This is just a quick post. I’ve taken time from my busy morning to post this because I think that it is VERY important. A woman posted a status on Facebook that criticized the military, and said she didn’t like how military members were always trying to get discounts. For this she has received death threats and online harassment, and she was fired for her comments. Military worshipping Americans erupted in joy at the thought of this poor woman losing her livelihood because she said things they didn’t like. This is the real face of American fascist militarism. There is one particular Facebook page that has harassed her and the comments are filled with hate for this woman who never did them any wrong other than speak her mind about the ridiculous nature of military worship in the US. The name of the Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/ShitmyLPOsays?ref=ts&fref=ts
So how about giving them a taste of their own medicine? Attack the page, fill the comments section of their hateful posts up and support this woman who didn’t deserve to lose her job for speaking her mind. Down with American military worship!! Down with fascist militarism!! Down with the US military!! Down with this suppression of free speech!!
Here’s the news story:
Here are some comments from that shitty FB page so you can see the steaming pile of hate for yourself:
I’m sitting here on a Saturday night, bored and browsing the web when I saw something that got me thinking. It was a link to a Huffington Post story in which a motivational speaker talks about choosing to be a “victim or a victor”. So here is the thing that got me thinking, why is it shameful to be a victim? How does being a victor in any way mean that you cannot be a victor as well? We’ll ignore the fact that calling yourself a victor seems a little pretentious. What does it mean to stop being a victim?
Being a victim is something, obviously that we as a society seem to disdain. “Who me, a victim? No, I’m a survivor!” We shout indignantly. “I cannot, will not be a victim.” In the US especially, being a victim means that you are weak. In our Protestant “work ethic” culture, we would deign to allow ourselves the luxury of being weak. Being a victim means that we don’t take responsibility for ourselves. We’re blaming our problems on others. Let’s think about that a little more. Let’s follow that kind of logic to its natural conclusion.
Being a Victim
Are you, or have you ever been a victim? Maybe you were mugged. Maybe you were assaulted. Maybe you were abused as a child, verbally, emotionally, physically, psychologically. It doesn’t matter. In all likelihood there is or was a time in your life when you were a victim of something that shouldn’t have happened. The definition of victim is
Why should you stop being a victim? Because, a victim requires a perpetrator. The victim of a rape wasn’t violated by a rapist. (I know this is obvious, please bear with me.) The victim of an assault was an attacker. To deny a victim their victimization, is to deny the crime. It is to deny the actions of the person responsible. It is to erase the rapist’s guilt, his culpability. It goes further than individual crimes the assholes of our world want ignored. Like in the Steubenville case, there are people who don’t want crimes against humanity to be recognized. I have had enough of our culture’s silencing of victims, and I am here to make a statement of solidarity with victims the world over.
We are taught not to be victims. You suck it up, and you move on. In a sense, yes we all move on. However. If I’m the victim of a brutal religion, a brutal capitalist state, a brutal capitalist imperialism, a brutal system of abuse and heartless abject poverty that means that SOMEONE fucking caused those things. There is a REASON all of that happened to me, (and no RW freaks it wasn’t because I deserved it, it wasn’t because chance or any other inane explanation) it was because there are things that need to be changed in our society. There are people who should be held accountable for their crimes. Those who perpetuate cults, the capitalist class, abusive parents. Ignoring the victimization means ignoring the crime altogether and letting the criminal off the hook. They tell you not to be a victim because they don’t want the guilty to be brought to justice.
Good day readers, I have been busy and away from this blog for a while, but today I was compelled to write about something I saw, thanks to twitter. Before I get started, thanks for following my blog, even when I don’t post for a while. Now on to the topic of the day.
