Thursday, 21 September 2017

"Will never cowered, will never forget."

"Will never cowered, will never forget."

Notes after the September 21 actions from Diliman to Luneta

Contrary to those who desired to move on from the past, all victims of both past and present regimes are bound to unites in their common desire for justice and freedom this September 21.

As various sectors, be it the indigenous folks, students, labourers, employees, and churchpeople gathered together to mark the 45th year of the declaration of Martial Law, and to recall both the crimes under the Marcos Dictatorship and of the present bloodied regime under Duterte.

It appears to be fiestive and peaceful amidst threats by the administration to use the police and the armed forces to break up on the pretext of "rebels taking into the streets", and to think that the administration did tried to counter the demonstrations with their counter-rallies, every media service showed that the rally in commemorating that "day of hatred" swelled to many.

And because of that, apologetics insist that the activity itself as den of yellows if not paid hacks, but no amount of their bravado, politico-legal manouvers, and relentless propaganda will hinder such actions knowing that the people are aware of the truth that is, bloodied.

Remember: in just over a year, the regime did failed in realising the aspirations of the people, it had sidelined progressives in the cabinet, given a lowest budget in the Commission on Human Rights, what more of having mounted three wars and has victimised nearly a million people. Apologists may insist that his actions as just if not trying to counter it with ad hominems or diverting news to some various debt-funded engineering feats;

But, like the past regime the present administration idolised, that systemic conditions which has plunged the country into deeper and deeper crisis remain the same - that peasants remain landless, workers remain tied to slave wages, exploitative contracts and sweatshop-like work conditions, government continues to be run by corrupt politicians from powerful clans, the country still adheres to unequal foreign agreements which has robbed us of any real chance at development, and the majority of Filipinos still live in poverty. Throughout regimes, change has come in profits and increasing revenues for the rich, and greater misery and burden for the rest of the Filipino people.

No wonder why the people has admitted that the regime be trying to be "Marcosian" if not creating a "neo-Marcosian" setting by creating a scenario of fear, what more of having its apologetics insist how just an unjust, what more of a bloodied operation is.

And like past regimes not also wonder why their effigies end like charred wood and ashes. Obviously, people cannot move on for this continuing past, that no infrastructure or any feat the present order can cover a bloodied truth such as today.

Monday, 18 September 2017

"Notes after Sitio Sandugo"

"Notes after Sitio Sandugo"

From late morning till night, everyone from all walks of life has made an almost swampy corner livelier as the indigenous folks around the archipelago converged for a week long celebration of resistance and struggle in a place named "Sitio Sandugo."

Initially named "Kampuhan", the site, Named after an organisation consists of Cordilleran, Moro, Lumad, and other various indigenous folks victimised by militarisation and development aggression, these folks marched towards Metro Manila not just to express their grievances that failed to be heeded by the government itself, if not still left vulnerable by "developmental" aggressors in its various forms.

Carrying their cherished tradition and at the same time adapted to modern ways, these indigenous folks showed their culture to the lowlander and at the same time having the desire to have education, that in case of the Lumads, having alternative schools for their kin to learn the rudiments of today's education and at the same time to preserve their ways of life in spite of countless repressions. Actually it may sound "left" that these indigenous folks also asserted the same desires as the lowlanders for their right for land and social justice; and as an observer this writer agrees knowing that these folks lived in lands arable, and these arable lands are meant to be preserved, cherished, and given justice so-called "developers" and the system failed to provide so.

Worse, these indigenous folks are targets of these latter entities in all its various names and forms of aggression simply because of their belief if not their will to resist. Come to think of the deaths of Macliing Dulag, Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, Juvello Sinzo, or a foreign priest Pops Tentorio, these personages recognises the struggle for land, respect for nature, and social justice.

Anyway, as the music plays on, followed by speeches, and forms of cultural resistance, these indigenous folks, like its lowlander supporters played a role not just to dismantle an antiquated yet indignified social order but to create a society meant to be just, free, and prosperous.

"Still, the revolt of the poor continues."

"Still, the revolt of the poor continues."

