Archive for Politiks

Black Celebration

This Depeche Mode song could have multiple meanings right now … nationally, personally, etc.
Here’s to great music – which gets you through all life’s experiences, sad and joyful.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lets have a black celebration
Black celebration
Tonight

To celebrate the fact
That weve seen the back
Of another black day

I look to you
How you carry on
When all hope is gone
Cant you see

Your optimistic eyes
Seem like paradise
To someone like
Me

I want to take you
In my arms
Forgetting all I couldnt do today

Black celebration
Black celebration
Tonight

To celebrate the fact
That weve seen the back
Of another black day

I look to you
And your strong belief
Me, I want relief
Tonight

Consolation
I want so much
Want to feel your touch
Tonight

Take me in your arms
Forgetting all you couldnt do today

Black celebration
Ill drink to that
Black celebration
Tonight

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Ask Obama: Abolish Nuclear weapons

Abolishing nuclear weapons has always been cause I care deeply about. If anyone has ever read anything about Hiroshima & Nagasaki, or the use of depeleted uranium in the Middle East, then you will understand why.
I spent about two years of academic study on the topic of Hiroshima & Nagasaki and Atomic-Bomb Literature.  It was more than an academic exercise though … the survivors I met, the stories I heard and read touched me deeply, and  served as a daily reminder of why we must NEVER allow this to happen again.
I rarely take an unequivicol stance on an issue, but there is no question in my mind that nuclear weapons are a scourge to humanity and the planet and should never be used again.
Obviously, the U.S. would have to be one of the first, if not, the first to disarm. And THAT would be a huge statement for us to make to the rest of the world, to show how we are truly committed to peace on the planet.
Please, if you haven’t already signed up on change.org, do so, and vote for the top 10 ideas you feel the Obama administration should consider. My blog has been listed as one of those endorsing this idea.
More links:
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation 
Testimony of Survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki (Hibakusha)
Hell on Earth

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Big changes …

My promise to write here has once again fallen flat. The main reason that I have been living transient and off the kindness of others for the past few months, with little internet access (except at work, which I wouldn’t have time to write at anyway).

I’ve had time though to debate with myself the place of public and private on a blog. Seems the lines get blurry. The whole reason a lot of people start blogs is as journals, to share their personal lives. I admit that I started this with a more political, or activist motive. But what have we learned from feminism, if not that the “personal is political”?

I want some things in my life to be public, even if i don’t want to go around to every person I know and tell them about my pain, shame, joy or enlightenment….

So I’ll let you in on some of it right here, because if I haven’t seen you or spoken to you, or if you’ve read this blog in the past and don’t even know who I am, you still might want to know.

I’ll spare you the big long stories.

Here’s what’s been goin’ down.

My husband (of ten months) and I left the land and are now separated. We’ve had 1 and a half great years together.  I’m in a really confusing, weird space with this.

My precious kitty died of pneumonia last week while I was on vacation. We had three wonderful years together.

I just got back from an awesome trip with my best friend in the world. We went on a road trip out west, finally making it to our final destination of Sedona AZ for a few days.

I just got my first tarot deck.

I’m living with some friends – probably the fifth place I’ve lived in the past three months. Looking for an apartment, but also contemplating leaving upstate.

I’m on an allergy elimination diet per my ND.  Starts out with taking all wheat, gluten (oats, barley, rye), dairy, corn, peanuts, tomatoes, potatoes, refined sugar and juice out of the diet and then slowly reintroducing it. So I am ovo-veg right now, but only organic eggs.

Maybe someday I will get back to writing the real stuff I meant to when I started here.  

Thanks for everyone’s support!

Love,

Aletha

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Long lost Ani

I 'happened' to rediscover my Educated Guess album this morning and decided to post
this spoken word piece "Grand Canyon".  I'm listening obsessively to my uncle's band 256 also,
out of Grand Rapids, MI.
The poem is a bit long, but please enjoy. the meter and rhythm really comes out if you read it aloud ...  
 
I love my country
By which I meanI am indebted joyfully
To all the people throughout its history
Who have fought the government to make right
Where so many cunning sons and daughters
Our foremothers and forefathers
Came singing through slaughter
Came through hell and high water 
So that we could stand here
And behold breathlessly the sight
How a raging river of tears
Cut a grand canyon of light
 
Yes, I've bin so many places
Flown through vast empty spaces
With stewardesses whose hands
Look much older than their faces
I've tossed so many napkinsInto that big hole in the sky
Bin at the bottom of the Atlantic
 
Seething in a two-ply
Looking up through all that water
And the fishes swimming by
And I don't always feel lucky
But I'm smart enough to try
Cuz humility has buoyancy
And above us only sky
So I lean inBreathe deeper that brutal burning smell 
That surrounds the smoldering wreckage
That I've come to love so well
Yes, color me stunned and dazzled
By all the red white and blue flashing lights
In the American intersection
Where black crashed head on with white
Comes a melody
Comes a rhythm
A particular resonance
That is us and only us
Comes a screaming ambulance
A hand that you can trust 
Laid steady on your chest
Working for the better good
(Which is good at its best)
And too, bearing witness
Like a woman bears a child...With all her might
Born of the greatest pain
Into a grand canyon of light
 
I mean, no song has gone unsung here
And this joint is strung crazy tight
And people bin raising up their voices
Since it just ain't bin right
With all the righteous rage
And all the bitter spite
That will accompany us out
Of this long night
That will grab us by the hand
When we are ready to take flight
Seatback and traytable
In the upright and locked position
Shocked to tears by each new vision
Of all that my ancestors have done
Like, say, the women who gave their lives
So that I could have one
 