The Yomiuri Shinbun (Shinbun means newspaper in Japanese) is a right-wing newspaper that is known for its far right stance. However, the latest editorial from that fascist rag takes the cake in terms of insensitivity, historical revisionism, and blatant misogyny. In an editorial on August 2nd titled
the newspaper issued the opinion that Korean-Americans who have set up monuments to the victims of Japan’s war time sex slavery system administered by their armed forces is “distorting” the “comfort women” issue. First the paper ridiculously refers to those trying to honor the memory of those victims as “anti-Japanese” as if to be honest about history and mourn the oppressed is to hate Japan. Of course that doesn’t say much for the moral character of Japan, but leaving that alone for the moment; the newspaper is once again, like many right-wing fascists in Japan have done for decades, is trying to revise history to be one that fits their agenda, and fits with their nationalist myth making. Let’s go through some of these ridiculous claims, and see if they hold any water. Just because I’m fair like that.
They point out that the monument erected in California reads “In memory of more than 200,000 Asian and Dutch women who were removed from their homes…to be coerced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan between 1932 and 1945.” The newspaper refutes this with “The distorted and exaggerated phrases “sexual slavery” and “more than 200,000” are enough to significantly degrade the honor of Japan.”
Let’s examine those two claims. One, they are asserting that the so-called “comfort women” system was not sexual slavery. Is that true? Well, what is the definition of slavery? According to Merriam-Webster online the definition of slavery is:
“[…] it was not out of our own will, we were forced into it. I was beaten until I lost hearing. I was tortured. They didn’t see us as people, but as objects.” –Lee Ok-sun, comfort woman (as cited in Wabnitz, 2007)
Well, that certainly sounds like slavery to me. There is a colossal mountain of historical documentation that shows that these women were forced into sexual slavery in service to the Japanese Imperial Army. There are journal articles upon newspaper articles upon photos and government papers and reports and on and on and on that verifies the reality of the sexual slavery of these women. Yet apparently the Yomiuri doesn’t let a little history deflect them from “upholding the honor of Japan,” Those honoring the victims of that horrible fascist government aren’t dishonoring Japan, those who built the “comfort women” system of sex slavery are the ones who dishonored Japan. That’s like claiming the witnesses of a murder are more guilty of killing because they reported it. It’s cognitive dissonance on crack.
Ok, so let’s examine the second claim, that being that 200,000 sex slaves is an exaggeration. Let’s turn again to an academic source for that.
This is, oddly, not a post about politics. I was sitting here at home procrastinating, (one of my favorite activities actually) when I stumbled across a buzzfeed article posted to facebook about how society is doomed. The photos in the post were all people staring into their smartphones, instead of watching and interacting with the life happening around them. Now I am, as many of my followers will no doubt be aware of, a social media fiend. I love facebooking, tweeting, blogging and surfing the web. On my smartphone I have apps and games and news and more news and more apps and more games.
I realized looking at these photos, that I am the one they’re talking about. Sure, technology has brought the world closer together. It has opened the doors of knowledge, made information more accessible. It has challenged governments, held capitalists to account, captured riots, protests and revolutions. However, maybe we stick our heads a little too deeply into the new technological rabbit hole. Around us there are sunrises, sunsets, babies, dogs. children, laughter, music, and we miss so much when we have our heads stuck in our precious electronic devices.
Now, I am not admonishing anyone here but myself really. Not that I’m the only one who does this, but I am submitting a bit of a self-criticism here. When I was a kid (oh god, now I’m going to sound old) we didn’t have the internet, at least not in my house. We didn’t make youtube videos, we went outside and played. We didn’t watch youtube videos, we watched Saturday morning cartoons. Photos were kept in boxes, memories filed away, until the time they would be taken out, and gingerly flipped over, one by one to recall love, birthdays, future dreams now past, family, memories. Maybe with all this technology we’ve forgotten a little bit what the important things are.
Eating, riding the train and sitting at home with my family, I more often than not find myself buried in my phone. Tweeting, reading, posting, playing. Right beside me my children are growing up, the sun is shining, the wind blowing and I’m missing it.
The other day I was riding the train, and like I normally do, I was tweeting and listening to music. I stopped for a moment, and took out my ear buds. I looked up and saw the city rolling by, the green fields of Saitama, Japan, the narrow twisting neighborhood roads leading off into the horizon, children hula-hooping, dogs running, people going off to work. I heard the sounds of life happening around me, saw the vitality that is humanity. I’m not saying tweeting, facebooking or using your smartphone is bad, but maybe, once in a while, we should try just a little bit more, to live in the moment.
