December 31, 2011 § Leave a comment
Adbusters #97 (Sept/Oct 2011, Vol 19, No 5), the issue that introduced Occupy Wall Street, quotes one Nic Beuret:
“We have to ask ourselves how we want to live.
“How do we govern ourselves,
now that the fiction of modern politics has been revealed?”
I believe that this is the question that Occupy poses.
December 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
overheard in my parent’s house:
Creationist, Anti-evolution, Christian Family Member 1: “Did you know most adults are lactose intolerant, and it’s actually a mutant gene that allows any adult not to be?”
Creationist, Anti-evolution, Christian Family Member 2: “Hmm, an awful lot of us must be mutants then.”
I had to leave the room.
What a Grinchy post for Christmas Day, eh?? And I even want to write more, about how fundamentally I feel the chasm between my family and myself goes, about how devotedly they adhere to the command the god of the Old Testament gives in Genesis, for humankind (“man”) to multiply, and subdue the earth, as one of the most basic roles for human existence; that where we messed up is not in attempting to fill this role but in that first basic sin in the Garden of Eden; that the solution to the problem (granted, we agree there’s a problem!) is not to stop multiplying exponentially, nor to give up this role of earth-gods, but … to get to heaven / wait for the Rapture and the subsequent New Heaven and New Earth so we can start over again. Because God’s plan was always for us to multiply and to rule; we just can never get it right since we sinned at the beginning. But the next 7 billion humans in the next earth will do better!
I need to leave this computer now …
December 12, 2011 § 5 Comments
Epiphany Of The Day:
I Don’t Have To Be Pretty.
Credit goes to Emma for insightfully pointing out that while women are victims of an appearance-based value of judgment that infests the whole world, we also perpetuate that view by focussing so much on the superficial and shallow. She posed this challenge: To pursue our interests without ever resorting to using our looks. Not even by trying to be known as the artsy girl in the office by wearing edgily attractive clothes.
However, I have to make it clear that this is not going to solve any systemic problems, because how much or little time women spend on their appearances isn’t going to change the fact that they are valued by them in most situations; spending little time is often just going to earn them less value – though they might be pleasantly surprised to find that without makeup, say, people actually find them just as attractive. My point being that its up to the men, especially, to stop hiring or promoting women with any regard for their appearances (hygiene, OK; professional appearance, OK; attractiveness, not OK), to stop giving preferential treatment to attractive women, even – and this is the bonus prize challenge – to stop judging and valuing women by the way her skirt emphasizes her ass, or – even, even – by the way her makeup nicely brings out the colour of her eyes. I am dead serious.
Back to our regularly scheduled program, I was challenging women essentially to stop trying to be pretty. The epiphany came when I had these thoughts:
“Why does my friend ‘Amy’ wear makeup? She’s so strong and aware, why doesn’t she see how it enforces the emphasis on appearances? On the other hand, it sure does look *Pretty* on her, those pretty black eyelashes framing those pretty eyes…… OH SHIT! …… It doesn’t make a fucking difference to a fucking thing if. she’s. pretty. or not.”
(OK maybe it doesn’t actually help my point for you to hear that. You have to understand the significance of those words and intentions and assumptions to my unique brain. So I have tried to replicate that “pretty” should be said in gold letters and a dreamy sigh, with an angel’s chorus in the background. BUT NO LONGER! HA! I STOMP ON PRETTY! I SMOOSH THE FACE OF PRETTY INTO THE SWEAT, BLOOD AND FILTH OF SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS!)
December 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
I have so much to say about this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/how-to-talk-to-little-gir_b_882510.html
This is precisely what I mean when I talk about the subtle and insidious nature of androcracy (patriarchy/sexism/etc). … Want to write but I’m so busy right now … SIGH
December 3, 2011 § 1 Comment
Naomi Klein does it all! http://vimeo.com/33034678
The author of the Shock Doctrine (no, I haven’t read it yet, though I started it last year) does what I would say is an excellent, excellent job of showing how Occupy brings it all together: not (at all!!!) only economics, but environmentalism, corporatism, activism, First Nations relations, outreach education, resource management, democracy, love, politics, and a hella lot more. (Though of course, there’s always, always more…)
Some highlights (but don’t even think of posting a comment – or for that matter, forming an opinion on Occopy – unless you’ve watched the whole thing):
“We were having a discussion a decade ago [in the so-called “Anti-globalization” movement] about precisely the things that we’re talking about now, about the corporate takeover of our lives … and the increase in inequality and all of these economic rules that sacrifice people and the planet in favour of economic growth. In north america … after 9/11, it sort of splintered. But it didn’t disappear, it didn’t go away, and a lot of people who had been part of that movement put their heads down and started building the alternatives locally, and that took many forms… Now we’ve got ten years of actual living alternatives to point to, that have an incredible track record of … protecting communities from the vulnerability to economic shocks. …It is not big enough and isn’t widespread enough to actually deal with the scale of the crisis that we are dealing with. We need much more. And so what I find exciting is this opposition movement coming together with these alternatives that have been developed and these two strains braiding together. And this movement that has come to realize that it isn’t enough just to build your little alternative in the corner, you actually need to confront power; and people realize it isn’t enough just to confront power, we have to have alternatives – we can’t just be against, we also have to be for – these strains are coming together and that is, to me, the most exiting thing about this political movement.”
“What we’re trying to do has never been done before. … But overthrowing a dictator is not the same as overthrowing neo-liberalism which is a absolutely decentralized headless network that locks itself in and morphs and reaches into every aspect of our lives.”
“It is so important for people to admit that they do not know how to do this …It becomes clear that a lot of what you’re doing is a fear-based response, and when you’re afraid, you go to something that’s more familiar and maybe that familiarity is just attacking the person next to you at a meeting because you know how to do that and you can win that fight. And maybe it’s making a fetish of autonomism … all of it just keeps us from doing what we’re afraid of. …It starts with admitting that nobody has done this before, it’s totally terrifying…”
“It is this extractive mentality and this refusal to believe that the future even exists.”
“It is a final colonial pillage.”
Again, I’d like to bring your attention to THIS INSANELY COOL EVENT IN VANCOUVER THAT NO ONE HAS EVER MENTIONED BEFORE: the UN’s “HABITAT”, 1976
December 2, 2011 § 2 Comments
Videos of a whole bunch (all?) of the speeches! This is the official UN conference, as opposed to the people-run one happening down at Jericho that I’d previously referred to.
Starting at the top, just watched the entirety of the presentation of one “Barbara Ward”. Some of the good parts:
“… that extraordinary mixture of vanity and destruction, the city …”
“If the mass of the people are mobilized to do their own thing in their cities, to build up, drive away the feudal restraints on agriculture, get them into their cooperatives, get them organized, these are the biggest resources the world has. … Why not see that here coming up in the developing world are the human resources for an immense task (?), if they can be made a part of the job itself … for agriculture, for the building of cities, take the biggest resource which is the people’s courage, the people’s ability to work, the people’s readiness to do so; don’t treat them as problems, treat them as partners, and you’ll be astonished at what they’ll do. … God knows in the building of settlements, the kind of settlements that people build for themselves, are infinitely more human than those which are in fact built for them.”
Margaret Mead: “No one has ever built a really good home for someone of a lower class.”
“The function of a market … is when price signals go up, to produce more goods. … ‘Buy land; they’re not making any more of it.’ … What we need is if you like private ownership: public sales. And let the control of city land – which is an absolutely scarce resource – let it be with the community, and those gains which come from the value added by the community’s needs must go back to the community.”