'The cool communists'

"What could I change? We have everything - free medical care, free education, free vacations. What else do we need?"


Andre Gorz being hella #doom right now #Marx #hegel #critiqueofeconomicreason

10 questions universities don’t want to be asked at open days ›

Brief thoughts on "art and labour" ›


Sometimes I’m happy that there seems to be a big conversation going on about labour and art - and what the labour in artworks is like. That is important, at least in understanding artworks’ social immersion, that they are inextricably sunken into a context of perennial suffering. But I am worried…


Thurs: CHICKEN HUT PARTY! Bok n’ Roll w:  

    Mary Allen & The Percolators, Puppies, Mr. Andersonic, Willy Gantrim, Desiree Wattis, Snow Orphan + + +

Finally another party at THE CHICKENHUT!

Fun bands in the back, Dance party in the front, Acoustic bands on the roof… cheap dranks, summer sweat, so much hot doggin’… 


Puppies (Brooklyn)
Mary Allen and the Percolatorsl (Minneapolis)
Snow Orphan (CT, Remember the Bike Kill party?!?)
The Sex Rays (Minneapolis)

DJ Dirtyfinger (Black Label, Gold Whistle
Ben robey (Ninjasonik)
James Mulry (Black Label, Random At Tandem) 
Mr. Andersonic (LIVE booty bass)

Summer Sweat by Jamesmulry on Mixcloud

Willy Gantrim
Desiree Wattis

July 3, 2014
7pm $7 169 Spencer St, 4the floor, BROOKLYN (Get Facebooked)

#UtopiaNow #Crisis from the intro to Gorz’s ‘Critique of Economic Reason’ cc @aaronjohnbastani

'Advice From 1 Disciple of Marx to 1 Heidegger Fanatic' by Mario Santiago Papasuiaro #Books #Poetry

#books  #poetry  

Spike Lee’s killer rant about gentrification:

"Then comes the motherfuckin’ Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can’t discover this! We been here. You just can’t come and bogart. There were brothers playing motherfuckin’ African drums in Mount Morris Park for 40 years and now they can’t do it anymore because the new inhabitants said the drums are loud. My father’s a great jazz musician. He bought a house in nineteen-motherfuckin’-sixty-eight, and the motherfuckin’ people moved in last year and called the cops on my father. He’s not — he doesn’t even play electric bass! It’s acoustic! We bought the motherfuckin’ house in nineteen-sixty-motherfuckin’-eight and now you call the cops? In 2013? Get the fuck outta here!

Nah. You can’t do that. You can’t just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you’re motherfuckin’ Columbus and kill off the Native Americans. Or what they do in Brazil, what they did to the indigenous people. You have to come with respect. There’s a code. There’s people.”

On Holding Hands and Shouting in the Street ›



I made dinner for my boyfriend, A, last night. He came round late; he’d been preparing for a job interview, I made him something to eat, we talked about coffee overdoses and plans for the Bank Holiday weekend. We were going to watch a film but as he washed the dishes he asked if I fancied…

Farewell to the middle classes

By Matt Cole [me]

'When the middle drops to the bottom, the bottom drops out.'

The so-called ‘American Dream’ – that if individuals just work hard enough, somehow they’ll rise out of the immiserated masses (usually at their expense) and join the ranks of the many ‘middle class’ careerists with aspirations of homeownership, stock options, and capital gains – has been one of the most pervasive and persuasive myths of the twentieth century. This unwavering faith in ‘bootstrapping’ often leads to a sort of perverse entrepreneurialism. At it’s worst it looks like a try-hard pseudo-aristocratic libertarian sociopathy justified by a leaps of logic that would astound even Nietzsche. At it’s best, it’s a smarmy hagiography written by David Cameron about the entrepreneurs of ‘silicon roundabout’. As many of us are well aware, this new-age fidelity to self-reliance became quite fashionable in the UK circa 1980-Thatcher, and thanks to New ‘Labour’, the neoliberalisation of the state, economy, and society (sorry Maggie but yes it does exist) has continued right through to the present privatisation of the NHS.

