Pleased to see that cigar cutters and corkscrews are allowed on planes.
I take my duties as a bitter ultra-left sectarian very seriously, so I’m always annoyed when sub-standard arguments from the purported ultra-left force me to say nice things about, for example, the SWP. But recent criticism of RESPECT for “substituting race for class” or being based on “cross class alliances” is representative of a trend which is kind of interesting to look at. As the RESPECT people like to say, the claim that they have “rejected socialism” or given up on the working class in favor of Islam assumes that no-one could be muslim and working class and socialist. But the mistake is actually more fundamental than this; the soi disant leftist critics of RESPECT seem to assume that if a group does not label itself as working class, it can’t possibly be working class—the mistake is the classic idealist one of mistaking the name for the thing. The supposed leftist tut-tutting that the SWP have rejected class for “identity politics” gets things precisely the wrong way round: it is those who ignore the material reality of racism in favor of an appeal to a reified “working class” who are rejecting Marxism and embracing an identity politics of class. Read more↴
Well, at least, I hope he’s being paid for his viral marketing of the Paris Hilton album. If he actually thinks this is some kind of incisive guerilla art action, that’s even more depressing.
Courtesy of the Internet, I’ve been reading Marvel’s recent comics “event” Civil War. Like all such comics crossovers, it’s largely an excuse to have superheroes get into fights with one another. What makes it actually rather enjoyable, though, is that the excuse in this case is a thinly-veiled version of the US government’s response to 9/11. There’s something fun about seeing superheroes beating each other up while attempting to debate the war on terror in old-school Marvel dialog. Mildly dumb though this is, it’s also extraordinarily charming in its ambition. For any form of popular entertainment these days to escape the solipsism of “postmodern” nostalgia is encouraging, and it’s particularly unexpected in superhero comics, a genre which appears to have been getting progressively more hermetically self-absorbed for the past 20 years.
Holy shit. I’ve just read Civil War: Frontline #4 , which features pictures from the current storyline overlaid with text about the Vietnam War, and explicitly draws parallels between the superhero “resistance” in the story and the NLF. The hubris is inspiring. Read more↴