Friday, September 28, 2012

GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE Oct.18th & Nov.14-22nd, 2012

More information about this can be found here:

Not sure what to make of all this, but it seems to be pretty cut and dry. It also seems to be void of the typical partisan politics associated with many protests. Also... this protest movement seems to have legs -- with many students around the world already actively organizing and protesting around these issues. I suspect that this may grow into a more comprehensive protest against the overall system and could likely lead to an international general strike.

Also, if you are interested in the issues surrounding a growing international student movement, you may appreciate the following article which deals with many of the subjects at hand: Values of a College Education.  Although it focuses particularly on the university system within the United States, those of you in other countries may find it relevant to your situation as well.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sexual Politics: Obfuscated and Dismissed (A Follow-Up)

It turns out that my article about sexuality was not well-received. To some extent this was expected. And I knew it would be criticized by those on all sides with a position about sexuality. I was hoping it would also spur some constructive dialogue, but this wasn't really the case. Instead, the article was criticized for reasons I wouldn't have expected. Both the proponents of “men's rights,” and one apparent feminist, offered criticism that really didn't address the underlying points I was trying to make in the article.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Iran & Occupy Wall Street

The president of Iran, according to a recent report, wants to meet with the proponents of Occupy Wall Street. This meeting will occur as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad goes on a media tour during his visit in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

In a sense this is an understandable political move because such a meeting with American activists will give him an opportunity to highlight discontent within the United States. On the other hand... it seems as if Ahmadinejad may not understand the Occupy movement any better than American politicians. Who exactly would he plan on meeting with? Occupy Wall Street has never had any centralized leadership and having a hundred members of that movement asking him questions or having a dialogue with him would really not be representative of that movement as a whole. This is even assuming the particular occupiers he meets with are not somehow screened in advance for the purpose of political theater.

Occupy Wall Street was largely initiated by anarchists and with anarchistic principles. To a large extent the movement remains anarchistic despite being watered down with milquetoast liberals and Ron Paul fanboys. So what in the world could the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran expect to find in common with such a movement? The corruption of Wall Street and the U.S. government does not at all suggest that the movement is on the same side as, or in favor of, a repressive theocratic government. And let's face reality... if this sort of movement had manifested in Iran it would have been attacked by the government of that land, and it's media, just as the movement was attacked by the U.S. government and it's media. Quite arguably the attacks on such a movement would have been worse in Iran. Also, certainly, the participation of women would have served as extra motivation to crack down on this movement if it had manifested in Iran.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Repressed & Oppressive Sexuality of Modern Society

I try to stay informed about modern feminist theory. And I do actually consider myself a feminist – much to the chagrin of some online acquaintances who consider themselves part of the “men's rights” movement. But I'm not big on the Andrea Dworkin school of thought and I'm quite sure that most feminists don't actually believe that all men are latent rapists who should be castrated at birth. Nor do I believe that everyone in the growing “men's rights” movement is a hate-filled misogynist. Still, it is fairly clear that there are a lot of hateful people who unfortunately identify with both movements.

My goal in writing this isn't optimistic enough to believe that we can somehow repair all of the damaged people who have redirected their pain into the avenues of sexist hate and oppressive practices, but I think this is a subject worthy of attention. And, while I'll try now to offer some frank comments on a complex and difficult subject, I realize that I live in a repressed culture and probably will have some points of contention with other good-willed people who also grew up in a repressed culture. Nevertheless... I do hope that I can offer up some subtle and pertinent points which may often be overlooked in typical discussions about sexuality.

The following critique largely will center around monogamous hetero-normative relationships as they are traditionally perceived. This is not intended to deny or dismiss the existence of other types of relationships, sexual or otherwise, but is rather intended to demonstrate what is commonly presented as “normal” in modern society and how that standardized normality undermines modern society.