Canvassing

May. 19th, 2012 03:31 am
xenologer: (always shine)
I'm proud of the canvassing work I've done, but this is precisely why I don't ever intend to do it again. It changed me in a lot of ways for the better, tempered and toughened me in ways that I treasure, but it wasn't without a price.

"A group that produces or tolerates burnout undoes all its other efforts to restore immanent value, for we cannot truly value ourselves or others when we treat each other like Appalachian hillsides, to be strip-mined for what is valuable and then abandoned." -Starhawk
xenologer: (I have arrived)
The 99% Isn’t Me: Being the Minority in the 99%
Another issue I have with the 99% concept is that it smacks of the rhetoric we black and brown people heard from the Left back in the 70’s, that we’re all just people and we need to be colorblind, and that we are all being oppressed by the same people and on and on… Those thoughts are valid, kind of if you ignore much of American history. My oppression as a black man in America is very, very different from that of a poor white person. Yes we both ended up poor and without food or a job but he doesn’t get called a nigger or have to deal with the very real reality of racism. Although the white middle class who’s central to the Occupy movement are right about Wall Street and politicians they fail to see that the struggle is different if you’re a woman, gay, Black, Latino, Native American, etc. Many of the aforementioned groups have been in the gutter for…. Um… ever. Actually yea really forever since this nation was created many of us have been at the bottom of the pile. With that said I think it’s a serious problem when someone tells me that my struggles are the same as theirs and I should get behind a movement that I had little part in creating. This is what the relationship (especially in places like my hometown of Buffalo) between the occupation and oppressed minorities has been since the beginning. It smacks of the reductionism that we have seen from the likes of the 10’s-40’s communist / socialist movement and its dealings with black people and how the movement has almost always dealt with women (aka sexism as a secondary issue). (...)

To many people the Occupy movement is strictly about economic inequalities and Wall Street not about race, gender, or class although they have no problem welcoming black people, women, or the unemployed as supporters. It’s indicative of a lack of recognition of race, gender, or class (and other issues) in the occupation (and its connection to capitalism and economics) and any felt need for the creation of spaces to deal with these issues in any real way.


What counts as "common ground?"

I got into my local Occupy movement at least partly hoping to prove to myself that arguments like this were baseless. They're not baseless. This is what it looks like to the people who're told that the issues of privileged people are "common ground" and the issues of marginalized people are "divisive."

If you're thinking reading what I just wote, "Cripes, Xeno, that's basically everyone, because everyone's getting screwed somehow," you're right, and you're beginning to see the depth of the problem and how many people can be alienated to a lesser or larger degree by it.

For example, what I face as a white person is common ground, and I can bring that up without anybody calling me divisive for centering a conversation on my experiences of the economy or governmental/law enforcement abuses. Whether I say, "I as a white person..." or not, these are experiences which are shaped and changed by my race and what that prompts people to assume about me. These are white experiences whether I label them or not, because they are so distinctive to people who present like me and would have been very different were I any other color.

However, I might want to talk about being a woman, and once in a blue moon I may talk about being LGBT (though the latter is something I feel less qualified to discuss due to the fact that I'm cisgendered and benefit from straight privilege in a lot of ways). Despite the fact that I am the same person whose plight was "common ground" in the previous discussion, suddenly now we're talking identity politics. Suddenly an experience I have had that is unique to my circumstances is divisive.

But I'm the same person I was in the first case. I'm not any more privileged or oppressed than I was when I was speaking to a particular (white) experience of our economy and culture. I'm still me. There are just parts of me and my experience that are not considered an "occupy" issue.

That's why, no matter how much we may say that women and people of color and LGBT people are welcome and no matter how sincerely and deeply felt that sentiment might be, as long as some people have to shut a door on part of what probably brought them to Occupy in the first place, we're not living up to that promise.

I also think that Richardson made a great point here:

"Too considering we’re (as in women, blacks, latinos, etc) are the ones suffering the most shouldn’t the movement come to us and put us in place to contribute versus us having to shoehorn our stuff to their? It’s their movement not ours and if they want it to become our’s too they are going to have to move towards us."

It's not merely our job at this point to open the door and say, "You are welcome to join us." We have to do that and then actually allow conversations about their unique experiences, or else what we're really saying is, "You're welcome to join us as long as you pretend your struggles aren't different." In that latter case, we're setting a very high price on participation by demanding that they be less true to their experiences and needs for the privilege of being accepted even at the margins.

