While the left is typically no fan of media consolidation and behemoth capital ventures, this one begs a different sentiment than Canada’s Conrad Black-style takeovers.
With AOL putting Arianna Huffington at the helm of all of the company’s media, it gives the left a better chance at permeating the mainstream — something we have failed to do by constantly clinging to independent media such as The Nation and GritTV.
My one worry, though, is that Arianna will pull a Barack Obama and feel that because she is in an elevated position, her ideology and compassion will take a back seat to business and mainstream ideals. In short, Arianna may make the lunge to the center that too many on the left have made upon getting more powerful.
The chances of this are slim though. Arianna has a level of passion that is unmatched by Barack Obama and can only be outdone by the likes of superhero activists like Maude Barlow and Naomi Klein. I will remain confident with Arianna, give this AOL update a chance, and hope for the best~
The United States has no intent on letting its control over Egypt go easily. The Obama administration will not let them go without a fight. Much the same way Bush used the fall of Saddam to turn Iraq into a neoliberal playground (and the cheering on the Clinton administration gave to Yeltsin as he sliced apart the Soviet Union and handed it over to the oligarchs), there is no doubt that President Obama, backed by his Wall Street buddies Lawrence Summers, Tim Geithner, and William Daley, will try to take the few public services that Mubarak didn’t sell off and put them in the hands of the quad — the United States, the EU, Canada, and Japan. It may be incredibly fitting that France’s Suez will grab the Suez Canal. Bechtel will take the electricity. Blackfire will take the natural resources. Exxon Mobil will take the oil, and Lockheed Martin will take everything else~
Not to mention, Egypt’s strategic proximity to Israel will probably mean that we will buy the support of the government to retain it’s compassion-free policies towards refugees and continue to be Israel’s buddy~
Optimistically though, there is hope in regards to debt relief. Mubarak didn’t accumulate enormous sums of odious debts like Saddam did. This will make it harder for development banks like the IMF to swoop in and use refinancing to turn democracy into betrayal. With Egypt, we’ll have to wait and see.
Thinking back to Portland’s gay pride parade last year, I am still haunted by the fact that the gay rights movement has turned on its own team. Nonprofits like the Human Rights Campaign and GLSEN champion the issue of gay rights, but at the cost of seeking allies from libertarian groups, endorsing republican candidates, and partnering with companies that have horrible histories. Ironic, I might add, that the Human Rights Campaign is bffs with Coca Cola and Pepsi — two companies with horrible human rights records. The same is true with Nike. Now turn to GLSEN. Just take a look at their website. At the bottom they have a banner thanking their sponsors: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and other corporate behemoths that can be credited with the downfall of our economy in 2008. These nonprofits have yet to denounce these companies. Heck, they still promote them. The HRC recently released an iPhone app with info about tons of companies and their gay rights records. It’s no surprise that BP, Nike, and Pepsi are considered gay rights superstars.
It all makes me want to turn on the movement. It’s the only issue that the left is clearly winning on, and yet (much like B. Hussein Obama) it’s turned on its supporters. Why have support from those losing human rights activists when you can have the Chamber of Commerce bankrolling your campaign? It’s all incredibly frustrating, and oozes betrayal~
Seeing a gay pride parade reminds me of when I visited Mexico after hearing about how fantastically life-changing the experience would be because of immersing yourself in a new culture. The only problem? The culture was the same as that of the United States. Everyone played Microsoft’s Halo. Coca-Cola (whose former vice president had recently been “elected” President of the country) was ubiquitous, and advertisements for Verizon cell service blanketed the streets. It was like living in the United States, only without clean water (which some may argue was intentional, in order to keep profits for bottled water and soda companies high).
Pride was the same way. Verizon wireless sent delegations to march in the parade. Pepsi had their banners. The GAP was handing out coupons. Nike was giving away shoe laces. I kept thinking “how dare you show your faces here” but the crowd just cheered as the drove by on their big floats.