laceblade: Josh of The West Wing. Text: "They were just mad at me for imposing discipline and calling them stupid." (WW: Josh: discipline)
This book details the protests surrounding Governor Walker's 2011 Budget Repair Bill/Act 10.
Unlike Susan Riseling's book which focused on policing the protests, this one was written by two political reporters who work for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, & they give much-needed political background.

The reporters are factual in pointing out which portions are theater (almost all floor debates are always scripted; Senator Ellis made sure Cullen was out of the building before calling the roll when the Democratic senators left for Illinois, etc.).
They don't shy away from the fact that legislators needed police escorts due to threats of violence/death, or that they got spat on.

They're also pretty clear about Walker's open dismissal for protesters, his inexplicable refusal to take out the collective bargaining item even when urged to by other members of his own party.

I haven't read Walker's pre-2016 book "Unintimidated," but I'm sure it presents him as he is: someone who genuinely believes that God wants him to do the things he's done, & cannot/will not listen to criticism.

Having lived these protests on Twitter, I remember pretty much everything clearly.
Not an important detail is left out.
It's clear that the reporters know Wisconsin politics really well, & I really enjoyed reading this book.

It perfectly captures and explains this moment in history.
If you're going to read a book about the protests, read this one.

I still feel disappointed that so many people with whom I agree politically remain so easily manipulated by unions/liberal commentators.
People who talk about politics often lament about how unreasonable the other side is - I've heard many people wonder aloud how Republicans can think the way they do.
In the Netflix documentary about Mitt Romney, his wife & kids start a conversation wondering how Democrats could possibly be so obtuse about what it's like to run a small business.

While people are easily incredulous about people they disagree with, this skepticism is rarely turned back on to their own side.
If you feel an emotional resonance in someone's message, it's pretty rare that you'd take the time to go look up the percentage or historical fact someone quoted at you, so long as the conclusion affirms your political opinion.

Useful information is becoming sought-after in political reporting. Nate Silver enjoyed wide success after successfully predicting Obama's reelection based on aggregating poll data, and my former elections/voting professor Charles Franklin does the same thing on a smaller scale here in Wisconsin.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Silver & his team do with FiveThirtyEight, and am hopeful that he & other smart journalists who keep leaving establishment publishers like the New York Times & Washington Post for newer as-yet unexplained start-up journalism/internet ventures can put out valuable information, and that people will actually pay attention to it.

We'll see.
laceblade: G Washington, A Hamilton, & T Jefferson; lol!text about political party formation (LOL politics)
WELP.

:( :( :(



I've been tweeting about politics. I find my thoughts too brief for blog posts.
laceblade: Kevin McHale & Harry Shum Jr., screenshot from their remake of "Scream" music video (Glee scream)
PLAYLISTS ARE MY THING LATELY, HAVE YOU NOTICED?

Anyway, started a playlist of songs for US/UK politics; you can find it here if you have Spotify. I think that all of the UK ones come from a fanmix for Attack the Block that I downloaded a while ago - will link to that when I'm home & have the bookmark.

Do you have any song recs? As evidenced by the list, I'm into pop music, so recs along those lines = nice. Recs need not be centered on US/UK politics; that's just what I've got so far.

There's a War Going On For Your Mind - Flobots
Council Estate of Mind - Skinnyman
Golden Sand - The Republic Tigers
Wretches and Kings - Linkin Park
My England - Lady Sovereign
Take a Walk - Passion Pit
If There Ever Was a Time - Third Eye Blind
Hands Held High - Linkin Park
POWER - Kanye West
Wisdom, Justice, and Love - Linkin Park
We Are Winning - Flobots



I might add to this list myself later, because I forgot my iPod at home today. I need music to function at work, so the Spotify app is currently creating a playlist centered on Flobots's "There's a War Going On For Your Mind." Its first add is "We are all on drugs" by Weezer, lol.

WARNING THAT THE GLEE COVER OF "SCREAM" MIGHT BE MY FIRST ADD, JSYK.
laceblade: G Washington, A Hamilton, & T Jefferson; lol!text about political party formation (LOL politics)
Back in May, I made some election predictions.

I thought that Scott Walker would win the recall election; he did.

I thought that the Democrats would take the State Senate in June, only to lose it in November; they did.

I thought Obama would win re-election; he did.


I didn't make a prediction about the Tammy Baldwin/Tommy Thompson race in this blog, but I commented on it frequently on Twitter - I thought that Baldwin would lose to Thompson.
She has done jack-shit as a legislator, and is extremely liberal.
Because I thought that she would lose, I was pleased when Tommy Thompson defeated the Club for Growth-backed GOP candidate in the primary.

But then Thompson was a complete jackhole in every debate, and Tammy pulled it out it in the end! Glad to have been wrong about Tammy Baldwin.
She is the US's first openly gay senator. Also Wisconsin's first woman senator.
I'm also glad to have voted for her successor in the House: Mark Pocan. This is the first time that a gay legislator has succeeded another gay legislator for the same seat. WISCONSIN DISTRICT 2 REPRESENT!

Glad to see that Nate Silver and Wisconsin's Marquette Law Poll (run by one of my fave former profs) were right. Really hoping for political science to become more mainstream, instead of people like Peggy Noonan and George Will blowing hot air all over the place. They make for better TV, but people seriously freak out waiting for election results. NEEDS TO STOP.



This was Wisconsin's sixth election of the year. People in Ohio/etc. complaining about ads can suck it. I am very, very ready for advertisements to be done. (But you can bet your ass I will still tweet incessantly about politics.)


I know one of the tags says "locked;" it's not supposed to, it's okay this post is unlocked.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Glee: Santana bubble)
President Obama is coming to campus this Thursday. Surrounded by a mass of liberals that make up his base, he'll give a speech the day after his first debate with Mitt Romney.

I went to see Obama in 2008 at the Kohl Center while he was campaigning.
I saw him again in 2010 on campus, when he came here to campaign for congressional candidates during the midterm elections - too bad Russ Feingold lost and Scott Walker won, eh?

In theory, it would be nice to see him Thursday, but I don't think I will.
For one thing, it's at noon, so I'd probably have to take the entire day off to stand in line and then see him and etc.
When I saw him in 2010, we stood in line for an entire mile and after hours of waiting, they said, "Just go to Bascom Hill," and it was kind of a free-for-all of people streaming over the stairs between Van Vleck and Van Hise.

Worse yet, to attend the rally, one must obtain a "ticket." Getting a ticket is easy! Just give your full name, phone number, and e-mail address to the Obama campaign, :) (my eyes roll forever)
Even if I had people to go with (and I'm sure I could find people if I tried), I am just not feeling it this year.

