In 1990 i was going to go to India. Ultimately, i never made it because upset natives were blowing up tourist attractions and i thought it best to go to Thailand instead. To get into India i needed to get a visa and the closest location was the Indian consulate in San Francisco.
A large effervescent Indian man behind me on line was chatting me up”
He: Is this your first trip to India?
Me: Why, yes.
He: You will love it
Me: Oh good
He: Or you will hate it
Me: Excuse me?
He: Or you will love it and hate it, no one is ambivalent about India
So it is with Facebook and me. If have written regularly and critically about Facebook (poor performance in addressing violence against women, spreading like cancer, etc). Facebook has an addictive feel to it, many people who use it complain about their relationship with the service. There is no effective competition much as Google Plus tried. It is filled with ads and hidden algorithms for how you get stuff and manipulative practices which should make us worry.
And i use it everyday and as much as i hate it, i also love it. A huge number of the people i want to communicate with are on it. It is easy to set up events and get useful RSVP data (tho not highly accurate, still useful). it allows you to remind yourself what someone looks like and who you know that they know. It permits a certain kind of acceptable stalking, which is both useful and a little creepy. it is also a tremendous gossip engine, arguably the single largest one in the world.
As an organizer, one of the thing you really hope for is that the RSVP function on FB will give you some notion as to the number of people who are coming to the event you have posted there. Keep hoping. I’ve been involved in several dozen events which have been posted on Facebook and some have more RSVPs than actually come, others the RSVPs on FB don’t come close to the actual number of attendees.
The reason for all these thoughts and stories is that some fraction of the people who read this blog are going to the Twin Oaks Communities Conference, which is starting this Friday. Of the 59 people currently RSVPing on FB only 9 of them are known Oakers or Acorners. But there are probably 100 more outside participants who will come to this event.
If you are one of them, please go to the Facebook Event Page and RSVP or (even better) go to the Comm Conf registration. This will help the organizers figure out who might really be coming, even if they have not yet registered.
I believe in Aliens.
There I said it.
As you may know, I am pretty open about a wide-variety of things, including, but certainly not limited to my polyglamorous relationships, my obsession with twerking, and my desire for some radical heteronormativity in my life. (while of course still maintaining my polyglamorus status.)
I must come out of the space ship, although I hold some reservations about coming out of the space ship. I feel like I will be judged negatively and that the anti-nuclear activists and the communities movement will shun me, that I will have gone too “woo woo” or maybe people will think I’ve simply gone of my rocker. Perhaps if this was just a small part of me people would understand.
But, its not.
I think spreading the truth about Space Aliens and their involvement on earth is some of the most important activism we can do. I want to be the Chelsea Manning of Extra Terrestrials. The information NEEDS to be out there and people NEED to know that aliens are among us.
You may be thinking “wow paxus has finally snapped.” As if I haven’t already, excuse me.
The rest of you are thinking ” gee, I wonder why he thinks this.”
And a small number of you, the true truthers, are thinking “yes I believe too, please go on.”
I will gladly tell you the story of how I first became aware that Aliens are real AND living on planet Earth. I am especially excited because this is not one of the stories that I tell on loop at every event ever.
When I was in the Czech, protesting nukes, I met a women named Eleanora. Eleanora was, well, odd to say the least. Her diet is one example, she specifically like invertebrates. She always said in her weird, practically indistinguishable accent “It es so much easeiar to eat dah invertabras, you do not eben ned to peek meat off das bones! You jest squeese it out.” Of course I found it to be ridiculously adorable and we spent many nights together, discussing the protein humans are missing and how nukes may destroy the planet, you know, typical radical type stuff. Another odd thing, she introduced me to twerking, before twerking was a thing, she shared a great love for it.
One night we had plans to spend time together in one of the downtown areas of the czech, she called me and told me that she could not come out that night, she didn’t feel very well. She sounded like she had been crying and I asked her if maybe I could just come over instead. After some conversation she agreed.