Regarding the present Duterte's neo-Marcosian authoritarianism 
the aggravation of its existing problem,
and the people's clamour for national liberation and social justice

The Philippines's failure to achieve a progressive state as a fulfillment of a revolutionary aspiration has as much to do with the structural constraints inherent in the system such as its interest-driven order, its culture, and personality of the head of government. This writeup also examines Filipino Authoritarianism, which is currently espoused by the present Duterte administration, and its means through which each chose to implement that particular version of utopia.

For the fact that by discarding democracy for a local brand authoritarianism was (and is) for the Philippines more than just a reaction to continuous crisis and its myriad of threats from the common people. At times, it tries to be as "leftist as the left" in spite of its obviously rightist nature, and to think that Philippine nationalism was increasingly leaning in the former, it was (and is) all based from a structural problem that made the commoner insist that the revolution since 1896 hath been left "unfinished."

And in spite of its obviously neoliberal-globalist agenda, the regime tries to make it appear as inclusive to other sectors such as trying to make itself "as leftist as the left" by promising an extensive agrarian reform program, an efficient distribution of social services, and in order to realise as such the administration had to appoint some leftists in the cabinet, who seriously adheres to its commitments.

However, in spite of its facade of inclusiveness, the regime's authoritarian nature is a knock-off of its predecessors. Specifically from its idolised figure who declared Martial Law in 1972, the current administration bared its fangs to every sector, especially the poor with its anti-drug campaigns, the indigenous folks with threats to flattening their communities with aerial bombings and various forms of state-sponsored brigandage, and others with controversial measures like the "National ID System" and the like. From these scenarios, if aggravated, may lead to another version of Martial Rule, in which its apologists be redescribe as a "revolution" even it is obviously isn't.

From the views of the apologetics

In the eyes of the apologetics, the regime means change. From its campaign slogan last 2016, its mass appeal, straightforwardness and image of a man of action hath swept him to the presidency. With various infrastructures being taken place, newly-enacted laws the free college education bill, and reports about the Marcos family as willing to turn over to the government part of their ill-gotten wealth, the regime, regardless of more than 7,000 have been killed in the illegal drug war, and threats that affected every sector of the society, apologists, insist that the so-called "change" hath take place.

It may sound contradicting knowing that the recent controversial events hath appeared to be hindering the regime's developmentalist moves, but, apologists also see to it that with those controversial moves be reinterpreted as a cathartic in nature, coupled with fabricated reports meant to rally the people towards the regime against the opposition. And these apologists also see that the regime, specifically its administrator's moves, stances, views, no matter how controversial it is, as "natural", and they would even justify it using a familiar Spanish saying: “El vicio natural no puede quitar" (The natural defect cannot be removed).
Also to think that with the country's endeavour to build a society free from various forms of anxieties over basic necessities, and able to enjoy a semblance of an improved living standards, the regime has to present something that appears to be in response to the people's demands, anything that appears to carry a perspective that is progressive and forward-looking, although in fact lies its contrary- that in case of agrarian reform it consolidates the landlords, and in indigenous people's rights, the 'development' aggressors.

And to paraphrase Fred R. von der Mehden's work, that no purely leadership in the Philippines has made such great efforts in the ideological field, but rather purely 'personal'. This can partially be explained by the ideological context of some of the rebellions which have faced for years, the backgrounds of a number of the more influential personages, and finally, by the tendency of the country to present problems. Once, Ferdinand Marcos, through a group of intellectuals including former Communist Party member Nilo Tayag created an 'ideology' which was called "Filipinism" in mid 1970s, which was meant to create an ideological foundation for his martial rule, or in his views a "liberal" response to a "jacobin" problem. Other succeeding regimes followed suit, ranging from "Christian-Demcoratic", "Liberal", and even "Populist" views that actually meant to cover the actual order that is, "Semifeudal" and "Semicolonial."

