Exploring Beyoncé’s New ‘Black Panther’ Self-Branding


(guess ya hafta click thru to youtube now; sorry.)

From TRNN’s ‘Elections, Reparations and Beyonce: Class Politics in Black America’

Founder of BreakingBrown.com Yvette Carnell and BlackAgendaReport.com columnist Pascal Robert joined us for a rousing round table discussion of leading topics of the day. (the transcript; I’m only using the wee bit on Beyoncé)

From ‘Beyoncé Slays Black People’, by R.L. Stephens II, at orchestratedpulse.com  (And yes, the website is a brand-buster, most especially black brands as propagandist ‘manufactured consent’.)

“A textual analysis of a Beyoncé video tells us almost nothing of the political conditions facing actually existing Black people, regardless of how “Black” one believes its content to be.

“I think parts of this video are as radical a seeding of visionary futures as the lunch counter sit-ins,” one author says. Wait a minute. The lunch counter sit-ins actually happened. They weren’t a music video, and they weren’t a cultural representation. The sit-ins shut down businesses and sometimes even whole towns, upending day-to-day realities in the fight against racial segregation. People got hurt. It’s beyond me how those insurgent events can be favorably compared with a Beyoncé song that says “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.” 

Yeah, not quite of the same disturbance of the Sith Force as John Carlos and Tommie Smith giving the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, was it?

tommie smith and john carlos

Stephens includes some illustrative quotes from Adolph Reed’s book Class Notes you  may be interested in considering.  He then suggests we examine Beyoncé’s work within its real-world context; he concludes that her cultural doesn’t illuminate political conditions, but instead ‘obscures them’.  He must have had at least a little bit of fun demonstrating the intersection of ‘the Bey’s’ use of Katrina with her apparent Twitter Love for neoliberal Teach for America pimp DeRay McKesson, and his for her.

“7,000 teachers, most of whom were Black, lost their jobs immediately after Katrina. They filed and won a lawsuit against the government for their wrongful terminations, but that didn’t save their jobs. The neoliberal shift in New Orleans’ policy gutted not only the Black middle class as a whole, but Black teachers in particular. From 2002-2012, New Orleans has seen the Black teacher population drop by an astronomical 62%, with most of that loss coming after Katrina. At that same time, the number of white teachers has increased 3.3%.”

(See Drew Drew Franklin’s Oct. 6 ‘The Movement Lives in Ferguson; Teach For America, Black Leadership, and Disaster Capitalism’, also at orchestrated pulse.com.)

Yep, he says Beyoncés politics line up perfectly with TFA’s recruitment of often white teachers with scarcely any training to replace black teachers at a cut-rate price.

“DeRay Mckesson, the celebrity protester who rose to prominence in the wake of the Ferguson riots, is a product of Teach for America. He defends and promotes TFA’s neoliberal political machine any chance he gets. Last year, Teach for America gave him a $10,000 award for his work. With the announcement of his Baltimore mayoral campaign, DeRay is positioning himself to take Teach for America’s neoliberal vision not only to Baltimore’s schools but to every agency in the city.’

DeRay and da Bey: radikewl black militants!

Ah, and Ajamu Baraka weighed in on her act at the Stupid Bowl half-time entertainment in ‘Beyonce and the Politics of Cultural Dominance’; some snippets to consider:

“Real opposition to this white supremacist, colonialist/imperialist order is not cool, or sexy.”

I confess, I am a culturally alienated, old, disconnected 1960s and ‘70s radical trying to live and struggle for revolutionary change in a world that might have passed me by, because I cannot for the life of me understand how Beyonce’s commodified caricature of black opposition was in any way progressive. Instead what I saw was the cultural power of neoliberal capitalism to co-opt opposition, monetize it and provide some mindless entertainment all at the same time.  I didn’t see opposition; I saw the imagery and symbols of authentic black radicalism grotesquely transformed into a de-politicized spectacle by gyrating, light-skinned booty-short-clad sisters. 

I am told that I am being too harsh. That there were positive messages encoded into Beyonce’s performance. In their rebuke of my interpretation, my friends return to that old canard that “we got to meet the people where they are at” and take every opportunity within the domain of popular culture to push positive messages.”

He explains the sad reactionary nature of that position being part of deep cynicism and alienation of black radical politics that were assaulted so deeply in the ‘70s that they never returned.  There are recent movements to bring them back globally, thankfully.

But the thrust of his essay that I find most noteworthy is this bit of the theme:

“Beyonce’s performance and her video is conservative and accommodationist.”

Well, yes, he references Obama’s abysmal drivel on the 50th anniversary of Selma, including his use of racist and manifest destiny jingoism being embraced and applauded by ‘the new Negroes of the Empire’.  Yes.

“In an era where the image is dominant and meaning fluid, what is still real, concrete and observable is the operation of power. Situated and controlled by an elite that bell hooks refers to as the White Male, capitalist Patriarchy, it’s a power that exercises with devastating efficiency its ability to shape consciousness through its control of the major means of communication and cultural production. It was those white men and their representatives that placed Beyoncé on that stage at the Super Bowl. It is incredibly naive to think that anything subversive or even remotely oppositional to the interests of the capitalist oligarchy would be allowed expression on a stage that it controlled

Beyonce’s performance and her video is as conservative and accommodationist as the demand for justice for ____, fill in the blank, after one of the defenders of the capitalist order executes one of our folks. Everyone can give lip service to the demand for racial justice or oppose the “bad apples” in the police forces that abuse their power, and most people, (except the most rabid racists) can and do get behind the idea that black lives should matter. That is why the movement has not been shut down, at least not yet!”