When I got there she complained about feeling “allown on dis planet.” and feeling like “All the odders like me have jest given oop and become followers.” At first I thought this was just your typical activist breakdown. You know “The worlds gone mad! Nobody cares!”
But, I became fascinated about how often she used the terms “on dis planet!” and finally it escalated into her practically yelling “And dere destroying the galoxy for the rest of us!”
All the emotion faded from her face, realizing she had said a bit too much. I could see it in her face and me desiring transparency asked her to please explain herself. She took a deep breath and told me that she was a Extra Terrestrial from a somewhat nearby Solar System and that she was hear to try and stop humans from poisoning the universe. She said that her species is somewhat related to hers, but that they had blue hair and some other traits.
Suddenly it all made sense, why Eleanora was constantly buying brown hair dye, while being upset about using such nasty chemicals, and why we never played with her genitals. I didn’t complain because I rather enjoyed all the fellatio I was receiving.
This led to years and years of Eleanora introducing me to her underground ET politcal groups and explaining to me the various species of aliens, some being related to humans, some being shape shifters. Cats are aliens that take advantage of humans parental instincts.
Remember when I hitchhiked on boats?
Well the whole reason was so that I could get far enough out to sea so that I could get picked up by a spacecraft to and go visit Eleanoras family on the celebration of some religion from their planet.
I have more information, but I have been to space and back multiple times since then.
This information needs to be out.
I know this is a lot to spring on all of you, but I swear it is all true. Its as true as my love for twerking.
Transparency is my favorite thing and this is no different.
Judy Youngquest is our newest editor. She is also helping with some layout and blog promotion. Paxus met Judy on OkCupid and we have been having a rambling and far reaching conversation ever since. For people who care about grammar and spelling, Judy’s high speed turn around means more posts go out more “readably” edited than ever before.
Originally from the Ithaca, New York area of the Finger Lakes, she is currently based in southwest Florida. Judy has been writing, editing and proofreading since 1980. Her writing has appeared in “Growing Without Schooling” magazine and the book, “The Summer of the Storms.” You can also find examples of her writing on eHow.com, USA Today, and Garden Guides.com. She provides travel-related content for livestrong.com.
She worked for a magazine typographer in New York State where she edited American Photographer, Omni, Cuisine and Penthouse magazines.
For many years she did freelance proofreading for Bantam Books, Berkley Publishing and Kensington Publishers, a dream job many folks wish to have, getting paid to read books at home.
Anat has been studying Fluid Presence which is a sister of water dance and a daughter of Watsu. These are all water based therapies with origins in the Japanese healing art Shiatsu. When she told me she wanted to work on me (“to float me” is the language of these arts) i was excited. I like massage. I especially enjoy her working on my body, water is cool – i am totally game.
But it was not what i expected. We went to the beautiful domes of the Harbin’s former Watsu center, now called just the “Harbin Domes” We cleared the thin plastic surface off the large pool of a consistent 3 to 5 foot depth. Anat prefers this pool to the ones at the main area of Harbin, because they are cleaner and emptier of other users.
i floated for over and hour twice in two days. The second time i fell asleep (i likely would have the first time if i had had ear plugs). And the reason that it was different than what i expected was perhaps best described this way.
When i went into it i thought the water would take the place of the massage table. What i found is the water is taking the place of the masseurs hands.
So i got this shiny new blog. Not to be confused with my largely functional old blog at butthedevil.blogspot.com. This new blog will one day be a proper superset of the old blog starting from now. So if you want it all from me, come here.
To be completely frank i am moving to wordpress mostly because Robin from Casa Robino in Am*dam sort of suggested it. Robin is clever and i love my interpretation of his digital nomadism And it is probably better to move away from a Google format. And i love the that the reader counter is built right into the dashboard, which i know for the VIS website on WordPress.
