Jesus fucking christ this story man.
“At least four men, all believed to be homeless, were killed in Manhattan by an assailant who struck them with a metal object while they were sleeping early Saturday morning,” according to the New York Times.
A fifth victim is in critical condition and they have a twenty four year old suspect in custody the police said.
You may remember the other day when I highlighted the horrifying trend of homeless people being set on fire in California.
If you’re thinking what the fuck why is this happening you are not alone but I think I might know.
“Earlier this year, Fox News began increasing its coverage of homelessness in America’s cities, using a conveniently vulnerable population as a bludgeon against Democratic politicians and proposals,” Media Matters reported a few weeks ago. “In particular, the network has focused on California -- a Media Matters search shows that the network has aired at least 53 segments that discussed homelessness in California since May.”
The president has of course also been targeting one of our most vulnerable populations not because he cares about their well-being obviously but because he thinks he can use it to make Democrats look bad.
“Like many Americans, the president has taken notice of the homelessness crisis, particularly in cities and states where the liberal policies are combining to dramatically increase poverty and public health risks,” Judd Deere, a White House spokesman told the Washington Post. “President Trump has directed his team to go further and develop a range of policy options for consideration to deal with this tragedy.”
“In one representative segment,” Media Matters wrote, “Fox host Jesse Watters complained about ‘drugged out zombies’ and called for authorities to ‘bulldoze the 50-block radius, and you institutionalize everybody.’ Watters has been doing dehumanizing segments about the homeless on Fox News for years.”
You’ve probably heard this term but if you haven’t what this all is is something called stochastic terrorism and Trump and Fox News do it constantly against immigrants and Muslims and people of color.
This interview with author David Neiwert explained the concept pretty well so here read this part of it:
What is “scripted violence” or the more technical term “stochastic terrorism”? How is it connected to “eliminationism”?
Scripted violence is where a person who has a national platform describes the kind of violence that they want to be carried out. He identifies the targets and leaves it up to the listeners to carry out this violence. It is a form of terrorism. It is an act and a social phenomenon where there is an agreement to inflict massive violence on a whole segment of society. Again, this violence is led by people in high-profile positions in the media and the government. They’re the ones who do the scripting, and it is ordinary people who carry it out. Think of it like Charles Manson and his followers. Manson wrote the script; he didn’t commit any of those murders. He just had his followers carry them out.
What are some concrete examples of this from Donald Trump and the American right more generally?
The Pittsburgh mass shooter who attacked the Tree of Life synagogue is obviously a good example. He allegedly shot people because of a fear of the “caravan” -- immigrants and refugees crossing the border. Dylann Roof is another example. He was reading all this material about fake “black crime” statistics and decided he needed to do something about it. He was basically whipped up into a state of implacable hatred by the Council of Conservative Citizens and Daily Stormer and other websites of that ilk. These websites were telling him that black people were trying to kill all the white people in America. Roof acted on that. Then several months after Dylann Roof’s murder rampage, Donald Trump tweeted out those very same “black crime” statistics on his Twitter account. This false information ends up being reinforced, because we don’t actually tackle the underlying false beliefs. Instead we mostly are left reeling and repulsed by the horror of the violence that they produce.
Eliminationist rhetoric is always designed to dehumanize other people to the extent that it’s not only acceptable to act violently against them, it becomes virtually a duty to do so. Trump's “snake” story is another classic example because you are depicting an entire race of people -- Muslims or Latinos, depending on who Trump is describing that day. You are holding the snake and it decides to bite you. The snake is made into vermin so it is in your interest to kill it first. Right? That’s the object of that story. It’s really a classic eliminationist rhetoric.
Pretty cool shit.
I do not know of course if any of these violent people are targeting the homeless specifically because of Trump or Fox News and we have always hated and perpetrated violence of all kinds against the poorest among us in this country but I think it’s probably safe to say that having the president and the propaganda network that slurries people’s brains daily talking about the homeless like a disease and a vermin invasion doesn’t help nor does villainous dog shit from our cruelest and dumbest writers like this:
Sometimes the worst people you know will talk about the homeless and they’ll say some shit like they’re lazy or they didn’t work hard enough and sometimes those same people will say that type of shit when it comes to the idea of student loan debt being eliminated or whatever like some fucking worm I saw yesterday who was like I worked my ass off and got four degrees and paid my loans off why should anyone else get an education for free?
There is very little more disgusting to me than professional class people who talk about how hard they worked. Whatever you did was not harder than cleaning hotel rooms or roofing or washing dishes or whatever. Not to say that earning a bunch of degrees and shit isn’t also a type of hard or that academics’ labor isn’t also exploited because it very much is particularly with the epidemic of adjunct faculty being taken advantage of lately but the anger from guys like that is pointed in the wrong direction.