In a BAR radio broadcast, Glen Ford on ‘Beyoncé, James Brown and Black Movement’, Ford noted in the accompanying text:

“Only two days and one Superbowl performance after Beyoncé released her video, “Formation,” the song had registered 7 million views on YouTube. These numbers are not really all that surprising for an artist who is rated the nation’s number one celebrity, with a net worth of $250 million and the highest yearly earnings record. Beyoncé and her multi-millionaire husband Jay-Z are by no stretch of the imagination political radicals. But they do know how to ride the waves of popular culture, putting their own signatures on existing social movements. It’s good business, and they are good at it.” [snip]

“In the video, a young boy dances in front of a line of cops, as the camera flashes to graffiti demanding “Stop Shooting Us.” We immediately make the connection to 12 year-old Tamir Rice, murdered by Cleveland cops – except in the video, the police put up their hands in surrender to the dancing child. New Orleans is the motif for Beyoncé’s rhythmic fantasy, which ends with her atop a police car as it sinks beneath the flood waters.”

What?  Did I miss the rest of the performance with my above clip?  Seems so, sorry, but I’m sure you can find the rest on youtube)  Still: Airsick bag time.  But didn’t JayZ make noises about running for President a few months ago? Are they satirical, or for real?  But it does go with some of the lyrics about ‘getting what she wants with her name…’

“In the video, the Beyoncé character calls herself a “Black Bill Gates in the making” and is money-hungry to the bone. This is not a radical song. What it does, is signify that Beyoncé wants to be perceived as being down with the new movement.”

I will say that after watching Janelle Monae and friends’ ‘Hell You Talmbout’ a hundred times, I sighed when a White House email came to my inbox…from Janelle asking me to be sure and register to vote, and Vote Democrat!  Still, I still watch it, and love it.  (more sighs)  Who knows?  Monday I may get one form the Queen of the Black Panthers.


by artist Anthony Freda

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

66 responses to “Exploring Beyoncé’s New ‘Black Panther’ Self-Branding

  1. Oh yeah. I was gratified to see Baraka paralleling my thoughts about ‘the new Negroes of the Empire’. As I celebrate Neo-Black History Month.
    “People often ask me, “Nomad, what do you mean by ‘Neo-Black’ history?” Well, they don’t. But if they did I would say it is black history from an imperialist perspective. Black history rewritten to support a corporate agenda. A Neo-Black is a black person that supports and enables that agenda.

    The movie Selma is another example of changing history to maintain the status quo.


    That is a quote from an article about the movie. It provides a good way of defining Neo-Black History. “Changing black history to maintain the status quo”.”

  2. More like DTF Black cougars.
    Barry-0! CALL his name!!

    Young folks …
    Save Their LIVES.

  3. Yeah, I noticed broken links. But I was trying to avoid calling them New Negroes. New Negroes = a genuine black cultural movement: the Harlem Renaissance. These Neo-Blacks is the antithesis of that movement I think.

    • I also capitalize Black because that’s what Neo-Blacks do. Not everybody who capitalizes Black is Neo-Black, mind you, but all Neo-Blacks capitalize “black”.

  4. oh no. next thing you’ll be telling us they vet the audience that’s on the field for the half-time show. the audience within the audience, modeling for the rest of the planet how bouncy & joyous the rest are to be over this gerber’s gmo baby food of entertainment.

    Celebrydom: i kept thinking during the spectacle, how many A & B list hollywood actors are going to appear in commercials? does liam neeson really need the money??? why is this dude/tte doing this? do you need to have an enema & wash your mind out w/a bottle of tequila for coming out & saying some blurb how McDonald’s employs underprivileged youth & all the good they do for the community or whatever? or how great their salads are?

    Dean Smith told the serfs on his UNC basketball teams to cut some classes and not worry about it. so the NCAA is scandalized!!!!! UNC is reeling from the revelations that Michael Jordan skipped his Communications 101 final his freshman year at his coach’s encouragement. James Worthy & Sam Perkins & Jordan were supposed to win an NCAA championship, not get paid a cent, make millions and millions for various sports/media rackets, and complete 120 credit hrs?

    and Cam Newton is supposed to be the uppidy negro athlete? not too uppidy for Nike, that’s for sure. Coca Cola will probably introduce their new Coke Rebel by having him do the black power salute w/a coke can in his hand. refreshingly subversive.

    The Americanization of Emily was just on TCM. must see tv.

  5. oh, FOH and LOL, jason. wish i knew all the playahs, but the coke power salute is too refreshing to even contemplate!!! i want some o’ that Black Can with green lettering!!

    shoot, you should type beyoncé into search engine to witness the catfights. the good liberals are havin’ a field day. ‘there is no such thing as bad advertising™’! boycott! boycott!! good golly miss molly and holy hell.

    (had you meant your one comment about Moar War, ugly cops to go on the NGO thread after my hissy fit?)

    • sorry this wasn’t about beyonce per se. i don’t follow that scene so much. i didn’t even know who bruno mars was. coldplay, unfortunately, i recognized.

      my local classical was playing strauss’s “emperor waltz” when i clicked over to NYT to see NINO’S DEAD. fitting i tho’t.

      i’m not sure about the Moar War/NGO thread. war is good for ngo’s?

      “as we celebrate this year’s Super Bowl, let us honor America’s heros by not revealing the photos of all the tortured, dead, maimed and raped at the hands of America’s warfighters.”

