Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Choas of Ideas



I just returned from activist hell. It was a good idea. Most activist hells start off as good ideas. That’s what activism is. Lots of people, with a good idea. Its not always the best idea. Sometimes the idea seems really off target. A button that says “Say no to Religion”, just doesn’t seem like the best idea. But its an idea. An idea about change.

The Brooklyn Peace Fair was a room filled with ideas. If I was a person just walking in off the street, I would think “Oh my, so many ideas!” Yes, that’s true. But all those people, well, most of those people, think THEIR idea is the ONLY idea. You many respect the table next to you. United for Peace and Justice seems very uniting. I like their idea. The Veterans for Peace has a lovely idea. They are all a bit kooky…..they’re kind of loud about their ideas, but still. It seems like it started as a good idea. I am unsure about the World Can’t Wait’s idea. I’m not sure what their idea is. And they don’t tell you their idea came from the Radical Communist Party. Because that’s who funds their idea. The Veterans for Peace were yelling at the Working Party for their idea and no one seemed to think having an aggressive politician around who kept wanting to shake your hand was a very good idea.

The current activist movement, is about ideas. I think that’s really why its kind of…chaotic. We celebrate diversity, we welcome all, except for the idea next to us, because it doesn’t help us with our idea.

Would you like to buy a t-shirt? Its for a good cause. They are all for a good cause. They all want you to fund their cause, and wear the shirt that agrees with their idea. Kids! Kids have some stickers. Wear the stickers kids, go pass out stickers. Kids don’t care about the idea, they just like stickers. Yes, take a stack, decorate your shirt with stickers and bring you parents back.

I like to think I didn’t push the Code Pink shirts on anyone. We like all ideas, we are pink, we don’t need to be loud. The color of my skirt is loud enough. Yes thank you, yes we like your idea too. No thanks, we can’t stay for the march, 2-hour conference on direct action, or join you in your idea. We got our own. Its pink. The kids like the stickers. We have that shirt in women’s medium or men’s small. Would you like to be on our mailing list? You won’t get to much mail. We like to keep our idea direct and to the point. I’m going to have to shout the idea to you because the Veterans for Peace are yelling again. No one knows who the guy screaming about Hilary being the devil is. He’s not apart of anyone else’s idea.

Its time to go? Time to pack up all the ideas, before someone makes us take on their idea. You’ve never seen 3 women pack so fast in their life.

“No thanks got to go, great idea, thanks for the ideas, we’ll chat on the idea later” Lets take the stairs so we can run faster, out the door, well this was a good idea, I’ll see you at the meeting……

Activist fairs are so exhausting. I really had no idea……….

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The story I can't stop telling


And can't seem to write.

Its a story I've told so many times it doesn't feel like mine anymore. I've managed to become the storyteller, instead of a character inside the drama.

The RNC arrests.

Many people have no idea what that is. The Critical Mass arrests? Well...sort of. Try a few days later. Protest arrests? Some of us were, yes. Try 1800 people arrested on August 31st. Protesters, media, bystanders, a guying going out for sushi, a few German tourists and a couple of 16 year old kids for fun. I nice taste of the diversity NYC has to offer inside holding pens at Pier 57. Now you have a better picture.

I am a writer. Not by profession or hobby, but by nature. It is a natural thing that occurs wether I'm writing it out or not. The stories must be told. I fight this all the time, but in the end I am given little choice. Write or that constant stream of dialogue in my head will start to interfear with my day to day life. I'm told being a little crazy is one of my charms. Its something I battle with all the time. I'm a storyteller, and sometimes the stories come faster than I can type.

Then why can't I write one of the most important stories in my life?

