Thursday, June 28, 2007
Gonna eat me alot of EVERYTHING!
So the pool I usually frequent/work out at is inexplicably closed all week, so I've decided to take a five day break from even pretending to work out, instead spending my evenings avoiding elaphantitis (???) in the "smoker's lounge" while watching much Addi-loaned goodness on my laptop aka "Salma".
I want to have Kevin Smith's babies by the way...
But things are not all nerdy and dull, as I'm taking off to the Embles' summer place after work tomorrow to hang out with her and hubby and baby and EAT, which is what one does at the summer house, thereby avoiding the traditionally lame last weekend of the month in Smoke-Free Bay.
I should really make that into a t-shirt... "Reyklausvík?"
Anywho...gotta go to work...
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sorry dear imaginary readers, but between the ongoing infestation of pachyderms, days spent in insane Viking carpentry, and an overwhelming urge to get my ass out of Smoky Bay (which has gone non-smoking, leaving all the bars much healthier...smelling like a locker room) I just don't feel much like bloggin'. So I'm taking a hiatus of sorts...the nearly daily rant shall be reduced to nearly weekly, at least for the time being.
Not that anyone will notice.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Apologies to my imaginary legions of sweet sweaty bloglodytes for the utter lack of bloggage recently.
I haven't been home much.
Been coming up with excuses not to be home in fact.
Mostly just trying to avoid the elephant that's taken up residence at my place. You know, one of those elephants that no one talks about?
It would be easier if I even knew that damned things name. I mean, Dumbo I can deal with. Hell, said pakaderm could even flaunt a moniker like "I'm pissed at you for not washing the dishes" and I'd find a way to wrangle his thick gray hide out of the place.
As it stands though, I just don't have the energy or inclination to deal with a elephantine member of the subspecies Shunning-Sam-with-silence-without-providing-him-with-the-slightest-
Its enough to make one want to buy ivory...
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
I've found myself with a bundle of unexpected time off, so I figured I'd finish up my series of Personal and Political blogs, weeks after I started them, with a (hopefully) brief account of how I became an Anarchist.
This one is easily the most complicated. Unlike my Bi-ness, it wasn't instinctual, and unlike my Atheism, it was something that came about in a distinct time period.
The influences were there from the start.
My Dad had moved his young family out to the country side originally to pursue his dream of a self-sufficient "living off the land" lifestyle. We never made it anywhere close, but we did always have a big garden and went berry-picking and all that good stuff. My mom often made us clothes, and furniture for that matter (Ma's a hell of a lot more DIY than the Poppa) and my sisters and I were raised to try to do things, fix things, and make things for ourselves. This DIY self-sufficient ethos is and was inherently Anarchist, as being able to provide for yourself, without or with a minimum of capitalist exchange is one of the prime strategies that behind most Anarchist plans for human liberation.
My Dad was also always very much an opponent of injustice, racism, and the abuse of power, and these ideals were passed on to me, even though I was too young to truly understand them. I chafed at the injustice I saw in the world, true, but I didn't question the root causes. Partially this had to do with the fact that the root cause I had been taught were typically religious ones. Man as a flawed imperfect being that must be held in check by law, both religious and secular, for instance, or the supernatural "evil" that constantly battles the Christian "good" in the world.
There was precious little mention of the inequality inherent in capitalism, or the tendency of institutions to create situations that serve only to perpetuate the need for said institution, you know, like The War on Drugs and the War on Terror...
Of course, I didn't know that at the time. At the time, Reagan was in office, and we were reminded every day that those reviled evil godless Commies, those slavers who denied people the most basic freedoms (it took me a long time to realize that in many ways both the US and the USSR were simply using different strategies to obtain the same goal, namely control) were set to launch their missiles against us and destroy the world.
So in my indoctrinated child's head, Socialism, State Socialism and Communism were not only one and the same, but all evil. These were, after all, the people I was told would bomb us into nothingness, or at least into one of the post-apocalyptic scenarios in the movies I watched and the books I read.
Thing was, I read a lot of post-apocalyptic stories.
Still do. Wrote my BA on them in fact. At first I read them in an attempt to make it seems less scary, as well as to try to gleam some hints as to how one might go about surviving.
I did gleam hints, and I did get a little less scared. But what I began to realize was that part of me wanted this world to end. Part of me wanted the tyranny of school, the boring jobs I worked, the financial worries, the constant materialist oneupmanship to end in one fell swoop and leave those remaining with the terrible freedom to do as they will. I began to realize that there must be something horribly wrong with any world were a sizable segment of the population fantasizes about its apocalyptic end. I also began to see that one of the reasons for this is that removing the major institutions in society (the State, Church, and Business) was one of the preregs for forming a new society.
Still, I wasn't an Anarchist. Like a lot of people, as they begin to awaken to politics and society in their teens, I wanted radical change, but not Anarchy. At least not an Anarchy outside of the circle A no-one-can-tell-me-what-to-do variety. Nope. I wanted people like me, outcast little punk that I was, to take over. I wanted to make people read and play fair and accept diversity and think for themselves ... as long as they thought like me.
Mostly though, as I continued through the prolonged enforced stupidity of American adolescence, I wanted to be left the hell alone.
I wanted an island, where my friends and I (in this scenario "my friends" always included a plethora of gorgeous exotic woman as well, but hey, teenager, remember?) could live out a content existence without outside interference. I rightly surmised that the more one can support oneself, the less coercion in possible.
Books like Ursula K. LeGuin's Always Coming Home and The Dispossessed, Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower, John Christopher's The Guardians, and classics like 1984, Brave New World, and The Grapes of Wrath eventually helped me form a pretty clear picture of what I believed, but I lacked the non-fiction, the political theory and historical background to really comprehend what was mostly a thing felt, not believed.
Later, when I returned for my first couple of trips to Iceland I got stuck in a bureaucratic limbo due to illness. At first, I couldn't work because I was sick. Then, as I began to get better, I couldn't work because if I did, the health care that was allowing me to get better would be immediately denied me and I'd get sick again. So I'm stuck in a government sponsored purgatory, in a small town environment where religious hatred of "alternative" sexuality is rampant, kept poor and inactive lest I lose the only positive aspect of my life (getting well), and spending a lot of time at the library.
I shall be forever grateful to Peirce County's Public Libraries. I eventually read Emma Goldman's Living My Life, which led me to Peter Kropotkin's Memoirs of A Revolutionist and all that was in between. I found a phrase that resonated something in me.
"No Gods. No Masters!"
It just felt right. It more than felt right, it felt just. By this point in my life, I'd been dumped on by the right for my sexuality and lack of faith, and equally dumped on by the left for refusing to unquestioningly subjugate my logic to the sacred cows of liberalism (veganism/vegetarianism, social engineering, and pacifism to name but a few). The staid and safe center held no appeal for me, and I was learning that the State really wasn't there to help its citizens. In fact, I was beginning to see that the State considered "it's" citizens to be State property, to be ordered about or neglected or done away with as it pleased.
I found in Anarchism a critique of the human condition that fought with equal measure against those who would use order and tradition as a means to entrench inequality and those who would, in the guise of forcing men to be equal, enslave them.
So I'm an Anarchist.
That being said, I'm a very old-school Anarchist.
I'll leave it until next time to explain that difference...