Cartel of Defiance

cartel of defiance (noun): 1. In medieval combat, a formal declaration, delivered by herald, of a combatant's intention to fight and refusal to submit. 2. An electronic assemblage of engaged and enraged citizens. 3. An intertextual mode of reading, writing, and thinking that puts the current political, cultural, and personal moment in dialogue with text/art from the past in counterargument to the ahistorical Memory Hole into which America seems to have slipped.

Thursday, September 01, 2005



"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." -- Grover Norquist, NPR 5/25/01


Blogger wg said...


5:18 PM  
Blogger awol said...

"All I can say is: If this was a junket, it was the worst-run junket in the history of public relations. My radio station and I had to pay all my expenses, I slept on a bare cot in a tent in the desert, and at some locations the only available "food" (and I use that term under protest) were MREs — which stands for 'Meals Ready to Eat...assuming you've already eaten both shoes and most of your undergarments.'"
-- Michael Graham, National Review, July 21 2005, on the “much-maligned Truth Tour”

"I want my stuff back. The jeans and chips you stole did not belong to 'everybody.' They belonged to people who who worked hard, saved and invested and sacrificed to build something. In other words, to people who EARNED it. Not you, the pathetic scum wading through the streets of New Orleans laden with the wealth you stole from others. You haven't earned anything, except scorn."
Michael Graham, yesterday

“FEMA's moving supplies and equipment into the hardest hit areas. The Department of Transportation has provided more than 400 trucks to move 1,000 truckloads containing 5.4 million meals ready to eat, or MREs; 13.4 million liters of water; 10,400 tarps; 3.4 million pounds of ice; 144 generators; 20 containers of prepositions disaster supplies; 135,000 blankets and 11,000 cots. And we’re just starting.
Bush Press Conference, yesterday, his emphasis – and mine.

Q Scott, do you cited the President's zero tolerance for insurance fraud, looting, price gouging. Does he make any allowance for people who have yet to receive aid who are taking things like water or food or shoes to walk among the debris?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you heard from the President earlier today about his zero tolerance. We understand the need for food and water and supplies of that nature. That's why we have a massive effort underway to continue getting food and water and ice to those who are in need. There are ways for them to get that help. Looting is not the way for them to do it.
McClellan Press Conference, today

5:39 PM  
Blogger kid oakland said...

I think one of the questions that hits I see this photo.

Is how other people are seeing these photos of majority Black, majority poor Americans who were victims of this Hurricane?

I wonder what folks see? Or if they see with two sets of of compassion....and I think that's there. I think it exists.

And one of fear. That the Hurricane has ripped of the mask of racism and poverty that our society keeps so tightly clasped to its face.

When I see the pictures from the Convention Center and the Superdome...I honestly see my neighbors, nothing more, nothing less. I don't think everyone taking refuge is necessarily all that poor either...some folks just happened to get caught.

And there were reasons to elderly or disabled relative...lack of knowledge of a place to go...the feeling that, at least here, in the city, you feel at home and safe.

I think white America..and non-urban America has so much to realize about our cities...

they are havens for many of us, they are our homes.

This dad and his child...I hope he makes it. Many haven't.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous hy sentence said...

The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could hide him no longer she took for him a basket made of bulrushes, and daubed it with bitumen and pitch; and she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds at the river's brink. And his sister stood at a distance, to know what would be done to him.

- - Exodus 2:2-5

In the gray dawn light Uncle John waded around the end of the car, past the Joad truck; and he climbed the slippery bank to the highway. He walked down the highway, past the boxcar flat, until he came to a place where the boiling stream ran close to the road, where the willows grew along the road side. He put his shovel down, and holding the box in front of him, he edged through the brush until he came to the edge of the swift stream. For a time he stood watching it swirl by, leaving its yellow foam among the willow stems. He held the apple box against his chest. And then he leaned over and set the box in the stream and steadied it with his hand. He said fiercely, "Go down an' tell 'em. Go down in the street an' rot an' tell 'em that way. That's the way you can talk. Don' even know if you was a boy or a girl. Ain't gonna find out. Go on down now, an' lay in the street. Maybe they'll know then." He guided the box gently out into the current and let it go. It settled low in the water, edged sideways, whirled around, and turned slowly over. The sack floated away, and the box, caught in the swift water, floated quickly away, out of sight, behind the brush.

- - John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

* * * * *

A friend from Baton Rouge writes that the locals are already murmuring about the "riff-raff" relocated from New Orleans; it isn't safe, they say; martial law should be declared.

(wg: take your photo, and your caption, and get it the widest possible distribution.)

(kid oakland, awol: people all over the country can look at the pictures coming out of there and think about diverted helicopters and Guardsmen, squandered funds, FEMA-as-patronage-post, reckless wetlands development, constituencies and voting patterns, poverty, hubris. Or they can think to themselves: this is what we see when the mask slips from the black face.

Competing visions of the mask: which one's going to win out?)

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