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Tuesday, July 5th, 2005
10:23 pm

I've created the community Wizened Wigwam as a rallying point for those who would change their own reality to bring about the paradigm shift. The purpose is multifold Read more...Collapse )

current mood: accomplished

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Saturday, January 22nd, 2005
9:59 pm


This really riled me. In a Times article about a boy convicted of killing his girlfriend, the stereotypes run rife.

The full articleCollapse )

current mood: annoyed

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Friday, December 10th, 2004
2:57 pm - Stereotypes


I'm after making a "What's you stereotype?" poster and lj icon. If anyone has any pictures of stereotypes, I'd be greatful to have them. I want everything from the subtle to the ridiculous. Everything from gays & lesbians through rednecks to upper-class English snobs. And not forgetting teenagers, children and "old people", of course.

Newspaper headlines also welcome, but could you tell me what paper they come from, so I can get the typeface right please?


Cross-posted in freak_activists glbtrights gay_rights _dare mentalrevnow

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Sunday, November 28th, 2004
10:29 pm

> hypernautics community: the map puts me in my place.

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Tuesday, January 7th, 2003
8:14 pm - good 'n' evil; princesses and dragons and knights and castles

so is morality defined by intent or consequence? is there even such a thing as good and bad? why does it matter?

if emperor palpatine created the empire with the idea that it would bring peace and prosperity to the republic, does that make it good? or were his actions 'wrong' because of the vastly negative effects?
maybe, since most of us would agree (i think?) that morality is never absolute, his actions were good from his point of view but bad from everyone else's?

i guess i'm really wondering if morality is defined internally or externally, or if there is even such a thing as morality

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Tuesday, October 15th, 2002
9:04 pm

is bali getting much news coverage internationally? the media is going crazy for it down here, possibly due to the fact that a shitload of the victims were aussies...

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Monday, October 14th, 2002
4:06 pm - NCOR workshop deadline extended
delaselva just a reminder that we've extended our deadline for workshop proposals for the 2003 National Conference on Organized Resistance to October 27th.

when you are ready to submit, please head on over to the NCOR website and fill out the form.


amor y rebellion

-NCOR Collective

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Wednesday, October 2nd, 2002
9:25 am - this is not a rhetorical question

do UN weapons inspectors have unconditional access to US sites? why is it that big George can demand that iraq's weapons of mass destruction are destroyed, whilst the US maintains the biggest stockpile in the world?

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Wednesday, September 18th, 2002
3:04 am - maybe it makes sense

while looking for any excuse to avoid writing this paper, i've been trying to learn more about this globalization; my "it's terrible" argument just isn't too convincing. once i kept reading, i realized just how massive it all is, not just globalization and thd world bank, but everything. the effects. the people that suffer as a result everyday. it's so big. it just envelops so much. all the sudden i was just swallowed by this terrible feeling that i was completely useless for any sort of help, especially out here in the middle of nowhere.

then someone sent me this tonight.

we are the ones we've been waiting for.

i guess all anyone can do is what they can, even if all you can do is talk to people & hope. so this i send to all of us, hope, love, and a wish that the realization that we are indeed the ones we've been waiting for might give us all some sort of comfort and lead us toward new ideas for ways to be of some good use.

current mood: there

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Tuesday, July 30th, 2002
12:02 am - "this song will probably get me deported"
delaselva In publicity material for his new album, [alt-country pioneer steve] Earle explains his thoughts behind "John Walker's Blues," saying he wanted to look behind why Lindh left America in the first place.

"I'm trying to make clear that wherever [Lindh] got to, he didn't arrive there in a vacuum," he said. "I don't condone what he did...My son Justin is almost exactly Walker's age.

"Would I be upset if he suddenly turned up fighting for the Islamic Jihad? Sure, absolutely. Fundamentalism, as practiced by the Taliban, is the enemy of real thought, and religion too," he added. "But there are real circumstances...He was a smart kid, he graduated from high school early, the culture here didn't impress him, so went out looking for something to believe in."

