“The Tea Party did okay in 2013. I don’t think they lost any votes.
They’re even a little more measurably Creationist than they were back
in January 2013. They think they’ll win the Presidency next time, but
after four years of their crazy obstinacy, what’s left of American
governance? If you think of the Tea Party as useful idiots for larger
forces that want to destroy the middle class and the nation-state,
they’re a wonderfully successful group. A thousand times more
effective than Occupy, for sure.”—Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2014.
To the zealots, Rigby was an enemy they were about to behead. To Saraj Miah, a Muslim man who happened to be nearby and was wearing a white prayer cap as a sign of his devoutness, he was a human being in desperate trouble.
Miah had been smoking a cigarette outside a shop in Woolwich, south London, when he saw Adebolajo get out of his car with a cleaver in his hand and slash at the neck of a man on the ground, as Adebowale stabbed at the body. Miah was the first person to try to save Rigby, shouting “don’t kill him” at the attackers. To ward Miah off, one aimed a gun at him, forcing him to back away.
”—Things The Racists Don’t Want You to Know. (a continuing series) via
Now we can see why Jantjie’s gesticulations generated such an uncanny effect once it became clear that they were meaningless: what he confronted us with was the truth about sign language translations for the deaf – it doesn’t really matter if there are any deaf people among the public who need the translation; the translator is there to make us, who do not understand sign language, feel good.
And was this also not the truth about the whole of the Mandela memorial ceremony? All the crocodile tears of the dignitaries were a self-congratulatory exercise, and Jangtjie translated them into what they effectively were: nonsense. What the world leaders were celebrating was the successful postponement of the true crisis which will explode when poor, black South Africans effectively become a collective political agent. They were the Absent One to whom Jantjie was signalling, and his message was: the dignitaries really don’t care about you. Through his fake translation, Jantjie rendered palpable the fake of the entire ceremony.
“Had Debord not shot himself in 1994 in his rural fastness of Bellevue-la-Montagne, he probably would have turned his gun on the likes of Tony Wilson and Malcolm McLaren (and no doubt me as well); pop music impresarios whose much-trumpeted situationist influence – such as it was – consisted only in a series of pranks, that, while they may have given succour to the culturally anomic nonetheless only resulted in the profitable sale of records, posters and other memorabilia. I doubt, somehow, that either Wilson – chiefly known for managing Joy Division and the Happy Mondays, and setting up Factory Records – or McLaren, rather more famous for his role as the Sex Pistols’ svengali, can have subjected The Society of the Spectacle to a sustained critical reading. Had they done so, they would’ve realised that their antics were anathema to Debord; that the playful elements of situationist practice – the bowdlerising of cartoons, the daubing on walls of whacky slogans, the exaltation of drunkenness – were only ever to be sanctioned if constitutive of a genuine insurrection, such as the few short weeks of 68, and as precursors of that revolution of everyday life (to adapt the title of the competing situationist theoretical work, written by Debord’s greatest rival, Raoul Vaneigem), which was to follow the final and complete dissolution of the Spectacle.”—Will Self explains Guy Debord to the pop kids.