Before gas goes into a crowd shield bearers have to be making no progress moving a crowd or crowd must be assaulting the line. Not with sticks and stones but a no bullshit assault. 3 warnings must be given to the crowd in a manner they can hear that force is about to be used. Shield bearers take a knee and CS gas is released in grenade form first to fog out your lines because you have gas masks. You then kick the canisters along in front of your lines. Projectile gas is not used except for longer ranged engagement or trying to steer the crowd ( by steering a crowd I mean firing gas to block a street off ). You also have shotguns with beanbags and various less than lethal rounds for your launchers. These are the rules for a WARZONE!!
How did a cop who is supposed to have training on his weapon system accidentally SHOOT someone in the head with a 40mm gas canister? Simple. He was aiming at him.”
this is what class war looks like… just so we’re clear.
Tumblr is fucking funny. (Or, you can take that “you betcha” bullshit and blow it out your ass.)
My insomniac behind wakes up at 3:30, logs into Tumblr (because, of course, that’s just what you do when you first wake up), and finds out that from one little post, people have concluded that I’m a Palinesque anti-intellectual.
Holy shit, that’s amazing. Seriously, those of you who took that from my post, thank you. Thank you so much for proving my point. Because if people who have less formal education than you, but more of a sense of how privilege works in the world, were able to understand my goddamn post without footnotes, and y’all couldn’t figure out from my Tumblr that “anti-intellectual” and “Sarah Palin” are a couple of the least accurate epithets you could use for me (and trust, there are plenty out there for queer dark-skinned black feminine people - you don’t even have to be all that creative to come up with a string of them), you are probably exactly the kind of “life of the mind”-having shithead I was talking about in the first place.
That you managed to miss the point even with the original post’s tags attached (including “cross-class fluency” and “codeswitch or go home”) stuns me - the irony of your reading comprehension fail is making me giggle (as is this mug of cheap wine I’m drinking).
But since that’s what I’m being called, I’ll concede. I am a fucking anti-intellectual. Because if being an intellectual means engaging in buzzword-heavy circle jerks with other doctoral candidates, coupled with a striking inability to communicate with the majority of muhfuckas walking the earth, then all that cherished book learning has diminished the intellectual’s capacity to be a human being. Or did folks forget that the language of the academy is, in a lot of cases, used specifically to shut out those who can’t afford formalized higher education? Even a cursory glance at US history, or of the history of other colonized nations, reveals that there have been brilliant informally-educated people with valuable contributions to make since nationhood became a trend, whose contributions were diminished in their time because they were too dark or too female, and higher education at the time was a wealthy white men’s game.
I realize that for those of you who’ve already decided I’m a neocon book-burner in disguise, the above rant isn’t going to change your opinion. Plus I’m not at all willing to wave around degrees to prove my worth and qualification for this discussion (I’ve had people pull that shit in meatspace with me… fuck that noise). Just in case you need a straight cis white dude with Ivy League wallpaper to translate what the fuck I’m saying (and fuck you for that, by the way), I’ll refer you to this essay from American Scholar by William Deresiewicz, “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education.” An excerpt:
It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. I’d just bought a house, the pipes needed fixing, and the plumber was standing in my kitchen. There he was, a short, beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say to someone like him. So alien was his experience to me, so unguessable his values, so mysterious his very language, that I couldn’t succeed in engaging him in a few minutes of small talk before he got down to work. Fourteen years of higher education and a handful of Ivy League degrees, and there I was, stiff and stupid, struck dumb by my own dumbness. “Ivy retardation,” a friend of mine calls this. I could carry on conversations with people from other countries, in other languages, but I couldn’t talk to the man who was standing in my own house.
