Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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a position to act

April 23, 2010

There can be a very strong case made for the position that social movements are more difficult now than they were in the 1950s and 1960s because we have social taboos and legislation that masks the fact that inequality still very much exists. We have masked systemic issues with political correctness, which makes it more difficult to prove injustice. For instance, now that it is no longer acceptable legally to fire women for having families, companies have gotten sneakier about doing it, which makes it difficult for a woman to rally against that injustice. We are still fired for getting married and having babies, we just aren’t allowed to be told that anymore.

So maybe it is the case that groups of people who are openly discriminated against have a much better place to push from. When a woman is told she’s not as good as a man, she can push back. When she is told that her performance is lacking, and nothing more specific, she has little footing.

If this is the case, then the fat population is in a great position for social change. This is a population of people that is openly hated by the vast majority of both men and women across Western cultures. Examples can be found everywhere: in the health care bill, in the movies, in television, in magazines, in malls, in education, etc. Not only are examples of fat-hate everywhere, but the mentality is quite encouraged. If you even date a fat person, you’re often met with some form of ridicule or disbelief. We talk about fat and lack of control in the same breath without anyone bothering to do a double take. The hate is everywhere and it’s blatant.

So we are in the perfect position for a body revolution, yeah? We have the proof that we’re being treated poorly and we have a strong and very present mind-set to oppose. The fat are in a position to change American society in a way that has not been possible in decades. While the details about the how need hammering out, the overall ability and potential is remarkable.

Neato.

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Beating a cellphone with a microphone is the best way to dial

November 20, 2009

Since I’m sure y’all don’t want to just constantly read about me whining about my nerves and financial difficulties, here’s some other stuff I think about and even do.

Yes. It’s finally happened! A night worth blogging about.

But first, I want to chat a bit about a show here that is pretty epic. It’s called Hungry Beast and it’s a very liberal (in the American sense), alternative news program, but get this! It’s on regular TV stations. Not super expensive cable, where you’d need to spend a ton of money to get some obscure channel to watch it on, but normal TV. Now, I’m not going to preach about the virtue of this show, because, sometimes, it’s a bit bull shitty. The segments can seem too self-righteous (even for me!) and the jokes have been known to miss, but it’s a very well put together show with awesome design elements and lots of fucked up information that’s bound to make a few people want to change the world, even if it’s only for a few minutes until John Saffron’s Race Relations starts (which is a whole other TV issue).

The reason I bring it up is because Hungry Beast recently did an unauthorized interview with an Australian soldier serving in Afghanistan. It is maybe the best interview I have seen about the war, and worth 20 minutes of your day to view. We talk about the soldiers so much, but do we ever really hear from them? This soldier is extremely well-spoken and knows his shit.

And speaking of the war, guess what I did last night. I went to my first Leftover Crack concert! I went by myself, which, I must say, was a bit intimidating. I’ve only been in one pit before, and, while it was fun, it was pretty tame. Since Andy told me to expect something much rougher, not having someone to go with in case I got in over my head made me nervous, but I was not about to miss this show. So yesterday morning, I hopped a ride with Lauren to Narangba, where I was supposed to spend the night after the concert. I say supposed to, because the evening got a bit ridiculous fairly quickly.

First off, I left Lauren’s house still wearing my glasses, which was not part of the original plan. Glasses + pit = expensive. But I wasn’t about to make the 20 minute hike back to her place to put them away, so tough titty toe nails, they were coming with me. I took the hour long train ride into Brisbane, and wondered around looking for Melbourne Street. Give me a map, and I can find my way anywhere, but just tell me Melbourne Street to Boundary Street and I add about 30 minutes to any city walk. Eventually I headed in what I deduced to be the correct direction, but the final decision about were to go was based on seeing a super-punk couple walking down the same road. After wondering around Brisbane for a few months, I’ve learned that there can’t be many places multiple punks want to go at the same time. So I stalked them for a little while, until I got frustrated with their horribly slow pace, and decided to go ahead using my instinct. And I only took one wrong turn after that, and it wasn’t even 10 minutes before I realized that I needed to turn around.

After finally getting into the venue, I commenced my usual ritual when I go out by myself. Scope out three or four out of the way spots to loiter throughout the night and stand around awkwardly until something prompts me to move into the crowd. The place slowly began to fill up with punks. But not punks like I’m used to. Mostly it was just slightly grungy hipsters, which was nice, because that meant fewer spikes and studs to run into in the pit later on. Wheatpaste played first, and they used an electric banjo, accordion, trombone, and trumpet (all of which except the banjo were played by a cute blonde girl). It was like folk punk. I liked it, so I awkwardly loitered nearer to the stage and shuffled about a little.

Side note: I stashed my glasses cleverly on my person, so they were safe from harm barring ridiculous circumstances.

