Posts Tagged ‘protest’

Secret diaries of the BlogHer Reach out tour

I missed the party because I was staying with M. who I supposed is now to be called MamaMich and LQ alias MamaLala, their baby, and their FIVE cats. We had Cuban food that was just so-so but I love cuban food like crazy. Mmmm platanos. We gossiped more about Ping’s perfidy and how he jacked them up (so pointlessly! how could he!) for thousands of dollars. I felt all admiring of MamaMich’s Dr. Mich Harvard id card. We argued about what it meant. I said it meant something even if she didn’t think it did in her context, it did in mine. I know half the folks in ivy league are morons, well aware. It is not that! It’s still a mythical institution! Where one might, might, might climb up a tree to a place no one’s ever been before. M. climbs up the back ends of drosophilas to give them colorectal cancer! Then she gives them tiny enemas! Or maybe a grad student does the fruit fly enemas. Dunno. Counts for something mythical, surely. I always like being in the midddle of MamaLala’s stuff. It is just my style of comfort and hominess. Books are everywhere. I feel like things are in logical places, which for us means in stacks of papers and books with cats sleeping on top of them. On the ride up we talked about WisCon and the book for it and then inevitably about internet drama, politics, anarchy, and the ethics of organizations and personal interactions. Our conference hotel is in a sort of office park behind a mall out in the burbs somewhere. I will be pretending it’s a magic castle and we’re the dancing princesses, well, the blogging princesses who mysteriously disappear every night through the forest of silver leaves and the forest of mall decorations and the ogres in sports uniforms in the lobby to our fabulous witchy coven thingie at the stroke of midnight. But no… the silver leaves have faded. I don’t get to see Starkeymonster who is sick as hell with the flu, for which I was teased mightily by my ex and my sly eyed companion-in-evil as they were all like “Of course Badger has SOME GIRL she has to go see” which I protested only feebly that ack, of course, they are my priorities, I am only here one day, I halfway only intend to introduce them all as fangirls extreme, nor did I go to Honk! downtown. Instead I worked on work. I am in a king-size bed in a slightly too swanky large hotel room (next to the elevator, thank you, desk gnome with the pineapple insignia!) asphyxiating a bit in its air freshner, perhaps the carpet freshener stuff sprinkled down there… at least the bed is nice. I could fit 3 people in this bed! HEY NOW LADIES! I like inspecting all the odd accoutrements of a hotel room. there is no minibar – coffee, ice bucket, giant TV, notepaper, little shampoo and soaps, a bible and a book of mormon and a phone book. Sarah Dopp came over to give me a hug but now I can’t remember if I got the hug. Instead we laid in bed and talked about the conference, my talk & slide show, my points I want to get across, how to feel out who is listening and what they want and what they have to say. She told me more ideas for geek lab and I’ll go participate for most of it. What will it be? We’ll make it good. In the bar downstairs I sat with Kristy and Karin and one other person. A very large man in a baseball cap joined us tenatively at the end of our table. “Obama!” he said, all lit up. “Obama! Yeah!!!” Was he drunk or in some altered states? I felt us all look around the table trying to figure out which one of us was about to get hit on. Probably not me, I code as too gay for the burbs and the wheelchair tends to rule me out of the general course of lechery. “That’s right! *clappping* Obama!!!” the possibly Special man in the bar said, grinning like a maniac. “Obama, Yeah!” We smiled for a bitchosecond (the exact unit of time to be polite yet blow someone off in a bar) and went back to our political conversation. Karin said she has a special calendar and it is now down to 103 days before Bush is out of office.

Sarah and I continued our non-hug and instead had a guerilla work meeting between our two companies which we realized would save asstons of work and confusion for everyone so hurrah us. Palaces have sewer rats which scurry around with their own ways to save the secret passages in the dark of the castle. We talked over our moms and boyfriends and politics while we were at it.

I have set up the coffee machine for the morning! Bloggity morning!

I used the intertubes to telepathically bond with my young sprog, who explained that he was cleverly putting 11111 in the middle of his exclamation points, to make them cooler. U R KEWL, typed his distant mom, full of love and l33t. Rook has written up a guide to local issue voting in our district. Zond-7 pointed me to Golly the Game of Life (I missed this week’s python lesson at the EFF.)