That's why even groups that really sincerely want to be inclusive often still have at the fore and at the core the same demographics that've been at the fore and core of everything else in power. It's because until we start listening to what the people who aren't getting included are saying will make them feel welcome, no matter how hard we try we simply will not know how to get that done.

What makes this especially hard to climb up out of is that if a movement's face is not diverse, people who benefit from diversity and suffer from its lack will not always come sacrifice their time, money, and precious energy (of which we all only have so much) to be that diversity. I know that when I see an organization that is run entirely or almost entirely by men, I consider where the women went, because surely there've been at least some. Why didn't they stay? What happened to them that I can't see from here? Do I love this cause enough to risk finding out the hard way?

Getting personal for a moment.

To give an example that is not necessarily intended to translate here but merely to illustrate one example that I walked in with, I used to be involved with an activist organization. It was progressive in its politics toward the poor, its stated attitudes toward LGBT people and women were extremely forward-thinking, and the attitudes of all of the individual members I spoke to about racism were strongly in favor of creating a society where people of color did not disproportionately suffer.

And yet its upper management was run by all white men with the exception of one white woman. I didn't know enough at the start to wonder what the disconnect would be. Fast forward a year. After a year I'd seen hiring practices that weeded out nearly all people of color immediately, so that when higher positions were pulled from the ranks, the ranks had already been cleared of racial minorities. After a year, I'd seen a culture that shelters sexual assault by pressuring women who experienced it to avoid making a fuss for fear of damaging the organization's ability to do its worthy work. Essentially, after a year, I saw exactly why women and people of color were absent: they'd been driven out or had fled for their own safety and sanity.

Consequently, now I look for the signs. When I see a movement that isn't diverse, I hang back. I don't hang back out of a lack of love for the cause. I hang back because I learned why women and POC were absent from an organization that I loved very much whose work I am proud to have been part of to this day. I am still proud of the work this organization does, which is why I am not saying their name (though I will if you contact me privately).

(As an aside, if anyone reading is thinking, "Oh my god. Their hiring and retention practices were racist and assault victims were pressured to keep it quiet and you're still protecting them? What's wrong with you?" then I hope you are taking care to police this kind of thinking in yourself when it comes to Occupy. If you're not comfortable with what I just did, then please let it be a lesson about how ugly this reasoning is and how hard it can be to overcome even for people who've personally suffered because of it.)

What does that have to do with us now?

That experience is why I look at the Occupy movement, at the diversity problem we have in my city, and am willing to immediately assume that the problem is not people of color or LGBT people or women not caring enough. I am willing to assume that the problem is us. Unfortunately, it's hard to address this problem. My difficulty has been that so many of my city's occupation supporters are unwilling to make that first step of saying, "Maybe it's something we're doing wrong," that I never get to the point of having any other conversations.

It's like... remember how when all this started, OWS got flak for merely stating problems and not making demands? Remember what we told them? We told the press and our friends and our families that until enough people understand that there's a problem in the first place and until enough people understand what that problem is, we are not ready for a conversation about the solutions.

So! For those of you who are sick and goddamn tired of hearing about this problem because nobody is telling you how you can fix it, here's what you can do to help us fix it: Have these conversations yourself. Explain to the people who listen to you and respect you that there's a problem, because odds are they don't even realize there is one yet. Explain to the people you have personal relationships with that the problem is that we are doing something wrong. Get them up to speed. Get everyone up to speed. Get them ready to be part of the conversation about solutions.

Then we can really sit down with open minds and honest hearts and find a solution. Until then, there's no point. We're not there yet.

If you want to link this around, that's cool, but if you do I ask that you link the "public" version rather than to my personal journal. That link is here. Thanks for your consideration for my privacy.
xenologer: (unlikely weapon)
Activists are frequently asked to be ready to give up anything and everything they love personally for "the cause" (whatever that might be). This is not sustainable.

Activists are supposed to ignore their creative passions, ignore crimes against them by their fellow activists because of race or gender, allow themselves to be used for a good cause and bled dry and discarded. This is not sustainable.

Do what you have to in order to keep your own fire burning. Self-care matters, because sometimes we are all we have to give, and we shouldn't waste it. Be well, be good to yourself, and if you're ready to jump into a fight at some point in the future, rest assured there'll always be one. :)

-Present Me.