I have acupuncture scheduled at 4pm, and I'm worried about traffic returning to normalcy in time for me to ride the bus/get my car. Maybe I'll just take the bus & forget my car.

Anyone planning on going?
laceblade: Toby, Josh, and Donna of The West Wing, talking intensely (WW: 20 Hours in America)
A couple episodes ago, The Newsroom had a throw-away line about Scott Walker winning the 2010 gubernatorial race in Wisconsin. I blogged about an inaccuracy in that line here.

The episode that aired last night made an attempt at covering the Wisconsin union protests in more depth.

This week, they had an episode about the Egyptian protests in Tahrir Square, with the union protests in Wisconsin being a developing side-story - I don't think they're done with it.

Maggie runs into the control room while they're on the air to say that there's a protest outside of a newspaper office in Appleton, Wisconsin. On the air, Will reports that the governor is "trapped" inside the newspaper office by 75 protesting teachers.
I don't actually remember there being any protests on February 10th, and I certainly don't remember things starting in Appleton (or the governor ever being "trapped" anywhere** - the bill was introduced on February 11th, and the first big day of protests was on February 14th. This is easy to remember because the protests were billed as "delivering valentines" to the Governor's office. The first mass-made signs had hearts on them.
(Here's some footage of the first day of major protests in Madison.)

Will reports that Scott Walker threatened to call up the National Guard - a rumor that was widely reported during the protests, but is not what he actually said (See this Politifact for details.)

There's also a few seconds spent dwelling on the average salaries of a few different types of state employees, all in the mid-$40k range.

The show does do a good job of making it clear that the protests were about collective bargaining rights for public sector unions - not the simplified "cutting teachers' jobs" that someone had warned the episode would be about on Twitter.

I don't think that this storyline will be going away. In previous episodes, Will (the anchor) has gotten shit from higher-ups for attacking the Koch brothers on air. As we know, the Koch brothers do become a key point of the protests - and I hope to God that they mock Walker for the prank phone call that was used against him.

There's a conversation in this episode as well, about the Citizens United case with the Supreme Court, and how it gave both parties the opportunity to raise unlimited funds through private corporations (which fund Republican campaigns) and public sector unions (which fund Democrat campaigns). The characters point out that the Supreme Court ruling positively affected both parties - which is why the next logical step for the GOP is to completely & utterly eviscerate the public sector unions, taking away their ability to effectively raise funds, and therefore make it exceedingly difficult to consistently beat Republicans in campaigns.
I don't think it's paranoid or overreaching for Sorkin and The Newsroom to frame the attack on collective bargaining rights as being about this issue. I believe that's exactly why Walker did what he did.


**ETA: The protest of 75 teachers in Appleton really was the start of things! Thanks to [twitter.com profile] bluecheddar1 for pointing this out to me.

Feedback

Jul. 15th, 2012 04:49 pm
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Korra: fuck the haters)
Because [personal profile] bibliofile is evil knows me well, she forwarded me DPW's survey about the gubernatorial recall election in Wisconsin.

The top of the survey claims that they will "put Tammy Baldwin in the Senate," which I kind of doubt.

Regardless, here's the answer I gave to their most important question:

What do you think the Democratic Party of Wisconsin could have done differently to change the outcome of the election?
Find and cultivate better candidates; run more effective/put-together campaigns.

Barrett might have been our best option out of what was available in the debates, but he pretty much sucked as hard as he could have, to convince people who hadn't already made up their minds. When asked about his economic plans for WI, he gave some anti-Walker bullshit, and Walker basically cake-walked through to election day. The plan to convince undecideds/conservatives obviously failed abysmally.
Even in a recall election, you can't campaign solely on, "The other guy sucks."
Couldn't he have at least dug up what his economic plan was from 2010? It was cringe-worthy. Walker didn't even have to try.

There was an opportunity here, and people were fired up. It's a shame that the opportunity was wasted.
laceblade: Toby, Josh, and Donna of The West Wing, talking intensely (WW: 20 Hours in America)
So The West Wing is my favorite TV show of all-time, just a nose ahead of Buffy.
A few years ago, I was really disappointed with Aaron Sorkin's mostly-autobiographical Studio 60, which I believe was objectively terrible.

Still, I gave The Newsroom a chance, and I'm mostly digging it. MacKenzie is obviously my favorite, although I also love Jim.
The show is typical Sorkin, full of diatribes and elitism, and its "Aaron Sorkin, have you ever actually listened to women talk to one another?!," but it's ultimately very watchable, and I like it.

But! I was here to talk briefly about a thing that happened in the show's third episode, which covers part of Election Night in 2010. Most of the attention is given to Tea Party candidates, and Republicans taking over legislatures and governorships all over the country. The news team is prophetic (because they're really smart, have you noticed how much more perceptive these people are than anyone else in news?!), predicting the ultimate showdown over the debt ceiling "crisis," and John Boehner's inability to reign in his new freshmen.

When discussing Scott Walker's win in Wisconsin, MacKenzie (the show's Executive Producer) says something like, "Isn't he the guy who was talking about busting unions?" and Will (the anchor) mutters something affirmative in response.
Even though this show is fictional, it takes place a few years behind present-day, and the "current" events are all real, actual things. And I kind of worry about our cultural memory, or how people in general view the Wisconsin union protests of 2011.
It is not true to say that Scott Walker campaigned on the "union-busting" issue, or that on Election Night, anyone outside his own team would have had any knowledge about his future plans for unions. Scott Walker largely built his campaign around ending high-speed rail in Wisconsin, and before he had even taken office, he got the previous/still-at-that-point Gov. Jim Doyle (D) to return the federal money to the Obama administration, who spent it somewhere else.
Walker spewed a lot of rhetoric about fiscal responsibility, but mostly focused on how he would get Wisconsin's economy back into gear.

He absolutely did not campaign on union-busting, and I actually dare anyone to find a single quote given by Walker prior to January/February 2011 about his plans for public sector unions in Wisconsin.
The fact is, there aren't any.

I think that fictional representations of this nature are really unfortunate.
During the recall campaign, a lot of Walker supporters were disgusted with Walker haters. A prominent slogan on yard signs and billboards was, "Recall Santa! I didn't get what I wanted," implying that elections have consequences, and you get what you voted for, and etc.
This really sucks, and if our cultural memory hold that Wisconsin knew that Scott Walker was planning to kill public sector unions and voted for him anyway, then yeah, we look like a bunch of petulant whiners.
We didn't know, and some people would not have voted for him in the first place if they had known.
Some might say, "Well, he would have won anyway, since he survived the recall election."
But we don't know the truth about that, either. Polls showed that voters overwhelmingly felt that Walker had not committed any acts worthy of a recall, regardless of whether they agreed with his union-busting legislation.

All that said, I really do hope that there is an episode about the Wisconsin union protests, because I would probably blog the shit out of it.