I’ll fall asleep reading “Playing for Keeps” by Mur Lafferty! It’s about superheroes! You can get it in a podcast! You can read Mur’s mysterious twitters!

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Teamsters and farmers on the way to work

This morning I noticed a farmers’ market in the hospital parking lot that I often pass on the way to work. It’s at Marshall and Maple in Redwood City every Wednesday until 2pm. What luck – it’s not like I’m going to wake up early and brave the crowds at the Saturday morning market.

So for 15 bucks I got pluots, grapes, white nectarines, carrots, tomatoes, another thing of tiny yellow tomatoes, figs, and corn. Tonight, corn on the cob and some bread & cheese & basil to go with the fancy tomatoes! I recommend the pluots. They’re a little bit tart, perfectly sweet, and even textured.

unexpected farmers' market

All last week and this week I’ve been driving by the Teamsters 853 strike at Granite Rock, over across the highway up Maple and that road that I don’t know the name of but that is behind Lyngso and the Malibu Grand Prix. I honked a little in support. So I’ve been wondering what’s going on and thought I’d have a look online. Here’s some links,

* YouTube videos of scab drivers spitting on protesters

* A search on teamster.net for my town gives us these results and recent discussions: Granite Rock

* Teamsters 853

Apparently the Teamsters went on strike against Granite Rock in 2004 and the strike was very hard on its members (who in theory decided to support the strike.) And since then Granite Rock has gotten other unions to sign no-strike agreements, except for the Teamsters. From my point of view (not being a Teamster or anything like it) that does not sound fair or even legal.

You can’t take away people’s right to strike and if you try to force unions into a no-strike agreement, what the hell good is the union? What is it going to negotiate with? What bargaining power is left!? A Teamsters local 853 group sulk? Hell!!! the threat of strikes and organized worker action is the only thing that has made big companies have to listen to its workers.

I know union politics has its problems. Still. Organized labor is something we need more of – and it needs to be stronger – not giving up its power. I don’t understand how and why the other organizations mentioned (OE3, Machinists, etc) just signed an agreement never to strike. Doesn’t that make them just an entire organization of low down scabs?

Feel free to explain it to me.

Meanwhile check out this video of the actual president of Granite Rock, Bruce Woolpert, walking around at the picket line of the Teamsters, writing down their license plate numbers. What the hell? What’s he doing that for? Give me one good reason for the president of a company to record the license plate numbers of its workers who are on strike.

Disgusting behavior.

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Letter to my body, 2006

I wrote this letter to my body a couple of years ago, after I came out of surgery. Anesthesia, for me, is an out of body experience, or hyperspace, or coming out of stasis or starship cold sleep. Waking up from sleep is like that too, sometimes, if I’ve been dreaming hard.

This is for BlogHer’s A Letter to My Body roundup, which kicks off BlogHer’s new Body Image topic.

Oh, body. I like you okay even if I crack jokes about wishing to be a brain in a jar. It can be creepy and nostalgic and connected-feeling to look at your calves and see the exact sturdy calves of my grandmother. Animals and inheritance. I can think of each part of you and what you have meant to me; times you’ve hurt me or I’ve hurt you, times I’ve blessed or cursed you, skateboard accidents where blood poured out and I felt so sorry for the careless damage to your lovely complexity; yet later, other times I’ve hated your sluggish response, the kneecap crepitations, the sparkler fuse from sacroiliac to the painful flipper of my right foot, the way you’ve been dead weight I have to lift with my hands from bed to wheelchair or drag behind me like heavy, ugly meat. Your stubborn refusals to breathe and the exhaustion. You’re so fragile & yet robust, like a car that’s utterly dependable to keep running and yet that makes worrisome mysterious noises, rumblings, backfires, leaking oil and fumes into the driver’s seat. A spaceship with a rogue AI in some of its limbs and engines, so that the wires that come out of my pilot-self in the navigation console are getting strange messages. My orders get lost on the way to you, eddying in electronic backwaters, static on the line, sensory input down. You refuse to be a perfect tool for me, you buck and protest, you’re a horse and I’m the rider, and you let me know it.