It’s not surprising that it took me so long to discover the extent of my miseducation, because the last thing an elite education will teach you is its own inadequacy. As two dozen years at Yale and Columbia have shown me, elite colleges relentlessly encourage their students to flatter themselves for being there, and for what being there can do for them. The advantages of an elite education are indeed undeniable. You learn to think, at least in certain ways, and you make the contacts needed to launch yourself into a life rich in all of society’s most cherished rewards. To consider that while some opportunities are being created, others are being cancelled and that while some abilities are being developed, others are being crippled is, within this context, not only outrageous, but inconceivable.
Point of all my TL;DR - book smart ain’t shit if you can’t talk to people. You want people to respect book learning? Talk to them like you respect their minds, even if they weren’t shaped in a classroom. Otherwise, go sit your ass down somewhere.
reblogging for the bold.
Yes yes yes yes.
Precisely. I am little Miss Know It All & I have mad respect for people who can build things because I can’t draw or cut in a straight line.
I am a relentlessly awkward individual. I went to a “new Ivy” small liberal arts school with a lot of other awkward people. In some ways, this was and is a thing to be celebrated—I definitely learned to hate myself a lot less for my awkwardness. But in other ways, all it did was entrench that awkwardness, which in my own personal experience does become totally magnified when interacting across class or race divides. And I have learned and am continuing to learn as much or more from the progressive blogosphere (including hosted blogs, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.) than I ever learned in college. Education in America (much like the rest of our institutions) is in a sorry state.
When someone works for less pay than she can live on…she has made a great sacrifice for you…The ‘working poor’…are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone.”
one phrase i am running into a lot in my search is “luxury apartment.” what qualifies an apartment as “luxury”? i just looked at a website for a “luxury apartment” building where the apartment comes furnished (you can choose from three style profiles or collab with the interior decorators the complex employs) which got me thinking about what it means to furnish an apartment, to choose furniture for usefulness and taste, and how taste reflects class and therefore the act of furnishing an apartment is basically choosing a bunch of class signifiers.
and i’m looking at the model rooms and i’m like, “i like this, but i don’t want to live in it.” modern-looking sofas are nice with their clean lines and whatever, but i don’t think i’d be as comfortable on a modern sofa as i would on one like my parents have. how much of what furniture i buy is because i really like it, and how much is because i want to impress my friends or my boss or whoever when they come over?
anyway. random thoughts.
we are all working within a flawed system.
that’s what i have to keep reminding myself.
i’m finding housing for myself for the first time and it’s so hard because i’m underemployed. that is a word that applies to me. i have a part-time internship that pays really well for an internship, but that doesn’t negate that it’s an internship and it’s part-time. i’m working an average of 30 hours a week, but that’s still not 40, and we’re in a fucking recession, and the housing market in dc is brutal, and i’m new at this.
i’m new at this, and i’m from a background privileged enough that i don’t know to ask about roaches and plumbing quirks, because my parents have been homeowners since before i was born. so i’m living in a room in a house with roaches and plumbing issues and nobody else really seems to care which makes it difficult to deal with the roaches.
so i took this room in this house, without looking in the microwave to see if it was disgusting (it was), or really looking at the fridge itself (ditto) or making sure the house is up to fucking code and actually asking “but things do get fixed, right?” when people are evasive. and my housemates are essentially nocturnal and the living room is right above my head, so between that and the roaches, it’s not really working out.
thankfully it’s month to month, so i’m planning on moving out sometime mid-to-late next month. a friend from school is moving here and we’re gonna find a place together. and now i know to ask about roaches and look in the fridge and generally be more vigilant.
but a lot of the reason i’m living here is because it’s cheap, for me, on the low end of the budget recommendations I got from the Wall Street Guide to Beginning Your Financial Life my mother bought me, and my mom keeps saying, dad and i will help with your rent if it means you can stay in a nicer place, and i feel so fucking guilty, i’m so keenly aware that for so many people that would not be an option.
and i just keep trying to remind myself that guilt does not solve problems and we are all working within a flawed system but i still can’t bring myself to say i’ll take my parents’ money. so i remind myself that self-care is a radical act, and if that means moving out because i don’t believe the roach problem is fixable here and taking my parents’ money to do it and not fucking torturing myself, then i will not fucking torture myself. i will acknowledge that i have a shitty, oppressive advantage in a shitty, oppressive system, and i will work to fight that system in other ways, when i’m living in a way that ensures that i am in a condition to fight.