Someone should have told me this, but the people who got me into rabblerousing were too busy trying to get the best use out of me they could. I had to learn it later. I don't regret anything I've done and I'm tremendously proud of the work I sacrificed to contribute to, but my decisions look different now than they did then. That's probably a good thing.
xenologer: (unlikely weapon)
Finally, it's light out at nine in the evening. Fully, easily, comfortably light. Be well out there, canvassers. If I see you and you're not raising money for someone who hates me, I'll give you money just to thank you for giving a damn. Enjoy the light.
xenologer: (ooh!)
I just posted an entry on Friday about the fact that I lost my job at CAC. Well, on Saturday at noon I had a meeting with someone I used to work with. He's been keeping in touch with me off and on since October, trying to get me to come work for him.

At the meeting yesterday, I was really impressed. I think this is going to be a great chance to do more than be someone's mouthpiece going out and saying what I'm supposed to say to the people I'm supposed to get money from. I think that Matt, the guy who'll be canvass director and with whom I canvassed for a while at CAC, has a lot of experience with canvassing and running canvass offices. I think that he's going to do a better job bringing out the best in me, because he wants me to do things that I'll be good at.

He asked me what kind of role I see myself having, what I want to do. I mentioned that I tend to keep an eye on the tone and climate of places, and I think I'll enjoy being at an office as it's just starting because wherever I go, after about a year, I find some long-buried conflict drama nonsense and step on the landmine. That kind of repressed drama makes me crazy, so I detonate it so that it won't be lurking under there anymore. I'll be really glad to finally be in a position to make sure those things never occur in the first place, and he seemed really pleased that I was thinking about it. He said he wanted the same thing, to have what he called "dignified, professional canvassers."

He wants me to be his "training guru," focusing on training new canvassers. I told him that once I have an idea of the kind of tone he wants to set and what kind of climate he wants to create, I would love to help pass that on and keep it going, but that I want to make sure I have a sense for it first. I've only ever known CAC's canvassing office, so I want to make sure that I'm not bringing in habits that won't help.

So he's going to train me to train. We'll be canvassing for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc., and this summer's client is the ASPCA. After that might be Save the Children, or the DNC doing get-out-the-vote work for democratic candidates.

Matt wants to train us to be canvassing directors. He wants to train directors for other campaigns, so that we can go provide leadership to the progressive costs that need us.

I have a boss who appreciates me, and who thinks I can do more than I've been doing. I have a boss who is competent and experienced enough to take input (since it's not a threat to him, and he trusts that we may also know what we're doing). And y'know what? I have opportunities for promotion that frankly... I didn't see happening at CAC.

It was time to leave CAC. While I am grateful to the office for being precisely what I needed precisely when I needed it, and while I'm grateful to CAC for doing badly-needed work in this state (seriously, even though I don't work there anymore, please be nice to CAC canvassers, because they're hugely important to everyone), my time there is well-ended. I have to move on and do other things now.

Love, peace, and doughnuts to all. I'll let you know how things pan out with this new gig when I know more, but I'm really optimistic about it.
xenologer: (ooh!)
I just posted an entry on Friday about the fact that I lost my job at CAC. Well, on Saturday at noon I had a meeting with someone I used to work with. He's been keeping in touch with me off and on since October, trying to get me to come work for him.

At the meeting yesterday, I was really impressed. I think this is going to be a great chance to do more than be someone's mouthpiece going out and saying what I'm supposed to say to the people I'm supposed to get money from. I think that Matt, the guy who'll be canvass director and with whom I canvassed for a while at CAC, has a lot of experience with canvassing and running canvass offices. I think that he's going to do a better job bringing out the best in me, because he wants me to do things that I'll be good at.

He asked me what kind of role I see myself having, what I want to do. I mentioned that I tend to keep an eye on the tone and climate of places, and I think I'll enjoy being at an office as it's just starting because wherever I go, after about a year, I find some long-buried conflict drama nonsense and step on the landmine. That kind of repressed drama makes me crazy, so I detonate it so that it won't be lurking under there anymore. I'll be really glad to finally be in a position to make sure those things never occur in the first place, and he seemed really pleased that I was thinking about it. He said he wanted the same thing, to have what he called "dignified, professional canvassers."