The instant my baby came out and I held him in my arms, I felt like you and I were whole. I was all together in one piece. A sense of rightness washed over me. We were solidly together, machine and brain, flexing our powers, no more static or disconnection, all the nerves and wires working right. Right. Solid. In the center. Connected. Geometric. A moment of perfect mathematical understanding. Numbers and equations mapped to a graph that I understood, beautiful algebra, numbers becoming a physical object. That was me! Connected all the way through, really inhabiting where I am. For so many months I had been not-alone, with another person in me, always conscious of that loneliness assuaged: then he was outside me but still connected by the cord, and I could see him, and he wasn’t part of me anymore, and I was alone and whole. I was me (again? finally?) and there was a shock of recognition. I welcomed my baby into the real world, I held him and realized I was me and no one else. All the parts of me that I had separated out, because I could not possibly be THAT, or that, or that other thing, or that quality, or at least not all at once… those parts met and merged and were happy. I imagine death to be like that, in the best of worlds. In labor, after labor, I was proud. My body and I worked together like olympic athletes, will and flesh.

The times I’ve cried, so rarely, after sex where like magic I am my body and understand it. When you, my body *work* and when I am you, and don’t feel so alone in my head. When I’m not fighting or struggling. When touch feels good instead of a battle for control.

I feel like that today. Waking up from anesthesia was a nightmare, almost knowing, almost conscious, but knowing I could not move, trying to become pure Will, pure consciousness, and wrassling your unruly mule… finally I could whimper a little.. fighting for breath… I said “help” and then “cold, please, warm” and a nurse came, told me to breathe, “What… beep… beeping…” You have to breathe, the oxygen monitor beeps, remember to breathe… the terrible weight on my chest, the squeezing. “shaking… legs… ” She brought me warm blankets and an electric warmer to quiet the convulsive trembling in my legs, which made me remember the transition phase of labor when my legs were about to explode with the twitching and shaking. Laboring in the bath like a spastic electric seal. Finally I could move a finger. I could almost swallow. I said to myself the few poems I can remember, Where like a pillow on a bed a pregnant bank swells up to rest the violet’s reclining head, sat we two, one another’s best…. We then, who are this new soul know of what we are composed and made, the atomies from which we grow, are souls which no change can invade. Beloved, gaze in thine own heart, the holy tree is growing there, from joy the holy branches start and all the trembling flowers they bear. The changing colors of its fruit have dowered the stars with merry light the surety of its hidden root has planted quiet in the night. If I were tortured I would wish to have been a better memorizer. To be trapped in my mind completely, oh it is hell and must be endured. Tools for enduring. If I wait and promise then my body will come back to me. Do not think of the movie “Waking Life”. Avaunt. I’m so glad I can hear. I can move my finger just a little. Thank you, my body. The doctor comes, I know her voice. She doesn’t know how glad I am of her megadykey solidity. My eyes open a little to consecrate her a blurry angel. I am her for a moment in her radiant body, squeezing my own hand. I hear myself croaking “Sister”…. “My sister… want ….my sister…” But she can’t come in. “Do you hurt?” “No… hard, control, not to be in control.” A sentence! Oh thank you mouth. If I had music, I could breathe. I swallow, almost. Stammering. Breath. It’s so hard to breath and then the beeping, then I remember to breath and I say my bits of poetry again. That we are tired for other loves await us, hate on and love through unrepining hours, before us lies eternity, our souls are love and a continual farewell, unloose the cord and they will wrap you round, I see my life go dripping like a stream from change to change I have been many things, a green drop in the surge, a gleam of light upon a sword. Green, muscadine. Breathe, and breathe, and breathe… I open my eyes. There’s a clock. I’m so happy, the numbers change on the clock, across the room, enormous, but I can’t see what they are without my glasses. How great webs of sorrrow lie hidden in the small slatecolored thing! The woman next to me has been moaning, I heard them say earlier “your lung has to reinflate” and I say “it’s so hard, you can breathe, you can keep doing it”. I know she hears me. She moans again. “It’s hard” she says. “Jamal…” Yes… I know… I want my sister, too, like she wants Jamal, whoever he is. She sounds old. Her son? “I’m breathing too” I rave to her. “It hurts” she says. Some nurses come back over. “Your oxygenation is 100%, you’re doing fine, you’re doing great, your breathing is great.” I know otherwise, she is struggling like I’m struggling. It looks fine on the monitors but we are fighting, will over body. I make my eyes open again and I make the head turn. She looks at me too, amazing. How? “Hurts!” I tell her. “Damn!” she says, looking like she wants to laugh, but there’s no breath for it. Yeah, she knows me, I’m glad. We are glad for nurses and monitors but also glad that other people hurt and know other truths. I moved my head! I’m looking around! There are other people! Like a basketball slamming through a hoop and into another universe, like a starship turning inside out in a black hole and coming out the other end in a spray of light somewhere it can’t imagine, I’m not “making my head move” or “making my eyes open” but I am moving my head and opening my eyes, and I am them. My body, I’m sorry… I’m sincerely sorry for the ways that I demand to be the captain. So much of the time I am your patriarch. For a moment I see how it’s wrong and I see how to be whole, all of us together in my body (me). A nurse comes to wheel me out, to the second recovery room, where someone will know me. I ask him about the World Cup. My brain thinnks in Spanish. I welcome, welcome, the effort, the enigma, the codebreaking, the healthy work of it, I could do a crossword puzzle, I could solve equations, I could parse a sentence, I could put all the parts of my body into a taxonomy, to be comforted that the gears are oiled and meshing. Sliding in and out of unity, body and mind, I’m not sure who is “I”, but am happy not to be helpless. The captain slides into his chair, I am comforted, I’m back in the saddle, I can see forever, I could fight the laws of gravity and fly off the gurney, naked, and light everything up with the fire of thought, so that in that moment everything would be permitted, for everyone, and they also would become whole. I can’t wait to stand up and walk, to pee, to talk, to look at someone who looks at me. Intense gratitude. I’m so glad.

