Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Time and Politics 24: Kiwis on the Cutting Edge

L & P Stubbies Ad (NZ) (30 August 2006). Video Source: Youtube.

A hat tip goes to Ed at The Outer Light on Youtube for sharing a funny Kiwi ad for the famous New Zealand soft drink L&P (Lemon and Paeroa) featuring the equally famous Stubbies, "short shorts ... for informal wear" favoured by Aussie and Kiwi men since 1972. The ad reminded me of my earlier post on Canadian humour, here.

CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, Kim Dotcom & Suzie Dawson - 2nd #AntiSpyBill event (20 August 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

If the Kiwis were on the cutting edge of men's fashion in the 1970s, they're on the cutting edge of political fashion now. This was Ed's segue, not mine! The point he was making, I think, is that the world used to be more trusting, naive, and less oppressive. People hung out, had parties, drank soda, and wore tight pants. Ed's Outer Light videos often express nostalgia for the lost, pre-Internet past, when everyday people did not worry about global crime and mass surveillance, and they felt they could trust their governments.

One of the Internet Party's supporters and spokespeople is Barrett Brown. For more on him, go here. Image Source: Facebook.

If citizens did not worry about mass surveillance then, they certainly do now. The New Zealand Internet Party held another worldwide roundtable meeting on 20 August 2017 to continue to develop a bill against government spying on citizens:
"Acclaimed CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou and other special guests will join tech entrepreneur and Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom on the panel of the next #AntiSpyBill live event this Sunday night.

This comes hot on the heels of several major American publications reporting on technical evidence recently presented by the group Veteran Intelligence Professionals For Sanity (VIPS), of which Kiriakou is a member, to the White House regarding the DNC leaks of 2016, The event will be held online between 8pm and 11pm on Sunday the 20th of August, 2017, NZST (UTC+12) and follows on from the Internet Party’s flagship #AntiSpyBill event which featured appearances by Dotcom, award-winning journalist Barrett Brown, hacktivist Lauri Love and comedian Lee Camp. ...

The Internet Party is inviting the public to join the roundtable event, which as well as discussing contemporary issues of the day, will continue its effort to draft crowdsourced legislation to counter government spying."
The Internet Party is headed by ex-Occupy-Auckland citizen journalist, Suzie Dawson, a New Zealand political refugee living in Moscow, Russia (she has applied for temporary asylum); she made a documentary about her experiences in the Occupy movement and the events which led her to seek asylum, here.

The fledgling movement was established in 2014 by Megaupload and Mega founder Kim Dotcom. The party aims to prevent the world from becoming like George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. You can watch the party's statements on their Youtube channel, here; on Twitter, the hashtag is #AntiSpyBill.

When Dotcom - a Gen Xer who was born Kim Schmitz in Kiel, Germany in 1974 - first founded the Internet Party, he was dogged by accusations that he had a past as a neo-Nazi sympathizer. Dotcom denied these allegations, claiming they were a smear campaign to derail the Internet Party.

The Internet Party is symptomatic of an enormous evolution in politics, due to the advent of global technology. Notice that the tone and mode of Internet Party presentations follow a hacktivist aesthetic, straight-to-you from the laptop in the bedroom or the basement. This is not someone in a suit, micro-managed by handlers, talking to you under the lights of the corporate media. If Donald Trump brought Reality TV to international politics, this party is bringing the Internet Underground to international politics.

What does that mean? The evolution of politics concerns a constantly shifting engagement with reality and fiction, between actions and labels. A hacktivist would say that conventional politics is a confidence game, in which there are two paradigms. First, there is the picture of what is happening as described by the establishment to the public. That misleading vision messily overlaps with the establishment's desired outcomes, goals, and values. Then there is a different landscape, defined by what the establishment is actually doing. Outlets like WikiLeaks claim to be devoted to exposing that latter truth.

You may question the reputations of Gen X and Gen Y upstarts if you will, but these hacktivist politicians claim their brushes with the law, or convictions under the law, are due to the fact that classic rights and freedoms of citizens are effectively being criminalized to make way for totalitarianism. The people in the Internet Party argue that conventional politicians uphold citizens' rights and freedoms in name only, while they pave the way for police states. That is a sobering thought.

Political movements now involve 20th century ideas playing out in 21st century contexts. For example, spectral 20th century Nazism is currently being used as a weapon on both sides of the left-right divide to enflame public discourse. Again, there are two levels of Nazism to worry about - the reality and the projected image. There are the real, abhorrent historical precedents and a resurgence of equally dangerous, present-day neo-Nazi successors.

And - quite separately - Nazism, neo-Nazism, and anti-Nazism exist as online memes, as tools of virality which gain enormous Internet exposure and traction, however they may be used, and by whomever. In virtual reality, Nazism and anti-Nazism are magnifiers, ideas which pump debates and make them explode in size. They are also strong negative or positive labels, which can change the vectors of online opinion. If one imagines the social media environment as a big artificial intelligence system, one could see Nazism-the-meme as a switch with different operative capabilities. I will address these real and virtual aspects of online politics in future posts.

ADDENDUM (27 August 2017):

Internet Party event - #AntiSpyBill III - US drone whistleblower Cian Westmoreland, Suzie Dawson (27 August 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

ADDENDUM (3 September 2017):

Internet Party Event: #AntiSpyBill IV: Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Swanson (3 September 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

ADDENDUM (8 September 2017):

ADDENDUM (10 September 2017):

Internet Party #AntiSpyBill V with H.A. Goodman (10 September 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

ADDENDUM (17 September 2017):

Internet Party #AntiSpyBill VI - Biometrics (17 September 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

ADDENDUM (22 September 2017):

ADDENDUM (23 September 2017):

The Election 2017 Internet Party internet party! Part 1 (23 September 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

The Election 2017 Internet Party internet party! (23 September 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

ADDENDUM (1 October 2017):

Internet Party #AntiSpyBill VII: whistleblower Lisa Ling (1 October 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Internet Party #AntiSpyBill VII (1 October 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

ADDENDUM (3 October 2017):

Barrett Brown did an 'ask me anything' session on Reddit on 3 October 2017, here.

ADDENDUM (8 October 2017):

#AntiSpyBill VIII: feat anti-surveillance activist Aral Balkan (8 October 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

See all my posts on Time and Politics.

BTC: 1NnSDexmAjopLUhdxu6jzChFNpxrGzHpT9

If you enjoyed this post, please support my work and donate to keep this blog running!

No comments:

Post a Comment