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Jun 18

Some days, The Most You Can Do Is Sew On Patches To Show Discontent.

Posted on Friday, June 18, 2010 in Anarchy, Current Events, Education, Theories

Breathe. Resist.

That’s the best you can do to stay alive and not become one of the living dead. Some days, the most you can do is sew patches to show discontent with society. Discontent is the catalyst for change in men and nations (so said a fortune cookie I got!). I get people who get upset at me sometimes. I mean really upset and confused. “How can you be the way you are? You can’t change the world!” I believe I can. I can change myself. I can change the world. Sometimes that change requires patches being sewn on a vest or a pair of pants.

“A change of perception turns emotion into action. The search for a solution will end in revolution.” sings Abandon XVX in their song “To Defy” and it’s true. Unlike how we’re conditioned to be in school to be passive observers of life with the fable of news being something bigger than yourself – the truth is the revolution lies within you. Unlike some Doomsday theorists, I don’t believe that a violent revolution will change anything. Without the proper education – even if the state was overthrown, people would just set up the same system all over again because it’s all they know. In Spain, when there were the anarchist nations during the civil war was a result of anarchist material being in circulation and widely available for 75 years running. “It doesn’t have an affect if you don’t recognize the cause,” says Crass in the song Big A, Little A – which is very true.

My goal is to make a media empire to rival that of Rupert Murdoch. Might as well aim for the stars, if you miss, you’ll hit the moon.

Seriously, I came up with two ideas how to see the change I want to occur and to achieve them realistically. The first one would be to become president and turn the military into the biggest humanitarian aid effort the world has ever seen. Use force against those who force needs to use force (fascist, violent people) and completely revolutionize how food distribution is handled to end world hunger. Put a focus on renewable energy and listen to the experts about the environment. I am not personally sure if global warming is being caused by humans but I do know a mass extinction of the planet is going on and it is being caused by humans. That needs to be stopped. Money needs to be put into education to produce the next thinkers of the world – not merely dumb down next generation of workers. Studies have shown money is more efficient being spent on preventing not the result. Like, I was reading in The Real Cost of Prisons – that in some areas in NYC there are blocks that a million a dollars a year are spent on keeping the citizens incarcerated. If that money was spent on making the neighborhoods safe, food programs, and after school events – it would keep the people out of prison to begin with. It’s a money making institution that needs to be reformed. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. That is pretty ridiculous for a land marketed as, “the land of the free.” I would put more regulations on animal testing and find out truly how relevant it is to test things on another species. I would put an end to factory farming and antibiotic abuse. I would want to give the people the right to decide the president – not the electoral college. I want to get rid of ridiculous pork barreling. I want to change so many things. Yes, I am an anarchist but I can’t live in an anarchist bubble and pretend the state doesn’t exist. I need to work with what I got. An option of mine is to run for president.

The other option is to become a big media giant. “Don’t hate the media: become the media.” is a famous punk saying. Then I can keep people inform about what’s really going on. No more having to read a dozen different news stories to try to get an idea what’s going on. I’d have news relevant to the community so that people can take action. A pet peeve of mine is when people are like, “They control things.” “They make it happen.” The reality of the situation is that there is no mysterious “they” but only we. The thing is we’re conditioned to believe that there is some mysterious entity out there that controls us but really we control them. It’s time to take the power back to the people.

The rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor. People deserve their dues for their hard work but really, how many yachts does a person need? Things need to change. The entire institution needs reform. The only way to change the institution is to educate the people. Voting hasn’t really changed anything because the rich with their own agenda control the media and pay off whoever needs to pay off to keep themselves comfortable.

My agenda is for freedom. Not corporate enslavement. Capitalism needs to be abolished. So many people are fighting the branches but we need to get down to the root. We need a non-violent revolution from within the system – destroying the system to create the next evolution in the progress of mankind. If we keep walking the path we’re walking, by 2050, life as we know on this planet will be extinct.

As long as we have a system on have’s and have not’s there will always be the poor. Global wealth creates global poverty. I want everyone to have food to eat, a roof over their head, and clothes on their back. I want to put the power in the hands of the people were it belongs – not in the hands of the rich. The rich are shaking in their boots because people are starting to get the idea to revolt like in Greece. However, I don’t agree with Chris Hedge that the Greeks get it. They have the idea and are willing to fight because they don’t have food – but they don’t have the whole idea.

Instead of spontaneously revolution, what if we learned to put aside our differences for a half a second and address the fact we are all human and all have needs? What if we acknowledged that our current system is killing us and we need to stop. What if we just stopped and started building a world of friendship, community, and mutual respect? I don’t expect everyone to like each other – I don’t like everyone – but I respect everyone and our differences.

As Aus Rotten said, “What good is money when there’s nothing left to buy?” Under current regime, that is exactly what is going to happen. The only way to change things is to work together and build a better tomorrow. Who’s with me?

