do you need to feel better about life today?
watch this. it’s illuminating.
Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one. An astonishing story.
(also: near-death seems like a real trip. i started listening to this in the middle and thought for sure she was talking about an acid trip. )
or: if you can’t watch the vid right now and want something else to brighten your day, check out these 45 photos from the National Geographic annual photo contest, each one simply amazing.Filed in culture and random linkage, philosophical ramblings | Tagged with NaBloPoMo, TED | Comment (1)
oh hey! look! i have a guestpost on Offbeat Home today!Filed in blogging, fashion, most linked/commented on, personal favorites | Tagged with NaBloPoMo, offbeat | Comment (0)
the news of various occupations keeps tumbling in (#OO forcibly dismantled again yesterday, #OWS forcibly dismantled this morning, but now back), and the longer this goes on the more it seems that the value in the movement is less about getting big banks to change (it’s still unclear to me whether the big banks give two shakes about #OWS) and more about 1. fighting City Hall and showing how much they fail to protect your civil liberties when push comes to shove (particularly for Oakland, where this has been a problem forever) and 2. the revival of participatory democracy. both of these things are important, and despite the hiccups and ugly media, i think no matter how you cut it progress has been made, at least for those who have cared enough to be involved, in whatever way. but now i am just repeating myself.
last night after work we walked from home to City Hall (1.5 miles each way through West Oakland) and took in some of the General Assembly that was happening following the early morning raid/deconstruction of the encampment. as we approached, the streets were calm and people coming from that direction seemed enlivened and animated in a good way.
we arrived as the final proposal for whether to support Community Assemblies was up for vote. one of the Qs during open Q&A, presented by a young woman who self-identified as Mexican, was how #OO was going to avoid this being patronizing to these communities, coming in there and telling them how to participate. the response was that they didn’t mean for it to seem like it was any kind of “weird top-down thing”, where #OO would tell the assemblies what to do, it was just to support the creation of the assemblies, so that people in the various cultural neighborhoods could have their own space to talk about how they, as communities, wanted participate in the movement/solve their own problems, and maybe get support from others.
this sounded like a great idea to me – looking around i noted that the large majority of people at the GA where white. and the GA is in English. which does not represent large parts of Oakland. if communities can get support from #OO to have GAs in their own languages about how to participate in their own ways i thought that would be GREAT, so i voted thumbs up/yes. but apparently some people didn’t like this idea for reasons i don’t understand (the patronizing angle? unclear) and voted No. it passed with 86% in favor.
and then there were some announcements and the next item on the agenda was to discuss whether or not to try to camp in the plaza again. and even before the discussion groups were established someone got on the mic and said “Why do we need to talk about this more? There are too many intellectual conversations about this stuff. We are all here. Why can’t we just vote? Are we gonna do this or not??” to which there were some cheers. While I was interested in the conversation about whether or not to physically re-occupy with tent city (instead of just meeting there every day, or whatever, to hold public discussions and demonstrations, as the city has said again will be allowed), it was also cold and damp and it seemed that this conversation could take a long time and we decided to walk away. right now, i can’t find anything about what was decided as a group (anyone?)
as i stood there on the lawn – now downtrodden but clean, and watched the large group of people circled in the ampitheatre in front of city hall, discussing things in a peaceful way, i thought how nice it would be if this kept on – public forums on the steps of city hall in a safe, welcoming space. every day, every week, whenever. it seemed so provincial and positively democratic and pleasantly productive to me. i feel like the issues with the camp, and constant fights over it, detract from this vision.
