On November 2, 2011, I joined a group of semi-like minded individuals under the inexact label “Occupy Philadelphia” in a day of action in response to and in solidarity with a call made by “Occupy Oakland” (later to be referred to as the “Oakland Commune”) for a “99 Minute General Strike” (in reference to the “99%” motif). The call was made because an Iraq veteran, Scott Olsen, was deliberately shot in the head by a police projectile during “Occupy” demonstrations in Oakland (the deliberation may not have been to strike him in the dome, but it was certainly aimed at him and the group he was with) and lists of other “Occupy” encampments answered the call to speak out in solidarity with Oakland against police brutality, qualified immunity, and abuse of police power. And not just against the “Occupy” movement, but against dissent in general, as well as the overarching normality of the quasi-military occupation police and legislation force on communities of color on a regular basis. Essentially, as I attributed to most things “Occupy”, we were standing up against and bringing awareness to man made perpetual motion machines of oppression of which we are all simultaneously victims as well as participants. I understand when people don’t “get” “Occupy”.
Other than marching, something that honestly has little effect more than preaching to the choir you’re already singing with (save a few who can actually comprehend the web of associations common to the lunatics screaming at them from the streets and themselves), we wanted to do something that would command the attention of the “public”, and possibly, albeit improbably, set off some indeterminate chain of events that could somehow lead to some sort of accountability from the plutocratic nobility seated comfortably atop their thrones. Talks of possible ideas began the night before and when Comcast was suggested, I lacked the appropriate information (other then that Comcast is a very powerful corporation and thus, most like has some (golden) skeletons in their closet) to agree or disagree, so I consented to the action. We agreed to do something useful with our first amendment rights and call Comcast out on their crimes against the city from the their own beastly belly.
As it turns out, I was right in my assumption. While Comcast does practice monetary philanthropy to the sum of some millions every year, I view that as the humanitarian equivalent to eating cake and ice cream all day, but justifying your gluttony because you also take vitamin supplements. From the court solidarity event page:
We the people find Comcast guilty of the following crimes:
1. Monopolizing Media – Comcast is the largest cable provider in the country, the largest internet service provider, and the third largest telephone service provider. There is currently a class action lawsuit moving to trial in Philadelphia brought forward by consumers. The lawsuit claims Comcast robbed Philadelphians of almost a billion dollars by violating anti-trust laws to prevent competition.
In 2011 Comcast bought NBCUniversal in a highly controversial deal that turned the company into a 30 billion dollar behemoth that controls not only media distribution, but also media production. Through this process Comcast also bought an FCC commissioner, Meredith Atwell Baker, who sped up the merger process and then resigned early from her post as government regulator to take a job lobbying for Comcast, in an egregious example of the revolving door between corporations and the government agencies tasked with regulating them.
2. Not Paying Taxes – Comcast avoids paying millions in property taxes in Philadelphia as a result of a 10 year tax abatement, even though they earn billions in profits from having their headquarters here. Meanwhile, 67 public schools are proposed to be closed in the city over the next five years because “there’s not enough money” for education.
3. Attacking Net Neutrality – Net Neutrality is the principle that allows information to flow freely over the internet, preventing corporate and government censorship. Comcast’s attacks on net neutrality seriously threaten the internet as an open and free flowing source of information and space for democratic engagement. Comcast is currently involved in a fight against Netflix, as they seek to monopolize production and distribution of media.
4. Attacking Public Access TV – Comcast is forced to fund public access television, but have been undermining the service. On the TV Guide channel, public access shows are only listed as Public Access Television, instead of actually naming what shows are playing, like most other channels. This decreases viewership and builds Comcasts crooked case that no one watches public access TV.
5. Corporate Greed – Comcast’s CEO, Brian L. Roberts, earned more than $18 million in 2012, earning him a spot as one of the most highly paid CEO’s in the country. On the day of this demonstration Comcast posted 3rd quarter profits of over $900 million, up 5% from the previous year. Monopolizing media markets, ripping off consumers, and undermining the democratic potential of communications is a lucrative business.