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The beauty of badness: A Dialogue on Women

I love complicated badness, and this book I just came across while cleaning out the piles of books in my office wins the prize for insanely complicated awfulness on every level.

It’s called Dialogue on Women. I know it’s crazy, but I long to read it and analyze it.

It’s a small, thin, paperback from 1967 — 40 years ago — and seems to be part of a series of books that try to present complicated ideas in non-specialized (yet pompous) language. It boasts that its format, newly invented and named the dialogue-focuser, will revolutionize thought! It presents disagreement! And you can write a letter to the editors, and suggest revisions! Man’s release from rote learning will soon come, resulting in giving him the freedom to think. Knowledge cannot be contained in hierarchical disciplinary structures!

( Of course, I love all these ideas. The problem I have is that they use all my favorite core concepts and then don’t actually present any diverging views or non-hierarchical thinking and especially they don’t seem to care what women think in their dialogue on women. So the whole book is hilariously bad.)

Meanwhile, the cover of Dialogue on Women has a totally cheesy 60s mandala sort of thing made out of wavy lines and women’s heads. The back cover lists the 9 authors – how many of them do you think are women? Two! Without even cracking the spine of the book, we know what we’re in for.

Essay #1: Philip Harris. History of Christian and Western European philosophical thought. Women = inferior. Except Hobbes who is fairly decent (yay HObbes!) Women are all damaged and stuff by this societal brainwashing. Nowadays modern women are beginning to maybe sort of almost prove that marriage and a career can mix. Note all those domineering feminists in the workplace! The end.

What? Hahahaha.

Essay #2: A Dialogue. Transcript of a discussion between Janet Beers, Bob Gunn, Stephanie Oliver, and Gil Winter. Janet and Stephanie do not appear on the cover of the book or on its title page. An editorial notes says this transcript is the core of the dialogue-focuser! Zomg! Here is my rude summary.

Gil: Oh noes what about the menz? De Beauvoir suxxors.

Janet: Yes, we can’t talk about ourselves as women without first talking about men. “Can I really participate meaningfully or fully or most creatively without a man integral to my living?” (No.)