(and i remind myself that self-care is a radical act, and if that means writing this blog post in order to be able to hear these thoughts better, then i will not fucking torture myself wondering if i’m wrong and horrible and oppressive and going to be flayed on the internet—because it will happen, or it won’t. now i’m gonna go watch some parks & rec.)
Whoa, class warfare! Because that is exactly how he said it, word for word. And the logic of this makes total sense if you hate logic or smart things and embrace stupidity.
Seriously. My step-dad has to be in a flying club and share his airplane with like 30 other people.
“The problem is that most of the people that would be subject to the higher taxes the president wants aren’t likely to be private-jet owners. Someone earning $250,000 a year–among those scheduled for a tax increase in 2012–is unlikely to afford a jet–or even a few charter trips on a jet.”
Whoa. Whoa. People earning a quarter of a million dollars a year probably can only afford to take a couple trips per year by private jet. They’re not mega-rich like those public school teachers or people on welfare! I collected unemployment last year, and it covered my rent, bills, groceries, AND my own yacht.
WSJ totally misses the fucking point.
My parents jointly probably make $250K a year. They don’t own jets or charter jets or even fly first-class. But they can damn well afford a tax increase so other people don’t have to starve to death or die from lack of access to health care in the middle of the consuming-est nation on earth.
Still turning that Roseanne essay over in my mind I find myself coming back to the parts about Roseanne hating other women — the corporate, prissy traitors, the “blondes in high heels who were so anxious to reach the professional level of the men they worshipped, fawned over, served, built up, and flattered that they would stab other women in the back” who are “the ultimate weapon used by men against actual feminists who try to work in media.” Later: “I will win this battle if I have to kill every last white bitch in high heels around here.”
“Actual” feminism, paradoxically, might mean letting go of being concerned about whose feminism is most real.
There were problematic bits, to be sure. But I felt like, despite some questionable wording due to severe underlying bitterness, what she was getting at is fair. That is, the gravity of betrayal is so much more greater when it comes from somebody who is supposed to be on your side. But, I mean, yeah…for as much as I was “rah rah Roseanne” while reading it there were more than a few instances of “wait what?!” too. So, you know, whatever.
I’ve been turning this over too, because it did strike me as going for bitch gold, so to speak. On the other hand the issue I always come back to is this: so is there no way, commensurate with wanting to support ladies or be a feminist or whatever you want to call it, to have a conversation about the ways in which the whole idea of “female success” might not totally correlate with “success for women”?
I admit that my nerve is a bit raw on this one at the moment. I do my level best not to call out bitches in high heels, but even fairly mild, overarching criticism, aimed at men, is apparently too much because women like weddings or cupcakes and gosh this is cannibalism, why were you expecting The Second Sex, not everyone’s perfect, etc. In other words: a lot of women closed ranks. And at the end of the day, I’m not sure that’s “actual” feminism either. Just more like a kind that would demand we support Sarah Palin’s success because to criticize her would be to “evaluate” her feminism.
i dont have any problem at all with Roseanne calling women bitches or whatever. I do have a problem with her threatening somebody with a knife—if it’s true and not storytelling—but that’s mostly because I have a problem with aggressive rather than defensive violence (i.e. looking for a fight rather than protecting yourself). but—I have no problem with bitches in high heels, because 1. she’s using language of working class women. And I think half of the problem people have with her calling people bitches is less about sexism and more about how “uncouth” it is—i.e. classism. and 2. she’s exposing an existing tension between “women”—she’s speaks of betrayal and how this upper class white collar woman promised her solidarity and sisterhood and then fucked her over. this woman manipulated a working class woman to *use* her—she preyed on her lack of knowledge of the way things work to *make money*—and then withdrew even a pretense of support. which to me—is abuse on any level.