Everytime I set word to paper, it looks like meladrama. It looks like agit-prop writing. Perhaps the anger of that day comes through, and it looks like I am writing for poltical effect. This is not what I want to do. That day, was a story. Full of tears, laughter, fear, confusion, solidarity, and lessons learned. In retro spec, I learned a lot about the power of the people. This is the theme I want to convey. The power of the people. Union minors breaking a jail with sheer force. Mother Jones marching down to the mine by herself to stop the scabs. Alice Paul leeding a revolution, and winning. Our history is made of people creating change. This great tradition was carried on in the Pier. It was formed in Central Booking as hunger strikes, chanting, and soldiarity took place. I was inspired to write.

All that comes through is the anger. There are so many things to tell, that it runs amok inside my head. The latest piece I turned in for my class was barley a sketch of what happend. I found myself getting fusterated at telling the story from the very beginning. That after a year, people still didn't have a base knowlage of what had happend. The real anger lies in the fact that 1800 people dispeared from the streets of New York, and no one noticed. Perhaps its more personal than that. I dispeared for two days, and no one noticed. Thats a far more personal issue I can't seem to work through with writing.

I guess this blog is my writers journal today. The fusterations of a writer who has hit the wall. It happens to the best of us, especially those who fight thier own writing nature. It is like the violon left out in the rain by the violinist who no longer wished to play.

The picture above is Carson McCullers. She wrote "The Heart is A Loner Hunter" when she was 23. Carson did not live past her 30s. Not unlike Syliva Plath or Virginia Wolfe, she fought her writing. Why is it that some of the best writers in history, were the most deppressed? Did they to, leave thier talent out in the rain, wishing to stop the music in thier heads once in for all? Perhaps they never learned how to manage the words, and in the end, the stories swolled them whole.

**Brief Admendment: I feel its important to point out that Carson McCullers suffered a stroke, which left her paralized on one side and was the reason for several attempted suicides. The official cause of death is brain hemerage. The other ladies mentioned committed suicide. I did not want to dishoner Carson's memory with mis information.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Spinsterhood



Its time to face fate. Bite the bullet. Sit on that pity-pot and throw myself a really grand party. "Ms. SL2000 party of one, Ms. SL2000 party of one?" I might as well get used to it.

I'm going to end up a bizzare, slightly derranged old lady with a cat. Or cats. As the case may be. I think there is a handbook somewere that decrees that women who live alone are supposed to have multiple cats. I'm sure I'll live a pretty full life, do good things, maybe write some good stuff other people will read (in book form, the blog doesn't count.) There's just one thing I'll be missing, that I really kind of wanted.



Ok, so maybe not THAT man specifically. I'm not delusional. He's happily married. I just kind of wanted to know what if felt like to be apart of couple. The other half of two people. Someone else to cook for, to come home to, to make desisions with, to yell at, and all the good the bad the ugly and the beautiful that comes with it.

The online dating thing hasn't been working. You could argue that I never gave the forum a chance. Perhaps thats true, I have this stubborn belief that things can happen organically. That you meet people by accident in the most unlikely situations. I think I'm still young enough to hang onto that belief for a little longer. Besides, I went on one too many crappy dates with the online guys. I'm tired of compromising my selfesteem. I think I kissed one to many toads and its left a bad taste in my mouth.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting around my house crying myself too sleep everynight. In fact I have so much on my plate that I'm going out everynight this week to classes, seminars, protest activties and everything in between. Its just sometimes....sometimes when I visit my good friend down the street, who lives with her boyfriend....I see them to together and think "wow, that looks nice." Or I go out with my other friend and that "guy she's seeing and really likes but refuses to call her boyfriend even though she's meet his whole family and he treats her like a queen." Thats a problem I feel ready to take on.

I don't date. I don't meet people. My last relationship was brief and intense like all my relationships, friends and boyfriends alike. Ah, the lement of the lonely. How tired we all are of hearing it, especially when its coming out your own mouth. Its the same song I've been singing for years. Perhaps its time to resign to my fate, enjoy my empty apartment, my fat cat, and various social activities. And dedicate myself to a full life.....on my own.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Waden in the water, wasit deep, water rising up to my eyes, Lord have Mercy won't you let us in?



