i have long been slightly on the fence about going barefoot. i definitely like the way it feels and i also appreciate the foot protection and speed afforded by shoes. Today i fell off the fence.
“You know that there are studies showing there is a preventative effect on Alzheimer’s and other aliments by going barefoot.” Feonix said.
And i saw my mind decisively shift. Even if there was only a small chance that there were significant health benefits from walking barefoot more often, i live in places where i can often easily be barefoot. And on this day i was working at a craft fair on the beautiful Lyndhurst estate outside New York City, and i kicke doff my shoes. i carried them with me some, where they made occasionally convient detached pockets, but mostly this afternoon i was bare foot on grass. More generally on the commune it is fairly acceptable and accessible to be mostly barefoot, Rowan has modeled this behavior for his full 17 years of life.
Am i sure this is better for me? No.
And i dont need to be completely sure to try something which might be good for me and see how it works. And it also works for me to step out of shoe conformity, to test whether we have hurt ourselves by donning shoes.
And there is a kind of primitive appeal to the entire idea. What if this presumed benign technology turns out to be the source of a number of problems ? Have we heard this theme before?
In the lead up to the Loud Love event we have reached out to several different communities to both bolster the attendance of the event and diversify the world views of the participants. This has put us into conversation with local progressive church groups, some of whom are curious about why we reached out to them. In response to one pastor’s query about my characterization of the event as “edgy” i wrote the following letter.
i think it is totally appropriate for you to consult with members of your church before you go forward with posting our announcement. And part of what i think makes churches and other groups “progressive” is their willingness to engage with people who have quite different views than they have. There are several sets of parents already registered for the event and there is child care provided. We are quite conscious of what is child appropriate and what is not.Rather than being vague about what is “edgy”, i wanted to give a couple of examples. In the Drag Kings 101 workshop there what has been called a “Reverse Strip Tease” in which the facilitator of the workshop goes from being dressed in male clothing and donning tough demeanor thru costume changes and ultimately appears as a classically “dolled up” female. There is no nudity in these theatrics, but it is a very powerful transformation which challenges notions on gender and identity presentation.There is a workshop on kink through a feminist lens. Which discusses sex play that is outside many peoples experience, but this is not a tutorial on these practices, but rather an exploration of how these are made safe for the participants and how to insure that everyone involved is operating with full consent.And while the event does push on peoples beliefs, the organizers are committed to it being respectful and inclusive. We hope it is possible for you to promote it to your parishioners and we appreciate you considering this conference.
“…. a sexuality resource center and toy shop where you will find a
body positive, sex positive and shame free environment in which to
grow your sexual knowledge and increase your pleasure. The foundation of The Garden is sexuality education for adults and a commitment to body safe and eco-friendly products.The Garden is a queer woman owned business that caters to the whole DC community no matter your sex, gender, race, income, sexual experience or….well…if you have a body I want you to learn and shop here! ”
My brother very generously gave the communes two dozen free tickets and back stage passes to his show last night in Cville. The Acorners and Oakers loved it. Some attendees were repeat offenders from last years show.
The band played it’s only platinum album Flood, for most of the show. And on this album is the song Hot Cha, which is the most clearly-about-me song my brother has written. The lyrics of Hot Cha were written (i believe) in response to my disappearance from contact with my parents for much of 1982. My brother and i often played the game Derby Day when we were little and Hot Cha was horse number two and my favorite. Despite his claims otherwise, i am clear that this song on the Flood album is about me.
The funny thing is that i told Mac that this song was about me just before the show and when it started playing she said “This is your song!”. But i did not really recognize it. At first this struck me as odd. Here is this song, written by my brother, on his most famous album, which is about me and i don’t even recognize it. That seems lame.
But really, i am not that big a fan of my brothers music (i do appreciate their theatrics) and it turns out that i dont know most of this album. And he does not know my stuff, so it seemed fair that i might not be paying super careful attention to this critical media.