I write a lot about how freelance media is mistreated and underpaid but I’m angry at the scumbag management for stealing the profits we create for them not some hypothetical deadbeat getting a free ride for being lazy.
It’s not the people below your station in life who are fucking you. It is never them.
I speak sometimes from the perspective of someone who knows what it is to work for a living but I don’t know if that’s entirely honest. There's an important difference between how those of us who worked manual labor at some point or another in our lives experienced it as compared to people who have always and will always work that way.
I worked construction a few summers and in restaurants from like age 16 until 35 and it sucked sure but the key difference is that maintaining those jobs was never an existential demand for my particular life station. I was busting my balls working brunch shifts until middle age but I had a middle class supportive family not a rich one by any means but a caring and stable one. I had a fancy degree and no children to support and my health. If worse ever came to worst for me I always had all of that in my back pocket and so many people do not. For me working a real job was always going to be a temporary condition not a life sentence.
And even in a restaurant which is my main personal example of labor there is a class system that illustrated this phenomenon. Waiters with kids for example who take every single shift and need every tip and then waiters who can't wait get off to go play grab ass and get drunk and then the back of the house people working their second or third job of the day just to be able to stay alive. Then we go and call those type of people many of whom are immigrants lazy and say they’re taking from us.
Never trust anyone who tells you how hard they work and especially someone who does so from a position of comfort because they almost never know what hard work actually is.
Laboring with your body with the murdering sword of capitalist Hell dangling over your head and the knowledge that one missed pay check or one medical bill or one car payment could topple your life into chaos and put your children into the streets is what hard work is it’s not thinking really intently all day about which direction to shift the capital you have access to.
This is unrelated but there’s an absolutely insane-making argument going on on Twitter lately about Martin Scorcese and comic book movies and I saw someone say that his films glorify violence or some idiotic shit like that and it reminded me of this bit from Hell World from a while back:
I don’t know what you think when you hear a story like that or one when like a girl scout or whoever raises $600 selling lemonade so her mommy can stop having to go to the “ompcolojist” all the time but it’s impossible for me to feel much relief or happiness for anyone because the existence of the story in the first place by its very nature highlights how many people don’t get to win the feel good lottery. It’s like when you’re watching a big Hollywood action film like Avengers or Transformers or whatever and the camera follows one guy who keeps dodging robot missiles and you’re like thank god they made it! but meanwhile every skyscraper in the city just got demolished by a space monster’s giant ass and tens of thousands of people are dying in the rubble but still the one guy made it. Every fucking movie is a holocaust it’s fucking crazy but then the hero pulls the main lady close at the end and they don’t fuck because it’s PG but everyone goes home happy and stops thinking about the piles of crushed bodies in the background because the camera didn’t focus on them it was busy showing something else.
The word stochastic comes from the Greek and originally meant to aim at an object and guess or something like that and it reminded me to mention I’ve been reading this book Circe by Madeline Miller which is a telling of many of the events of Greek mythology from the perspective of the witch Circe who is mentioned briefly in the Odyssey after her romance with Odysseus.
Later, years later, I would hear a song made of our meeting. The boy who sang it was unskilled, missing notes more often than he hit, yet the sweet music of the verses shone through his mangling. I was not surprised by the portrait of myself: the proud witch undone before the hero’s sword, kneeling and begging for mercy. Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.
It’s a striking and beautifully written book it’s essentially what would happen if someone with a deep knowledge of the classics retold them all but writered the hell out of them. I keep reading it then thinking I don’t know if I need to read any more of this then an hour glides by and I’m enthralled and it’s like ah well I guess I do like it. Then when it comes time to pick it back up I do the whole process over again so what do I know I don’t know if I’m a very good judge of books or of anything I don’t know if I’m a reliable narrator.
She also of course encounters Deadalus.
The ocean draughts caught them, and they were borne aloft. East they went, towards the rising sun and Africa. Icarus whooped, for by then he was a young man, and this was his first freedom. His father laughed to see him diving and wheeling. The boy rose higher still, dazzled by the sky’s vastness, the sun’s unfettered heat on his shoulders. He did not heed his father’s cries of warning. He did not notice the melting wax. The feathers fell, and he fell after, into the drowning waves. I mourned for that sweet boy’s death, but I mourned more for Daedalus, winging doggedly onwards, dragging that desperate grief behind him. It was Hermes who told me, of course, sipping my wine, his feet upon my hearth. I closed my eyes, to find that impression I had made of Daedalus’ face. I wished then that we had conceived a child together, to be some comfort to him. But that was a young and silly thought: as if children are sacks of grain, to be substituted one for another.