      • Dean Smith is/was a celebrity coach at the U of North Carolina, in the 80’s esp. those 3 players, esp. Jordan of course, won UNC an NCAA basketball championship & started the Jordan phenom (& Worthy had a stellar championship career w/Magic Johnson & Co w/the Lakers. and Perkins had a decent pro career, not as great).

        if you like that sort of thing, they put on a good sports show, no doubt, if you bracket out everything else associated w/those 2 hrs of basketball. Unbracketed, it’s such a tawdry, filthy business. But let’s wring our liberal hands over skipping classes.

        whited-sepulcres, full of the bones of the dead.

      • good grief, your comment was still great as it echoed what the author detractors were trying to show. it’s all grift, and all serves the male patriarchal capitalists, in the end. save for ‘bey’s’ coffers, of course.

        i got to thinking about what all the panthers who are still in prison, some in solitary in angola, still, would make of this bullshit. i had zero knowledge of her, really, but i did laugh when anthony sent me the bey currency. coldplay and bruno: i still dunno which one they were in the video. don’t even care, to say the truth.

        one comment under baraka’s essay at BAR said….’but but….at least she’s opened up the conversation window about the panthers!’ no, she hasn’t; she profited from it, turned them into caricatures. oy, the cadré of angela davis “c’mon, ladies!'” oh, such feminism.. . my guess is she wouldn’t have a clue about hoover (and kennedy’s, later) COINTELPRO program or any of it.

        thanks for explaining the coaches an players.. i’d assumed it was just normal that star athletes get a bit of ‘help’ passing classes; maybe they just got caught.

  6. scalia gave up the ghost today in TexAss. i think that it’s likely putin ordered him to be poisoned with radioactive isotopes.

  7. Hey, WD!

    Excellent essay!

    Also, thanks for re-posting “Hell You Talmbout.” Without a doubt, I’ll wind up re-watching that video another 10-15 times due to its powerful message and mesmerizing images/properties.

    I’m caught between a project, and a family illness; but I’ll be back to comment further, as I can. Also, I’ll probably post a couple of screen shots (sometime soon) of the WP Blog (or, as I call it in the blog byline–Journal) that I’m trying to get together. I’d like to get your opinion regarding the ‘theme.’ I’ve finally narrowed it down to several themes, but simply can’t winnow it down to one.

    BTW, glad to see your comments about the privatization of New Orleans schools, etc. I was/am sickened by the ‘non-reaction’ of so-called liberals to the travesty that unfolded there regarding public education.

    Beyonce’s obviously a very talented artist/entertainer–I’ll give her that. But since she’s a frequent guest at the White House, IIRC, I’m very skeptical of her being anything near what I’d consider a ‘liberal.’

    I’m sorta pushed, but gonna read all the links you provided. Glen and Bruce are the only two ‘progressives’ that I listen to on the radio, anymore. I sometimes catch them on Mark Thompson’s radio program, although he’s so ‘sold out’ that I can no longer stand to listen to him–except for the BA segment. (Thompson even has a regular segment with ‘Kos.’ Tells you all you need to know, LOL!)

    Oh, and no love lost between me and the phony #BLM so-called and self-proclaimed leader–DeRay McKesson. Heaven help the citizens of Baltimore, if he wins. Unfortunately, so much of the Dem Party Base appears (from what I’m seeing this election cycle) to be somewhat low-info types; so, I figure that McKesson will probably win the race in a landslide.

    Looks like they’re gonna flog Scalia’s passing to death. So typical. Guess the Dem Establishment will use this as an excuse to harangue folks–especially Bernie’s supporters–into voting for FSC. Short of the US being attacked, chances are that nothing could have happened that would be more helpful to her campaign, than something like this. Ugh!


    (Typing’s been really lousy lately, so I apologize in advance for potential typos.)

    Later . . .


    Postscript: I ran across one of Michael Flatley’s dance videos–‘Riverdance,’ The Final Performance–in my archives earlier. Having tried traditional tap dance, and failed miserably at it (even though I’m musically inclined, so to speak), I’m always amazed watching him and his remarkable dance troupe. So, here you go.

    • After reading the Wikipedia entry for Beyonce, I found that I literally had no idea how ‘iconic’ she is, as an artist/entertainer; and, that she is clearly ‘Mainstream,’ so to speak. There appears to be absolutely nothing radical about her life–including her early childhood–that I saw. She shares (at least) one thing in common with Michelle O and actress Angela Bassett–they all attended magnet schools.



      BTW, read the other day that Bassett is stumping for FSC in South Carolina, or somewhere–they are fellow ‘Yalies,’ IIRC.

      That’s okay, I still think her portrayal of Tina Turner was exceptional.



    • it’s so funny that their legs are so busy while their upper bodies are virtual statues (if bouncing up and down) isn’t it? our daughter clogged for awhile as it was very big around here back in the day.

      sure, bring your screenshots, not that I’d be any judge of them, since the theme has to suit your needs. there are so bloody many of them, aren’t there? how many columns and what not.

      I confess i dunno who either angela basset or FSC even are. wasn’t there a woman in jeeves and Wooster by that first name you mentioned?

      yeah, the bread and circus battles over replacing scalia will be a hoot. the WH staffers will have been working night and day to come up with A List the senate Rs might approve. let’s see, offa the top of my head:
      Robert rubin, john yoo, whozzit Rizzo…ah, that’s enough. “but they made me do it!” bet emptywheel has some fun guesses.

