New Years and No More Beers

It's 2012, happy end of the world.  Whether or not its true, this last year has been full of change.

   I moved away from my mother, joined the local Anarchist Bookfair collective and started putting in an effort to meet new people.  My medical treatments did get upgraded because I haven't gotten any better but hopefully I'll being seeing results soon, or just changing them until I do.  Looking after myself is almost a priority now, but being halfway happy half of the time is something I've gotten good at.  I got 200 hours in Oblivion There was a lot of miserable crap but its not worth dwelling on; it's more important to keep moving forward.

  In memorial of my best friend who passed away August 2010, I quit drinking.  Even though there wasn't any result shared from the autopsy, no one who knew her doubted that her drinking had a hand in whatever happened and it hasn't been easy but I've stuck to it for 7 months.  Being a drunk is no way to honour someone who drank themselves to death.  

It feels really odd to be proud of myself for getting things together this last year but I never have had to before.  I got to grow up a lot, and I'm actually looking forward to whatever is going to happen next.  So I don't bugger things up so terribly, I actually got an organizer and I'm not going to ditch it after a month.  I don't really do resolutions, otherwise I'd post 'em, but here's to not fucking everything up.


Support and back up

 I know I'm getting up to the age where I might want to have children; its a common topic with my parents and the few adults that concern themselves with me.  They always assure me that I'll have their support, but to what extent?
  The idea of someday being able to give birth does excite me but I know it won't be easy for me.  Due to my illnesses, there would be massive potential complications.  My body just not being able to handle the extra effort to support a growing being, or there could be defects from the built up toxicity from medications; I just might not be able to conceive.  To increase the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy I could quit taking most of my  medications, but that's not actually an option.  The chance of me currently or in the next 5 years being able to conceive and carry a child to term is so small that its not even worth counting. Even if I were to get accidentally pregnant, I'd probably have no choice but to abort it.  No aspect of my current situation would make having a child an option; my health is too bad, we don't have enough money and no space to accommodate even a crib.  If I did end up getting pregnant, like so many people seem to want for me, how much would they support me if I had to have an abortion?
  I won't get into all of the little arguments that are pro or anti-choice, but it does seem incredibly heartless to deny that a woman who could die the right to an abortion.  There are no abortions of convenience, or ones done flippantly or carelessly.  Considering that terminating a pregnancy isn't a small decision, it would make sense to have networks to support women considering the procedure, but those efforts are overtaken by the christian, conservative media.  Mothers get alienated and suffer because of pressure from sources they might not even believe in.    
The only way to make sensitive topics easier to deal with is to have open honest dialogue.  Staying quiet just perpetuates more silence, and no issue can be solved by ignoring it.  Abortion is one of the bigger debates shielded by ignorance and denial, but is the most dangerous to be not handled correctly.  Even if some governments aren't willing to allow safe abortions or family planning groups, we owe it to ourselves to make sure we're getting honest information and community support against the anti-choice groups that are willing to put lives on the line over things they have no reason to step into.


HTIC: Stuck From Birth

We don't even get a break when we're children: the media starts imposing things on us from day one.  There is loads of good commentary on this, but I'd recommend the video on Feminist Frequency .  Implanted in us at an early age is the idea that girls need these pretty things and that boys need to make the world for themselves.  Even as preschoolers we have it pushed on us that females are second class and only really there to serve and support men until its time to get married, then its up to the man to pay for everything or else he doesn't really love you.  Fundamentally, the way the corporations infiltrate childrens' minds is violating, but if you're too young to know you're being manipulated, who can stop them?
As we get older, its easier to prey on people with guilt, shame, or proposing their lives will be better if they just do X.  Teenagers get sold how to fit in and look "normal", which is its own giant bag of bullshit.  Girls continue to get the short end of the stick because if they doesn't fit into certain archetypes then they straight up don't exist. Some of the what we get pushed to just accept are certain hygiene standards, being submissive, having to be a certain type of pretty, even how we're supposed to behave sexually is commodified and sold to us.
Once the teenage market starts getting becoming relevant to where you are in life it loses most of the subversive touch, its stops implying that this is how you should act and just presents how you're to be molded as the only option.  Sexual education programs in schools are sponsored by the same companies that sell extra whitening toothpaste, deodorant and leg razors.  After school specials only show girls that fit the desired future consumer mold having a decent life.  Even "alternative" people are regulated, and its handled to only properly be a phase.  At the hands of the media, we're encouraged to hate ourselves, fear our natural bodies, and conform to things that make your life expensive and miserable.  We're even sold an overpriced and disrespectful death at the hand of social norms.
There is one advantage that we do have: as soon as you decide to pull back from the vortex of consumerism, you can start pulling apart all of the damage its done.  Online, there are huge libraries of counter-culture information about how to quit living by the corporate blade and most big cities will have some kind of anarchist group.  It will never be too late to take charge of your own life, and there will never be a better time then the present.


How to influence change: part 1

As soon as any one person steps outside of the general media sphere of influence, socially, politically or ideologically, then they start to see the flaws in the corporate governed lives we're conditioned to want.  By realizing that we're given this really specific idea of happiness to conform to, the ideal means of changing your life to be how you would want it should be easy: cut out the parts that are false and useless.  Only when one goes to try do they get to see how deep rooted and culturally ingrained all of the lies and conditioning go.