He wants me to be his "training guru," focusing on training new canvassers. I told him that once I have an idea of the kind of tone he wants to set and what kind of climate he wants to create, I would love to help pass that on and keep it going, but that I want to make sure I have a sense for it first. I've only ever known CAC's canvassing office, so I want to make sure that I'm not bringing in habits that won't help.

So he's going to train me to train. We'll be canvassing for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc., and this summer's client is the ASPCA. After that might be Save the Children, or the DNC doing get-out-the-vote work for democratic candidates.

Matt wants to train us to be canvassing directors. He wants to train directors for other campaigns, so that we can go provide leadership to the progressive costs that need us.

I have a boss who appreciates me, and who thinks I can do more than I've been doing. I have a boss who is competent and experienced enough to take input (since it's not a threat to him, and he trusts that we may also know what we're doing). And y'know what? I have opportunities for promotion that frankly... I didn't see happening at CAC.

It was time to leave CAC. While I am grateful to the office for being precisely what I needed precisely when I needed it, and while I'm grateful to CAC for doing badly-needed work in this state (seriously, even though I don't work there anymore, please be nice to CAC canvassers, because they're hugely important to everyone), my time there is well-ended. I have to move on and do other things now.

Love, peace, and doughnuts to all. I'll let you know how things pan out with this new gig when I know more, but I'm really optimistic about it.
xenologer: (ooh!)
I just posted an entry on Friday about the fact that I lost my job at CAC. Well, on Saturday at noon I had a meeting with someone I used to work with. He's been keeping in touch with me off and on since October, trying to get me to come work for him.

At the meeting yesterday, I was really impressed. I think this is going to be a great chance to do more than be someone's mouthpiece going out and saying what I'm supposed to say to the people I'm supposed to get money from. I think that Matt, the guy who'll be canvass director and with whom I canvassed for a while at CAC, has a lot of experience with canvassing and running canvass offices. I think that he's going to do a better job bringing out the best in me, because he wants me to do things that I'll be good at.

He asked me what kind of role I see myself having, what I want to do. I mentioned that I tend to keep an eye on the tone and climate of places, and I think I'll enjoy being at an office as it's just starting because wherever I go, after about a year, I find some long-buried conflict drama nonsense and step on the landmine. That kind of repressed drama makes me crazy, so I detonate it so that it won't be lurking under there anymore. I'll be really glad to finally be in a position to make sure those things never occur in the first place, and he seemed really pleased that I was thinking about it. He said he wanted the same thing, to have what he called "dignified, professional canvassers."

He wants me to be his "training guru," focusing on training new canvassers. I told him that once I have an idea of the kind of tone he wants to set and what kind of climate he wants to create, I would love to help pass that on and keep it going, but that I want to make sure I have a sense for it first. I've only ever known CAC's canvassing office, so I want to make sure that I'm not bringing in habits that won't help.

So he's going to train me to train. We'll be canvassing for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc., and this summer's client is the ASPCA. After that might be Save the Children, or the DNC doing get-out-the-vote work for democratic candidates.

Matt wants to train us to be canvassing directors. He wants to train directors for other campaigns, so that we can go provide leadership to the progressive costs that need us.

I have a boss who appreciates me, and who thinks I can do more than I've been doing. I have a boss who is competent and experienced enough to take input (since it's not a threat to him, and he trusts that we may also know what we're doing). And y'know what? I have opportunities for promotion that frankly... I didn't see happening at CAC.

It was time to leave CAC. While I am grateful to the office for being precisely what I needed precisely when I needed it, and while I'm grateful to CAC for doing badly-needed work in this state (seriously, even though I don't work there anymore, please be nice to CAC canvassers, because they're hugely important to everyone), my time there is well-ended. I have to move on and do other things now.

Love, peace, and doughnuts to all. I'll let you know how things pan out with this new gig when I know more, but I'm really optimistic about it.
xenologer: (always shine)
Well, that's that.

Went out on review at CAC. What this means is that I had to make my weekly quota three weeks in a row, or else... y'know. that's that. For all that our job description covers motivating each other and the contacts at the door and generating letters and phone calls and all sorts of important things, because the fundraising is the only thing we can quantify... really, the fundraising is the only goal that can make or break you as a canvasser. It's hard to escape the impression that it's the only thing which matters, but we always try.

