Awesome Native American grandmothers capture and burn white supremacist’s Nazi flag
09.25.2013
10:08 am

Topics:
Heroes
Race

Tags:
Nazis
Native Americans

grandmothers
 
You may have recently heard of Leith, North Dakota, the town of only 24 people currently at risk of Nazi takeover, because apparently the middle of the goddamn country now contains a rip in space-time, leading directly to Poland in 1939. An opportunistic white supremacist has been buying up land in Leith with the express intent of organizing a “white nationalist intentional community.” (I’d argue a lot of those already exist more discreetly in the gated communities of America, but I digress.)

Obviously, there has been some push-back from Leith citizens, including Bobby Harper, the one black guy in town, who’s clearly the most patient and laid-back man alive. But a town of 24 people isn’t the most intimidating mob, so friends and allies from nearby towns have shown up in support, most notably the above crew of Lakota and Dakota grandmothers, who stole and burned a swastika flag in protest. You have to admit, there is some serious irony in attempting to create a Nazi town in a state that shares a name with the indigenous people who lived there prior to the arrival of Europeans.

Check out the video below for Bobby Harper and his wife, who now live right behind white supremacists.
 

 
Via Last Real Indians

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
Trans teen homecoming queen is being mercilessly bullied on YouTube


 
Over the weekend, the sweet story of Cassidy Lynn Campbell, a trans teenager from Huntington Beach, CA, who was elected homecoming queen during a high school football game made the news. A feel good video from a local news channel shot at the game showed Cassidy crying tears of joy as her friends rushed down from the bleachers to surround her with a group hug.

It was a very moving sight and one that warmed the hearts of many—but not all—of those who watched the clip on YouTube.

And now, predictably, the trolls have moved in, leaving hateful, shitty transphobic comments picking on Cassidy and really cruelly bullying and mocking her. At a time that should be the happiest time in her life, these assholes have nearly caused this kid to have a breakdown. Doing what many teens would do in this situation, Cassidy took to YouTube and recorded a tearful rebuttal to the haters.

It’s sad to watch. Her pain is visceral. Her anguish is obviously very, very real.

The comments, well, they’re horrifying. How could anyone be proud of themselves for causing a kid this kind of pain?

Perhaps you’d like to take a minute from your day and leave Cassidy a message of support?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Nick Cave doesn’t want MTV Awards’ nomination for ‘Best Male Artist’ of 1996
09.17.2013
10:25 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Nick Cave
MTV Music Awards


 
Nick Cave’s polite, yet firm 1996 letter to MTV event organizers following his nomination for “Best Male Artist” for that year’s MTV Music Awards.

21 Oct 96

To all those at MTV,

I would like to start by thanking you all for the support you have given me over recent years and I am both grateful and flattered by the nominations that I have received for Best Male Artist. The air play given to both the Kylie Minogue and P. J. Harvey duets from my latest album Murder Ballads has not gone unnoticed and has been greatly appreciated. So again my sincere thanks.

Having said that, I feel that it’s necessary for me to request that my nomination for best male artist be withdrawn and furthermore any awards or nominations for such awards that may arise in later years be presented to those who feel more comfortable with the competitive nature of these award ceremonies. I myself, do not. I have always been of the opinion that my music is unique and individual and exists beyond the realms inhabited by those who would reduce things to mere measuring. I am in competition with no-one.

My relationship with my muse is a delicate one at the best of times and I feel that it is my duty to protect her from influences that may offend her fragile nature.

She comes to me with the gift of song and in return I treat her with the respect I feel she deserves — in this case this means not subjecting her to the indignities of judgement and competition. My muse is not a horse and I am in no horse race and if indeed she was, still I would not harness her to this tumbrel — this bloody cart of severed heads and glittering prizes. My muse may spook! May bolt! May abandon me completely!

So once again, to the people at MTV, I appreciate the zeal and energy that was put behind my last record, I truly do and say thank you and again I say thank you but no…no thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Cave

Via Letters of Note and Nick Cave Online

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Batman and Captain America rescue a cat
09.10.2013
07:24 am

Topics:
Animals
Heroes

Tags:
Batman
Cats
Captain America

sdfghjklkjhgf
 
Firefighters were surprised to find they were beaten to the scene of a fire in Milton, West Virginia, on Saturday, by Batman and Captain America.