Actually, the application of such "ideologies" was and is somewhat more confused than the system would care to admit. The Marcos regime (as well as its successors) tried much to create a hodge-podge of thoughts, which was meant to counter the growing leftist clamour in the 1960s. Actually, the application of such "ideologies" was and is somewhat more confused than the system would care to admit. The Marcos regime tried much to create a hodge-podge of thoughts, which was meant to counter the growing leftist clamour in the 1960s. However, differences of opinion were apparent on the major questions regarding foreign relations, in which the Philippines, being a staunch Atlanticist, started to gain relations with the Soviet bloc and especially Red China; as well as the issue of Agrarian Reform in which actually faced opposition from the landed gentries. Its successors continue to overhear such issues, especially with the latter amidst passage of several laws concerning that "agrarian question."

And still, its failure to end basic socioeconomic problems

But nevertheless, in spite of populist agendas, the structures of oligarchic power were not modified in their socio-economic aspects. Apologists may still continue to parrot about the administration's "feats", but none of these are successful to mitigate the issues on poverty and social injustice. There are confrontations began with the aggravations of police operations "Tokhang" and "Double Barrel", the increasing militarism in the countryside under "Oplan Kapayapaan", and the system's clinging to neoliberal-globalist agenda. There was class struggle within the administration. The oligarchs participated in that populist agenda but not with really serious issues like agrarian reform, industrialisation, and a socially progressive policy. The bourgeoisie wanted to increase its own profits even more, negotiating with imperialism, and the bureaucrats did nothing but stall the process.

Before them the masses, especially those who once voted for Duterte, tended to radicalize social policy. The increase in political consciousness demanded the deepening of the revolutionary national slogans and policies as well as the participation of the workers in the decisions of the leadership.

But in spite of that, what the administration did is actually more of consolidation of interests. As said earlier, there are contradictions within but the goal of the administration remains similar to its predecessors. Statements like "fighting the oligarchs" is used merely as any other rhetoric than a call for action, while "pushing through agrarian reform" without Mariano meant consolidating interests of the landed few; and whereas Marcos opened relations with the Soviet Bloc and Red China, Duterte followed the same intent, even carrying the message of "independent foreign policy"; but these does not mean they afforded to break existing unjust agreements especially with the United States like the "Mutual Defence Treaty", the "Visiting Forces Agreement", and the "Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement."
And to think that most agreements are deemed unequal if not hindering the need for a genuine national development, coupled with aggravated existing issues of poverty, social injustice, and state terrorism, Duterte's neo-Marcosian authoriarianism intensifies rather than averts situations resulting to what being called as the "Revolt of the Poor"; Jacobin is its basic description, but ironically, in spite of Duterte and his apologists assailing the Liberals for its misfitry, Marcos present his own "revolution" as a, "Liberal."

Still, a Patriotic and Bolshevist outcome
to a Semifeudal and Semicolonial mess

A government that parrots statements like "we hate oligarchs" yet actually consolidates the rotten status quo makes the concerned sees that the system itself is desperately 'in a state of survival'. Obviously, it has to curry the favour of the people especially to those who are disenheartened by its very own policy, an in it it has to moderate its standing if not trying to accommodate the disenheartened in the "spirit" of terms like "national solidarity" alongside piecemeal changes; but in spite of these reality goes something like having a rotten order struggling to consolidate by hook or by crook, carrot and stick, cooked beans and smoking barrels.

And to think that the system's alibi is nationalism or any of its related nature, then sorry but theirs has nothing to do with nationalism at all, for nationalism has taken over by those who labor yet gained nothing for the system itself took it from the deserved. We've heard enough about optimism that is isn't; and to think that every infrastructure, edifice, anything that creates a façade of development, all these are built by the blood, sweat, mind, and sinew of every tired and exhausted worker who still end having pittances if not disagreed contracts.

No sooner had the Filipino destroyed the formations of the continuing past than the realisation of its ideal, emerging from the aspirations of its forefathers, had begun. Its patriotism, its existing nationalism hath enriched with ideological inheritance of Marxism that hath added class awareness, realism, honesty, trust, and comprehension of their mission to these instincts, all in their destructive struggle against this continuing past social order; sounds incorrect to most since they are attached to the idea of reforming even it is unlikely to accommodate such reforms, but reality hath made the concerned adopted Marxism the way its forefathers in struggle hath adopted Jacobinism.