  8. Black compradors at the Stooperbowl? NO!

  9. Hot Kwistian Networked Intercourse Startup

    Sex work is a peculiar business for religious folks, but Rae and Johns say they’re following God’s plan.

    “How can we be getting all of these blessings if God didn’t want us doing this?” Johns says. “It’s the only chance our family has not to be piss poor.”

    Expect nothing less in the comprador laboratory.

    Without the U.S. market you don’t have a market,” Op de Beek explains, “because the U.S. people are the ones who want to try new things.


    Rescued the nation from hippie pervert free love so to develop the Calvinist e-pimped nation!

    • ha ha; you are one crazy mofo, comrade aXis. but see, even that virtual robotic sex is seemingly linked and okayed by the newish ‘Prosperity Doctrine’. of course, the opposite has to hold true, as well: if you’re hungry, ill, and poor…you can betcher bottom dollar that god doesn’t approve of you. long live ‘calvinist e-pimpin’!

      they were singin’ ‘funk you up’, weren’t they? those vinyl clothes gave me the shivers…..

  10. i’m sorry to to fold already; my spirits are Lowly Wormish after the comments on this thread over yonder. tomorrow, okay? for night, sweet honey’s tribute to a real revolutionary black freedom fighter, ella baker.

  11. Hey, Wendy. Saw the bizzaro-world some of those “over yonder” made of your thesis regarding Beyoncé, etc. Keep your chin up. Big Al remains staunchly in your corner, as do I. Not up to saying more this very late, but I’ll be back – after quite some time following you here at the Café since you crossed my radar as FDL was going down the tubes.

    Just don’t let those who can’t see yet get you down. There’s quite a number of us who do. We just need a proper place to congregate . . . at your Café?


    • bless your heart, dancingrabbit. of course we’d love to have you and others here. i’d even made the invitation over yonder once or twice. ;-)

      i guess i jut wasn’t quite ready for the sheer amount of push-back against the main thesis of the post, not to mention the fact that some seemed totally unable to see her for the grifter to the white male patriarchy she is. i was almost ready to hear: “but i hear she pays her maids and gardeners really well! think of how many jobs she creates!”, lol.

      but in the end, as i’d warned that folks might find too far a bridge in my planned Brands as propaganda post, Bey seems rather untouchable on the liberal ‘left’. guess i shouldn’t be so puzzled. some of the comments allowed me to see how many amerikans sincerely love royalty, and not just queen elizabeth and the boys.

      the experience did serve to show me how far off a non-violent revolution is, in that so many smart and well-intentioned people don’t seem to see what a trap capitalism is, and that it requires slaves to make it work for the Plutocrats. well, it may not survive for much longer, or so some folks predict.

      i’ll try to buck up. ;-) peace to you, dr.

      • some of your cafe-babylon homies will get your back ;)

        where is this cross-posted?

        • bless your heart, too, jason. at the end of the post under freda’s One devalued dollar bill (in beyoncé we trust) (cross-posted at caucus99percent.com) although there it’s hyperlinked. lotssa great folks, but we just don’t share a common…sense of the world/zeigeist, i guess i’d call it. or perception of history.

          i got to thinking about one of the angola three who was finally released maybe last year because he was dying. his freedom lasted perhaps two days…before his ‘ride came for him’, as john trudell expressed it so well.
          damn, i’m gonna go get his last song at DN. i tried so hard to find out how to embed a soundcloud, but i never did.

          ‘time dreams’

          oh, joy of joys! it’s up on youtube. i cry every time.

      • I’m truly puzzled, too. Seems that there’s little consistency among many in the Dem Party Base, anymore.

        It’s sorta funny–as I recall, many Dems were apoplectic over Romney’s wealth, even though their previous Presidential nominee, John Kerry, was not only relatively wealthy in his own right, but was married to a billionaire who inherited her wealth from a Republican lawmaker–according to Forbes. And yes, I am aware that some of Romney’s wealth was connected to Bain Capital, etc. By the same token, he was one of the ‘lesser people’ compared to Teresa Heinz Kerry.

        Go figure.

        BTW, my blurb about Beyonce’s iconic status was only meant to convey that I had no idea of her true ‘status’ as an artist–nothing more. For instance, I’ve heard of her husband, but he could walk up to me now and slap me silly with a 2′ X 4′, and I wouldn’t recognize him. Having said that, that’s probably true of 70-80 percent, or more, of today’s artists. Heck, I’ve never even ‘heard of’ the Dude who performed with her.

        Hey, I was taught how to ‘clog’ in grammar school, and danced with a couple of 4-squares sponsored by the school for a couple of years. It was great fun.




        • liberal dems are all too consistent, i fear, blue. i just thought those over yonder were more aware of history, ‘class’ (that argument really blew me the hell away), and *meritocracy*, in this case the music industry. guess they’ve been outside of that; i haven’t. ‘she caused women too stop abjuring the term ‘feminist’? well, lo-fucking l-well. and yeah, i get ‘stilletto feminism’ was supposed to be The New feminism; this crap is even different. grifting on a key social movement, trying to find its radical roots (well, some are, anyhoo).

  12. serendipitous:

    The History of State Repression Against Radical Social Movements

    ‘In this episode of imixwhatilike! TRNN Journalist Jared Ball speaks with Former U.S. Political Prisoner Eddie Conway about his book The Greatest Threat: The Black Panthers and COINTELPRO’ (no transcript yet)



    assatta in her own words

    40th anniversary of the murder of fred hampton and mark clark by the fbi, pt. I

    short excerpt of the black power mixtape documentary. consider beyoncés cadre of angela davises in their panther caps and booty shorts.