ETA: I can't believe I'm doing this, but Jake Tapper's review of the show is pretty fucking awesome. I guess I like Tapper way more when his shit is written down, as opposed to watching him? Who knew!
laceblade: Toby, Josh, and Donna of The West Wing, talking intensely (WW: 20 Hours in America)
I half-apologize to my Twitter followers, as I retweeted the shit out of election coverage, ;_; At least the blog entries were way fewer?!


I do agree with this tweet. For those who don't want to click-through, it's Alex Burns of Politico saying, "I really don't see how you can say that money alone buys a 7-point win in a polarized, highly informed electorate."

And...yeah.

There is no question that Walker out-fundraised Barrett by a massive margin.
But I'm really suspicious of all of the cynical "this election was bought!" statements.

Exit polls from last night showed that 90% of the electorate had its mind made up over a month ago. That is a huge percentage for any election.
I literally cannot think of a single person in my life who has not formed a strong opinion about Walker and his policies. People who agree with Walker's policy aren't misinformed, I don't think. Misguided, sure, but I don't think a saturation of Barrett TV ads would have swayed the people I know in my own life.


For me, the "election in miniature" moment was during the last debate, when Barrett was asked about his economic plans for Wisconsin by the moderator. Barrett spouted off some anti-Walker rhetoric.
Walker: Just to be clear, so everybody's clear here: The Mayor doesn't have a plan, so all he's got is to attack me."
And....yes. Running against rockstar Scott Walker, who's claiming to have economically save the state, our Democratic candidate couldn't make his own fucking economic plan. Somehow, nobody viewed this as a problem!

I'm more angry at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin than I am at Walker, for running such a shitty campaign.
Then again, I might have my own opinions about the DPW, :)




My own personal conclusion from the election: Trust the polling data pre-election; deeply distrust the exit polls. THE EXIT POLLS WILL ALWAYS BETRAY YOU.
My favorite Marquette Poll, conducted by one of my former favorite professors, predicted the final results right on the nose, I think.



Walker's union-busting isn't about the philosophical "right to collectively bargain" discussion. It's about taking away the financial power of unions, who previously donated to Democrats on the same level as GOP millionaires.
Between this and Citizens United, the GOP and their Super PACs have shit in the bag. It is purposeful, and to be honest, masterful.
It is as systematic as the way that Voter ID laws disenfranchise people who are likely to vote Democratic, while making people like my father believe that voter fraud is rampant.

It is sobering, and I for one feel just about wholly incapable of doing a damned thing about it.



ETA: Taking a step back, looking at this post, it might seem incoherent, like I'm saying, "Money doesn't decide elections....except that it does!"
I guess what I mean is that money did not decide this election. People who think it did are looking for something to blame, in my opinion. It's hard to accept that so many people support Walker and/or don't think his actions are worthy of being recalled (that the recall should only be used for misconduct, etc).
I do think money can make the difference in closer races, and it absolutely determines the types of candidates we have in the first place - faceless jackholes, instead of real, authentic people.
laceblade: Toby, Josh, and Donna of The West Wing, talking intensely (WW: 20 Hours in America)
The gubernatorial recall election is tomorrow.
Most people I know are liberal, and most people are very much in an "I don't want to talk about it!" state, with the knowledge that Walker will probably win & not wanting to think about it.
If Walker loses, I will be surprised and elated. Public Policy Polling just released its latest poll last evening, putting Walker at 50 and Barrett at 47.


I received a really creepy mailer this weekend, as did a number of other people who live in my neighborhood. The mailer proclaimed, Who votes is public record! This is true! But then the mailer had my name and the names of various neighbors who all live in my apartment building, plus whether or not they voted in 2008 and in 2010. On June 5, 2012, it said, "???"
The mailer said something like, "We will know if you vote or not, and we need everyone to vote!"
I find this really creepy, and vaguely threatening! Like, it is none of my business whether or not my neighbors voted. I wish everyone would vote, but people make choices and it is none of my business.
The mailer was put about by some union.

For the most part, Republicans don't bother with Madison residents, except for TV ads (because the Madison media market covers a lot of rural areas in S/SW Wisconsin). The only thing I got from them was a weird mass text message about how Barrett is a puppet of the unions (apparently they missed the primary, in which all of the unions endorse Kathleen Falk....)


This election definitely has people talking about politics more than they ever have, even in this city. It comes in the bookstore pretty regularly, people talk about stuff at work. I still really <3 the conversations overheard on the bus during the union protests at the Capitol. Instead of commuting together in silence like every other morning, everyone was talking to one another. It was awesome.


My boyfriend and some of his work friends are going to a bar tomorrow night, mostly to drink, also to watch election returns. I'm not sure if I want to go.

I've watched election returns at home with my boyfriend and with friends, just sitting around, in the past. It's really appealing to me to read my entire Twitter feed and the entire Internet as it happens. I'm not sure if I'm up for making a social event out of it.


Am still actually concerned for people like my cousin, who were politicized by the union protests. I'm confident that the activism of a lot of the newly!politicized will not end with this election, but it's going to be really heartbreaking, for sure.
My solace is that the Democrats will take back the Senate and that heinous bullshit will stop passing.
I am unafraid of things like a "right to work" law because even if the Democrats don't take the Senate....it will never pass the Senate.
laceblade: G Washington, A Hamilton, & T Jefferson; lol!text about political party formation (LOL politics)
For people who read me for Wisconsin politics, I do that way more frequently on Twitter, as [twitter.com profile] ribbonknight lately.

THAT SAID, SOME PREDICTIONS:
Scott Walker will win the recall election.
Democrats will take back the Senate in June, and then lose it again in November, much to the woe of the Senate pages who will have to rearrange offices twice in a single year.
I do think Obama will win re-election, though. I don't know enough about the federal legislative races to make any predictions there, :[




I know one of the tags says 'locked,' I just need to change the tag, sorry.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (a thousand nights to change the world)
The General Assembly has become a familiar practice since the growth of Occupy Wall Street. Anarchistic and radically democratic organizing processes have a much longer history, though, including the Zapatistas, the Spanish student movement, and movements in the history of feminism. For WisCon members, a familiar feeling might have bubbled up in watching, reading about, or participating in Occupy: wasn't this a bit like what they did on Le Guin's Anarres, or in DuChamp's Free Zones? This panel will discuss the possible growth of a kind of democracy other than our current party-based political systems, using the ways it has been prefigured and imagined in feminist science fiction to help make sense of radical histories and futures.
Saturday, 10-11:15am
Twitter Hash-Tag: Radical Democracy The tweets have also been Storified.
Panelists: Alexis Lothian (moderator), Timmi Duchamp, Liz Henry, Andrea Hairston

Panelist Liz Henry also live-tweeted the panel, although she tragically did not use the designated hash tag. You can find her tweets at [twitter.com profile] lizhenry

Here's a link to Liz Henry's blog post, including lots more details and references and insights.



