May 26, 2022
Listening to- Mitski radio on Pandora I think
People Have Cool Things to Say
I had been wanting to read more theory written by Black communists, so finding this interview with Huey P. Newton on Intercommunalism posted on crimson.earth was a great place to start. I liked that it was written after he had some time to let his ideas grow and develop.
There's some really good stuff in it so I do recommend reading it. I don't really want to pull quotes, because I think it's better to read in its full context.
So, I went on marxists.org to read more of his writing, which is where I found and read The Correct Handling of a Revolution,
which has some good stuff in it, but what immediately stood out to me was Newton's stance on rioting, which was....negative. As someone who is very much pro-rioting, I was surprised and wanted to learn more about both his stance and how it was recieved by other communists.
Also, to be clear, this criticism doesn't cancel out Huey P. Newton's immeasurable contributions to revolutionary work and theory. Case in point, MerriCatherine also posted a transcript of an interview with Newton that is very, VERY, VERY good (if you only read one of these things I'm linking, make it this one).
I'm not new to reading theory in general, but I am new to reading Black revolutionary theory specifically (which is a problem), so bear in mind I'm like the opposite of an expert here.
Tangentially related, In Defense of Looting by Vicky Osterweil is a great book about looting and rioting as praxis.
People Continue to Have Cool Things to Say
My partner, who is a janitor at a department store, came across this really great post by Tumblr user cristabel-oct, and I wanted to share it. OP talks about how the purposed 4-day work week does not account for workers that don't have a 9-5, Mon-Fri structured work week.
They also talk about how 9-5 workers, who are also exploited, need to have solidarity with other workers, some of whom share the same work building as them (janitors who work in office buildings being the big thing here).
Definitely give it a read. OP wrote a follow up post as well.
Okay, now I'm going to try to do literally anything on my actual to-do list lol.
May 12, 2022
Listening to- Mitski
I'm working on adding movie reviews to Tor's shrine, because I've been on a real Tor kick lately. Some might say I should focus on making new shrines instead of updating the only one I have lol BUT.......I'm just following my heart, babey.
I also really gotta at LEAST fix the landing page. The way I originally did it was like.......uuuhh well you can look at the code lmao.
This has been developing over the course of a few years, but I'm at a point where "bad" art is the only art I really care about anymore. Bad movies (hence the Tor movies), bad comics,
bad music (check out Nervous Gender)...I mean that's not entirely true, some of the art I'm inspired by wouldn't be classified as "bad", but it is more, uh, just...raw, messy, and rough. In the spirit of "bad" art (note: not actually bad, just considered bad by lots of people), I started
looking around on archive.org and found the collection they have of children's art. It's a little bit of a mixed bag, but there's a bunch of animated short films by kids, and those are pretty much all bangers.
This one is "The Snowman that Never Melts" by Alana Jacobs, age 8, and it's my favorite.
Another fave, Freddy's Big Win by a class at Carson Valley School.
Like I said, this art isn't actually bad. At all.
Pretty easy segue here, but I've been really politically inspired by the zine series "NO! Against Adult Supremacy", which I found thanks to JR's Storytime, probably my favorite Neocities page.
And like, I'm primed to care about child liberation, because Codename: Kids Next Door has been my favorite show & piece of media & main special interest since I was 9 years old, so!! Also, as a communist and child abuse survivor, it feels like a no-brainer. I have always cared a lot about the right of children to advocate for themselves, be respected, listened to, and have space to express themselves.
I haven't read all the issues yet, but I bought a print copy so I'm pretty excited. My favorite essays so far have been "Parenting Is a Conflict of Interest" and "Ageism: A Pillar of Ableism" by Kathleen Nicole O’Neal. Here is an excellent excerpt from the later, talking about how the
infantilization of disabled people and the way we deny rights to children are overlapping problems:
advocate of disability rights will agree that centering the autonomy
of disabled people is important and that all too many people believe that an inability on the part of disabled people to function according to the standards of non-disabled individuals justifies their
lifelong infantilization. Of course, the reason that many people feel
comfortable with denying rights and autonomy to persons with
disabilities on these grounds is that we already have a widespread
precedent within our society of using this as a pretense to deny
rights and autonomy to children.
