Thursday, December 25, 2008

More stuff to do

You may find my to-do lists tedious and boring. I am putting them online in an attempt to pressure myself into actually completing them. Nothing like commitment to a largely anonymous and nebulous audience, right?

More stuff to do:

13) Make mix CD's for friends
14) Get back in contact with people I've abandoned
15) Have Important Conversations
16) Call Family members
17) Clean room
18) Clean car
19) Sell car
20) Read something fun

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah Y'all

I made a cute hanukkah card and thought I'd post some images from it here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Goals for the Break

So here I am in Brattleboro where it seems that living in VT is catching up with me. Recovery from the ice storm is sill challenging many of the residents of Marlboro and snow is piling high everywhere I look. This time it's the light fluffy kind, cotton snuggling around the cars, and dandelion fuzz collecting in heaps at the end of driveways.

Knowing that I may bes tuck in my house for more of this break than I'd like, I am reverting back to old habits. I am making lists. Here is my list of things to do before I go back to school.

1)Write a submission for La Revista, a feminist-anarchist publication in Barcelona
2)Do my take home final exams and final papers
3)Write an article about polyamory for a zine
4)Turn my Trans Pride paper into a zine
5)Start up the queer resource library at school
6)Intern at the Sexual minorities archives
7)Make a proposal to organizations in town for internships
8)Edit together Jamie's plan performance
9)Send holiday cards
10)Sell my car
11)Edit together interview clip for my website
12)Do something really sweet for my girlfriend

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weathering the storm

Despite days without power and a full campus evacuation, things are settling down. There is a provisional power line up at the college so the administrative building is there and we can make contact from town.

The college sent everyone who could work remotely home. An all-community meeting gathered to hear the president give a belated fire-side chat.

The hum of chainsaws emanate from the recesses of the Marlboro woodland. Carpools are heading into town to restock cupboards. Men with cranes will be picking up wires for days yet. Vermont has risen again in community and kindness, with a slightly more pronounced survivalist undertone.

My email works.

My final exam was canceled and my other deadlines got way extended.

And the world turns...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice Storm Wreaks Havoc on Marlboro College

It's been days since Marlboro, VT has had power. Power goes out in our backwoods corner of the universe fairly regularly. Students stop working and start drinking. The campus becomes a playground of sorts with sleepovers in unlocked buildings with better insulation that the dorms. We joke about it. We got Marlboro College flash lights at registration one year. But this is not the normal power outage.

Two days ago there was a huge ice storm. They closed Route 9, the only main road to the college. It's one of the largest roads in this part of Vermont. I hear from an EMT that there are hundreds of trees down on the 3 mile stretch of South Road, upon which the college is located. power lines, cell towers, even landlines are decimated, lying acros the road in frozen heaps.

I have a friend who cannot get into his driveway because there are three trees down before you even get there.

The dorms are all equipt with electric heating and the only stoves on campus are electric too. The water stops when the power goes out because we depend on an electric pump to get the water up the mountain. We only have a back up generator for one of the dorms and for the Dinning Hall. After two days, the students have been ushered from their dorms. Several are sleeping on the dining hall floor in sleeping bags. Others are crowded into the common spaces of the dorm. Professors and staff members are taking kids into their personal houses. Despite the road closures, the college took a van of kids to hotel rooms for the night.

The server (read e-mail and website) is down, so the school has no way to contact the students like me who live in town and have heat, water, etc.

Finals were supposed to be this weekend into early next week. I have no idea what we're gonna do.

Stay Tuned for more.

Fucking Queers: A Dream

I just had a fucked up dream:

I was in a large building. Marble-lined corridors and stone archways made me feel as if I were in some lesser-known of Jefferson's creations. I emerged from the voting booth in time to hear a voice from above me say that the NAACP had endorse this candidate. I looked around in confusion and closely-shaven black man on the second floor veranda. It was Zorn (a real person I know, believe it or not) dressed in a black general's coat with gold buttons that stretched almost to the floor. He strolled down the elaborate, sprawling staircase with them.

Zorn is an african-american liberal. Why wasn't he supporting Obama? Furthermore, why was he tricking voters into thinking he was with the NAACP? I walked over deliberately, assuring myself that if I confronted him, he'd stop misrepresenting himself. "The NAACP doesn't endorse political candidate. It's a political action coalition. It pushes legislation, not candidates."

His eyes lowered, "Oh. Oh well, that's cool." He took of the jacket that had given him some aspect of importance and esteem. He put on his red hoody, and he was gone.

A security guard sitting in a fold out chair summoned me over. "Hey kid, did you know thatwe have the original charter for the NAACP in this very building." The excited whisper with which he told em this information mad eit seem somewhere between telling me a secret nd braging to me. "we once had this guy working here. e was crazy. he tried to destroy it! It took several fulll-grown men to save it from him." I was vaguely intrigued, so I indulged the old man in tell-me-more faces. Then a friend fo mine passed by and offered me a ride back to wherever the hell w came from. I was disappointed to not hear the ending but I couldn't remember how I got there, so I decided I'd go with them.