Recent news: 50 protestors disrupt Comcast’s shareholder’s meeting http://articles.philly.com/2012-06-02/business/31960337_1_comcast-executive-vice-president-meredith-attwell-baker-tax-loopholes
Each one these points can be expanded upon ad infinitum (including the amount of local, state, and federal lobbying and political campaign fund raising Comcast utilizes to buy city citizen’s home team advantage – rendering them voiceless, unless, of course, they can somehow rake in millions of personal profit each year), but if I’m to stay true to my reasons for participating in the demonstration, I have to say, although Comcast should be held accountable for these crimes and conflicts of interest, I viewed them as par for the course we, as a people, as a species, are on.
When I entered the headquarters of the global conglomerate Comcast, I did so with two intentions: one was to illuminate the crimes committed by Comcast; crimes I view as incentivized behavior in this society. My second intention was more broad. It was to draw more attention to the “Occupy” movement, something I understood as an allegorical concept loosely represented through the enforcement of accountability by conscious individuals to the most powerful corporate leaders and heads of state (a distinction I’m not sure was ever factual). Given that the Comcast Center lobby is marketed to Philadelphians as public space during hours of operation, I was absent of any notion that I would have been “trespassing”… my intention was never to engage in what could later be considered a “criminal” action. In fact, I had every intention of expressing my first amendment rights to highlight what I believe to be a defense against the corporate and government colonization of freedom in this country: the “Occupy” movement.
Comcast is not atypical in a society that blatantly prioritizes the pursuit of profit over the lives of people, and exerts it’s influence to keep them on top. I know a lot of genuinely good people who are employed by Comcast, or any number of centralized corporate or government jobs, and my qualms are not with them. What are people to do in this economy? The same way Comcast has monopolized the media sector so that it’s profits rise even as it’s customer service falls, it’s employees are forced to fit a mold dictated by Comcast in order to survive. This is the basic “work to survive; survive to work” mentality of our current cultural purview, perpetuated and force fed back into society not only by the richest and most powerful people, but the “cogs” in those people’s “machine” as well. We must participate in order for them to maintain control over us, but they (not just Comcast) rather efficiently exploit people’s basic survival instincts, in collusion with the rest of the corporate state, to maintain an economic dictatorship over the citizens of a supposedly free nation.
Comcast is not alone, but the potential I saw in the meaning I chose to apply to the “Occupy” movement gave me hope. Perhaps it’s naive, but I went in thinking the more people who realized the consequences of maintaining a society this way; the more people who started asking questions and demanding answers from those who are responsible, the closer we could get to evolving what could one day be considered our ancient civilization. This hope remains close to my heart regardless of the state of “Occupy” or the consistency of my existential angst. Is it really all that far-fetched to believe that, as a creativity based, problem solving species, we can do better?
Why does Comcast, being the most influential communications and broadcasting nonpareil, not feel morally responsible to make sure that their customers (and those over whom their influence reigns) are not only happy in ways that are not profitable to Comcast, but are also provided with the most up to date, unbiased information? An informed public would be detrimental to corporations like Comcast and the state, so it doesn’t surprise me that Comcast executives, as well as the politicians and lobbyists they’ve bought, are more interested in personal gain, lobbying, and bipartisan campaign fund raising than they are with the physical and psychological health of the public. They are simply playing a rigged game; a zero-sum game of musical chairs in that some must always lose in order for others to win.
I believe “Occupy” represents an inevitable consequence of oppression: resistance. And more than just resistance, potential: the potential to stop competing and start cooperating; the potential for the human species to learn from our past mistakes; the potential to create a world based on the free flow of the most up to date information, critical thinking, and self awareness; a world based on fact as opposed to the highest paying opinion. We simply cannot continue ignoring the truth and, to this end, I believe Comcast has exposed itself as a bad citizen of our shared world.
So Comcast has a choice to make… but it will most likely continue ignoring it’s influence and thus it’s responsibility to the human race. But we CAN do better. The choice is, in fact, ours. Without us, Comcast is nothing. What would happen if the bottom of the pyramid decided, upon it’s own informed volition, to stop upholding the top?
What will you choose to do knowing what you know now? Regardless of how you feel about “Occupy”, corporations, nor the state, can dictate who you are. We are at a point when we must stand up against the cultural status quo or perish. The only way forward is together.
