qEZJf8

 

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ VOTD

But it is actually very current in terms of the manipulation factor, and style over substance, which was my point. One only take's that rant at face value if one doesn't see the subtext.

It was after all, completely rhetorical, if you look at william holden's character shaking his head, and how Faye Dunaway's character jumps on it as a "motherlode". It is clear that Howard Beale (Albert FInney's Character) is someone who has gone off his head and is being exploited. Of course everyone falls for it, because that is the nature of mass media (and why he gets murdered when he turns around and points that out). That is the message of the film.

 

 

(Minor correction: Peter Finch played Howard Beale.)

Those are valid observations. But when you say that Beale has gone "off his head", do you mean we're supposed to understand the things he says as being irrational? Because as I recall, the script seems to sympathize with Beale's jaded view of television(eg. Diana grew up on cartoons, and has an orgams while talking about the programming schedule).

6079_Smith_W

And this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKkRDMil0bw

You're right VOTD. THanks!

 

 

voice of the damned

delete

voice of the damned

ikosmos wrote:

OK, Lumet, yeah, anything by him is worth looking closely at.

If you haven't seen it, you might enjoy Running On Empty, about old 1960s Weatherman types hiding out in middle America, tring to live as average people and raise a family.

6079_Smith_W

And yes, he was off his head. Despite the clarity of his message, I think it was pretty clear that the man was mad (with the lack of filters that goes along with that), which made his exploitation all that much worse.

 

 

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And Network did point out several important issues - not just the manipulation of mass media, but also the concentration of corporate power, in very explicit terms. Here's the rant that gets him killed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFvT_qEZJf8

 

Thanks. I'll have to watch that later, since this computer has fucked-up sound.

SPOILERS AHEAD

IIRC, Beale is killed after he starts to preach the gospel that the network president wants him to preach, something to do with(as you say) global capitalism. According to the wiki summation, the netowrk is being bought by Saudi investors(another late 70s stock bogeyman). Is the new gospel meant to make the audience acquiesce to globalization? As I recall, Beatty's speech could pretty much have been deleivered by a marxist ideologue, and it is in fact marxist ideologues who carry out the assassination.

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

Yeah, you sometimes see film trying to be all things to all people and instead becomes nothing to no one and sugar-coated tales.

And I can see why you might not like it. Also part of the reason why I posted it.

And @ VOTD

He gets killed because he tells people to turn off their television sets, and points out that it is controlled by corporate interests.

 

 

 

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:

ikosmos wrote:

Yeah, you sometimes see film trying to be all things to all people and instead becomes nothing to no one and sugar-coated tales.

And I can see why you might not like it. Also part of the reason why I posted it.

And @ VOTD

He gets killed because he tells people to turn off their television sets, and points out that it is controlled by corporate interests.

 

 

 

Hmm. The wiki article is kinda unclear about that...

"When Beale discovers that Communications Corporation of America (CCA), the conglomerate that owns UBS, will be bought out by an even larger Saudi Arabian conglomerate, he launches an on-screen tirade against the deal, encouraging viewers to send telegrams to the White House telling them, "I want the CCA deal stopped now!" This throws the top network brass into a state of panic because the company's debt load has made merger essential for survival. Hackett takes Beale to meet with CCA chairman Arthur Jensen, who explicates his own "corporate cosmology" to the attentive Beale. Jensen delivers a tirade of his own in an "appropriate setting", the dramatically darkened CCA boardroom, that suggests to the docile Beale that Jensen may himself be some higher power—describing the interrelatedness of the participants in the international economy and the illusory nature of nationality distinctions. Jensen persuades Beale to abandon the populist messages and preach his new "evangel". But television audiences find his new sermons on the dehumanization of society depressing, and ratings begin to slide, yet Jensen will not allow UBS executives to fire Beale."

This makes it sound as if maybe Beale WAS preaching what Jensen wanted. And I do remember the narrator saying that Beale was killed because of low ratings(as opposed to killing him because he posed a direct threat to corporate rule).

6079_Smith_W

VOTD, watch the film; make up your own mind.

Personally, I take it as an indictment of  corporatism and mass media brainwashing (which I think was fairly explicit), though I don't want to go too far down the rabbithole. I posted it as a comment on the brainwashing bit.

 

In the end, I don't think the film has aged at all.

 

 

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