Why Are We Here?

Monkey+Wrench_2

Monkey Wrench

Do we want Progress(tm)? Are we progressives(tm) of some sort? Then we must, perforce, be nonconformists.

Don't take my word for it, ask Frank Zappa who pointed out that

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.

When you think about it, that's pretty much definitional. Status quo is not progress, which is also pretty much definitional, even if the state in question, for some brief shining moment long ago, was. (This is why things like "I'm against segregation (or even racism)" doesn't make one progressive or even liberal; it might have, in the eighteen hundreds, and maybe up through the nineteen-fifties, but not since.)

The man in the grey flannel suit is still the nation's model. The government, industry, business, advertisers, the military, and most primary and secondary education all want conformity and "normality" they teach it, preach it, demand it, punish deviation from it, and it is fucking stultifying. It is also petrifying, not as in scary, but as in cultural ossification.

So, if we accept that nonconformity has a salutary effect on the spirit and soul, as well as the culture and the nation, then we need to indulge in small rebellions. I have listed a few categories or types for your convenience:

monkey wrenching
non-cooperation
non-compliance
socialist behavior
charity
burn a buck
don't consume
off-grid recharging
off grid anything you can
water salvaging
urban foraging
urban gardening
nonconformity of any kind

That's why we're here, in every sense of here, as people. It is arguably why we're on this site and not on some other site. As the honorable JtC once said:

First thing I do...
when I get a new mattress is cut the tags off. Such is the premise of this site.

So, uh, get with it.

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snoopydawg's picture

The government, industry, business, advertisers, the military, and most primary and secondary education all want conformity and "normality" they teach it, preach it, demand it, punish deviation from it, and it is fucking stultifying. It is also petrifying, not as in scary, but as in cultural ossification.

The education I got through the years I attended were lacking in the truth about American history that’s for sure. I became a poor student after mom married her 2nd husband so I never applied myself in my studies after 4th grade. I went from straight A's to D's and only went for sports and to get out of the house so maybe I didn’t pay much attention to what they were yada-ing.
.But then the powers that be don’t want people educated much because they might start getting ideas on how their country isn’t working for them, but actually warring against them.

AE746C64-0790-40EC-9DFD-2607705DC9BD.jpeg

Indulging in small rebellions is my motto. Don’t like the way things are? Futz with them. I did that when my doctors refused to pay more in gas reimbursement and cut it off for 1 office I wasn’t hired to work at. My rebellion cost them some pretty dollars. Lots of them.

Sam:

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11 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam thinks she’s a cat.

enhydra lutris's picture

@snoopydawg
overly adept at the pas de deux.

be well and have a good one

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lily O Lady's picture

@snoopydawg

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5 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

snoopydawg's picture

@Lily O Lady

This is what Sam does when she comes in from outside. Except that she bounces off me and the couch. I’m trying to break her of doing that. Down must not be a word that is originally English because she doesn’t recognize it. Sit. She sits. Down. she’s like a bunny rabbit on speed.

You should see how big she is already.

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5 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam thinks she’s a cat.

Lily O Lady's picture

@snoopydawg

Jack (my avitar) used to bounce off me. He still jumps up on me when he’s excited. He doesn’t do “down”. He also has an ear-shattering bark. “Quiet” is another word he doesn’t do, at least not for long.

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3 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Hon, I was hatched this way!

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5 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

enhydra lutris's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

be well and have a good one

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

snoopydawg's picture

His biggest claim is that he isn’t Trump. But he was directly responsible for creating the conditions that made Trump possible. So far Biden has done more than I thought he would on getting some people some relief. The child tax credit might lift 50% of children out of poverty. If he went balls to the wall and passed good legislation democrats would win from here on. But...right?

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13 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam thinks she’s a cat.

ggersh's picture

@snoopydawg I don't know what I'm signing.....signs it anyway.

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/l3ybx3/biden_signs_some_p...

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11 users have voted.

Irony at it's finest, buying stocks breaks WS!

NO MORE WAR

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@ggersh

"Oh God."

