Election Day (2017)

As i am writing this i am on a flight from Strasbourg back to Amsterdam. At the same time people back in the Netherlands are voting in one of the most contested elections of recent memory. There is a real (although increasingly unlikely) chance that the xenophobic, populist and anti European PVV of Geert Wilders will become the biggest party and that the rest of the political spectrum will splinter into 15 or more parties. The dutch elections are seen as a first test for the future of a united a…

A new era

When I went to sleep yesterday night I was expecting my daughters Yuki and Mika to wake up in a world where three of the most powerful persons are women. Instead, we woke up to a world in which a misogynistic, ignorant, racist, fear-monger was elected to be the next president of the United States of America. That makes it pretty likely that they will grow up in a world that is considerably worse than the one I grew up in. 2nd breakfast of the morning: double espresso + vodka shot But this is not…

Seeing with more precision than a state

So i am finally finding the time to read James C. Scott’s Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. At the end of chapter 2 he makes the observation that… …the modern state, through it’s officials, attempts with varying success to create a terrain and a population with precisely those standardized characteristics that will be easiest to monitor, count, asses, and manage. The utopian, immanent, and courteously frustrated goal of the modern state is to is…

Harwood on the 'Steam Powered Census'

Over the last couple of month i have completely lost my ability to follow the exchanges on the nettime-l, and i have come close to unsubscribing for a couple of times. Fortunately i have not had the guts to do so yet and have forced myself every now-and-then to scan through the subject lines of 100s of posts before dragging them to the trash. During my last scan-and-trash operation i have come across a intriguing essay titled ‘Stream Powered Census‘ by my old friend Graham Harwood. In his essay…

Can someone please throw that PVV dude out of the overland bus?

So apparently this idiot has fielded the idea that hijab-wearing women should be banned from using overland public transport and that the police should be tasked with removing women who wear the hijab from public transport (you can see the exchange on national public television here). Now obviously this is a completely idiotic idea (which goes further in discriminating specific population groups that the treatment of blacks in apartheid south africa Ot the treatment of african-americans in the U…

Required reading? de schijn-élite van de valse munters

Two days ago i finished reading ‘De Schijn-élite van de Valse Munters‘ the much-hyped book by Martin Bosma who is credited with being the strategic brain behind the rise of the populist/islamophobic PVV that is enabling the current right wing minority government in the Netherlands. I am not exactly sure why i started reading this book in the first place, but i guess it was because i wanted to get a better understanding some of the reasoning behind the (often extreme and seemingly irrational) pol…

Breakfast with Joe Lieberman

On monday during my short trip to Qatar i had breakfast with Joe Lieberman[1]. to be precise ‘having breakfast’ is a bit of an exaggeration here, but i was sitting at the table next to the table where Senator Lieberman and seven of his aides were having breakfast. Interestingly my table was within hearing distance and so i could pick up most of the conversation that was unfolding at the table next to mine. Conversation is a bit of a big word here. What was gong on at the other table was more of…

For future reference

Excellent collumn by Matt Taibbi over at smirkingchimp.com on what the candidacy of Sarah Palin says about the state of American politics [read the whole thing is is worth it!]: Here’s the thing about Americans. You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their balls blown off in foreign lands for no reason at all, saddle them with billions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their m…

Pirates for Obama

Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas brought together a bunch of american musicians and actors to record a video clip (song) based on the ‘yes we can’ thank-you speech held by Obama on January 8th in Nashua, New Hampshire. The whole clip (‘yes we can song‘) is extremely well done (you might want to call it ‘slick’) and certainly makes me want him to win as many delegates as possible tonight. Especially since, towards the end, there is some proud display of a pirate flag tattoo by one of the female…

Migrant Media Metropole

This saturday my friend Valery (together with Eric & Merijn) are hosting a mini conference called ‘Migrant Media Metropole – New labour struggles in the global city‘ at the Balie in Amsterdam. Migration and media-activists gather with theorists and labour organizers to discuss and share best practices in the fight against precarity and insecure labour conditions. Sharing inspiring examples of social justice unionism and creative campaigning like “Justice for Janitors” in the U.S. and “Cleane…