The following are complete lyrics to "John Walker's Blues":

I'm just an American boy raised on MTV
And I've seen all those kids in the soda pop ads
But none of 'em looked like me
So I started lookin' around for a light out of the dim
And the first thing I heard that made sense was the word
Of Mohammed, peace be upon him
A shadu la ilaha illa Allah
There is no God but God
If my daddy could see me now--chains around my feet
He don't understand that sometimes a man
Has to fight for what he believes
And I believe God is great all praise due to him
And if I should die I'll rise up to the sky
Just like Jesus, peace be upon him
We came to fight the Jihad and our hearts were pure and strong
As death filled the air we all offered up prayers
And prepared for our martyrdom
But Allah had some other plan some secret not revealed
Now they're draggin' me back with my head in a sack
To the land of the infidel

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Monday, July 22nd, 2002
3:58 am - my abridged mrn!!
delaselva this is sort of a rambling reflection on my mental revolution, which is currently focused on reconciling my internal and external struggles, and creating not only outward change in terms of awareness and reforming/replacing harmful stuff but also in developing support structures to coalesce many internal struggles in a community. 'compassion' etymologically means 'a shared suffering'. well this is like a shared living. it means it's a process that hurts and feels great and we're gonna help each other through it.

and if you have any questions or anything is not clear here please ask me/comment about it. cool.

i have read several things lately that have reinforced my belief in my imagination. *my imagination is my all-purpose weapon in the struggle for mental revolution. it's actually almost invincible, but not in the michael jackson way*
one is The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin. altho i would very much like to read it outloud to you, i will say for now that it juxtaposes this world with an anarchist society *an-archy = without hierarchy*
the anarchist society begins to unravel because it is anarchist structurally, but it's denizens have not completely internalized correlating tenets of anarchism like mutual aid and solidarity. or rather, these wonderful values are not reinforced outside of a familiar institutionalized rhetoric that evokes the words of revolutionaries rather than the continued revolution itself. and so it unravels because there does not exist within this structured freedom any support systems for continuing the revolution within, for processing the struggle within and between people. this is a truly resonant account here in d.c., amongst communities whose sense of solidarity is geared around mutual disdain for oppressive bureaucracies. we don't see ourselves as having much in common with the agents of that oppression, so we shouldn't have to confront the same issues we call them on. such is the groupthink in this fictional society, where it is taken for granted that everyone will act in complete fairness to everyone else etc, and i see that often here as well.

at a recent meeting of the DC Men's Caucus, which is a group/forum/space for men to confront issues of sexism and patriarchy, the participants were asked to speak to their reason for being at the meeting. remarkably, several new members who had never participated in this group process volunteered a similar rationale. "i criticize other guys for things i see in myself. how do i overcome something i can't pinpoint, something that took years to imbed? i can't talk to my guy friends about this." see guys can't talk about being sexist, because sexists aren't guys, they are stripped of their masculinity. especially here within 'progressive' communities, accused abusive males are treated with hostility, the same goes with accused racists and transphobics and the like. the idea being that these are unreasonable, hostile people themselves.
in reality there is a very thin line between the people we label and protest and ourselves. we all have varying levels and types of prejudice and just general difficulties relating to and communicating with each other. and we all have to deal with the ill effects of a world that operates on capitalism and is promoted by worldviews like 'realism,' all of these isms based on the struggle for power, on pitting people against each other so that there can be a clear chain of dominance.

you can't win that kind of battle. i was reading an incredibly flawed article entitled "From Che to Marcos," about the genesis of latin american insurgent groups, and the author noted that the groups ostensibly "inspired by Che," those with vertical command structures and violent power-pull tactics that are often simply more efficient and elastic replicas of the oppressive governments they exist to topple, have gained more ground in terms of 'the struggle.' the power struggle, that is, such as in colombia with the FARC and ELN and brazil with the landless peasant movement *MST*. power changes hands, but nothing really changes.
the real struggle is in the way we relate to each other. in recognizing in order to eliminate but noT manipulating power dynamics.

also within this group that is an outgrowth of a communal desire to engage in a revolution within a revolution - that is, to focus on the internal struggle within the context of the external struggle - is just that: a return to the theme of the process being as important as the outcome. or rather, of simply focusing on the process. so much of what we do is goal-oriented, time-sensitive, but when it comes to what we want to change in the world and needing to start with making the same change in ourselves, you can't put a due date on that, you just have to be committed. we have to work together to be conscious of the implications and dynamics of this revolution of everyday life, as raoul vaneigem put it.