People, we are standing at ground zero
Of the feminist revolution
Yeah, it was an inside job
Stoic and sly
One we're supposed to forget 
And downplay and deny
But I think the time is nothing
If not nigh
To let the truth out
Coolest f-word ever deserves a fucking shout!
I mean Why can't all decent men and women
Call themselves feminists?
Out of respect 
For those who fought for this 
I mean, look around 
We have this 
 
Yes
I love my country
By which I meanI am indebted joyfully
To all the people throughout its history
Who have fought the government to make right
Where so many cunning sons and daughters
Our foremothers and forefathers
Came singing through slaughter 
Came through hell and high water
So that we could stand here
And behold breathlessly the sight
How a raging river of tears
Is cutting a grand canyon of light
 
words and music by ani difranco © 2004 righteous babe music / BMI 

 

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Politicians who don’t like their vegetables

I found this little article pretty interesting in light of what I’ve been reading in The Sexual Politics of Meat: a Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory, by Carol Adams . . . regarding the history of meat as a symbol of patriarchy and vegetables as a metaphor for ‘feminine passivity’.

(AP) John Edwards has to be a mighty hungry man before he’ll touch that mushroom on his plate. Mitt Romney says he’s never met an eggplant he’d eat.

Presidential candidates do not seem to be fussy eaters for the most part. Yet they have distinct dislikes, mostly from the veggie kingdom.

Read more here.

I don’t think I need to point out that for men to eschew eating meat is still considered emasculating (remember that commercial about the wimpy tofu-eating boy?). Mostly, as Adams points out, this is tied to economics and distribution of animal-food resources: when that distribution is controlled by men there is more relative dominance on the part of men. Vegetables/plant foods, on the other hand, are often classified as ‘women’s food’ and Adams provides a lot of examples of this – from 1950s era American cookbooks to certain tribal societies to the 1988 Presidential Campain where practically all the (male) candidates were compared to vegetables- arguing that “Colloquilly [vegetable] is a synonym for a person severly brain-damaged or in a coma” and is used to express distain, criticism, and weakeness and passivity. Meat, on the other hand, equals action, strength, dominance and macho-ness – and “men who choose not to eat meat repudiate one of their masculine privileges.”

So it’s not really a surprise that Mitt Romney or Barack Obama wouldn’t wan’t to seem like a sissy. Interestingly, they didn’t ask Kucinich, who is a vegan, but we all knew he’s about as weak on principle as a fresh zuchinni … and what about H. Clinton’s response? “I don’t like the things that are still alive.” How vague is that ? and as is typical, Clinton has to appear middle of the road, non-threatening and not too masculine or feminine.
The candidates answers are perfectly crafted in response to the public perception and institutionalized ideas about what our food represents -patriarchy.

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Independent Primary?

Independentprimary.com is hosting a, well, Independent Primary, online to guage what Americans really think. Go to their website and cast your vote, it only takes a second. Supposedly this poll will be watched by national media prior to the actual first primary, in NH in January.
This is probably one of the less ‘scientific’ methods of assessment of political climate, but it’s also an interesting comment on the role of grassroots/netroots activism for this next election. Taking into account the demographic of people who might be inclined to use this (i.e. people with access to the Internet and an interest in politics period), you would expect to see the results slightly biased toward progressive candidates (for example, I recieved word of the poll through the Dennis Kucinich campaign) – an obvious attempt to plug such candidates and show that there is a large contingent of support for them prior to the NH Primary, even if that show of support is limited to tech literate, middle class people who would dare to think their opinion matters for something in a democracy (I’m making fun of myself here).
It’s a nice attempt at reclaiming democracy for the people, and I support it 🙂
Whether or not it makes any difference, we shall see . . .

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Another Unpublished Letter

Surfing some new Vegan websites I am reminded of another letter to the editor (the last one was for closing the tragedy called the Utica Zoo) that I submitted on behalf of local animals, that again didn’t make it. But we keep writing.
This one is about horse racing, to the editor of The Observer-Dispatch (Utica NY):

Dear Editor,

I am glad to see that Vernon Downs had to cancel yet another horse race. The public is obviously wising up to the fact that animal racing is cruel and antiquated, as evidenced by the track’s financial losses. People just don’t want to participate in this cruel sport.
Every year, about 800 racehorses sustain a fatal injury on the track, and thousands more sustain serious injury on the racetrack but are forced to continue racing. Those that are “spent” are euthanized or sold to slaughterhouses to make glue and pet food. The industry itself is corrupt and animals are bred solely for certain ‘desirable’ traits which actually weaken the horses and make them more susceptible to injury.
Animals are not ours to use for entertainment. Let’s set an example in the Mohawk Valley by continuing to shut down Vernon Downs and look for other ways to generate revenue in our beautiful region. Please boycott local horse racing.

Thank you.

Sort of funny story is that right after I submitted this letter, I was actually interviewing for a position in the newsroom when the managing editor who recieves these letters walked in. I introduced myself and watched the lightbulb go on as he made sounds of recognition. Now we just have to start printing them, Mr. D!

Speaking of Zoos, The Sun Magazine has some great articles right now about this sorry institution. Some very good points are raised in the feature article by Derrick Jensen. I don’t see how anyone can argue now that zoos are in anyway ‘natural’ or that they serve some purpose of education for our youth.

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