Daedalus did not long outlive his son. His limbs turned gray and nerveless, and all his strength was transmuted into smoke. I had no right to claim him, I knew it. But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.
Read that part again it probably can mean something to you:
I had no right to claim him, I knew it. But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.
In the book Circe also encounters the Minotaur which is called Asterion her telling of which reminded me of the story The House of Asterion by Jorge Luis Borges which I’m going to drop in here because it’s short and I don’t think he would mind were he still around.
AND THE QUEEN gave birth to a child who was called Asterion.
I know they accuse me of arrogance, and perhaps misanthropy, and perhaps of madness. Such accusations (for which I shall exact punishment in due time) are derisory. It is true that I never leave my house, but it is also true that its doors (whose numbers are infinite) (footnote: The original says fourteen, but there is ample reason to infer that, as used by Asterion, this numeral stands for infinite.) are open day and night to men and to animals as well. Anyone may enter. He will find here no female pomp nor gallant court formality, but he will find quiet and solitude. And he will also find a house like no other on the face of this earth. (There are those who declare there is a similar one in Egypt, but they lie.) Even my detractors admit there is not one single piece of furniture in the house. Another ridiculous falsehood has it that I, Asterion, am a prisoner. Shall I repeat that there are no locked doors, shall I add that there are no locks? Besides, one afternoon I did step into the street; If I returned before night, I did so because of the fear that the faces of the common people inspired in me, faces as discolored and flat as the palm of one's hand. the sun had already set ,but the helpless crying of a child and the rude supplications of the faithful told me I had been recognized. The people prayed, fled, prostrated themselves; some climbed onto the stylobate of the temple of the axes, others gathered stones. One of them, I believe, hid himself beneath the sea. Not for nothing was my mother a queen; I cannot be confused with the populace, though my modesty might so desire. The fact is that that I am unique. I am not interested in what one man may transmit to other men; like the philosopher I think that nothing is communicable by the art of writing. Bothersome and trivial details have no place in my spirit, which is prepared for all that is vast and grand; I have never retained the difference between one letter and another. A certain generous impatience has not permitted that I learn to read. Sometimes I deplore this, for the nights and days are long.
Of course, I am not without distractions. Like the ram about to charge, I run through the stone galleries until I fall dizzy to the floor. I crouch in the shadow of a pool or around a corner and pretend I am being followed. There are roofs from which I let myself fall until I am bloody. At any time I can pretend to be asleep, with my eyes closed and my breathing heavy. (Sometimes I really sleep, sometimes the color of day has changed when I open my eyes.) But of all the games, I prefer the one about the other Asterion. I pretend that he comes to visit me and that I show him my house. With great obeisance I say to him "Now we shall return to the first intersection" or "Now we shall come out into another courtyard" Or "I knew you would like the drain" or "Now you will see a pool that was filled with sand" or "You will soon see how the cellar branches out". Sometimes I make a mistake and the two of us laugh heartily.
Not only have I imagined these games, I have also meditated on the house. All parts of the house are repeated many times, any place is another place. There is no one pool, courtyard, drinking trough, manger; the mangers, drinking troughs, courtyards pools are fourteen (infinite) in number. The house is the same size as the world; or rather it is the world. However, by dint of exhausting the courtyards with pools and dusty gray stone galleries I have reached the street and seen the temple of the Axes and the sea. I did not understand this until a night vision revealed to me that the seas and temples are also fourteen (infinite) in number. Everything is repeated many times, fourteen times, but two things in the world seem to be repeated only once: above, the intricate sun; below Asterion. Perhaps I have created the stars and the sun and this enormous house, but I no longer remember.
Every nine years nine men enter the house so that I may deliver them from evil. I hear their steps or their voices in the depths of the stone galleries and I run joyfully to find them. The ceremony lasts a few minutes. They fall one after another without my having to bloody my hands. They remain where they fell and their bodies help distinguish one gallery from another. I do not know who they are, but I know that one of them prophesied, at the moment of his death, that some day my redeemer would come. Since then my loneliness does not pain me, because I know my redeemer lives and he will finally rise above the dust. If my ear could capture all the sounds of the world, I should hear his steps. I hope he will take me to a place with fewer galleries fewer doors. What will my redeemer be like? I ask myself. Will he be a bull or a man? will he perhaps be a bull with the face of a man? or will he be like me?
The morning sun reverberated from the bronze sword. There was no longer even a vestige of blood. "Would you believe it, Ariadne?" said Theseus "The Minotaur scarcely defended himself."
Ok bye for today.