Jack Flash was next, which was also slightly folky, but not as musically interesting. But they got the crowd going much better. There were a lot more people dancing and I doe-si-doed with a couple of other girls. The bassist gave me an enthusiastic point and yell, because when he was trying to get the crowd to clap, I was the only on paying attention to him who bothered to oblige. We shared a moment. I danced with this guy wearing a button-down and a tie, who I later smashed into while skanking.

At this point, I was getting pretty into it. I felt much less awkward, and the club was pretty well packed. There was still room to move about, but the stage area was packed enough to know it was going to be a decent wreck. And then, curtains closed, Leftover Crack started playing. Everyone surged forward, and it was pretty much a giant cluster fuck for the next hour and a half. They played some of my favorite songs, including ‘Gang Control,’ ‘Rock the 40 Ounce,’ and Star Fucking Hipster’s ‘Two Cups of Tea.’ They did not play ‘Soon We’ll Be Dead,’ which is a shame, because I’d have loved to jam to that with all the other little punk kids. Over the hour and a half, I managed to survive with minimal yet satisfactory damage. I acquired a jammed finger, elbow to the face, knock to the ground (which is a bit scary, but everyone was nice enough to pull me up), other various bruises, a cut inside my lip, drenched in someone’s vodka lemonade, and a strange boy with a Mohawk who was determined to climb up me in order to crowd surf. This last acquisition was the most confusing to me, as I was one of the shortest people in the pit. I only saw three other girls for a very brief period of time near the end of the show in the fray. They mostly lingered on the outside. Which is fine, but brings me back to the illogical move of that little punk kid to try and scale me. He wasn’t trying some not-so-subtle groping or anything. He just wanted to surf. Another proud moment was when a very tall boy was shoved straight into me at the end of a song. He turned around and said “Sorry.” I smiled at him and said, “Don’t be,” then shoved him back to where he was. He laughed, and later on shielded me from this extremely intoxicated man in a yellow t-shirt when he wouldn’t stop falling on me as he staggered around the area.

At one point, the show looked like it was over, and the crowd, of course, screamed for more. Stza stumbled out from behind the curtain holding a cell phone and a microphone. He asked who the phone belonged to, and tried to dial a number. the phone apparently wasn’t working, so he did the logical thing: he bashed it repeatedly with the microphone. Eventually he got tired of trying, calling his next move shit, and chucking the phone into the ceiling towards the bar. About 15 minutes later, someone was trying to hand the phone back to Stza. Sandy attributes this event to the fact that everything in Australia is a boomerang. But the band played a few more songs, and we all got our crazy on, which brings me back to my glasses. They wriggled free from their place during the last song, and somehow ended up on the other side of the pit. When I found them, they were covered in various liquids, but still in once piece. One of the arms is bent in an incorrect direction, which I will sort out tomorrow, but they are easily going to be saved.

So with an awesome show behind me and my check still stinging from that elbow I ate, I walked blindly back toward the train station, this time sure of where I was going. Sadly, BrisVegas is not a real city, and all trains stop right after midnight. The show ended at midnight, meaning I had no way to make the hour long journey back to Narangba. The next train wasn’t scheduled until 5am, so there was only one logical choice. That was to stroll around Brisbane looking for somewhere to sit a chill for free while dressed like a tattered punk poser and smelling like a room full of stinky punk boys. Brisbane is just pretentious enough to have dress codes to get in places, and most places require a cover charge after a certain hour. Of course, there is not a single diner anywhere, so there’s not really a good location to sit around for hours on end. So mostly I wandered and situated myself on the steps outside a bank with other punks who had made the same public transit folly I did.

So there I was, sweaty, dirt, wreaking of vodka, even though I was 100% sober, without the ability to see, without money, without a way to a bed, chilling on the steps of a bank at 3 in the morning with a bunch of good-for-nothing punks. I’m actually pretty pleased with how the situation unfolded.

At 4 I went back to the station and slept for a half hour on a bench, woken up by someone pulling a newspaper I’d fallen asleep on out from under my feet. I grabbed some Makkas breakfast, and, finally, at 5:03am boarded a train. I reached Narangba at 6, walked to Lauren’s and gather my things, deciding to travel home to sleep in my bed. So at 7:15, I got to the train to Caboolture, where I had to transfer RIGHTNOWTHETRAINSARELEAVING. So I chose a platform and hopped on a train…which promptly began moving in the direction I had just come from. I was on the very wrong train. When this train didn’t stop that the next station, I came upon the heartbreaking realization that I was on an express train back to Brisbane, Central Station, where I had just taken a 1/2 hour nap on a bench. Long story short (too late!) I left Brisbane at 5 am and arrived back home at 10:30ish am, havin turned a 1-2 hour trip into a 5 hour one.

The reason I’m rambling on and on and on so much is that I still haven’t gone to bed. Wooooooo.