THE 2010 PERSON OF THE YEAR: BRADLEY MANNING

Rape, murder, lies, sex, war, carnage, leakage- the past 12 months have had all of this and more in common with, well, every other year in this, the 2010th year in the Gregorian Calendar. But because list are comforting and things must be compartmentalized, quantified, ruminated on, and debated- and because Time magazine FUCKS this shit up every year, I offer you the 2010 No Cure For That Person of the year award.

But first, some dishonorable mentions:

Tony Hayward for being the arrogant face and voice of a willfully negligent environmental terrorist of a corporation who presided over the largest environmental disaster in US history and one of the largest PR disasters in world history. You are free to enjoy your dishonorable mention now that you have your life back.

Pat Robertson for, in addition to just being a windbag-o-douche- stating that the Haiti earthquake was the result of Haiti making a deal with the devil.

Pope Benedict, for your continued efforts at shielding priests from criminal prosecution and allowing them to wear the cloth after you knew they raped and molested children, here is wishing I am wrong in my opinion about the non-existence of an afterlife and that hell does in fact exist with Beelzebub saving an eternal seat for at table with Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacey.
It is hard to give your heroes a dishonorable mention, but Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, for throwing a massive rally against rallies and protest against protest a Slactivist festival that hold high the Kid Rock Ethos of “the world is really awful but there is nothing we can do about it” I declare that the 2 kings of Comedy Central go directly to jail and do not pass go.

There are more, easy targets for dishonorable mention of course; Sarah Palin, Lebron James and the father of that Indonesian 2 year old baby who was smoking a pack a day come quickly to mind, but let us now shine a light on some of the most positive movers and shakers of 2010:

Honorable mention must go to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Laying bare the lies governments tell us that lead us to and keep us in a state of perpetual war makes you a hero on this list even as the likes of Sarah Palin calling for you to be hunted down like Osama bin Laden. WikiLeaks is said to be taking precautions in the light of such threats, but if we were going to hunt him down like Osama, it would appear that his life is not in that much danger after all. And while I think he could do away with his Ray Ban sponsorship deal he still earns a place high on this year’s Person of the Year honorable mention.

Lady Gaga also deserves honorable mention, not only for achieving fame while artistically de-constructing the fame monster culture we live in, but for using her celebrity status to advocate for gay rights and the abolishment of DADT. Even if her motivation is to overtake Madonna and Barbara Streisand on the iPod playlists of gay men all over the world, the ends (methinks) justify the means.

Allison Kilkenny and Jamie Kilstein, the married couple DIY independent media power couple get high praise for their work this year. She a journalist and he a comedian and together the hosts of the only podcast I actually listen to – you should all run right now to citizenradio.com to subscribe to their show to find out why G Gordon Liddy once told Allison why her writing wants to make him vomit and why Jeneane Garafolo described Jamie comedy as a cross between George Carlin and Bill Hicks. Pull yourself away from corporate media mouthpieces and listen to what true independence sounds like. You will not be disappointed, I promise.

This person of the year however, goes to Bradley Manning.

Displaying the courage, hearts and brains to pull back the curtain and show us much more than the menacing Wizard of OZ, Private First Class Bradley Manning allegedly (so this award must come with an asterisk, until his suspected involvement is confirmed) is the reason why Secretary of State Clinton, among other high-ranking officials, are scrambling to mend fences.  But exposing the machinations behind the hegemonic homicidal foreign policy of the United States goes well beyond any dream like dorethean allegory. Because, while it is true that we are no longer in Kansas, to stretch the boundaries of the Wizard of Oz metaphor, life in the post nuclear era is never so simple as clicking our heels together and awaking from a dream.

Private First Class Bradley Manning is now in jail, charged with illegally copying classified documents.

Manning said he hoped the release of the videos and documents would lead to “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms”.

In fact, the ongoing discussion that will not die down anytime soon as a result of Manning’s actions are challenging Americans to face is a deeper meaning behind the phrase “there’s no place like home.”

Dear Jon Stewart, What is a peace loving pinko commie fag to do?

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originally published October 4th

Dear Mr. Stewart:

I am one of the growing legion who plan on attending the Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30th, and my hopes are high. Why? Because I am going insane and I would like very much thank you to have my sanity restored.

And because the world we live in, the unfolding 21st century with America behind the wheel is currently in a slow motion suicide; a tragedy fit for Shakespeare, or at the very least-a new Showtime series. And in Shakespeare, it is often the court jesters who exhibit the most wisdom. On Showtime it dope dealing single Mom’s. As appealing as Mary Louise Parker is on weeds, I doubt future generations will be gleaning life lessons from the “Tao of Nancy Botwin.”