Hard to see it just now. But you know. That's now. For the past two days, all anybody has been looking at are the numbers, if only in the desperate hope that the numbers would be good enough to give them an excuse to retain me. Canvassers have many jobs, many responsibilities, and they all matter to the organization, to our campaigns, and to the people of Indiana. Really, though, the only one of those that affects us personally is our fundraising. So it's hard to see those other things, sometimes. Like now. But y'know. That's now.

Honestly, I think other people will mind more than I mind, at least right this second. I'm not used to thinking of myself as the popular girl, but I guess at CAC I was. I just tried to make people laugh. Old survival strategy: make them laugh and they won't hate you for being smart or pretty or... or whatever it is you are. So I tried to make them laugh. I guess it worked.

It'll hit the new people hardest. They haven't seen people come and go like I have, and like the people have who've been there even longer than any of the field canvassers. The newer people will miss me. I give everybody else a week, maybe.

The office is the same, no matter who's in it. I didn't change it when I came, and it won't become something else because I'm not there. That's how it is when you have a lot of people moving in and out. Nobody gets a foothold, makes a change, fills a space that will leave a gap when they're gone.

I feel bad for my canvass director who had to do it, though we both knew I'm just sick to death of doing what I've been doing. I needed a change, and whether that was finding a way to get promoted or shifted elsewhere or simply leaving... it was going to happen, or I was going to make it happen. So I'm not jarred or shocked or anything.

But then, maybe it just hasn't hit me yet. Up until yesterday, there was actually a damn good chance I'd still be going back on Monday. But that was up until yesterday. I went to staff night for the first time in months yesterday, and I think it was largely to say goodbye (even if they won't realize this until sometime next week). I came, I sang, I rocked out, I reminded them that we're awesome together, and now I'm out.

The people who notice I'm gone will feel it at first, but it's like every time a move happens, or people graduate, or switch jobs. It hurts at first, because you're pre-emptively missing that person or that group of friends. When the time comes for the actual "missing them" bit, it never quite lives up to expectations.

When you graduate, you promise your friends you'll stay in touch. I made those promises too, because to do otherwise was to hurt the feelings of the people who just didn't understand yet that the parting ritual is hollow. We don't really mean we'll stay in touch. We don't really mean we'll always be friends. What we mean is that we're friends now, and we're sorry that that is ending (if not forever, then at least for now).

It's like every time I moved as a kid. I'm the one who's leaving, I'm the one who's losing, and yet I'm the one who has to comfort everybody else. I'm the one who has to repeat over and over again how all right I'm going to be and yes of course let's stay in touch and definitely we'll hang out. I say it, because if I don't go through the parting ritual they'll think I never liked them and never valued them. They say it because if they're afraid if they don't go through the ritualistic assurances, I'll think that our friendship never mattered.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one who sees it, or if we're both just going through the motions so that each of us knows that the other--at the end--at least cared enough to lie.
xenologer: (always shine)
Well, that's that.

Went out on review at CAC. What this means is that I had to make my weekly quota three weeks in a row, or else... y'know. that's that. For all that our job description covers motivating each other and the contacts at the door and generating letters and phone calls and all sorts of important things, because the fundraising is the only thing we can quantify... really, the fundraising is the only goal that can make or break you as a canvasser. It's hard to escape the impression that it's the only thing which matters, but we always try.

Hard to see it just now. But you know. That's now. For the past two days, all anybody has been looking at are the numbers, if only in the desperate hope that the numbers would be good enough to give them an excuse to retain me. Canvassers have many jobs, many responsibilities, and they all matter to the organization, to our campaigns, and to the people of Indiana. Really, though, the only one of those that affects us personally is our fundraising. So it's hard to see those other things, sometimes. Like now. But y'know. That's now.

Honestly, I think other people will mind more than I mind, at least right this second. I'm not used to thinking of myself as the popular girl, but I guess at CAC I was. I just tried to make people laugh. Old survival strategy: make them laugh and they won't hate you for being smart or pretty or... or whatever it is you are. So I tried to make them laugh. I guess it worked.

It'll hit the new people hardest. They haven't seen people come and go like I have, and like the people have who've been there even longer than any of the field canvassers. The newer people will miss me. I give everybody else a week, maybe.

The office is the same, no matter who's in it. I didn't change it when I came, and it won't become something else because I'm not there. That's how it is when you have a lot of people moving in and out. Nobody gets a foothold, makes a change, fills a space that will leave a gap when they're gone.