[personal profile] laceblade note: The transcription is more complete for people who talk slowly (Timmi), and way less complete for people who talk faster (Alexis, sometimes Andrea). I hope I have recorded things as an accurate representation of the panel, but this is definitely not every word that was said on the panel!

Also, there are some political events/organizations that were mentioned that I have no idea wtf they were. These will be denoted with "?!", lol.



AL: Thank you all so much for coming. It’s early, I appreciate you coming to an intense and what I hope will be exciting and creative panel. I proposed it because I thought it would be amazing to have these three people talking about these things. That was my main goal. Imaging radical democracy and thinking of ways we can imagine politics – more than Republicans and Democrats. What could democrfacy be other than that? Political agencies, actions....what the histories are of these movements.
I want to ask some questions that will solicit conversation. Want to give panelists 40 minutes before questions. Would appreciate holding your questions until they’re opened up.

TD: Hi, in terms of this panel, I would say that for most of my adult life I’ve been torn between intellectual and writing activity and political activism of various types. Always with some group or other, not as a follower but getting involved in individual actions locally. I’ve tried to balance these two and in my writing, if any of you have read my fiction, I address social and political issues all the time. The Marq'ssan Cycle (series of books written by this panelist) as a result of my activism and thinking. Wanted to imagine how we would get to a better place where everyone can flourish. Took me 5 books to do that. I found in writing those books, to my surprise, not an end utopian result, but a process. The books told me that utopia is a process. It’s a political process involving working out problems, collective problems collectively with political dialogue. It is sort of interesting that those books in a way are a culmination of all the thinking I’ve been doing in my exp as an activist but led me to a diff place. I hadn’t realized that. I knew from the organizations that I worked with and my problems with them that my problems were hierarchal. That’s why I didn’t become a full member but just participated in actions, often direct actions. Also things like petition drives, like the ERA. That was disillusioning, the practice of it. Not the goal of carrying it out, but dealing with the National Organization for Women. Put me off that. After that I worked with NARAL, same thing. Very hierarchal and top-heavy. Those of us who did actual work...hired organizers treated like dirt by the board who did all the fundraising. The organization existed to serve the fundraisers. That could put a lot of people off activism. These kinds of experiences do. That’s a part of the whole problem in the US. Bad experiences create low expectations especially with social rollbacks over the last 30 years. Creates political apathy. Political apathy is a response, not just a state of ignoring the world, it’s a state of actual response. It’s not passive even though it looks like passivity. I think what’s important about science fiction is it gives us alternatives that we can’t imagine in the US even though our history is full of tens of thousands of experiments in collective communities. All around the world, all sorts of things going on, all sorts of collective groups. World Social Forum created to make a visible example in visible space of an alternative to DAVOS, the world economic forum. All these groups converge in South America. Puerto Alegre in 2001. Followed the WTO in Seattle, not accidental. At that point that we saw that imagining alternatives had to be outside of natural boundaries. I think the whole game has changed. It’s not just 9/11, it’s globalization. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here, you can see what my interest is.

LH: I’m live-tweeting the panel! I want to talk about some of the activism and process that I’m involved in. I agree with everything said, startingly. Somewhat in my involvement with a hackerspace in San Francisco. Want to talk about anarchist hackerspace – processes and problems. Part of the problem and solution is in narrative structures. As I sometimes talk to journalists at techy conferences or journalist conferences, which I end up as a human diversity machine, I am talking to people who can’t tell the story of Occupy or WikiLeaks or any kind of revolution or anything hackery. They can’t tell a story, don’t know how to understand the story if there’s no hierarchy or leader or puppet master or hero. Riot Girl? The idea that you’re killing rockstars, refusing to become a rockstar, so many people within this many-centered movement refused to be rockstars. They want to make someone the saint, canonized someone because they want to arrest them. Even if they don’t want to arrest someone, they don’t believe that htings could happen that way. I love the Marq'ssan Cycle for teling that story, for telling stories with multiple POVs. Teaching people through telling a difficult story. Demanding the reader engage so deeply as to understand a difficult story. Teling journalists you cannot understand it unless you are with it. You must participate. You are actually sucked in. Want to leave it there and come back to it.

AH: So participatory democracy. Grew up with it in my household. Everybody was a race man or woman. You had to do something, to change, b/c the narrative out there was false. You had to change the narrative. Narrative technology that changes what we want/need. Grwew up with union organizaers, civil rights orgs....I was a scientist. I was a little slower to organizing b/c I was a dreamer but eventually dreams woven in. I dsappointed them, but I'll talk about that tomorrow night [presumably in her Guest of Honor speech]. What I realized was that for me, one who tells the story rules the world. Therefore, we all need to. WE all need to be agents of action, all need to be storytellers. All need to be agents of action in the story.
In the past in the 19th century, Iqbo women in Nigeria had participatory democratic meetings where women spoke. They’d be anarchic or not within any...they were ad hoc. British did not understand them. Women had women’s war. Other people in the region in Nigeria understood Women’s War. Women: Look, this shit sucks, it’s fucked up, your dick is limp. They performed poetry: get your goats out of my grass. Performance in front of the offenders. Poetry/singing/dancing until resolved. We’re all leaving now, taking the babies, you take care of children. Men try to take it back [whater offense they'd given], etc., then resolve.
British thought men didn’t have the women in control, and so they shot at the women. During women’s war, they’d come out with utensils. British shot at them because they thought they’d kill them. It was at the turn of the 20th century. After that, the British told them, "You have to act like Victorian women! You don’t have a say!" (Referencing women's war): Also, could do it naked. Women would strip, run around, do this stuff. The men would be like, "Oh no, they've taken their clothes off, it’s over." The British didn’t understand the conventions/terms. They [the Iqbo] were much more democratic than British. Way of balancing power/making sure all voices were heard. You knew if you did some crap, you might have to face this. Made you reconsider. Called chaotic anarchic process. Functioned beautifully for a long without problems until the intervention of the British who wanted to civilize these savages who didn’t understand. Asked where the chief was. They didn’t have chiefs. Why do we need one? Chiefs imposed on them, women were revolting against the chiefs. Try to tell everyone that story as often as I can. Use those images in my own writing. Current book dealing with one such woman who comes to America. I’m Andrea Hairston, I don’t think I said that (laughter). I write SF/F, I’m a professor, I marched with my mother to March on Washington when I was 11. She got me on the right track.

LH: I'm Liz Henry, WisCon 20 was my first WisCon. I have a lovely book put out by Aqueuduct Press. Feminist anarachist geography. Imaginary geography. Buy my book, it’s awesome!

