Viewing posts tagged fascism

Faeces on Trump 3

Or ‘These Theses on Faeces and Fasces’

 

First some very important business.  There’s a new podcast in town, Wrong With Authority, created and starring myself and my friends, familiar to you all, Daniel Harper, James Murphy, and Kit Power.  It’s yet another movie podcast… but it’s also about History.  So that’s exciting then.  Specifically, it’s about movies about historical events, and how full of shit they are.  Our first episode is just out and it covers the movies Murder by Decree and From Hell (adapted from a graphic novel some of you may have heard of) and their relationship to the historical ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders.  Download our first episode here.  And please feel free to recommend and share.  We won't mind, I promise.

 

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As you probably noticed, the word ‘fascism’ is being thrown around a lot in response to Trump and his election.  I don’t happen to think terminological issues are unimportant.  I think this issue is worth investigating.

For instance, I agree with Phil that the term ‘alt-Right’ cannot and should not be reduced to ‘neo-Nazi’.  Just to be clear (as if I haven’t made it clear where I stand): this is not ...

Notes on Fascism

Or 'Faeces on Trump 2½'

Or 'Fasces on Trump'

 

So, a lot of people seem to be talking about fascism these days.  It's the 'next big thing' stateside, they say.  There are even some people who say it could catch on here in the UK.  So I thought I'd take a moment to have a look at it and tell you what I think.  So here goes. 

First, a disclaimer: There are many perspectives on fascism.  I've just written down mine.  I have not gone into others here which I don't agree with.  Because they're wrong, and the people who hold them WILL be punished.

Oh, and another disclaimer: Fascism shouldn’t be reified into a 'thing' that can be easily and neatly classified.  Fascism is a spectrum, not a discrete alien phenomenon.  Fascism has contained many variations which have almost as many differences from each other as they do similarities: Italian Fascism, German Nazism, Spanish Falangism, possibly even Japanese militarism (this is hotly debated and I know comparatively little about it… which is my eurocentricity showing).  Even so, certain essential common features can be delineated ...

The Award of Cruelty

Diversity and social justice issues were creeping into the Hugo Awards, or rather into the cultural artifacts they celebrate, as such issues creep into the culture generally.  It happens because people are getting more and more interested in them, more open to them, and caring more about them.  This is, by the way, the product of material struggles for recognition and equal rights by people who are marginalised by mainstream culture in the West (i.e. racist, sexist, transphobic, bourgeois-hegemonic culture).  It must be stressed that such claims are not only valid on their face but also are represented, in artistic terms, by valuable work that deserves recognition.

The Puppies saw this trend and it infuriated them.  Just as they are doubtless infuriated by any such progress, by the increasing volume of the voices they used to be able to talk over and down to with impunity, by the increasing - and increasingly recognised - validity of these voices, not only in themselves but in their abilities.  The Hugos are, the Puppies think, their turf, just as the rabble of GamerGate, and the constituency they pander to, imagine that video games are their turf.  They took ...

Shabcast 6

Shabcast 6 is now available to download or listen to here...

BUT HANG ON!

This Shabcast is an accompaniment to this month's edition of Pex Lives (download or listen here), which features the long-awaited encounter between Phil Sandifer (from off of TARDIS Eruditorum) and 'Vox Day' (from off of fascism and fucking up the Hugo Awards).

Kevin and James have kindly turned the June installment of Pex Lives over to the Sandifer/Vox Day interview, in which Phil quizzes Vox about his attitudes towards two texts, One Bright Star to Guide Them by John C. Wright (which Vox loves and Phil hates) and Iain M. Banks' The Wasp Factory (which Vox hates and Phil loves).

One Bright Star... slid into the Hugo noms on Vox Day's Rabid Puppies slate, by the way.  Hmm.

Shabcast 6 is something in the way of an 'afterparty' for Phil, in which Phil chats with myself, Kevin and James about the Vox Day interview.  Very much necessary listening.  And lots of fun.  After the serious business of the interview itself, the four of us kick back and have a chat which veers from the serious to the plain giggly ...