So, I’m hoping, Mr.Stewart, that you are onto something as wise – and as funny, as a Shakespearean fool.

Even though my political leanings and yours tilt the same direction, Mr. Stewart, I am going insane. Why? Even just reading the news on a regular basis, and skipping the hyperbolic commentary from the talking head performance artists employed by the FUX news network is enough to make one insane.

For example-take the recent story about US Soldiers in Afghanistan who allegedly keep the fingers from Afghan civilians they had killed as war trophies.

Now, many people will say, you know, that war is ugly. These things happen in war. Don’t criticize the soldiers you pinko commie fag or the next time I see you on the street I will rip your trachea out, put it on a kabob, BBQ it and feed it to your mom! Soldiers fight and die to preserve our way of life-if they want a few fingers then hell, let them take fingers, toes,let them have all the Temporomandibular joints they want!

To which I respond, have you ever had BBQ’d TRACHEA? And, oh, bye the bye, the idea that soldiers fight and die to preserve our way of life has about as much veracity as the combined myths of the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, and of since the end of WW2, war-covert, overt or otherwise, is the default setting for the US.

Making us a society living in denial. A homicidal denial that has made us – according to your arguments, a very rich people unbothered by the blood on our hands. Is that who really are? A nation of MacBeth’s married to Martha Stewart, with enough products at our disposal to wash all the blood from our hands. “Out Out damn spot?” No problem! Guilt free world domination and a living room ready for a pictorial spread in next months’ Architectural Digest.

So, what is a peace loving pinko commie fag to do? Take to the streets, like they did in the 60s? What did the 60s teach us? After they killed Kennedy Malcolm Martin and Kennedy again, what happened? All those baby boomer hippies put their tails between their legs, got hair cuts, went to work for Wall Street or pharmaceutical firms, getting rich off of creative complex derivative markets and Viagra.

And all of this time US foreign policy has been much the same. Whether it be Jimmy Carter or George Bush in the White House, since Fat Man paid a visit to Hiroshima the underlying assumptions that govern the US role in the world (i.e., – the world is a bad place that needs a cop, and that the US – not the UN or some other coalition-is the only force with the will and moral authority to act as this cop) has not been challenged by many elected officials and by exactly zero Presidents.

And it is this foreign policy-not the fact that Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton walk the red carpet panty-less, that has made radical Islam our enemy. And that is why some of us here on the left have lost our sanity. As distasteful and insane as Rev. Wright can sound, the chickens are indeed coming home to roost.

It has been suggested to me that your call, Mr. Stewart, for a restoration of sanity (equally calling out the extreme elements on the left and the right) is a truly subversive gesture. That reality and sanity, as you have said, have a liberal bias. That the true moderates, the people you affectionately refer to as the “busy majority” want calm dialogue, will become progressives, if given the opportunity to actually have that dialogue.

Or are you just doing this for the ratings?

I suppose to have any kind of effect at all you’ll need both the former and the latter.

- Davis Fleetwood.
October 4, 2010

Will Sanity Be Restored and Fear Be Kept Alive?

By David Swanson. this article originally appeared on Let’s try Democracy
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“It’s not meant to ridicule activism,” Jon Stewart tells NPR, speaking of his planned rally on the National Mall. But you can see where someone might have gotten that impression. In the video of Stewart’s announcement of the event, he rejects crazy right wing ideas and the idea that Bush allowed 9-11 to happen; he condemns right wing lunacy and the idea that Republicans oppose providing healthcare; he denounces lies and fascism plus daring to accuse war criminals of being war criminals. Stewart opposes activist messages and their messengers.

The problem seems to be, not so much accuracy as inappropriateness and volume. You should not shout anything or say “war criminal,” but you especially should not shout “war criminal!”

Yet such a position cannot avoid the substance of the matter. Assuming that the United States, as is well documented, has been fighting illegal wars, imprisoning, torturing, and murdering, how “sane” can it be to reject any discussion of war criminals — or, for that matter, to allow Tony Blair to come on your program and tell you the United Nations authorized the invasion of Iraq?

If our government is, uniquely among wealthy countries, denying people healthcare, shouldn’t we talk about that? How “sane” can it be to always seek out the middle ground and believe whatever propositions lie halfway between advocacy for peace and justice and advocacy for glorified racist ignorance and corporatism?

Stewart rejects as insane the idea that Bush allowed 9-11 to happen, whether that idea is whispered or shouted. Yet Bush was warned of the possible attack and did nothing, after having refused to prioritize the matter and after having rejected opportunities to bring bin Laden to trial, which would not have pleased the Saudis.
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