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2 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@snoopydawg
might end up being the tweet of 2021.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Marie

And it’s true. It also goes to the people who at the start of the primaries swore that they would never vote for Biden and yet after Super Tuesday they all jumped on board with him and would say, "he wasn’t my 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5th choice, but he’s exactly who we need right now." Groan.

There is an essay over there on Tulsi going on Fox News and talking about the next patriot act coming from Biden. She is standing up for our rights, but they took it as meaning that she doesn’t want to go after white supremists. It became the usual echo chamber where everyone says the same thing, but boy some of the comments should have been flagged.

So far no one has commented on how bad Biden’s picks are. Lots of joyful kudos to congress for confirming them. Trumps pick for secdef also needed a waiver for not being out of military long enough iirc. This should never have been allowed for any president. Haines set up Obama’s drone program. I can’t remember where she is going though. His other picks have worked in foreign affairs forever, but now he’s putting them in domestic ones. No words.

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11 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam thinks she’s a cat.

@snoopydawg
It's not only that they view him as a best POTUS evah, but can't imagine a better one.

People are far too casual in saying I would never vote for X when they know damn well that they'll show up and vote for the party nominee. If one doesn't mean it, don't say it. (My TDS neighbor liked all of the 2020 Democratic candidates -- even Biden.)

wrt Tulsi, she's on the Democratic Party shitlist for daring to be charismatic and voicing some truths, and it's very difficult to get off that list. I appreciate what she has done (except for endorsing Biden when she dropped out), but recognize that she's philosophically and politically immature and there's no guide as to how such a politician will mature, assuming that she even plans to continue in politics and isn't looking for a media gig. The same is true for AOC whom I'm concerned about because she clearly doesn't have a well educated, experienced, and steady leftist within her inner circle to guide and educate her. She doesn't even seem to recognize that the wheel was invented long ago.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Marie

IKR? He is the leader of the 'thou shalt not say a bad word' pack. 2nd place is Pelosi, but for now Schumer is fair game as he is allowing Mitch too much leeway, but soon the DP will rise above getting their feet wet whilst walking on water so keep your mouth shut there or the dawg pile comes down on you. I saw one person lay out the problems, but then the solutions and her tip jar got flagged into oblivion because of the criticism. O vey. We may not all agree here, but we usually allow people to speak their minds, and we use words not insults to debate them unlike there. I can say what I want and you guys handle it whichever way y'all see fit. Most of the time...

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2 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam thinks she’s a cat.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg

he told black people that if they didn't vote for him, they weren't black.

That's after they spent four years saying that Bernie and his supporters took black people's votes for granted.

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3 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Raggedy Ann's picture

To witness and take part in the great shift that is occurring on earth right now! We are all raising our vibration and transforming to a new consciousness. This is why we will be in a new normal - a new way to educate the populace instead of the K-12 indoctrination - a new way to work, from home, in order to repurpose those empty buildings (how about putting the homeless in them!) - a new way of interacting with our fellow human where what they look like doesn't matter because they have a mask on, where what they say means we have to listen more carefully because we all have masks on.

Why are we here? Oh, boy - for so many wondrous reasons! Pleasantry

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7 users have voted.

Fear is the opposite of love. "Ignorance creates fear. Fear creates hatred. Hatred creates violence. We fear that of which we are ignorant. Cure ignorance to cure fear. If there is nothing to fear there's nothing to hate." Daryl Davis

enhydra lutris's picture

@Raggedy Ann

we have to own them, perhaps after the crash. Wink

be well and have a good one

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5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

usefewersyllables's picture

community of sane persons left in the blogging world. I like the fact that the community is largely made up of people who can actually identify their navels with their index fingers, and are articulate enough to explain why that is a useful ability...

The community has nicely self-selected for an unusual level of self-awareness. More public and open sites (that deserve the title of "social media") are generally infested with folks who simply like to watch things burn. Luckily, there are few such here.

I find myself gravitating towards "antisocial media", frankly...

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18 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

Granma's picture

My good friend went out her front door a couple of summers ago and found a woman busily harvesting all the fruit from the tree in her front yard. That's stealing, not foraging.

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7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@Granma

with respect to the plum tree in somebody's yard that has branches that hang across the sidewalk at eye level.

be well and have a good one

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris
was that branches hanging over onto your property are yours to harvest. Public property like the sidewalk? Maybe that is part of "the commons".

