Friday, January 04, 2008

minor update

Currently in the bank, $5 and change.
Rent (due 4 days ago), $440
Sidekick bill, due... I don't even want to think of how many days ago because I'm sure I'm on the verge of disconnection, $30
...I suppose I should also try and factor in what I'd need to get food, subway fare -- maybe even see a doctor some time down the road! But for now I am just aiming for those two.

Money aside, there's been really exciting things going on. I've been getting involved with planning a climate justice confluence in the Northeast this summer, and that will be an awesome way for activists all over the region to network.

I've been contemplating a change of schools, because Brown is great but with money issues I feel like I'll just be stagnating forever, trying to figure out how to make it through crazy-high tuition, and I do want to finish college so I'd rather not put that off forever for the sake of attending my 'dream' school; that's one dream I guess I'll just have to let go of.

I'm quite interested in starting a radical/community-based mental health collective in Boston. Need to find interested people, brainstorm how to get this off the ground.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

(A?)morality of nonviolence

This weekend we went to a conference at Hampshire College on animal rights, and before the conference there was a lot of sound and fury over Jerry Vlasak being invited to speak, because of the highly controversial statements he's made.

But this isn't a post about whether or not he should have been allowed to speak. This is, though, a post thinking about the things he said that got everyone all in a tizzy; namely, statements affirming the validity of employing violence as a tactic. If you google Jerry Vlasak you will find a lot of "Jerry Vlasak says to go kill scientists!" stuff, where what he actually said was that for people who can be convinced no other way to stop murdering animals, employing violence against them is morally justifiable. I know, I know, semantics: but it is an important distinction. Also important is to keep in mind context (which is inevitably left out), which is that the remarks were, just as this post, an academic discussion about tactics/ethics. Philosophizing about the morality of violence isn't at all the same as urging people to commit it.

But thinking about it brought to mind some questions that I've been discussing with people:

1) Is violence ever a morally justifiable tool?

2) If violence is ever a morally justifiable tool (e.g., self-defence, defence of innocent life/prevention of more violence), are there ever times it is amoral not to exert force?

3) (Which is really just reiterating the firsts in slightly more concrete terms): If there are things occurring such as murder, torture, etc., and you are in a position where you can stop it (by any means necessary; such as force if no other solutions are viable), and you do not do so, is that wrong? (If someone is standing in front of you with a gun to a child's head, and diplomacy has failed, is it wrong to take a sledgehammer to their head? Is it wrong not to, if you have the opportunity and you know that not killing the abuser will mean the death of the innocent party?)

Which all leads to question 4) If animal liberationists truly believe that animals have just as much right to live as the rest of us, that taking their lives is murder, then are they in violation of their own moral code if they fail to take necessary steps to prevent such killings?

I also would like to add that these questions have nothing to do with what anyone's views on animal lib are, and that clearly if animal liberationists use force to prevent the killing of animals, they are in violation of the law and probably in violation of a whole lot of other people's moral codes. But I'm not trying to answer the question of the sanctity of animal life here -- that's a whole other question. I am questioning whether or not, if someone truly believes in the sanctity of a life, does that equal ethical justification or even obligation to protect it, when the opportunity arises?

I'd also like to point out that I am not arguing one way or another about any of this. Construing questions as arguments assumes you know what my answers would be, and I assure you, you don't. I'm just thinking.

N.B., These questions apply equally to anyone who espouses belief in the sanctity of any life; the same question could be applied to pro-lifers.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

Once again, I have moved -- back to the East Coast, once more. I am not sure how long I will stay. I am never quite sure of anything, anymore. It has been quite some time since I have been stably anywhere; I seem to live in a constant state of quasi-transience.

I'm not sure this is a bad thing, but I don't think it is a good one. It is, at the least, an exhausting one.

I spent my last evening in Chicago with someone who was perhaps the first friend I had in the city, and who I had not actually seen or even really spoken to in over two years. It was strange but nice, and perhaps a fitting end to my time there, like completing a circle and ending with something that was there at the beginning.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing with myself here. I don't yet have a job, but I'm looking. I want to get back to college eventually, but don't know if I ever will. Right now I mostly am just concerned with rent-paying and food-getting, and reading a lot, and trying, largely unsuccessfully, to sleep.

Oh, and getting a new laptop. Especially with hearing problems, not having a computer is really very doubleplus ungood, but I really can't afford one in the slightest. Irksome, since I can't use a phone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Relax, it's just sex.