AL: It says a lot about how much one has to say that intros has become the panel, which I’m happy about. I love WisCon because the conversations we have here are also conversations I have in academic work but they’re jargon and filled with references, and I really appreciate the way we have them here. Couple things I hope we can bring out. Narrative, and what narratives have power/what do we expect? What are ways something else can be imagine? Appreciated Andrea’s example [of the Iqbo] – this is not a new idea. Have existed for so long, actually colonialism empire that has tried to stamp them out. Really specific example, gives us something to work with/draw on. Both Timmi and Liz touched on examples, would you like to take collectivities and tease out how that works and what are some of the important elements of it?

LH: NoiseBridge, hackerspace in San Francisco. Own little movement (hacker spaces) situate them in early Internet culture, pre-web. Then through conference in Berlin every Christmas, CCCC, people there were like, we need to establish a physical space where we can do our stuff. About making things and computer hackery things. Started a Wiki hackerspaces. Popping up instances in different cities. Patterns in software, patterns – not rules or legal structures. Patterns or anti-patterns can lead to institutional structures that are quite flexible. That came from book on architecture that’s an amazing book.

AL: Liz has a essay that explains all this in the WisCon Chronicles.

LH: Oh yeah! This is not a coincidence! NoiseBridge started by people who pooled their money. Co-op but anarchist. One rule, inspired by Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: be excellent to each other. One rule. Leads to some very interesting meetings. Mostly works, has worked for 3 years. We’re one of the largest and radically inclusive hacker spaces. Right now we’re 5,0000 sq ft space in the mission in San Franciscoi between 17th and 18th (?!). Full of junk. Computer junk, electronics drunk, soddering irons, photography dark room, wood shop. Two classrooms. Attracted some revolutionary micologists. Shelves with plastic, people having a meeting who were growing mushrooms. People brewing/distilling. Sewing/crafting there. Acceptable project definition grew very quickly. Salting of the space with kitchen and sewing and things that were signifying....don’t have to prove you’re a computer hacker to come into this space. A lot of it is about do-orcracy. Let’s have a farm/business/etc. Trying to bring in some history of utopian history –

AUD: Louisa May Alcott – her father had a utopian farm/etc.

LH: I’m not a farmer but a lot of our fights...we have constant drama. I edited an issue of the WisCon Chronicles about internet drama. Danah Boyd paper about how people talk about drama. Specifically teenagers on Facebook and how drama has become gendered. It’s what girls do, trivial, gossipy, sort of bad. Dudes shouldn’t engage in drama. NoiseBridge has a public mailing list is drama. Someone used the kitchen…

AH: What do YOU mean by drama? You mean Melodrama.

AL: Wank.

LH: Everyone can see it (the drama). Complicated process sof a relationship in public. Not real but has some inauthenticity despite we’ve grown up mediated thorugh media. It seems natural to me that our relationships are played out in a public sphere. If you think about blog sheets and gossip, happening now. Happening when you’re 12. Happening at hackerpsace. 3-D printers. Launched a weather balloon into space. Main public face is us fighting about who to kick out and where the boundaries are. Always the process. How do we kick out the jerks? Everyone’s fighting, people doing weird guerilla actions that mock everything, making us look bad, shouldn’t you do something awesome? Meanwhile, people are homeless. We have a buzzer or you can read the Wiki and how to get in. Anybody can walk in, we’ll give a tour, you can use all tours. We had to kick out half of Occupy San Francisco. People in squats who had shelters or SROs don’t have access to running water/working kitchen. By making a space in which we’re trying to address one problem, we’re more revolutionary than we realized. Once you’re part of a revolution, you have to fix all the things. It’s very hard, very valuable it takes place in public, documenting what happens. Also really difficult and uncomfortable and don’t know when feds will come shut you down. Wanted to mention books, but can do that in next space.

AL: The drama, the fact that trying to make change is really tortorus, results in fighting and people hating each other, internet culture/drama. What wank and drama and melodrama do and why they might just not be....part of how we negotiate. We have to emerge from it. It does things that other kinds of more carefully planned politics don’t do. Even the most trivial fights can have ripples of effects that are really important to what a community does. Marq'ssan Cycle, learned more about it through reading that. And also through many other works of SF. Love that you brought that together, what you need to do in the hacker psace. How there are so many....that should not be dismissed. Why we should work that.

LH: All the Occupys ran into that. They had kitchens, and then suddenly people who were mentally ill, they had to embrace everything and was quite difficult.

AL: That was huge – the class division within Occupy. Have to look at it, not shy away.