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4 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

enhydra lutris's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

at least as I understand it, stuff growing in the public right of way, though it seems like if it intrudes it should be fair game. There's a street inn Oakland whee the city has planted water chestnut trees in the strip between the sidewalk and the street.

be well and have a good one

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2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

@Granma  
and is, like, just some people’s opinion, man, and only privileged white racists would object . . . . Some of the attitudes communicated by The Atlantic in this article are indistinguishable from a conservative caricature of liberals:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/11/stealing-amazon-p...

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6 users have voted.

anywhere else? Lol!

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7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp
Smile

be well and have a good one

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2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AbsurdlyDividedSchool

… and now? Here to save the world, of course.

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Laconic/RagtagBunchOfMisfits

But seriously, we’re here because almost everywhere else, the right to free speech and assembly (whether physical or virtual) are being abridged and cancelled, right and (especially sadly) left.

https://off-guardian.org/2017/10/14/antifa-in-theory-and-practice-storm-...

Antifa USA, by defining “resistance to fascism” as resistance to lost causes – the Confederacy, white supremacists and for that matter Donald Trump – is actually distracting from resistance to the ruling neoliberal establishment, which is also opposed to the Confederacy and white supremacists and has already largely managed to capture Trump by its implacable campaign of denigration.

That ruling establishment, which in its insatiable foreign wars and introduction of police state methods, has successfully used popular “resistance to Trump” to make him even worse than he already was.

The facile use of the term “fascist” gets in the way of thoughtful identification and definition of the real enemy of humanity today. In the contemporary chaos, the greatest and most dangerous upheavals in the world all stem from the same source, which is hard to name, but which we might give the provisional simplified label of Globalized Imperialism.

 
We’re also here because we’re not (I hope) like Jerry White of the Socialist Equality Party and the WSWS.org website:

If you understand that Jimmy Dore video, you understand exactly why the right-wing populist AfD in Germany is getting 25% of the vote in Saxony, votes many of which used to go to die Linke, the Left Party.

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Dawn's Meta's picture

Rev. Barber's Ideas

Don't know if this violates fair use....

# 1. Organize Locally & Engage in indigenously led grassroots organizing across the State. A sustained movement for the “long haul” requires local people who know and trust one another and equip these volunteers with tools and resources to effectively raise their voice at a state and local level.
#2. Use Moral Language. Claim the higher ground and expand your base by embedding your advocacy in moral and constitutional values shared by the majority.
#3. Incorporate Civil Disobedience. Civil disobedience conveys a willingness to sacrifice and has been integral to the first and second reconstructions. Some of our leadership was trained recently in Kingian Nonviolent Direct Action and will be working with the Poor People’s Campaign and others to schedule training for all who sign up.
#4. Use the Voices of Everyday People. We do not speak for those who can speak for themselves. Make the pain of the majority human, immediate and real by providing a place for these people to raise their voices. Retake Our Democracy has a developing strategy unfolding for videotaping individuals who can put a human face on injustice.
#5. Recognize the Centrality of Race. While both race and class are central to Barber’s approach, he asserts that class divisions cannot be understood apart from a society built on white supremacy.
#6. Build a Broad Diverse Coalition Including Moral & Religious Leaders. Retake has met with the Santa Fe Interfaith Leadership Allliance and will continue to develop relationships with religious leaders.
#7. Diversify the Base by Seeking Unlikely Allies. Part of Retake Our Democracy’s emerging community conversations strategy is to have neighborhood level conversations across party lines and to find common moral ground. At the same time, Roxanne went to the GOP Annual Meeting on Saturday and was very well received. We will be presenting to their membership soon.
#8. Build a Transformational Movement that doesn’t Measure Success Based upon Elections. Fusion politics is about forging sustained relationships based on common moral ground. This is not about making “transactional” alliances where I will support your issue, if you support mine. It is about forging common moral ground that is transformational to all involved.
#9. Make a Serious Commitment to Academic and Empirical Analysis of Policy. Retake has assembled over 50 experienced researchers who have a well-developed Research Resource Inventory and Protocol for developing Research Action Kits on a wide variety of issues. These will be available beginning in Feb.
#10. Coordinate Use of All Forms of Media and Social Media. Retake has a Media Team that is in the process of developing plans for maximizing our use of media and training Retake supporters in how to maximize their use of social media.
#11. Engage in Voter Registration and Education. A major strand of Retake’s approach is to Engage, Educate and Activate. Education will come in many forms: panels, trainings, book clubs, and community conversations.
#12. Pursue a Strong Legal Strategy. Here is an area where Retake is not strong. We need to recruit attorneys to explore ways in which we can go to the courts to seek redress and to confirm our constitutional grounds on specific issues.
#13. Engage the Cultural Arts. We are just beginning this process and will be announcing a musical and cultural celebration very soon. We are also supporting events like Writes Resist which was held yesterday at Counter Culture. But this is an area where we could do more.
#14. Resist the “One Moment” Mentality. This is a movement, not a campaign. No one victory will usher in justice and no single defeat can stop us. Justice is on our side.
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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Dawn's Meta

