Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Weekend Open Thread


It's that time again - Jeez it's hot - the third weekend open thread.

Nothing is off topic, feel free to change the subject at any time, maybe your sun burn is unbearable, you've decided to support Iran in the World Cup or have composed a memorial poem for Zarqawi... what have you got?

31 comments:

Louisefeminista said...

I am still laughing re: the Jesus caption. A friend of mine sent me ages ago something similar with the caption that everytime you masturbate God kills a kitten and it ended with a picture of a cute kitten with the words, "think of the kittens"!

stroppybird said...

Oh no, this must not be another stroppyblog takeove of the open thread :-)

Do like the pic though.

Louise, don't you have an essay to do ?

Louisefeminista said...

Stroppy,

I have typed most of it... Hooray though get interrupted by darn blogs...

stroppybird said...

Well I have actually been out most of today in the real world. Thought I would pop into the blogs to see if there were any other saddoes about...and there are :-)

stroppybird said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim Jay said...

God bless those kittens...

stroppybird said...

Now this is not to turn into a frivolous girlie chat room.....

Jim Jay said...

In that case we should discuss FOOTBALL. I was wondering who would be supporting which teams.

I suspect our new minister of equality Ruth Kelly will be cheering Iran on for its government's progressive views on women and homosexuality. Hilary Benn was going to support one of the African teams but apparently thinks they should be managed by the banks.

And who's Blair cheering for? The USA apparently.

stroppybird said...

arghhh Ruth Kelly . Don't get me started on her. But some good news for her, I see on the BBC news page that 'superman is not gay'http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/5067874.stm.

Of course not, dressed that badly....

stroppybird said...

apparently as a response to suggestions the new superman might be gay , the director said

"Singer said his version of the superhero was a "very romantic icon" - handsome, virtuous and vulnerable. "

Apparently characteristics, along with wearing dodgy tights, that only straight men have.

Jim Jay said...

I really dislike superman - so I hope he isn't gay - I think Wolverine would be a better gay icon.

My personal favourite is of course Captain Britain God he was crap.

AN said...

it is worth saying that all the DC characters are being relaunched with more complex modern peronallities, and batwoman is returning in the comic books as a lipstick lesbian:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/5030518.stm

Cos i have a 6 year old boy i end up watching cartoons, and a piece of trivia mainly for Louise, did you know that in Superman the animated series, Lex Luthor's sidekick Mercy is voiced by Lisa Edellstein, thus establishing links with erlier threads.

AN said...

By the wat Stop the war Comnference was actually pretty constructive.
About 400 delegates, a quarter of them wimmin, and about 10% BME.
Very useful workshops, I went to one ofn working within thr labour party, even though I isn't, and there wwrrew about 15 people there, half of them not in the party, and there was a useful discussion of what you can and cannot achieve.

sappho said...

I have a similar sticker, yet it says, "Jesus is coming, hide your bong"!!

Jim Jay said...

Apparently the cost of shooting a man in his pajamas is half a million pounds I'd have done it at half the price.

stroppybird said...

Jim
You have spent to long on stroppyblog, now you are offering yourself as an armed assasin. Well with my long list perhaps we could come to an arrangement :-)

AN said...

There was an amazing story in the press last year about David Hasselhof complaining to the Berlin authorities that his role in the reunification of Germany and bringing down the berlin wall was not being officially recognised in the commemorations.
Apparently the bay watched one had performed in West Berlin the day before the wall came down, and in his own deluded mind this was a pivotal inspiration to the people of the DDR.
Why wouldn’t it be: check out this brilliant video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4798642060201159553

Reuben_the_communist said...

I might be seeing david hasselhoff in Jly if I decide to go to the international leonard cohen event.

stroppybird said...

Andy

How exactly did you end up finding that clip, are you a secret fan of David Hasselhof:-)

Jim Jay said...

Back to Zarqawi for a moment. The press drive me up the wall!!!!

Why is it *still* ok to print the corpses of the West's enemies and not alright for 'our' enemies to print the pictures of 'our' dead?

Much as I like looking at pictures of dead people over my sultana bran of a morning this hypocracy really stinks.

David Broder said...

I want to talk about what's going on in Bolivia - Morales' government has promised an "agrarian revolution", but is actually redistributing a tiny proportion of the state's land to peasants without touching the big landowners.

The landless peasants' movement (MST) has taken over some of these big estates - yesterday armed police had pitched battles with peasants in Oruro, as the government decided to turf them out of their "occupied" farms.

Read more on my blog - www.trotskyist.blogspot.com

AN said...

We discussed this a little while back: http://socialistunity.blogspot.com/2006/06/morales-effect.html

I am generally supportive of Morales's caution.

David Broder said...

You back Morales' caution... where does that put you when he is in direct confrontation with the social movements and trade unions?

Over the LAB dispute and on the land question, the government plays a hugely reactionary role - with its attacks on landless peasants on Saturday, Morales explicitly sided with capital against the poor peasants.

It is not only "caution" or "limited reform". To say that is to say that Noske and Scheidemann were "cautious" - rather than deliberately counter-revolutionary.

Sure, the reforms Morales has made are sort-of supportable in that they still represent progress. At that level we are fighting alongside him while pushing for more change.

But you cannot formulate politics on such reforms so simply in a scenario where the government uses armed police to attack those who spontaneously fight for more. Socialists have no choice but to back the most revolutionary elements when they are under attack by the bourgeois state.

David Broder said...

Over the LAB dispute and on the land question, the government plays a hugely reactionary role - with its attacks on landless peasants on Saturday, Morales explicitly sided with capital against the poor peasants.

It is not only "caution" or "limited reform". To say that is to say that Noske and Scheidemann were "cautious" - rather than deliberately counter-revolutionary.