Before the show we bumped into Olivia in front of the Jefferson Theater with her TMBG t-shirt on, excited about the show – i had never met Olivia before this evening. The conversation turned to the point where i admitted that my brother was in the band and Olivia said “You must be Pax”, which is i think the first time that someone has identified me by name for this connection. I was so excited i gave her one of our back stage passes.
When the show was over, we went thru the strange underground tunnels that lead to where the bands relax. The woman in the wheel chair from Louisa who i had worked on a local campaign with me, who i donated tickets to, could not come with us to the back stage party, which made me sad.
As is often the case, my brother was gregarious and generous. The commune hippies descended like locust on the food and drink in the back stage area. When we left half an hour later it was all but gone. We talked a bit about his coming tour to Australia, about angry audience vibe in Cville and other places. I also reminded him that he was completely right in his political forecast about Obama’s re-election. In May of 2012 he had forecasted “people will be surprised how much he wins by”. When i congratulated him on this forecast he was both dismissive (“could the Republicans have chosen a worse candidate?)” and quick to follow up with a new forecast for the coming two years.
“The Republican Party has opened a Pandora’s box of troubles which will ultimately tear the party apart. The Tea Party and other wingnuts will crash it within two years.” I am doubtful, but i thought Obama was going to be much closer than he was, so i will suspend disbelief.
He talked about his work to stop fracking, his insights into NY Governor Cuomo’s completely political nature (“he has no moral compass.” John said) and the unexpected popularity of their coming Australia trip.
Having evaporated the food, my crew left the green room of the Jefferson theater without Olivia, who lingered behind in the place she always wanted to be.
Since there seems to be a bunch of TMBG fan traffic to this post, i should perhaps go more into detail about my contention that this song was written about me, since there is at least some dispute about it. The song refers to the first time Hot Cha went away a float island was his home. A pretty clear reference to the time i spent hitching on sailboats across the Pacific.
In the original Hot Cha video (which seems now to have been pulled from You Tube) i am told there was a phone with “PAX” on the center of the rotary dial.
My brother certainly feels some affinity for the prodigal son story in light of my disappearance and we did eat fondue together when we were growing up, which is a bit of an odd food choice.
Okay, enuf parasiting off my brothers fame, on to other adventures.
I’ve been telling stories about Willow the last couple of days.
At age 2 Willow said, in response to me asking where some toys were “i assume they are under the tower”
At age 4 when asked what he thought about having two dads he replied “i guess i lucked out”
At age 6 when asked what he would say to the police if the car was stopped and he was not in the required car seat “i dont have ID, i will just lie.”
At age 8 after i told him he needed to clean his room he replied “With what authority do you tell me this?”
At age 10 on Dec 21, 2012 at the mythical end of the Mayan calendar when was asked his thoughts on the pending end of the world, he responded “I am disinclined to believe any religious text that is found written on a wall”
Crystal asked me to shock his Social Movement students at Cal State Monterey Bay. This felt like a high bar, so i offered to entertain them and provoke their thinking.
i presented about all the folks who had said the world was going to end unless we dramatically change our behavior (Club or Rome, Carl Sagan and nuclear winter, Rio 1992 and sustainability, the Peak Oil kids and now climate change). i put them in small groups and asked them to discuss what things they could do a better job of sharing.
But it was (predictably) the second part of the class which got the most eyebrows raised. I talked about polyamory and the astronomy of the Star family (and bragged about various Willowisms). The group exercise was to talk about their relationship with jealousy and report back on if they liked it and how they might change it.
But the thing that Crystal was most excited about was the idea that polyamory was a minority relationships model and as such was discriminated against in most peoples thinking. i pointed out that if you get involved in a poly relationship and it does not work out, you are quite likely to say “Polyamory does not work” or perhaps “Poly does not work for me”.
But if you are on the other side of a failed monogamous relationship you are more likely to say “Joe is an asshole”. It is quite possible that your poly relationship failed because Joe is an asshole, or because Joe is not even poly. We rarely say “Monogamy does not work”
[80% of students reported being shocked.]