i saw howard zinn speak last week, and tho his talk varied in topicality he continued to unintentionally emphasize two points: raising awareness is important and there is hope. probably the most important talking point he gave me, which is somewhat obvious for many of us who sort of came into our own in the modern equivalent of anti-vietnam culture, is that the vietnam war had astounding approval ratings for several years, but suddenly experienced steep declines in popularity as people learned what was really going on. admittedly there were also many americans dying, but any kind of unjustifiable suffering and death is unacceptable to all people, it's just a matter of contextualizing atrocities and injustice in a relevant way, so that borders and races vanish in the face of a shared human suffering. in the usa it is easiest to do this, of course, by asking questions about money, freedoms of expression, political accountability; things americans take for granted but generally hold dear. and yes, to encourage the subversive bookstore crowd he threw out examples of people effecting change. Seventeen magazine gave a full page to katie sierra and her now-legendary t-shirt. a teacher-turned-cause celebre i met in tampa was fired after he refused to make his students write thank-you letters to general tommy franks, commander of the war on whatever it is we're at war with right now in the middle east/asia/wherever there are too many angry poor people.
and high school students, zinn says, are the most deprived of information, and the most willing to latch onto a subversive truth.
and i'll end on that one. it is becoming ever more apparent to me in whatever project i assist or undertake that much of it would be unnecessary were we to reorganize our values and put at the top of the list 'education/facilitation/adequate attention for young people.' the teacher is the ultimate activist. leading through service, obedient command, that's what me and marcos are talkin about.

and it starts very small. just ask someone looking at the tabloid TIME war coverage in the checkout line what they think of it. and move on to the kids you work with. and the chain reacts, the links connect.

listening to people in order to connect with them. sharing. good stuff. it's late.

and to put a modern spin on a Situationist quote-

"mrn! has sewn the wind. it will reap a tempest."

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Tuesday, July 16th, 2002
3:50 am - baby say something sweet

everything i want to say has already been said.
this is my -ifesto.


current mood: what a wonderful world

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Sunday, July 14th, 2002
4:00 pm - it's all about dialogue

what do we make of this?

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Monday, July 8th, 2002
3:14 am - beyond the blonde

i'm about to go for a late night run in the neigborhood, cuz i live in suburbia and it's fairly safe and i am grateful for that, but i've got to post this first. my sleep cycle is so fucked right now that i dunno i f i'll be able to sleep even if i go race up and down half-lit streets for an hour, trying to tire myself out, but it's possible. what i know for a fact is that i won't be able to sleep unless i write something here. when i drive, i look at houses and i imagine the people who live inside. when i run or walk, i try not to look at houses, and i try to pretend i'm not thinking about what i'll do if i see someone step out of the shadows and reach for my arm. i don't like this discrepancy. i don't like drawing a line around my life.

and i don't like that i've been haunted by the face of the blonde girl since last week when i looked up and into the grill of her car as she bore down on me and i was crouched in the middle of valley view street, picking up the huge black crow with a broken wing and bleeding eye that some fuck couldn't be bothered to swerve away from. it was almost five in the afternoon and i'd been on my way to pick up my brother john from baseball practice when i saw typical roadkill that atypically lifted up its head and stared me in the eye as i drove past. alive. and since my mother has been telling me since i was born that crows are our friends, and that i've been reflecting on crows a lot lately for some reason, i flipped the car around and went back for it. praying that someone wouldn't hit it again while i waited for the light to change, praying that it would stop standing up and trying to fly and falling over, getting ever closer to cars whizzing by. praying, yeah, in some way i was. even though i could do nothing, really, except delay death a few minutes. and make it a little less gratuitous.

so that's how i ended up on my knees, giving no credence to traffic or caution, with a crow in my hands, at the mercy of some blonde girl and her fucking car. in the split second where i looked up and saw her i remember feeling fierce. my attention was ripped from the crow and i registered the color of her hair, which annoyed me. if i'd been driving next to her i would have rolled my eyes. she's a dime a dozen, one of the cookie cutter girls who walk around super tan and super bleached, rocking the roxy clothes, making me feel ill about being from orange county. on a regular day i would have thought that, anyway. and i started to, cuz it's habit, but then i looked past her windshield and her haircolor and actually at her face as she hit the brake.

sheer empathy and understanding. a hand to her mouth in shock. her eyes, huge and blue. both of us, and the crow and its blood dripping between my fingers. any other day we wouldn't have given each other a second thought. her conventionality, my envy. a fake smile. fences.

a manifesta, of sorts, is not appealing. but i like lists lately. they're neat and clean and make everything seem simple.

for me, mrn! is...