Dressed in their iconic costumes, the two superheroes were making quick work of rescuing a cat trapped in the house by the fire.

Batman and Captain America gave their secret identities as John Buckland and Troy Marcum, two local men who had been dressed in costume for an event at the nearby American Legion Post, where they had been teaching children “positive lessons.”

When Captain America and Batman saw the smoke billowing from the house, they quit the class, and ran straight towards the burning house, in a bid to rescue anyone inside.

Buckland had been a firefighter, before starting his Hero 4 Higher business, had also worked as a firefighter when stationed in Iraq.

The dynamic duo burst open the front door (KA-POW!!). Entered the building (RRRIIFF!!). Smashed open a window (CRASSSH!!!). Realized no-one was home (“What the…!?!”). Then Batman “grabbed something furry” (THHHWWWPPPTT!!). Before the two heroes made their speedy exit (WHOOOOSSSHHH!!).

The bundle of fur turned out to be the household’s cat, which Batman resuscitated on the grass outside. Having been saved from a near cat-astrophe, the fiery feline could only hiss at the superhero saviors.
 

 
Via WCHSTV, H/T Arbroath

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
The best thing EVER: Workers rights flash mob breaks out in Wal-Mart
09.06.2013
11:03 am

Topics:
Class War
Dance
Heroes
U.S.A.!!!

Tags:
pro union


Boy are they ready!

This is a moment of true greatness, the best thing you’ll see all day. This shit takes flight:

September 5th, 2013, Raleigh, NC - As Walmart workers petition managers to reinstate employees who have been unfairly treated, a flash mob breaks out.

I wish I’d have witnessed this in person, but it’s thrilling just to see it on YouTube. The participants must have felt fantastic afterwards.

The deer-in-the-headlights looks the managers have on their mugs is priceless!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Charles Bukowski’s F.B.I. file
09.03.2013
09:40 am

Topics:
Books
Heroes
Literature

Tags:
Charles Bukowski
F.B.I.

wokubsetondlonam 
 
In 1968, Charles Bukowski became a person of interest to the F.B.I. because of his writing for an underground newspaper.

Bukowski wrote a scurrilous and highly entertaining column, “notes of a dirty old man” for Open City. This column caused enough offense to the Postal Services and the F.B.I. that there was an investigation into the life and morals of the literary mailman.

What emerges from the 113-page file is a portrait of a man who was regularly absent from work, who enjoyed a drink, was considered a “draft-dodger”, and was once married to “Jane S. Cooney”—the “Jane” of many of his most heartfelt poems. Nothing new there. Though the finks at the F.B.I. did add their own literary pique by describing Bukowski’s work as “highly romanticized.”

Read the whole document here.
 
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Via bukowski.net, h/t Open Culture
 
More pages from Buk’s FBI File, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Crass co-founder Steve Ignorant is keeping the seas safe as a volunteer lifeboatman
09.03.2013
07:57 am

Topics:
Heroes
Punk

Tags:
Crass
Steve Ignorant

Steve Ignorant
 
The folks from Crass have settled in to quieter (though certainly not apolitical) lives, and understandably so. Dedicating so much of yourself to producing and living activist art definitely takes a toll, sometimes quite literally—the fees incurred in defending 1981’s Penis Envy from obscenity charges cost them a pretty penny. On top of money and legal troubles, their elaborate political hoaxes began to render them a more visible target for political enemies, and there were disagreements within the group that started to splinter them, politically (most notably, not every member was committed to pacifism). And of course, they’d always intended to split sometime in 1984, anyway.

At first glance, it appears singer Steve Ignorant retired to a quaint, seaside village. He’s kept busy with new projects, but why move to the country if you’re not going to relax? Apparently Steve’s not much for relaxing. He actually volunteers to drop everything at the sound of a beeper, drive to the shore, take a boat to wherever a potential emergency might be, and if need be, save people from drowning. Ignorant takes his responsibility incredibly seriously, openly admitting to the fear he feels every time he’s called up for duty, and though his colleagues seem to have an inkling of his radical punk rock past, it appears he’s appreciated as a valuable member of the team, first and foremost.
 

