Such images split the putrid air of our petrified world, rendering uncanny and untimely the dazzling spectacles and dancing commodities that everywhere captivate our senses.
Dialectical images perform this defamiliarizing and activity-generating (“innervating”) task in a variety of ways: by juxtaposing idealized forms with images of the violence required to produce and sustain these forms, by showing the aging of industrial wonders such as railroads in a way that reveals the historicity of the present, by transfiguring marks of capitalist drudgery into signs of revolution (i.e. Benjamin’s alarm clock), by tearing objects out of their conventional contexts in order to reveal their unexpected possible uses, and by offering hints of the marvelous freedoms that could materialize in a post-capitalist world.
“People of color, women, and gays — who now have greater access to the centers of influence than ever before — are under pressure to be well-behaved when talking about their struggles. There is an expectation that we can talk about sins but no one must be identified as a sinner: newspapers love to describe words or deeds as “racially charged” even in those cases when it would be more honest to say “racist”; we agree that there is rampant misogyny, but misogynists are nowhere to be found; homophobia is a problem but no one is homophobic. One cumulative effect of this policed language is that when someone dares to point out something as obvious as white privilege, it is seen as unduly provocative. Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse.”—Excerpt from Teju Cole’s essay “The White Savior Industrial Complex”. (via jalwhite)
“Part of the reason I think that queer theory and love theory are related to each other as political idioms, is that queer theory presumes the affective incoherence of the subject with respect to the objects that anchor it or to which they’re attached. One thing that is very powerful for me to try and think about is how we could have a political pedagogy that deals with incoherence. Where the taking up of a position won’t be so that an individual can be coherent, intentional, agentive, and encounter themselves through their object, but that there would be a way that situational clarity can be produced without negating the incoherence of the subject. Training in one’s own incoherence, training in the ways in which one’s complexity and contradiction can never be resolved by the political, is a really important part of a political theory of non-sovereignty.”—
Graham Rayman at the Village Voice brings us more on officer Adrian Schoolcraft, the modern day Serpico who was sent to a psych ward for reporting on corruption in the NYPD. While working out of the 81st precinct in Brooklyn, Schoolcraft became aware of a pattern of crime victims getting caught up in bureaucratic hurdles that seemed to have purposely been set up to make it hard to report serious crimes. Schoolcraft reported a number of these incidents to investigators. That’s where things take a turn for the insane:
In October 2009, Schoolcraft met with NYPD investigators for three hours and detailed more than a dozen cases of crime reports being manipulated in the district. Three weeks after that meeting-which was supposed to have been kept secret from Schoolcraft’s superiors-his precinct commander and a deputy chief ordered Schoolcraft to be dragged from his apartment and forced into the Jamaica Hospital psychiatric ward for six days.
Officer Schoolcraft is the same man that released two years of recorded roll calls at NYPD precincts, leading to the award winning series by Rayman that has revealed incompetence and corruption in the NYPD. The story of Officer Schoolcraft’s forcible psych detainment was recently released in a 95 page report that vindicated Officer Schoolcraft, who has been suspended without pay for more than two years. He has since filed a lawsuit. The report was actually completed two years ago, and the NYPD has tried to keep it under wraps.
More from Rayman:
In the wake of our series, NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered an investigation into Schoolcraft’s claims. By June 2010, that investigation produced a report that the department has tried to keep secret for nearly two years.
The Voice has obtained that 95-page report, and it shows that the NYPD confirmed Schoolcraft’s allegations. In other words, at the same time that police officials were attacking Schoolcraft’s credibility, refusing to pay him, and serving him with administrative charges, the NYPD was sitting on a document that thoroughly vindicated his claims.
Schoolcraft’s complaints focused on the NYPD’s alleged habit of juking crime stats to appear more effective. Anybody who has watched The Wire is familiar with the practice of turning felonies into misdemeanors or not reporting some crimes to make it appear is if the precinct had lower crime rates. Reports Rayman, “Officers were told to arrest people who were doing little more than standing on the street, but they were also encouraged to disregard actual victims of serious crimes who wanted to file reports.” Both Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly have denied these allegations, but the newly released paper seems to confirm them.
Investigators concluded that “an atmosphere was created discouraging members of the command to accurately report index crimes.”
“Charity is the humanitarian mask hiding the face of economic exploitation. In a superego blackmail of gigantic proportions, the developed countries ‘help’ the undeveloped with aid, credit and so on, and thereby avoid the key issue, namely their complicity in and co-responsibility for the miserable situation of the undeveloped.”— Slavoj Žižek; ‘Violence’, p19 (via caitlinate)
“capitalist realism presents itself as a shield protecting us from the perils posed by belief itself. The attitude of ironic distance proper to postmodern capitalism is supposed to immunize us against the seductions of fanaticism. Lowering our expectations, we are told, is a small price to pay for being protected from terror and totalitarianism. ‘We live in a contradiction,’ Badiou has observed: a brutal state of affairs, profoundly inegalitarian- where all existence is evaluated in terms of money alone- is presented to us as ideal. To justify their conservatism, the partisans of the established order cannot really call it ideal or wonderful. So instead, they have decided to say all the rest is horrible. Sure, they say, we may not live in a condition of perfect Goodness. But we’re lucky that we don’t live in a condition of Evil. Our democracy is not perfect. But it’s better than the bloody dictatorships. Capitalism is unjust. But it’s not criminal like Stalinism. We let millions of Africans die of AIDS, but we don’t make racist nationalist declarations like Milosevic. We kill Iraqis with our airplanes, but we don’t cut their throats with machetes like they do in Rwanda, etc.
The ‘realism’ here is analogous to the deflationary perspective of a depressive who believes that any positive state, any hope, is a dangerous illusion.”—mark fisher, capitalist realism (via zizekianrevolution)
“After years of telling myself I’m not a racist, I’m a liberal, I’m free-thinking, I started to acknowledge that I have these reactions that I’m not aware of, that I didn’t look at before; things that have been bred into me, not necessarily by my parents—maybe by the society, by the system, by television—and that it’s a real job to get rid of it. You can’t just blissfully say, Everybody’s equal, everybody’s nice. The conditioning is so powerful that you have to work all the time.”—
“I don’t even consider myself wealthy.”—Ann Romney, whose joint net worth with Mitt is estimated at approximately $250,000,000, or roughly 2,605 times the median US net worth; most, if not all, of which was earned by sloshing other people’s money around and skimming off the top. (via theworldisconfused)