Happy April from Global Comment! We’re reading all sorts of things this week as we delve into politics and culture around the globe. Here’s a taste of what we’ve been up to…add your own recommendations in the comments!
‘The Full Texture of a City‘ (Guernica)
Indian graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee speaks out about his work, Indian culture, and collaboration. If you’re interested in graphic novels in general, and products of the art in India in particular, this interview is absolutely delightful.
I want to make sense of things, to understand the world, but my work is never really instructional. I have no wisdom to impart or give, so I think my dream readers would be people who just use the book as an excuse to get into their own cycle of thoughts. The book is just like a map. It’s just a jotting-down of things that you can interpret in your own ways.
The European Union is struggling with a terrorism problem and the growing tension of a populace that’s beginning to embrace right-wing sentiments and solutions. As Daesh appears to be growing in Europe, can nations like France and Brussels, directly affected by horrific acts of terrorism, respond intelligently, or will they be sucking into a political maelstrom?
In the wake of the Brussels attacks, the fact that the terrorists spent time in Germany raises the question of how strong that country’s security provisions actually are, as well. There was a potential threat shortly after the bombings in Belgium. Using a German-language Facebook account, Erhan A. wrote that he hoped there would be more attacks. According to an internal analysis by the German Criminal Police Office (BKA), there was an attempt to launch “a French-language hashtag campaign” on Twitter, in which Germany was named as the next target of attacks. “Expect more bombs, more dead! Next time in #Germany too!” wrote the author, who has not yet been traced by law enforcement. German officials are also apparently unaware of any plans for an attack.
Silicon Valley is a world of buzzwords and unicorns, but is there room to humanise it? Bitch media fellow Felicia L. Montalvo explores the intersections between technology, feminism, and social justice in an interesting piece that ranges from the world of SXSW to feminist collectives changing the face of the industry.
In between the consumerist brand activations at SXSW, I stumbled on a Consciousness Hacking meetup where I met Mikey Siegel, a robotics-engineer–turned–consciousness hacker who was thinking up ways to develop tech designs that reject the quantified self (e.g. How many steps did you take today? How many likes do you have?). Within the group, we discussed key issues at the intersection of technology and humanity: How do we stop the endless feedback loop of likes and data points that are ubiquitous to almost every piece of wearable tech? How do we find new ways and new metrics for measuring well-being? How do we really humanize tech?
‘New York is about to become a madhouse: Why this unexpectedly fierce primary is going to get very interesting‘ (Salon)
Is New York City braced for the coming primary elections? The fight in the streets could ugly — and it could go from metaphorical to literal. In a city famous for its powerful and wealthy elite alongside working class protestors, a dangerous dichotomy could emerge.
But Trump’s interactions with the Park Avenue set will be as nothing compared to the mood that will await him in the streets. Activists in New York paid very close attention to the protesters in Chicago and St. Louis who successfully confronted the Trump campaign. They will be loath to let such lesser metropolises hog the limelight in that way. New Yorkers, after all, know how to protest. They know how to shut things down. There have already been major anti-Trump protests in the candidate’s absence. When he actually sets foot in New York, things will get very intense, very quickly. Trump will face what are almost certainly going to be the most heated protests New York has seen in at least a couple of years. He is not going to allow him to swagger through Manhattan unimpeded. This is a historic moment. This is a story to tell your grandchildren. People will want to be able to say in the future that, when Donald Trump came to New York, they stood up to him. Hopefully, by the time April 20th rolls around, Trump will have decided that Boston or Houston or Phoenix, or anywhere, really, is a better fit for him. Hey, a city can dream, can’t it?
‘Why I Oppose Bernie Sanders, and Why I Support Hillary Clinton‘ (Marie Schade for Norman G. Finkelstein)
The battle between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is getting more vicious by the week, and so is the competition for endorsements. But we’re most interested in what more ordinary people have to say about their political preferences. Here’s a thoughtful essay on one voter’s opinions.
All election long, I’ve seen post after post from rabid “Bernie Bros” ecstatically trumpeting the enlightened policies of Senator Bernie Sanders. You can find them in every corner of the internet spewing impassioned diatribes against anybody who dares criticize their presidential candidate. Well, I’m sorry, Bernie Bros; it’s not working on me.
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Photo: Eugene Kim/Creative Commons