Friday, July 16, 2010

thought experiments

one of the biggest criticisms of radical lefty political theory is
that it only critiques the current system and doesn't offer solutions.
it's a solid criticism and part of the reason i spend so much time
playing what if in my head. Wonder and i have been bouncing around the
idea of pulling names out of a hat instead of having elections. i like
it. it gives oppressed groups better access to power and ends the
money train that is campaign financing. but......
it leaves a power vacuum that would immediately be filled by non
elected, non random civil servants. they would become the agenda
setters, and if you haven't figured it out yet, all the power lies in
the people who decide what issues are important. we need skilled civil
servants, especially if every few years we pick a whole new roster of
unskilled pols out of a hat, but how do you keep their power limited
to implementation of laws and not the creation of them? and would we
really want to choose our head of state out of a hat?

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time.
Willem de Kooning

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

dear Switzerland

i was in switzerland a few years ago. we were driving back to dresden
after spending some time in the south of france. we stoppped in a
quaint little mountain town and i stretched my legs and smoked a
cigarrete while my partner went to look for a room. maybe it was my
black hair and olive skin, but as soon as he left me alone i felt the
climate change around me. the people on the street glared at me, a
woman with a baby carriage made a big show of zipping up the plastic
carriage cover and the unzipping it once she got past me. i've
travelled. i lived in a dodgy neighborhood for a decade. i've never
felt so unnerved by a place as i did in that little town. my partner
returned and i begged him to get me out of there, and then i made him
walk me to a bathroom in a pub. i never pull that shit. i've had a
deep lizzard brain kind of hate for switzerland ever since.
so it comes as no surprise to me that you all released a famous child
rapist. you are the country that i have been calling 'what facism
aspires to be'.

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time.
Willem de Kooning