Explaining Bernie Sanders

Hey gang. As promised I spent last week working on my piece on Bernie Sanders and his attempt to win the nomination for the Democratic party. Its a bit long and a little specialized in that it assumes you know a decent amount about US politics. Just to contextualize it a little bit the main thing is that his campaign was utterly improbable. To put it in terms soccer fans would understand, his odds were probably longer than Leicester City’s chances to win the Premier League. Hillary Clinton is the former first lady, US Senator and Foreign Minister (Secretary of State) who has been at the top of the Democratic Party for the last 25 years. Bernie is a total outsider who has been way to the left of the mainstream Democrats on issues such as war, social welfare and the big banks. The main point I am trying to make in this article is that if the people who supported him want to see a real left-wing politics take shape in America, they are going to have to do it outside of the Democratic Party.

You kind find my piece on the Overland website here.

A quick word on the title “Weekend at Bernie’s”. I didn’t choose it. Perhaps its a bit of an obvious choice but Weekend at Bernie’s was 1980s movie about two guys whose boss dies but they pretend he’s alive in order to meet women or something? I forget the plot. Anyway here is the trailer to the film.



Donald Trump and the Media

Bula students. I was hoping to be able to write for you guys a very comprehensive summary of the crazy 2016 race for the White House. A reality TV star and walking inferiority complex Donald Trump has emerged as the likely Republican candidate (to the horror of the party establishment, and the charisma-less 74 y.o. secular Jewish socialist Bernie Sanders has interrupted the coronation of Hilary Clinton on the Democrat side.

However I am tied this week because I have been commissioned to write and article on what Bernie Sanders should do with his volunteer database once Hillary secures the nomination. I hope you will all forgive me for not posting original content but I will be back next week.

In the meantime I have posted an article from the Daily Beast which looks at how Donald Trump has successfully played the media. I am quoted heavily in the article and even say the “F” word (so out of character I know). TO be clear I am paraphrasing Trump. Also funnily enough I gave this quote to Llyod Grove the day before TC  Winston hit. Seriously nothing felt more Apocalyptic than talking about Trump’s success with a Category 5 storm heading my way.

See the link below:


Journalist-turned-academic Olivier Jutel, who has been monitoring the progress of modern American populism from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, said Trump’s electoral success is an unintended consequence of the Republican establishment’s efforts to exploit the Tea Party movement for its own political and business purposes.

“Trump is surely the id of this Republican-far-right coalition,” Jutel emailed The Daily Beast. “He has untethered this force from Fox News and the Koch brothers who attempted to instrumentalize Tea Party foot soldiers for various reasons…

“The right-wing populists are a Frankenstein unleashed by Karl Rove and no longer under the party’s control…[Trump’s populist supporters] may well be driven by base passions, but they are not stupid. The far-right know very well that the Koch [brothers], Fox [News], Sheldon Adelson et al are using them, and they are enjoying destroying the institutions of the Republican Party. Righteous vengeance is a powerful force.”

Jutel added: “Trump is an agent of enjoyment…Through him, the far-right can enjoy the denigration of women, unvarnished xenophobia and telling China to go fuck itself. He is the crass billionaire they all wish they could be.” (The management of Fox News, no doubt, would take strong issue with Jutel’s including their “fair and balanced” cable network in this disreputable menagerie.)

Black Lives Matter and The Failure to Build a Movement.

The South Lawn

Black Lives Matter has become an embarrassment.

Even if I were not a supporter of Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination (though I wish that he would run as an independent), I would feel this way. Proof of their wholly unserious treatment of serious issues can be found in this sprawling Facebook post, replete with Beyoncé-based hashtags and all, that manages to spend hundreds of words saying nothing of note:

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 5.45.55 AM

And then there were tweets like this, which abounded social media:

For a group of people that are fond of telling people to Google It, these folks seem either unwilling or unable to find out what Bernie Sanders actually stands for. However, since I am an organizer (and part of that role is to educate), here are the facts:

  1. This was not a Bernie Sanders rally. It was a rally in favor of expanding Social Security…

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A Rihanna ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ video roundtable

Lol this really is what acdemia is like sometimes

Idiot Joy Showland

The following is the transcript of a roundtable discussion held at the offices of Damply Media in Brooklyn, to discuss the cultural importance of Rihanna’s new single ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’. The discussion brought together some of the leading thinkers in their fields for a unique evening of lively debate. PANTOPHAGIA PULPH is a digital sibyl, feminist scholar, literal goddess, and visiting professor at the Jersey Turnpike School of Media and Dentistry, and it’s not her job to educate you. ALAN GORKENBLUM is a respected economist noted for his work in developing nations, his occasional columns in the New York Times, and his influential 1994 paper ‘Could Death Squads Be Good For Freedom?’. PENCIL GLEASE is a radical leftist philosopher and the author of over fifty books, including ‘Why Breakfast Cereal Is Communism’, ‘Why Boy Bands Are Communism’, ‘Why Disneyland Is Communism,’ and ‘Why Capitalism Is Communism’. THE…

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Sociology of the Charleston massacre: White nationalism, terrorism, “lone wolves,” and gun control

The Charnel-House

Dylann Roof’s manifesto can be read here. (Update: It seems to have been removed, but you can read a full PDF version of the document here). Roof compiles a dossier of the various “races,” their putative prospects and faults. He has stuff on Jews and Hispanics — seems mostly ambivalent toward both — but it’s obvious this white nationalist fuck was mostly preoccupied with black people. The section on “blacks” takes up more than half of the document, dwarfing all the others combined. Jews and Hispanics were not the main object of Roof’s virulent hatred, and he expressed “a great deal of respect” for East Asians.

Nothing infuriates me more than white supremacists. “Last Rhodesian.” Go figure.

“Lone wolf” as organizational strategy

Anyway, this massacre is not a matter of some deranged individual. People like Dylann Roof don’t just pop up out of nowhere, in isolation…

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No tears for tankies

The Charnel-House

Amber A’Lee Frost had an article published on The Baffler yesterday, “Flakes alive! On not attending the Left Forum.” It is, among other things, a hilarious send-up of the weird, wacky, and hopelessly insular world of fringe leftist subcultures. Plus, it’s extremely well written, so I highly recommend that everyone read it.

Not everyone was pleased by Frost’s various jabs at “tankies, truthers, and tofu,” however. Unsurprisingly, her piece managed to ruffle a few feathers.  Some of the responses have been a bit more measured. Others, who were the butt of her jokes, were predictably a little less kind. But nowhere has the backlash been worse than on Stalinist Twitter: a peculiar mélange of social justice paraphernalia, Komsomol Manga, and Red Army porn. Edgy conspiracy theories — debunking the misinformation spread by the “mainstream media,” exposing government infiltrators and agents provocateurs, flagging “false flag” operations by imperialist powers…

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