stay in school everybody. being 27 and finishing school, feels difficult in every way. moving home has been really difficult. i’ve stilted complaining for so long i don’t know how to do it anymore, so that’s all i can say. ugh. i just want this semester to be over and either be camping or have some place to live. living with my mom is becoming really just impossible. jesus christ why can’t i just burp up all the ick i’m feeling right now? maybe it’s a good thing i can’t. ugh.
what a crappy week… gotta just follow it up with some poetry because it sort of works.
For a Supposedly Empty Sky
Hope is not… stars scattered on a supposedly empty sky.
The darkness there is warmth, we are drawn into it, moving.
Hope might be the ground, something we can push against and lift ourselves up from.
Hope is the burning I feel when I push there, the flopping of my body after so long not being used, the the edges of our toes and hips we hadn’t felt in a long time, and were new again after being put aside.
Hope is the focus we feel when we aren’t succeeding right away and keep trying.
Hope might be what grows in a warm dark hidden place.
Hope is standing naked fearless where everyone can see you, and living through it.
Hope is fighting.
Hope is listening quietly.
Hope is strength, and freedom follows.
this is a really long overdue rant about the glamorization of violence in radical and anarchist communities, and how I think I’m going to rename the second s n d health zine support n support, which is maybe backing down but whatever…
i’ve been really just sick and tired of hearing about Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, being a landmark of revolutionary practice. what people have been going through there has been (of course) awful, and the state repression and violence in response has been nothing short of (of course) violent and deeply disturbing, words can not describe. some showed support for the revolutions, or acknowledged the political and social dynamic surrounding them, or acknowledging the work those actions took, but too often anarchists would only acknowledge the victory aspect of the revolutions there, saying colorful things about power and youth and revolution and “rioting now” and how “hypnotized by the system”, “lazy and apathetic americans are”.
i just kind of feel tired at this point. i’ve really been wanting to step back from glamorizing violence for a really long time. someone i knew was shot last week, and I spent all day listening to regular interval shots at the goddam police-only shooting range here in new haven today. it is within a couple blocks of an elementary school in a poor neighborhood. i’m sick of being angry at my friends, and sick of my own anger and acting out. i’m sick of the apathy towards ecosystem, gender, class, and race violence within the punk and anarchist communities, yet the simultaneous continuous glamorization of revolution, and the symbolization of it using firearms.
i don’t really know where to go at this point in my life, but am just really exhausted. i know it is worthwhile to try to break down the power structures inherent in our society by doing things like shooting and learning about guns, by learning self-defense techniques, and doing creative things in the face of highly equipped and weaponized state power. i have seen “non-violence” be manipulated in many oppressive ways. i know this is really symplistic and maybe i will be smashing glass in a couple days in a half-hearted attempt at catharsis, i don’t know, but right now I can’t really stomach writing another zine called “support n destroy”.
the only way i can think to close is to quote a friend of mine speaking about children of men “yea, the main character in that movie gets extra points for getting through all that madness but picking up a weapon like twice” <3
sorry, i’ve been feeling pretty weird today and just needed to write this finally. any feedback or thoughts wold be appreciated. going to go play with my dog now. ~h.
a friend wrote this about sleep … i’m going to follow up soon with an article im almost done editing, which deals mostly with questions about sleep, kind of a self-assessment, and some ideas, but if anybody wants to respond to this with information or experience about sleep, please do! i feel like someone could EASILY write a WHOLE ZINE solely about sleep.
also, im not on tumblr so much so sorry if i don’t respond to things quickly, i don’t even really understand how to use it well, yet, but im learning. heehe.
By M. Bernardo McLaughlin
First off, sleep disorders are extremely prevalent, largely go
undiagnosed, and the research so far is pretty scant. There are
various types and variations of symptoms, but the thing I hear the
most from friends is how they just can’t relax and go to sleep,
despite being exhausted and fatigued. They can’t get their brain to
shut up, their blood pressure stays the same as it is during the day,
etc. It may be made worse when stress gets higher, but generally no
matter how easy it *should be* to fall asleep, the person defies all
logic and stays awake til 3 or 4 in the morning, or doesn’t sleep at
all. This can spiral into a vicious cycle if the person sleeps late
into the afternoon.
Again, there are different things at work here, and it may get better
or worse based on what’s going on in the person’s life. But, the
linchpin is often a dysfunctional circadian rhythm, or body clock. For
example, I diagnosed myself with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome several
years ago, which means basically that my internal clock functions as
if there are more then 24 hours in a day. So each day, instead of my
my blood pressure dropping, my eyes getting heavier, and my brain
activity waning around hour 16 of being awake, it’s more like hour 20
or hour 22, or later. Again, there are different sleep disorders you
can have, so even if you think you might have DSPS, do your own
research (most of mine was on wikipedia!) Likewise, figure out your
own treatment and do what works best.