Emergency Anti-Fascist Shabcast 3 (Hugo Awards)

Shabcast 3 was supposed to be the second part of my discussion with Josh Marsfelder.  (Here's part 1 of that discussion.)  But events have intervened.  Now, Josh and I will carry on our talk in Shabcast 4 (hopefully out quite soon... so you'll probably get two Shabcasts this month, you lucky blighters).  Shabcast 3, meanwhile, has been devoted to an emergency, hastily-convened discussion between myself, Phil Sandifer and Andrew Hickey on the subject of the recent right-wing incursion upon the Hugo Awards.

Download Shabcast 3 here (thanks once again to the Pex Lives guys for donating their bandwidth).  We do a fair bit of fash-lambasting, and Andrew especially gives lots of background to this particular issue, but we also find time to roam and rove a bit around some related topics, such as modernism and postmodernism and geek privilege and GamerGate and "what is SFF anyway???".

Andrew and Phil have both blogged about the Hugos issue (which is why I asked them to speak to me about it), and here are some more links...

Here's Charlie Jane Anders at io9.

One of the movers behind this business is the utterly reprehensible fascist ...

Reverse Racism ('Into the Dalek' 2)

The Doctor learns that he is bigoted because he refused to accept the idea that a Dalek could be good.  Indeed, he hates Daleks so much that the one time he is prepared to even countenance the idea of a good Dalek is when he meets a Dalek which says all Daleks are evil and should die.  So he hates genocidal racists so much that the only member of that race he can think of as good is the one who says that it would be a good idea to exterminate an entire race.  But, of course, that isn't good.  That's bad.  That makes you as bad as a Dalek.  Indeed, that's Dalek-thinking.

Ironic, fairly interesting, and doubtless intentional.

But there's another interesting irony here, which probably wasn't intended.

As has been frequently pointed out, SF often falls into the trap of a race essentialism.  Alien races in SF all have the same characteristics.  The same sort of thing is true in Fantasy, and in other forms of storytelling featuring sapient non-humans.  All Vulcans are logical, all Sontarans are militaristic, all House Elves are servile, all ...

Build High

Some tumblr jottings, curated with pictures.


Modernism.  The International Style.  Mies Van Der Rohe, Le Corbusier, etc. 



A clean, white world of clean white buildings and glass boxes.  Machines for living in.  Born of the utopian hopes of early Modernism.  Destined to become the opulent apartment blocks and corporate skyscrapers of Chicago capitalism. 




Based on a dream of optimised people in an optimised world.  You had to be perfect to live in a glass box.  And the glass boxes were going to make people better, cleaner, fitter, healthier, more productive, and now this sentence is (tellingly) becoming the lyrics from that Radiohead song.  Because that’s where that kind of top-down utopianism ended up; the dream of Modernism became the malaise of late-C20th/C21st modernity. 

Prora, the elephantine Strength Through Joy holiday camp.  Nazi Butlins.


Whatever the admirable radicalism - and there is much admirable radicalism in Modernism - it culminated in a convergence with the Nazi fantasies of order and hygiene (even as the Modernists were hated and driven out by the Nazis) and, in the end, with the corporate capitalist fantasies of perfect and rational utility.  The ...

Snow Job

To me, the most striking thing about the racist Christmas card circulated by the British National Party (or the Keystone Stormtroopers, as I like to call them), is how utterly mainstream it looks.




There is clearly a racist message here because

a) it's being circulated by a racist party of fascist Nazi racist racists,

and

b) because of the oh-so-clever hidden subtext of the phrase 'white Christmas' that Cyclops/Fuhrer Dickibegyourpardonnick Griffin's reichschancellory full of political geniuses have cryptically woven into it.

But, as Metro have pointed out, it's an altered stock image, also used by thoroughly mainstream publications.

The Aryan child - pale and blonde and blue-eyed - is still the vanilla standard of beauty and innocence in the aesthetic system that capitalism calls Christmas.  Mainstream adverts and cards will engage in tokenism so as to simperingly hook in with sentimenal one-world platitudes, and sell to more than just white people, but non-white faces are still the variety sprinkled around the white standard.

It's not the young model's fault, of course.  She's just peddled her own image in a system of bodily commodification (as we all must peddle ourselves, one way or another ...

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