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I think given the recent turn of events, some ‘hands-on management’ might be appreciated.

thedwrsundaydisservice2

Don’t like it, change it. These are the tools to do it.

howardzinn

 

Domenico Scarlatti began his compositional career following in the footsteps of his father Alessandro Scarlatti by writing operas, chamber cantatas, and other vocal music, but he is most remembered for his 555 keyboard sonatas, written between approximately 1719 and 1757.

It is believed that Domenico received most of his musical training from family members, but his father was the dominant figure in his life. It was Alessandro who arranged Domenico’s first appointment, as organist and composer for Naples’ Cappella Reale, and wanted him to continue with vocal music despite the enormous talent he had shown for keyboard music. Domenico was sent to Venice in 1705, where he met Handel, and in 1708 to Rome to become maestro di cappella to the exiled queen of Poland, Maria Casimira, and later, head of the Cappella Giulia. In these positions, he composed his operas and serenatas, and some sacred vocal works. It was also in Rome where he developed a friendship with the Portuguese ambassador, the Marquis de Fontes, which eventually led to Scarlatti’s being appointed master of the royal chapel by João V of Portugal in 1719. Scarlatti was also teacher to the royal family, particularly princess Maria Barbara. Scarlatti had already written approximately 50 keyboard pieces before coming to Lisbon, but wrote many more for his students, which also included Carlos de Seixas. When Maria Barbara married Spanish prince Ferdinando, Scarlatti followed her to Spain. His first publication, 30 sonatas called “Essercizi,” was issued in 1738 and sold throughout Europe. Although as King and Queen, Ferdinando and Maria Barbara introduced opera into Spain’s cultural life, Scarlatti did not write any for them. However, he did assist in their private musical soirées, again writing cantatas and working with singers such as Farinelli. Scarlatti also continued to teach, and, in the last six years of his life, concentrated on organizing his sonatas in manuscripts.

Clipped from the Feminist Current article 10 words we should retire in 2017.

 

“5) Cis/cisgender: This word is just gross. It sounds like a tumour.

But beyond its phonetic unpleasantness, “cis” is also insulting and harmful to women. Women who do not claim to have a special “gender identity” are told they are “cis.” Cis/cisgender is defined as identifying with the “gender you were assigned at birth.” For females, this means they supposedly identify with the feminine gender — aka the oppressive stereotypes that have been traditionally associated with/imposed on the female sex. This is, of course, bullshit. At birth, females are assigned a gendered role synonymous with inferiority and subordination. But just because a woman doesn’t claim to be anything other than a woman, doesn’t mean she “identifies” with her subordination. Women aren’t in this terrible position because it just so happens our personality is that of second-class citizens…”

whiteoppression

capitalism    The excerpt is from a great piece by Christopher Lasch writing in the short lived journal “Democracy”.  Written in the 80’s, details the systemic problems facing US democracy.  The situation described shows the roots of where we are now, and how (unfortunately) we have arrived here.

   “The centralization of power in the United States and the decline of popular participation in community life have become dramatically visible only in the
period since World War II. The roots of these conditions, however, go back to the formative period around the turn of the century. We have been living ever since then with the long-term consequences of the momentous changes in­augurated at that time.

     The most important of these changes, of course, was the emergence of the corporation and the spread of the corporate form throughout
American industry.   Often misunderstood as a shift from entrepreneurial to managerial control, the corporation emerged out of conflicts between capital
and labor for control of production. It institutionalized the basic division of labor that runs all through modern industrial society, the division between brainwork and handwork-between the design and the execution of production.

    Under the banner of scientific management, capitalists expropriated the technical knowledge formerly exercised by workers and vested it in a new
managerial elite. The managers extended their power not at the expense of the owners of industry, who retained much of their influence and in any case tended to merge with the managerial group, but at the expense of the workers.

     Nor did the eventual triumph of industrial unionism break this pattern of managerial control. By the 1930s, even the most militant unions had acquiesced in the divi­sion of labor between the planning and execution of work. Indeed the very suc­cess of the union movement was predicated on a strategic retreat from issues of worker control. Unionization, moreover, helped to stabilize and rationalize the labor market and to discipline the work force. It did not alter the arrangement whereby management controls the technology of production, the rhythm of work, and the location of plants (even when these decisions affect entire com­munities), leaving the worker with the task merely of carrying out orders.