This writeup may sound opposing to some knowing that they abhor Marxism, but as the country hath gone proletarianised thanks to that semifeudal-semicolonial mess, of having massed ranks of once-peasants gone becoming proletarians in the urban enclaves, that once foreign thought used in the Philippine perspective hath gone indigenised and hence enriches its existing patriotic appeal that was and is, mass oriented. Whereas Bonifacio and Jacinto did adopted the Robespierran Jacobin means of struggle to an existing messianic form, so was Isabelo de los Reyes and Crisanto Evangelista with its own indigenised brand of Marxism to transform a national struggle into a "Bolshevik" one.

And when the destruction finishes its task, lies its construction and restoration all in accordance to the national needs, of creating a government which embodies a just social order everyone desires, and like its Jacobin predecessor, though Marxism would've preferred to do away with governments as with old clutter.

It doesn't matter how outrageously the Marxist ideals contradict what the existing order described as "impulses of national self-preservation", but that Marxism hath provoked the people's awakening, mobilization, and the rise of a once-struggling homeland. All these are driven by its pursuit to survival, but due to neglect by the system makes their class-oriented appeal into a national one. Thus, makes the national becoming proletarian and the proletarian as folkish.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

"A Feat turned Nightmare"

"A Feat turned Nightmare"

At first, one would say that most Filipinos find it easier to describe that President Duterte is a rock star. That when he created a dirty joke or creating a threat to his enemies and rivals, his audience got laughed or agreed no matter how controversial the matter is; if he invoked his provincialism then his audience appreciated knowing that most of his voters are as province-bred as his; and when he promised to end the issue on narcotics be it three to six months or few years with death threats, they hollered.
These statements commonly end repeated all over, that sometimes became an object of mockery by his critics in social media. But no matter how controversial the action is, his fanatics rather chose to defend it, otherwise, ignoring or even trolling those who are deeply concerned about the matter.

That, as if like Trump's fanatics trying to punctuate the meaning of “take back our country,” every article in social media devolved into a confrontation between "Dutertards" and "Yellows", with the latter, including those who aren't even "Liberal" but rather "concerned" about the recent events, are being maligned, trolled, all for being aware of the situation if not opposing Duterte himself.
Obviously, it is increasingly concerning regarding the administration and its actions. That in spite fanatics insisting that their idol's actions as necessary and just, names of those who had been killed hath been shown over than the plans the administration hath trying to undertake such as debt-driven infrastructure projects. For Duterte and his followers, Drugs is the main issue, that Prisoners are unlikely to be rehabilitated, otherwise, why on earth to make an issue instead of focusing on the good news such as a flyover project?

After all, like any other predecessor, Duterte still represents the old order, and people acknowledge that the old order as synonymous to corruption and injustice; and although he afforded to appoint some concerned individuals in the government such as Lopez, Taguiwalo, and Mariano, they end sidelined be it because of a particular political belief, or interests in which the president's closest supporters insist to kick them away from the cabinet. Will they agree on Lopez's radical environmentalism? Of Taguiwalo's efficient distribution on social services and Mariano's serious adherence to agrarian reform? Nope: for again, it is because of a particular political belief or interests the administration hath to upheld. That as if putting a Jose Maria Sison-like person in a circle of Hortensia Starke-minded individuals.
And as far as this person and some likely-minded others concerned, that in seeing a reality that is far from the system is trying to show, that a bloodied truth prevailed than those of a "future" that is, debt-driven; and although true that even the patriotic left has amazed in the president's promise of a non-aligned, self-reliant country, of a nation realising a promising society whose peace is rooted on justice, reality proves otherwise that he sworn to defend a defective status quo: marred by killings, unjust policies, debt, and other issues that made the country far from its supposed development.

Fanatics may still insist the administration's iron-fisted justice that hath benefited the status quo, knowing that at the same time trying to take pride in an another "golden age of infrastructure" that hath been taketh over, of currying other countries for outside investment, and assuming that the country is on it's independent course in foreign relations; but, with the removal of concerned ones like Mariano and Taguiwalo makes it more starkly clear to the Filipino people that Duterte’s pretensions and promises of change are nothing but empty bluster. They performed their duties outstandingly and with full adherence to the interests of the downtrodden, by having land to each and every tiller and to ensure the efficient access to welfare espeically in poverty-and-disaster stricken zones. But, by having them removed due to political and interest-driven causes, the administration has displayed complete devotion to the interests of big landlords, big bourgeois compradors, and bureaucrat capitalists.
And yet fanatics chose to remain silent, trying to be deaf, if not justifying their removal as being leftist themselves. Its so-called news sources continue to churn false reports the way they continue praising their dear leader, if not frankly telling that the administration has its "no lives matter" approach in handling crime or insurgency, showing its remorseless stance in seeing "collateral damage" against the innocent.