TD: Little drops of water evaporate in dry atmosphere, need a human environment. Not just all of internal difficulties here but thes efforts are operating in a context in which we have vast problems. We have terrible collective problems and no collective solutions or collective process. These space (occupy, hacker, etc.) are besieged by that context. They can’t address them by themselves. That’s basically the problem. We sort of, what’s happening is more and more people are seeing the horizon of what’s possible but in this current environment, it’s very hard to ...you can hack out a space but you can’t put up walls, antithetical to what you want to do. Of course there’s the narrative. My own experiences were very limited experiences which sprang up in the context of doing activist things. You might not think of this as, well it is a radical democracy. My experience getting arrested during civil disob. My affinity group were a bunch of anarchists. This was in January 1990. But this started in November 1989. We were doing theatre, political theater on streets of Seattle. Someone tried to pick my pocket while I was down on the ground, it was raining, it was cold (laughing), there I was ....(inaudible t ome). One of my fellow activists caught the guy. Anyway, we were doing a series of protests and solidarity with the people of El Salvador. Massive protests, one of them shut down I-5. A lot of people were getting arrested. How to say this, okay, in response to the big crackdown in El Salvador in November 1989, priests were murdered. Experience of getting arrested was fabulous. Oceanic merging with the universe experiences. That’s why a lot of people get into civil disobedience. Part of a group, defying authority just by standing in a crosswalk or in a street, you know. We were all carted off in buses to be processed. We were in plastic handcuffs. A couple people decided they weren’t going to reveal their IDs so they couldn’t be processed. Cops went nuts. They made us sit there in this bus in the parking lot of the police station. They kept sending people higher up in the chain to harangue us. The longer it went on, the more ecstatic and experience it was because I realized they were really getting upset and they were going to have to negotiate to let us go because we were threatening if they didn’t release the 4 who wouldn’t reveal identities, that they’d have to arrest all of us. The police weren’t into mass arrest then. We were singing and talking. One of our members was a woman in her seventies and the handcuffs were really terrible for her, she had arthritis. We had to negotiate with cops to get her cuffs taken off. Then we went home and then we had meetings dealing with what we were going to do about our arrest. We were divided into trial groups. New city attorney determined to stamp out central American protestors, too many protestors, need to teach them a lesson. Decided to press charges and go for jail time and raelly each them a lesson. Of course, the court system was not happy with us. We refused to plea to one charge instead of two, we wouldn’t take their deals, we wanted trials. Boy was I glad to get a trial. One of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. We decided to defend ourselves, not just to not pay a lawyer, but for the experience. To make a statement about theway justice is administered in the United States. They put 18 of us in a group, 3 people had a public defender. One lawyer on the team to make objections and do procedural stuff. Judge saw us and learned 15 of us were [unable to parse this word, sorry], didn’t want anything to do with 15 citizen lawyers. On top of that, not enough room for us to sit at the defense table. Had public defenders at defense table, rest of us in the spectator seats. We’re the defendants and the spectators. Then the judge said you have to elect 2 represntatives to speak for you. I got to be one of them, but this wasn’t a fair thing to do. If you’re a defendant, you should be able to speak for yourself or have your own trial. We were being treated like a mass. I went into judge’s chambers, that was a kick, what the rules were going to be, etc. Then we went back and I sat with my fellow defendants. Every time I wanted to speak, I’d have to stand up and the jury was way up in the front and they were seeing this happening. Spatial arrangements and impositions were making a tremendous effect on them before I made my opening statement telling them why were sitting down in the street. So as it progressed, it turned out I was sort of this thorn in the flesh of the court system running smoothly. Judge...I wanted to call him sir instead of “your honor.” Didn’t want to disrespect him, but didn’t want to suggest he was an elevated creature ruling above us. Respectufl. Any time to identify myself, I would stand up and say, “Linda Duchamp” and then make my statement. By the time we got to the cops, it turned out...I worked out with the judge each of us could cross-examine the cop who had arrested us. The only way the cops could identify us was through the polaroid photographs taken of us. My photograph was standing there, 3 of us, laughing in the camera. One of the charges was that we were a threat to public safety. [laughter] It was a no-brainer how to go about demolishing the city’s case. The judge got so aggravated, and the jury loved it. I would come up through the gate and pass into the public space every time I spoke. It was a spectacle because I was in the audience and it made it clear that people who are on trial are passive objects, don’t have anything to do with the process. For me that was a breakthrough. I think of this as being an example of radical democracy, democratic practice. I was interacting with the jury and I was getting them to think about things, not only the case and what the US government was doing in El Salvador, but the way our system works. For me, because of where we are now, it’s that interface that’s so important. Between context we’re living in and what we’re trying to do.

LH: Interface, I was scribbling that! Utopian communities you’re making and the actual world with the legal system and etc. Always a very uncomfortable interface.

AL: Want to build on this. Story about dramatic reframing of political/judicial theater. Drama, narrative. All of us in some way artists/participants in culture. Think we can do some of that in performance, I like to make remix videos. Talk about art and radical democracy before questions.

AH: Dillusion. Can’t see what’s going on, think we live in the rules and they’re absolute and we think something wrong with anarchists rather than that’s what we need to be doing. What is the world we want and how to act toward it rather than how to keep in the process. Trying to get us to see what we can’t see – that’s a function of art. Some Latin saying, that art is to conceal. I say, art is to reveal – the point is to reveal what you can’t see. What you’ve taken for granted. Facism – trains run on time, etc. Really happy with etc. and anarchists are the problem. We have a really bad narrative for anarchy – chaos, etc. People don’t think ecosystem, biological diversity and sustainable power, but degradation and ruins. Those connections in our brains are fed by narratives. I'm a theater person – I love live theater, I don’t know what’s going to happen, even if you have a script. I know my blocking, audience comes in, audience makes me change. Every moment is alive. Feedback between me and the audience and other actors. Have to respond. All theater is to prepare you to be ready in the moment. That’s what anarchy is about. If you just follow blocking and your lines, that’s not going to work. What am I going to do that keeps me...the audience loves it when you solve the problem, in it for the live moment. Image of anarchy as negative melodrama. Good guys/bad guys. Victor Turner: Social drama is essential to humanity. I’m paraphrasing him. Have to have dramatic process in order to perform the meaning that you want. That’s what drama is. Struggle to have lived experience turn into meaning. That is a slow process. We’re stuck on things needing to be fast. Social drama takes time. Slow money, slow food, I think we need to have slow anarchy. Enough change to develop new processes/ideas. I really fear sometimes the people who don’t want to go through the process. Like, oh my god, it’s life! It’s the ecosystem to use the resources in a way that will listen to the different opinions. It really takes practice to listen to people who don’t agree with you. Really work with, what are they saying, not what do I think they’re saying? Something like Occupy/other movements. Have to learn how to do because ew’ve been in facism.

LH: Love that you’ve brought in theater, it’s lovely. Was thinking about Occupy Oakland, watching the general assembly streaming video, taking notes, someone would stand up to speak and people would tell stories or what was important to them. Sometimes it was wacky or repetitive, and I would just dismiss it. But then I'd pull back and say no, what should I be hearing? This is what's important to them right now.
Books. Books that I want to ... Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (sp?). Exemplifies, takes anarchic process for granted. Aliens who have come in, hung out, anarchists of long standing, interesting. Direct Action by David Graeber (?) – uncomfortable meetings of activits trying to decide wtf to do. Documentation of wtf to do. Kind of like RaceFail. Inability to have difficult conversations about race and gender. Defensive reaction of freak the fuck out. That is actually one of us root crucial problems.
Kevin Carson, independent economic/political thinker. Resilient Communities, society after state capitialism. Libertarian. He’s more of an anarchist really. Huge book, with picture of guy with head up his own ass. Whole-brew industry, how industrial revolution can/will happen again. Factories in our houses. Fabricating technologies. Manufacture stuff on smaller/local scales. Footnotes everything, very long. Have to open your mind to have a long arc of thought. Quite interesting.
Also love marqassan cycle.
Illicit Passage – a book. Alice Nun (sp?). Feminist SF. She’s Tazmanian.
Science fiction of now is mid-apocalypse. Not writing post apocalypse, not first contact with aliens. The aliens are already here and they’re the 1%. They have so much power they’re not comprehensible. They’re our aliens. Tension as a part of ubiquitous surveillance. All of that is important in what science fiction is going to become.

TD: We haven’t had questions, let’s do that.

AL: Sorry for not leaving mor e time for questions. Couldn’t stop them from speaking! Love to hear questions from the audience.