Bob: So your man is more important than work?

Janet: Yup. Want a blow job?

Stephanie: WTF Janet! I was 24 when I got here and was not worried that I wasn’t married. And that’s okay! I want to teach history!

Bob: You were so married, cocksucker.

Stephanie: Wasn’t. But now I am… my politics are fucked now. And I still don’t agree with Janet that women need men.

Janet: But the dialogue-focuser says that… sexuality.. asexuality… Life is dialectical!

Stephanie: *tries to get to a place where one can have dialectics without sucking cock*

Bob: “It’s the man who chooses what sort of job he will have and the woman follows after him.” Also, politics and stuff. Women just do what men say. Otto Rank blah blah blah. Women want to be wanted.

Janet: women don’t really know what they want because they just want husbands. They need men to be fulfilled.

Stephanie: Well, no. You can be married or whatever or not, and be well adjusted, and have a vocation. “It’s not a negation of her womanhood.”

Gil: Homosexuality suxxors!

Bob: Oh noes what about the mens!

Janet: Yes, what about masculinity!

(Jung. Blah blah. Empathy. City planning. The future. Culture. Science. Maybe our culture will become more feminine and then women will succeed. Will marriage endure past this century? (That was Janet!!) The pill. Fidelity. Licenses to have children. Technology! The end.)

Essay #3: David McClelland from HARVARD, “Wanted: A New Self-Image for Women”. Starts out okay. Early feminists thought X. But no! Even infant boys are more aggressive and assertive and rough and tough! Little boys report that they feel entirely self-confident! Ian fleming uses scientifically established facts when he has James Bond say that women are bad drivers! (I’m so not making this up. It’s on page 41. Harvard.) Spatial relations! Man the hunter! Virginia Woolf’s room of one’s own explained: women lack focus and thus, have this pathological need for privacy. Women need to fulfill their womanhood to be happy… Early feminists tried to be tough like men… today’s modern feminists try to be ultra feminine… they are all Wrong. But the femininists at least get to be feminine and thus happy. Here’s an assload of footnotes just to remind you I’m a sciiiiientist from Haaaarvard. The end.

4. Working for Death – Edward L. Flemming.
Oh noes what about the menz who die earlier than women?
Something Freudian and woman-blaming about men’s passive acceptance of his role. He is not healthily mature and independent. Women are overbearing mothers, and men cannot truly be free if they are Dependent. Thus, they die faster. Feminists are like mentally ill mothers, who smother and kill their men with too much emasculating bitchiness. Women have an essential need for psychic interdependence. “How different is the male.” Men must become more interdependent or die young. (What?)

5. Esther Milner – The Mother’s Role
Uses “she” and “human” as the default rather than “he” and “man”.
Analysis of middle class married women. Women under patriarchal systems, who don’t have status other than being a mother, raise their sons in ways that create “continuing reactive ambivalence and/or hostility towards girls and women in general”. Women who get to have lives and jobs and stuff, are all healthy. We put too much stress on motherhood as a role for cultural tranmission. The system is broken. The end.

Hey, that one wasn’t so bad, despite the Freudy bits.

6. Allan J. Moore. The Cosmo Girl: A Playboy INversion

Helen Gurley Brown. Manhunters. Selling the image of the sexbot chick to other chicks. How weird is that. Subculture of unmarried women. OMG, Zomg, our Cities Have So Many Unmarried Young Women. The cult of self-grooming is very anti the protestant ethic. It’s okay that these young women are sexual beings as long as they want to be married, really, eventually, and accept Jesus Christ. The End.

CAN I BEAR IT!!!???

7. Sexual Equality and Human Freedom, George C. Owen.

Oh noes what about the menz!!! “It never seems to occur to anybody that men are as subject to imprisoning sexual stereotypes as women…” Feminism discriminates! Waaaaah!

Women and men who are parents should both work less at their jobs, and participate equally in child raising and domestic labor. Communal child rearing would really help.

“The addition of women to the labor-force will clearly destroy our current economic structure.” Doctors and nurses will become equal in status! Hierarchy destroyed! Screw petty conventions like marriage and opening doors for women and not swearing in front of ladies! It is women who perpetuate all the bad stereotypes of sexual inequality. The end.