But if you put it in context of working class world—betrayal is probably the worst sin you can commit. *using* somebody, pretending to be their friends, and then USING them—in context, working class poor people have next to nothing and almost no historical traditional resources like money or education. their family units are often broken because of poverty—and often the *only* resource they have to *survive* (not just to have a fun night on the town, but to *survive*) are friendships. and just like gangs or abusive partners will manipulate survival friendships in the name of “not snitching” or “keeping me out of jail”—corporate elites will manipulate survival friendship and the need for it to get the millions of dollars a poor woman represents to them.
They told Roseanne what they thought she needed to hear to get her to sign. And when their promise of friendship and solidarity is mixed in with the very real shit of survival—to me—it’s not that far out there that Roseanne would react to being fucked over and betrayed with a knife and a threat. She’s fighting for her fucking survival. Emotional and physical. The bitches in high heels—are not. Especially in the first season when Roseanne didn’t have money in the bank—and no power to even make line changes? If she says one thing wrong—if she doesn’t play that game the right way—all of it is gone. To a bitch in heels—if they are fired, they have more resources to deal with it because they have been playing that system for far longer.
They are still dealing with the same sexism as Roseanne—they are still dealing with the same fucked up misogyny and they may be in the same position of very little advancement options—but they have the resources to deal if something gets pulled out from under them. In that first season especially—Roseanne did not.
Climbing the class ladder is a horrific and violent thing on so many levels—people keep acting like moving on up is making all the poor person’s dreams come true. But it *demands* that you shift all your values, it *demands* you play by a whole new set of rules—and it always has hanging over your head—if you fuck up our rules, if you challenge our rules in any way—we’ll take it all away. And for people like Roseanne—“taking it all away”—that means *taking survival away*. which in turn means taking away the ability of your children to survive and all the people who are depending on you monetarily (think: fantasia from american idol) to survive. And for a working class woman—who has been denied all the resources of knowledge of law, words to name abuse, family security, back fall money in case things don’t go well, etc—pulling out a knife is the only thing she has—like pulling out a gun to defend your child from the state.
So yeah—I just feel like a lot of the “ooh, such obscene language” and “yuck pulling a knife” stems from very classist roots—where it’s not so much that Roseanne wasn’t “classy”—but that people think its fine for women in poor neighborhoods (which are largely segregated and thus nobody has to think about it) to pull knives—but when those same women are pulling knives in the corporate world, it’s like—unsavory elements are daring to enter the refined world of the upper class. but I think what it really is—is that it’s considered fine for poor communities to have little to no resources—but when those same people expose how few resources they really do have in the most blatant way (by pulling knives on upper class people)—people get tense and hostile. Because we’re supposed to take our cues on what to shoot for and what to be from those upper class people. and when people like roseanne pull knives—it’s questioning at the most basic level the legitimacy of the identity the US defines itself with (if you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you can achieve anything! Rags to Riches! Work hard and you can be rich too! etc)
As usual, radicallyottoff is way on point.
I guess I have a hard time faulting someone for their “bitterness.” I guess I even loathe to call it that, because what I see in Roseanne’s statements are very real—some people, even those who are supposedly in some sort of solidarity with one another, will always have an advantage. In this case it is class, experience, and position as non-subject (that is to say, as working their way up the executive ladder, or otherwise not being the talent in a show). I think very few people recognize how hard it is to come up as a female comedian and to make it far enough to get your own show, compound that with very real class concerns and the obvious issue of prejudice against casting bigger bodied women in their own shows. (A poignant note is/was the Margaret Cho show, canceled after one season because she was, among other “issues,” not caving to being thin enough for her corporate handlers.)
I thin what has gotten Roseanne so far is being unabashed in her criticisms, and what I see her doing/saying is continuing that track and being very honest that it was a certain type of person, a personality, a pedigree if you will, among TV production types who hurt her, hampered her, and ultimately betrayed her.
