An impulse exists among radicals to characterize any and all repressive or reactionary state behavior as “fascist.” Police officers assaulting demonstrators are a display of fascism. The United States government’s numerous illegal wars or wiretaps are fascist. The actions of the IDF in the Occupied Territories are fascist. Any conspicuous display of state violence is fascist. Oddly enough, though, most state actions that left-wing activists readily declare fascist are carried out by liberal democratic governments. Radicals are often tempted to boil “fascism,” a term referring to a complex and uniquely offensive ideology, down to a simple synonym for “repression.”
As anyone who has the misfortune of following me on Twitter knows, I’m pretty critical of the Israeli government. I’ve been particularly disturbed by the recent unfolding of Operation Protective Edge, an airstrike campaign in reaction to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens.* This campaign has killed scores of Palestinians, the bulk of whom have been civilians, and many of whom have been children. This recent attack on Gaza is reprehensibly disproportionate in a manner unfortunately typical of Israeli military campaigns. As such, it has rightfully reignited a great deal of outcry from various peace groups and critics of Zionism. One charge I see repeatedly, though, bothers me; not infrequently, one hears fervent anti-Zionists compare Israel to Nazi Germany. This comparison strikes me as highly irresponsible for a few reasons.
I had some lo-fi, folky-type recordings sitting around, so I shuffled them into an EP of sorts. Click the enormous album cover above to listen.
I doodle compulsively. Generally, I will doodle a specific thing. Several months ago, I started drawing anthropomorphic rabbits. More often than not, I found myself drawing a despondent-looking rabbit in a business suit. I named him Jeremy Mill. Jeremy, I decided, works as an administrative assistant at a financial firm based in Chicago. He doesn’t understand what his company does, or exactly what his function in the company is supposed to be, but it doesn’t really matter. He just shows up every day, pretends to work, then goes home. Continue reading
A few months ago, I made a little cartoon called “Pairs of Lenos,” which consisted of four short segments in which Jay Leno converses with a copy of himself. I decided to add a couple extra segments and put it up on YouTube for the world to enjoy. WARNING: Video may contain some NSFW Leno-on-Leno action.
Here you are, the leader of an underdeveloped country, plodding along your merry way, when all of a sudden you’re hit by hyperinflation, shortages, or some other Very Bad Thing. Now all of a sudden your economy is reeling, your usual prescriptions aren’t taking effect, and you’re not sure what to do. Out of desperation, you ask an esteemed economist from the developed world for advice. Alternatively, the esteemed economist might barge through your country on a very large parade float and yell his advice at you through a megaphone. In any case, he tells you that you just need to liberalize your economy. If you open your country to the capricious whims of global capitalism, you will be rewarded most handily with a steady rate of absolute growth. These words puzzle you. “Liberalize my economy?” you ask, your mouth agape. “But how?” The esteemed economist patiently lays out the process you must follow. Continue reading