"Rising discontent at home and intensifying competition abroad, in turn, unleashed drives for expansion by political means - the politics of imperialism."

Eric Wolf describing late 19th century Europe.

Still relevant today.

"I think a national debate would be helped if we assumed that serious people were trying to achieve serious objectives and to ask what these objectives were. Not to see whether there is one act taken by some outlying CIA group."

Henry Kissinger gets angry at being reminded he’s a war criminal in an interview

Seriously, read this. He doesn’t ever get challenged and it’s nice to see him get so flustered at being reminded he’s responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands.

I know it’s cheap and petty, but the fact that STEM people can’t find academic jobs anymore is gratifying after years of their abuse about how “English degrees are worthless.”

"

This broadcasting of victims’ most vulnerable moments as sites for public commentary is not new. Indeed, victims of abuse have always been forced to recount their traumas to audiences more intent on policing their victimhood than finding justice. With YouTube and TMZ and all the rest, victim blaming extends far past simply being shunned by your immediate community – it means having your most horrific memories go viral without your consent. It means having millions of people virtually dissect your wounds, not to heal them but to decide if your injuries were bad enough for everyone to feel bad for you.

Black women are often systematically excluded from both the category of “woman” and that of “victim”. Our pain, these days as ever, can never be pure enough.

When Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna in 2009, images of her bruised face surfaced and spread across the web. Despite the female pop star’s wishes that the photos not be publicized, they were used by everyone from feminist advocates trying to make a point about Brown’s violence to someone promoting the male pop star’s concert in Sweden. People couldn’t turn away; there was something addictive about her visible agony, both as misery porn and an all-purpose rhetorical tool.

We viciously ingest every vivid detail of women’s victimization, line our stomachs with their blood and tell ourselves we’re watching because we want people to be “educated”. If only people could see enough black eyes, bloodied faces and broken ribs, the theory goes. Then they would know the truth, we tell ourselves. Only then would they care.

"

Oh Zizek.

Ha, Zizek got caught self-plagiarizing in his NYT opinion piece.

Reddit’s defense of itself was that everyone should act better and we’re disgusted by some of our subreddits, but we’ll still make money off of them. Then, to let ourselves sleep at night, we’ll pat ourselves on the back by calling it “Free speech.”

Libertarian technologists 101.

I’m reading the most naive book about the Internet and markets and I just keep saying out loud “What the hell?”

"

So I am here today, at Southern Comfort, to deliver a message. I deliver it on behalf of HRC, and I say it here in the hopes that it will eventually be heard by everyone who is willing to hear it.

HRC has done wrong by the transgender community in the past, and I am here to formally apologize.

I am sorry for the times when we stood apart when we should have been standing together.

Even more than that, I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization. What happens to trans people is absolutely central to the LGBT struggle. And as the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, HRC has a responsibility to do that struggle justice, or else we are failing at our fundamental mission.

I came here today in the hopes that we can begin a new chapter together. But I also came here to tell you the truth. We’re an organization that is evolving. We may make mistakes. We may stumble. But what we do promise is to work with you sincerely, diligently, with a grand sense of urgency, listening and learning every step of the way.

And I also want to be clear that I’m not asking you to be the ones to take the first leap of faith. That’s our job. My mom taught me that respect isn’t given, it’s earned.

"

It’s really funny to see Salon posting an article accusing Will Self of misreading Orwell when the author clearly didn’t read the piece and instead is stuck in the same useless “if we just make everything clear in politics by using clear language, we’ll clear up everything!” mindset.

Salon’s decline has been painful to watch.