"Quality of urban life has become a commodity, as has the city itself, in a world where consumerism, tourism, cultural and knowledge-based industries have become major aspects of the urban political economy. The postmodernist penchant for encouraging the formation of market niches—in both consumer habits and cultural forms—surrounds the contemporary urban experience with an aura of freedom of choice, provided you have the money…"
— One more from “The Right to the City.”
"One step towards unifying these struggles is to adopt the right to the city as both working slogan and political ideal, precisely because it focuses on the question of who commands the necessary connection between urbanization and surplus production and use. The democratization of that right, and the construction of a broad social movement to enforce its will is imperative if the dispossessed are to take back the control which they have for so long been denied, and if they are to institute new modes of urbanization. Lefebvre was right to insist that the revolution has to be urban, in the broadest sense of that term, or nothing at all."
— THE RIGHT TO THE CITY.
"Nobody can know in advance when an epic historical-geographic performance will be enacted, nor are there preconceived formulas for what makes a successful encounter. What is clear, however, is that any moment of encounter will likely be a process without a subject, spreading like wildfire, a moment in which crowds become speedy ensembles of bodies, rested via spontaneous online and offline ordering; participants will simultaneously act and react, in a human kaleidoscope in which joy and celebration, violence and wildness, tenderness and abandon somehow get defined."
— Andy Merrifield, from “Crowd Politics” (as excerpted in Harper’s this month).
i use it, and you should be, too. i want to see what you read.
"After President Hafez al-Assad seized power in 1970, Alawites so prevailed as undercover agents that people feared naming the sect in public. The preferred euphemism was “the Germans.” Now, in a sign of both alienation and diminishing fear, some Syrians call them “mundas,” or infiltrators in Arabic. The government uses that word to describe the supposed armed Islamist gangs."
— Syria, Under Siege Inside and Out, Does Not Budge. The power of language.
"This probably wouldn’t help the problem you’re describing, but it sounds like Kickstarter is ripe for a blog dedicated to highlighting and bashing the absurd projects. Yes, Kickstarter needs its own version of what Regretsy is to Etsy. I’m really surprised no one has done this yet, actually."
— a comment from the “End Online Panhandling Forever” piece on Gawker today.
just going to leave this here.