Friday, July 01, 2005

A REAL Online Magazine

MalcolmI was on the verge of participating in the current fun of mocking the FEC by relabeling this site from 'blog' to [something else].

The Talent Show and Atrios (and now a whole 'movement' of others) have gone for 'online magazine'. I was leaning more toward Amanda's contrarian impulse of choosing something smart-alecky (though really, now, hasn't the False True no True False Religion thing been done better by Discordians and SubGeniuses and Catholics?), but my dismal, ahumorous nature kicked in at the last minute and I decided to use this post to flack a courageous, incisive, real online magazine which gets far too little attention and credit for what it does.

Glen Ford and Peter Gamble have been toiling in relative obscurity for years now, publishing The Black Commentator, which is a free publication with all the attributes of a paper magazine - regular columns, guest commentaries, cartoons, killer art... It's a slick pub, in a more-or-less traditional magazine format, delivered (did I mention that it's free?) on the internet.

The title is no bullshit - they view most everything through the lens of race. I believe that their position is that everyone in America views most everything through the lens of race, though not always admittedly or even consciously. Much of their writing is not, um, convivial to us white suburbanites, but they make it crystal clear that their critiques are directed at thoughts and actions. Those things often break along racial lines in the US, yes they do. That sucks. Let's talk about it. Let's DO something about it.

All that is just to alert you that if you can't stand to hear a word about race, you won't be able to savor the exquisite, sagacious political analysis in The Black Commentator.

Their content is wide-ranging, but they've written extensively on the Iraq war, the 'Pirates' who promulgated it, and its impact on American and World politics. Here's a taste of what they were saying as events developed:

CoMMentary 1
December 5, 2002
The public is conceptually trapped by the fatal words "we," "our" and "us," as in, We must sacrifice our national treasure and liberties so that Iraq will no longer be a threat to us. Yet the national treasure isn't going far; it will circulate from the paychecks of working people through the federal middleman and directly into companies like Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old lair, to which he will one day return. In losing "our" liberties, the domestic obstacles will have been cleared to make way for a permanent, worldwide regime of highly profitable destruction and rebuilding - the globe as a kind of Halliburton cash cow. And the "threat" posed by Iraq will be instantly reinvented, elsewhere, to feed a bloody river of new markets for the likes of Halliburton.

CoMMentary 1
January 30, 2003
The people who created George Bush's ridiculous War Face are not just playing crazy to gain transient advantage over Frenchmen and Russians. They are Hell-bent on proving to the natives (all of us) that they are capable of unimaginable destruction. We must see it to believe it - which is why this war is all but inevitable. In the aftermath of horror, the world will become malleable, ready for reshaping in the not-yet-defined New Order.

That's the plan. The pirates are confident they can improvise the post war details at their leisure, later. What we are witnessing is essentially the buildup to a global consciousness-searing U.S. military demonstration - the Mother of All War Shows. If we search for the military or economic objectives of the conflict on anything so crude as a map, we have missed the point.

The Issues
March 27, 2003
As the U.S. position in the world becomes more and more untenable, freedom of straightforward speech within the boundaries of the international offender grows more tenuous. So let us say what is true while effective speech is still possible.

Conspiracy Theories
April 17, 2003
We could predict with confidence a series of general developments that must flow from Iraqi conditions - all of them disastrous to the Pirate's delusional schemes. In fact, there is no set of plausible circumstances that would lead to a compliant Iraq secured by a politically acceptable level of American troops.

What is certain is that the Pirates will misjudge their surroundings at virtually every turn (as with the chaos in Baghdad), then compound the mistake in insane, unexpected, or woefully stupid ways

Permanent War and "The Color Line"
May 22, 2003
White America is hooked on its delusions. The Bush men are pushers of fantasies and lies, but they also consume their own product and will come unglued like Al Pacino's dealer-junkie character in the movie Scarface. In the interim, many people will die and fragile structures of international order will be smashed and mangled. What is certain is that the Bush men are too far adrift in a sea of illusions to retool their New American Century machine. Unlike the Great White Fleet, they will not return in triumph from Iraq, but in a profound state of disarray, their fundamental chimera shattered. No one can predict what delusionals will do when they become unmoored, but the world has been forewarned that its antagonist lives in a different reality.

June 19, 2003
This is an occupation unlike any other in modern history. Acting solely on greed and delusions, the Pirates dismissed the collective experience of humanity to attempt the occupation of a large and sophisticated society without a reasonable expectation of collaboration from any significant segment of the population. It cannot be done, as confirmed by the daily dispatches from Iraq and beyond.

Racist "Transformation" Policies: The Pirates have already lost in Iraq
August 28, 2003
The purpose of the U.S. occupation is to achieve “transformation” – the key word in every Pirate script. Iraq must be made safe for a U.S. corporate makeover, a shining “example” to the rest of the region of what Dallas-type development can do. Yet that goal is far beyond the horizon, since the U.S. military cannot protect itself at present troop levels, and has no reserves to call upon. U.S. commanders need hundreds of thousands more troops simply to defend themselves and oil pumps and pipelines at the current level of Iraqi resistance.

Kerry's DLC
April 22 2004
The biggest threat from the DLC at present is that its hold on Kerry may cause a second term to be delivered to George Bush, without the necessity of theft.

Ford and Gamble, and their contributors aren't prescient - they're just completely unafraid to think what they think, and to say it aloud, even when every signal in society tells them not to. I'll defer to them for an explanation of that in racial terms. Meanwhile, I'll commend to you this week's cover story, It's Time to Build a Mass Movement, by Bruce Dixon. Think about it a couple of times. Really.

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