And yeah, I think it’s valid for a working-class woman, a woman who wasn’t groomed and trained to be one of the “bitches in heels” to point to their brand of “feminism” and say it’s not working.
And I think it’s significant that she says if she had to do it over again, she’s sue them. Or, in other words—she knows the way to play the game now—she’s got *the education and resources* to play the upper class game—and she’d do it differently now. Which says to me that Roseanne (or any other working class woman who uses violence) is not inherently fucked up or problematic—but that “fighting back” and “standing up for yourself” on some base level requires resources. And I think she’s making visible what is far too often invisible in feminist world—that some of us don’t have those resources—and others (the bitches in heels) *to some extent* do. And by resources—I’m talking everything from “education” to “supportive friendship” so that you know you’re not alone and not crazy. —and a part of being in solidarity requires *sharing* those resources…and that can mean, sharing the name of a good lawyer, to telling a director to not ever hand an actress a note in front of the crew. it doesn’t mean talking about solidarity and the sisterhood and then standing back and watching while a person who doesn’t *know* better (when you DO) gets fucked over…
Nine things I wish economically privileged people in my life knew.
- I am poor, I exist, and I’m right here. Hi! Many people who meet and get to know me without knowing my background are rather surprised to find this out. It matters to me on a very personal level when people do things like make nasty comments or assumptions about poor people, or assume that everyone in a given space is wealthy, thereby erasing the fact that I exist and am present. There are better reasons to not be classist (namely: it’s just plain wrong) than worrying about whether a poor person will hear you, but assuming that I’m not poor or that poor people are not present adds insult to injury and creates another communication barrier.
- I may not look like what you imagine poor people should look like- but neither do most poor people. I’m smart, well-spoken, and a careful dresser. I’m highly educated because of financial aid. I avoid doing certain things and remember to do others because I don’t want to “look poor” and be judged for that. Then again, the commonly held stereotypes of poor people- that we’re stupid, “trashy,” lazy, waiting for handouts instead of taking care of ourselves, and so on- are just that, stereotypes, not true assessments based in reality. Just because I don’t match the stereotype doesn’t even necessarily make me unusual, just one more of so many different faces of being economically underprivileged.
- I need and deserve as much space to talk about my experiences as you do to talk about yours. Talking about money- especially money one doesn’t have- is considered crass and impolite, but I can’t be fully myself without bringing that up. I know it makes people uncomfortable sometimes, but honestly, that’s not a good enough reason to expect me to keep quiet. As much as anyone else does, I deserve the right to talk openly about my background, my challenges, the reasons behind decisions I make- the realities of my life.
- Being poor has substantial, everyday, direct effects on my life, and if you spend time with me, you will have to deal with those effects. Nearly everything I do, every decision I make, is in some way affected by my financial status. If you’re close to me, you will watch me struggle with money and financial decisions on a daily basis. If you want to do something with me, it has to be something I can afford. If you give me advice or recommendations, you will have to take into account my budget, or else your attempt at help will just sound laughably insensitive. There’s no way around it.
- Being poor also has a large indirect impact on me in terms of how people think of me and the community I come from. Stereotypes of poor people abound. People frequently assume that my parents are unintelligent, ignorant, and bad parents. They treat me as an anomaly, an escapee from a uniformly horrible situation that they can pity and make fun of. People who know me treat me as an exception to a classist rule, not realizing that their upholding of that rule allows people who don’t know me to stereotype and mistreat me. That’s the world I live in.
- I don’t want your pity. For me, pity is one of the most hurtful sentiments I can experience. It assumes a really troublesome hierarchy; if you are able to pity me, you must be better than or above me in some way. Also, it’s completely useless, and doesn’t do anything to actually address or talk about the reality of my situation. It’s a copout, and it’s often a way to shut me up so that I stop “making people feel bad.”