8. Sexual Equality; Gene Hoffman

We should not try to pretend men and women are equal. I am human! Not woman! It’s all our fault. We accept the goals society sets for us. Self actualization will fix everything! Harmony in the home! The United Nations! Quakers! “The other group to which I refer is a highly personal one. I am very tenative about it, because it is all so incipient. I refer to a small group of young people I know who have experimented with LSD.”

(I hear that stuff makes you more human!)

“How exciting it would be to release our common genius to express our diversity, our variety, and ultimately, our long-awaited humanity!” The end.

Where are they now… I wonder! That dialogue-focuser idea really caught on… or did everyone just float off to San Francisco on a cloud of acid?

So next time you come across a dialogue like this in the trying-to-be-feminist blogosphere just recall 1967 and laugh… and go read some excellent books by Dale Spender to get the taste out of your mouth…

Hey you know what, let’s fix up that lame Wikipedia page for Dale Spender. It needs serious help!

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NIghtmare last night about a bus that wouldn’t stop

IN my dream last night I was getting on a bus with friends but they changed their minds and got off again. The driver made me sit in the front, and he put my wheelchair in the back, which upset me. The bus began to roll away, while I was protesting that I wanted to get off.

I pulled the cord for the next stop, figuring that it was not too far — only a few blocks — and I could rejoin my friends. But the driver would not stop for long enough for me to get off, and no one else on the bus would help me by getting my chair out.

As I kept asking more and more people to help me, I got madder and madder until I was giving an enormous speech to the whole bus. I blasted them for being inhumane, and not rising to collective action to stop the driver, and for not joining me in demanding that I got to get off when I wanted to.

It’s funny, but in nightmares I often deal with a bad situation by giving a rabble-rousing speech.

When I woke up I was upset from the dream, but glad that in it, I was fierce.

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What would help me feel better?

Concluded last night that I needed to read some disability blogs and history and find all that Independent Living stuff that used to help me so much 10 years ago. A little ass kicking culture and as betsyl put it, “turn-based ranting” would be very helpful.

Things like this free online ADA course, and a bunch of stuff about the 1977 sit-in at the SF Federal Building, which I knew about but didn’t know the fascinating crucial bit that the Black Panthers fed all 150 protesters, the whole time! And that after like 10 days, the Mayor declared an Emergency Housing situation and made the city go in and bring beds and blankets. And all the protesters laughing at the idea that they could be starved out or made so uncomfortable they’d leave. “We’ve had surgeries and endured hospitals and abuse and you think we can’t sleep on your office floor?” Inspiring and beautiful. I’ll think of them next time I go up a sidewalk cut or grab a bathroom handrail. Wheelchair Dancer‘s post led me to some amazing links. Maybe I’ll run into her around town, as it sounds like she’s in the area!

Ordered silly tshirt with flaming wheelchair, after a while cruising around really funny snarky ones with the familiar blue sign flipping off the “walkies”(!!) and great slogans… I would love the “It’s a miracle! I can walk!” one or “If you stare long enough I might do a trick” if only it was in better typography and on a dark shirt.

I have a Plan for tomorrow and for the week!

You know what this kind of talk means, right? It means I felt crappy yesterday and today and am seeking desperately for answers and solutions and strategies and Things to Do.

Physical therapy! Done it all day long! Walking around! And I’m vowing to swim first thing in the morning. And I’m going to go hang around the rehab shop and also will call all my doctors.

Rook was like “want to play a game and have some fun together” and I stared at him in disbelief. Instead, he held my leg in traction for a while, which was heavenly. I want to cry just thinking about it, and beg him to come do it again. TRACTION OH YEAH BABY!!! DO ME!

After those romantic 5 minutes while he looked up my skirt and I admonished him to pull harder, he then helped me clean up all the papers and things on the floor and do the laundry. And he changed my sheets. Now that’s romantic!

All the papers and things are now up high, where I can get at them and sort through them. It’s a big relief.

I still have a horrible lingering cough, so really should go on another round of prednisone… which might also be super nice for my back.