I want to talk to you today about a special four letter word. This world is cynical, it is tired and jaded, snarky and rude. However, this word represents all that is good about humanity. It is inspiration, aspiration, optimism and just not giving up. Hope springs eternal? Or does it?
I remember back to 2008 when everyone was all excited about the election of Obama. Hope and change were on everyone’s lips, like he would be a savior for a dying world. Of course he wasn’t. He turned and hired Goldman Sachs, and firmly tied his lot in with the capitalist class. The financial crisis spread around the globe, and many many lost their homes. Meanwhile we were still fighting two wars overseas for no good reason, and the Koch brothers and Walton families around the world kept laughing all the way to the bank, the bank of course in the process of receiving billions from the US government for their punishment for having royally fucked up. Meanwhile, millions were still losing their homes, their jobs, their hope.
Here we are some 5 years later. Have things gotten better? No, not really. While most of the troops are home from Iraq, that country is still plagued with sectarian violence. Afghanistan has been an abject failure as well, of course. Gitmo stays open, the prisoners in there trying to starve themselves to death in protest of the US’s horrific treatment of men who have never been tried with even one crime, but whom stay in prison still as time rolls on.
Poverty up, jobs still down. They announce with glee that the unemployment rate is down, but conveniently forget all those who have fallen off that list, those who have given up looking for a decent job. People work their fingers to the bone just to survive, and it just isn’t enough. In the richest country on earth, millions go without proper medical care. We keep spreading fake democracy all the while we shit on it at home.
So what is there to hope for? What is there to yearn, look and work for? Things look bleak, it seems like the world will only get worse, not better. However, I’m here to tell you that there is one way, one way that we can throw off despair, that we can change the world.
There is a way we can hope again.
Anger. That’s right. I’m telling you to get angry. Get angry at the fact that the CEO of the company makes millions while you try to survive on a pitiful wage. Get angry at the hundreds of thousands of deaths and the trillions wasted in two unneeded and illegal wars. Get angry at the fact that the Europeans have gutted Africa of her resources. Get mad at the child labor still going on today. Get angry at the fucked up system that has more than 2 million Americans behind bars, mostly for minor drug offenses. Get angry at the fact that your government doesn’t represent you, but represents those with money. Get angry get angry get angry. I want the whole world to erupt with rage against a fucked up capitalist class that refuses to listen to the cries of the oppressed.
You may wonder what anger has to do with hope. They seem, not well suited for each other, I beg to differ. Anger means that you feel powerless at a system that seeks to crush your soul. Anger means that you realize you are oppressed and poor, unimportant t0 government. Your anger means you’re paying attention. The world has to change, an unchanging world scares me worse than a world that is getting worse. Apathy is a plague. It’s time to stamp that apathy out.
I have hope, hope that the humans on this earth are getting fed up with an unequal, unfair and irresponsible world system. People are tired of greed and corruption. People are tired of being worried.
Can the world rise up and challenge this system? I do believe it can. However, don’t wait until the next financial crisis to launch a revolution, start now studying, working and waiting. Start organizing. Get involved in a Marxist political party. Fight for equality. Talk to people about what’s wrong with the world. Don’t be afraid of making them angry. Provoke people to thought.
Is revolution possible? No, it is imperative. Can the world working class work together to bring down capitalism? Can they get angry enough to do something about it? I sure hope so.
Debt has killed another person as news reports have come out telling the story of a Mr. Anthony Breeze, age 36, who being 1,600 GBP in debt set himself on fire after suffering from harassment from loan sharks trying to get him to repay a debt that was out of his control. Press TV reports that he was taken to a hospital where they reported burns over 76% of his body, but the doctors were unable to save him, and he perished. Press TV also reports that payday loans in the UK have interest rates as high as 200%, preying on the poor and desperate, and further ruining their lives. The only way to alleviate this scourge of debt and hopelessness is a complete change, a systemic overhaul, a revolution. Too many have already died under the shackles of debt and capitalism, it is time to build a better world.