kitchen table

what this girl wants
October 28, 2006, 3:59 pm
Filed under: funny fun fun

Originally uploaded by Craftapalooza


I think this is worth a mention
October 21, 2006, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last week, Jessica at Feministing posted a photograph of the cover of her forthcoming book, Full Frontal Feminism. I don’t like the cover but I appreciated Jessica’s explanation of its intended audience and her choice/risk. That being said, I’m ashamed that I didn’t think about the book’s ability to reach a nonwhite audience–especially with a cover like that. A function of my own privledge and racism, no doubt. I make no excuses.

Nubian, of Blac(k)ademic fame, became the recepient of some targeted and pretty hateful comments after she stated her initial reaction:

why didn’t you just call it, a young WHITE womans guide to WHITE feminism.

this is wack.

i’m sorry. the naked torso of a woman is offensive AND the naked WHITE torso of the young woman pisses me off.

And then of course, all hell broke loose. Nubian was accused–not by Jessica or Feministing writers but by other commenters–of being racist, mean and of stabbing the “Feministing team” in the back.

What? Since when did disagreement become an automatic stab in the back? Sounds to me like “you’re either with us or against us” mentality. Come on folks, let’s not jump all over someone the minute she expresses her disappointment. It seems obvious to me that the rush to defend Jessica with hugs and kisses–which I wonder if she even appreciated–and bash Nubian had more to do with people’s refusal to admit their own racial privledge and their own white guilt than with the issue at hand.

Anyway, there are more comments over at Nubian’s. I think it’s all worth reading and discussing.

Storm update from Buffalo
October 18, 2006, 12:42 pm
Filed under: Buffalo, City life


Still without power in the Queen City but checking email and working from Spot Coffee on Delaware. This is what I kept thinking over the weekend as people came together to clean up their blocks and help their neighbors:

I believe — indeed, I know — that whatever is fine and beautiful in the human expresses and asserts itself in spite of government, and not because of it.   Emma Goldman, “What I Believe”

the least glamorous stuff
October 12, 2006, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Activism, Growing Up

The real revolution is always concerned with the least glamorous stuff.
Alice Walker, “The Unglamorous but Worthwhile Duties of the Black Revolutionary Artist.”

This is what I told myself yesterday as I sat in a dark room with drafty windows, helping Seniors fill out their STAR applications. So many of them told me that if they didn’t get this tax exemption they wouldn’t be able to live, literally. One lady has 27 prescriptions for which she has to pay. One army veteran who didn’t qualify for the program and wore a peace sign on a chain around his neck, told me that by the time he did reach the qualifying age–65–he’d probably be dead.

Last monday I saw The U.S. vs. John Lennon, a film documenting the United States’ campaign to get Lennon out of the country and out of the spotlight. It was a great film, very inspiring and it spoke to my younger brother’s rock and roll sensibilities. What John and Yoko were doing was incredibly glamorous, the epitomy of glamor, but one could argue they had little choice given their intense popularity. They used their celebrity in a responsible way, to bring attention to injustice.

My point of mentioning this film is that it caused in me a small riot. Why aren’t I out there being loud and holding bed-ins and writing anti-war songs? In short, I was frustrated with myself for not being as big and glamorous as Lennon. These small, repeated acts of resistance–like helping Seniors fill out their STAR applications, or talking a mother through the process of receiving food stamps, or volunteering a Saturday to clean out the PUSH house–sometimes don’t feel like enough, especially when you lose sight of this work as part of a larger movement. And so when I see movies like the U.S. vs. John Lennon, I sometimes forget momentarily that John Lennon’s activism stemmed from years of work by the Student movement which stemmed for years of work by the Civil Rights movement. And that the real revolution happened at someone’s doorstep in Mississippi, and that there were no cameras present. Just like yesterday, in that small dark room with the drafty windows.

I take from this self-indulgent riot an indication that I need to check in with myself again, that I need to remind myself that helping someone help themselves is a revolutionary act. In the same essay as quoted above, Alice Walker writes that teaching a black elder to read is a revolutionary act, as is writing from time to time, as is kindness and love. I don’t intend to sound hokey or naive, I intend to sound sincere and responsible.