     Having ·organized mass production on the basis of the new division of labor-most fully realized in the assembly line-the leaders of American industry
next turned to the organization of a mass market. The mobilization of consumer demand, together with the recruitment of a labor force, required a far-reaching series of changes that amounted to a cultural revolution; The virtues of thrift, avoidance of debt, and postponement of gratification had to give way to new habits of installment buying and immediate gratification, new standards of comfort, a new sensitivity to changes in fashion. People had to be discouraged from providing for their own wants and resocialized as consumers. Industrial­ism by its very nature tends to discourage home production and to make people dependent on the market, but a vast effort of reeducation, starting in the 1920s, had to be undertaken before Americans accepted consumption as a way of life.

     As Emma Rothschild has shown in her study of the automobile industry, Alfred Sloan’s innovations in marketing-the annual model change, constant upgrading of the product, efforts to associate it with social status, the deliberate inculcation of an insatiable appetite for change-constituted the necessary counterpart of Henry Ford’s innovations in production. Modern industry came to rest on the twin pillars of Fordism and Sloanism.  Both tended to discourage  initiative and self-reliance and to reduce work and consumption alike to an essentially passive activity.   […]

   When I read this section I was immediately drawn to the sections highlighted in purple.  What I hear from conservative commentators and business commentators is that what it takes to succeed in society is to get out there and play the market, or innovate, or work hard and save money and improve yourself et cetera.  Usually, along with their sprightly commentary on how bootstrapping oneself to greatness, is another piece on the evils of the nanny state and how those damn social programs (WELFARE *clutches chest*  *dies*) are making people into lazy dependent sloths who do nothing but keep the productive people down.

   Of course, like most capitalistic propaganda, it is utter shite.  The message retains its ubiquity and longevity in our society only because of its constant repetition in the business press and media.

The virtues of thrift, avoidance of debt, and postponement of gratification had to give way to new habits of installment buying and immediate gratification, new standards of comfort, a new sensitivity to changes in fashion.

   I quote this again because damn, if this isn’t an indictment of how capitalism has malformed our society, I’m not sure what is.  This way of life we now live was a choice made by the elite classes, as to how society was to be run.  Clearly, attributes like avoiding debt and postponement of gratification have no place in a modern civilized society (!).

   Racking up debt, conspicuous consumption, becoming dependent on the market – didn’t just *happen* – they were orchestrated to feed the industrial elite’s needs and as always, at the expense of the working class.

    So, the business class essentially builds/nurtures a culture of dependency – that is, actively discourages self production and self-reliance – and then has the temerity to bluster about Big Government creating a welfare state chock full of slothful, gormless, dependent people.

    Create a society where dependency is rewarded, and then proceed to blame the people for becoming dependent.  Fascinating stuff this capitalism is.

“It was a game that everyone but me seemed to love. I was a girl who mostly hung around boys because I hadn’t yet learned that female friendships, though infinitely more confusing, were also infinitely more rewarding. I was the self-professed type who loudly preferred spending time with men over spending time with women because they were less dramatic and complicated. And so I surrounded myself with boys who found it funny to grab my body when I least expected it, and were spurred by my discomfort to push me further and more painfully.

The game ended the night that Tom*, the one who always grabbed me, did it to me again while we were walking up a flight of stairs. Familiarly, everyone laughed and I tried to join them, desperate to appear easygoing and in on the joke despite being the literal and figurative butt of it. But suddenly, the effort of it all—the smiling, nervous chuckling, and eye rolls that I had allowed myself over the past several months—sickened me. It felt like I was choking on my own vomit of anger and humiliation. To save myself, I’d have to spew my own bile. And so I turned and punched Tom directly in the groin.

The satisfaction of the moment blazed and died quickly. He collapsed to the ground, gripping himself, hissing, “You are a fucking bitch. You are a fucking bitch,” over and over again. I laughed an awkward bark of a laugh, but no one joined in this time. No one said anything at all until minutes later when we were walking—them in a pack, and me trailing behind—to our local video store. Michael, my best male friend, hung back to keep me company.

“I get that you’re mad and don’t like it when Tom grabs you like that,” he said and I exhaled a sigh of gratitude. “But what you did…” I sucked my breath in again, “…You just don’t do that to a guy. Ever.”

It’s a small relief that I didn’t feel ashamed of myself. Instead I felt disappointed in Michael, in Tom, in every other boy that now, on our walk, avoided me because I had crossed a line and hit back.”

Rapeculturerealities

   Have you ever kept on ‘horsing around’ after someone said “no” or displayed signs of discomfort.  Well, stop it.  Don’t be like Tom, he’s a boundary ignoring asshole.

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