Its in the little details, its the little things that you probably don't notice.

Its the fact we have to pay to live, period.
Its how people somehow got the mindset that paying more for something means its better.
Its how we get told that not showering everyday and wearing your clothes more than once is filthy
Its how white straight teeth mean someone is better, no basis for better, just better.
Its how a slightly messy house isn't lived in, its slovenly and a sign of a lower class person
Its how social classes matter at all.
Its how all little girls for some reason want diamonds and big weddings
Its how not having a car makes you poor
Its how body hair is dirty
Its how some girls are sluts...just because they're sluts
Its how a date not paying for the meal and everything else was a bad date; even if you enjoyed yourself

How is it we get these silly ideas in our heads that were probably never directly told to us, but we feel some driving urge to conform to?  More importantly, how do we break free from them?  With all of the bullshit being fed to us so subtly, Its up to those who want change to have an active voice in making it happen.  We can't just be fed things we don't want and accept it.  If we want a better future, we can't wait for someone else to make it happen:  we have to fix it for ourselves.

The best sandwiches ever!

Last night my partner and I made vegan tuna melts.  There have been so many meat substitutes/”delicious” vegan meals that we’ve hated that I think we we both skeptical about how these would turn out but these were the BEST SANDWICHES EVER.
I don’t say that lightly either, but we both sat down to eat them and were baffled by how good they were.
I mean honestly, we couldn’t stop talking about how great the sandwiches were.  They were really great, then they were fucking great, then they were really fucking great.  We settled on that they were so good I would have their babies, and he would raise them as his own.  I’d have gotten pictures if they weren’t already all gone. 
Anyhow, there are a few sites that have the recipe we used but we didn’t have all of the ingredients, so we ad-libbed a bit of it.  
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 Green onions
  • 15oz drained rinsed chickpeas
  • 1/2tsp garlic powder
  • 2 1/2tsp Nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayo (we used veganaise, its the only kind that's really close to regular mayo)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
Mash chickpeas, mince celery and green onions, combine rest of the ingredients and consume.
All of the other versions of this recipe I’ve seen say to shred the celery and that is bullshit.  It ends up looking like seaweed and it doesn’t break apart, its not worth the effort.  Its really good on toasted whole wheat bread with cucumber slices.


not just soft hearted

A few days ago my mother called me and told me about a cat that had been left at my uncles farm. Its a really common thing to see happen.  The cat was pregnant and only one kitten lived out of the litter, the problem was that the mother cat had no maternal instincts.  She had made no milk and the kitten was abandoned somewhere on the property.  Throughout the whole property you could hear it crying.  My mother kept saying that if I (myself) had been there, I would have looked for the kitten and I'd have bottle fed it and taken it to a shelter.
That is all completely true, I wouldn't have stopped looking for the kitten.  Why didn't she?
Knowing that it was out there should have been enough reason to go look, if it hadn't had anything to eat in days and it was still alive then its just inhumane to not go look.  If you knew it would be upsetting to someone to hear that you couldn't be bothered to help an animal that would die in a terrible way because you were to lazy, what good have you done?
I can't stop thinking about the kitten ,and it breaks my heart.  I've been caught in other situations where I've helped animals just to get laughed at my your typical townie pricks, and they always call you a softy/soft hearted.  At no point will it enter into the equation if what you did was right, you're automatically a "sissy" for caring about anything non human.  That kind of bullshit is just an extension of might-makes-right and the mindset that "its OK to eat animals because they're lesser beings".  Those same statements are why vegans/animal lovers get stereotyped as weak and feminized, which is just more connections to more macho  sexism and stereotypes that not only is compassion bad, but so is being female.
Being dismissive towards people for being compassionate is a huge societal flaw, which only degrades our potential for communication between different ideological groups and segregates social groups.  I'd rather be a soft-hearted animal lover than the alternative, but its still ridiculous for this to be some trope imposed on a group to make them seem bad.


No fun

Last night we went to see Punch, all of the sets were super UNTIL Punch.  I’ve been super wary of going to shows because I don’t want to get hurt and I didn’t until the first 2 seconds of their first song.  The crowd just erupted.  I was trying to stay far back from everything and I couldn’t see anything during the set anyhow but there was a just a wall of people that fell back and on top of me.  They all just stayed on top of me and crushed me, it didn’t feel like anyone even tried to get up until my partner tried to help me. 
Out of shock I started crying, and I just wanted to go home.  My nose and one eye are pretty bruised and I hit my head really hard and my legs are generically damaged.  This is exactly why I’ve been afraid of going to shows, I’d rather stay home and be no fun then get wrecked.

 This is something that's super important to me, and it really shouldn't get overlooked by others who are able-bodied, I have spoken up about this before, but its hard to make it important to people who have no idea what having to deal with a disability is like.  Where I do know the risks of doing to shows, its not a situation where I can solve it.  Making shows safe and friendly isn't up the to the group that feels threatened or unsafe; its up to the community to monitor what goes on to ensure that shit gets checked.  
This was an argument that got brought up before and is worth another read, if anyone cares about not having a terrible local scene