Good morning, Floodlings. The end of year approaches and with it, my desire to do any actual work wanes. Which is good news for the link roundup!
Of course, the big news of the week is anything and everything gilets jaunes. I mentioned the movement in the last link roundup, but since then it’s REALLY kicked off, in a very exciting way. We are compiling a longer and more structured reading list on the topic (similar to those we did on the Brazilian elections and on the race/class debate in the wake of Mistaken Identity) which is scheduled to run later this week. For now, here are two highlights: Richard Greeman’s ‘Self-organized Yellow Vest Protest Movement Exposes Inequality and Hollowness of French Regime’, and Friend of Flood Dave Eden’s ‘6 thoughts written in Brisbane on Gilets Jaunes’.
PS - I would be remiss not to mention the other, related, big news of the week: Pamela Anderson turns out to have remarkably sound and intelligent left-wing politics. It is difficult to overstate how tickled I am by this. Her guest appearance on Floodcast is pending.
From n+1, an article on a topic which is (oddly) not often discussed: Al Jazeera’s Qatari ownership. David Klion, a former editor at now-deceased Al Jazeera America, considers “the absurdity of our working for a theocratic monarchy that relies heavily on slave labor and routinely funds terrorism and extremism”, and the broader influence of Gulf monarchies on American media and politics. In particular, the recent self-flagellation of Saudi-linked US media in the wake of the Khashoggi murder has been superficial and performative: “The longer the public spends thinking about what it means that some of the world’s most repressive and inhumane countries have effectively subsidized American intellectual and political life, the less credibility and power their beneficiaries will have in the future. Apologizing loudly is expected to serve as a substitute for meaningful change.”
Overland’s recent special edition ‘If you’ve come here to help me: solidarity beyond borders’ has yielded some interesting writing on refugees and border politics in Australia. I particularly recommend this essay by Max Kaiser, on the way the left’s mentality of ‘generosity’ and ‘benevolence’ toward refugees reinforces the border-guard concept, and fails to build a broader solidarity with those whose asylum claims are denied. “We need a shift on the left,” Kaiser writes, “from seeing ourselves as alternate, only more generous and righteous, national managers to one of class-based international solidarity. If we stop ‘seeing like a state’ and start seeing like a cross-border class, it will become apparent that the right to asylum is nowhere near enough.”
In case you missed it, last week we put up a recording of a recent Radio Reversal show on populism. Flood Media regular Max Chandler-Mather, PhD scholar Audrey Courty, and Radio Reversal hosts Hannah and Natalie discuss populism as ideology, style, and strategy: who is doing it, and how and why is it (re)emerging in particular places? Guaranteed to be better than the Guardian populism quiz or your money back.
The news of another indigenous death in police custody - this time of 55-year-old Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day - is really, really shocking and horrible. The full story is here, and while it’s not at all enjoyable, I recommend reading the whole thing. Being drunk on a train is hardly uncommon (as a regular passenger on the Cleveland line I can attest to that), and even falling asleep isn’t unheard of. But because Tanya Day happened to do those things while being Aboriginal, she ended up in a police cell and never came out of it. It’s just unspeakably awful, but sadly not overly surprising these days. If you’d like, you can donate to this fundraiser supporting the families of people who have died in custody.
I realise that my comments last week celebrating the death of George H.W. Bush may have been construed as offensive, or uncaring. As a clarifying addendum, consider this: All US Presidents, Living and Dead, are War Criminals. “A nation born in genocide and slavery does not change its nature without undergoing a revolution, and the United States has not experienced such a transformation. At least half the population sees the death of millions of non-whites as “collateral damage” from America’s civilizing mission in the world: it’s “worth it.” Also, this very special obituary of the man himself.
To round off this week’s links, some glorious news: finally, finally, FINALLY: Sorry To Bother You is showing in Brisbane. For reasons unknown to me it is screening in one cinema for a grand total of four days, but four days is better than zero days, so whatever. I am going to the Wednesday night screening and am SO excited.
Until next week!