visually, Q and A seems like it’s going to be really anarcho-syndicalist but it’s a bit of a disappointment in that regard
Toll is Australia’s largest transport and logistics company. They rake in big money – previous managing director Paul Little made his $880 million fortune through his time at Toll. They have extensive business in the Asia-Pacific in shipping, transport, mining, and military contracting.
Toll are notorious for their anti-worker and anti-union policies. Most recently a union delegate at Toll’s Somerton warehouse was sacked for raising safety concerns.
A huge portion of Toll’s $65 million annual profit comes from their work providing transport and infrastructure for the ‘offshore processing’ of asylum seekers. Since October 2012, Toll has been awarded $25 million in contracts with the Australian government to help implement its harsh border control policies.
Toll has also been cosying up to the Coalition, providing a fully funded junket to Nauru to Shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Murdoch News Ltd journalists. During the visit, Toll showed Morrison an array of Toll tents. Just days later, Morrison launched plans for holding 2000 people in “tented accommodation” on Nauru.
This is business as usual at Toll. That why we’re occupying Toll headquarters — to bring the reality of their work into their own offices. By targeting Toll we’re implicating not just the government and the opposition, but the logistical implementation of this racist policy. Political processes do not happen only at the level of governmental decision-making. There are many levels at which we can challenge the criminalisation of people arriving by boat.
Hans Staden in conversation with his cannibal captors in Brazil.
As quoted in Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s The Inconstancy of the Indian Soul: The Encounter of Catholics and Cannibals in 16th-Century Brazil, p.92.
Today, February 21, is International Mother Language Day, first proclaimed in 1952 as “Language Movement Day” by Dhaka University students in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) who were protesting suppression of their Bengali language. Police and military forces opened fire, killing many young people in attendance.
browcatastrophe-deactivated2013 said: "3. Body smells are unique. Everyone has her own body smell. Capitalists don't like individuality. There are millions of body smells but only a few deodorant smells. Capitalists like that. " -- reason 3 of 8 that capitalists want to sell you deodorant, according to crimethinc
Well I guess they’re just saying that commodification affects people’s senses and I don’t think it’s really that wrong, just super blunt. Like obviously smell as a commodity doesn’t just simplify all smells but also creates unique designer smells for people who have tons of cash. And obviously capitalists also like deodorant because it creates a need (not smelling like sweat) where there wasn’t one before. So I mean, not a particularly incisive analysis but also probably not as serious of intent as the person who suggested I had “smell privilege”.
And at least crimethinc are having a crack at some kind of historical progression. Smell privilege is just saying “some people like this but others like that - how can we include all their perspectives?” and then making it pseudo-political by saying “certain people like deodorant but maybe they don’t have access to not liking deodorant” and at this point you just have to stop bruising your forehead on the wall and walk away.
I’ve been getting the feeling lately that a lot of the big beefs flaring up between the people around me could be described as sociological drama. Basically, personal shit gets cast as political - the relevant thing about any conflict is believed to boil down to the parties’ relative positions along some axis of social inequality. So you add up all the privileges of the immigrant man, and then add up all the privileges of the white woman, and the person with the lowest score wins. The sporting metaphor aside, it really is a drama, not a sport - there are roles spelled out by the Structure of Society and it’s not possible to deviate from the script. In that context, the whole concept of “privilege” is sapped of its meaning. Rather than illuminating the infinitely varied ways that certain people gain access to certain things or exert power and influence over others and how that changes for different people and in different contexts, “privilege” used in this way just takes us back to the same old essentialised categories where a white person is a White person and everything they do emanates Whiteness. Isn’t the point of talking about “privilege” (rather than “power”) to show that inequality is practised and isn’t reducible to what social category is applied to someone? Without this distinction, we see a light-skinned Indigenous person and have to say either: they are privileged (on account of their skin colour), they aren’t privileged (on account of their Indigeneity) or invent some independent third category of Light-Skinned Indigenous and work out if that’s a privileged position or not. That sounds nuts. And it probably isn’t all that interesting or relevant when working out who should eat the last piece of cake on the table.
Anyway, last night someone told me I have “smell privilege” because I can wear no deodorant and a) be comfortable with that, and b) not smell that strongly because I don’t sweat much. This person just wanted me to know that some people really like wearing deodorant and you shouldn’t exclude them when talking positively about not wearing deodorant.
I kept talking to this person in the hope they’d drop a punchline, reveal that it was all a joke, but it never happened.