+ remembering that the blonde girl is just like me. and realizing that the blonde girl, me, and the crow could have all changed places had it been a different day, decade, or due to pay.
+ about creating a more demanding, invigorating, rewarding discourse.
+ finding new responses to old questions.
+ puttin *hope hope hope* into practice.
+ like gary snyder says: "stay together / learn the flowers."

current mood: awake

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6:53 am - someone else has always said it better
4st7 first of all, i just wanna be a nosebleed and tell you that this thing is a bit hard for me for a number of reasons. one; (best start off with the lamest excuse) i couldn't sleep so i've been up for god knows how many hours now.. might as well try to do this then i thought. two; the stupid language thing, i don't understand half of the fancy words you do. three; i think i sound silly whenever i try to say something serious. four; i don't really know what exactly we are fighting (in lack of a better word i guess) here, it always feels like i missed the official briefing. at first i thought, roughly, that it was just all about sharing kind of spiritually themed experiences. but then several political posts quickly made their appearance and now i'm basically more confused than ever. are we sharing stories or fighting the injustices in the global economy or the general non-existent level of tolerance existing basically everywhere today. or everything at the same time. trying to focus on every aspect of everything in the current interest list of this lj community, amnesty style, is plain impossible.

if i should write something kind of official just to feel like i've written something productive and actually perhaps for the first time tried to put into words exactly on which yard-line i stand then.. you all know this but there is no point in debating whether today's form of capitalism is good or bad, as the amount of garbage it produces is as huge as the greed and profit-hunger it produces. the materialists outnumber the idealists a thousand times over. a global dehumanizing animal farm, an economic dance of death.. and improved living standards they say, is just another brand of clothing. in a market-economy which is striving for profit to the current extent, someone is bound to lose and the big-big-bigtime losers right now are obviously the third world and earth itself. but obviously you can't crush the worlds injustices by crushing capitalism. you have to stop the ego-centrism and plain attitude of people. spark that infamous mental revolution. ok, this all became a bit too much focused on politics instead of compassion and everything but it all boils down to the same thing and those soft vegetables, that every change starts in the mind.
again, you know this. but that's officially my guess on what this all is about to me. the hammer and sickle are lying on the ground and we just gotta pick them up again. i think now i'd like to point out that it's late again. but ok, in one sentence, i'd basically and actually put it exactly exactly as emily put it; achieving "a little more equality, a little less intolerance, a bit more understanding, and a bit less disparity."

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Saturday, July 6th, 2002
10:39 pm - pain under fluff

one drop two drops
fifty drops.
it's all the same
it all equals nothing
to you
and because of that
to me.

i could cry my eyes out
my face could turn all shades
my form of communication
is frustration
and just like words are ignored
this pain is
but even moreso
because i can't make it easy

i'm sorry it's not easy
it's me.

i'm tired of my pain
being ignored
not mattering
put to the side

not with just one
but mainly by all
except a few
who can't be there
when it hits

like now --

who's around me: no one
who IMed me: no one

it's not anyone's fault
or is it?
i don't know.

i never know.

that's why i'm here
once again
with tears.

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1:57 pm - When hurt, love more!
monslucis The 3 tenets of Bernie Glassman's Zen Peacemaker Order:
"Not-knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe;
Bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world; and
Healing ourselves and others."

These tenets are very important to me. They rest on the belief that the universe is non-dualistic and interdependent, so that doing for myself is doing for others, and vice versa.
One of the lojongs (sayings/teachings) of tonglen Buddhism is "When practicing unconditional acceptance, start with yourself." Pema Chodron says about this: "What you do for yourself, you're doing for others, and what you do for others, you're doing for yourself. When you exchange self for othersin the practice of tonglen [receiving pain and sending joy], it becomes increasingly uncertain what is out there and what is in here." She says elsewhere in a related vein that when you have compassion on humanity in yourself, you develop compassion for all of humanity. As we begin to have compassion for our own failings, our anger, our ignorance, our greed, our self-interest, we can then have compassion on others who exhibit the same qualities.

Perhaps this is a hypocritical example, but when obliquity said--"all these neo-marxists forget that communism was an early form of globalisation"--it struck me as an failure of following the tenet of "not knowing." (The Commoner is a good example of Marxism that that wouldn't apply to.) But perhaps I don't know what he means by "neo-Marxist."

Bearing witness sounds simple--look at the world as it is--but it's not. We often shut down and make up stories to ourselves about why things are this way (esp. stories about why we're right and others are wrong).