I attribute my disorder to the godawful cycle that high school forced
me into, at a time when adolescents aren’t really physically able to
fall asleep at an adequate hour in order to get a full 9 hours of
sleep before waking up at 5:30 AM, which is what you really need at
that age for healthy development (ie, establishing a healthy sleep
cycle!). The years following high school didn’t afford me a great many
opportunities/necessities to correct the cycle, and it became more or
less permanent. So in this sense, DSPS can’t be cured, but it can be
managed very effectively. If you can afford to see a doctor, and you
can actually find one that knows anything about sleep disorders, then
definitely do that. As for the rest of us, here’s some tips that might
change your life.
Early on after I diagnosed myself, I found that taking melatonin
tablets before bed did a great deal to put my cycle in a more suitable
place. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally by the pineal
gland in your brain to trigger your sleep cycle. It’s the thing that
has your brain start all the things that allow you to sleep; lower
blood pressure, different brain activity, body temperature, hormones,
etc. To my knowledge, it comes in 1 mg and 3mg capsules,
over-the-counter. It is very important to not take too much,
especially consistently, because your brain will stop making the
hormone naturally, and then you’re fucked for awhile. You should also
take a week-long break every month or so, if only because the effects
of long-term use are still not entirely understood.
I recommend getting 1 mg capsules and breaking them into halves and
then, if you choose, full capsules so you can get a sense of what the
right amount is for you. Side-effects (which are mainly dependent on
your overall energy levels and the amount you take) can include
strange dreams and nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night
unable to fall asleep again, nausea after waking up, and grogginess.
So for example, if I am way over-fatigued and take melatonin to help
me fall asleep, I might have dreams that are otherwise normal in terms
of content, but extremely intense in terms of the speed and volume of
the things happening in the dream; imagine playing something in
fast-forward with the volume all the way up! But, the sleep is
extremely restful, and more importantly, gets my cycle on-track. If
I’m mostly wide-awake when I take melatonin, I may fall asleep, but it
doesn’t seem anything like sleep. I don’t realize I’m sleeping unless
I actually move an arm or a leg. So it’s like dreaming about laying in
bed, and it’s not terribly restful, but it’s better than little or no
sleep at all.
Some other things that have helped my sleep disorder have been working
jobs that require me to get up early. In my case, the work conditions
have been pretty terrible, so it’s a job I want to be adequately
prepared for when I step onto the floor. So in the past several years,
I’ve gained the ability to fall asleep at 7 or 8 PM, under the right
circumstances, which I would have previously dismissed as simply
impossible. Similarly, getting more exercise has probably played as
big a part in my sleep health improvement as anything else. It’s
simply a boon on so many levels that help your sleep cycle; you tend
to be happier, you’re able to easily relax afterward, you sleep
heavier and more restfully, and you tend to get more daylight.
On that last bit on daylight, one thing about melatonin is that it is
a hormone which is released when there is an absence of the sun. So if
you’re living in perpetual darkness, such as in the Winter, your brain
is releasing melatonin more constantly and you’re not able to fully
wake up in the morning. Light therapy, in cooperation with taking
melatonin, is the other widely used method to combat DSPS. Basically
you spend the first 30-90 minutes immediately after your naturally
awake exposed to either daylight or an artificial alternative such as
a fluorescent lamp. This brings your melatonin production to a halt,
until the following evening when the lights grow dim and you’re
actually ready to sleep. Haven’t tried it yet, but I do intend to.
Another method which I have not tried (no, really) is the use of
cannabis. THC, the psychoactive molecule that produces the “high”
associated with marijuana has been found to also produce high levels
of melatonin, and in an old study cannabidiol was found to help
insomniacs sleep. However, heavy cannabis use can lead to decreased
levels of REM sleep and increased levels of slow-wave sleep along with
reduced mental function the next morning
[two photos: first photo is of a white anatomically-correct heart with red-painted openings. second photo is of the same ceramic piece that has been smashed open. Someone is opening up a tiny folded piece of paper that had been placed inside]
Corezone is a ceramic heart-shaped vessel that you can place your thoughts, feelings and emotions into. Write them down on pieces of paper and put them inside. You must then physically break your own heart to free them.
I’m not a fan of the US cultural habit of turning political turmoil in faraway lands into a gawkworthy spectator sport. I came to this realization in the aftermath of the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square, as it…
Saw this on facebook from the person who writes support n destroy.
[image description: a world map illustrating the Gini Coefficient of each country, a measure of how unevenly a country’s wealth is distributed.]
Gini Coefficients are like golf - the lower the score, the better (i.e. the more equality).