After forty-odd years of market-liberalising fanfare, hostile shareholder takeovers, automation, and the orgy of globalisation, we face an increasingly polarised society. The UK now has one of the highest rates of inequality and lowest rates of class mobility in the developed world - and it’s only going to get worse.[1] Between 1960 and 2005, UK income inequality increased by a massive 32%.[2] And according to the Gini coefficient the UK saw a steady rise in inequality from a low of around 0.26 in 1977 to 0.36 in 2006-7.[3]Comparatively the United States, though historically more unequal, actually experienced a smaller increase in inequality at roughly 23% during the same period. Class polarisation is a global phenomenon, but the UK is finally at the vanguard once again. This numerical gap has widened over the past 30 years largely due to the top 1% of wage incomes. However, most national statistics offices decline to publish incomes above the 90th percentile, presumably as to avoid inciting ‘populism’, envy, riots, revolution and so on.[4] This underrepresentation of the top incomes, along with a consistent admission by economists of the difficulty of measuring the lowest ‘lumpen’ portions of the population, obviously causes problems for measurements of inequality, which can be underestimated by as much as 10 percentage points.[5]

One result of this rising inequality has been the polarisation of jobs into highly paid, professional positions (complete with Saatchi-esq aesthetic sensibilities for Brit art) and poorly paid shit jobs - from coffee shops to call centres.[6] The former group tend to compound the bloated housing market, as they need somewhere concrete to stash their liquidity, while the latter are a mash-up of those who started from the bottom and are still here, along with downwardly-mobile ‘graduates without a future’ Paul Mason and others talk about. These newly proletarianised have been sold the meritocratic dream (which Michael Young will agree, is as much a myth as the American Dream but lost out, since it hasn’t ever actually existed save for perhaps the ‘trente glorieuses’ of the mid-twentieth century. Despite what David Graeber thinks, the mid-level jobs typical of that period no longer exist. Polarisation and proletarianisation has also been catalysed through the financial crisis. Real-terms wage growth was negative across the board from 2008-2011 and continues to stagnate or fall due to the ‘inflation premium’ i.e. the fact that food, fuel and transport costs have risen much faster than inflation and inflation has risen faster than wages.[7]

Proletarianisation has accompanied nearly every restructuring of capitalist accumulation following a crisis, as capital must reassert it’s control over labour and grow through expanded reproduction. In Marxian terms, proletarianisation essentially describes the deepening of the fundamental antagonism between capitalists and workers. The former, who control the accumulation process, decide how the means to accumulate are used, and manage the labour that goes into it, rise even higher in the economic hierarchy. The latter, who are largely excluded from control over their own labour, the means of production, and accumulation, are pushed farther down. Sometimes they are forced out of work altogether, joining the so-called ‘reserve army of the unemployed’ or perhaps are exorcised entirely into the surplus population. When the middle drops to the bottom, the bottom drops out.

Historically, the US and the UK have not experienced these levels of income inequality since the early twentieth century. We might witness the return of something like the ‘Belle Époque’, though in the sense of the creation of a large underclass and a wealth of cheap labour rather than Bobos in Paradise. Many of the most intense class struggles in the late 19th century were waged by craft labourers and petit-bourgiouse resisting downward mobility and proletarianisation.[8] However, in the contemporary, post-whatever world, there seems to be either a confusion or an aversion to talking about what class really means, despite the obvious class polarisation happening before our rolling eyes. Most people’s conception of the ‘working class’ relies on some stereotype of a white male manual worker involved in the production of physical commodities for a private firm. This is mainly a nostalgic crypto-fascist fantasy of the right, or failure to understand the historical roles that gender, race, and colonialism have played in global capitalism by the left. Classes are neither mere positions in some abstract social structure, nor static cultural identities that one can inhabit. Rather, they are ever-changing relations that can transform social structures. They are in a perpetual process of organisation, dissolution, and reformation in relation to one another. The BBC’s ‘Great British Class Survey’ attempted to address this with a sociological taxonomy in 2013.[9] However, it obscured the profound class disparity that has developed over the past 30 years with hierarchies of taste. It largely ignored analysis of the ownership and control over capital accumulation while further contributing to the ‘demonization of the working class’ by reproducing archaic notions of ‘highbrow’ hegemony.

