A World In Crisis, The History Of Anti-Fascist Punk, And More

The world is a terrible place.

The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the United Nations was founded in 1945 with more than 20 million people in four countries facing starvation and famine, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Friday.

Stephen O’Brien told the U.N. Security Council that “without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death” and “many more will suffer and die from disease.”

He urged an immediate injection of funds for Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria plus safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid “to avert a catastrophe.”

“To be precise,” O’Brien said, “we need $4.4 billion by July.”

Pitchfork threw together a history of anti-fascist punk. My favorite is Los Pinochet Boys, who played a role in the overthrow of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Since Julian Assange is back in the news, why not dig into Andrew O’Hagan’s longform profile of Assange from a couple years back?

The president has started closing off his schedule to the press.

Kek will never be anything other than dumb, yet if you, a normal person, insist on understanding what those sub-basement dwelling fascists are memeing about, have fun!

Paste makes the case for Starship Troopers as prescient satire.

Some liberals buy into the idea that there’s an alt-left. The same people who thought faithless electors would appoint Hillary Clinton as the rightful commander-in-chief.

Something something Marxism.

How can you avoid getting your undocumented friends in trouble? Hint: don’t be self-righteous, self-centered.

This isn’t a bad departure point for inclusive movement building, either.

What would America look like without gerrymandering?

What do six dead Russian diplomats have in common? A man like Putin.

So. President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte kills children. Thousands of them.

I often wish the articles about trolls I came across were taking about Scandinavian trolls of the kind John Bauer used to draw.

See? Much better.

SXSW is just, like, about chill vibes and the music, man.

And now for some things that are the opposite of awful:
1) Send cryptograms to your friends!
2) Finding Fairytales in Everyday Russia.

It’s day fifty-one of year zero in Trump’s America…

Online Blackshirts, McCarthyists and Pony Lovers

Since I’m in the weeds of research for a couple upcoming posts, I thought I’d lighten things up a bit (lighten up here referring to a general reduction of the amount of reading and information synthesis required to make cogent points). Over the last two years I’ve been in the unfortunate position to watch someone I used to talk to with frequency change from a well-intentioned, historically aware libertarian to a proud, self-identified pro-Trump fascist. At this point I follow them on Facebook for the window they provide in to the memes of the “Deplorables”.

There’s a storied tradition of edgelordery on the Internet by the Internet. “I did it for the lulz” has been used to handwave away the consequences of shitty online behavior since Usenet. But unlike many of the mythological trickster gods whose employment of bizarre or contradictory methods was key to imparting secret knowledge through provocation, online trolls are naught more than human beings.  Psychological studies have shown that at the heart of trolling is disinhibition. Though they may use the Janus mask of online persona and irony, the best interpretation of their behavior is to take the admittedly counter-intuitive approach of treating what they have to say with some seriousness (inasmuch as it reveals something about how the troll really feels).

If most of your interactions are inside your own bubble, it can be hard to believe that what you’re looking at is real. The November Surprise may have shaken that conviction, but convictions die hard. The sampling of pages the person I follow on Facebook likes and shares I’m about to show you isn’t intended to be a GREAT REVELATION so much as to reinforce how rank the stench is in the fetid swamp of the Alt-Right.

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