I feel bad for my canvass director who had to do it, though we both knew I'm just sick to death of doing what I've been doing. I needed a change, and whether that was finding a way to get promoted or shifted elsewhere or simply leaving... it was going to happen, or I was going to make it happen. So I'm not jarred or shocked or anything.

But then, maybe it just hasn't hit me yet. Up until yesterday, there was actually a damn good chance I'd still be going back on Monday. But that was up until yesterday. I went to staff night for the first time in months yesterday, and I think it was largely to say goodbye (even if they won't realize this until sometime next week). I came, I sang, I rocked out, I reminded them that we're awesome together, and now I'm out.

The people who notice I'm gone will feel it at first, but it's like every time a move happens, or people graduate, or switch jobs. It hurts at first, because you're pre-emptively missing that person or that group of friends. When the time comes for the actual "missing them" bit, it never quite lives up to expectations.

When you graduate, you promise your friends you'll stay in touch. I made those promises too, because to do otherwise was to hurt the feelings of the people who just didn't understand yet that the parting ritual is hollow. We don't really mean we'll stay in touch. We don't really mean we'll always be friends. What we mean is that we're friends now, and we're sorry that that is ending (if not forever, then at least for now).

It's like every time I moved as a kid. I'm the one who's leaving, I'm the one who's losing, and yet I'm the one who has to comfort everybody else. I'm the one who has to repeat over and over again how all right I'm going to be and yes of course let's stay in touch and definitely we'll hang out. I say it, because if I don't go through the parting ritual they'll think I never liked them and never valued them. They say it because if they're afraid if they don't go through the ritualistic assurances, I'll think that our friendship never mattered.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one who sees it, or if we're both just going through the motions so that each of us knows that the other--at the end--at least cared enough to lie.
xenologer: (always shine)
Well, that's that.

Went out on review at CAC. What this means is that I had to make my weekly quota three weeks in a row, or else... y'know. that's that. For all that our job description covers motivating each other and the contacts at the door and generating letters and phone calls and all sorts of important things, because the fundraising is the only thing we can quantify... really, the fundraising is the only goal that can make or break you as a canvasser. It's hard to escape the impression that it's the only thing which matters, but we always try.

Hard to see it just now. But you know. That's now. For the past two days, all anybody has been looking at are the numbers, if only in the desperate hope that the numbers would be good enough to give them an excuse to retain me. Canvassers have many jobs, many responsibilities, and they all matter to the organization, to our campaigns, and to the people of Indiana. Really, though, the only one of those that affects us personally is our fundraising. So it's hard to see those other things, sometimes. Like now. But y'know. That's now.

Honestly, I think other people will mind more than I mind, at least right this second. I'm not used to thinking of myself as the popular girl, but I guess at CAC I was. I just tried to make people laugh. Old survival strategy: make them laugh and they won't hate you for being smart or pretty or... or whatever it is you are. So I tried to make them laugh. I guess it worked.

It'll hit the new people hardest. They haven't seen people come and go like I have, and like the people have who've been there even longer than any of the field canvassers. The newer people will miss me. I give everybody else a week, maybe.

The office is the same, no matter who's in it. I didn't change it when I came, and it won't become something else because I'm not there. That's how it is when you have a lot of people moving in and out. Nobody gets a foothold, makes a change, fills a space that will leave a gap when they're gone.

I feel bad for my canvass director who had to do it, though we both knew I'm just sick to death of doing what I've been doing. I needed a change, and whether that was finding a way to get promoted or shifted elsewhere or simply leaving... it was going to happen, or I was going to make it happen. So I'm not jarred or shocked or anything.

But then, maybe it just hasn't hit me yet. Up until yesterday, there was actually a damn good chance I'd still be going back on Monday. But that was up until yesterday. I went to staff night for the first time in months yesterday, and I think it was largely to say goodbye (even if they won't realize this until sometime next week). I came, I sang, I rocked out, I reminded them that we're awesome together, and now I'm out.

The people who notice I'm gone will feel it at first, but it's like every time a move happens, or people graduate, or switch jobs. It hurts at first, because you're pre-emptively missing that person or that group of friends. When the time comes for the actual "missing them" bit, it never quite lives up to expectations.

