august_bw

Don’t bother raising awareness
unless it’s your own

This August, a lot of disturbing human rights-related things have been going on in the world, including the UK. Not that I am assuming you have all been too busy going to festivals and getting smashed on bath salts, meow-meow, mephedrone or that weak, brownish MDMA that seems to be everywhere, but just to be sure, I will enumerate the main events of the past month below, in non-chronological order. Consider this a celebration of our new website. As a matter of fact, our crispy new website might well be the only good news this month.
Click the hyperlinks for the lowdown.

1. Free Pussy Riot Murders: You are probably as fed up as me with all the Pussy Riot news. As a native of the Wild East, specifically Romania, I am familiar with the Cossack modus operandi, so I wasn’t moved one bit by the girls being sent to jail. I honestly think that lest they got so much international coverage, a lot worse things would have happened to the deer-eyed punkettes. This is actually a good sign – progress, as it were, for Russian society. Going through the trouble of applying due process of law doesn’t happen every time back in our ends. To wit, this might be another instance of Twitter hashtags saving lives. Putin is a slick bastard, maybe the most powerful one man alive, and fucking with him can be severely pestilent. The link shows what lengths the Kremlin machine will go to to discredit someone who pissed it off. Remember, it’s only the Russian public whose opinion really matters – we can’t vote, or protest (in mass) in their country.

2. Miners were Massacred in South Africa – and the survivors have been charged with the murder of their colleagues. As you probably know, the South African Police Service shot dead 34 miners who were on strike at a platinum mine ran by LSX-listed company Lonmin. Well, the 270 survivors have now been charged with the murder of their peers. There’s human rights for you – work in a hole in the ground for a couple hundred quid a month, then, when you finally demand humane working conditions, get shot at and if that doesn’t get you, they’ll try to throw you in the calaboose. Of course, this issue didn’t get as much attention as Pussy Riot up in our yard.

Update: under pressure from the international community, the South African state has temporarily dropped the murder charges against the 270 miners.

3. Julian Assange vilified just as he got a break. If he was a hero in their eyes only months ago, the press has reversed their views on Julian Assange, in the wake of the diplomatic asylum he’s been granted by Rafael Correa. Some of the shit is quite funny, though. I would venture to say that their bruised egomaniacal patriotism drove them to do that. After all, little Ecuador committed a huge act of defiance of the Kingdom’s and The States’ might. Not many mentions went to the fact that Assange has yet to be formally charged in Sweden. Plus, in the murky legends about US politics, their blue-eyed spooks have been known to throw sex scandals at anyone who dares make them uneasy.

4. 2000+ Students from London Metropolitan Uni face deportation after the UKBA swiftly revoked the institution’s sponsor status. With perfect timing, too, considering that the new academic year is up in a couple of weeks. It’s still early to tell, but my country gumption tells me this was only done to set an example and we shall see it happen again at other universities in the UK, if they don’t get with the programme of policing their own students. There are a lot of overseas students in this country, FYI, some of them too busy sampling the democracy to remember periodically checking if they are still here legally.

5. Iran denies higher education to women. Their impotent leaders foresaw emancipation if those bitches read too much.

6. Nazis slowly (but surely) taking over Greece. Apparently, that’s okay with Europe (as per usual), as long as the country pays its dues to the banking Gods. If you studied history or watched it on Discovery Channel, you will know that the Third Reich started the same way. Nobody is screaming “déjà-vu,” though.

7. Another questionable death sentence pronounced in the USA. America will kill a black guy who might be within reasonable doubt on some accounts he’s been found guilty of.

8. Angolan introvert tyrant of 33 years about to re-elect himself, but nobody batters an eyelash, because Luanda makes a lot of money for evolved capitalist countries and Jose Eduardo Dos Santos is not mass murdering anyone, despite keeping Angolans in poverty through corruption. Again, more of the same.

9. World watches Syria consume itself in flames and blood. There’s not much to comment on this, apart from the fact that NATO and the UN are protracting their intervention because the country doesn’t have much oil, and Assad hasn’t given neighbouring Israel much trouble, which is a quality the West appreciates in predominantly Muslim countries.

10. The Guardian bows to free American enterprise by hiring a guy who used to write speeches for W Bush, and who is also considered a right-wing extremist, openly calling for murder of activists, on more than one occasion. His name is Joshua S. Treviño. This move by a traditionally left-leaning paper puzzled and angered people.

11. Squatters will be criminal offenders as of September 1st. The lawmakers weren’t happy with what they saw as a low homelessness rate, and having people who don’t own property outside the rent/ mortgage system didn’t compute to them.