According to the CIA World Fact Book, the U.S. is ranked as the 42nd most unequal country in the world, with a Gini Coefficient of 45.
- Tunisia is ranked the 62nd most unequal country, with a Gini Coefficient of 40.
- Yemen is ranked 76th most unequal, with a Gini Coefficient of 37.7.
- And Egypt is ranked as the 90th most unequal country, with a Gini Coefficient of around 34.4.
And inequality in the U.S. has soared in the last couple of years, since the Gini Coefficient was last calculated, so it is undoubtedly currently much higher.
So why are Egyptians rioting, while the Americans are complacent?
Well, Americans - until recently - have been some of the wealthiest people in the world, with most having plenty of comforts (and/or entertainment) and more than enough to eat.
But another reason is that - as Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School demonstrate - Americans consistently underestimate the amount of inequality in our nation.
As William Alden wrote last September:
Americans vastly underestimate the degree of wealth inequality in America, and we believe that the distribution should be far more equitable than it actually is, according to a new study.
Or, as the study’s authors put it: “All demographic groups — even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy — desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.”
The report … “Building a Better America — One Wealth Quintile At A Time” by Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School … shows that across ideological, economic and gender groups, Americans thought the richest 20 percent of our society controlled about 59 percent of the wealth, while the real number is closer to 84 percent.
I like this, but I’m (at least) a little bit skeptical about the way this data is presented. I totally buy the part about USians across the board being ignorant of how extreme inequality is in the US, but what I’m skeptical about is using that to assume that USians are mostly comfortable and mostly have our needs taken care of. I would be a lot more interested to see what the breakdown is, how unequally distributed people at different economic levels perceive wealth to be, rather than having that perception averaged out.
I’m also skeptical whenever the answer to the question of why aren’t more people fighting back in the US is that we’re too comfortable, because it gets you in to slippery slope territory where people get anxious to see revolution happen in their lifetime, and will therefore either start agitating in someone else’s struggle, or think it’s okay to sit back and wait while the country creeps toward even more desperate situations. This is actually why I get wary as soon as I hear non-poor white people tossing around stuff about CLASS WAR like it’s exciting glamorous shit—but not their own shit. Not sure if this makes sense, but it’s something I’ve been seeing as long as I’ve been working on shit from communists, socialists, and anarchists alike—and whether they’re waiting for shit to hit the fan or pushing the working class and/or people of color to rebel, they’re treating those groups of people as pawns.
Well that’s my rant on that! Ummm.. I like that someone made a map of this!
thanks for your thoughts. i get so angry about the whole “the class war isn’t coming fast enough” stuff and this really sums up a lot of it. not only is it really patronizing, there is a strange “those people” dynamic about it that kinda makes me go -barf-.
i feel really conflicted about the question about why “riots are happening in xyz and not America whine whine”, but i am sure that “insurrection” is not the only answer, or some kind of measure of resistance that is occurring or is not occurring. resistance takes many forms and we need to acknowledge the ones that are happening.
i also think, as a street medic and , yano, a human being more or less with a soul, that twenty people dying in 24 hours is not the time to be celebrating or bragging about how anarcho you are because you “expect more from (the working class in america)” or some stuff. eww.
i am not saying this is to discount the resistance that is happening there, or rule out the possibility of action that might draw physical confrontation from the state. as much as i believe in non-duality of violence, this is not the time to get sexy in your balaclava and get more punk points or whatever. that
k. sorry. i’ve been noticing myself say stuff that’s so insurrection-y and stuff the past twenty four, and kinda getting riot lust. so, here’s to curbing the oppressive awful that’s associated with that!!
ps-i also think it’s so funny it hurts this data was compiled and analyzed by the CIA. it’s almost like they are trying to figure out which countries globally they need to watch for their nefarious preperation.
people were really enthusiastic about s n d # 1, so i decided to follow through on making a second. i really like reflexivity in talking about health stuff. what i mean is “oh hey i’m doing this” “you are? oh cool i’m also doing this or this other thing” or “wait, you sure you want to do xyz?” or “yea that’s rough and crappy because of abcdef”. basically bouncing ideas off of people, experiences, research, thoughts on oppression within health systems (not just dominant ones) and the other things we reach out to for health.
there are so many different ways to make zines, but i’m trying to use the webblog and paper zine format together .so yeah, here’s the plan: maybe monthly i’ll write stuff, if you feel like responding, please do. if you don’t have a tumblr: you can’t post responses to tumblr, but please email submissions to: email@example.com.
like it says in the submission guidelines for # 1: please no oppressive garbage.
enough of my babbling, so far here are some topics for # 2:
-quitting smoking, and self-care around smoking
-nutrition and food
-thoughts on ableism