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i woke up to this¬†at about 7:20ish this morning…… they’re still out there with apparently over 100 firefighters trying to take care of it. Tom saw them pull a stretcher out of the building with a white sheet over it & is fairly certain there was a person on it, but the report says no injuries.

I can hear people shouting orders, barely audible but someone just yelled “hey! get back!” The streets are closed off 2 blocks in either direction and I sit in a townhouse closer than that.

Tom & I are going out for dinner/drinks/etc with Nicole & Brandon Lloyd tonight. They told us to pick the places but I have no idea where to go……

“We have a world of pleasures to win, and nothing to lose but boredom.”

This book was the starting point of the subversive current which first appeared in May ’68 and is now re-emerging in the anti-capitalist movements of today. It outlines the theory, which lays bare the reasons for our own alienation from modern life. It is a book that will shape the future.

This is the essential handbook of all of us still alienated by modern capitalism.

“You want to fuck around with us? Not for long.”

-The Revolution of Everyday Life, Raoul Vaneigem

Rebel Press, 2006

My amazon.com browsings & wishlists are loads of junk about the 1960s and 1970s, mostly history books, biographies, manifestos, etc; with litterings of (modern) art books as well. Maybe a random book about skateboarding or graffitti — but otherwise the subjects are pretty narrow. While looking for books by Tom Hayden and Abbie Hoffman, I came across The Revolution of Everyday Life by Vaneigem. Purchased it, put it in my camera bag before traveling cross-state to a shoot, and forgot about it for — has it been? — three months or so. I guess I’m trying to get back into it, between The Revolution by Ron Paul, Letters from the Underground by Anita & Abbie Hoffman, The Dharma Bums by Kerouac, Immortality by Kundera, and Sing a Battle Song edited by Ayers & Dohrn (& perhaps a couple others). I have a big problem with picking up 6 or 7 books to read at a time, and I rarely get through them until a year or so later. I’ve been browsing Lipstick Traces (recommended by my Dada/Futurism/Surrealism professor), which I find a bit dry at times (but I’m only 10 pages in); and a couple of Situationist International books as well…. Anyway, I’m especially struck deeply by the relationship between Anita & Abbie Hoffman and the honesty of their letters while she raised his child and he lived underground. Abbie’s letters; I often feel as if I’m on the receiving end of them, as if he’s speaking to me or as if I’ve experienced something similar before but I’m not completely sure of the parallel yet. If I could, I would read all day in a room full of plants and open windows. Endless coffee and tea and I would never have to get up to pee……….. ha ha. And forget about work and selling cotton to people who clearly don’t need another item in their wardrobes, no train commuting – no squished sardines on the El – and nice weather all the time.

I’ve been thinking about beginning to compost all my scraps & such. You wouldn’t believe how many coffee grounds Tom & I go through in the french press every morning. And for what (besides the kick!), to be tossed down the garbage disposal? Ew ew, and the egg shells and the ends of the green onions, the paper peel from the yellow onions…. the baby bellas that went bad because how could we possibly finish an entire bag in one week?

So I’ve been reading about urban composting, which seems a little messy and difficult for a beginner (especially a beginner who has very curious animals and extremely messy roommates), but once we are out in Berkeley (or even here in Chicago, when the weather warms up & we can take it down to the muddy back yard), I’d like to compost whatever we can!

Why take without giving? I also feel so much better about taking the stairs instead of the elevator, even down 10 flights, or bringing my travel mug to Starbucks instead of wasting paper….. but these shouldn’t even occur to me, this should be a regular way of living, not an extraordinary event! We as Americans (and perhaps as a world) are so wasteful without regard to the environment; and Chicago toutes itself as an “environmentally friendly” city!

There is a Revolutionary Communisty Party meeting/Q&A at the University Center on Sunday. I can’t decide if it’d be worth attending or not; I guess it’s worth a shot, not like I have to commit to anything. I feel so politically schizophrenic sometimes – Libertarian? Communist? Democrat? Anarchist? A combination, and how is that even possible? I guess I believe that “less is more,” but since it seems impossible to have “less,” the government might as well take complete care of its people. I believe in community. I believe in freedom. And I suppose I’m still a novice, politically, but I can’t find something I agree with 100%. And if I do, even, what does it matter?