and 11 contradicts 8. "Moral" and "Moral language" slides into religion and religiosity. "Moral" as a term has been co-opted by churchistas over the centuries. In fact, when Barber started "Moral Mondays", the message to me was "we don't really want your kind". As we all know, you can't have morals or be moral if you don't have faith or believe in god and blah, blah, blah."Ethics" is non-religious, why not use that, if that is really what it is all about. (that also slops over into #7, "you're only here to be moral" popped up more than once, such as when they turned away Bernie supporters from one of their events)

As a matter of history there has been class warfare and caste systems without racism such as, at least arguably, India, much of European history, etc. In the US, racism and classism intertwined, racism has been used as a weapon in the class war, and caste/class divisions have been used as a weapon in the race war. To me, we need to recognize that both exist and both go hand-in-hand, and while there is a crying need to overcome and eliminate racism and its effects, there is also a need to obliterate the caste system with which it is interlocked. Failure to do so can result in the elevation of a haute bourgeoise and rentier class of POC and a resultant declaration that racism has been overcome as proven by the existence of said class or caste. This is, for example, a very real drag on teh women's equality movement as it gets derailed by the sideshow of Women CEO's, talking heads and cabinet heads.

Sure, get everybody elegible to vote and registered to vote, well and good, and I have advocated that in the past. BUT, if you can't give them meaningful choice, by breaking the death grip that the two horribly corrupt wings of the uniparty have on US politics at every level, it will rapidly go nowhere. Why vote in a contest between persons who will not represent me or my interests and needs? More to the point, why vote in a contest between persons who are actually opposed to my interests and needs. Destroying the so-called "two-party system" must be linked to the voter registration initiative if it is to be anything other than feel-good make-work.

My opinions only, of course.

be well and have a good one

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7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Dawn's Meta's picture

@enhydra lutris taking the time to go through the points seriously. I was heartened that someone was putting out something more concrete that empty rhetoric.

We all need some solid ideas and steps to achieving them to something positive real.

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4 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Dawn's Meta

actually wrote a column about here of making anti-racism a part of everything one does, of all activities, because it is all pervasive and so the response needs to be as well, so incorporate in in all of one's activities. Class/caste issues have to be attacked in a different fashion, more structurally, while racism has become cultural. Some things, like simply saying hi or otherwise greeting everybody one meets, without exception, are inherently egalitarian, easy to do and a good beginning to the awareness that we are all a part of this thing and we need to actively, consciously be part of this all until it becomes instinctive.

be well and have a good one

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@Dawn's Meta " a society built on white supremacy."
That's just code for keeping white blue collar workers in their place.
Used to be called "reverse racism" but there is nothing reverse about it. if you are treating people differently because of their race, you are just a plain racist.

Why are white blue-collar workers turning Right? Because the Left ignores their pain while kissing up to those who are deliberately poor (refusing education, preferring crime to work then moaning about their record) and on top of that tells them they are shot with original sin because of their skin.

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1 user has voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Practical, cheerful, and realistic.

In this age, being all those three things at once is impressive indeed.

Cheers!

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3 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

be well and have a good one

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1 user has voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --