stephen clark

marxist // new york city

I think I like this mash-up better than either original song.

'Party and Bullshit' by Biggie Smalls included a sample/interpolation from a song by 1970s militant proto-rap group The Last Poets; Last Poets themselves disapproved of Biggie's use but I wonder (honestly) if they failed to give appropriate credit to certain postmodern sensibilities of Biggie Smalls as an artist; 'Honeys wanna chat / But all we wanna know is where the party at? / And can I bring my gat?' Why is it so important to Biggie Smalls to attend a party in which he may need to carry a firearm? If he were going to a party to probably do something like ‘chat with honeys’ anyway — that’s already happening in this context but he interrupts ‘honeys’ to inquire about how to attend a dangerous party involving firearms (which itself later in the song is made clear involves hedonism or consumption of alcohol and marijuana as well). What sort of ‘party’ is he talking about? Is there a reading of the lyrics suggesting, evoking, and updating elements of the political militancy of the Last Poets and putting that into Biggie’s own post-crack social context, rather than an outright disrespectful subversion? (What does an urban lumpenproletarian revolution look like in postindustrial North American contexts?)

The track to ‘Party in the U.S.A.’ by Miley Cyrus (produced by Dr. Luke) includes a recurring ‘hypnotic’ deep-bass loop which sonically most resembles the beat to ‘Hip Hop’ by Dead Prez.

Pentagon distributes grenade launchers to campus police

Arming cops for heavy war — what’s just on the horizon?

Leaked emails: CIA still manipulates major US news media. (I want to say ‘nobody is surprised’ but I’ve spoken to too many otherwise intelligent people who dismissed the possibility, or obvious strong probability, of this as a ‘conspiracy theory’.) #CIA

International media describe the lead suspect in the beheading of James Foley to be 23 year old Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary of London, England, also known as the rapper Lyricist Jinn.

Apparently he was into Anonymous. Or else some intelligence agency is metatrolling pretty hard here.

No wonder ISIS are so into trolling on twitter, jeez.

Interlude.

ISIS beheading video included ‘play-acted’ portions
Let’s say they actually killed him but they put together the propaganda video in a strange way for some strange effect; ie they want to trigger 
conspiracy discussion about why the video ‘looks fake’ just as a sort of psy-tactic — not saying who ‘they’ would be; could be Saudi intelligence, deep-dirty US intelligence, some other associated actor, or even spontaneous work of media technicians within ISIS. ISIS engage in trolling on twitter which is sometimes deliberately wacky (discussing 
Jumanji, Schindler’s List, etc); some analysts have compared ISIS to LulzSec, which is actually really funny. (Taking that seriously: The fact that both ISIS and LulzSec are so ‘British’ is interesting — Britain is one of the top origins of ISIS fighters; LulzSec was like half British — in terms of international criminals decorating themselves with humor, and seeing the particular British sense of humor interacting with the internet in dark international contexts.)
Most ISIS fighters are from Iraq, Libya, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Britain, and Tunisia.
How directly ISIS is steered by any one intelligence force is unclear, but some important evidence: ~5,000 ISIS fighters pretty easily defeated the entire security apparatus of Iraq consisting of much more than 100,000 personnel at all levels, across almost half of Iraq’s territory. The Iraqi army dropped US-made weapons and ran. This event deserves more scrutiny than has occurred to this point (was there some subversion by generals ordering retreat and what could have motivated that?), as it is pretty unusual itself. ISIS then picked up the US weapons and showed immediate mastery wielding those weapons and in doing so routed Kurdish peshmerga forces before US airstrikes started.
This is a suspicion which I cannot presently prove but read as a tenable interpretation of the evidence at hand amidst a general lack of perceptive analysis; I think Saudi intelligence is probably coordinating ISIS strategy/tactics pretty closely; ISIS are doing too many things too well, displaying incredible organization and ability. This means arguably there’s a complicated dirty war happening now which can’t be quickly summarized; basically what I mean is an intelligence war of Saudis vs US. More complicated than just that, but that being an angle. That doesn’t mean US and Saudi Arabia are ‘enemies’, any more than US and France were during proxy wars in central Africa in the 1990s such as in Rwanda, just that on one level there is that power struggle occurring and actual rivalry.
I think Saudis want to declare themselves Caliphs and are using ISIS to conceptually and territorially pave the way for that. Saudis already view the other Gulf monarchies as like vassal princedoms, and probably would like to grab as much of Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria now controlled by ISIS as possible for a regional hegemony project. US may not support this idea and ultimately war against ISIS in part may be to prevent Saudi expansion.
Israel and Saudi Arabia have no explicit diplomatic relations but are close military grand-strategy allies. The rise of ISIS immensely benefited Israel through geographically separating the ‘Shia bloc’, especially separating Iran from Syria and Hezbollah. ISIS also preoccupies Hezbollah in Syria, so that Israel can bomb Gaza without facing possible war on its northern front against Hezbollah.