This was sent to me by a couple members of this Brooklyn Coalition I am working with. Truely amazing people, proving that the power of the people is what shapes the world, not the governements.

None of this should supprise you, and if it does, you need to pay more attention.

New Orleans: Leaving the Poor Behind Again!
By Bill Quigley

They are doing it again! My wife and I spent five days and four nights in a hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. We saw people floating dead in the water. We watched people die waiting for evacuation to places with food, water, and electricity. We were rescued by boat and waited for an open pickup truck to take us and dozens of others on a rainy drive to the underpass where thousands of others waited for a bus ride to who knows where. You saw the people left behind. The poor, the sick, the disabled, the prisoners, the low-wage workers of New Orleans, were all left behind in the evacuation. Now that New Orleans is re-opening for some, the same people are being left behind again.

When those in power close the public schools, close public housing, fire people from their jobs, refuse to provide access to affordable public healthcare, and close off all avenues for justice, it is not necessary to erect a sign outside of New Orleans saying “Poor People Not Allowed To Return.” People cannot come back in these circumstances and that is exactly what is happening.

There are 28,000 people still living in shelters in Louisiana. There are 38,000 public housing apartments in New Orleans, many in good physical condition. None have been reopened. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimated that 112,000 low-income homes in New Orleans were damaged by the hurricane. Yet, local, state and federal authorities are not committed to re-opening public housing. Louisiana Congressman Richard Baker (R-LA) said, after the hurricane, “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”

New Orleans public schools enrolled about 60,000 children before the hurricane. The school board president now estimates that no schools on the city’s east bank, where the overwhelming majority of people live, will reopen this academic school year. Every one of the 13 public schools on the mostly-dry west bank of New Orleans was changed into charter schools in an afternoon meeting a few days ago. A member of the Louisiana state board of education estimated that at most 10,000 students will attend public schools in New Orleans this academic year.

The City of New Orleans laid off 3,000 workers. The public school system laid off thousands of its workers. The Archdiocese of New Orleans laid off 800 workers from its central staff and countless hundreds of others from its parish schools. The Housing Authority has laid off its workers. The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office laid off half of its workers.

Renters in New Orleans are returning to find their furniture on the street and strangers living in their apartments at higher rents – despite an order by the Governor that no one can be evicted before October 25. Rent in the dry areas have doubled and tripled.

Environmental chemist Wilma Subra cautions that earth and air in the New Orleans area appear to be heavily polluted with heavy metal and organic contaminants from more than 40 oil spills and extensive mold. The people, Subra stated, are subject to “double insult – the chemical insult from the sludge and biological insult from the mold.” Homes built on the Agriculture Street landfill – a federal toxic site – stewed for weeks in floodwaters.

Yet, the future of Charity Hospital of New Orleans, the primary place for free comprehensive medical care in the state of Louisiana, is under furious debate and discussion and may never re-open again. Right now, free public healthcare is being provided by volunteers at grassroots free clinics like Common Ground – a wonderful and much needed effort but not a substitute for public healthcare.

The jails and prisons are full and staying full. Despite orders to release prisoners, state and local corrections officials are not releasing them unless someone can transport them out of town. Lawyers have to file lawsuits to force authorities to release people from prison who have already served all of their sentences! Judges are setting $100,000 bonds for people who steal beer out of a vacant house, while landlords break the law with impunity. People arrested before and after the hurricane have not even been formally charged by the prosecutor. Because the evidence room is under water, part of the police force is discredited, and witnesses are scattered around the country, everyone knows few will ever see a trial, yet timid judges are reluctant to follow the constitution and laws and release them on reasonable bond.