When you graduate, you promise your friends you'll stay in touch. I made those promises too, because to do otherwise was to hurt the feelings of the people who just didn't understand yet that the parting ritual is hollow. We don't really mean we'll stay in touch. We don't really mean we'll always be friends. What we mean is that we're friends now, and we're sorry that that is ending (if not forever, then at least for now).

It's like every time I moved as a kid. I'm the one who's leaving, I'm the one who's losing, and yet I'm the one who has to comfort everybody else. I'm the one who has to repeat over and over again how all right I'm going to be and yes of course let's stay in touch and definitely we'll hang out. I say it, because if I don't go through the parting ritual they'll think I never liked them and never valued them. They say it because if they're afraid if they don't go through the ritualistic assurances, I'll think that our friendship never mattered.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one who sees it, or if we're both just going through the motions so that each of us knows that the other--at the end--at least cared enough to lie.

Request.

Apr. 9th, 2010 10:45 pm
xenologer: (always shine)
I need things to look at which will make me smile. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to offer whatever silly or awesome or inspiring or cute thing first comes to mind.

I am less of a mess than I was before, but I am still not... jeez.

Request.

Apr. 9th, 2010 10:45 pm
xenologer: (always shine)
I need things to look at which will make me smile. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to offer whatever silly or awesome or inspiring or cute thing first comes to mind.

I am less of a mess than I was before, but I am still not... jeez.

Request.

Apr. 9th, 2010 10:45 pm
xenologer: (always shine)
I need things to look at which will make me smile. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to offer whatever silly or awesome or inspiring or cute thing first comes to mind.

I am less of a mess than I was before, but I am still not... jeez.

Obedience.

Mar. 31st, 2010 11:34 am
xenologer: (let it be)
I got told by a utility guy last night that CAC should stop getting people upset, because "we have everything under control." I told him, "Sir. I don't mean to be rude, but I don't generally trust people in authority who tell me to sit down and be quiet because they've got everything under control."

Dumbass.

Obedience.

Mar. 31st, 2010 11:34 am
xenologer: (let it be)
I got told by a utility guy last night that CAC should stop getting people upset, because "we have everything under control." I told him, "Sir. I don't mean to be rude, but I don't generally trust people in authority who tell me to sit down and be quiet because they've got everything under control."

Dumbass.

Obedience.

Mar. 31st, 2010 11:34 am
xenologer: (let it be)
I got told by a utility guy last night that CAC should stop getting people upset, because "we have everything under control." I told him, "Sir. I don't mean to be rude, but I don't generally trust people in authority who tell me to sit down and be quiet because they've got everything under control."

Dumbass.
xenologer: (let it be)
I think I might be a libertarian-socialist.

Or:

When did capitalist right-wingers get so trusting, anyway?

Here's libertarian-socialism in a nutshell (at least as I understand it, and if someone can correct me in the comments, PLEASE DO, because I will consider your insight here to be a personal favor).

Libertarians don't want the government controlling their behavior, because having your freedom curtailed by people who are not accountable enough to you SUCKS, and shouldn't happen. Coercion is terrible, and you shouldn't feel coerced by your government. People like myself take this one step further.

I feel that corporations and powerful individuals have too much power to control my life and coerce me, and they're even less accountable to me than the government. At least the government I can vote in or out. Therefore, the answer seems to me that we should be as wary of companies or individuals with power as we are of governments.

There is more stuff here, but it is long. )
xenologer: (let it be)
Dear Indiana ratepayers and taxpayers:

No, I'm not afraid of your power company. No, I'm not afraid of the government. No, I'm not afraid of your employer, or your lawyer, or my own employer, or their lawyers, or anything anybody says. I'm not like you, and that's why I'm going to win.

You can thank me later.

Lots of love, Ashley.
xenologer: (let it be)
Dear Indiana ratepayers and taxpayers:

No, I'm not afraid of your power company. No, I'm not afraid of the government. No, I'm not afraid of your employer, or your lawyer, or my own employer, or their lawyers, or anything anybody says. I'm not like you, and that's why I'm going to win.

You can thank me later.

Lots of love, Ashley.
xenologer: (let it be)
Dear Indiana ratepayers and taxpayers:

No, I'm not afraid of your power company. No, I'm not afraid of the government. No, I'm not afraid of your employer, or your lawyer, or my own employer, or their lawyers, or anything anybody says. I'm not like you, and that's why I'm going to win.

You can thank me later.

Lots of love, Ashley.

April 2016

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