But in spite of all the justifications, they aren't knowing that the Filipino people’s outrage is rapidly accumulating against their cherished administration and its ringleader over the blood being spilled under his repressive tyrannical rule.
For these people, including those who are once voted for him, are fed up with Duterte’s repetitious, scornful and self-conceited speeches; and his pretensions, spectacles, and false images, are rapidly losing efficacy in the face of actual measures, policies, and programs, which rather harm the interests of the people and oppress the downtrodden.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

"Resistance against the Remorseless"

"Resistance against the Remorseless"

(or Notes from a defiant nation against a remorseless order)

The Duterte regime's justification to continue the dreaded "operation Tokhang" is said to be disregarding human rights if not the constitution itself. For as time goes by, the present regime in pursuit of restoring order and stability, turns out to be toying with power by invoking fear, and justifying it as "security."

But that kind of situation, used as a basis to condemn the administration and his allies, is rather condemned no matter how its apologetics deemed as necessary if not an application of a "leadership principle" and redescribed as "rule of law".
And from these apologetics, assuming to be that they're carrying the consent of the governed as to be the moral justification of government, then that majority consent confers on the supplanting system less moral authority than the supplanted system had.

Though in this case, public opinion is for the most part evenly divided in the State's continuation of the Drug War and its likes, if there is any war to begin with. With fanatics justifying its bloodied exploits as an application of "leadership principles" over "rule of law", the once anti-narcotics war has becoming a war against the poor itself, especially when policemen threatening each and every community with a distorted view of the law- and actions such as the recent killing of innocents tagged as "addicts" or "misfits" hath made law and order itself far from its worth except those of provoking fear.

Worse, these scenarios, both legal and extralegal alike, turns out that the administration is eventually dismantling the hypocrisies of constitutionalism, trying to mellow the differences between "right" and "legal", or even "good" and "just"; hence a return of a power at its most purest form such as a destructive one. Words like "revolutionary government" becomes an alibi for an exercise for force politics as a way of sustaining the operations of the administration be it its creation of infrastructures and its killing machine.

And like Duterte's idolised predecessor, he and his clique, supported by its apologetics tries to slipped it in, like one or two tea or tablespoons at a time, like so much bad-tasting medicine, all in the name of restructuring society; and that alongside curbing illegal drugs, he and his gang as trying to rationalise everything controversial as if necessary, and, for the most part as according to fake reports and well-invested social media, making Filipinos accepted that and be interpreted as an "explosive kind of change". Everything that as if equated to the "yellows" or any other rival has to go by hook or by crook, and it is through president Rodrigo Duterte who's gonna lead in that kind of action. With statements whose words as mainly meant to threaten, if not to kill, many perceived the idea that sometimes a leadership principle is necessary to upheld "rule of law" regardless of its illegality such as condoning Extra-Judicial Killings and other forms of state-sponsored repression.

Strange but to think that in spite of all the system-sponsored catharsis as an imposition of justice, there are still people who rather doubt the sincerity of upholding justice and human rights under the present administration. And to think that fanatics insisting their distorted view of the law which is also a distorted "leadership principle" as "just", it is also justifying an act that its remorseless, bereft of conscience from those undertaking the regime's bloodied kind of action in a way Julius Streicher justifies his actions during the Nuremberg Trial.

But another strange inconsistency emerges. That in seeing reports about the poor getting killed and the at the same time seeing well off facing the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee with its proceedings, the concerned has subsequently demonstrated that the action the system (not just the regime) is bent on delivering justice. From it simply reinforces the idea how the law hath been distorted by a distorted leadership principle. Did they changed minds about the recent findings on the deaths of adolescents like Kian de los Santos or Carl Angelo Arnaiz? Nope- they still insist they are drug addicts or hold-uppers, misfits meant to be executed; or if found innocent- collateral damage.