The more distant we perceive ourselves to be from movements concerned with justice, the more paralyzed we become. I always try to bring it down to a local level, until I’m talking about you and me and our shit right here. If we can’t get that shit straight, we’re never going to realize justice on a large scale.

Revolutionary work is not glamorous work and I strive to maintain a healthy level of suspicion at anything that makes me feel glamorous, in the slightest. It’s so easy to lose one’s head and that’s about the least helpful thing I can do, losing my head.

wool coats & gloves
October 12, 2006, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Buffalo

It’s snowing. Already.

ripple effect: the saga of contraception denial continues

For those of you following the Biting Beaver’s emergency contraception saga, you will be interested to know that she has, in fact, become pregnant. So because a pharmacist wouldn’t prescribe her EC, she now has to have an abortion. Again, are these “I’ve got a moral objection to sex” pharmacists completely bat-shit or what?

BB has got a frank and honest post up about her feelings on the matter. Part of her rage is the continuous message she receives about the apparent worthiness of the fetus inside her compared to her own existence and the well-being of her three children.

How often can one person hear that a fetus is more important than their own life? Than the lives of their children? How many times can you be reminded that you are, to them at least, a sack of shit and not worthy of even living?

Am I cold hearted about this? You bet your ass I am. I’m angry that my life is apparently worth so little because I had sex. I’m angry that people would literally try to fucking murder me by sending me a list of fatal herbs via a ‘helpful’ email. And that is to say nothing about the picket lines I will most likely have to cross. That speaks nothing to the shame that this society will attempt to thrust upon me for this situation. It speaks nothing to the anger and rage I feel that the penis which was actually attached to the condom apparently becomes utterly invisible.

Read the whole thing here.

sock wrestling, fork in the head & other past times
October 5, 2006, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Darn Kids, friends, funny fun fun, the Farm

sock wrestling alex
Sock wrestling my former camper, Alex. In Germany! (Photo by Zeb)

In preparation of yet another weekend away with friends–aren’t I spoiled?–I’ve been thinking of all the fun games we can play at night, or as my pal Sean said, “When we have nothing left to say to each other.” I don’t think that’ll happen but I’m still bringing Scrabble, Boggle, and Cranium. I’ve also been racking my brain for other games, ones that don’t require a board or dice or a deck of cards. Enjoy:

1) Sock Wrestling. This game is played with two people, both of whom are wearing socks. To make things as fair as possible, each player should wear socks of equal length (i.e., knee-high, ankle, trouser). In actuality though, the only rule of sock wrestling is that a player cannot pull his or her sock up once his or her opponent has begun pulling it down. Otherwise, it’s a free for all.

The objective is to get your opponent’s socks off before they get yours. I like to call it the scrappy-est of scrappy games. It is perfectly okay to employ the following “tactics” to one’s strategy: biting, pinching, tugging, rubbing, chewing, flipping, punching, throwing, tripping, banging, faking, crying, yelling, screaming, and flailing. This game was taught to me by my friend Abi.

2) Fork in the Head. Games similiar to Fork in the Head exist under other names with slightly different rules. This version can be played with as many different people as you’d like and is somewhat casual in its rules. For instance, there does not have to be a particular order in which each player proposes nor is there a limit to the number of proposals a player issues.

Getting on with it: each player names two people–living, dead, or fictional, it doesn’t really matter–and the other player must choose which person he or she would rather have sex with. A player must choose one person or, if the selection is too gross, he or she may utilize their single pass for that round (a round lasts the entire length of the game, usually the day or evening). When a player wishes to pass, he or she answers, “Fork in the Head.” There is a possibility for players to add twists to their proposals by stating, “His/her way” or “Your way,” meaning that either the chosen character dictates the details of sex or the player gets to decide how it all goes down.

Potential for disturbing scenarios is high so choose wisely and consider your guests when picking this game. It is also recommended that the occasionally softball is thrown to a player who is obviously becoming disgusted with the game. If for instance, you propose “Geraldo Rivera or Ann Coulter, their way,” try the following during the next round: “Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, their way.” This game was taught to me by Carissa.

Share your own games–share! share!