Basically, last night instead of writing this I ate buffalo chicken tacos and played a drinking game based on watching Clueless. So I’m scraping this one together on the cheap and quick. Blame Wang and Anna for intoxicating me with tacos and dead Brittany Murphy (R.I.P) if you want to blame anyone for this one being mediocre probably.
Cheers Elephant album release party at World Cafe Live! Finally! I would like to state for the record that $15 is a lot of money to see a band for whom you spent 5 hours standing in the snow to facilitate one of their music videos, but every song I’ve heard from the new album kills and they do tend to go all out with these record release parties.
Then there’s this also awesome looking Phantasmagoria/West Philly Orchestra collaboration thing, which I’m going to also say costs too much fucking money. Still looks fun though. Also it’s all ages, so if you’re underage this might be worth coughing up the $15 for.
And this is what I’m talking about, you can go see Banned Books and Delicate Steve and Hermit Thrushes for a suggested $5 donation at my friend Ross’ apartment in the sewing factory. I saw Delicate Steve open for Akron/Family last year and thought they were so awesome I bought their album on vinyl instead of an Akron one. And it’s rad to see that some bands apparently aren’t trying to suck all of the money out of me on the first day of the weekend.
And it’s First Friday so I’m pretty sure there’s cool art and free food and booze all up Frankford Ave and Old City, so that’s a legit move too.
This show at the North Star Bar will probably be fun. Early Ape is a really rad band. You can decide for yourself if that’s worth $10.
This dance party at the Arts Garage looks pretty solid as well, although Keep it Funky is possibly the worst name for a party I’ve ever heard. Especially for a party that does not appear to be playing funk music. But it’s only $5 if you show up early enough, so…
And then there’s this rave. And yeah, it cost $20 but unlike all the other absurdly expensive things I’ve posted for this week, it goes til 6am. And yeah you could get all wamped and stuff.
On Sunday during the day you can either make Philadelphia a better place at this Occupy Vacant Lots work party or you can make your record collection a better place at the Philadelphia Record Riot which has 40 different record dealers in one place. Which is like actually making my underwear damp. But I mean so does urban gardening, y’know, I mean, I’m totally on the fence between these two.
Then at night there’s this She Rides show at the Necktie which I will simply post this un-mastered track of theirs from the event wall to demonstrate why you should go. It’s called “Rage Forever.” Troof.
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Do I have to even say it?
Go to 12 Steps Karaoke, or go to this hardcore show in the middle of Kensington. It’s on $3, so it wins my new weekly Thanks For Not Ripping Us Off and Still Remembering What Rock and Roll is About Award. Yeah, I mean its a working title.
Have you guys fucking been outside? It’s gonna be 68 degrees tomorrow. I’m going to be running around this city with a big gulp filled with alcoholic slurpee and desperately absorbing every last shred of vitamin D possible. I’m antsy just sitting inside writing this. So it’s gonna be short. Insert your own snide remarks.
So, Man Like Machine is playing at KFN tonight. They’re basically glam rock meets grunge, and the end result is something incredibly catchy but also indicative of our mashup apathetic omnivorous generation. Should be fun.
Then there’s two really awesome dance parties that are a couple blocks away from each other, so I’m gonna venture a “do both.” There’s Factory Girls with Patty Crash and the Sisterwives at the Barbary, which is free if you RSVP via email like now, and the one year anniversary party of FYLF which is at the 700 Club and is always free. Both of these parties got written up on more reputable write-ups than this one. Also, Emily from New Radio who’s guest DJing at FYLF tonight wrote this on the facebook wall:
I am playing the raunchiest set of my liiiiife, people are gonna go home pregnant. SO stoked.
Go. For Serious.
This is a revolutionary/socialist type party so I’m nervous about posting it because who wants politics at their party. Nonetheless, this Rebel Rebel party in West Philly sounds pretty boss, your $5 admission gets you unlimited keg beer (right? why does no one do that anymore?) and also there’s cupcakes and a photobooth and good music. Also the fact that your money goes towards free english classes, free internet, and free food for everyone is kinda hard to not bang with, especially if you’re even half as broke as me.
If you ride bikes in Philly, there’s this Philly Bike Party jawn where you meet at Love Park, roll around in a massive pack for a while and then go get drunk at PYT together. If your bike really sucks though people probably will be snooty, because that’s how it is.