And in it, it appears that the regime is like any other administration from the past, that it resorted to the jack-boot, disguise it how they may. For as democracy rather becomes bogus when all the powers of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines is increasingly concentrated in the hands of one man, no satrap had ever more powers than Rodrigo Duterte and his clique. No wonder why he had to dispose the really concerned in his cabinet and vowed to continue the repressive order. Lopez was removed, followed by Taguiwalo, there are others who remained but since they are aware and concerned, they are likely to be disposed.

Whatever the administration and its apologetics insist that change happened all over, the Philippines is still in bondage.

And that Jack-boot government deserves only one response from free people—resistance.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

"Ramblings after watching a Law school-themed movie"

"Ramblings after watching a Law school-themed movie"

(or Notes after watching Kip Oebanda's "Barboys")

At first, this person is ought to say that the movie he watched yesterday is more than just a recollection of every lawyer, but of every professional. And thank "God" that in spite of having things to done at work there's a time to watch it before its too late.

At first glance, Barboys looks like your usual school/college-themed movie, for in every scene depicted, the movie, in spite of being made by an independent producer, is somehow like any other campus-themed movies both from the 80s and 90s: of "Burgis", "18 Going Steady", "Bagets", "When I Fall in Love", to "Mangarap Ka".  And within it also features a somewhat  redux of both Brockan and Gosiengfiaoesque twists with serious tones embedded in hints of a melodrama.

Paraphrasing Vic Teano's review, Barboys tells the story of three men, who usually meet for late night computer games and macho talks, end struggled to finish their degree in Law. It was meant to be four, only that one of them (played by Kean Cipriano) end failed, choosing to gave up and settled on modeling.

The remaining three seriously pursued their desire to become lawyers, and their desire to finish law school (and eventually becoming lawyers) was carried by different motivations: Toran (played by Rocco Nacino), known for describing himself as a "lion", was seen by his family members as their "hope"; while Christian (played by Enzo Pineda), known for his Bourgeois upbringings, wanted to study in the Philippines and to show his domineering Father that he's different from him in pursuing a path; and Erik (played by Carlo Aquino), who was a poor but deserving student supported by his parents in taking Law, also out of a better future like Toran.

As described by yours truly, every scene from the movie seemed to be Brockan or Gosiengfiaoesque as it features bourgeois lifestyles  peppered with proletarian hardships. In the case of Erik Matti, a film director, he described the film as "nostalgic and sentimental" as he reminded him of Maryo J. de los Reyes' "Bagets" and Jake Tordesillas's "High School Circa '65"; with scenes that somewhat supposed to be done in the past. And from those scenes there studying habits, joining in a fraternity, relationship struggles, financial matters, terror professors, and various forms of sacrifices hath been the issues that both hinders and strengthens the friendship of three (or four) men; and still end succeeded in their fields as lawyers (and a model).

And because of that, this person, like others concerned who afforded to watch that movie found it approvingly good and therefore suggesting everyone to watch it; better if to repeat it all over again, watching that movie and internalise, reflect, and rethink about the times, as these once students also felt how hard taking a desired course be it Law, Medicine, or Engineering, only to realise its worth. After all, according to its intro, it was based from a recollection of some once-law students who took, passed, flunked, and struggled to retake and pass just to become members of the bar.


For Karen Testibia (the assistant Producer) and Isagani Tan Jr. (The Barboy himse)

Monday, 28 August 2017

"When elevator music appeases us."

"When elevator music appeases us."

(notes after a feud between Vapourwave and Fashwave)

That kind of music has no lyrics, and only tunes or ad-libs sneering everyone through the ears. But the title invokes something enough to curious about.

Created from synthesisers, using various samples, it created a sound like any other heavily edited synth tunes, but the difference lies in its creators who actually used music to culture jam the present decadence the world has ever encountered; and be described as an undercooked, nap-inducing mid/down-tempo kind of synth/electronic music, with producers like Macintosh Plus and Saint Pepsi (now Skylar Spence) warping muzak, smooth jazz, and dated adult contemporary into airless, warbling soundscapes.

