Talking Knots

"We are pessimists…but we are ardent optimists"--Lenin


Sutjeska, Bosnia
by Tamra Rolf


Sutjeska, Bosnia

by Tamra Rolf

Over the first half of the 19th century, up to a million slaves were transported into the Cotton Kingdom from the older slave states (the origin of the saying “sold down the river”). Shipped in barges, or marched southwest in chains, slaves were ripped out of their social worlds, alienated from the learned skills and bodily traits that had enabled them to survive in Virginia or Kentucky. The masters tried to un-people these slaves, to reconstruct them in a form dehumanized enough that they could be moved from place to place and fitted into the production process just like any other commodity. To do so, as Johnson explains in one of many resonant examples, they kept their slaves awake. Sleep deprivation was a technique of power, “implemented,” Johnson writes, “as an offshoot of bizarre anthropological theory.” Johnson goes on to quote a contemporary source, which held that it was “common opinion among the people that the Negro requires less sleep than the white man.” Sleep deprivation was one of any number of techniques “by which human life was turned into cotton: the torturous conversion of labor to capital, and of living people to corpses.” Slaves were physically reconditioned for cotton-field work and for the noxious health conditions of the lower South—a process masters called “seasoning.” Planters exchanged tips in trade journals for tormenting the bodies of slaves until they were properly fitted to the cotton production system. Slaveholders didn’t just tell slaves what to do; they managed their bodies—“a recoordination of nerves and muscles, eyes and hands, which extended their dominion beyond the skin of its subjects, into the very fabric of their form.”

Freedom in America

Freedom in America

(Source: thesovietbroadcast, via zhdanovshchina)

Erwin Schrott (Don Giovanni) and Ekaterina Siurina (Zerlina) in the 2008 Salzburg production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Erwin Schrott (Don Giovanni) and Ekaterina Siurina (Zerlina) in the 2008 Salzburg production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni

(Source: operanerd)

Tekhnika Molodezhi, or Technology for the Youth, was first published in Russia in 1933. Throughout World War II, its covers would often depict the weapons and technologies of war. After the war, it featured visions of deep sea exploration, gyrocopters and rocket cars, space capsules and lunar missions. This art offers a rare and fascinating insight into the pop culture depiction of futurism in mid 20th century Russia.


(Source: levantineviper-archive, via zhdanovshchina)

As N.P.R. reported in May, services that “were once free, including those that are constitutionally required,” are now frequently billed to offenders: the cost of a public defender, room and board when jailed, probation and parole supervision, electronic monitoring devices, arrest warrants, drug and alcohol testing, and D.N.A. sampling. This can go to extraordinary lengths: in Washington state, N.P.R. found, offenders even “get charged a fee for a jury trial — with a 12-person jury costing $250, twice the fee for a six-person jury.”

When it comes to abolishing the white race, the task is not to win over more whites to oppose “racism”; there are “anti- racists” enough already to do the job. The task is to gather together a minority determined to make it impossible for anyone to be white.


why is this so hard

(via of-cannibals-and-kings)


when you’re walking and you remember that your life is a huge mess


(via sendforbromina)

6 Simple Things Google's Self-Driving Car Still Can't Handle

‘“Pedestrians are detected simply as moving, column-shaped blurs of pixels—meaning, Urmson agrees, that the car wouldn’t be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop,” MIT writes.’


The Alnwick Poison Garden is pretty much what you’d think it is: a garden full of plants that can kill you (among many other things). Some of the plants are so dangerous that they have to be kept behind bars. [x]

(Source: bregma, via grayesthistle)

For private business prison labor is like a pot of gold. No strikes. No union organizing. No health benefits, unemployment insurance, or workers’ compensation to pay. No language barriers, as in foreign countries. New leviathan prisons are being built on thousands of eerie acres of factories inside the walls. Prisoners do data entry for Chevron, make telephone reservations for TWA, raise hogs, shovel manure, and make circuit boards, limosines, waterbeds, and lingerie for Victoria’s Secret, all at a fraction of the cost of ‘free labor’.

—Linda Evans and Eve Goldberg, “The Prison Industrial Complex and the Global Economy” (via commiekinkshamer)

(via zhdanovshchina)