Frann Michel's blog

on the relation between queer and immigrant movements

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for The Old Mole 9 June 2008

Certainly both groups have faced legislative attacks. Richard Fricker on Consortium News is only one of several recent writers to note what he calls a “surge of theocracy tinged with white racialism,” which he sees in a series of recent measures in Oklahoma.

But of course it’s not just Oklahoma.

mother's day for peace

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and by some counts it was the one-hundredth anniversary of Mother’s Day in the US . In 1870, social activist Julia Ward Howe wrote her Mother's Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament, a call to unite women to organize against war.

badiou on the communist hypothesis


Here on the Old Mole we try to be uplifting; we like to focus not just on political critique, but also on the ways that  ordinary folks can make a difference, the ways that even when the gardens of Versailles seem undisturbed, the mole of revolution is digging away underground.   Sometimes this  feels harder than others, and just lately there’s been what Jaques-Alain Miller calls a “surge on depression” –emotional, economic, and heavily medicated.

Joe Bageant diagnoses pandemic “rage fatigue” as the root of what he calls “the audacity of depression.” 

obamarama

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Many progressive commentators have observed that Barak Obama’s rhetoric and supporters seem quite progressive, but his policies and record are much less so.

Do Muslim Women Need Saving?

When the United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan, one of the prominent justifications was liberating the people George W Bush called “women of cover” from the Taliban.  Laura Bush told us in 2002  that “the fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women."  Similarly, in March 2003, shortly after the United States and its allies invaded Iraq, women's rights and gender equity  were mentioned as symbolic issues for Iraq's new national agenda.

Girls Rock!

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 Girls Rock!  the movie about Portland’s Rock and Roll Camp for Girls  which has inspired other girls rock camps opens March 7 at Cinema 21.

Be there!

 

Reviewed on the Old Mole Variety Hour 3-3-08.

CLR James

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Born in Trinidad in 1901, CLR James was a leftist writer and social theorist until his death in 1989. In the 1930s, he worked for West Indian Independence, and moved to Britain, where he wrote a number of novels, and was the cricket reporter for the Manchester Guardian. In the 1940s and early 1950s, he lived in the United States, and wrote about politics, film, literature, and literary criticism.

Deported in 1953, he was much influenced by the 1957 revolution in which the former British colony of the Gold Coast became Ghana, and by the ensuing anticolonial and Black Power struggles of the 1950s and 60s.

Persepolis reviewed


Denise Morris and Frann Michel review Persepolis on the Old Mole Variety Hour 1-25-08.

Thirst: a documentary on water privatization battles

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The documentary Thirst, directed by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman, is available though the Multnomah County Library.

It’s a fitting topic for a day devoted to remembering Martin Luther King, Jr, since King’s work recognized the power of grassroots political action and, in his later years, also acknowledged the need for economic restructuring.

po lice

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The Prologue to Dario Fo’s 1970 play Accidental Death of an Anarchist explains that in late 1969 there were a number of bomb incidents in Italian cities.
Milan police arrested an anarchist and accused him of the crime. At a certain point in his interrogation, the anarchist flew out the window of the police station. Something similar occurred in New York in 1921, when the anarchist Salsedo flew out the window of a police station, around the same time that Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested for a crime never proven against them. From these stories we can conclude that many anarchists are obsessed by the urge to jump out of the window, because they believe they are able to fly.
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