Sonni Shine and the Underwater Sounds are finally releasing their new album, the party’s at World Cafe Live. It’s kind of expensive but c’mon this is gonna be awesome.
In the department of raves/dance party ragers there’s this free dubstep party at Teri’s in South Philly (which doesn’t even seem possible to me, but these guys are always throwing dance parties in really unlikely places.) There’s FNGR BNGR which is guaranteed to get raunchy, and there’s this end of the world rave thing at the Art’s Garage which sounds pretty baller.
Also there’s this after hours jawn which might actually be a rave cause they aren’t gonna tell you where it is til the day of. It goes til 6am, and I bet it’s in my neighborhood.
they posted this video on the event page which I feel says all that needs to be said.
And I mean, I’m going to this show at the Mill Creek because holy shit it’s gonna be awesome. Also I think I’m least likely to get kicked out of this. And Casket and Angelcrust fucking rule.
During the day there’s this clothing swap/dance party at Rocker’s Closet. Bring shit you don’t want anymore and trade it for other people’s shit they don’t want for free.
Andrew Winter and The Reckless Dodgers and Faux Slang are playing at the Level Room. this is guaranteed to just be an awesome rock and roll show, in the simplest and truest meaning of that.
There’s this PHSH TANK thing at Fluid, which as far as I can tell is like hip-hop dance party and crazy graffiti artwork. Yay multi-disciplinary parties, always a fucking win.
The first day of Two Piece Fest V at the Rotunda is also happening, which means basically you pay $8 to see like 10 different two-piece bands from 2pm to 1130pm. Definitely some bang for your buck. I know for a fact that at least a handful of these bands are good.
The last Saturday ever at the Tritone. Sad. I feel like this jawn’s gonna get emotional.
The second day of Two Piece Fest V which is exactly the same deal as the first day except different bands and it starts an hour earlier.
Workparty! Occupy Vacant Lots! It’s gonna be nice out, so this isn’t gonna be miserable or nothing. Maybe you can learn how to plant stuff.
This Modern Inventors/Boom Chick/The Best Westerns show at KFN is definitely going to fun. The Best Westerns are like a (moderately Philly-famous) supergroup, and Will Wright plays bass in Modern Inventors (and every band Will Wright plays bass in is inherently good.)
And I mean, also there’s karaoke at the Barbary.
Uh huh, yeah, yknow.
Leap Year Party at the Level Room! TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb are opening, and all the other bands are righteous too. Party like it’s your birthday and it only happens every four years.
Ok awesome, I’m putting on my pink sunglasses and playing outside. See you out there.
So Friday and Saturday are in the high 50′s and Sunday it’s gonna snow. I feel like our planet forgot to take it’s lithium. Or yeah, it’s the apocalypse. Anyways, despite the fact that I won’t even be here to rock with you guys cause I’m going to New York for familial love, here’s what’s awesome this weekend. Also dudes, we’re more than halfway through February. I smell spring.
Really the only thing you should do tonight is come to the show we are presenting at Little Bar. It’s the Spinning Leaves, Streaks of Light, Left of Logic and Impressionist, and then Skytree is closing the night off with cerebral dance music guaranteed to stimulate your frontal lobe and also your y’know, junk. Come prepared to get weird, dance like a marionette jerked around by ridiculous time signatures and rage face with us. It’s about time.
I’m really reluctant to post anything else to do tonight, but Lady’s Night at the Trocadero looks like it will probably be pretty good too, and I feel the need to be egalitarian. Also Slutever rules.
Underground Arts is back in action and that’s where Lightninging’s album release party is. Tutlie and Faux Slang are opening, you get a free e.p., it’s a rad space, I shouldn’t have to sell this to you, you should just go.
But if you aren’t feeling harmonic psychedelia and really attractive people, a very legitimate alternative is the last Punk Rock Karaoke ever at the Tritone. This event is also raising money for Matt Moreno’s funeral, and is therefore basically the best way to be a good person and also sing GG Allin songs on karaoke.
Also, in the department of really rad shows, our friends Abstract Verses are opening for Inspectah Deck(!!!!!!!!) which is really just amazing but they totally deserve it and this show is absolutely gonna be some rad hip-hop excellence.