ISIS beheading video included ‘play-acted’ portions

Let’s say they actually killed him but they put together the propaganda video in a strange way for some strange effect; ie they want to trigger conspiracy discussion about why the video ‘looks fake’ just as a sort of psy-tactic — not saying who ‘they’ would be; could be Saudi intelligence, deep-dirty US intelligence, some other associated actor, or even spontaneous work of media technicians within ISIS. ISIS engage in trolling on twitter which is sometimes deliberately wacky (discussing Jumanji, Schindler’s List, etc); some analysts have compared ISIS to LulzSec, which is actually really funny. (Taking that seriously: The fact that both ISIS and LulzSec are so ‘British’ is interesting — Britain is one of the top origins of ISIS fighters; LulzSec was like half British — in terms of international criminals decorating themselves with humor, and seeing the particular British sense of humor interacting with the internet in dark international contexts.)

Most ISIS fighters are from Iraq, Libya, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Britain, and Tunisia.

How directly ISIS is steered by any one intelligence force is unclear, but some important evidence: ~5,000 ISIS fighters pretty easily defeated the entire security apparatus of Iraq consisting of much more than 100,000 personnel at all levels, across almost half of Iraq’s territory. The Iraqi army dropped US-made weapons and ran. This event deserves more scrutiny than has occurred to this point (was there some subversion by generals ordering retreat and what could have motivated that?), as it is pretty unusual itself. ISIS then picked up the US weapons and showed immediate mastery wielding those weapons and in doing so routed Kurdish peshmerga forces before US airstrikes started.

This is a suspicion which I cannot presently prove but read as a tenable interpretation of the evidence at hand amidst a general lack of perceptive analysis; I think Saudi intelligence is probably coordinating ISIS strategy/tactics pretty closely; ISIS are doing too many things too well, displaying incredible organization and ability. This means arguably there’s a complicated dirty war happening now which can’t be quickly summarized; basically what I mean is an intelligence war of Saudis vs US. More complicated than just that, but that being an angle. That doesn’t mean US and Saudi Arabia are ‘enemies’, any more than US and France were during proxy wars in central Africa in the 1990s such as in Rwanda, just that on one level there is that power struggle occurring and actual rivalry.

I think Saudis want to declare themselves Caliphs and are using ISIS to conceptually and territorially pave the way for that. Saudis already view the other Gulf monarchies as like vassal princedoms, and probably would like to grab as much of Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria now controlled by ISIS as possible for a regional hegemony project. US may not support this idea and ultimately war against ISIS in part may be to prevent Saudi expansion.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no explicit diplomatic relations but are close military grand-strategy allies. The rise of ISIS immensely benefited Israel through geographically separating the ‘Shia bloc’, especially separating Iran from Syria and Hezbollah. ISIS also preoccupies Hezbollah in Syria, so that Israel can bomb Gaza without facing possible war on its northern front against Hezbollah.