12. The respectable Royal family has been casually vetoing laws behind our backs. His peeps have vested interests in the high end real estate market, and as any self-esteeming developer, Prince Charles has used his royal clout behind the scenes to sway the free market of land trade. However, that is the least of our worries, since the Royal family is often informally consulted before many laws are being read in the Parliament. If that comes as a surprise, you are seriously deluded. How else would a bunch of inbred blue blooded misanthropes continue to rule over centuries?

13. Barclays makes £500 m off food crisis. I think the probably made much more. As I called it months ago, during a debate with Dr Nic Potts, my professor, the banks are cashing in big on the ‘food crisis’. It was quite foreseeable that this would happen, since the real estate bubble is now gone and there’s no more room for speculation in that field – pun intended… Real estate is now only a safe piggybank, as opposed to the source of profits it was five to ten years ago.

They blow up the price of bulk foods by buying massive amounts of it and selling it between each other, increasing the cost of retail goods, thusly ripping off the end consumer. Nothing new up till here, but the food issue is quite sensitive at this point in time – rising prices might shave off a few concerts or video games or grams of mdma off whatever your chosen pastime is, but at the other end of the pecking order (what’s with these puns?) it means that more people are killing each other, dying hungry, going cannibal, or something very much along those lines.

Everybody apparently likes it that way, and most people look at you cross-eyed if you dare ask them about their views on the issue: “I donate to African charities regularly.” said an ‘art director’ I know. Donate yourself a hot shot.

I have pondered this gutting dilemma for long nights under the full moon, with no possible solution in sight. It deprived me of sleep and peace for weeks, until one fateful morning I entered Tesco’s and acquired a meal deal of Snickers, Bacon and egg sandwich and can of Coke, plus one of those little sushi trays for GBP 2, out of pure greed. I went up to the self service station and touched the word ‘Start’ on the screen, then scanned and placed all my items in the bagging area. I pressed ‘Finish and pay’, then shoved my green Lloyds TSB Visa Debit card in the POS and typed in my PIN code. My VISA was dead and the screen said “Alternative tender required.” At which point, not having any cash, I took out the card, picked up the bag and left the shop in a state of anxious stupor. What was technically an act of criminal theft, I realized is also our way out of the stingy problem of the food crisis: universal shoplifting. In essence, what’s happening is we can’t afford to buy the banks’ expensive food, due to their swindling techniques.

14. Nazis waltzing into the US Army. “My name is Lieutenant Aldo Rayne, and I’m putting together a special team, and I need me eight soldiers. […] And when the German closes their eyes at night and they’re tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us that they’re tortured with. SOUND GOOD?” – Inglorious Basterds, by Quentin Tarantino
The U.S. army has been allowing brazen, balls-out white supremacists to join their ranks and go to warzones and commit atrocities. Knowingly.

All of the above took place exclusively in August, and it hasn’t even been particularly busy, human rights-wise. This is the norm in the world we live in – and that’s only what happens out in the open and the press reports on. Imagine, if you will, the enormities we never get to hear about.

From earlier this year, here’s a couple of highlights:

The UK is working at being able to hold secret criminal trials. Why? Because of the NDAA. The CIA has been taunting the MI6 for not being as cool/ powerful as them. It is a dick measuring contest between army jocks, which will eventually lead to heavy oppression.

Cutting edge technology is being used to control and trace us, even if we haven’t done anything wrong. It’s always been like this, but now we have instant access to information and we are finding out about it quicker. Which is a good thing

The month of August has also been pretty eventful to me, personally, as far as weird situations bordering on rape go:

Lloyds TSB nailed me for £200 (3 weeks rent). According to them, as soon as you get a Visa Debit card, you exercise your right to an unplanned overdraft. I owed them £66 for a month and that’s what it cost me. Then I realized that only a couple of days before I had been forced into paying GBP200 for a GBP66 unplanned overdraft I found out about three weeks after I unwillingly took it, and subsequently closed my account with the bank, after a what almost turned into a brawl in their Mitcham branch when the clerk told me that “If you’re out of cash and you only solicit a small sum, we’ll grant you and unplanned overdraft. Lloyds TSB doesn’t want to be a nanny state, imposing limits on people’s accounts.” I froze for a moment, every muscle in my body getting tensed up. “You are not a fucking state. Shut my account now, you goddamn Shylock parasites,” I snarled. But more about that bollocks later. I have it all on tape.

The magazine I used to intern for removed my full page feature on street artist Jorge Rodriguez Gerada from the print edition and replaced it for a big ad. Ironically enough, the guy is a culturejammer, political activist and self-proclaimed enemy of advertising.
I have re-read Huxley’s Brave New World, in English this time, and as fate would have it, besides the obvious parallels already present in 2012’s proud Human Society, I’ve stumbled upon this article. Hot damn.

Read about all this soon on my blog.

Follow me on twitter as well, please. I need some online loving.

Namaste,

Harry Cathead