Jan 14

Antisemitism, White Privilege, and Racism

Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010 in Education, Theories

I was talking to my dad yesterday and he had the ignorance to say “Racism doesn’t exist anymore. We have a black president.” Then he adds, “Racism exists like antisemitism exists, it’s always going to be there but for the most part gone.” I just got really upset and mostly was speechless. I was appalled by how ignorant he was. He’s reading a book, Feminism Is For Everyone by Bell Hooks. He was unwilling to accept that fact that in the 1970’s, Hook’s felt discriminated based on gender. My dad claims he was going to school around the same time and he doesn’t remember women being discriminated against. He says it was the height of the sexual revolution. My personal assessment is that he, like most males, are oblivious to their male privilege and when anyone who’s oppressed speaks out about it, it doesn’t fit into their reality.

Racism and antisemitism are two different things. Most people forget that because Hilter went after the Jewish people as a race – but it really is just a religion. I get really annoyed when people are like “I’m a quarter Jewish” to me, that just shows lots of ignorance. In Judaism, you get your “jewishness” from your Mother. So, it’s either you are Jewish if your mother is Jewish or you aren’t. There’s no half or quarter or anything like that. You can consider yourself to be culturally Jewish or culturally half Jewish but there is a difference than being Jewish. That being said, being Jewish is something one can hide for the most part unlike race which is apparent. Racism is discrimination based on the color of your skin.

My dad claims he was beat up in school for being Jewish. I also know that my dad was a bully. He shoved a kid in a locker with his football buddies. He did all sorts of mean things so I really don’t know if they started picking on him for him being Jewish first or if it was something to add fuel to the flame because he upset them by being a real jerk. Not to say that it was right to pick on him for his religion, but if you upset people they’ll find something about you not to like.

My personal experience as being the only Jewish kid at my school, no one picked on me about that. I also grew up and a very conservative Christian area. Then again, I wasn’t a bully.

With that being said, I think my dad is very ignorant about racism in America in this day and age. He hasn’t been to the black ghettos on the outskirts of New York City. He hasn’t had Asian Pacific Islanders refuse to date him because he’s white. Nor has he gone to be an ally to people of color to only have them accuse white women of being racists for voting for Hilary instead of Obama in the primaries. He hasn’t been to a queer scene so divided between race and class that whites go to one party and people of color go to another. I have.

I don’t know how to explain what I’ve seen and experienced with my own eyes to him because anything I’d say he can deny. The talk would end with me getting really upset at his stupidity and him remaining blissfully ignorant being unwilling to accept another’s reality. He’s unwilling to admit his male privileges so why would he be anymore willing to admit his white privileges?

There’s an article written by Peggy McIntosh called White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. I highly suggest everyone go read it. Some of the privileges that McIntosh points out that she has based on simply by being white are:

– I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
– I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
– When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization”, I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
– I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who will cut my hair.
– I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
– I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children’s magazines featuring people of my race.
– If my day, week, or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has racial overtones.

I remember having a talk with people of color about what their reality is like. The worse thing you can do when someone is telling you an experience of theirs is to deny it. I mean, it’s really unfair that people have issues with me simply because of my skin color but people have issues with them because of theirs. Even today, my friend pointed out to me racism on Google. If you type, “I’m terrified” in the search box – the auto-complete shows up, “I’m terrified of chinese people.” It makes me sick.

What can you do? Educate yourself and be aware of the privileges you might have. There’s plenty of books about privileges and racism.

I think for the next book I give my dad to read it will be about racism. Anyone have any suggestions?

Dec 31


Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009 in Education

Consent is something I think should be common sense but is often very misunderstood. Consent is getting permission before being involved with another person; this could be sexual or physical.

Consent is very important to have so that another person doesn’t feel like they were violated. Just because you’ve been in a relationship forever, you can’t assume consent. I always ask permission before touching another person. It gives them a chance to say, “No.” or “Yes.” The “Yes” should be positive not a “Yes, Maybe.” or “Umm… Sure.” It needs to be definite. I never want to violate a person’s space, so but an active listener to their response and don’t only read into it what you want. Drunken consent is not consent because the person is not of sound mind. Sometimes to practice good consent, you might have have awkward conversations about the topic if you aren’t quite comfortable talking about it yet. Find out what the person you are in a relationship with likes. Find out what they don’t like. Also, express what you like and don’t like. Setting boundaries is also important for a healthy relationship. Respect the other person – it’s a privilege to be with them – not a right. It’s also important to get proper consent for each stage ie. if you want to go from a kiss to making out – ask. It’s never okay to not consult the other person before getting in their space. For more information about consent – I found a good zine about it here.

Practicing good consent helps create a safe space for you and those you are involved with. It let’s the person know you respect and won’t violate them.