 
Via BBC News Magazine

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
‘They’ll Be Laughing in Moscow and Beijing’ over Scotland Yard’s idiotic Snowden blunder


 
British Labour MP Tom Watson wrote a scathing must-read essay for nsfwcorp.com on L’affaire Miranda and the news that some boneheads from Scotland Yard thought getting all heavy at The Guardian offices was, like, a good idea:

We still don’t know the full circumstances surrounding David Miranda’s detention at Heathrow airport but I think we probably know enough to conclude that: a) he is not a terrorist and b) it is not a coincidence that he is Glenn Greenwald’s partner.

I think that we can also usefully assume that the spooks did not find enough to detain David Miranda under any UK law and that Greenwald and The Guardian are not dumb enough to forget to make copies of the files that prove illegal state surveillance.

The spooks are not going to get the NSA files back; that genie is well and truly out of the bottle. So why do it? The conclusion must be, as Greenwald speculates, that we were just roughing up his boyfriend in order to psyche him out. I am no Carrie Mathieson but I think the wrong case officer is in charge of this investigation if they think this will shut Greenwald up. He thrives on this stuff. The UK intelligence services have created a global audience for the spectacle of him beating them with a big stick of indignant rebuke.

And they have horrified people across Westminster who know the “inside.” As a former defence minister I have authorised special forces to conduct hostage rescues, covert military entry to foil terrorist plots, as well as approved nuclear submarines to travel to places you do not want to know. So I think I can assess an ill-conceived plan when I see one. And this was a howler.

LOL! Real Tom Watson’s full editorial at nsfwcorp.com
 

 
Thank you Michael Backes of Los Angeles, California!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
On the first anniversary of the Pussy Riot conviction, August 17


 
This is a guest editorial by Hunter Heaney, executive director of The Voice Project, a US-based NGO that has raised over $100,000 for support and safety monitoring efforts for the imprisoned members of Pussy Riot.

They were tired of their rights being stripped away. Tired of their government not representing them any more. Tired of ultra right-wing policies that seemed to be driven by oligarchs and secret concentrations of wealth divorced from the needs of everyday citizens and oppressive to those with less political power in the current plutocracy that seems and acts more and more intimidatingly, more authoritarian every day.

So they sing. In public. They raise their voices as a way to express the basic human right to be heard by those would purport to govern them. And for that they are arrested. Sounds familiar.

It’s not Pussy Riot.

It’s not Russia.

It’s America.

The Solidarity Singers and the Raging Grannies gather every weekday at the Wisconsin state house to sing. They are trying to express their feelings about Governor Scott Walker and the run amok right-wing policies their state seems to be implementing at ALEC’s behest. And the powers that be are having none of it. Not only are the singers being arrested, but so are the spectators, just for attending, just for watching, just for reporting on it. And remember this is all happening in the public space of the state capitol building, the people’s building, the people’s property.

Free speech? Free press? The right to peaceably assemble? Not so much in Russia, not so much in Wisconsin, not so much in a lot of places these days.

Welcome to the modern world, welcome to modern America. Bit by bit we’ve lost the things we held dear. We’ve slowly let the freedoms we were so proud of, that were associated with our dream of this country, be disappeared like an extraordinary rendition to Guantanamo.  No trial, no explanation, just a black bag over the head. Habeas corpus is just a thing we once had, or we thought we had. An effective free press, well, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert remind us every weeknight where that’s gone (and they help us laugh to keep us from sinking into a national depression).

We’re surveilled like something out of the pages of Orwell, propagandized like scenes from V for Vendetta with fear campaigns like The War on Terror, beaten and pepper sprayed for peaceful protests, resigned to our running jokes about how Congress seems to have now abandoned even the facade of representing the people in favor of the supranational corporations and the 1% who finance their campaigns and their lives.

And the poor, well, forget about them. At least that seems to be the hope anyway. How much have you personally heard about one in four kids in this country being on food stamps now? Pensions being stripped away from those who worked and saved for them, just like George Carlin predicted they would be? It happens now through “strategic municipal bankruptcies” and other financial and legal maneuvers. It starts with carefully planned campaigns hatched by conservative think-tanks that talk endlessly about “entitlements.” Isn’t that clever?