The implicit assumption behind the actions and belief system of
every judge that casually turns over guardianship of a person with
cognitive disabilities to another adult, of every parent who believes
they have an undisputed right to make medical decisions for a disabled adult son or daughter, and of every legislator who defends
the corralling of disabled individuals into oppressive and even abusive institutional settings are not only ableist (although they are
that). They are also profoundly ageist.
I really strongly recommend checking out the zines!
Been thinking a lot about anarchism, because a lot of really good stuff I've been reading has been by anarchists (Like the NO! zines), and I really do vibe with
a lot of the core things anarchists do and believed- but I keep hitting this wall with it where I don't agree with the anarchist strategy of achieving it. It seems to ignore that the State is going to fight back, and win, if we don't sieze the tools of the State via
Lenin's concept of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. That really is what makes the most sense to me. I should look into anarchist theory more I guess. I've just mostly seen "we create mutual aid until we don't need the State anymore", which is a lovely idea, but we KNOW the State won't allow that? They crush mutual aid efforts NOW.
I do struggle with where I fall in terms of political groups, not because I care about the labels, but because I want to figure out where I can do the most productive work.
I've been a member of Socialist Alternative for 6 years, and I love the organization, but even still, I've had my reservations even now. I mean, I don't take the fact that everyone else hates SA too seriously, because that's just how leftist orgs seem to be, they all hate each other.
A lot of the criticism I've seen also doesn't reflect the experiences I've had in the org. I've seen people say SA doesn't talk about Trotskyist politics anymore and only focuses on electoralism, but that isn't what it feels like when you're an active member. We talk about Trotskyist politics all the time, and we definitely don't approach electoral politics the way people think we do.
I don't want to pedestalize The Old White Men of Marxism, but generally speaking, I really do vibe with Lenin's theories and Trotsky's ideas of Permananent Revolution. But why does that have to mean I'm strictly a Trotskyist? Why do communists feel like they have to choose One Guy to follow?
The differences in strategy between communist groups and anarchists do feel like rifts too wide to overcome though, don't they. I wish we could work towards our common goal together. Of course, historically, it's the opposite. I just think we all have a lot we could learn from each other. And what does anarcho-communism really mean? Their ideologies about leadership seem way too contradictory to me. Which is the main point of conflict, generally.
I really like the way SA teaches leadership as something that should rotate and be accessible to everyone. We are all leaders together and can hold each other accountable. I like the IDEA of a world without anyone in charge, but how do you even get there? Political movements with no clear leadership have resulted in no structural change...
I'm just rambling now, but it's been on my mind! Because I really highly respect anarchists, but I don't think I could be one, so where does that leave me? Do I HAVE to be on an "opposing team" if I lean more communist? Whatever anyway!
I've started working on a web page project that's very emotionally difficult for me but needs to happen I think. I don't know how easy I want it to be to access yet.
Also, I just got my coursework plan from the college I'm applying to for an Art Education certification, and I'm really excited about it. It includes a ceramics class, and I want to learn ceramics really badly.
I'm going to pull the trigger on buying a tattoo kit soon, too. I want to get an internship after we move and use tattooing to help pay for school. I just want to have options and learn a lot of new skills.
I'm kinda nervous about how sore my whole body is every day lately, from work obviously. I don't even have that hard of a job, so I feel like a loser when it's too physically taxing for me.
Obviously, I'd never say that about anyone else! And also obviously, this job CAN be physically taxing. One of my leads has developed chronic pain from it already, but she works a lot LOT more hours than I do, and she's also older.
Still, y'know...I dunno, I guess I'm glad we're moving at the end of the year so I don't have to keep this job indefinitely. It's comforting knowing exactly when I can leave the job. Though, I'm also really glad I'm sticking it out
long enough to get our end of the year bonus check, cuz I've been working here for two bonus check periods, and I didn't qualify for either of them (hadn't worked here long enough yet).
My doctor also increased my testosterone dosage, and I think I'm feeling The Effects, which is mostly good. Though, I am also the most confusing to cis people that I will probably ever be at this stage. I'll almost be kinda sad when
I pass better, but I do want to continue transitioning, for myself- not for anyone else.
Anyway, here's more tattoo flash practice. I'm trying to figure out how I want to make flash.......I don't know if I should try to make my work more like tattoos traditionally are, or if
I should try and embrace my own unique style. If it's the later, what the heck is my style anyway???? I have no answers, but plenty of anxiety.