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Upset at honor killing

Read about the horrible mob killing of Du’a Khalil Aswad. I didn’t watch the video but I read the descriptions and feel sick. I’m on pain meds and sort of weepy and freaked out feeling. I read and researched a bit, blogged about it, signed the petition, donated, looked at the photos of women protesting her killing and “honour killings” and then started crying and feeling that horrible feeling that I want to put on armor and hide in a closet. Man the world is fucked up.

I stared at the photos of the women in the protest for a long time

and I like what Kate said in Twisty’s comments:

I viewed the film as to me, not viewing it would be a disgrace. I did not view it with purient intent, nor did I feel a thrill or pleasure or even distateful pleasure viewing it. I felt angry, powerless, overwhelmed, disgusted…I could go on.

But, I viewed it because to me, the picture is visceral and it lashes deep into my mind what I need to know, it gives power to the rage that I need and must stoke. I have to remind myself why I speak out against assumptions or actions against women or children that are unjust. I must have the burning images screaming out for justice, in my mind’s eye in order to have within me the rage to continue on to fight for truth and support those who do, because it is a tiring and gruesome fight.

We are challenged and browbeaten, we are questioned, we are led to doubt ourselves. Only with images, with the sounds, with the smells and the tastes of suffering can I continue to remember always why I want to not give in to this social order or in anyway allow assumptions about even worse atrocities than what we have here in the US.

I know that if I am wretched in blood in a corner, left unjustly murdered and/or tortured to death, I would want without sanction, my image to circulate around to shock as many people as possible. To shame them, to scream at them, to scream out the justice that I couldn’t get while alive.

Disagree with that, sure, but please understand that the intent of many who view such atrocities is not prurient rubber necking or a new form of entertainment. It is just the opposite, it is the recognition of the act and the refusal to let it die a more vile, second death of silence.

Also, as a victim of violence myself, my only way to deal with the trauma has been to face it head-on. Once I turn away in fear or loathing of the pain, then in my mind (and this is only my way), I am once again lifting my arm and squinting protectively, hoping that the blows will stop soon.

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In horrible pain, looking to the net for distraction and solace

okay i slept a while and the pain drugs seem to have worn off because now i am lying here crying and feeling like someone is kicking me in the small of the back over and over – rhythmically. the pain shoots down my leg into my foot which also tingles and burns all at the same time. i can’t take it. more pain drugs and ice.

I was just testing to see if i could get to the bathroom without crutches and maybe that was dumb. or maybe it doesn’t matter and this is just going to be hell for a while.

you know what i officially Cannot Deal with anything at the moment.

Why am I writing this? Aside from the impulse to whine on the internet about my operations (as I clearly recall critiquing old people for doing, when I was little and living with old people – like omg the world is beautiful and there is so much to talk and think about why are you wasting time whining about your operations?) I have this strange moral imperative to record negative moments on this blog. From my perspective they are outweighed by enthusiasm, awareness of good, and moments of analysis and vision… but for fuck’s sake let’s not pretend that life doesn’t sometimes suck.

It sucks far less (look i am trying to be cheery…) to be in bed with ice pack and cats and delicious food that Minnie brought me.

Meanwhile here is an amusing Map of Online Communities

and a shout out to the Women of Zimbabwe who are being imprisoned tortured and beaten, for nonviolent protest and organizing. Give their blog a read and link to them. They ask for people to call and fax to police stations in Zimbabwe to show the world is watching. I don’t see any numbers to call, there. But we could follow their links and figure it out, I bet.

Now back to just lying here. I feel like I’m doing that thing where I measure time in 5 minute increments. Another 5 minutes has passed… and another… and I can endure another 5 minutes surely. And so the night will go on until I can finally pass out.