"I'll be right there." I hollered and turned to the man oping he could consolidate this story for my trip. When I finally left to catch up wit them, I walked out into a parking lot, were there were about 70 people hanging around. Majority of the crowd were people of color, and I didn't see my ride anywhere around.

Assuming that most of them were Marlboro people (even though my college has nowhere near 70 people of color associated with it. More like 10.) I walked up to one of the drivers ad asked him, "Have you seen Charlie and Clire and Gabrielle."

"No, those chicks are probably bitches anyway." He made a contemptuous face before being corrected by some woman in the back seat,

"They're two dudes and girl, you idiot."

"Fucking Queers!" I back away from the car hesitantly. He was murmuring under his breath and was increasingly agitated. I decided to go stand over by where other people were, hoping that would minimize the chance that he would come after me.

As I walked up, I was looked around for someone, anyone who would acknowledge what had just happened. I just wanted to get out of here. Then, two large black women emerged form behind a car. "Fucking Queers!?!?!"

"What the Fuck's wrong with you?"

They approached the crowd, and at once there was a mob. I felt uneasy, they seemed to be on my side, but I could have been interpreting the situation wrong. I backed up to the outskirts of the crowd in response to her rallying cry. All at once the crowd poured forward beating on his car. One of the leading women held open the passenger door as he scrambled to unlock his driver door. They drug him out of the car. Part of me was exhilarated that an army of strangers was coming to my defense. Part of me was scared of how this was going to end. I knew it was beyond my control.

The man yelled out, "Hey white boy, you know you're gonna tell the cops what you see. You Ain't gonna turn your back, you ain't gonna stickin' up for any of them." The only white man in the crowd turned around in veyr deliberate fashion. He planted himself with his back on the whole scene for a few minutes before he casually walked away.

It seemed as if the stage was set. Like the point where they get to the barn in the Emit Till story or Bredan Teena. This is when bad shit happens.

The man managed somehow to break free of the people long enough to wedge himself into a weird padded box in the hood of his car. It looked almost like a squished up coffin. But it had a built-in helmet, the kind runway directors use. The mob closed in on him. The continued to beat into the frame of the car. People were trying to pull him out. A woman picked up some piece of detris from the parking lot and was wailing on the helmet.

At this point I was sure that no one would notice if I left. What would it mean to go get help? Had I settled upon a self-regulating community and this was how they settled things? What if he died?

And then I woke up. Pretty fucked up, eh?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

HRC is not for me (poster)

I just finished a thirty page paper and am putting in some original graphics. Here is a United ENDA poster I made using GIMP and a youtube video of people protest at an HRC banquet. If you want to find out more, look it up. Short story: the Human Rights Campaign fucked over trans people.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Activist Rehersal

I haven't been posting because I don't feel like I don't have much to tell you most days.

Unless you want to hear about Jewish Anarchism, about a history of radical political counter-culture in America, about assimilation and whiteness making, about radicalization through construction of the Judeo-Christian tradition in the armed services.

Or trans activism. How when we aren't explicit about our motivations, we can undermine them through our organizing. How the trans movement is endebted to second wave feminism. About how empowerment, consciousness-raising, and community building are ways of resisting transphobia in it multifront battleground. About how we forget this.

Thus is the life of an academic I suppose. Here's a try...

I remember the moist air that clung to my jugular as I climbed the stairs to a mod at Hamshire College last semester. Sweat mingled with pizza fumes as I pushed my way through the patch-clad clusters of grunge hold-outs and trannarchists. The room settled for the concert. Young people sprawled haphazardly around the anarchist with a guitar. Piercing matted faces hung in the doorway. Women in flannel sat Indian style, flowing over into cuddle piles on the floor. I came as I had spent most of my days since I moved to Northampton-alone.

The fragrance was distantly reminiscent of a place I could not stand to be anymore but the contrast was real. I felt at home here more than I had in months. Brattleboro hung on their tongues shaped in words like ecology and sustainable agriculture, but they fell silent as he began to wail. Indictments. Patriarchy and corporations. Train-hopping through tunes that laid bare my frustrations. I felt too vulnerable to make eye-contact. I felt to cozy not to.

I invited Evan Greer to my college hoping for a sense of community that always falls short of my expectations. I hoped he could some how jump start my commitment to this place I'd turned my back upon. For all of his charm, he could not. I choreographed the privilege walk effortlessly. I sketched the outline of social justice with my eyes closed. I day dreamed through the mind map of climate change. I was a learned yet terrible activist. I was bored. The exercises felt passe', rote, self-congratulatory even. I feel like I'm stuck in an activist rehearsal, and I'm waiting for the stage call...

Always Pretend You're Shopping

Lifted verbatim from a friend's blog (twice removed):

Two months ago 800 people were rounded up and arrested simply for sitting around in a park nearby a protest nearby the Republican National Convention, and charged with "conspiracy to riot."[Dane's insert: one of them was a poet-acquaintance who is currently fighting the charge]

Today 2,000 people trampled a Wal-Mart worker to death, and continued to harass and trample the police officers trying to give him first aid. Nobody was arrested or charged with anything. No rubber bullets were shot. Nobody was tasered. Nobody thought riot gear would be necessary.

The lesson? Always pretend you're shopping.