"But there was nothing about the little, low-rambling, more or less identical homes of Northumberland Estates to interest or to haunt, no chance of loot that would be any more than the ordinary, waking-world kind the cops hauled you in for taking; no small immunities, no possibilities for hidden life or otherworldly presence; no trees, secret routes, shortcuts, culverts, thickets that could be made hollow in the middle – everything in the place was right out in the open, everything could be seen at a glance; and behind it, under it, around the corners of its houses and down the safe, gentle curves of its streets, you came back, you kept coming back, to nothing; nothing but the cheerless earth."
Thomas Pynchon, "The Secret Integration"

This is Ian Mathers' Tumblr. I live in Canada. I've written about music and other things for Stylus, Dusted, PopMatters, Resident Advisor, the Village Voice, and a few other places. Hi.

imathers@gmail.com

 

king-grandma:

sarajevomoja:

David Suzuki in this interview about facing the reality of climate change and other environmental issues from Moyers & Company.

wow this is so true

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Of course, as everything from our games to the fucked-up history of our social mores to our politics to our art tells you, if there’s one thing humans excel at, one thing that might actually separate us from other animals (although there may be counterexamples, I’d be fascinated to hear about them!), it’s that we are so excellent at treating the things we invent as if they were immutable facts of the universe.

(Which is to say I agree with Suzuki but I also kind of despair at our ability to actually, en masse, do anything along these lines?)

The biggest thing I’ve taken away from this project is something I’ll never be able to prove, but I’m convinced to my core: The lack of such a database is intentional. No government—not the federal government, and not the thousands of municipalities that give their police forces license to use deadly force—wants you to know how many people it kills and why.

It’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence. What evidence? In attempting to collect this information, I was lied to and delayed by the FBI, even when I was only trying to find out the addresses of police departments to make public records requests. The government collects millions of bits of data annually about law enforcement in its Uniform Crime Report, but it doesn’t collect information about the most consequential act a law enforcer can do.

I’ve been lied to and delayed by state, county and local law enforcement agencies—almost every time. They’ve blatantly broken public records laws, and then thumbed their authoritarian noses at the temerity of a citizen asking for information that might embarrass the agency. And these are the people in charge of enforcing the law.

There’s this mistaken idea in a lot of heroic stories that the oppressive evil villains can’t afford to kill the rebellious hero because they can’t risk turning them into a martyr. But that’s not how oppressive evil villains — or oppressive evil systems — work. They can kill without making martyrs because everyone they kill they also actively disgrace.

Thus when Ferguson, Missouri, police arrested the wrong Henry Davis then beat him bloody in a jail cell, they had to consequently thuggify him. They denied him his status as an innocent victim by charging him with a crime — four counts of property damage, because when one police officer kicked him in the head, his blood splattered onto four officers’ uniforms.

That’s a bitterly flimsy pretext for criminalizing Mr. Davis, but that’s what’s so disgraceful about this process of disgrace-ing. It doesn’t matter how flimsy or dishonest the pretext may be, it works and will keep working just as long as most people — most white people, that is — are eager to participate in the disgrace-ing and the thuggifying of innocent victims.

He “resisted arrest,” he didn’t do what he was told as quickly as he should have, he may have shoved someone, he smoked a joint, he flirted with a white girl, he broke the Sabbath and disturbed the peace. … Those are all the same thing.

One thing that’s particularly frustrating to me, as a Christian, is that it seems so many of my fellow white Christians love to imagine that they would stand beside Longinus on Calvary, saying, “Truly this man was a son of God.” Yet at the same time they’re unwilling to look upon the slain body of Michael Brown, or Trayvon Martin, or Oscar Grant, and say the same thing.