Sure, the reforms Morales has made are sort-of supportable in that they still represent progress. At that level we are fighting alongside him while pushing for more change.

But you cannot formulate politics on such reforms so simply in a scenario where the government uses armed police to attack those who spontaneously fight for more. Socialists have no choice but to back the most revolutionary elements when they are under attack by the bourgeois state.

AN said...

David it is not 1917 or even 1918. the task at the moment is to deepen the reforms and hold on to power, and no it isn't always the most importnat thing to back the "most revolutionary" elements, if those elemsnts have a totallly incorrect tactical and strategic grasp.

And no it is not true that you are "fighting alongside" Morales, as far as I know you are here in the UK, not alongside him at all. This is just rhetoric - and the last thing the Latin American left need is advice from British trots (actually it is also pretty low down the list of desirables for the British movement as well).

And I apologise for saying this in advance, and I have found you comments on our blog useful and informative even where (as now) I don't agree. Bit is there any significance that your post - so typical of the attitude of some Brtish trots to the overwhelmingly positive exerience of the left in power in Bolivia and venezuela (and Cuba) is posted under the heading "Jesus is watching you masturbate"???

AN said...

Oh and back to football,this always happens arund this time in the tournament, I start off fully emotionally committed to supporting England, all the political arguments at my finger tips. My little boys in their replica England strips, etc.
And then i watch Argentina play, and Diego is there in the crowd, and i love them so much.

David Broder said...

All too often I've heard this argument when people criticise Chavez or Morales, that "who are you to tell them what to do. The Latin American Left has won far more that you..."

Yes, of course workers in Bolivia have mounted many great struggles. But I am merely relating what the real Bolivian left is saying- the trade union federation COB, the Landless Peasants' Movement, FEJUVE El Alto, the Trot groups. I am inclined to agree with them, the people I talk to - it is you who are telling the Bolivian social movements that their tactics are wrong!

In general though, I disagree with the idea that we cannot offer opinions or debate with socialists in other countries, even if they have won more than us. Luxemburg never thought "hmmm... I've never made a revolution, so who am I to critique the Bolsheviks". Even though my views may well be wrong, we must argue out our disagreements to hone our revolutionary theory and learn from working-class struggles.

By "we" I was referring not to the AWL, but to Marxists and the Left internationally (and i.e. in Bolivia). Although I am in the U.K., I can express the attitude I would hold if I were there, and the analysis I'd make. Also, I express solidarity and maintain contact with various people in Bolivian social movements, so at an abstract level feel some emotional attachment to their cause.

I think you are wrong to (implicitly) stand with the state against struggles which you see as "adventurist" - even if the tactics are wrong, to tell workers to back down, to tell landless peasants to give up the land they've taken and wait for Morales to save them, is not a good idea. You can't put yourself on the wrong side of what is a clear class divide - Radek did this on occasion, and I think it was bad for his rep in the eyes of German workers.

Also, I think my attitude towards Morales is entirely atypical of the British left - most Left papers appear to have no idea at all that there are strikes and workers' struggles under Morales. Most trade unions and social movements are very critical of the government.

I'll refrain from starting a massively long argument about Cuba...

Anyway, on my own blog there's shitloads of stuff about Bolivia. So read it.

AN said...

Thanks Dvaid

Yes I do hold a different view becasue I think that holding onto state power is valuable, and thereofre at various times it may be correct to side with the government against popular movements.

On a trade union basis sometimes even as a lay rep you have to advise the people you represent that they cannot win a particular demand, and it is better not to fight than to provoke a fight you cannot win. From what i have read of Bolivia perhaps the reform process can go a lot further before a showdown with capital is necessary.

Jim Jay said...

OK, deep breaths, deep breaths.

It seems to me that AN has replied (particularly initially) with undue dismissiveness of David's contribution to this debate. But first I want to deal with style rather than substance...

i) If David wants to post on the open thread about any topic of his choosing then he is free to do so and we should make our guests welcome unless they abuse our hospitality - which David has not done.

ii) All this talk of trots, it seems to me, is a bit of name calling and tackling the man not the ball - in my opnion political debate is most interesting when it deals with the issues (as parts of AN's posts have) rather than rather derogatory sneering (which other parts of AN's posts have clearly done here)

I think this is particularly inappropriate in David's case as he has shown the ability to change his mind on the subject - moving towards a far more nuanced position on the subject (and correct me if I'm wrong David) particularly influenced by his visit to Bolivia itself and meeting members of the social movements themselves.

Where I agree with David is that it is the movement for social justice that we should be commited to - and the government is only worthy of our support where it reflects that movement.

Where I agree with Andy is that the movements have been unable to maintain their close ties with the mass of the population - and although there are strikes and demonstrations of course, they have not had the kind of popular support that deliver legitimacy.

I think this because people look at the big picture, see a government delivering some reforms and under pressure from foreign governments and (some) foreign coporatrions. Rocking the boat does not fit with the honeymoon Morales is enjoying at the moment.

That does not mean they should not push the government over their demands but, it seems to me, they need to be able to engage with the Morales government and support and assist those reforms that that are worthwhile. I think this is probably the only way they can win back the supprt of their base.

Phugebrins said...

One thing jumped out at me: "I really dislike superman - so I hope he isn't gay - I think Wolverine would be a better gay icon."
I don't know much about either - but I would ask why it would be better or worse for either to be 'straight' or 'gay icons'. That said, if I'm missing the subtext that we idolise no-one, fair enough.

As to football, I support the true underdogs: they're always outnumbered, always play to a hostile audience, not one of their number has ever received a card, much less a sending-off. Anyone else for the All-Blacks?

Jim Jay said...

Basically I don't want to hate the only gay superhero...