culture capital

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Otemachi 8134 by Krzysztof Baranowski
Via Flickr:
Reflection of a golden sunset.

  • working class people: we're angry that police murder our neighbors with impunity, we're angry that we exist in an economic system that forces us to live paycheck-to-paycheck, and we're angry that our voices are always ignored or suppressed. as long as this system remains intact, people will continue to feel alienated and stressed and depressed. things like this are worth getting angry about.
  • some white liberal: *wearing an indigenous american warbonnet over dreadlocked hair* you receive back only that which you radiate =) no one can oppress you without your consent =) anger is unhealthy and only upsets the natural balance of the universe =) namaste =) all lives matter =)

I’m sick of the idea that children are somehow responsible for saving the world. New generations, new young adults, new children, they’re all brought to life with this pressure that they’re somehow supposed to fix the world that older generations have fucked up! And mind you, not fix for themselves, make life good for themselves, noo, they’re supposed to fix the life FOR the older generations! They’re supposed to save faulty industries, support exploitative capitalistic systems, make up everything to their abusive parents, and then sacrifice their time and labour and will to live so the world could function better for everyone else, and if they happen to fail at this impossible task, then they’re failure as a human being and a burden on society! Do older generations bring new people in this world literally only for their own benefit? To make things better for themselves?

I’m fucking furious about this, as if it’s not enough we’re brought in this world where it’s such fucking struggle to survive literally every person I know has this deep fear of the future, anxiety at what’s going to happen to them, how the world will change for worse and if they’ll be able to ever be safe and sound. We’re somehow expected to fix problems we haven’t created and we have no power to stop, these are problems that are done TO us, they’re not something we’ve been given power over and authority to end.

We had fucking dreams when we were born into this world. We had our aspirations and desires and things we wanted to be, we wanted to achieve, we thought this world was worth something, that we’ve been born into a functioning society, and for a reason, that we had our lives in front of us, and now we have to face that this is nothing but a dysfunctional dystopia and everyone is blaming us for it? For not being enough to impossibly make it work? We’re not here to be what the world needs, we’re here because we’re human, we’re here because we’re alive, we deserve to live, we deserve to experience the wonder and joy and beauty of being alive on this planet, how do they reason taking this away from us? How do they reason throwing us into this pit of impossible expectations while somehow failing to notice that all the good things they’ve had somehow never reached us, somehow got destroyed on the way of their path to success? Our happiness is lost among their winnings, and they’ve still not had enough.

Fucking nobody cares about children anymore.

Donald Trump has a thing about Barack Obama. Trump is obsessed with Obama. Obama haunts Trump’s dreams. One of Trump’s primary motivators is the absolute erasure of Obama — were it possible — not only from the political landscape but also from the history books.

Trump is president because of Obama, or more precisely, because of his hostility to Obama. Trump came onto the political scene by attacking Obama.

Trump has questioned not only Obama’s birthplace but also his academic and literary pedigree. He was head cheerleader of the racial “birther” lie and also cast doubt on whether Obama attended the schools he attended or even whether he wrote his acclaimed books.

Trump has lied often about Obama: saying his inauguration crowd size exceeded Obama’s, saying that Obama tapped his phones and, just this week, saying that Obama colluded with the Russians.

It’s like a 71-year-old male version of Jan from what I would call the Bratty Bunch: Obama, Obama, Obama.

Trump wants to be Obama — held in high esteem. But, alas, Trump is Trump, and that is now and has always been trashy. Trump accrued financial wealth, but he never accrued cultural capital, at least not among the people from whom he most wanted it.

Therefore, Trump is constantly whining about not being sufficiently applauded, commended, thanked, liked. His emotional injury is measured in his mind against Obama. How could Obama have been so celebrated while he is so reviled?

The whole world seemed to love Obama — and by extension, held America in high regard — but the world loathes Trump. A Pew Research Center report issued this week found:

“Trump and many of his key policies are broadly unpopular around the globe, and ratings for the U.S. have declined steeply in many nations. According to a new Pew Research Center survey spanning 37 nations, a median of just 22 percent has confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. This stands in contrast to the final years of Barack Obama’s presidency, when a median of 64 percent expressed confidence in Trump’s predecessor to direct America’s role in the world.”

Obama was a phenomenon. He was elegant and cerebral. He was devoid of personal scandal and drenched in personal erudition. He was a walking, talking rebuttal to white supremacy and the myths of black pathology and inferiority. He was the personification of the possible — a possible future in which legacy power and advantages are redistributed more broadly to all with the gift of talent and the discipline to excel.

It is not a stretch here to link people’s feelings about Obama to their feelings about his blackness. Trump himself has more than once linked the two.

[…]

Clearly, not only was Obama’s blackness in the front of Trump’s mind, but Trump also appears to subscribe to the racist theory that success or failure of a member of a racial group redounds to all in that group. This is a burden under which most minorities in this country labor.

Trump’s racial ideas were apparently a selling point among his supporters. Recent research has dispensed with the myth of “economic anxiety” and shone a light instead on the central importance race played in Trump’s march to the White House. 

[…]

For Trump, even plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act aren’t so much about creating better policy as they are about dismantling Obama’s legacy. The problem with Obamacare isn’t that it hasn’t borne fruit, but rather that it bears Obama’s name.

For Trump, the mark of being a successful president is the degree to which he can expunge Obama’s presidency.

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In decadent Aspen, Bundy’s escape was the source of great goofing : Local entrepreneurs hawked T-shirts declaring that “Ted Bundy is a One-Night Stand”; a bartender invented the Bundy Cocktail, made of rum, tequila, and two Mexican jumping beans. A local restaurant put Bundy Burgers on the menu : The bread was there but the meat was gone. Hitchhikers held signs that said I AM NOT BUNDY.

By the time Bundy was recaptured a week later he was a celebrity. And when, six months later, he escaped again by crawling through the light fixture in his jail cell, he became a regular John Dillinger. No jail could hold him. 

My professor said that being family-oriented is anti-capitalist.

A lot of us, especially children of immigrants feel that complicated tug from both our family networks to stay at home/ close to home and from the outside world to be individualistic and pursue our ambitions alone, even if that takes you far away.

But individualism really just serves capitalism because this mode of production will do everything to make you an individual wage earner, and they only pay you enough for you to reproduce yourself to return to work the next day. So taking care of a family AND families pooling income to support each other and a household flies RIGHT in the face of capitalism.

And if you think about the cultural aspects of being family-oriented and preserving these large extended family networks (just like my family in diaspora) and how non-Western cultures are constantly berated and undergo cultural imperialism that criticizes them for being backwards, traditional, and collectivistic, it just says so much about how it’s not really just about feeling superior, but it’s actually because those characteristics of being family and community-oriented are a threat to capitalism.

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Seoul Cityscape 4761 by Krzysztof Baranowski
Via Flickr:
with Namsan Tower.

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Tokyo Cityscape 5601 da Krzysztof Baranowski
Tramite Flickr:
4 shots panorama.