Linklog entries in June 2016

Friday, 3 June 2016

Corbyn: The Outsider 

Take thirty minutes to watch this Vice documentary which follows Jeremy Corbyn and his team behind-the-scenes for eight weeks.

Reporter Ben Ferguson says from the outset that he’s a Labour Party member who voted for Corbyn in the leadership election. This makes the film a more sobering watch.

Will Self’s impression after viewing the documentary was that Corbyn lacks sophistication and acumen and is ineffectual. He also said:

the astonishing thing about Corbyn is that he’s managing to cock things up entirely on his own terms.

Corbyn has many virtues, including his firm principles, decent values, and a genuine ease when meeting the public which he says keeps him ‘humble’. However it is excruciating to watch him miss the opportunity to attack Cameron when Duncan Smith resigns.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Naomi Klein: Let Them Drown 

This essay/talk by Klein applies Edward Said’s thinking to a warming world. It’s a worthwhile read. Here’s just one nugget:

We often hear climate change blamed on ‘human nature’, on the inherent greed and short-sightedness of our species. Or we are told we have altered the earth so much and on such a planetary scale that we are now living in the Anthropocene – the age of humans. These ways of explaining our current circumstances have a very specific, if unspoken meaning: that humans are a single type, that human nature can be essentialised to the traits that created this crisis. In this way, the systems that certain humans created, and other humans powerfully resisted, are completely let off the hook. Capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy – those sorts of system. Diagnoses like this erase the very existence of human systems that organised life differently: systems that insist that humans must think seven generations in the future; must be not only good citizens but also good ancestors; must take no more than they need and give back to the land in order to protect and augment the cycles of regeneration. These systems existed and still exist, but they are erased every time we say that the climate crisis is a crisis of ‘human nature’ and that we are living in the ‘age of man’.