Archive | February, 2010

Anarchism- what it means

25 Feb

I believe that any anarchist who lets others know of their belief spends a lot of time fielding really pesky questions about what anarchism is and how it would work and isn’t that just chaos and blahblahblah.

And then as anarchists we also spend a lot of time working against the MANY facets of society that are all about repression, oppression, cruelty, greed etc. We do this because that is what we have to do to work towards the world of healthy communities that take care of each other that we want to see. A huge part of our task is this struggle.

And we get angry. We get so angry. And we should. And we have to. Because a lot of times the alternative is sad, the sort of sadness that is so completely disabling. It is better to have the fire of anger than to give up, than to let go, than to quit.

Anger can sometimes be useful, but sometimes that fire can be too all consuming. I believe that many times we forget what anarchism is really all about. Anarchism is about smashing the state, and it is about shutting down the corporations, and it is about destroying patriarchy and ending all the isms, about confronting and challenging privilege etc. We live is such a fucked up world that we have to spend so much time fighting to keep people from suffering.

People. Continue reading

Why I do Food Not Bombs

23 Feb

I have been doing Food Not Bombs on and off since I was about 16. I’m 23 now.

I think it is time I took a few moments to reflect on why I do Food Not Bombs.

I do Food Not Bombs because I see a need, in Richmond, as in most places, for a redistribution of resources, including food.  There is a ton of food that goes to waste (aka gets thrown out by lazy and greedy people) and on the other hand a lot of people who go hungry, or don’t have access to healthy food, or struggle a lot to be able to eat.

Providing free food has the potential to help folks stay healthy, remove some stress from their lives, and keep less going to the landfills.

And that is all the sort of nuts and bolts of it. Ultimately I have to talk about social justice to talk about why I think Food Not Bombs matters. I think we have the potential to build community. Both among the people who come to cook and among the people who  come to eat. And through the overlap of those two groups as well. Continue reading

The Road- are you a good guy or a bad guy?

23 Feb

Spoiler alert- while this isn’t directly about the content of the movie The Road, that content is mentioned.

Last night, spur of the moment I went to go see the movie The Road with the Wingnuts (members of the radical collective I live in) and two other awesome friends. I had not heard much about the movie ahead of time except that it was post apocalyptic. And being a punk and anarchist I freaking love post apocalyptic and apocalyptic movies and books.
We went to the Byrd Theater in Richmond, which is the local two dollar theater.
The movie was much more dark and scary than I had expected.
One of my friends who came was my new Christian friend and we were kind of whispering commentary to each other about the film.
Some of the issues that really hit home for me included ideas about what one might do to survive, cannibalism, sharing, suicide, and who is a good guy and who is a bad guy and what that means.

In the movie, the little boy keeps returning to the question of whether or not he and his father are the good guys still. And who the bad guys are. And while that terminology is clearly a simplification of the multitude of issues in the world, it is also useful. Sometimes I fear I overcomplicate my thinking. I think a lot of us do too.

Thinking about moral issues in black and white may not be that helpful in certain circumstances. But maybe thats because we are too caught up in the idea of morality. Maybe morality is too complicated or just wrong of an idea to be very helpful. I’ve been doing some reading (Brad Warner) and thinking (Stephen Ogburn) recently that makes me challenge my view of morality. If we just think about how we can live our lives to reduce the suffering of others, to share love, and to show we care about other people, we will be doing good things. Or trying to do good things, which is a huge first step. Continue reading

Country Music and Anarchists

21 Feb

I just have to wonder if there are any other radical or anarchist people out there with an affinity for shitty pop country music? I’m talking Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Trace Adkins, Josh Turner, Sugarland, Zac Brown Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Billy Currington, Alabama etc.

Even though it seems like at least half of this music is about stuff I stand strongly against- like America, Christianity, capitalism, war, beer, sexism, and meat, I still really like it.

But there are other aspects, like Miranda Lambert singing about shooting a man who was abusing her, or Free Bird by Skynyrd that really rule.

Part of it is also attributable to Southern Pride.

Weird huh? Your thoughts?

Malcolm X – May 19, 1925- February 21, 1965

21 Feb

Today is the 45th Anniversary of Malcolm X’s assasination in Manhattan.

Malcolm X is remembered as perhaps one of the greatest and one of the most influential African-American men.

Malcolm X brought to light important political issues around Race, Capitalism, and Politics that many people today still have not made connections with. He called out the inherent connections between Capitalism and Racism. He talked about how the Democrats were no more useful to People of Color than Republicans.

While the blame for his assassination is still up in the air to some extent, between the folks who actually served prison time, local drug dealers, local cops, CIA/FBI, or just COINTELPRO actions in general, the bottom line is that a dynamic and influential Black man was murdered for his beliefs and his activism.

Malcolm X deserves to be remembered and honored for all of the work he put in around issues including race in America and the world. Continue reading

Anarchy and spirituality

19 Feb

I have the stick and poke ‘no gods no masters’ tattoo on my arm.
I have a huge amount of skepticism towards almost all organized religions. I find most religious people to be full of the same crap that most non religious people are full of.
Is there a type of spirituality that is okay? Can one be an anarchist and religious or spiritual?
I met a new friend at Richmond Food Not Bombs. Turns out he is a Christian. But probably one of the most impressive people I have met in a long time. Continue reading

Memorializing People Murdered By The State

15 Feb

If you check out the blog about the collective I live in, The Wingnut, (www.thewingnutrva.wordpress.com), you will see that we are having a Memorial Day cookout during which we intend to memorialize people killed by the state. So folks killed by police, CIA, FBI etc.

Examples include Fred Hampton, Oscar Grant etc.

We could use help compiling a good list. Continue reading