AUD: I do fundraising for Dem Socialist political organization. Talk to people every day about socialism and democracy. Like theater in that every convo is totally unique. We have a myth in this country that democracy and capitalism go together, that they’re inseperable. We can see in outher countries that’s not true. Only industrialized country without socialized health care, our leaders are proud of that. Need to separate the capitialism from political system. Capitalism is a religion, you’re devout, we cannot exist without. Like the occupy movement has done. We believe 1% is totally in control. People who are oscialists still don’t get that we’re the 99% and we can control. The occupy movement doesn’t have focus, needs more structure, needs a superhero, really frustrating, talking to many people every day that still believe that they’re socialists and cpaitialism is the way we’re going to get out of it.

AH: Difference between capitalism and entrepreneurship. A lot of the economy is not in capitalism. We need to distinguish between the two. Idea of sharing the idea/etc. is changing the value of profit is the center of everything...can destroy the entire planet if you make a profit. Not the only way we can economically organize ourselves. Socialism, don’t know what to say. They’re separate. Planned communism not going to kill us. All these mythologies. People haven’t really read Marx. We waste 2/3 of food production. We could feed our entire country almost again with what we waste. Why is it called growth if we’re wasting so much? It’s marketing. They’re controlling the dialogue and putting their frame on it. Growth becomes 1% getting rich and wasting things. Why isn’t diversity and richness and fullness “growth?

LH: Utopian thinking and science fiction, deepening interconnectedness.

AH: Eco-Mind (book). She asked for help, how can we solve thes things. She asked people, how can we come up with things to do? Relationships. Things that can co-evolve. We shouldn’t waste resources, shouldn’t have to pay for cleanup, that should be their cost. Exactly what Occupy is about. Relational ecological results. If left to your own resources, you’ll waste/kill/etc., that’s just not true.

AL: Differences in opinions and etc., changing the narrative will bring it together.

AUD: Comment about journalism. Journalism, you said something about being within the process. Journalism seems to have a mindset that you have to be outside the process documenting what’s going on. It’s not really journalism, what we need are storytellers for this. Because the storytellers can be in the process but the mindset of a journalist kind of limits their ability to get into it. If you get too far into the process, people trash you.

TD: Journalists put into abox. If they stray outside of it, they’re no longer legitimate or credible. What questions they can ask/answer. False objectivity. They’re usually set up a false dichotomy, and they’re both unacceptable.

AL: Example of [twitter.com profile] pennyred Covering current political (?). From the UK, writes for the Independent. Extremely successful now. Modeling a different kind of activist journalism. Also subject to mysoginy/etc.

AUD: Reframing. Struggling with it myself...Couple hundred years ago, broadly speaking, in European and North American society, there was an aristocracy being created. Somebody could own land, peole on that land, etc. Could do what they wanted with that land. Now seems alien/obscure. How could people think that’s the way things had to be? How to see capitalism when you get the right to do something b/c you own it. What does ownership mean and who said you owned it? Seems like we’re at the start of trying to break that down.

AH: Degradation of the commons has been going on a long time. In Europe, assault on the commons and then imperialists saying that wehre commons aren’t owned. Who can own the air/water/etc.? You’re crazy/insane but now that’s the reverse. Trademark everything. Humanity has evolved by the commons is a hard idea to get across to people. We need to share and trade and work with the commons. It’s like public education. OMG, can we privatize everything? Hard to get people to review that. Smoking – no longer acceptable to smoke in restaurants/etc., need to move 25 feet away from a building. In this room, the air is all of us, no one person with a cigarette can ruin it. That idea was not easy. But migraine scents, people won’t do that. We as a group of people who have commons can do it. Not impossible. We can move quickly.What is fast? We can make these changes, don’t want to depress people. We have ramps, we didn’t use to have ramps. I’m going to be 60, we’ve seen so many. Watching a vid last night of Occupy. Wonderful to see all over the world images of people who have been changed by things I experienced, and changing other things. Felt the continuum. Didn’t feel despair I feel at home watching the news. Occupy, can go in the street and see. It’s hard but it worked (civil rights movement).

LH: Reminded me I have a whole really good book – Tales from The Freedom Plow – 6 authors. Stories of 52 women involved in civil rights movement in the South. Oral histories, took huge effort to take local activists and not just the famous ones. Had the same problems we’re talking about, so many unreliable narrators.

TD: I'd like to quote an unlikely source for parting words. Augustine of Hippo: Hope has two beautiful daughters, their names are Anger and Courage. Anger that things are the way they are, and Courage to make them the way they ought to be.

(applause)
laceblade: Toby, Josh, and Donna of The West Wing, talking intensely (WW: 20 Hours in America)
Wisconsin's gubernatorial primary is on Tuesday AND IDK WHO I'M VOTING FOR.

Well. Definitely not Vinehout (OMG) or LaFollette (whew?!).

Falk was involved in the protests and collecting recall signatures for Walker & has various unions backing her and is all like GO ME!
I actually view Falk's various union endorsements as a detriment to her candidacy. People in unions are already going to vote against Walker. The state is split almost 50-50 on Walker, so people who are undecided & suspicious of unions aren't exactly going to vote for someone who will be a union tool, right?

Barrett kind of swooped in at the end, which is a little understandable because he needed to reelection as Mayor of Milwaukee first. It's kind of like he's coming in "after the work has been done." BUT. This distance makes him look better to the undecideds, in my opinion.

Barrett lost against Walker the first time around. But Falk has lost a statewide election too, & Barrett's polling better against Walker than Falk is. I worry about Falk's statewide electability, too. She's a Madison liberal, which, yes guys, is looked down on everywhere outside of Dane County.

Barrett seems like the vote if you want someone to beat Walker.
But I'm willing to be convinced. COMMENT.

You can vote in the poll even if you can't vote in the election, :)


Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 3


Who are you voting for in the gubernatorial primary, assuming you're not voting for Walker?

View Answers

Kathleen Falk
0 (0.0%)

Kathleen Vinehout
0 (0.0%)

Tom Barrett
2 (66.7%)

Doug LaFollette
0 (0.0%)

OMG I DON'T KNOWWWWWW
1 (33.3%)






(I know one of the tags says "locked" but I intend for this post to be unlocked. I just need to rename the tag some day, ^_^)
laceblade: G Washington, A Hamilton, & T Jefferson; lol!text about political party formation (LOL politics)
Since the inception of the Wisconsin Protests, people have had fun with the drama, in addition to reporting actual news.

Most of this takes place on Twitter. There are countless fake accounts for Governor Walker, his SUV, etc.

When the Senate Democrats left the state to prevent the Senate from achieving a quorum (and therefore stalling the vote on Walker's budget repair bill, which all but erased the rights of state employees to collectively bargain, among other things), a Twitter account was created to detail their imagined antics in Illinois.
A response account was made from the Senate Republicans, left behind. Their Twitter tag line was something like, "We're just some guys trying to vote."
The tweets were hilarious, and sometimes disturbingly accurate when describing the personalities of various senators/legislative staff, causing rampant speculation about who was behind them.



