The Organic Intellectual

If our greatest task is to liberate humanity, as Paulo Freire asserts, then it is absolutely essential that we create a culture of resistance from below that is able not only to counter, but transcend the limitations of the ruling culture imposed by above. Hopefully, The Organic Intellectual will help serve this purpose.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Best and Worst of 2010

This was supposed to be done on New Years, but life sidetracked me. A lot has happened in the past year, and since I have not posted anything in a minute, here’s a brief list of some of the most important, in my opinion, events of the year. I may have forgotten a few things, so if I have let me know and I’ll be sure to add it! Events are not organized chronologically or in terms of importance.

Our favorite peoples’ historian and teacher, Howard Zinn, passes away in early 2010, not long after releasing an excellent theatrical performance of The People Speak.

Venezuela passes a law, one which we ought to have had years ago in the United States, making banking a “public service,” putting some serious regulations on banks and requiring them to contribute more to social programs, housing construction, etc.

Vandana Shiva betrays any leftist credentials she has ever had by opening up a conference for the quasi-fascist, Hindu supremacist Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

Lowkey drops FIVE of the hottest political hip-hop videos ever: Obama Nation, Cradle of Civilization, Terrorist, Million Man March, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears!

The University of Toledo’s president autocratically pushes through a massive restructuring of the university with, basically, absolutely no student, faculty, or staff input.

Some reactionary judge dismisses all charges against Blackwater mercenaries in the Nisoor Square massacre.

Obama has STILL kept Guantanamo open, despite campaign promises.

A bunch of us in the College of Education at UT make it through the hell that was our Methods!

The earthquake in Haiti, as well as the years of instability and economic deprivation due to foreign imperialism, causes countless misery and death for hundreds of thousands of Haitians.

In the midterm elections Republicans sweep the House while Democrats barely cling on for dear life as they struggle to maintain a majority in the Senate (although no Black people will be present in the Senate).

Dan La Botz, a socialist, gets 25,311 votes in heartland Ohio!

Akala releases what is probably THE best hip-hop, genre-crossing album of 2010 with DoubleThink.

Self-proclaimed contrarian, “neo-Marxist” Slavoj Žižek spews some racist, anti-Roma crap and defends what are, essentially, pogroms against them in Europe.

Sell-out Wyclef Jean, supporter of the anti-democratic coup against Aristide, attempts to run for the Presidency in Haiti, only to be shutdown because the bastard hasn’t even lived there for the years it requires.

Elton John sells his soul for $1 million by playing at the anti-gay bigot Rush Limbaugh’s wedding, and then turns around and plays a show in Tel Aviv, despite the Israeli boycott, and calls those protesting SB1070 a bunch of “fuck-wits.”

Kiev, Ukraine hosts the second annual International Anti-Fascist Mixed Martial Arts festival, something we cannot afford to not have here in the states!

A couple of fed-up black workers rise up and slay South Africa’s most prominent white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche.

After originally sporting some real percussive Free Palestine ads on their city buses, Seattle backs down from political ads and claims they will only show “commercial” ads, as if corporate speech is apolitical.

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court rules corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money to elect and defeat candidates.

Boots Riley of The Coup and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine get together to form The Streetsweeper Social Club and drop a pretty good mixtape.

David Isom runs up to a right-wing crazy trying to burn a Qur’an, grabs it, then skates off, only to become a youtube sensation with a sweet auto-tune remix of his accomplishment.

Some brave Jimmy John’s workers get together and organize the first IWW union within the chain.

Coup government of Honduras is sworn in, while democratically elected leader Zelaya is forced to leave.

Some 50,000 British students protest and occupy university buildings to demand that the new Lib-Dem government go through on their promises not to raise tuition fees, which they do anyway.

The U.S. finally, after a bunch of dithering back and forth, repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in a major victory of the LGBT community.

Eminem, once again, completely and utterly wastes his talents by releasing an album so self-absorbed and apolitical it is sickening, only slightly redeeming himself by sardonically comment that gays ought to be able to marry because everyone ought to have the opportunity to be miserable.

The M_Ahmadinejad (which I assume is NOT run by Ahmadinejad) responds to the Qur’an book burning by claiming that he would “like to retaliate by burning a book that you Americans hold dear, but the only book you care about is Facebook.”

Spain takes the World Cup while the rest of the world leaves South Africans with debt and despair afterwards.

Athletes, including “Los Suns,” speak out against the vicious and vitriolic anti-immigrant law SB1070 in Arizona.

Rap News releases some of the most hilarious satirical commentary regarding WikiLeaks and government repression ever done through the hip-hop medium.

Nutjob Alex Jones condemns WikiLeaks for being an inside job to promote the global illuminati conspiracy theory after condemning Noam Chomsky for working for the CIA.