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too tired to blog

I had a great day, somewhat bleary-minded breakfast at Las Manitas where I ran into lots of people, walking up Barton Creek and sunbathing and dipping into the swimming hole with S.D., registered for the conference, sat and talked intensely with Virginia, Sarah, Shannon C. for a while, then the “Rawk” panel, (where I think they were drinking a lot of whiskey before and during!), blushed up to the ears when T. cited my twitter, thought it was neat that i had input into the panel *during the panel* yet obliquely, i.e. without having to raise my hand and say anything; dinner with jory and a. and elisa & others; then the fabulous blogher party where I met a gazillion people and reconnected with people from last year. fun conv. with tracy who I met at Stanford Barcamp and Erica from metblog minneapolis – we talked about fiction blogging panel & about metblogs & about local wikis and neighborhood-level blogs and wikis – not just city-level – and she *knew all about plain layne and had been in it at the time, whoa*. And other erica O. from librarian avengersTalked with Dawn F. about work stuff. Talked with metrokitty, & with someone who *actually was part of the lavender menace protest omg* do you realize how strangely thrilling that was! (and she also was a founder of Ol1via Records and was in the DC Furies!) and kaliya and some cafe mom folks and lauren from austin metblogs and jeanne gomoll’s sister who has a company that does chatrooms with browsing, and briefly met Gina T, and and and and. Flirted. Talked. Goofed around. Took tons of somewhat bad snapshots. But surely in there, a nice one or 2 will surface. At least 70 people showed up – I did a count at some point and got 60, but then people came & went and new batches kept coming. Help! Tired. I did not take good notes and I am afraid I’ll forget people and conversations. Everyone gushed over moo cards. It is impossible to get a cab. I was super happy that the Blogher party was so much fun and that so many people came and that it was a great space to talk with people, not too loud, very relaxing or as relaxing as it can be to be On and talk with so many exciting people.

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Retroactive blogger, 1188 A.D., Wales

From the introduction to Gerald of Wales’ “The Journey Through Wales” (translation and intro by Lewis Thorpe):

He was intrigued by every place they visited, and familiar with quite a few of them. His personal enthusiasms seem to have had no limit: local history, local topography, folklore, animals of all sorts, clothing, language, weapons and warfare, religious houses, food, weather, demoniacal possession, mountain scenery, forests covered by the sea, silver mines, quicksands, geneologies, music. A witty exchange overheard between two monks who were laying table could set him roaring…

If you were with him for more than two or three days and he thought that your interest was worth cultivating, he would present you with copies of his books and expect you to start reading them straightaway, asking you each morning how you were getting on… If a golden oriole flew out of a bush, he made a note of it. If he saw a dog without a tail, he wrote the odd circumstance down… Before you knew where you were, he would have given a copy to Henry, Richard, or John… and then all your peccadilloes would be noised abroad.

Wow, after reading this I’m totally in love with Gerald of Wales. I can tell he’s going to be enthusiastic and cranky and bizarre.

I peeked under the bandana at my hair; it looks splendid and the hot pink colors seem very bright. I’m leaving it in until tomorrow. My pillowcase will suffer.

Tomorrow – maybe going to the airport museum in San Carlos as there’s some kind of kid-focused party… New Years’ at Noon….? And then a kind babysitter will come in the evening, I’ll do my hair straight up and go punk formal to the 007 party at Halflab; I like the idea of progressing to what would likely be insane squalor at the Transfer, downtown, but that probably won’t happen. Other option is to end up at RJ’s house. Moomin’s friend Hamster is probably going to share the babysitter and stay overnight. Then on the 1st, to Debbie’s, hijack my charming friend Jam from out of town and bring him back here. I’ll put him in the hot tub, wind him up by asking him a question about That One Protest or the best route to bike entirely around the bay area, sit back, and enjoy… Maybe we’ll go to the Mint and take a dorky tour the next day?

Oh Gerald of Wales! I love his craggy eyebrows (as described in the introduction) and his obsession with becoming Bishop of St. David’s!

Today after I got home from extended errands & shopping, I went to lie in bed and rest my legs while reading. Moomin came in suddenly, leaped onto the bed, and threw himself into my arms. “Thanks.” he said, almost sobbing with heartfelt emotion. “What… I love you too… but thanks for what?” “The mmmmmbbblembmml.” What? “The CEREAL.” I had bought a big box of 10 different kinds of sugary cereal in the tiny boxes… like they have in hotels. Oh! The cereal!

Undying love, for only $5.99 and a Cosco card!

And so to bed.

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