I’d like to thank everyone involved in another splendid fabulous ORCHID night – I could have played another few hours, felt so good. Thanks to Dennis STORIES/OF/A/STONER for djing with me and to the glorious helpers for decoration, bar and door!
Late, as so often, here’s the artwork:
This time I picked a zombie theme but did not do a Romero and depict the zombies as the opressed. It reached its cynical peak in World War Z, which still echoed in a car ad by Audi that showed worker’s of independent car services as zombies in contrast to the safe large corporate-owned services. After that I don’t want to use this imagery this way round anymore. So for ORCHID I thought, what if we turn the perspective around and look at the cis-/heteronormative parts of society as the slow braindead beasts we have to struggle with every day. Even if it often seems sisyphos work and the rise of the far right right now is scary – we won’t be silent, we won’t hide, we won’t conform to appear straight, and: we will dance. You see, I like constructing my club nights as critical pop art. ^^
As I didn’t have the possibility to make little tamagotchi zombie homophobes – which I would have loooved! – I zombified some of my *favourite* german anti-queer propagandists and made collector cards:
The day after ORCHID I was appropriately binge-watching The Walking Dead while recovering. It’s a series I hate-love. The Michonne and Andrea storyline was great but got far too little room. The scene in which Michonne turns up with the two *slave* zombies on chains and saves Andrea is such a powerful image, and I wish they had made a whole season of those ladies’ adventures on the road. Instead of the Governor’s return. A whole episode dedicated to him? Please! Booooring. As if we needed any more stories about violent white psycho men depicted as troubled suffering souls… and not one, not two, no: three women following him and falling for him… zzzzzzzzz… More Michonne plz.
Anyways: That Gov’s return episode turned me off and I switched over to a recorded livestream of a Yanis Varoufakis talk at a Portuguese university I had bookmarked. I love watching his talks. For his ideas, his way with words and for the passion and charisma with which he delivers his message. In (economic) politics he is like what Michonne is in the battle against zombies, ever the outsider. And like what Guy Picciotto and Fugazi were for me as a woman in Hardcore/Punk back in the Nineties – not perfect, because I’d rather have seen more women on stage, but still helping to take so much of what held us down away. And being sexy, passionate and inclusive while doing so. Varoufakis is making politics a sexy threat again, he is trying to make political discussion everyone’s business again, taking down the expert myth that’s so dangerous for democracy, speaking up for solidarity, basically: trying to drag the European left out of its melancholy. We need more politicial non-politicians standing up to the zombie apocalypse. And it could become my favourite hungover late night pastime to transcribe at least parts of his talks, both to savour and to share them.
“I am tired of talk shows being used not to mediate but to put oil into the fire of public disputes and *fears*.”
Last night then, I experienced a real flash of fear turning my stomach when I saw Björn Höcke (AfD) given a platform to display his far right propaganda on Germany’s most-watched talk show, Jauch. The reach! Knowing how many of his followers out at the screens cheering him. Höcke even pulled out a little german flag as nationalist power gesture, bragging about his deep love for his country. Could only have been more dramatic/ridiculous if he had pulled it from his trouser fly. His speeches at rallies are quite something: Rants about protecting blond german women from refugees and about a 1000 year future of
the Reich Germany. Some people have understandably compared his propaganda style to Goebbels. It is dangerous to give someone like him space on tv, especially with the political climate we have right now: Refugee homes burning, gallows for Angela Merkel and Sigmar Gabriel at PEGIDA rallies, a refugee-friendly politician in a coma from a knife-attack just this week-end. It is twice as dangerous if you don’t have a fierece zombie fighter – say, a competent host :eyeroll: – rebutting the nazi propaganda strongly. I am tired of talk shows being used not to mediate but to put oil into the fire of public disputes and *fears*. Höcke, especially in the first half of the show last night, definitely was a new peak in far right propaganda given place on public tv.
“Borders are an absurdity looked at from space”
Let me connect this back to Yanis Varoufakis: I loved how on BBC question time a few weeks ago (3:29min into the clip) he put the UKIP fearmonger into place with his rebuttal of anti-refugee propaganda (my transcription below):
Varoufakis: “Let me remind you, ladies that in general we’re all migrants and we’re all economical migrants. If I believe my anthropologist friends we’re all Africans actually who came to these parts of the world. A long time ago. But the notion that at a time when there are tens of thousands of desperate refugees being washed up at the shores of Greece and Italy, when there are 3.1 million refugees from that particular conflict in Jordan, in Turkey, in Libanon, and that these poor countries have opened their doors to these refugees and they welcomed them, they’ve sheltered them, they feed them, they make sure that they have water to drink – to have this discussion in Cambridge today of wether there’ll be ten- or twenty-thousand people were let in, to have this moral panic because a few wretched souls at the other side of the channel in Calais, this is not putting in good stead this country. This country deserves a lot better.”
Asked if he’d be for open door policy, letting everyone in:
“I have a tendency to say that I think that borders are an absurdity looked at from space. But we should have a robust debate on precisely the mechanics of dealing with this humanitarian crisis. To simply conjure up ridiculously pathetically low numbers – for a start we’re running a risk of running Mrs Merkel into the moral maiden.”
On the distinction between “humanitarian” and “economic” refugees:
“I make the distinction but at the same time I recognize that the distinction is rather blurred in many occasions because starving to death due to lack of economic opportunity…
Gets interrupted by Hartley-Brewer: “They’re not starving to death!”
V: “Well, some people are! With migrants from Africa who migrated to Greece under incredible circumstances because their kids were starving to death I can not easily say that these people are undeserving whereas others have deserved because they were shot at. You may make this distinction but I’m not going to follow you.”
“The problem with austerity is that it’s being used as a narrative in order to conduct a class war.”
And while I’m at it, here’s some more:
On austerity (at 20:45min):
“The problem with austerity is that it’s being used as a narrative in order to conduct a class war. And by that I mean … let me give you a very simple example: In Britain today, when you have the lowest percentage of public spending as a proportion of national income for the last 70 years, to be talking about reducing the state welfare when effectively what you’re doing is that you’re reducing taxes like inheritance tax and at the same time you’re cutting benefits: that’s class war. In the state in which Britain finds itself today.”
On cuts of National Health Service and education (at 56:17min):
“Allow me to look at this issue from the outside, being an outsider. This country has produced precious institutions, the NHS is one, the great universities another. Somewhere along the line you folks lost your nerve and you started questioning your own achievements, and this market fetishism entered realms in which it was never meant to be good at, like for instant the NHS or universities and you started to apply market solutions where they would never work. They resemble more like soviet planning with these market indicators, and trying to quantify the unquantifiable, the result of which of course is a loss of quality, both in the universities and in the hospitals. I think you should go back to the great tradition of public service. And public services provided by means of hierarchical institutions in which good people, dedicated to the task, do good stuff without having constantly to tot down and quantify everything they’re doing with the managers in the end taking a large part of the cut away from the doctors and the nurses.”
BTW: His appearance on BBC Question Time seems to have left quite an impression on some UK youth:
(After seeing one tweet like this popping up I did a Twitter search, that’s the result. ^^)
P.S.: Favourite album du jour:
BLUE DAISY – Darker Than Blue
It’s fully streamable (and purchasable) on bandcamp.