  13. Yes. Just watch the Beyonce NFL-approved video without the sound off. The only recognizeable possible radical reference is the dance formation “X”. More Miley Cyrus than Huey Newton.

    And Sir Blue Vest is now a candidate for Mayor of Baltimore, where LoTE dynamics might operate — or not.

    In other news, the death of Scalia and the Republican response potentially turn this election into a culture war referendum. Suss out what that does to Sanders’s campaign, which struggles to keep the identity politics framed as expressions of class power and not distractions from class power. We haven’t seen an election cycle this squirrely since 1968. Both conventions are likely to be highly conflicted.

    • (wide grin on your miley reference) i said to mr. wd earlier that at least bey’s ‘feminist cadre’ hadn’t grabbed their crotches like miley and friends do, though i never did grok why beyoncé and her legions fanned their bums so often. ;-)

      flippin’ deray is everywhere; the guardian ha a thingie about his ‘plan for baltimore’. well, must be about like the WH’s, yes? or the WH’s for flint? yakkety-yak, don’t talk back.

      as to your last paragraph, and esp. vis a vis sanders, i’m not even sure you’re right that he’s about class power per se, but the social dem version of ‘income inequality’, not ‘wealth (big difference). but then, i’m kinda outta the loop. will the coming forecast financial meltdown occur in the middle of it as it did in 2008? that’s when it would get even more Black Swannish. beware demagogues of any stripe then, imo.

      and by the way: hello stranger; nice to see you.

      • “Income inequality” is what you get when a cautious campaign staff runs a campaign on a marketing model. Which is to say that as far as process Bernie Sanders’s campaign still has a lot of business as usual aspects that undermine the ability to drive a more wideranging (such as organizing coattails in Congress) campaign effort. My current sense is that Sanders will come up short by late April or early May. Pessimists however have been wrong about Sanders so far.

        We will see by SuperTuesday whether the establishment Republicans can stop Trump.

        I don’t see any major movemental politics erupting, but it is not yet spring, is it?

        But in other ways, there is a rolling of events like in 1968 that focus on a clarifying election. And the question is whether the Reagan Revolution has spent its force. The death of Antonin Scalia and the Republican response just adds to the pressure for clarity. The nomination of Trump will provoke a crisis in the Republican Party. The nomination of Sanders will provoke a crisis among the Democratic establishment. Those events would represent the failure of party establishments, but not the 1% or the PtB in rigging the nominating process. Watch it for how it unfolds. It will tell you a lot about the nature of current US politics that escapes the view of stock analyses.

        • i’ll watch for what you see might happen, but no, i don’t even see that the MIC, et.al., would sweat a sanders nomination, because he’s an Empiricist at heart. as to coattails, please see jill stein’s comments on the ‘when plan a meets the plan b stein’ post i put up. what i got was that the bern’s a recipe for an obama not wanting a bully pulpit in order to cry “R obstructionism!”

          but i get your meaning on ‘income v. wealth’ inequality being down to campaign advisors. social movements: well, we’ll see, i guess. that the many movements are just too unconnected seems to be the problem just now. but i still think that ellen brown and stein are right on the next crash is coming soon, and ‘bail-ins’ will be the order of the day. will that create a new Occupy movement…or something more militant.

          sleep well; dream of a more rational world.

          p.s. is trump still The Almost Anointed One? crikey, i need to get out more, lol. and won’t the hillary hawk win by superdelegates (i doubt jason leopold’s foia-honored tranches of her emails will matter.one.whit.)

  14. Establishment Dems probably smell blood now, regarding trying to stop Bernie’s momentum. The only thing that could play even more into Clinton’s hands, would be a major attack on US soil before the nominating process ends.

    Guess Sanders’ campaign has a plan to counter this turn of events. We’ll see.


  15. Beyonce signed a 50 million dollar contract with Pepsi, which surely will expand. Pepsi is part of the corporatocracy that profits from the war machine. All those making millions off Pepsi are in effect making millions off the wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc. They should be called out for it in my opinion and many others.

    As for her show, I didn’t/haven’t watched it. I took a walk at halftime to avoid it. I did watch the game but also didn’t watch the Star Bungled Banner bs. Just the way I roll now. Wasn’t always that way, in fact it’s just the last number of years where I’ve become more hardline.

    And that’s because I think we have to. It’s obvious to me that nothing works, all this talk about Bernie and over the next hill, over the next rise, there will be an oasis where we can eat and drink is the same shit we humans have been doing forever. Same thing with her halftime show, Some think it sent a message. Juxtaposed next to a photo of Tommie John and John Carlos. Right, 1968, 2016, look where we’re at. It doesn’t work.

    The controllers have more power over us than ever. The collaborators are the opposition. Like a BAR writer said last week, we have to find a way to cut thru the BS and get into subversive politics.

    • see jason’s wild comment psychically predicting X in advance of the pepsi deal you’ve mentioned.

      can’t avoid saying that i think you might watch; to me the spectacle is entirely germane to the subject at hand. her MO is sexy writ large, but capturing the movement incorrectly strikes me as grifting.

      and oh, the link you handed me iirc (ajamu baraka) over yonder was part of my OP.

      do please rest an revitalize for your health’s sake, big al. we can only call out propaganda to so much effect on these boutique blog sites. ;-)

      • Thanks Wendy, I’m getting better every day now. I started working again which I think is going to be good for me. It’s only part time but I needed something else to do. I’ll be around.