We are now a shadow of our former selves. The “Greatest Generation” are dying. My dad was one. There are a few left, but they must not be impressed by what they see, what we are doing with what they fought for. Some of them certainly know that in no universe of realistic thought does Scott Walker’s Wisconsin or our modern America respect the sentiments they held dear enough to defend. They’re codified in Wisconsin’s State Constitution as:

“Every person may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right, and no laws shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.”

and

“The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

No wonder the dystopian-future fantasies are so popular at the box office, they must ring true, or maybe they let us think it’s not quite so bad right now in comparison. But make no mistake, we’re there, welcome to Dystopia. You’re soaking in it. Sometimes I think we’ll wake up from it all—take the red pill.  It does seem to be happening in other places around the world, like Gezi Park and the streets of São Paulo, even if the dissent suppression machines seem stronger than ever.
 

 
Here in America though, I often think we’re just like slow boiling frogs, nodding off to sleep while the heat is steadily turned up, too late realizing what happened as things fade to black. Hopeless and specious tropes about how protest songs don’t matter anymore appear to have even some musicians convinced, and seem to signal our giving up. And that’s when I give thanks for Pussy Riot, for the Solidarity Singers, for the Raging Grannies. Let the armchair quarterbacks debate their musical quality or performance characteristics or predict the demise of protest singing. While they’re at it perhaps spoken and written words, literature, ideas and the rest of the humanities should be thrown in there too.

Of course there are ideas and words and performances that matter, like “I Have a Dream” or “We Shall Overcome” or “Redemption Song” or yes, “Punk Prayer” that will speak truth to power, that will inspire, that provide aid and succor to those who will resist. The Solidarity Sing-Alongs are to me without a doubt among the most important performances taking place today. Same with the 40-second performance that landed Pussy Riot in labor camps for two years.

Content matters. Ideas matter. So Pussy Riot is my band. The Raging Grannies are my band and the Solidarity Singers, too. They’ve inspired me to write this, and I’m going to go check and see if some friends want to join me in supporting these singers and what’s going on in Wisconsin.

When members of Pussy Riot were here in New York this past spring, they stayed over and we had some long talks. “Shaiba” said, “It feels like we’re building this great mafia around the world, friends everywhere.” I hope so. I think this is the way it’s going to need to work if we’re ever going to stage a comeback here. We’re going to need to look out for each other, work with each other in the face of great concentrations of power. Some say the key will be localism, a renewed reliance on our geographically proximate communities, but I sometimes worry an overzealous application of these ideas as a solution may lead to isolationism. I believe we’ll need to help each other, even across great distances and divides.

Helotism” is a word I learned from Pussy Riot. Worth checking out the etymology on that one. One of the many things I learned from the girls. These are the kinds of things I’m remembering today, that I’m thinking about on this anniversary. That we can learn from each other, help each other, that we can stick together, we can make songs matter and turn ideas into action, that we can inspire each other, and we can decide to lay down and take it… or not.

Hunter Heaney is executive director of The Voice Project, a US based NGO that has raised over $100,000 for support and safety monitoring efforts for the imprisoned members of Pussy Riot.

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Is this the single best segment of ‘The Colbert Report’ ever? It very well might be!
08.15.2013
09:56 am

Topics:
Heroes
Queer
Television
U.S.A.!!!

Tags:
Stephen Colbert


One of the most eloquent men in America.

Stephen Colbert is a national treasure, we all know it, and this is perhaps the single best segment that I have ever seen on The Colbert Report.

Huffington Post said that it’s likely to leave you in tears and that’s most certainly true, but this is also absolutely hysterically funny. It’s a cute, sweet, feel-good tale, but when you see the preacher with the oxygen container, well, it goes into the comedic stratosphere after that. The producers and writers, and Stephen Colbert himself, of course, deserve a standing ovation.

I don’t really need to describe this to you, do I? Just hit play and meet Mayor Johnny Cummings of Vicco, Kentucky and the many wonderful people who live in his town (If you are blocked from the Comedy Central link, here it is on YouTube).
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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