Occupy Oakland, November 14, 2011
(via In Focus, which has 40 amazing photos from recent Occupy activities across the globe)
i still can’t sort out how i feel about the “right to camp”. to me, i don’t see that as part of the 1st amendment. i just don’t. obviously some people disagree and feel that the physical occupation and the tent city is a) a 1st amendment right and b) important to sustaining the movement and c) important because more revolutionary things without too many “intellectual conversations” need to happen otherwise the whole thing just ends up embroiled in bureaucracy like everything else. it’s been interesting, sorting my feelings on this out amongst my peers, who have proven to be much more radical and revolutionary than i, some of whom are out in the streets in the middle of the night fighting for the right to camp. i am perhaps too pacifist. i keep having to remind myself of the Red Ink story.Filed in politics and news | Tagged with #occupyoakand, #occupywallstreet, #ows, capitalism, NaBloPoMo | Comment (0)
i think the second best thing that happened all weekend was that Rocket Queen –>Devil Inside segue on the iPod yesterday. man, that was really what i needed right then.
the first best thing that happened was this.
why yes, i am wearing a black turtleneck under a black turtleneck. it’s November. i’m cold.
now that there’s the first new season of Beavis and Butthead in 14 years (and they barely changed a THING, god i love it), i keep laughing like Butthead to myself in my head. heh heh. <—dork
and i think you might be astonished at how many dollars worth of organic fuyu persimmons i’ve eaten so far this season. as soon as they go away i’ll be saving a lot of money.
carry on.Filed in me myself and i, tv, books and movies | Tagged with NaBloPoMo | Comment (0)
the what-am-i-going-to-do-with-my-life end-of-year holiday booked:
SFO -> JFK 12/18/11
JFK->Aguadilla, Puerto Rico 12/23/11
so. NYC for a few days, christmas on an island with one of my BFFs, and then back to NYC for NYE.
and then…2012: (it’s)what’s next(?)Filed in autobiographical, travel | Tagged with NaBloPoMo | Comment (0)
Pang-wangle: “To live or go along cheerfully in spite of minor misfortunes.”
Paper-belly: “A person unable to drink liquor straight, or one who grimaces after drinking.”
Pretzel-bender: “A preculiar person; an eccentric; one who thinks in a round-about manner.”Filed in culture and random linkage | Tagged with NaBloPoMo | Comment (0)
i heard today was a lucky day, 11/11/11. so in the spirit of making wishes on lucky days, let us itemize the list of crazy plans i have in mind in over the next 10 months (after November Austerity is over, of course!):
- visit family in Michigan sometime before it snows too much (=in the next 30 days?)
- New York City + Puerto Rico for Christmas +NYE 2011
Phish @ Madison Square Garden New Year’s Run (not NYE but one of the other nights?)tried, did not get tickets
- Utah – January? SLC or Zion?
- weeklong yoga retreat in Mexico – February
- Montana/Glacier NP – April?
- Cruise from Seattle to Alaska, May 2012, with both of our families (not only a crazy plan – actually booked)
- Iceland, June/July 2012 to chase the midnight sun
- August 2012: fly in/out of burning man 2012 for a 72-hour stay
- Fall 2012: NYC School of Visual Arts: Critical Theory and the Arts (MA) . for this, i need to get my shit together. a lot.
apparently the way my mind works is that while we are suffering a major Recession and i don’t have a full-time job, i should spend a lot of time and money traveling and apply to an expensive private art school in the one of the most expensive cities in the world.
anyone want to suggest anything else awesome and totally impractical i should consider adding?
Filed in autobiographical, resolutions, travel | Tagged with affluenza, NaBloPoMo, wanderlust | Comment (0)
since november 1st, i have implemented some personal austerity measures (that was one of my 2011 resolutions, you may recall), the first of them being no alcohol until thanksgiving, the second being sticking to an almost fully vegan diet (with a few exceptions so as to make life not entirely difficult), and the third being no extraneous shopping for the entire month.
so far, so good, and i do feel better. things were getting a little out of hand in those departments.
but i think the thing i really need to pull back on is media. too much news, too much internet, too much commentary, not enough reading long-form media like books and a delay in responding to things that actually need thought in responding to. all media mania, no focus, and focus was also one of my 2011 goals. because things are more than a little unclear over here and only getting murkier, and i am only getting more distracted.
and so i think i now need to implement a 4th measure, which is going somewhat dark (dusky?) for an indeterminate period of time. i will continue to blog here daily for NaBloPoMo, but i need to take a break from facebook/RSS/twitterland and focus on some things that require time and attention. so if i owe you an email of substance, you can expect that soon, but if you post something awesome somewhere else, i might not respond.