  16. Whoa! Just finished reading the updated thread. I’m simply blown away. And, for once, near speechless.


    Seriously, it seems like there’s been a massive amount of internalization (by some) of the Stiglitz meme about the 99 Versus the One Percent.

    IIRC, a fairly innocuous, and relatively unknown blogger picked up this expression from a Joe Stiglitz-Linda Blimes economic paper. My ‘guess’ is that Stiglitz would probably be a relatively well-off Dude. As such, it would reasonably be in his best interest, as well as that of allthe Political and Economic Elite to ‘frame’ an economic critique in the narrowest possible terms in relation to ‘which Americans’ have an unfair advantage–meaning, getting an outrageous piece of the economic pie.

    Otherwise, I see no reason that the Dem Party continually pushes the ‘billionaire’ meme, which amounts to only about 500-600 individuals in the US. (That is, without addressing the responsibility of the 17-18 US millionaires when it comes to tax revenue, etc.)

    Well, back to work. Have a good one.


    • i guess i don’t know what you mean, blue. afik, though, it was david degraw at amped status who’d coined the term, although liz warren claimed it as her own. but which updated thread left you not quite speechless?

      adbusters culturejammers, UK, originated Occupy, as i remember it. their last call to sorta repeat Occupy…was a total fizzle. sleep well.

  17. Hey, WD–

    Sorry for the sloppy/vague comment. I was referring to your post and thread over yonder. You know, the one that portrays Beyonce as (Joe) Jane Lunch Pail, or some kinda working class heroine/unionist.


    About the blogger–his name was totally unfamiliar to me, so I don’t recall his name. It ‘could be’ the same person. I truly can’t recall the name. (IOW, it was not someone like Kos, Jane Hamsher, Ives Smith, etc., that was known to me.)

    I’ve seen more than one reference of the idea originating with Joe Stiglitz’s writings or economic papers.

    I just ‘Googled,’ and didn’t find the specific White Paper that I read about earlier, but according to the piece below, Stiglitz appears to believe that the 99% expression originated with his work.

    Here’s the excerpt and link to a Daily Beast piece.

    The name chosen by the young Spanish protesters—los indignados, the indignant or outraged—encapsulated the feelings across the world. They had much to be indignant about.

    In the United States, the slogan became “the 99 percent.” The protesters who took this slogan echoed the title of an article I wrote for the magazine Vanity Fair in early 2011 that was titled “Of the 1%, for the 1%, and by the 1%.”

    Frankly, I’ve always thought that this slogan was indicative of Elite manipulation, since it clearly plays into the hands of the Economic Elite.

    I mean, heck, it’s clearly in their best interest to diminish the number of their ilk (‘the wealthy’) who are the target of the anger and/or resentment of the much vaunted ‘American People,’ due to vast wealth and income inequality.

    I consider it more than a coincidence that the folks at which our fearless Democratic leaders are willing to direct their Base’s frustrations are those Elites who are totally cloistered–and therefore, safe and secure from American society, and/or harm’s way.

    I may be wrong, but I think this afternoon we just witnessed how effective and disarming this ploy has been. Heck, I’ve seen/heard the same arguments before, but it was almost always coming from a conservative who argued something like, “I’ve never saw a poor man create a job.” (yada, yada, yada)

    That’s my take, but I could be wrong. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time . . .


    Good night, All.


    • ah; and didn’t i completely forget to address that ‘musicians are working people, too!’ in my final comment on the thread. i’d meant to say: yeppers, just like the odious bono who keeps his millions in off-shore tax havens, has teamed up with the clinton and gates foundations to bio-wreck africa with transgenic seeds and monsanto ‘green revolution’ agra-poisons.

      well, it’s not that important who coined the term really, but pfffft on stiglitz if he did. he may be one of the better capitalist economists in some respects, and his new book is ‘the price of inequality’. but on my recent diary on Davos, i featured a tweet soundcloud with him saying essentially that it’s pragmatic: if ya don’t address extreme inequality (and i forget if he spoke of income or wealth, bug difference, by 2025 peeps won’t be able to buy your products. nothing about the morality of it, which i swear he once spoke about. well, ya know: pragmatism.

      shoot, even christine lagarde has been warning against ‘extreme inequality’ for a couple years. at least she seems to get that soon the torches, pitchforks, and tumbrils may come out.

  18. Satyajit Das: Age of Stagnation or Something Worse?

    Heart of the Matter
    Conscious that the social compact requires growth and prosperity, politicians, irrespective of ideology, are unwilling to openly discuss the real issues. They claim crisis fatigue, arguing that the problems are too far into the future to require immediate action. Fearing electoral oblivion, they have succumbed to populist demands for faux certainty and placebo policies. But in so doing they are merely piling up the problems.

    It is not in the interest of bankers and financial advisers to tell their clients about the real outlook. Bad news is bad for business. The media and commentariat, for the most part, accentuate the positive. Facts, they argue, are too depressing. The priority is to maintain the appearance of normality, to engender confidence.
    Ordinary people refuse to acknowledge that maybe you cannot have it all. But there is increasingly a visceral unease about the present and a fear of the future. Everyone senses that the ultimate cost of the inevitable adjustments will be large. It is not simply the threat of economic hardship; it is fear of a loss of dignity and pride. It is a pervasive sense of powerlessness.
    For the moment, the world hopes for the best of times but is afraid of the worst.

