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my anger is your mirror
27 January 2010 @ 11:13 pm
If you read a single paragraph on how to read history, read this one by Howard Zinn. It is the nuance missing from so much analysis of history -- mainstream, radical and otherwise.

"The use of the phrase 'all men are created equal' was probably not a deliberate attempt to make a statement about women. It was just that women were beyond consideration as worthy of inclusion. They were politically invisible....

...To say that the Declaration of Independence, even by its own language, was limited to life, liberty and happiness for white males is not to denounce the makers and signers of the Declaration for holding the ideas expected of privileged males of the eighteenth century. Reformers and radicals, looking discontentedly at history, are often accused of expecting too much from a past political epoch -- and sometimes they do.

But the point of noting those outside the arc of human rights in the Declaration is not, centuries late and pointlessly, to lay impossible moral burdens on that time. It is to try to understand the way in which the Declaration functioned to mobilize certain groups of Americans, ignoring others. Surely, inspirational language to create a secure consensus is still used, in our time, to cover up serious conflicts of interest in that consensus, and to cover up, also, the omission of large parts of the human race."
 
 
 
my anger is your mirror
06 December 2009 @ 01:04 pm
It is very rare that I recommend a romance story. It is also rare that I recommend anyone pay extra attention to the feelings, needs and desires of men. But it does happen. Such as right now.

I have just watched James McAvoy's performance in Atonement, which I would describe as overwhelmingly subtle, passionate, intelligent and compelling. Thinking about it, I realized that it has been four years since I have found a male romantic role even remotely interesting. The last was Heath Ledger's in Brokeback Mountain, which was so unbearably sensitive to the human condition I cried for longer than I will admit publicly. If we expand the category beyond romance into the realm of any serious emotional transformation, I can add Cillian Murphey's performance in The Wind That Shakes The Barley, a film about brothers in the IRA during the early 20th century. That's about the sum of it, although I would be open to your suggestions. And I watch a lot of movies.

There are a couple obvious reasons why male romantic/emotional roles are first, uncommon and second, awful: the cultural myth that men don't have feelings, the terrible state of emotional and romantic roles in general, my terrible dislike for emotions and romance in general, and the fact that I am a man-eating feminist dyke who hates dudes. Or whatever. Perhaps that's why I find them so moving when they do appear.

Regardless of your feelings on the matter, I recommend each of the films above, and remember this is coming from me. If you're not one for high-drama romance, Atonement is also extremely beautiful and features 4.5 continuous minutes of a recreation of the beach at Dunkirk before the evacuation during WWII, which is fucking incredible. Brokeback Mountain only features a few seconds where the entire screen is filled with hundreds of running sheep, but to make up for that it is less high-drama romance during wartime and more everyday romance during hatred. Take your pick. To avoid spoilers, if you're going to watch a trailer for Atonement watch the official trailer from Working Title and none others.
 
 
 
my anger is your mirror
09 October 2009 @ 10:14 am
Anyone got a good reason why Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize? Because Democracy Now, Obama himself and even the Nobel Committee do not.

First person to answer with something other than "using basic diplomatic rhetoric" gets an ice cream cone. If you can come up with something he's actually done that actually ended some form -- any form! -- of violence, poverty or illegal military occupation, I'll throw in a blimp ride.
 
 
 
my anger is your mirror
18 August 2009 @ 11:34 am
Might I not recommend reading Ian Fleming's James Bond novels at work, particularly if you work as a nanny. Now all I want to do is ride around in Bentleys with classy broads in low cut dresses and smoke cigarettes and drink dry, dry martinis and shoot gangsters.

And then the baby wakes up from his nap.

Time to go smash up bananas for lunch!

____

Speaking of James Bond, having read Casino Royale and seen the newest movie version I have decided that the Cold War is maybe just not that interesting of a plot device. It can be a very Nothing Doing kind of international relations, all motive with no mechanics, like firing pistons without a crankshaft.

Example: In the new movie, they want to stop Le Chiffre because he's going to use $100 million to directly fund terrorism and the overthrow of a democratic government. In the novel, they want to stop Le Chiffre because he embezzeled that money from the U.S.S.R.'s labor union and they'd like to embarrass the Soviets. Wha...?
 