Unlike during the late 19th and early 20th century, the capitalism of today is more totalising and pervasive. As a social relation, it is beyond dominant – it is absolute. There is a hell of a lot up for sale -from health care to political activism, if you can dream it, you can probably monetise it. And why not? Both left and right political ideologies are awry parodies, simulacra of truths that weren’t even that true to begin with, and colonised by moralists singing malevolent arias. Capital and capitalists have never given a shit about workers or morals. Maybe it’s time to jettison the boomer delusions of self-making and focus on who and what is really the cause of our misery. It’s not us - it’s them; and it’s not even really them, but the whole system as such. Kiss the bourgeois dreams of upward mobility goodbye because it has been widely documented that increased income inequality correlates with a marked decrease in social mobility.[10] Class polarisation is here to stay and it will continue to make life harder for the vast majority of people, particularly for the younger generations. So since we are going to be stuck down here for a while, we might as well get organised and fight for the spoils of our labour, right? Recent waves of strikes from the 3 Cosas campaign to the Ritzy cinema workers’ fight for a living wage show that self-organisation works and direct action ‘gets the goods’. As Tomas Piketty, author of one of the largest historical macroeconomic studies to date, remarked in a recent interview “The reduction of inequality during the 20th century was largely the product of violent political upheavals, and not so much of peaceful electoral democracy.”[11] Perhaps both workers and capitalists should take note.

[1] http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/research-digest-trends-measures-final.pdf & J
Blanden ‘How Much Can We Learn From International Comparisons of
Intergenerational Mobility?’, 2009, Centre for the Economics of Education.http://cee.lse.ac.uk/cee%20dps/ceedp111.pdf

[2] http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/research-digest-trends-measures-final.pdf


[4] http://newleftreview.org/II/85/thomas-piketty-dynamics-of-inequality

[5] http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/research-digest-trends-measures-final.pdf

[6] Goos, Maarten,
and Alan Manning.2007.
“Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain.” Review
of Economics and Statistics 
89 (1): 118–33.

[7] http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/media/media/downloads/Resolution-Foundation-Squeezed-Britain-2013_1.pdf

[8] Eric
Olin Wright, Class Crisis and the State.
Verso. 1993. p. 100

[9] http://soc.sagepub.com/content/47/2/219

[10] http://www.russellsage.org/blog/r-mascarenhas/reading-list-inequality-and-economic-mobility

[11] http://newleftreview.org/II/85/thomas-piketty-dynamics-of-inequality

Race d’Ep - 1 Le temps de la pose (LIONEL SOUKAZ), 1979 (by ala bala)

Race d’Ep — Paris street slang for homosexual, is a four-part French film that argues that ”gay liberation was not born in the 60’s” but, instead, had its roots in the mid-19th century. The film, which opens today at the Agee Room in the Bleecker Street Cinema, is modestly scaled but not amateurish, acted by what appear to be nonprofessionals who never overreach themselves. It seems to have been shot silent, with soundtrack narration added later.

It is the point of Lionel Soukaz and Guy Hocquenghem, who conceived and made the film, that the more or less concurrent development of photography and the birth of an unashamed homosexual consciousness in the 19th century were not a coincidence. Photography, says the narrator, ”created a new definition of ‘mankind’ ” and gave the homosexual the means by which he could express his ”forbidden” desires.

The film begins with ”The Pose Period,” a consideration of the life and work of Baron von Gloeden who, we are told, gained a reputation in the second half of the 19th century by his photographs of nude Sicilian boys. The film rather amusingly recreates the baron’s fussily fancy visions of naked goatherds and streetboys idealized in classical poses. Intercut into the film’s new footage are what I take to be some examples of the baron’s actual work. —nytimes

Lionel Soukaz, born in 1953 in Paris, is a French filmmaker.

Since 1973, he began to make films in super-eight, and directed short queer underground films, still taboo in the tradition of FHAR, from pornography (Ixe) to social criticism (I Live In a Bush World). His films often take the form of film essays, similar to that of Jonas Mekas.

He organized several gay film festivals in 1977 at the Film Festival of La Rochelle, and in 1978 in Paris (la “Quinzaine de cinéma homosexuel”). The Ministry of Culture festival interfered, stopping Soukaz. He directed Race d’Ep, un siècle d’images de l’homosexualité with Guy Hocquenghem in 1979. He has been pursuing a career as a discreet, marginal videographer in recent years (and claimed as such). —Wikipedia

Yves de Laurot - LISTEN AMERICA 1969 (by Volodymyr Bilyk)

Featuring: Weatherpeople, Walter Cronkite, Columbia, Columbian, Humping Hippies, Hubert Humphrey, Body Paint, Body Count, LBJ, VC, M-16’s, LSD

Turn Ons & Put Ons & Right Ons & HardOns;
Get Offs & Blast Offs & Fuck Offs & Off the Pigs
Clandestine Celebrity, Anonymous Sacrifice
Love, Love, Love, Burn, Baby, Burn

