Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Semi-Open Thread: Balancing Smiles and Cries About the Events in Ferguson and Michael Brown by Watching Baby Groot Dance in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

The events in Ferguson, Missouri are critically important. While we reflect on them, it is also essential to maintain a balance between our smiles and cries.

As such, I will continue to post essays and comments on the murder of Michael Brown by the thug police in Ferguson.


Something is happening there which is connected to the angst and rage felt and experienced by the young, the Other, and the subaltern around the world. Moreover, I love it when American Exceptionalism is forced to confront how unexceptional it really is because that experience, if channeled properly, can make the United States a better place.

I will be recharging myself this weekend at Chicago's Comic Con. I am able to take that medicinal and sanatorium-like holiday because of the kindness and generosity of the friends of WARN. You have my back whenever I extend my hand; you help to push the sails on this ship forward. I will be going to Comic Con in good style, and not in the cheap seats, because of your positive energy. I thank you very, very, much. 

As promised, I will keep you all informed about my adventure.

Baby Groot, a character in the great movie Guardians of the Galaxy, makes me happy. Groot fills me with smiles. He is my happy pill in the summer of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

What are you doing to keep yourself balanced and happy? 

The culture of cruelty exhausts those who oppose it. Your and our greatest defense against it, is to maintain a balanced, happy, positive, and focused state of mind in the face of wickedness. 

White supremacy wants to exhaust black and brown folks--and those white folks who have decided to stand with us against it. 

Your positivity and sanity are a direct blow against white supremacy. We are not crazy. It is they who are deranged.

Do treat this as a semi-open thread in which to share information about the events in Ferguson, Missouri relative to the killing of Michael Brown by a cowardly thug police officer. I have one caveat: if you share a news item or other bit of information that is of public concern relative to the events in Ferguson, I also request that you tell us how you are staying positive, happy, and wise in these times.

Smiles and cries folks. Smiles and cries. 

Do please balance them. 


OldPolarBear said...

One thing that has cheered me up and made me smile right now, this minute as I read it, is this post that you are going to ComicCon! I'm not quite sure that I altogether "get" these events, but they sound like fun. A coworker is going with her daughter. I was poking around the website and noticed that there will be one in our city next year an I emailed her about it. She said her daughter had emailed her from work the second the announcement had come out and they are looking forward to not having to travel out of town to get there.

Are you going in costume/character of some kind? Also, I am wondering, is there ever any Babylon 5 things/people there? Or is that too old?

chauncey devega said...

Babylon 5 is a great show. There are folks in all manner of costumes. I am sure a Narn or Vorlon will show up. You should definitely go when it is in your neck of the woods.

KissedByTheSun said...

Baking peanut butter cookies for my little girls.
Anticipating littlebigplanet 3 for ps3. I don't think I'll ever get a ps4. Lbp3 may just be my swan song for hardcore gaming.
MST3K! You don't know what laughing is until you've watched Prince of Space.
Faith that God will right all wrongs.
Watching "Ninja Rap" on YouTube because I love seeing turtles slammin and jammin to the new swing sound. Also I refuse to believe I was that stupid as a kid as to think "Ninja rap" was quality entertainment.

chauncey devega said...

You can't go wrong w. Ninja Rap. To top it off you should take out Battle Frogs for the old snes or play it online. Now that is happiness!

The Sanity Inspector said...

There is still no further mention of Officer Wilson's "orbital blowout" other than on the conservative blogs. Seems like the PD would have gotten this information out in a hurry, complete with hospital photos, if it's true. But, they've bungled so much else of this incident I suppose it's not surprising.

KB723 said...

Wish her a happy b-day and I hope you folks have a memorable time... =)

kokanee said...

Thanks KB. Did I ever tell you that 723 are the first numbers in my Canadian social insurance number? (Eq. of US SS#)

chauncey devega said...

Orbital blowout, as in the door hit his face, or he shot the victim and the gun hit him in the face. Even assuming the worst, that Brown hit him in the face, you don't later then get to shoot dead a person surrendering because you are pissed, humiliated, or suffering from 'roid rage or some other drugs. This whole thing stinks to high heaven.

