Thursday, November 04, 2010

I'm seriously thinking about

squatting as political protest/ means of solving homeless issue.

Look, we all know "the rents too damn high".

So any readers out there with squatting experience? I've googled around a bit but i haven't found any organized squatters in Seattle like you'd have in NYC, but we do have our organized tent city.

One of the cool kids

Elizabitchez is trying out this tumblr shit.

for the lighter side of the universe ending, or maybe I am just trying to find my bell hooks flavored joy in these crappy times through silly gifs of bizarre things.


Yesterday, after all the midterm election hullabaloo, the Fed released 600 BILLION dollars in funds to buy long term treasuries. This is quantitative easing, a way to keep interest rates low for large institutions that want to borrow money during a time of rising inflation.

Now with little fanfare, and no political fight, 600 BILLION bucks just made its way into the economy that wasn't there before. It will have no tangible benefit for you or me or any of the bottom 80 percent. If we were capable of borrowing money right now, we would probably be hit with killer interest rates.

At the same time, unemployment benefits are running out this week for thousands, tens of thousands, many many Americans. One of my dearest friends called me panicked last night. You could here the pale fear in her voice. If I can scrounge the $, I'm bringing her wine tonight and getting her good and drunk. I told her we can all live in the park together, or we'll go squat in some of the empty, newly built, luxury condos that can't be sold.

600 billion would go a long way towards housing, feeding, and employing those of us in the bottom 80. But we are not a priority.

The Do Something Rhetoric

This is a theme I have heard repeated over and over at those of us who don't want to waste time and energy on a failing system "do something!" "Why don't you do something about it if you feel that way?"

Blink. Double Blink.

Because 5 years, 2000+ blog posts, being regularly screamed at, insulted, and basically abused by people on both the right and the left, plus the years of volunteerism, the protests, the protest medic-ing (yep, I'm the girl who knows how to wash tear gas out of your eyes) is nothing. Nothing if I am not contributing to the system in the only kyriarchy approved way, through little scraps of paper marked with a "choice" about who controls us. To them I have done nothing.

And I remember being the asshole who yelled at Nader voters in 2000 (I apologized during the primaries) and being the asshole who had "no respect for someone who wouldn't do their democratic duty". (I apologize now).

What I know now is that choosing not to participate in a corrupt system is much more work than "doing something". That the amount of energy required to pull back the rhetoric curtains and critically view the system is immense, and it is "doing something" to expose it. That if I were to shut up, vote blue or red, keep my thoughts to myself and do as I am supposed to do, I would personally fare better is something I have thought about. I might even be employable if I could tow the line. But I can't.

In the same way I can't shoplift, even though I can see that it would be better for me and my family if I could just pocket what we need instead of paying for it. I can't suck it up and pretend that the system just needs the proper tweaking from the right guys to make it work. It needs to be smashed and rebuilt.

I am doing something, with words like a hammer I am trying to chip away at this little corner of the system.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Things we all should be able to agree on, but don't

Oh Mr. Gramsci, you have ruined me forever. I can no longer look at "common sense" ideas without needing to pull them apart and examine them for upper class benefit.

So all the teevees, all the channels, all the talking heads owned by giant warmongering corporations spent the last few weeks encouraging, demanding, browbeating people into voting. Vote, vote or die. Get out the vote. Blah blah blah. And at this point we ALL should know that our best interest is not first and foremost in the minds of the talking heads and their corporate masters. When they tell us to do something, it is because it serves them, not us.

And it is not at all surprising that in a system that only allows for 2 parties who barely differ from each other (shit sandwich, shit sandwich with pickle) that people who are pissed at the status quo take the only option they are given for venting and vote for the slightly different status quo. There is no other option. No other option will be allowed to be viable. It is not in the best interest of the elites. And if it ain't in the interest of the elites, you and me ain't ever gonna get a chance to choose it. Period.