"Healing ourselves and others." Pema went to a talk by Bernie, in which he said he worked with the homeless of New York because by working with rejected parts of society he was working with himself. He wasn't giving handouts or doing condescending charity work, he was engaged in his own liberation by helping those ignored and oppressed by society.

For what I consider the most important point of this, I would like to quote from both Buddhism and Christianity.

Pema writes:
"All the teachings and all the practices are about just one thing; if the way that we protect ourselves is strong, then suffering is really strong too. ....
"One might think that we're talking about ego as enemy, ego as original sin. But this is a very different approach, a much softer approach. Rather than original SIN, there's original SOFT SPOT. The messy stuff that we see in ourselves and that we perceive in the world as violence and cruelty and fear is not the result of some basic badness but of the fact that we have such a tender, vulnerable, warm heart of Bodhicitta [Enlightened Mind], which we instinctively protect so that nothing will touch it.
"There seems to be a need to change the fundamental pattern of always protecting against anything touching our soft spot. Tonglenpractice is about changing the basic pattern."

A Methodist ministerwrites:
"Abiding in God�s love means that we need that love like the air that we breathe; it means that we depend on it for everything we do and for all that we are. It means coming so face to face with our own limits, our own sin, our own brokenness, that we know that without God�s love we would be lost, as lost as the branch would be without the vine that gives it life."

God's love & "the tender, vulnerable, warm heart of Bodhicitta" are the fundamental nature of our reality. Though existence is characterized by impermenance and dissatisfaction, it is fundamentally joyful and loving.

This is the heart of a politics/spirituality of engaged and transformative nonviolent love.
(Sidenote: Rabbi Waskow of the Shalom Center has a good quote about politics and spirituality: "politics may be the deepest prayer, and prayer the deepest politics. We may realize that we are always choosing between a politics that may be prayers to idols, mere carved-out pieces of the Whole, things of partial value that we elevate to ultimates, and a politics that we may shape with such deep caring that it becomes prayer to the One.")

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Sunday, July 7th, 2002
12:26 am - manifesto time

i hope you've done yours. i don't know why you were waiting for me.
+ in us there is no them. we're all human, some more than others. what does that mean? i guess it's not about us versus them.
+ i don't like segregation, so isms don't work for me. it's another form of division.
+ i deplore leftist buzz words like 'revolution'. the word is tainted by its history. so why the fuck is everything the left does, a revolution? the list goes on. if i hear the word globalisation again, i'm going to jump off that cliff with no fence at the top and the ambulance waiting at the bottom. all these neo-marxists forget that communism was an early form of globalisation. you get where i'm going.
+ don't make martyrs. carlo giuliani was a martyr. people used his death as a form of ammunition against the "oppressors" forgetting he was doing a stupid thing, forgetting his life stopped there. his death was sad, probably not as sad as the fact this once anonymous figure was immortalised in death via a fire extinguisher.
that's it. these themes remain constant. i have all sorts of ideas and they change the next week. the above four, do not.

current mood: torn

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Wednesday, July 3rd, 2002
11:06 am - you and me baby

a quick note to say that i hope everyone is progressing well with their manifestos as today/tomorrow is the day we start sharing, i do believe

don't be scared. i've been discussing this and it seems we all have completely different ways of expressing ourselves regarding this; that's the whole idea.

good luck and good love.

current mood: daiing of the flu

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Thursday, June 27th, 2002
1:56 am

it's probably not the best time for me to be posting this, but the way things are going now is as good a time as any. with this mrn thing, i have spoken with many of you and we all seem to struggling to define what mrn is or even what we want in ourselves. i change weekly, but common themes remain. they're my points of reference. so. to help make mrn a thing that works - cos it has to - it has been suggested we-you-me-them write down your manifesto [for lack of a better word]. better still, put yourself on paper or screen. don't think in a wider community context for now, think about yourself. i would suggest you do this over the next week, and don't post it. let others define themselves with as little external influence as possible. that way, we get to the core and we can move forward. i sincerely hope you make an effort because if we're serious about this we better start showing it. and i know it's not going to be easy, but please, try. and i guess in a week we all pool our thoughts together and work out how to apply it to mrn, and more importantly, in our own lives in tangible fashion.

and i do apologise if the above is uninspiring. i don't think i'm the best person to be putting this out there, but i need to start making an effort too. the importance of people and those you care about has no greater relevance than it does now.

current mood: hopeful

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