Then there’s the 2012 Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival at the Fire with a lot of really awesome local bands including GANG who are basically a dance punk band fronted by incredibly cute chicks who I have huge but distant crushes on and their live show is just outstanding. Always.
And lastly Suga Shay is throwing a free dubstep rager called Hard Candy at Little Bar. Just so you know.
Also in affiliation with the NoLibs Winter Music Fest, The Extraordinaires, Dangerous Ponies, Conversations With Enemies and a bunch of other good bands are playing at the Fire; if you haven’t seen the Extraordinaires live you kind of have to, it’s just theatrical ridiculousness at it’s righteous best.
In a different vein that leans more towards brain melting, you could definitely go see Adobayondei at the Station.
Also Ill Doots have their album release party at the Arts Bank and it’s free, which as far as I’m concerned speaks for itself.
There’s the Beer Rave at Medusa which just like always sounds like a really grimy and raunchy awesome dance party and I’ve never gone but someone should go and tell me if it’s really as fun as it always looks in the Facebook events.
Lastly, there’s DRE DAY at the M Room, which has a The Chronic Album Cover Photobooth and the first 40 people get a free 40oz. I know, this sounds perfect.
Everything about this BITBY.tv Presents: No Alternative party sounds awesome. 90′s videos? Weird clips? Cannonball by the Breeders posted on the event page? No cover? Count me in. (If I’m back from New York and it’s not too snowy and I don’t wind up going to karaoke at the Barbary.)
Do this if you love Presidents. Or you hate them. Or you’re ambivalent. Or if you only like them when they’re dead and on your duckets. You know, just do this.
This should have been posted a long time ago but….
February 16th @ Little Bar 7PM
The Spinning Leaves(http://thespinningleaves.bandcamp.com/ )
Streak’s of Light(http://www.myspace.com/streaksoflight )
Left of Logic(http://leftoflogic.bandcamp.com/ )
$5-10 sliding scale donation at the door.
Occupy Vacant Lots/Philly Food Forests members RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yeah, I know, kittens and rainbows and chocolates and expensive prix-fixe dinners. Obviously it’s my favorite holiday. I’m going to buy $1 chocolates at Deal$ and take a bubble bath in my claw foot and treat myself to some cheap bourbon (i.e. like every other Tuesday.) But ok, here’s some suggestions for getting down.
You can get your Mt. Airy folk homebrew singalong on at The Big Folkin’ Experiment at Earth Bread and Brewery. Expect to at some point in the night find yourself singing along drunkenly to Me and Bobby McGee. It feels good enough for me, if you catch my drift.
There’s SMILE, which is a rock and soul party at the Barbary. There’s the standard appealing open bar/no cover/two dollar tacos scenario, but also the party is all vinyl which means you can have the rare experience of seeing an actual DJ (an increasingly endangered species in this era of the space bar drum solo.)
And I mean, there’s snacks. I’m just not going to describe it again. Get your vegan hotdog anything goes on if you must.
Our friend and incredibly talented artist Natalie Negron has an art opening, which means really rad and probably affordable art and also free booze and snacks. Art openings are always a good call.
There’s also an early acoustic show in South Philly where Pinelands is playing. Pinelands is like snotty, atmospheric folk garage made primarily by Ryan Bile who was on Safety committee with me at Occupy Philly. This will probably be good.
Then there’s the $5 show at The Station, where Southwork, Party the Hut, The Externals, and The Heat Run are playing. All of these bands are so outstandingly danceable and upbeat that I honestly think the (fairly pathetic) dancefloor area at the Station is completely unequipped to deal with the rager that’s inevitably going to ensue. Also it’s only $5 and you can smoke inside.
And of course, there’s Heartburn; which is way too much money for me to even really legitimize posting it on here but on some real shit, if you’ve got the $30 for the ticket and some extra money for party favors, this is one of the best raves you’ll ever fucking go to, at least in Philly.
That said though, if you’re trying to get all psyched out and weird for V-day but you can really only afford the party favors and not the expensive rave tickets, this Banned Books show at little berlin looks like a pretty solid bet. I mean it ends at 11 instead of 5, but I’m sure you can stumble your way to some badass afterparty warehouse jawn if you have a nose for that sort of thing.