And these being played in most music sites such as Soundcloud or Youtube and shared in social media sites such as Facebook.

And according to its creators, Vapourwave was described as a "progressive-leaning genre" that seemed to satirize consumer culture. "I always assumed it was transparent through my work that I leaned left," according to Ramona Xavier, the woman behind Macintosh Plus.

Fashwave: soundtracking the Alt-Right

However, in spite of its anti-consumerist and even anti-system nature, the Left-wing oriented Vapourwave has its counterpart, this time carried over by the right who happened to be "taking" interest in the elevator music scene, that according to its creators and adherents:

"The National Socialists who lived in the time of Hitler were big fans of Richard Wagner," one wrote. "But in modern times, it is appropriate for us to turn to modern music."

Electronic Wagner indeed, although it even fails at that, lacking the controversial composer’s musicianship, bravado, and decades spent honing the craft he's well-known for. Also to think that kind of "modern electronic Wagner" carries the irony that the modern music being played may likely consider to be “African rhythms,” hence, frown to as “degenerate” in favour of military marches and to some extent, bands playing Punk, Oi, and Black Metal.

But the latter three, also the irony, are also influenced by "African rhythms" as well; with some of these musicians having anti-Nazi themes in it in case of Dead Kennedys.

But Fashwave adherents cling to the view that theirs is different from the dancey mood of "Electronic Dance Music" nor the anti-consumerist mockery of Vapourwave. Fashwave tends to be ambient, past-like, computer game-ish with all its synth unleashes its melodies. It tries to romanticise the 80s past such as a soundtrack to a vintage buddy cop movie- but instead of a white cop with a black henchman, both cops are white and "neither believes in the Holocaust".

Last August 2016, from a writeup titled “The Official Soundtrack of the Alt-Right,” Andrew Anglin, the founder of the Daily Stormer, described the genre as:

“the spirit of the childhoods of millennials” and “the sound of … our revolution.”,

And it also “fits perfectly with the ironic vibes of the movement”, also according to Anglin via BuzzFeed News.

Like its left-wing counterpart, Fashwave continues to be known amongst alt-right adherents, becoming its signature sound all in spite of its criticism by many as "trying to appropriate a post-apocalyptic mall/elevator music". That besides attracting the "right" as well as trying to appeal contemporary listeners, it frankly wants to infiltrate and remake popular culture the way its rival did in satirising present day consumerism.

The response from the Left

As the right hath appropriated vapour/synth wave to its own benefit, the left's response is rather: opposing. Last February 2016, a website called Rave News reported that leading vaporwave producers were gathering in Montreal for an emergency summit to discuss "creeping fascism" in the scene.
According to the article, it stated that Brooklyn’s DJ Karoda Night organized the event to help fight back against the creeping fascism that is slowly overtaking the Vaporwave scene:

“It’s getting a little ridiculous,” says Karoda. “Vaporwave has a good chance of becoming the future of techno, but not if we let fascists co-opt the genre.”

Besides Karoda, Ariel Honganswarth also expressed opposition on how right-wingers coopted the use of vapourwave for their cause:

“I want you to imagine pouring your heart in soul into creating something, like a painting or a statue...Now imagine if half the people who show up to appreciate your art have little red swastika bands on their arms and tiny Hitler moustaches on their face. That’s what’s happening to Vaporwave right now. It’s terrible. We don’t want fascists to listen to our music. Most of our tracks don’t even have lyrics, and the ones that do are aren’t singing the praises of National Socialism. There is no bloody reason for fascists to like Vaporwave over dubstep or psytrance or happy goddamn hardcore. But we’re the community that gets stuck with nazis. What the hell.”

Also according to the article that Hogansworth saidth that it’s impossible to stop people from listening to her music, but she’s going to work hard to ensure that Vapourwave doesn’t become associated with it’s less savoury fans:

“I’m going to be releasing an entire album of Antifa vaporware tracks. Nazis can fuck off.”

