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Reading: Blacking up was of a piece with ‘comedy’ that dealt in contempt

From Blacking up was of a piece with ‘comedy’ that dealt in contempt

Not the first call for WPA 2.0 but a persuasive one. The private sector is part of the problem.

Any account of what needs to be done to avoid the destitution of large parts of society must begin with confronting the prejudice that poverty is the fault of the undeserving poor. The young need to go to and stay in universities and further education colleges until the storm passes or find work on local authority job creation schemes. Higher education and councils will need to be seen as deserving of public money, if they are to help them. The Resolution Foundation and other leftish thinktanks are telling the government that the private sector on its own will not be able to revive the economy fast enough. They are proposing that the state should bail out depressed regions in their entirety and that the emergency increases in universal credit benefits, introduced in April, should become permanent. Readers who believe the Tories are evil disaster capitalists will be surprised to hear that they are getting a fair hearing, although whether this government has the competence to act on what ministers are hearing is another matter. Meanwhile, readers who believe the electorate will not cheer on a government if it turns on the victims forget the lessons of the recent past and the unshakable prejudices the 2000s displayed.

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Reading: Tom Morello Responds to Angry Fans Who Suddenly Realize That Rage Against the Machine’s Music Is Political: “What Music of Mine DIDN’T Contain Political BS?”

From Tom Morello Responds to Angry Fans Who Suddenly Realize That Rage Against the Machine’s Music Is Political: “What Music of Mine DIDN’T Contain Political BS?”

Josh Jones writing at Open Culture reports on the coming-to-political-awareness of a music fan as a beacon of a hopefully broader awareness: culture is all political.

… the disgruntled former fan is not just one lone crank who didn’t get it. Many people over the years have expressed outrage at finding out there’s so much politics in their culture, even in a band like Rage that could not have been less subtle. Many, like former lever-puller of the Machine, Paul Ryan, seem to have cynically missed the point and turned them into workout music. Morello’s had to point this out a lot. (Ditto Springsteen.)

Uncritical and numbing consumption has led to the blind belief that political statements foul the entertainment pool.

The adjective [“political’] is weaponized against art and culture that makes certain people who have power uncomfortable. Saying “I don’t like political bs in my culture” is saying “I don’t care to know the politics are there.”

If, after decades of pumping “Killing in the Name,” you finally noticed them, then all that’s happened is you’ve finally noticed. Culture has always included the political, whether those politics are shaped by monarchs or state agencies or shouted in rap metal songs (just ask Ice-T) and fought over on Twitter. Maybe now it’s just getting harder to look away.

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What I’m reading 11 Mar 2018 – 21 Apr 2018

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Morgan’s pinboard for 2 Jan 2015 through 8 Jan 2015

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on pinboard for January 10th, 2014 through January 11th, 2014

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bookmarks for August 8th, 2009