Nowadays, the 60’s are being viewed either through nostalgia’s rosy glass or with personal mid-life bitterness. Both are dishonest and politically useless. Listen, America! was made at the height of the 60’s. From within its own era, the film has the wisdom and foresight to reveal the inherent weaknesses of the period, and to predict the ultimate downfall of The Movement. Nonetheless, the film values the liberatory aspects of the 60’s and presents its analysis from a compassionate, unconventional, even humorous perspective. Despite its creative and personal style, the film never strays from its own political seriousness, analyzing the 60’s in the tone of a devastatingly honest self-critique. Other avenues of struggle are proposed, as roads to real change and self-realization at once.

Listen, America! documents the personalities and texture of the 60’s from this unique perspective of foreknowledge. A tapestry of mass riots and individual confessions, naked body-painted orgies and militant Underground organizing makes Listen, America! a singular evocation of its time. Exuberant in the shadow of what is to come, the film shares a poignant complicity with its contemporary audience.

Today, people wonder, “What happened?” Listen, America! answered before anyone thought to ask. The filmmakers felt the coming of the big chill and sensed the change in the weather while others were still high on the times. The film prophesies the yuppiedom and apathy of today, and yet does not give up hope. It tells us that there is still something we can do.

Listen, America! was a warning in its own time, and a testament for those who would come next.

It is we who must now listen.
Zoë Lund, 1997

BLACK LIBERATION - Yves de Laurot 1967 (by Volodymyr Bilyk)

"A film made with the direct participation of Malcolm X
(on-screen — and behind the camera)

Directed by Yves de Laurot

With the Voices of Malcolm X, Ossie Davis, and other African-American spokespeople, unknown and known .

Suppressed in its initial release within the USA, the film went on to attain international recognition both as an artistic triumph and as a work of authentic political acuity and power.

First Prize, Venice International Film Festival Third World Film Festival, Paris: Special Honours as the “First Authentic Underground Film from the USA” First Prize, Black Film Festival, Chicago, USA Awarded and honored around the world from Africa to Australia, from Russia to Latin America. Screened on the BBC, the CBC (Canada), and other international television networks.

Unique in African-American History, Black Liberation is not just a “movie on Malcolm X.” It incarnates his authentic spirit and will, The leader was actively involved behind the camera, as an essential creative and political force. Malcolm X did not want an idolatrous movie, replete with lengthy footage of himself at a microphone. Instead, he was determined to make an uncompromising film that was truly of, by, and for the African-American people. A politically serious European director shared that vision. He freely offered formidable cinematic experience, as well as his own film equipment and production facilities. Both men knew that the project would retain its integrity only if its makers owned the means of film production. Armed with minimal, yet strictly independent resources, they drew their filmmaking collective directly from the African-American community.

Black Liberation stars — the African-American People. Therein lies the power of the leader’s filmic testament. African-American faces and voices speak for themselves. The men, women and children of this film — and their children — possess an extraordinary heritage. Black Liberation touched thousands of lives, and served to organize and politically educate the communities where the shooting took place.

Ossie Davis participates in the narration of Black Liberation, as a gesture of political solidarity. You will also hear the voices of Malcolm X, of other leaders, and of the many men and women unknown, who speak their minds, their hearts, their souls. The voices and music of the African-American People complement the explosively metaphoric documentary and docu-dramatic imagery.

The film moves at a speed consistent with the editing style of our present day. Twenty years before MTV, Black Liberation mastered the contemporary language of quick, synthetic imagery. The African drums of Black Liberation propel a rush of visual metaphor. On second and third viewing, the images reveal further layers of meaning, hitherto unseen. The style is straight out and near-subliminal at once. Black Liberation grabs you bodily, and takes you to the limit.

Judged incendiary in its own time, this film was never openly distributed in the country of its origin. Prints have been circulated within the African-American community, but were never plentiful or accessible enough to meet the demand. In the Third World and Europe, Black Liberation won respect both as “The First Truly Underground Film Coming From the USA,” and as an exceptionally fine example of the cinematic art. The list of international awards would be impressive for any film, but it is stunning for a feature made primarily as an uncompromising expression of political rage and hope. Black Liberation is a prime example of how form and content can truly be worthy of one another. An explicitly political film can be a fine work of art.

Now that Hollywood has released its version of the life of Malcolm X, it is time to let the authentic voices of Black Liberation speak for themselves.”

Zoë Lund, 1997