People are making serious money in this hurricane but not the working and poor people who built and maintained New Orleans. President Bush lifted the requirement that jobs re-building the Gulf Coast pay a living wage. The Small Business Administration has received 1.6 million disaster loan applications and has approved 9 in Louisiana. A US Senator reported that maintenance workers at the Superdome are being replaced by out of town workers who will work for less money and no benefits. He also reported that seventy-five Louisiana electricians at the Naval Air Station are being replaced by workers from Kellogg Brown and Root – a subsidiary of Halliburton

Take it to the courts, you say? The Louisiana Supreme Court has been closed since the hurricane and is not due to re-open until at least October 25, 2005. While Texas and Mississippi have enacted special rules to allow out of state lawyers to come and help people out, the Louisiana Supreme court has not. Nearly every person victimized by the hurricane has a price-gouging story. Yet, the Louisiana Attorney General has filed exactly one suit for price-gouging – against a campground. Likewise, the US attorney has prosecuted 3 people for wrongfully seeking $2000 FEMA checks.

No schools. No low-income apartments. No jobs. No healthcare. No justice.

A final example? You can fly on a plane into New Orleans, but you cannot take a bus. Greyhound does not service New Orleans at this time.

You saw the people who were left behind last time. The same people are being left behind all over again. You raised hell about the people left behind last time. Please do it again.

Bill Quigley is a professor of law at Loyola University New Orleans where he directs the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center and the Law Clinic and teaches Law and Poverty. Bill can be reached at duprestarsATyahooDOTcom

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Lolitaization of Women



I have this theory that I've been developing for awhile. Its still pretty rough around the edges, and I'm in no way writtig a blog disertation here, so bare with me. I'm going to verbally vomit some ideas and you will read them and decide for yourself if I'm full of shit.

I call it the Lolitization of Women.

Its this trend in society that occures every few decades, were women in the media (TV, film, print media) suddenly start to look like pubescent 12 year olds. The image of "healthy women" or women who look....essentially like WOMEN have been replaced with this impossible standard of looking forever young.

I see it as a sexualization of young girls. Lolitas, if you will. (Read the book).
A way of making legitimate men's lust for young girls.

Hang on, let me follow this one to its end.

Young girls hold the innocence of youth. Thier actions come from pure intentions, not ones of hurt, past baggage or manipulation. They are less threatening. This is why Lolita was so appealing in the book, she did not appear to really know what she was doing. Her sexual power was innocent. This is both appealing and a huge taboo in our society. To lust after a young girl is a deeply shamelful thing, yet it exsists. No one likes to talk about it. No one calls it out by name. Instead, it manifestes itself in the form of media images. Why not make women look like young girls? That solves the problem.

I present this Steve Madden Ad as an example.



These shoes are for women, not young girls. I love the way the...people...in these ads look like dolls with big blow up heads and little bodies. Talk about an impossible image. There are even dolls on the market that look like this.



They are called "Bratz". I thought Barbie was bad enough, now we want to enforce the idea of staying young forever to our girls as well. Youth is beauty.

There are ads that have been created to combat this. One of the best being the Revlon - "older is beautiful" ads.



Though I may point out that older actress are often reduced to playing "mom" roles after a certain age. I've been told that the age of truely good female roles (this was mostly in refernce to theatre) has passed. This is why Botox and facial peeling has become so popular, as actress try to get work in roles that are increasinly aimed at younger looking women.

Like I said, there are always exceptions, and these exceptions are what we have to hold onto. This too shall pass, has it has throughout history.

But that's entirly diffrent blog.

I'll continue this thought later......

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ode to a Wet Sock



Oh Wet Sock.
Squishy Wet Sock.
Why do you irk me so?
Why must you dampen inside my shoe
only to dampen my day?
Is it the whole in my shoe?
The tiny cut in the soul,
That causes you to wet my soul?

Oh Wet Sock.
Musty Wet Sock.
Why won't you dry?
Hanging limp on my file drawer
for all the office to see.
You curse me wet sock
with your squishyness
Seeping between my toes.

I toss you aside
but deep down I know
I must wear you again
If I am to leave the office
with shoes on.

Is it better to have wet feet or wet sock?