I thought i would include in this initial post an old piece of writing of mine, which the Commonwealth Attorney in my trial last month tried to use as evidence i had terrorist inclinations [hey and that is after i edited out the really dicey stuff.] If this does something for you than i would invite you to comment on this post and come back regularly. if you read this and feel weird and uncomfortable, then i am happy. But you should probably not bother to return.
Paxus at East Wind
26 Winter Wonderland 10
why i am an anarchist
anarchism is the ultimate intellectual and ethical high wire act without a net. it starts with rejecting the principle extant political institutions and dominant paradigms – but to get very far you need to build something. you need not build based on great thinkers of the past (tho some are available). you can go where you find your passion and create something based on what you experience as true. it is a broad anti-orthodoxy and thus everyone has their own slightly different personal flavor. this is mine, i hope you like it.
i share. perhaps the greatest challenge to the dominant political models is the idea that you do not have to possess things exclusively. widespread change in only this cultural value could result in a far more economically just world, using the same or fewer resources. i own little myself and live in places where material things are held in common.
anarchism deals with more than just the physical. feminism is about sharing power. it is training people to listen, helping the quiet find voice, flattening hierarchy and finding consensus – this is the beginning of building justice. i like the adage that anarchism is the philosophy and feminism is the practice.
polyamory is sharing lovers – i do not claim sole rights to my intimates, and they as well have other lovers. i find it a great poison that intimacy should be locked up and made exclusive. it is the commodifcation of love. some of the hardest work of my life has been moving thru jealousy, balancing time and establishing clear communication.
radical spirituality is about sharing the planet with all of its life forms and respecting their rights. as pagans we seek to build relevant rituals. we explore how to move symbols and create meaning. this is the reclaiming of magic from the scientists and spirituality from the church. it also dovetails with environmental politics and the development of the connection to things greater than the self. these are the critical extensions of our language and culture we need to evolve.
i am a communard – i choose to live in an intentional community, where we work and live together, sharing income and resources, we build our own buildings, grow much of our own food organically, we don’t use money internally. there are basically no locks, no tv and virtually no crime. it is far from utopia – we have little shared vision, for example – but it is working model of what can be.
anarchism is embracing flexible strategies in face of structural dilemmas. a central example is the prefigurative politics versus the “length of the fuse” debate. it is intellectually attractive to say “we will limit the tools we use now for social change to the ones we want to still have in our new society.” violence and property destruction are the tactics most often excluded by this reasoning. the length of the fuse argument is “if you are running out of time to change things you need to use fast tools”. sadly, prefigurative approaches are generally slow. the resolution is that there is no fixed strategy – the workers (or activists) decide, the people who are on the scene at the relevant time make the choices. it was a pacifist who convinced me that violence played a central role in ending nuclear construction in Germany. when you are looking at preventing thousands of years of uncontrollable toxins, can you risk failure because you could not reach consensus on strategy?
i smuggle – borders are perhaps the most offensive static structure of the state. i had the good fortune to help smuggle 3 tibetan monks across a thousand miles of the himalayas and into Nepal to see the Dalai Lama. i have carried banned documents and other contraband. i’ve gotten caught a few times, but i’ve been lucky and made it thru basically unscratched.
i am a lobbyist – i have run thru the halls of parliament and congress trying to get elected officials to behave as i thought they should. i am not especially good at it, but i have been the best available. simply because we can see that a governmental system is corrupt does not justify failing to engage with it. we have more tools than protest.
i am a propagandist – i don’t believe i or we have any monopoly on the truth – i have debated ideologues and i know they are sure they are right as i think i am in my most arrogant moments. we have an obligation to put out our beliefs brilliantly and we need to remember that we are trying to sway people to think like us, not because we know we have a better way, but because we believe we do.
i’m an outlaw – i shoplift, counterfeit, trespass, destroy property, break and enter, hop trains, panhandle, violate curfews, copyrights and security clearances, trade on the black markets, tax resist, enter and exit countries illegally, black ride (ride without a ticket), lie to the police, default on credit cards (for $50K), forge signatures, falsify visa’s, hitchhike, cut handcuffs, leak state secrets and don’t wear seat belts (for somewhat crazy reasons). i wish i could say all of this has been done for the greater good and to advance the revolution – in fact some was self serving and some just frivolous. But i certainly don’t start from the place of assuming laws are right – this is the anarchist prerogative.