    Reckoning Postponed
    The world has postponed, indefinitely, dealing decisively with the challenges, choosing instead to risk stagnation or collapse. But reality cannot be deferred forever. Kicking the can down the road only shifts the responsibility for dealing with it onto others, especially future generations.

    During the last half-century each successive economic crisis has increased in severity, requiring progressively larger measures to ameliorate its effects. Over time, the policies have distorted the economy. The effectiveness of instruments has diminished. With public finances weakened and interest rates at historic lows, there is now little room for manoeuvre. Geo-political risks have risen. Trust and faith in institutions and policy makers has weakened.

    Economic problems are feeding social and political discontent, opening the way for extremism. In the Great Depression the fear and disaffection of ordinary people who had lost their jobs and savings gave rise to fascism. Writing of the period, historian A.J.P. Taylor noted: ‘[the] middle class, everywhere the pillar of stability and respectability . . . was now utterly destroyed . . . they became resentful . . . violent and irresponsible . . . ready to follow the first demagogic saviour . . .’
    The new crisis that is now approaching or may already be with us will be like a virulent infection attacking a body whose immune system is already compromised.

    • Das is the author of Traders, Guns & Money and Extreme Money[, published in 2006] and reference books on derivatives and risk-management.

      Das began writing the book a couple of years earlier as a loose memoir but his research caused him great anxiety about the future of the global economy.

      “I realised that the way the derivatives market had developed meant it did not mitigate risk, it was a risk in itself,” he says, adding that the debt built up in the system was unsustainable, creating a giant paper shuffle.

      He has written another book that analyses what he calls ”the financial alchemy” of the past 30 years and its destructive global consequences.

      The global market upheavals of early August [2011] were, he says, an inevitable result of ”Botox economics” where deep-seated global financial problems were temporarily covered up by government bailouts and stimulus packages.

      Das says the response was the right one but it simply bought time by substituting public debt for private debt. He has been horrified by the ”mission accomplished” attitude of some financial markets players and regulators. The analogy he uses is of a car that has crashed and been repaired, and is now hurtling back along the same highway, only with its safety features removed.

      ”It’s very difficult to see how the real economy will recover,” he says, noting the global economy has relied on debt and financial gimmicks for the past 30 years. ”We are entering a very protracted period of low growth.”

      Since he left TNT in 1994, Das has worked as a derivatives and risk-management consultant to governments, companies and regulators around the world, as well as writing textbooks.

      The global financial crisis stymied his plans to wind down in 2007 and focus on eco-travel and birds, especially birds of prey. Instead, he has helped banks fix their portfolios and change their business models. He did, however, travel to Finland and Iceland earlier this year to go owl spotting. ”My partner says the only time I’m really relaxed is when I’m knee-deep in mud in some forest, asking, ‘Is that a greater or lesser version of a particular bird?'”

      Goddamn expensive to educate these bugger compradors. The crapitalist “body” never was a healthy organism and flamin’ galah technicians like Das are snake oil peddlers. The chronic “infections” he deferred only allowed typhoid Mary to spread a colossal epidemic.


      • guess i don’t get your beef, comrade orX. i was trying to reply to myself responding to Thd, showing an opinion that ‘yeppers, the next crash is built in’, and coming to a theatre near you’.

        • Hunh? You mean that the crook’s “opinion” (confession) that they built one in put you in such a tizzy that you let “ready to follow the first demagogic saviour” pass without comment? O my goodness, comrade, aren’t you disgusted with yourself?

          • FOH, ComradeX. even orthodox economists can see what’s baked into the future. and cut with the cRpatialism shtick, or i’ll start editing it. it makes me want to reach for my gun…or flyswatter, whicher i choose in the moment. yeah, you’re such a smart commie.

            oh, wait till i tout an unexpected source touting the erratic marxist’s DiEM tomorrow. get some bloody sleep.

            • “[C*apitalism] makes me want to reach for my gun” … Ruh-roh.

              Have you watched Yani’s live-stream yet? That’ll knock you right out … comrade.

              Could it be the Naked C*apitalist for Yani? Or maybe Tyler Dodo? Wills I be impressed?

              Good luck.

              • yeah, sleep well. given the thesis of this diary, how crapulous that you chose that link to rail against in your commie hubris. were the Panthers too much the compradors to even bother dissing?

                no, i haven’t watched the archived livestreams, far too many hours.

                • Ooo, the Panthers were compradors? Do tell!

                  PCR, the Raygun tool, says Amurkans are too insouciant to revolt. And here you are bolding some Indian fuckknuckle birder’s prediction of the rise of Amurkan Hitler because compradors are bcoming resentful and irresponsible.

                  Too klewless.

  19. you say ‘clueless’ like it’s a bad thing! ;-) and i didn’t say the panthers were compradors.

    • Alice of Wonderland you are not.

      • i have no idea what that means, but it seems i need to be a bit more clear with you, comrade axe. first, read what i’d quipped about you and the Panthers above. then please consider (or even read) the thesis of this entire post, the links and videos i provided in comments, and tell me i’m calling them compradors. no, i was demonstrating that beyoncé was grifting for capitalists while pretending to honor them and the BLM movement. (gaggingly, amy goodman and dennis moynihan were thrilled by her schitck, as so many good liberals were).

        now i dunno what goes on for you in your absences, but when you pop back in, it seems as though you’re only too eager to latch on to some small bit on an original post or in the comment thread and get all high and mighty and insulting. it reminds me of wayoutwest’s tendencies to do the same thing; i remember how many threads he pretty much ruined in that manner.

        now goddess knows, when i’m hurtin’ past a certain point, i can get short-tempered, and i’m trying to do better. but i will ask you again to stop being insulting, and contribute to the conversations in a civil manner. the most recent time i’d asked for your cooperation, you really rocked bringing on topic things to bear; please simmer down and do so again.

