Tuesday, April 17, 2007

(art by Banksy)

Picked up the latest issue of Adbusters yesterday. Brilliant!

Rather than go into detail and yammer on, boring you to death with my opinions about why this issue in particular is so good, I’m going to post quotes from the three articles that made me buy this issue and not just read it at the newsstand.

1. The American Left’s Silly Victim Complex, by Matt Taibbi

What makes the American left silly? Things that in a vacuum should be logical impossibilities are frighteningly common in lefty political scenes. The word “oppression” escaping, for any reason, the mouths of kids whose parents are paying 20 grand for them to go to private colleges. Academics in Priuses using the word “Amerika.” Ebonics, Fanetiks, and other such insane institutional manifestations of white guilt. Combat berets in conjunction with designer coffees consumed at leisure in between conversational comparisons of America to Nazi Germany.

We all know where this stuff comes from. Anyone who’s ever been to a lefty political meeting knows the deal – the problem is the “spirit of inclusiveness” stretched to the limits of absurdity. The post-sixties dogma that everyone’s viewpoint is legitimate, everyone’s choice about anything (lifestyle, gender, ethnicity, even class) is valid, that’s now so totally ingrained that at every single meeting, every time some yutz gets up and starts rambling about anything, no matter how ridiculous, no one ever tells him to shut the fuck up. Next thing you know, you’ve got guys on stilts wearing mime makeup and Cat-in-the-Hat striped top hats leading half a million people at an anti-war rally. Why is that guy there? Because no one told him that war is a matter of life and death and that he should leave his fucking stilts at home.

2. Generation Fucked: How Britain is Eating Its Young, by Maria Hampton

Exploring the links between the “Anglo-American model of progess," consumerism, and epidemic violence and apathy among youth.

According to [the UN’s first ever report on the state of childhood in the industrialized West], which measured 40 indicators of quality of life – including the strength of relationships with friends and family, educational achievements and personal aspirations, and exposure to drinking, drug[s], and other risky behavior -- British children have the most miserable upbringing in the developed world. American children come next.

…But what if the behavior of broken British children is less a violent reaction to their inadequate pasts than calculated defiance against their hopeless futures?

…Independent think-tank Reform branded Britain’s under-35s the “IPOD generation” – insecure, pressured, over-taxed, and debt-ridden. The common perception is that today’s young have it easy. But the true position of young people is thrown into stark relief when compared to their parents, who enjoyed many advantages of which the younger generation can only dream, including a generous welfare state, free universal higher education, secure pensions, and a substantial rise in housing equity which has augmented their lifetime savings.

3. Havens (pictorial)

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics predicts that the human race will eventually split into a genetically superior upper class of intelligent elites and a dim-witted underclass…the grim side of the prediction is that our growing sense of individualism will lead to diminishment of sympathy, trust, and emotions that allow human beings to care for each other or to work in teams.

BTW, given that first article, I’ll bet on the elites' intelligence being short of extraordinarily useful, and the “underclass” ending up a little less dim-witted than he suggests. Same old same old. But we're definitely blazing down the path of the second part of the quote full bore, which is the scary.

If this whet your appetite for more, pick up Adbusters #71 at your independent newsstand or bookseller (amazing to me when looking for links for Adbusters how many people reviewing past issues bought it at Borders or Amazon) or order it at Atomic Books. It's $8.95, but that's what it costs for no ads with your propaganda.

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