In Wisconsin, officials must be elected for a year before recall efforts can begin.
So, we've collected over 1,000,000 signatures to recall the Governor.

Normally in a recall, under Wisconsin law, it is up to the opposing side (i.e., GOP) to look at recall signatures, and challenge any signatures they find suspicious, for example if someone signed twice, or if someone signed as "Mickey Mouse."

The GOP took the Government Accountability Board (non-partisan agency that oversees elections in our state) to court in Waukesha (a conveniently conservative community). A judge in Waukesha ruled that it should be up to the Government Accountability Board, not the GOP, to screen for any fraudulent signatures.


The GOP, probably fed up with accusations of their partisan nature, have set up a webcam of the temp employees they have hired to scan in & analyze the 1,000,000 recall signatures. The webcam's feed is online, and available for public viewing.
This is also because the scanning of signatures is taking place at an "undisclosed, secure" location (adding to everyone's general amusement).

I'm sure the GAB thought that only watchdogs from either party would watch it vigilantly.
Instead, the webcam has attracted tens of thousands of hits since its debut.

And here is where the RPF comes in.
[twitter.com profile] RecallCam is narrating the webcam, giving backgrounds and identities to the silent temp workers on-screen, imagining relationships that happen between them, publishing fake poll results for changes in hairstyles in the temp workers.

[twitter.com profile] RecallCamHaiku also narrates the webcam feed. While it delves less into the area of RPF, the account does its narration in haiku.


Whether it's called "fanfiction" outright or not by its authors, I think that RPF has been a fantastically amusing addition to political issues in Wisconsin for the last year.



Other coverage specific to the Twitter accounts:
LA Times
Madison AV Club
The New York Times's Lede blog
laceblade: spoof on Berenstein Bears book cover, title: "Learn About Cylons." Brother Bear is aghast. (Truth about Cylons)
Go here! Watch Assembly 2.18.11, part 4. Scroll to 18:17.

REPRESENTATIVE HINTZ IS MY NEW FAVORITE BADASS. THIS SHIT IS EPIC. WATCH IT. WATCH IT NOW. I WILL KNOW IF YOU DON'T.


ETA: I posted a transcript in the comments.
laceblade: Shadow of a demon cast on the wall looms over Secret of Kells character, as though about to swallow him up (Kells scary)
Coverage of the shootings in Tuscon has been mostly creepy. I am really skeeved out by all of the political pundits writing things like, "Wow, John Boehner/Scott Walker/etc. is doing a great job of NOT using this for political gain!" as if these displays if infinitesimal shreds of humanity are something worthy of praise.

I found ABC News's coverage appalling this evening. After noting that people KNEW there was "something odd" about the shooter, ABC basically encouraged its viewers to report any neighbors/etc. who might have mismanaged mental problems to federal mental health case workers (I forget the exact title). "They can commit people against their will, even if they don't want to go!"

THANKS, I WILL SLEEP BETTER TONIGHT, DIANE SAWYER.



IN OTHER NEWS, I think I might have broken my pinkie toe? I think it says a lot about how much I want to see doctors right now in that I'm just hoping it....fixes itself. They probably don't do much for toes anyway.
laceblade: G Washington, A Hamilton, & T Jefferson; lol!text about political party formation (LOL politics)
SO.

I've been struggling for a few months now to stop using the word "lame." It takes a while for me to make a language shift. I am usually one of those who "speaks before thinking," it's kind of a life problem.

This is not an excuse! It's just a preface to this post, as a common reader might think, "I just heard [personal profile] laceblade use the word 'lame' last week! What a hypocrite!" [I mean, you can think that anyway, if you'd like.]

HOWEVER.

It irritates me to no end when people use the Constitution as their excuse to be an asshole. Like this (Warning: assholery!)

The Constitution does not say, "Lo, you have the right to be an asshole every day of your entire life, and anytime anyone tries to call you on your shit, you MUST throw a temper tantrum!"


The Constitution was held up like a banner in A Recent Internet Discussion, as if certain fans are CONSTITUTIONALLY PROHIBITED from taking speaking platforms away from other fans.

As if the First Amendment was not specifically about GOVERNMENTS doing weird shit to its citizens.

The Constitution: ur doing it wrong. Reading it might help! Let's take this step together, Internet. You can read the Bill of Rights online!
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Hachi makeup)
ETA: Thanks to the comment from [personal profile] the_future_modernes, editing to note that this was started before Boehner, but surprise! He's trying to take credit (from a woman, of course).

Speaker-designate of the House John Boehner wants to do lots of things that Nancy Pelosi and other Dems did not, or would not, do. Most of these things are not palatable to me. But he's starting by giving women a bathroom that's of equal distance from the floor.

Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) intends to commandeer a swanky office space adjacent to the House floor and build a women's restroom for female lawmakers.

For years, men have had the luxury of using facilities located adjacent to the House floor, just outside the Speaker's lobby. But women have had no such option.

If women need to powder their noses, they must instead go downstairs or to a restroom several halls away from the chamber.

But Boehner wants that to end, and plans to direct the Architect of the Capitol to construct a women's bathroom in the space currently occupied by the House Parliamentarian.

[Source, link goes to TheHill.com, a blog of events taking place at Capitol Hill.]
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (You say you want a revolution)
A party platform in which we all can believe:

Not the white man's bitch.

Rage

Jun. 4th, 2010 08:48 pm
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)
Elsewhere on the Internet, in a post that is unfortunately locked, various things have been purported. The post is here, now unlocked.

I am sick to death of motherfuckers telling me that entire aspects of my identity do not exist because of the labels they ascribe to me.
Because I am Catholic, there is no way that I could hate my bishop, want women to be priests, or be adamantly supportive of the separation of church and state.
Because I am religious, I must have never given any serious thought to politics (even in spite of my major in Political Science), why rituals are performed, or what the Bible actually says. Clearly, I am a sheep - right?
Because I spent two summers working as an unpaid intern for a Republican, there is no way that I could be a Democrat (at least, not according to nearly every Democratic office in the Wisconsin State Legislature).
Because I am a 24-year-old woman, I must want to get married as soon as possible.
Because I am pro-life, I must not be a feminist.

Extremism in any form is dangerous. And taking away someone's ability to construct their own identity is harmful - even moreso when we are all potential allies.

We are all angry about something. What I'm angry about is everyone buying into the soundbytes created from false dichotomies that assure us that our goals are not common, that our enemies are each other. And that we must stay busy fighting one another, so that we are incapable of waking up, banding together, and doing something.

In the end, I think that everyone wants to make the world less fucked up than it is now.

The way to start is to think, to dialogue, and most importantly, to challenge people around you every day to analyze and deconstruct their own lives.

And to stop acting like jackasses.

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laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)
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