Oh Wet Sock
Squishy Wet Sock
My nemisis once again

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Becoming an urban ledgend



I've becoming increasingly concerned about my knee lately. It's kind of ichy, and red, and swollen. My office manager has informed me, its a spider bite.

I believe this inncident occured on my veranda, and by that I mean the roof of my nail salon. Its a classey place made of strange gray spongy materials\ with electric cords hanging all over the place. I had decided to read the Village Voice out there with a cup of tea, and admire the lovely view. By view I mean the front of the boys house and the empty lot next door.

I felt a little prick on my knee. Then another little sting, just a small discomfort. I had assumed it was a misquito, given the stagnet lot next door, this is to be expected. Its one of the drawbacks of my veranda. However the giant red bulb that became my knee indicates that it was not a little sting. It was not LITTLE at all. Aparently some tiny, micorscopic creature with enormous teeth has chomed down on my knee. This creature is not visable to the naked eye, but I'm guessing it lives on the roofs of nail salons, and has a taste for knees. Perhaps the chemicals from the nail salon have created this kind of creature, or the toxic wasteland next door that the boys refer to as "the jungle."

My knee feels a bit squeeky. I'm convinced that there is acutally poisin running through my knee, cloging the joints, forcing me to walk like a gimp. I like to pretend its an old injury from when I ran out in traffic to save the baby. I try to look stoic as I limp down the street, the mysterious bump throbing. I don't want to revel the truth....the sad, sad truth...

"Yeah, its a bug bite."

Its not just a bug bite, a small monster with enourmous teeth has chomped into my knee and cloged my joints with poisin.

Perhaps I'll be an urband ledgend, like the girl who was bit by a spider, only to have her wound burst open and a thousand baby spiders come crawling out. I'm sure you've heard about that one....its right up there with the guy who thought he was a glass of orange juice.

Too bad my knee has to fall off for that to happen. It might be fun to be an urband ledgend.

Than again, I could just have a stupid spider bite on my knee......but what fun is that?

Looking for a little Peace....



Its beautiful, isn't it? Your looking at a picture of county Kerry. I didn't take it, but I have stood there, next to the waggon. It isn't a tourist attraction, or a location on a map. Its just there....in someone's yard just as it has always been.




This is a popular place. The Cliffs of Moore. Tour busses come here, but if you hop the fense and cross to the top of the cliffs, its possible to feel like you've come to the end the world.

I'm looking for my little seat at the end of the world. That place of ultimate quiet were I don't have to dodge pedistrian traffic to walk down the street. Have you ever noticed that somedays you can navigate the crowds, weaving in and out like a pro, and other days you just can't stop from bumping into people? Your bag hits someone and you feebly say "sorry" only to catch them glaring at you over thier shoulder, like you're the ruddest person alive. There are days were that bothers me, and days were it doesn't.

My resistance has been low lately.

I find myself craving nature. Paths made of dirt, not cement. I want to take a walk, and not have to dodge people or traffic. How nice it would be to not blow black snot out of my nose, or take a deep breath and not get a wiff of garbage or that rotten smell that lives in the subway.

It takes a thick shell to live here, but somtimes I want to crawl out and see the sunshine, without having to look for it between the buildings.

I know I'm in desperate need of a vaction. So far trips to the various Manhattan and Brooklyn parks has not been filling that need for uninterputed quiet. I tried to take the advice of my yoga teachers, and find "a quiet space within." However this meditative time was interputed by the sounds of a guy puking right outside my apartment. Have I mentioned I lived on the Clinton Hill party corner? Yesterday I was trying to read a book and was interputed by this guy preaching the holy word up at my window. I suppose the tapastry hanging in my window indicated I was in need of saving. He seemed so joyous in his preaching that all I could do was laugh. The irony is my Brooklyn apartment, is still quieter than my old Upper East Side dwelling. Who needs an alarm clock when the girl downstairs plays Christian Rock at 8:30am every morning and refuses to turn it down?