We should all be able to recognize this in the same way we recognize that commercials for painless, easy hair removal are full of shit. We know, in our hearts, that politics is a rigged shell game and we are the dupes on the street, handing over cash and trying to guess where the best governance is hidden. But we keep playing, keep giving legitimacy to our "betters", keep voting and watching the talking heads and pretending that the screaming arguments we have over what branch of the monarchy elite controls us matter. We are kept confused with ideas of left and right, conservative and liberal so that we never ever look at the real structure, top and bottom. Up and down. Haves and Have Nots.

We fight with each other over the best way to serve the interests of our masters. We scream at the people who refuse to participate in Democracy Theater. We should all be able to see that this system is set up to divide us from each other so we keep fighting over the scraps of resources allotted to us bottom 80% instead of demanding a better split from the powers that be.

We should all be able to see this shit. We should all be able to agree on it. But Democracy Theater is a powerful show and we keep fighting each other while the powerful run off with bags of money.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Survey says!

So i was seriously trying to decide if I was going to spend my last 3 bucks on bus fare to go vote.

I decided nope. Not worth it.

This is a process. And because I am fairly open with who I am and what my thoughts are online, you all get to watch me waver and waffle and chew through information and figure shit out. You all get to watch me be broke and vulnerable and scared and sometimes (ugh) weak. But it's a process and hopefully at the end of this adventure I will be a better person than I was when I started. It helps knowing that out in bloglandia there are people who watch this sausage making process and keep me honest.

So not voting. May spend the 3 bucks and hit a thrift store and see if I can find a cheap winter coat instead. Better use of time and resources. (And so obvious that I was reading feminist hulk twitters while writing this).

Monday, November 01, 2010

Word on the street

We're just days from yet another election and soon we'll have firm numbers on the Democratic enthusiasm gap. In the mean time, the layers of shitty supposition regarding why women may or may not give a flying fuck about what happens to dems at the poles or who the people are that have just said "fuck you and your democracy theater" keep piling up like kitty roca in a dirty litter box.

Here are a few things I've been told I am because I feel the way I do about voting:

1) There was the oh so fun Nazi reference, twice. Apparently by not voting for the not as obviously evil party, I am voting for Hitler, who is dead. And has never run for any office in the U.S. But none the less, a non-vote for democrats is a vote for the Nazi party.

2) I have been swayed by the mass propaganda machine of the right wing and the tea baggers. I find this weird because I avoid MSM like the plague, and wouldn't go near a bit of right wing "news" if it had hundred dollar bills tied to it saying "free for the taking". But I am a tool of the conservatives. I have not ever even considered giving a vote of a dime to a rethuglikan, but that doesn't seem to matter. I've bought their propaganda, which I haven't actually seen or heard, hook line and sinker.

3) The fact that I have serious, documented issues with the Democratic party is unimportant. They are the party of all that is good and right and wonderful. Criticism of the party as a whole and the members as individuals is not to be tolerated.

4) I just don't know how important this election is. What with the threats to bodily autonomy (which the Dems made pretty clear they were okay with during the health care debacle when they made it HARDER for a women to get an abortion) and the economy (10% counted disemployment, 20% actual disemployment) if the rethuklicans win we can look forward to a great big heaping change in our current policy of handing out fat wads of cash to corrupt banksters and tightening governmental budgets through austerity measures. Or not.

5)What do I expect, it's only been 2 years? Of course for things like DADT and assassinations, Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping, internet privacy, etc etc etc, I do expect that the leader of the democratic party would be full-throatedly progressive on that shit. But I am asking too much. And of course it's only been 2 years with a majority in the house and senate.

Perhaps if these paragons of democratic excellence turned down the misogyny, the classism, the obvious condescension towards us "low information" non-voters... Or not. My problems with the party still exist despite how its cheerleaders are currently behaving. But maybe for some other turned off voters, the idea of who we might have to share the damn poll booth with is enough to make staying home with a nice alcoholic beverage and what ever tv channel isn't broadcasting election results sound like a more pragmatic use of time and energy.