Saturday, January 1, 2011

Farewell to 2010, A Year of Bullshit and Oppression

It’s been a long one Seismologik; looking back, this cluster-fuck of a year seems even more depressing than when 2008 taught us the true meaning of the word “depression,” or in 2009 as we watched the “change we can believe in” become another mantra of false hope, revealed to be a siren’s song meant to profit on America’s increasingly exploitable gullibility and desperation. The year 2010 is similarly filled to the brim with horrible news, although you guys are lucky in that if there’s one thing I learned during the Bush Years, it’s how to sugarcoat the truth just enough to make it survivable, if not quite palatable. On that note, let’s begin this cheap summary of highlights amongst a cornucopia of unpunished massacres and political scandals, in order from least important to most.

By Aaron J. Feizet
8. Arizona Becomes A Nazi State

Shortly after a group of radical Mexicans burned down the Reichstag... er... murdered a Rancher, Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer lent her support to the creation of a bill that forces all legal immigrants to carry paperwork proving their legal status; the punishment for failing to do so is over a thousand dollars in fines and up to six months in jail. Rumor has it that in an attempt to streamline the system, legal immigrants will soon be given armbands with gold stars; refusal to wear one would result in immediate transferal to an internment camp. (Friendly word of advise amigos: avoid the showers.)
7. The Army Goes Tarantino On Some Civis

 A group of 12 army enlisted men, led by one (kind of fucked up looking) Staff Sergeant Gibbs, allegedly (and I say "allegedly" in the sense that while aPAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Army Paratroopers number of the grunts have already made plea deals, they have yet to all be found guilty, and most likely never will be in an American court room) murdered a number of Afghan civilians, tampered with evidence to make it look like a firefight had provoked the killings, and then butchered said civilians in an attempt to gain war trophies in the form of fingers, teeth, and leg bones. On the upside, at least they killed an astronomically smaller number of civilians than CIA drone strikes...

6. Flooding Ruins Nearly As Many Lives In Pakistan As The U.S. Military
Hey, when our government said it would do wet work inside of the Pakistani border (not that they ever explicitly said this to us, the citizens), they never actually meant they’d be saving lives. So what if providing aid to the twenty million people affected by the flood would do a lot to endear us to a population responsible for providing shelter to the Taliban? Pursuing that kind of initiative would require logical, forward thinking, and if we’ve learned anything about our guys in office, it’s that they're reactionaries to the last. Besides, launching a barrage of missiles from behind a desk in Arlington is more fun than feeding orphans anyway; it’s like Halo but only with screaming women and children instead of the Covenant. 

Photos by Igor GOLUBENKOV (NGO: Saving Taman) November 12, 2006, on Tuzla Spit5. British Petroleum Forcefully Violates Mother Earth, Says “Sorry”

I put this ahead of the previous picks because it negatively affected a larger percentage of white people than the other stories. I’m gonna go out on a limb, and assume that was the same mentality employed by most major media outlets when deciding which stories got the most coverage. (What’s that white middle class Texans with jobs that rely heavily on the Gulf Coast being clean and tourist friendly? You say you’ve just been ruthlessly boned by the oil companies in the name of profit, and that after paying lip service they just left you to die?  Welcome to life in the Middle East you cousin fucking gun nuts, and thanks a lot for the Bush family. Assholes.)
4. Obama Ushers In An Era of False Progressive Ideals

 His surge increased the number of troops in Afghanistan to its highestImage by Bogdan Migulski point since the war began (at the bidding of a whimsical idiot from Texas; yet again screw you Gulf Oil victims), and as a result received the Nobel Peace Prize. He enacted  legislation that not only guarantees the survival of health insurance companies, who shouldn’t even exist in a system of progressive health care, but also adds a clause that gives all Americans the right (?) to be forced to pay for insurance, and is hailed by the media as a socialist revolutionary. He then allows gay people the freedom to blow up Afghan and Iraqi civilians alongside their straight counterparts, and is called a defender of minorities... what a douche.  

3. Conservatives Glenn Beck and Ron Paul Go To Bat For Assange... WTF?

Perhaps one of the only positive, albeit incredibly confusing, stories to surface this year is that while not a single American “liberal” in the political system has defended Julian Assanges personal freedoms, members of our conservative parties have done so. Ron Paul called the members of Wikileaks heroes, while Beck went into one of his patented rants about how he felt Assange was being framed by the Swedish government on Washington’s behalf. While I have no idea why this happened, at this point, we Wikileaks supporters need all the help we can get.

2. Julian Assange Reveals All The Things We’ve Suspected, But Felt Creepy And Paranoid For Saying
Julian Assange, Wikileaks. This was taken during the Norwegian conference on investigative journalism (SKUP) on March 20 2010. Out Loud.

And now the time’s come for us to discuss our man of the year (at least, he would be our man of the year if Time Magazine were really serious about digital democracy), Julian Paul Assange. At the beginning of 2010, he taught us about the joking manner in which American troops take innocent lives with the leaked video entitled “Collateral Murder,” and in its middle he provided us with “The Afghan War Diaries,” which revealed the needlessly bloody and blatantly criminal personality of our war in the middle east. Most recently he’s begun releasing papers that place on display the sheer arrogance of the American Empire, and what’s more, cause us to seriously question it’s effectiveness even in subjugating other countries. In a world where speaking the truth can be a far more dangerous crime than any lie, it would seem that his days are numbered; before long he’ll be brutally executed for creating circumstances that could weaken the Empire’s grip on their provinces in the Middle East, and perhaps one day it's hold on the world as a whole. (Huh, I wonder if there are any other significant historical figures who fit a similar bill.) 

1. We Do... Absolutely Nothing

This has been a full year for the news industry, and lots of innocent people have been killed, oppressed, and in some cases even framed by the Swedish legal system. Through it all, we citizens of the Western World have remained stoically indifferent to even the most horrific of these atrocities, and something we’re all too eager to forget is that without this resilient sense of apathy, not one of them would have been able to happen. Likewise, the Wikileaks cables shouldn’t be an embarrassment to the corporations or governments whose corruption they reveal, but rather to those who’ve allowed this broken system to go without purging for far to long. It’s not something that a single minority president would be able, or willing, to fix; hell, we weren’t even willing to look for our revolutionary socialist leader outside of the two party system! Personifying the change we want to see in the world is the kind of thing that takes effort, and means risking more than a day wasted at the election polls. And so, as 2011 brings with it all the injustices of the past year, along with a plethora of new tragedies, remember that you do more to decide what happens in the news each day than all the politicians, generals, and cyber activists in the world combined. (I say this at the risk of sounding like those idiots at Time magazine, but at least my selection for biggest news makers of the year is more one of condescending malice than shameless pandering.)

Oh, and have a happy New Year!

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