Tag Archives | Alternatives

Chris Hayes: Glamorizing and Justifying War with the Term ‘Hero’

Decoration DayVia Alternet:

It’s sure to be a little bit controversial but it’s an extremely salient point: Chris Hayes, when discussing the meaning of Memorial Day, admitted that he feels “uncomfortable” calling deceased soldiers heroes. Not because they’re not heroes, but because the term lionizes and glamorizes war. Hayes discussed how he feels “uncomfortable” with the term:

I feel … uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.

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A Paean to Masochism: A New Philosophy of Life

Painful PleasuresVia Adequacy:

First of all, let us ask “What is masochism?”

Many people seem to think masochism is just a desire for pain. But it is so much more than that. Certainly pain is a large part of it – whether it be emotional or physical. Pain is inflicted through domination. The whip doesn’t just lash you, it dominates you, and brings a new awareness. Thigh high leather boots grinding into your face don’t merely inflict pain, but a value system too. Pain is the grease that lubricates the passage of higher types of civilized behaviour, values and ideas. I would define as masochistic any person, body, institution, country, whatever, that welcomes being dominated and taken over by another, and even seeks it out.

Why would a body want such a thing? Well, if one accepts that it is impossible to get anywhere in life without learning from another, we can see that already our culture is quite masochistic—we regularly herd the youngest into “schools” where they have their minds invaded and shaped.

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Ron Paul Going Full Force to Republican National Convention (Video)

Via RT:

Ron Paul is the candidate that continues to be ignored by the mainstream media, but he is still in the game. The Texas congressman and his supporters continue to push towards the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, but many doubt Paul’s delegate strategy will give him the GOP nod. So what can we expect from Paul at the RNC? Brian Doherty, senior editor at Reason.com, joins us with more on Paul’s new strategy heading to the RNC.

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Legal Highs Making The Drug War Obsolete

Abnormal Cannabidiol StructureVia Mind Hacks:

If you want any evidence that drugs have won the drug war, you just need to read the scientific studies on legal highs.

If you’re not keeping track of the ‘legal high’ scene it’s important to remember that the first examples, synthetic cannabinoids sold as ‘Spice’ and ‘K2′ incense, were only detected in 2009.

Shortly after amphetamine-a-like stimulant drugs, largely based on variations on pipradrol and the cathinones appeared, and now ketamine-like drugs such as methoxetamine have become widespread.

Since 1997, 150 new psychoactive substances were reported. Almost a third of those appeared in 2010.

Last year, the US government banned several of these drugs although the effect has been minimal as the legal high laboratories have over-run the trenches of the drug warriors…

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Waiting For Armageddon (Video)

Via Waiting For Armageddon:

Americas 50-million strong Evangelical community is convinced that the worlds future is foretold in biblical prophecy — from the Rapture to the Battle of Armageddon. This astonishing documentary explores their world — in their homes, at conferences, and on a wide-ranging tour of Israel. By interweaving Christian, Zionist, Jewish and critical perspectives along with telling archival materials, the filmmakers probe the politically powerful — and potentially explosive — alliance between Evangelical Christians and Israeli alliance that may set the stage for what one prominent Evangelical leader calls World War III.

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#NoNATO: Breaking The Cycle And Building A Better World

Truman Signing North Atlantic Treaty

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, DC on 4 April 1949.

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

After assuming command of NATO in 1950, then General Eisenhower said “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.” The Cold War is over. NATO has long outlived its original purpose.The old system of alliances does little to do to protect sovereign nations, and instead gives more ability to industrialized, wealthier nations to exploit weaker States. Even NATO actions that are done under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” often have catastrophic consequences for the local population. As so many of these interventions have included bombing campaigns, civilian casualties are high. Often, NATO forces have used weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions, including depleted uranium and cluster bombs. Both of these weapons have long lasting and disastrous consequences for a local civilian population long after combat ends and forces withdraw.… Read the rest

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The Evolution Paradigm Shift

Evolution 21 CenturySuzan Mazur interviews James Shapiro, author of Evolution: A View from the 21st Century, for Counterpunch:

Suzan Mazur: I went through the book over the weekend. It’s very thoughtful the way you’ve put it together. Would you describe your theory, which involves cells speaking to one another — cognitively, informationally. You say in reality the “gene” is “not a definite entity” — it’s “hypothetical in nature.”

James Shapiro: There are three components there.

(1) As I say in the book, cells do not act blindly. We know from physiology and biochemistry and molecular biology that cells are full of receptors. They monitor what goes on outside. They monitor what goes on inside. And they’re continually taking in that information and using it to adjust their actions, their biochemistry, their metabolism, the cell cycle, etc. so that things come out right. That’s why I use the word cognitive to apply to cells, meaning they do things based on knowledge of what’s happening around them and inside of them.

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The Politics of Steampunk

Steampunk Mask

Photo: Jim (CC)

I thought it would be interesting to continue the discussion from my previous post on “Steampunk and Anarchism” (found here). This next article by Magpie Killjoy explores the intersection of radical politics and steampunk fiction and aesthetic Via TOR.com:

I first consciously got into steampunk back in 2004. It was the perfect aesthetic lens for my interests: history, mad science, genre fiction, the underclasses, and radical politics. It was steampunk, really, that helped me realize how awesome it is to be classy yet poor, that we can celebrate individual and communal ingenuity without babbling on about how great this or that nation or empire might be.

Now, seven years later, I’m constantly amazed by how many people, including some of the most die-hard steampunk adherents, seem to believe that steampunk has nothing to offer but designer clothes. There are people (a minority, I would argue, just a loud one) who act like steampunk is simply a brassy veneer with which to coat the mainstream.

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Body Modification: What Is A Freak?

Photo: CarrieBee (CC)

Photo: CarrieBee (CC)

Modern Mythology recently took us on a trip down body mod lane:

Geekology has presented us a great example to look not just at some of the newest trends in body modification today, but also to make a point about latent or mainstream standards of beauty, and the backlash it can cause.

I’d like to provide for you exhibit A, a Ukranian girl who has surgically modified herself to look like a barbie:

Note the tone of the post:

This is 21-going-on-6-year-old Valeria Lukyanova (links to her Ukranian Facebook-y thing with LITERALLY 10,000 more photos of Little Ms. Vain). Valeria always dreamed of being a real life Barbie doll. And now, after numerous surgeries, she’s finally realized her dream AND CAN HOPEFULLY MOVE ON TO ACTUALLY DREAMING ABOUT SOMETHING WORTHWHILE. Wow, of all the dreams in the world to come true of course it’s squandered on the girl who wants to look like Barbie and not everybody hoping for a cure for cancer.

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