And because of that, a rivalry between the left and right has going on, ranging from music to art, the battle over the scene hath been discussed over social media be it on Facebook or in Reddit. One right wing commentator, Thomas Cirnowitz, justified the appropriation of vapourwave for their cause, as he said:

"The reason we like vaporwave so much, is because it sounds good. It's aesthetically pleasing, and meant to be objectively beautiful and does this using machines that are able to replicate any sound on the audio spectrum. If classical composers of ages past were alive today, most of them would probably end up making some sort of electronic music, because they used the best instruments that where available to them at the time, which for them involved violins and drums, in modern times we have computers. 

The National Socialists who lived in the time of Hitler were big fans of Richard Wagner, but in modern times, it is appropriate for us to turn to modern music. There are very few forms of modern music that do not promote hedonism and the degeneration of the civilized world, we have the major recording studios to thank for this. The only kind of music that a self respecting National Socialist can listen to with a clear conscience, is music that is made by independent musicians who are not signed to major record labels. Also, music that does not have any lyrics, is free or political pandering and cannot be objectionable on that front.

But anyways, if some of these artists are going to be such douchebags about it, I'll have no qualms about pirating their music and enjoying it anyway. I don't want to risk them getting any ad revenue from youtube.

The only way to get National Socialists to not like your music, is to stop making good music."

Indeed, but as what Karoda said:

“I don’t want to help enable their hatred. Music should be about bringing people together, not about establishing a 4th Reich under God Emperor Trump, lord of the Americas, or whatever the fuck it is that fascists are trying to do.”

Furthermore, Vice has described vaporwave as “chillwave for Marxists”, “post-elevator music”, and “corporate smooth jazz Windows 95 pop”, while Esquire said the genre was born of a “cynicism about capitalism”. Another outlet described it as “a dystopian critique of capitalism”, and a leading figure in vaporwave believes “it’s anticapitalist and antiglobalist”. A 2012 article by the musicologist Danny Harper went even further, suggesting a link with Marxism; “The name ‘vaporwave’ is reminiscent of a famous passage from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, ‘all that is solid melts into air’, referring to the constant change society is subjected to under bourgeois capitalism”. It is hard to tell if these are fair and accurate summations or simply the projections of a liberal milieu whose job is to find sociological meaning in the latest fad.

Strange isn't it? But true.


As expected, the tune war is going on between the left and right. Over a music that is heavily edited with distortions and samplings, it has been an interesting topic that even this person afforded to read its articles and listening to its samples. For the Left, it represented criticism against capitalism and its injustices; while on the Right, it represented its stand for racial purity and unleashed capitalism. But both entities have warped themselves (or in case of Anglin, their souls) to the tunes being played and to the presentations being shown: representing an alternative future cherished about.

Also come to think of this: that these electronic tunes are a continuation of earlier experiments in music, part of invoking a future different from theirs. Or in case of the Italian Futurists, glorified speed and efficiency as well as the violence of heavy industry and war. And artists like CYBERN∆ZI, in its email to THUMP, claimed that futurism as its predecessor, being ditched itself to Italian fascism.
However, that Futurism was also appreciated by the Russians. It had been one of the staples for Agitprop and Proletkult during the earlier years of the Soviet Union, and artists like Vladimir Mayakovsky attests to their craft.

For a writer (who is also a listener of both tunes and finds it "good), these are elevator tunes that invoked an appeal, and most of which are reappropriated and became different, turning dancable tunes into weapons of mass mobilisation against the current situation. It is indeed admitting that the tune quite interesting such as "CYBERN∆ZI"'s "Take Back out Future" creating a sense of ContemporAntiquity whilst traversing the streets of Ortigas. There are those who didn't think that most vapourwave tunes as intentionally political, but to some extent that the source material and imagery used attach certain (unintentional) political undertones to both art and music.

And whereas there are those who appropriated synthwave and vaporwave and stamped it with a swastika, there are also those continue using both Synth and vapourwave as a musical tool pointing against both capitalism and its injustices. The music of 帰宅します, Amado is one example for that.

But all in all, the music, with its sonically inoffensive, largely lyric-free instrumentals brought about by remixes and distortions, is trying to have mainstream appeal. By the way, here's a  vapourwave playlist from  帰宅します, Amado, enjoy!