Arundhati Roy’s home gets attacked by right-wing thugs for claiming that the Kashmiri people deserve some respect and, perhaps, autonomy.

Eyedea, a rapper, dies at only age 28. R.I.P.

The show Glee really takes on the issue of gay rights when Kurt’s dad confronts Finn for spewing some homophobic crap in his home.

A barrage of suicides, attacks, and violence against LGBT youth takes place, promoting the “It Gets Better” campaign.

In a sweet move for us broke, politically-minded college students, Dead Prez releases their mixtape RBG Grillz for free, which flips Lloyd Bank’s vacuous Beamer, Benz, or Bentley into the more revolutionary Marcus, Garvey, Huey.

Rich Iott, trying to win a representative seat for Ohio, gets caught dressing up as a Nazi, and then gets rocked by Marcy Kaptur in the election.

Mark Coleman attempts what is, basically, one of the most disastrous comebacks in MMA history.

Israel continues its illegal and immoral settlement of Palestinian land, perpetuating the suffering and misery of the already suffocated, starved, and enervated Palestinian people.

ACORN is essentially dismantled after one video surfaces of an organizer helping out a right-winger pretending to be a pimp.

For a few minutes the world watched as Shane Carwin pounds on the purportedly invincible Brock Lesnar, only to get choked out in the first part of the second round after gassing bad.

Congress passes what is, perhaps, the absolute worst version of healthcare “reform” that could ever take place, basically handing private insurers more “customers” and not doing much in the way of actually providing care.

Cain Velasquez, sporting his “Brown Pride” tattoo, sweeps through the heavyweight division culminating in his relentless whooping of Brock Lesnar, known for his conservative politics, in what was as powerful a political victory for Mexican-Americans as it was an individual victory for Cain.

Researcher exposes the fact that U.S. doctors secretly infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis in the 1940’s.

Rampage makes a terrible showing against Evans, but comes back a few months later and really shows his stuff against Machida, winning a decision, even if he did comment at the end that “Machida whooped my ass!”

Middleweight champ Anderson Silva plays with Damien Maia for five rounds and, then, gets beat up for five by racist, homophobic Shael Sonnen until Silva triangle chokes him with a minute left in the last round (serves him right for the homophobic trash he talked about Brazilian Ju-jitsu).

Attempted police coup in Ecuador almost ousts democratically elected President Correa.

Chuck Liddell gets knocked out HARD by Rich Franklin, despite showing some potential for the first minute or so of the fight.

TSA introduces highly invasive body scanners to protect us against all sorts of devils.

U.S. Social Forum brings thousands of activists together in Detroit.

WikiLeaks releases classified war documents in massive quantities relating to Iraq, Afghanistan, and U.S. diplomacy dating back decades.

Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks, is accused of violating two women in Sweden and stirs an international debate on the left, especially the feminist left, of how to deal with such accusations.

A BP Gulf Coast oil rig blows up, killing eleven workers and resulting in the largest U.S. oil spill ever, devastating both the ecosystem and livelihoods of people in the region.

Frankie Edgar, in probably the biggest upset of the year, beats BJ Penn not once, but twice!

Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, faculty, and staff take part in a day of action to defend California’s schools against austerity and budget cuts.

Jon Stewart leads the anti-climatic “Restore Sanity” rally to tell everyone to calm down and stop being so darn political.

MasterCard revokes the right for individuals to donate through them to WikiLeaks, while maintaining that service for the KKK.

FBI raids Palestinian activists homes in what is reminiscent of the COINTELPRO raids of the 1960’s, although slightly less violent.

A Massey Energy Mine, cited for hundred of safety violations, explodes and kills 25 workers while the CEO gets off clean.

Blue Scholars drops Coffee and Snow 2 and, although it is not as good as the original, it was superb!

Paul Daley sucker punches Josh Koscheck after the fight in which Kosheck fakes getting hit in the eye and refuses to stand up and box with him.

Striking truckers and other workers in Greece literally shut down the country to protest austerity measures.

Eleven activists are murdered in the Israeli siege of the humanitarian aid flotilla headed for Gaza.

The police officer who murdered Oscar Grant is convicted not of murder, but involuntary manslaughter and gets off easy.

Shirley Sherrod is the attack of a racist smear-campaign by the right, facilitated by the capitulating nature of the Obama administration, and removed from her post in the Agricultural Department.

U.S. officially declares the “end of combat operations” in Iraq while maintaining 50,000 troops there for, we are to presume, laundry and daycare duty for Iraqi mothers.

Massive flooding in Pakistan, as well as the anti-Islamic sentiments restricting donations to the Muslim majority country, causes intense suffering and destruction for millions.

French students and workers show their disgust with the reactionary Skarkozy administration’s attempts to force people to work longer and hold a series of massive protests, occupations, and strikes.

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Derek Ide 2011


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