Revolution Books Chicago

Revolution Books Berkeley

I guess tonight’s lesson was this; if I ever want to feel weighted down by money, I should re-visit my portfolio online and do my taxes again…….¬†

I hate seeing what’s been lost this past year & what I won’t get back…… I hate being bound by money but here it is — the thing I’m worrying about at 10:20 on a Monday night when I should be reading for tomorrow’s classes…..

It’s just hard seeing the numbers plummet & I never thought I’d be that person. Ha.

[too much gov’t.; instances in history]

“I’m sick and tired of old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”

-McGovern.

“If we practice ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ we’ll end up with a nation that’s blind and toothless… we’ve got to find a more excellent way.”

-MLK, Jr.

_JFK and MLK, Jr. were really similar but were always uncomfortable with each other.

_Robert Kennedy put MLK, Jr. & Stanley Levinson under wire tap surveilance when he found out that Levinson was part of the Communist International  Party.

_Through surveilance, the Hoover administration discovered that King had mistresses on the side. MLK, Jr. fell into a deep depression. This was around the time he was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.

[the history of America’s involvement in Vietnam]

Germany, 1938: Hitler began absorbing places like Austria and his allies were afraid of him; they appeased him instead of fighting him (this was a diplomatic tactic to avoid war). Hitler invades Poland in 1939 & his allies wage war on him (this was basically a continuation of WWI).

  • WWI = 20 million deaths
  • WWII = 80 million deaths (“a war of genocide”).

The leaders who came to power after WWII kept the idea of the prior appeasement to Hitler in the back of their minds and used the opposite approach. Basic lesson from WWII: “Don’t appease a bully!”

In 1944, the Vietnamese were sick of 100 years of French colonialism in their territory (which had come to be known as “French Indo-Asia”) and wanted them out. In 1949, China becomes a Communist country. in 1950, Communist (north) Vietnam invades South Vietnam (by this point, Communism was known as “the great menace” in America, and conditioning from WWII led America to deal with Menace Communism by not appeasing the bully). From 1957-1990, America dealt with Communism by containment. This involved an obvious military component.

  • Nuclear weapons had come into play by this point.

Viet-minh was a Communist organization led by Ho Chi Minh. After the French were defeated and pushed out of Asia, South East Asia broke into 4 parts (these parts ignored national boundaries and tribal relations). In 1955/56, a peace treaty was formed to see who would control Vietnam: the Communists in the north or the non-communists in the south. There was supposed to be an election to vote on this, but South Vietnam dropped the ball and did not vote in the treaty (North Vietnam took control). Knowing that the US hated Communism, South Vietnam came to the American government and asked for help to keep Communism out of the south. The biggest post-WWII mistake on America’s part was to not force the election.

  • side note; South Vietnam was known as a republic but it was really a non-Communist dictatorship ruled by Ziem, a Roman-Catholic.
  • Southern Vietnamese didn’t agree with his rule either, but it was better than Communism. In the summer of 1963, in protest of Ziem’s rule, (we’ve all seen this image) a Buddhist monk commited suicide by burning.

John F. Kennedy was President in the US by this point, and he had this magic little piece of white paper that had plans to withdraw American troops from Vietnam (thank you!). Within hours after this paper appeared on his desk, Kennedy was assassinated (there are multiple theories – later…). Lyndon Baines Johnson, his polar opposite, replaced him as president and ordered a surge in Vietnam. Official war had not been declared at this point. If war had been declared, the US would have had to activate 700,000 people in the army reserves, which would lead to a loss of civilian jobs and the threat of Russia (who was perceived to have nuclear weapons) invading the US. So LBJ was hesitant to declare war.

March 9, 1965: the first American troops touched ground in Vietnam. They were marines.

“The record ended long before, but we go on dancing nonetheless…”

thanks to Dr. Arnoldt for his infinite wisdom and experience.

My roommates have a little tiny food blog, The Messy Kitchen. Tonight, Megan went to see Slumdog Millionaire and Herman went to eat dollar burgers & drink beer. But the bread had to be made……. so I held down the bread fort:

bread making

hopefully it’s not too awful, I did get a bit sidetracked so my timing may have been a little off. Oh well, what’s that story about the little red hen? is that what it’s called? Childhood escapes me………