March 14th, 2003

i fight fire with words

“Every theory has a human price.”

That’s a line from one of the last pieces Alix Olson did tonight.

I can definitely see why a lot of people like her, but i didn’t think she was that great, and i don’t agree with most of her politics and found a lot of what she said or how she said it to be problematic.

I really should have taken notes or something. I always think this after events that i don’t bring a notebook to, and when i do bring a notebook i end up not using it. Oh well.

She said that half the Easter baskets sold in K-mart this year have G.I.Joes instead of chocolate bunnies. (If true, this greatly disturbs me, just as this disturbs me.) So this woman dressed up as the Easter Bunny and went to K-mart to protest and got arrested. This upset George Bush, because now he knows the Easter Bunny isn’t real. Can i tell you how much crap like that annoys me? She told two other Bush jokes, the first of which has been everywhere and is a low blow, but i admit i actually laughed at the second one.

She talked about being at the post office and there was this protest and one of the press people was interviewing one of the people who worked there, and he said that there’s freedom of speech in this country, and we’re fighting to bring about that kind of freedom in Iraq, to establish a democracy there, so if people want to voice their dissent here, that’s fine, and i thought Bravo to that guy.

Later she talked about the shuttle crash and how it didn’t feel like a tragedy to her, how she was sad but not weepy like the people around her, and trying to figure out why she felt that way. She realized that while it was sad that these people had died, they had died doing something they loved, something they had worked their whole lives toward, knowing there was a risk, probably having wills and everything set up, and that to her real tragedy is when people don’t have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, to live full lives. And i knew where this was gonna go (and she did touch on the issue in the poem that followed), and i thought, “Oh yes, because the people there are so free now. They absolutely have opportunity and full lives with pursuit of dreams.” I understand that lots of aspects of the war are problematic, but it seems intensely blind to me to act as if the civilians here have wonderful lives that we’re just coming in and ruining. (Yes, killing = bad, got that. But to ignore the fact that for many of them, life = bad, is to oversimplify.)

She told a story about a truck driver asking them (her and her manager) what a radical feminist is when they were stopped at a light, because they had a bumper sticker saying “This is what a radical feminist looks like,” and her and Sam having no idea what a radical feminist is (my understanding is that they call themselves radical feminists, she just meant she had no idea how to articulate what that meant) and Sam finally saying, “It means we like girls,” and the guy said, “That’s cool. So do I.” She loved the idea of a radical feminist movement of truck drivers. Even i liked the story, but i was so struck by the fact that she publicly claimed a label whose meaning she couldn’t articulate, something i would never do because i always operate on the assumption that i’m going to have to explain myself. For all my love of identifying myself with various labels, i’m very careful as to what i label myself as, what beliefs i state having. Partly i’m in the process of figuring out just what i think on a lot of issues, but also i want to know just what i’m saying when i’m attaching myself to a label. I can tell you what it means to me to identify as queer, to be queer. I can tell you why i’m a vegetarian who wishes she were a vegan. I’m not registered to vote under any particular party. I refused to get confirmed in my church.

She’s a pro-choice vegetarian. “It’s a chicken, not a choice.” That was from early in the show, and i loved that line.

A lot of her stuff reminded me of Ani DiFranco, the ideas, the wording.

She has some good lines. In her fairytale poem (which i was largely not that taken with, though i wanted to be), Rapunzel leaves the tower before the prince comes for her and says, “I shaved my head and got me some rope.”

I’m much more inclined to like the poems that aren’t political (i think this is because relationships are much more of a universal thing that everyone can relate to, whereas with politics there’s so much to disagree on). There’s the great poem that has the line “God would be a dyke if she could find someone to hold her.” And she has a poem from a story another folk person told, about Rage and Kindness meeting in a bar, sort of an estranged couple, and while it doesn’t quite work, it’s really good.

There might have been more to say. Allie, lemme know if there’s anything else i should touch on. ;)
hermione by oatmilk

I love my American Literature class.