i am a life style terrorist. someone who asks uncomfortable questions to people who are comfortable, about what they really need and what they can contribute. of course this is only credible from a place of doing it yourself and is best served in a humorous and non-dogmatic way. when visiting people we don’t really know my dutch lover Hawina and i try to be “ambassadors from where we want to come from”. this is about pushing the positive aspects of our lifestyle choices, hoping to inspire folx to try to do more progressive political work. This can be as small as recycling and using mass transit to as large as quitting your corporate job and running campaigns or moving to a commune.
i am a clown – my favorite fairy tale ends with the line “don’t take yourself too seriously”. i make a point to remember jokes and riddles and try to make people laugh. i don’t believe things are so bad we can’t make it without humor. similarly, one of the things i like the most about my community is that we strive to be a great audience – anyone willing to get up and perform is highly appreciated. i have watched it change the self confidence of our kids and improve the overall quality of our cultural life.
i travel. i have hitchhiked on sail boats from mexico to australia, trained across europe and asia, crossed the atlantic on a polish tramp ship, worked briefly on the north slope of alaska and the bottom of the ocean near hawaii. years ago i quit flying, for energy and environmental reasons, but i continued to travel more than most people i know – i am writing this on the train across the US. i have had to change my perception about the importance of the time spent traveling – correspondingly, i make fewer but longer trips. but i have basically stopped going to places where i don’t know anyone – this is the difference between tourism and traveling. i strive to discover the culture thru the eyes of people who live there, rather than a guide book.
i raise funds – money is an oft necessary great evil. i learned how to make it come towards projects and campaigns which were important. i never escaped the feeling that there was something wrong with this solution, and my ego did unhealthy flops around successfully finding money. when i was doing this a great deal, it felt best to be homeless, without salary and living very cheaply.
anarchists seem to be either of the individualistic/loner type or cooperators looking for allies. i am always looking for allies. the success of the recent World Bank and WTO protests has been the ability of divergent groups to put aside their differences long enuf to come together to make an effective mass protest. globalization and these oft media-invisible institutions which drive it are now the subject of popular debate and they can not continue unchanged. we are a long way from closing them, but debt cancellation is gaining momentum and the WTO fast track seems derailed – both good things. anarchists were central in organizing these actions and building these broad coalitions. and there are lots of other types of alliances – my wordsmith lover jazz edited this piece … almost every project of significant scale is a collaborative effort, and many which fail simply did not gather the right allies.
i am an organizer. there are several key differences between an organizer and a leader. the first is that no job is too low for an organizer. they are self aware enuf to know what they can teach and humble enuf to know there is still lots to learn. always pressed for time, good organizers don’t get stuck and don’t overwork problems. they replace themselves before they leave work undone (something i have often failed in) and they are most generally invisible to the eye of fame.
in a tiny train station in Czechoslovakia i helped a man buy an international ticket and we got to talking. he told me he had the best job in the world, traveling from place to place telling stories. After listening to one of his stories and thinking about this for a while, i decided that it was a wonderful and important job and have been working on my storytelling ever since.
i am an optimist – if the anarchist principle is that “you can do what ever you want, but you must take responsibility for it” and you believe the new age principle of “we create our own reality”, then we have an obligation to be optimistic – or else we are creating the wrong reality. For seven years i lived in eastern europe working with small anti-nuclear groups against the most powerful corporations and the state. i was constantly reminding them that it was groups exactly like theirs which had stopped reactors around the world. it is as papa chomsky so well put it
If you assume there is no hope you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance that you may contribute to making a better world. that is your choice.
i am in the hope business. and that is why i am an anarchist.
[this article has been edited]