Its true, we make sacrifices to live in NYC. Its a silent compact you make with yourself that the atmosphere and opertunites avaliable here are worth a smaller space, a noiser space, a more expensive space. I know lots of people combat this compromise by taking out of town trips on the weekends....but I really haven't got anyone to visit, nor the funds to make it past Queens. I dream of a vaction.

Ireland is peace to me. It was the place I found my inner stillness. I found my writing process here, my first real love, and my thirst for adventure. Its the place of rejuvination. When ever I start to feel overwhellmed with life, its were I want to go so that I may heal.

A spontanous trip to Ireland is not an option for me. My 9-5 job dictates that I won't have earned days off until next year. For now I will continue to look at my Ireland pictures, drink Irish tea, listen to Irish music and search for that little place of inner peace. I'll get back there someday. Perhaps on a more perminate basis. My own little cottage by the sea.

Aye....wouldn't that be grand?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Shamefully Shaggable

Ok, I've been tagged.
Thanks Synge.
Its easy to make a list of people who are agreeably shaggible. But shamefully shaggable? Your asking me to toss open the doors and revel the shameful skeletons that have tickled my senese in a way I hate to admit.

I'll start off Easy.

1.) David Bowe



Come on now, who didn't see The Labrynth and think "Stay in the crystal ball Sara, who cares about the dumb baby!" It was all about the hand thing with the globe. I know you know what I'm talking about.


2.) Duckie aka John Cryer



Geeky, I know. I used to pause at that point in the movie when he lip-synced to "Tenderness" over and over again. It was the entire reason to watch the movie.

3.) Sean Connery



The older he gets, the sexier he gets. Its really all about the accent.

4.) Marlyn Mason



It must be his sparkling personality. I admire his buisness sense, and the fact that on the Sharron Osborn show, he broke character for two seconds and started making cutsy voices to one of the puppies. I won't defend my choice, he did, after all, manage to have some extreamly sexy girlfriends.

The last one......here it is......

5.) John Kerry



I'm sorry. I know. I can't explain it. Everyone has at least one politician in thier closet.

I can't think of anyone to tag in return, I think Synge got everyone. I look foward to seeing the skeletons in all of your closets......

Folowing My Rocky, Up Hill Path




So dear blog readers, who apparently do exsist....
I learned myself a valuable lesson about posting private thoughts on public spaces.

People read them.

I have a very good friend who learned this lesson not to long ago, when she posted some thoughts about a friend who read them and blew up. Was she wrong to post these thoughts on a public foruem? Some said yes, others said no...thankfully they worked things out, but the question was never answered. Perhaps its really all just a matter of opinion, which is what lays at the heart of blogging.

A fellow blogger pointed out to me that slamming your date on a blog before you go out with them, is probably not good. I suppose I had taken the nieve assumption that no one really reads my blog, so I can post freely without considering consequences. She proved me wrong.

Her comments made me look over the blog I had written, and realize how cynical it was, and how hurtful it could be to the person who's name I thinly coded. What is really reveled in the blog, though, is my own tendancy to make snap judgements on people. As much as I hate to be catagorized, it seems I do this quiet freely to other people. Because I went out with a few lowsey guys, I've let this color my entire preception of the online dating world. I've some how convinced myself that it is not possible to meet interesting people in this foreum. Kind of an interesting theory considering I'm on it, so what does that say about me?

Volumes, aparently. And the first line of this volume is: If you hate online dating so much, why are you doing it? Excellent question. As of later tonight, I will have answered this question by removing myself from the online dating foreum. I need to take a long look at why I joined these things, and just what was it I hoped to gain. Is going out on bad dates better than no dates at all? The answer so far, is no. Besides, how can I expect any date to be good, if I enter into them with such a neggative attitude.

So Mr. Witty, I'm truely sorry to have wasted a good two weeks of your internet time. I'm sure you are a lovely guy, and it seems you have good friends looking out for you.