Michael’s daughter Katie was sick on Tuesday, so she sat in the front row and colored during our class. She has a unicorn backpack -- like white fuzzy with a unicorn head. I heart unicorns. So before class he was crouched in front of her talking to her and actually did that pinch/stroke your child’s cheek thing, but what i was most struck by was how much powerful love was conveyed in his look. It was just one of those Guh moments. And at the end of the period during the group presentation he sat next to his daughter and had his arm over the back of the chair she was sitting in and just, aww.


We discussed The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man in American Lit. class on Thursday.

He started off asking us what genre it was in, what else we had read that was similar. Met with silence, he ventriloquized: “No, I have never read anything like this. Leave me alone you bad bad man.”

We talked about experiential learning versus systematic pedagogy. The narrator of this book plays the piano brilliantly but gets so emotional that midway through a piece he would throw himself into his mother’s arms, sobbing. Michael says for him it’s the electric bass, 2/3 of the way through “Anarchy in the U.K.”....

We talked about power and arbitrariness. “Why did you have to write a paper due last Friday? Because I said so.” I wish i could come up with words to describe the tone.

We talked about NYC as enchanting, bewitching. “Witchery is something we should all be careful with -- no offense to any Wiccans in the room.” I love that it came out as just a matter-of-fact thing, not a “Oops, must be sure not to offend anyone because we’re PC here.”


Want. To. Shag. Senseless.


"What the hell are you doing?" She screamed, still unable to completely grasp what she'd seen.

Everyone winced at the obnoxious sound of her voice. "Um, kissing my boyfriend?" Xander offered. Willow, Tara and Spike all smirked as Buffy's mouth dropped further.

"Boyfriend?" She shouted, even louder than before.

Xander closed his eyes for a moment, willing himself more strength. "Yeah, you know, male person you spend time with, care for-"

"Shag senseless on a regular basis?" Spike interjected.

(Bad fic; no biscuit. But a great line.)
hermione by oatmilk

Sometimes we don't even know our skills.

I was entering yet more names into the May 3 invite database* and i realized that i was typing without looking at the keyboard, that i was typing quite accurately, with my hands in the periphery of my vision. How long have i been able to do this?


*At one point we had 225 names and only about 30 lacked addresses, and i was so proud of myself because most of that work was mine, and then i got addresses for even more people, but today i got handed another list of names to add and now we have 275 people on this list. I told Louise that we invite 9 million people to these events, and she said that we're betting that only 1 million will come, and one day we'll be wrong and they'll all be fighting over the food.
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you think you know...

I'm home! :)

I made it home safely.

I was afraid that Mrs. Flemer was gonna ask me to tell her which exit to take off the Mass. Pike 'cause i would have had no clue, but she works in Norwood, so it was fine. Once we were in Westwood, on that pre-Norwood strip with KaBloom and everything i totally knew what i was doing. So we take a right past the cemetery and then after a bit i tell her to take a right. She keeps going straight, sort of bearing left. Emilie tells her that i said to go right and she's going left. She thinks she knows where she's going, though, so since my sense of direction is horrible and i only know what to do here from being a passenger while someone else drives i acquiesce. It soon becomes clear that i have no clue where we are (other than "in Westwood") and neither does she. We pass a huge house and Emilie is impressed. We pass where some friends of theirs used to have a farm and Emilie is getting all "just turn around." We get to Xavarian and we turn around. Will i recognize where to turn? I suspect so and know that the worst that'll happen is we'll hit the highway, turn around, and do it right. So we turn, and Emilie says to go left judging from where we had come from. I feel like we should keep going straight, but i trust her sense of direction. At first i think we really are coming down Prospect Street, but then i think maybe it's Nahatan, and it turns out that i'm right, but once i'm in Norwood i know how to get to my house from just about anywhere so it's all good. Emilie is long-suffering and my mom made them cookies and Emilie says they'll drive me back on Sunday and gives me their phone number.

My sophomore English teacher didn't know what "vegan" is.

Okay, now to unpack, and soon my mommy will be home. :)