        • Of course Beyouncy is a crapitalist tool. “She puts” some pathetic nod to Black Panthers in her Stooperification Bowl performance – is that something to analyze? Hell, now some wingnut fucktards grouse that she’s paying homage to terrrists. Wow, big PR advance Beyouncy.

          I just learned that the CIA blamed the Church Committee for the assassination of Skeffington Welch, CIA station chief in Greece, so to bamboozle and suppress the investigations. Funny thing, the fucker’s residence was identified on bus tours in Athens (he was named by Agee in a Counterspy article in ’75.) The fucking Greeks knew, but the stoopified Amurkans were told that Senate investigations were revealing top snecret info!

          HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

          I wouldn’t put it past the fuckers to have Gladio do the job:

          Other writers have also claimed, without any evidence, that 17N may have been a tool of foreign secret services. In December 2005, Kleanthis Grivas published an article in To Proto Thema, a Greek Sunday newspaper, in which he accused “Sheepskin”, the Greek branch of Gladio, NATO’s stay-behind paramilitary organization during the Cold War, of the assassination of CIA station chief Richard Welch in Athens in 1975

          Beyouncy’s “tribute” to the Black Panthers is disrespectful, at best.

          • Do she have diamonds at the meeting of her thighs?

          • ha. breezing right by your admitting that i hadn’t called them compradors. but anyway, yes, it seems that it was indeed ‘analyzing’, even at a boutique blogsite such as this. just a few cases in point: i cross-posted this at caucus99%, and the pushback was depressing (’bout 90%, i’d guess), but illustrative as to how far the revolution of awareness and consciousness is; at least to me. amy and her hubbie, for another.

            this hideous rubbish was at counterpunch: ‘lessons from beyoncé’ and it derves a har har har… although one author did write that he reckoned that if they’d used another hologram at half-time, had they included huey newton…he’d have been holding a can of coke. bravo!

            but srsly, over yonder commenters even claimed ‘musicians’ were working people, too! tom morello (blech) is even a wobblie!!! and that jeez louise, bey and jayZ gave black lives matter $1.5 million!!!! yeah, mega-wealthy stars’ version of noblesse oblige, i reckon. might be like zuckerman’s philanthropy.

            again, serendipitously, trnn interviewed tory russell of the ‘hands up united coalition’, and it was hard to follow, but it seemed almost like ‘in-kind’ donations, who knows?

            but oh me,oh, my, did he call deray mckesson a neoliberal con artist (wide grin).

            (i’ll read again, and think through the gladio-like stuff from greece in a bit)

            on edit: OMG, is she lovin’ the ‘right wing’ pushback. as the old saw goes, ‘there IS no bad advertising. she’s been on countless teevee shows since the stupid bowl.

          • interesting. and the more i read from agee…woosh, the real deal. cia is everywhere, and their unholy alliance with xe and jsoc…shiver.

            those are in fact zippers that go to their crotches. but you made me remember david gerber’s fun thesis that men’s ties…point to their junk, and that it’s no accident, although not all ties are arrowed at the bottom…it scarcely matters as the tradition has become iconic.

            over yonder some folks said that she made younger women no longer abjure the term ‘feminism’. i’ve heard of lipstick and spike heel feminism, but not so much this sort. ;-)

  20. “diamonds at …” comes from Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise. To me it refers to her racial reproductive power. Beyouncy and her comprador generation would take it more literally.

    David Graber, dear.

    Yeah, comprador feminism would appeal to compradors. The Democrats cater to comprador professionals; Mr. Red, or WhateverTF his name is over at c99, is clearly wrapped up in that thought collective. Have fun cracking that nut.

    • ach and i’d even silently rehearsed ‘graeber’ on accountta every time i try to fond him on the odious Twit machine…i get it wrong the first time.

      ‘red bandana person’ might you mean? dinnae know that about maya angelou poem; thank you, and some say men are furious (unconsciously) at women’s reproductive power, but i’d add ‘seductive power’ as well. along the lines of ‘vaginas with teeth’, though i can’t remember the origin of that in th 70s, maybe. appalling to me, as you might guess.

      and it took me some time in my dotage to remember: ‘stiletto feminism’. as i’d said over yonder, i’ve been an accidental feminist of the amazon kind al my life.

      sleep well. i have a fun (ukraine story for tomorrow if i can make it happen and keep it short.) ah! mr. wd says that independent lens on pbs has a black panther program on tonight…here, at least.

      fragrant orange peel. way-ull; semi-fragrant, anyhoo.

      to all: bill gates is keeping my emails a secret. i can get some again after quite a hiatus, but when i try to open them…there is no text. guess i should quit wishing that his teeth and hair should fall out tomorrow so often.

      hey bill: may your teeth and hair fall out tomorrow, you ugly worm!

  21. from TRNN:It’s Bigger Than Beyonce’: Art as War’; Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies Ajamu Baraka and music industry veteran, journalist and founder of RapRehab.com Paul Porter discuss the continuing political fallout of and response to Beyonce’s latest.

    (the transcript isn’t up yet, but i’m linking to it since it will be some day soonish.)

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