What do you think transpired that day?

chauncey devega said...

You sound like a great dad! We need more folks you like. I love lemon pound cake. Was it homemade or bought? Any recipes to share?

skilletblonde said...

It appears that Ron Johnson, the Highway Patrol Commander, has been fooled by the Ferguson Police, or he isn't that bright. Or could it be they think we're stupid. With all of that reporting of Molatov Cocktails being thrown, there is not one picture or video footage. Ron Johnson simply walks up to a table surrounded by white officers... and places a 40 ounce Colt 45 liquor bottle with a rag in it... and puts it down. It just screamed fake, hoax and sham. If it is evidence, what is he doing handling it with his bare hands? I goggled Molotov Cocktail in Ferguson, and guess what came up? The majority of the sources on this story originated from Right-Wing sites. Here again, the Corporate, Media has again, accepted and reported the propaganda of the Right-Wing. If this turns out to be true, and it really is looking like it is, massive complaints to the FCC and the advertisers of these news networks is warranted.

Notice here in this video how many times Ron Johnson says Molotov Cocktail.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I was wondering if you could elaborate on "anti-racist Schadenfreude." I've looked the term up and I know it refers to deriving some sense of pleasure out of others' pain.

Specifically, there's an article by the Onion circulating called "Tips for Being an Unarmed Black Teen." To me this seems to be getting a little bit of a jolly out of racism in America.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I have seen one video of one person throwing what looks like a molotov. It was in a New York Times video clip.


kokanee said...

Some cakes should be made with the mix. This is one of them. The recipe's on the box:
1 package Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake Mix
1 package instant lemon pudding
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
4 eggs

Baking Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Blend ingredients in large mixer bowl.
Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.
Turn into greased 10-inch tube pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes or till golden brown.
Cool 25 minutes. Then remove from pan.
Glaze: Blend 1 cup confectioner's sugar with 2 Tbsp. lemon juice. Drizzle over cake.



Gable1111 said...

Given the contempt with which the Ferguson cops portrayed in dealing with peaceful demonstrators, its valid to assume there is a culture of disrespect if not outright hatred of blacks. I believe Wilson was acting out of that ethos that day when he encountered Brown, told him to get the f*ck off the street, got mad when they didn't, raced back, threw the door open against them and got madder still when it slammed back against them. And all the shooting that occurred thereafter was not an act of "self defense" but of pure rage borne of humiliation of the incident, and hatred. In typical homicide cases, when a victim is shot multiple times, investigators consider a personal or emotional angle, and that is clearly the case here. Wilson did not have to shoot that many times to "stop a threat" that Brown supposedly posed.

Other contradictions come into play. They rushed to put out that video of Brown supposedly robbing the store, and if Wilson was injured to the extent the right claims now, why wouldn't they put that out there to bolster the justification they are going after?,

Speaking of the store video, it is now being called into question:

This can explain why no employee of the store, including the clerk who was pushed, called police, because there was no robbery. It also explains why the attorney hired to represent the store publicly stated that the owners and employees of the store had nothing to do with "what happened in the street."

Not that what happened in the store justifies Wilson accosting Brown, but this is the slim reed of character assassination they've hung their hats on, that the media conflates for the stupid as "evidence", to justify crimes committed against unarmed blacks.

What really bothers me about this is the systematic way in which the much of the mainstream media is colluding with Ferguson police to help justify by painting protesters as "looters."

I think about incidents of racist violence in the 50s and 60s, Little Rock comes to mind, where the feds nationalized the National Guard to protect citizens not only from violent white mobs, but local police who worked with the mobs. How long of a way have we come, when the people in Ferguson are left to their own devices, and no one, not even "Captain Ron" who is becoming a sad joke, let alone the federal government, are coming to the aid of the besieged people in Ferguson.

Wild Cat said...

Never been one for agitprop, but this one is worth a listen:

DanF said...