- Yes, I know full well that there are many people in this world who are worse off than me, but that doesn’t invalidate my experiences. I’m aware that I am privileged in many ways, and that in a broad view, I’m better off financially than many, many people. Between privilege and luck, I’ve found myself in a position where I will likely no longer be poor once I’m a full-fledged independent adult, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how to handle that in an ethical way. But that admission doesn’t make the substantial disadvantages that I have experienced and continue to experience disappear. They are still real, painful, and very important to my life.
- Me saying that you are (economically) privileged doesn’t mean I’m calling you a bad person, that I want you to feel guilty, or that I don’t think you deserve to have a good life. I don’t go around wanting people to feel bad. In fact, I rarely bring up things like this- too rarely, probably- because I know that people will take it personally and get defensive. Being poor is so much a part of me that it’s very emotionally difficult to handle when people totally dismiss the idea that there are substantial, important differences between my experience and theirs. But I have a responsibility to challenge the ideas- often unspoken, but present everywhere- that wealthy people are morally and functionally superior to poor people, that poor people could be wealthy if they only worked hard, and that my background, my family, my current reality can be dismissed with choice insults and assumptions that I’ve brought this on myself. If that makes you feel bad about yourself and your behavior, well, it probably should.
- If you can’t deal reasonably and respectfully with me being poor, I’m not going to be able to keep you in my life. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I can never forget that I’m poor, or behave like I’m not poor. It is with me every moment, in everything I do and every decision that I make. If you constantly lean on classist stereotypes, if you insult my background, if you patronize and pity me, if you yell at me for “making you feel bad,” if you won’t let me talk about my financial struggles or get too uncomfortable to let me continue, if you forget every time that I can’t afford to do the things you want to do or don’t share your experiences and perspective- well, I’m sorry, but you’re not worth being around. I have no interest in spending time with someone who will not give me the space to be myself, or who cares more about their own zone of privileged comfort than respecting another human being.
all of this
I’m really gun shy about talking about the middle class, because I’ve been roundly shouted down about a hundred times by now. I have something I’m working on to say, but I’m terrified of the silencing.
This is one of the things I hate about the internet being a lot less class diverse, middle class people have a lot of backup. The last round of fuckery ended in dozens of middle class white ladies telling me absolutely that working class women never felt any job dissatisfaction because they were happy to be employed. If you’re wondering about the audience, these were fairly progressive third wave feminists.
The short version of it all is that middle class people got where they are by standing on the backs of working class people, and then they call us lazy and stupid when we can’t find another 24 hours in the day to work towards our own uplift. They also take our voices and our creative efforts without so much as a by-your-leave, and then use them to amplify their own voices and creative efforts, but since they have class privilege, they are seen as having both more authority and more right to have creative and intellectual output.
Lest you think I’m talking about other people, some nebulous other that isn’t someone you admire or yourself, I most certainly am not. I’ve been sitting at the kiddie table trying to be heard for a decade while women I admire and who have taught me much treat my intellectual output as a consumable good. The theft of my labor is so pervasive as to be invisible. If I stand up and enumerate the ways that I’ve been stolen from, I wonder how many people would truly understand. I wonder how loudly I’ll be shouted at this time.
I’ll try to write it, but I honestly don’t have the spoons for the middle class circle jerk of fuckery that is likely to follow.
I think middle-class people are complicit in the capitalist shitstorm corporatocracy the same way some women are complicit in the patriarchy—they’re (we’re) not helping, but in a lot of cases, they’re (we’re) doing what they (we) do because there aren’t very many other options—although the intellectual and creative piracy is definitely neither OK nor necessary. But if I renounce my middle-class ways and live working-class, that doesn’t really help anybody. So I try to reduce how much I consume (& therefore how much I contribute to the capitalist shitstorm corporatocracy) and plan to work in the nonprofit sector (which while obviously imperfect is at least not profit-based & ostensibly helps people) and generally try to be an ally. Because I really don’t know what else to do.