I’ve emboldened my personal favorite.
The Masters of the Universe don’t take kindly to the accusations of Occupy Wall Street, and they’re fighting back. Here are some verbatim quotes from the transcripts of their own defense, which toggles between a haughty contempt for the lower orders and a genuine, self-pitying sense of persecution:
“Who gives a crap about some imbecile? Are you kidding me?” Bernard Marcus, co-founder, Home Depot
“Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and because you’re rich you’re bad, I don’t understand it.” Jamie Dimon, CEO, JP Morgan Chase
“Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let’s call it an attack on the very productive.” John A. Allison IV, BB&T
“If I hear a politician use the term ‘paying your fair share’ one more time, I’m going to vomit.” Tom Golisano, founder, Paychex Inc.
My taxes are “more than a medieval lord would have taken from a serf.” Peter Schiff, CEO, Euro Pacific Capital
“I am a fat cat, I’m not ashamed.” Ken Langone, co-founder, Home Depot
“You’ll get more out of me if you treat me with respect.”Leon Cooperman, chair, Omega Advisors
“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you…
On Rage and Swagger
The following is an excerpt from Roman Letters, from Oslo Editions
When we spoke last, it was — and how could it not be? — of rioting and necessity, of taking and being taken by times you don’t choose. Lust for what has nothing to do with sex, or perhaps only diagonally, and carrying yourself, getting carried, what could be a battering fury and its restraints, willed and imposed.
A couple of months earlier, we wrote back and forth about swagger, the political kind, an aesthetic but much more, those rare instances of walking tall and grinding and not cowering or self-pleasuring in its feelings of being betrayed. Those women in China, the Black Panthers, the strident snappy dressers of autonomia, Toussaint, the particular withheld grin of the Kyrgyzstani man in fisherman sweater and fanny pack, strolling down the strewn road with a RPG and riot shield taken from the cops.
In Rome, where I’m trying to learn to talk differently, the word that bounces around my head the most is la rabbia — rage. Or better, in a falsely literalized equivalent, the rage, something you could come down with or become ruled by. The plague, the clap, the war, the day.
To become rabid, enraged — arrabbiata — like a dog, locked-jaw and foam, hating water and men and life.
Pasolini made a stunning film called La Rabbia — it’s up there with Marechera’s looting poem in being one of those singularly venomous examples of how “political art” doesn’t have to make you loathe both politics and art. It was paired, in release, with a trashy little right-wing film to represent “two sides” of the spectrum, and even on its own terms, it loses its way politically, falls into the worst traps of Pasolini’s thought. But rabidly, its seeking, incantational bile swallows the whole spectrum. When it lasts, and it doesn’t last long enough, there is nothing that is not profoundly conservative, weak-tongued, and pettily fascist alongside it.
I’ve been thinking that swagger and rage are necessarily bound together. This is a first try to say something about that. In brief: Swagger is the manifested expression of a deferral, a deferral of rage’s coming undone, coming apart, coming out. Of rage becoming raging. It is the held-out appearance of holding back what rage cannot be, cannot do while still being rage. Not just baring its teeth, but becoming the snarling consumption of whatever exists at a time.
Last night, the occupiers of 75 River Community Center chose to end their occupation. Just after 9pm the building was left vacant, just as it has been since 2008. Before leaving, signs were hung from every office and conference room door with suggestions for a future community center….
(c) Kwesi Abbensetts
Who is the joke and who is the Joker.
Am I really of “Post-Black-ness”. Is that my new heritage.
“Post-black art is a phrase that refers to a category of contemporary African American art. It is a paradoxical genre of art where race and racism are intertwined in a way that rejects their interaction. I.e., it is art about the black experience that attempts to dispel the notion that race matters. It uses enigmatic themes wherein black can substitute for white. Some suggest the term is attributable to the 1995 book The End of Blackness by Debra Dickerson.”