Sounds like a great day kokanee! I know we take-in so much joy in raising our daughters - from the celebrations, to the little things that happen each day. Hopefully we are raising bright lights that will make the world a little safer and kinder.

Wild Cat said...

He's a useful idiot for the right. And he knows who is paying his salary.

Courtney H. said...

I am glad that your daughter had a happy birthday! And you made the cake! That is so cool!

KB723 said...

Nope you never told me that, nor did I guess it.... =)

skilletblonde said...

Update on Fake Molotov Cocktail Reports:

Myshkin posted a link down the thread of a New York Times video that appears to be of a man throwing a Molotov Cocktail. However, I have searched and searched and I am unable to find any more. The only thing that keep coming up is Ron Johnson and the Colt 45 Malt Liquor bottle. What I did find however, is an article by the New Republic responding to Ferguson with an article titled, "History Of Molotov Cocktails." When you click on the article, what you will see appears to be an African American male, with a cap turned backwards, throwing a Molotov Cocktail. But notice the building in the photo? Also, notice the other man in the photo? Notice his sandals and clothes. I thought, this is not Ferguson Missouri. Well, not only is it not Ferguson, Missouri, it's not the United States. Look at the man throwing the bottle? Look closely at his hair? He's not African American, he's Asian. Actually he is Indonesian. The photo is from a protest in Indonesia. If you look at the bottom right corner of the photo, you will see Photo:Adek Berry/AFP. Adek Berry is a journalist in Indonesia. No where does it list in the article that the photo is from Indonesia.

The New Republic has a reputation of having some liberal ideas. But It is not a liberal publication. At best it is libertarian. This is not the first time they have used racist imagery in their articles. They also praised the racist book, "The Belle Curve." This depiction of an Indonesian as a black man is about as low as it gets. It's contemptuous and it's dangerous.

Moreover, I will admit that my computer skills are not that savvy. Those of you that subscribe to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may have access to more images. A young man is dead and the police along with their allies in the Right-Wing, and Mainstream Media are not only scandalizing his reputation, but those protestors that wanted to express their outrage. Therefore, use your computer and organizing skills to fight back. Expose these liars for what they are.

Please take a look at the New Republic photo and article:

Now take a look at Adek Berry's AFP blog where they got the photo:

There is a website that is dedicated to seeking and posting images of the alleged Molotov Cocktails. As you can see, there are none other than Johnson's Colt 45 bottle. Also check out some of the commentary:

skilletblonde said...

Thanks Myshkin.

The Sanity Inspector said...

Today CNN is reporting unnamed sources close to the investigation, saying that the story of a fractured eye socket is false, although apparently the officer did have a swollen face. So, I guess I'll continue waiting for them to get their story straight--but I'm rapidly losing faith in their ability to do so.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I first saw the man throwing the molotov in a set of gifs being shared on tumblr. It's not the same as that photo from the new republic.

Here is a link to a page which shows the gifs, it is the sixth one down.

It is the only depiction of a Molotov Cocktail being used in Ferguson that I have seen. Of course one bottle bomb is nothing against hundreds or thousands of rounds of tear gas and flash grenades, rubber bullets and wooden pellets, as well as real bullets.

chauncey devega said...

Funny how a bunch of incompetents can't even orchestrate a proper cover-up isn't it?

Human Relations 1932 said...

For me this has become the Summer of Disgust.

Disgust with a substantial portion of US citizens (those raising money for this Wilson creep, those defending the police regardless of how brutal they behave,) disgust with the lies and corruption of government institutions, with Gaza and Ukraine, with the ongoing assault on the natural world.

I wonder just how low this society can sink into the pit of utter wrongness.

Meanwhile, I clean the house, work in the yard, take care of my wife and the cat, read some good books, listen to some good music to temper the despair.

I wish that I had the physical and financial resources to do more than that. Unfortunately, at a younger age I didn't play the cards I was dealt in life very well, and so my means are limited today.

Thank you, Sir, for your writing on Ferguson and all the rest. It's very much appreciated.