 
 
my anger is your mirror
03 August 2009 @ 12:28 pm
An abbreviated list of things I need to do in my life - for dignity and survival - which are simply not profitable:

take real care of my health
take good care of my family
challenge authority
continually question and debunk my white, middle class American privilege
give money to people who need it even if I don't know them
write poetry
help take care of people with AIDS and HIV
sit in my garden and think about whatever I want to
teach children how to make screen prints
receive emergency services from paramedics, fire fighters, etc.
grow, cook and eat real food
get enough sleep that I don't go ape shit
read books that have nothing to do with my ability to make more money
make art for my own purposes without wondering whether anyone will buy it
clean my house every week
spend a good half hour watering my plants on Sundays
make zines about being a nanny
make t-shirts for my friends
argue about politics, history and social problems without any hope of cleanly resolving any issues
care way, way more about the people in my community than my personal career
tip servers and bartenders very, very well
make lists about what is important to me
share

This is not to say I don't need to make money or that you don't need to make money. I have to pay rent and I have to have clean water which means someone else needs to be able to pay their rent by providing clean water. I do not believe the world can or should survive on puppies and kittens and that we should all just eat sunshine for breakfast.

However. It is also clear to me that when we live for profit we lose our humanity, because human dignity is simply not a profitable endeavor. And it is clear to me that surviving under capitalism means you have to live all or most of your life for profit, which means losing your humanity, which means not surviving. This list is my reminder that while I accept the reality of this system, I reject the promise of this system.

This list is important to me. It is the reason I practice the socialist politics of resisting and criticizing capitalism, and the reason I practice the anarchist politics of resisting and criticizing the power of the nation state.

No, I do not have a proposed alternative system. I only have a proposed alternative strategy to finding one, which is to let those who have the least in our society design the alternative system, based on their lists of what they need. Those two pieces are my core political values. (a) That I am part of a fucked up system and (b) that the people who are more fucked over by it than I am should be leading social change of that system.

What is your list? What is the seat of your politics?
 
 
 
my anger is your mirror
07 July 2009 @ 07:29 pm
On Monday there's a meeting organized by the ISO to talk about getting people to the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. on October 10th. They say it will be organized from the grass roots but I'm suspicious. Reading the blog posts, they seem to think that means individual citizens from diverse communities rallying around the mainstream, sound-bite ridden gay rights agenda of marriage and the military. Maybe that's your thing and maybe it isn't but anyway there's a meeting. I'll be there, if only to remind people that we have to stay critical as fuck of anything that calls itself a movement.

Again: Next Monday, 7:30, Memorial Union, check the TITU board for location.
 
 
 
my anger is your mirror
02 July 2009 @ 09:28 pm
So called because it ain't a fucking Manhattan, that's for damn sure.

pour over ice and shake:
  • 1 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • dash of bitters
  • maraschino cherry
I've just made this up and wanted to share, now that it has a name. If you're thinking about substituting vodka, don't. Or at least don't tell me about it. The gin keeps it tart and spicy.
 
 
 
my anger is your mirror
29 June 2009 @ 08:25 pm
During a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots local police raided a gay bar in Ft. Worth, TX, arresting and beating up at least 7 people for such charges as "public intoxication."

I repeat: Public intoxication. In a fucking bar.

Let us remember that the attacks on police officers during Stonewall were in self defense against assault, rape, harassment, public humiliation, wrongful imprisonment and a whole litany of abuses committed by police against queer people in gay bars across the nation on a regular basis. And before anyone gets caught up in the irony of this shit happening on a night commemorating the first time queer people fought back in large numbers, let us remember that this is not ironic; this is to be expected. The state hates you and the enforcers of the state do too.

So: Fuck the police. I'm going goddamn bowling.

[Thanks to devianttouch for the news.]
 
 
listening to: The Clash - Know Your Rights
 
 
 
my anger is your mirror
04 June 2009 @ 04:27 pm
Can anyone with computer/internet expertise explain this situation to me?
  • No one's Gmail account will load on the wireless in my apartment, even in basic html form -- neither on my computer OR my housemate's computer
  • Gmail runs fine on my computer using the wireless at work and I can access my Gmail account on other computers there
  • All over webpages are working just fine on everyone's computer on the wireless in my apartment
This has been going on for almost three weeks. I have reset the routers, updated my OS, tried it on IE, Firefox and Safari... nothing. I'm relying on the default mail program for MAC and it kind of sucks.

Help?
 
 
 
my anger is your mirror
03 June 2009 @ 05:51 pm
Linked through Pandagon, The Reality Check blog has some really excellent responses to the assassination of Dr. Tiller in Kansas last weekend. I particularly appreciate the author shooting down the idea that the protesters outside abortion clinics are peacefully exercising their first ammendment rights just like everybody else.

And just for kicks, to quote my mother on Monday: "Life sucks. I resent the notion that the sides are equal and we can work for common ground. Fuck that shit."