I've always been confused about why prostitution is criminal, but pornography is legal. I mean, really, it's pretty much the same thing, only with a camera added. This makes no sense to me.

But pornography is safer (in a not getting yourself axe-murdered sort of way) and legal and pays better. But, also, easier for people to point to twenty years down the road and go zOMG.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007



I can't hear! Ears. Not functioning. I am not ignoring you because I don't like you, I am ignoring you because I am incapable of using the telephone.

Also, I'm not in school anymore, so please stop asking me questions about Brown, too! I'm on medical leave. I am hoping to get back there eventually -- we'll see how it goes!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


It's a good thing. Sometimes a necessary thing! I'm going to be travelling for a bit. Atlanta for the US Social Forum, among other places.

The past little while I have been really, really super annoyed that when I was home before my father stole my multitool and knives, because I have a two and a half mile walk to work every day, and on my way there I walk it in the dark, and it feels odd having no protection on me. And the multitool was just a SUPER DELICIOUS YUMMY Leatherman (this one to be exact) and they make awesome multitools and there have been so many countless times when doing something or other I have need for one of the tools on it and then am like OH YEAH I don't HAVE it anymore and really it is too expensive (and so were the knives) to be replaced -- seriously, well over $300 worth of equipment all told.

I was just thinking about it because I really want pliers right now. Argh.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Jax [April 15, 1984 - March 11, 2007]

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring love
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there is doubt, true faith in You

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where theres sadness ever joy

Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love with all my soul

Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
It is in giving to all man that we receive

And in dying that we're born to eternal life.

It seems like so much of my life consists of death. And yet -- I will miss Jax. More than I can say. I will. It hurts so much, and yet --

And yet, at the same time, I am strangely peaceful about it. He was an amazing person, and that prayer -- his favorite! -- he embodied it to the fullest. I have no doubt, at all, whatsoever, that he is with God now. That does not do much to stop the ache of losing him, but. But it is something.

[His husband played the hymn on his violin at the funeral. They buried him -- a green burial -- on his farm. Ryan was overwhelmed by how many people showed up -- after all, Jax spent 'most all his time on the farm, rather secluded, but they showed up, from his school, from his church, from everywhere, and I am not surprised. Jax's father did not show up. I am disappointed, but also not surprised.

Nobody wore black, and that is how it should be.]

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Funshine Bear...

Two years ago today Shymmer died. Two years ago on Valentine's Day I got on a stage and spoke about him at Equality Maryland's rally, and about all the other queer kids who face the same discrimination, bigotry, hatefulness that he faced.

I miss him, achingly much. Thinking about his death makes me angry -- at the people who mistreated him, yes, but at myself, too, because I'm not doing anything anymore; my life has fallen to pieces and I'm certainly not doing anything good or worthwhile. And as long as people to continue sitting around not doing anything worthwhile, all the discrimination and bigotry and hatefulness will continue.

And I'm just not sure these days what, if anything, I can even do to make even the tiniest difference.

(and I miss him.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

hey, dad, i'm an anarchist...'s not a phase and it's not a disease
and though my hands are worn for my age
would you still hold one of them please?
i just want you to know that i love you
and i want you to love me too
right now i'm not sure where home is
but i'm sure there's room there for you
i want the same thing as every other homesick patched-up kid in this crowd
i want my dad to look at me; i want him to be proud.

yusyus. Riotfolk. Mmm. Evan Greer played in Providence tonight. More mmm. That was fun. That was refreshing. I don't really know other anarchists in Providence. It was nice to spend an evening just... being with other radicals.

I am a big step closer to happy, now. I'll get there, one day.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

September is ending already?

I hate being poor. I hate that $2.50 to do my laundry is -- literally -- too much to afford (I have $2.48 to my name.)

I am glad that, living in the dorms, on meal plan, I have shelter now and more food than I could ever eat.

I hate that, come winter, I will likely be homeless once more, because the next semester is too much to afford (laundry too much to afford; tuition that much moreso!)

I am enjoying my classes an incredible amount, and strangely happy in the amount of work I am buried under.

I am sad that these classes may well be the only I ever take.

I am happy because I am now a Eucharistic Minister for the Brown-RISD Catholic community, and it is good to have something to remind me to remember God in my daily life, because under the weight of so much school-work and work-work and volunteer-work sometimes, it is so easy to forget Him.

I am sad, because, there are times that I give in to despair and get angry with God, and really believe that He has abandoned me. And I should not listen to those feelings.