Also I mean, it’s the WILDSTYLE one year anniversary party, and if free pizza and booze and 90′s music isn’t rave enough for you, then I think you should cut your hair, hippie. You have glow goop in it.
Ok, I feel like this is the only thing on Saturday that I should even tell you about because it’s that brilliant. Mountjoy are playing at the El Bar, but the band that’s opening for them….wait for it…are a fucking Misfits cover band. You’re welcome. I’m literally listening to Bloodfeast right now to get pumped.
I also love that Philadelphyinz, instead of ponytailing onto this Valentine’s Day crap like everyone else, are throwing a party for Abe Lincoln’s birthday. Irreverent dance party jams, I’m into it.
That’s literally all I’m gonna give you for Saturday, so you don’t have any excuse to not go to that Mountjoy show. I mean you could also go see the Vagina Monologues at Penn.
Just do yourself a favor and go to karaoke at the Barbary.
But yeah, there’s also Old Baby at the Kung Fu Necktie which is psych-post-strange rock from Louisville but $8 is kind of pricey.
I’ll say this again.
Ok, in addition to 12 Steps Karaoke which I still am going to highly recommend, there’s Valentine’s Day Makeout Club, which like as much as I am not super pro V-Day the fact that it’s an emo/pop-punk dance party pretty much promises to make for some entertaining shenanigans.
There’s also the STASH: VDAY MASSACRE jawn which has homo-thug group Sgt. Sass playing and general gayborhood ruckusness. If you’re single and trying to get laid on Valentines day, I think Makeout Club is the move if you are slightly pathetic but adorable and possibly have long bangs, and STASH will work for you if you are completely fabulous.
And if you are neither of those things, there’s the Cupid is Dead cabaret at the Tritone which honestly sounds pretty awesome, or you could just go see Blue Valentine at the Troc for $3. That movie was so sad and true, I love Ryan Gosling.
Ugh, like I said, I’m spending the weekend in my bathtub.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all comes a story from the “Felines: Out Of Love” society — a cat-loving genetic research group based out of The University of Wisconsin at Sheboygan. The scientists there have designed what they’re calling the “Permanent Kitten.” Yes, this is exactly what you think it is — felines that remain in a permanent state of arrested “kittenness.”
These little fuzzballs are genetically modified to say the least, which as we all know is a highly debated topic. The details are a little vague at this point, but this is what we know from a single bizarre statement released by Dr. Tensing Funkhouser at the university on March 21. “Once born, the kitten grows normally up to a designated point picked out by the buyer from a range of two weeks to three months old. If an eight week old kitten is ideal for you, you can do that. If you want a 3 week old kitten that you have to feed from a bottle its entire life, you can do that too.” Dr. Funkhouser closed the statement with a cryptic line — “It is the dawn of a new age. With our fairly successful trials thus far, we believe this will only be the beginning of what lies ahead in terms of purposefully arresting external physical development.”
I did some more digging and found this out — they claim to have singled out a gene they believe is responsible solely for the physical characteristics associated with age, without affecting the internal aging process. Mutating the gene allows the kitten to grow old and die like a normal cat, while staying at the set age. The folks in Sheboygan are saying it will cost in the neighborhood of $10,000.
So wow, just wow. No word yet on what this Funkhouser character meant by “fairly successful trials” either. I picture a cyclops tabby with a lion’s tail and no teeth. Also, since the kittens do age and die, it’s not really so permanent now, is it? They may want to work on the branding some. Perhaps — “The Cat that Doesn’t Show the Effects of Aging, But Will Still Die On You After You’ve Dropped Ten Grand.” A little wordy, but spot on. That’s all we have on this for meow, but stay tuned.
Resposted from: http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2009/04/01/permanent-kittens-flat-out-refuse-to-grow/
Our great friends Lightninging are FINALLY releasing their debut EP and to celebrate they are throwing what is sure to be an epic rager! I have been to enough Lightninging shows to verifiably say they will not let you down. High energy rock and roll music from Philadelphia natives? What more can you ask for. Our friends Tutlie will be opening for them as well as Faux Slang.