Keffiyeh Day, 2021

“To insist on the universal dimension of a Palestinian grammar of suffering is to resist the containment of the Palestinian question to a regional dispute…” (Zahi Zalloua) Today is #KeffiyehDay, and I’ve been thinking about that quote since I saw it on Twitter last week: “The Palestinian question touches all of us…to the extent that we are all compelled to imagine & invent the conditions for justice and equality in our contemporary global world.” Matt Flisfeder, who shared the quote, closed out his thread with this: “And, I would add that it is the same for the persistence of antisemitism and … Continue reading “Keffiyeh Day, 2021”

May Day, 2021

It’s fascinating how the Gates Foundation has positioned itself at the intersection of very different vectors of rage over the years—anti-maskers today, copy-leftists last night, anti-vaxxers at one point, counter-Modiites before that. Though not all protests are created equal, this breadth of contention does share one feature: unmasking the feudalistic trials of strength that the neoliberal fairytale tells us it keeps at bay, just outside the city limits. This is what the gatekeepers were supposed to protect us from, but, alas, more of us are beginning to recognize that their rule of experts was founded on myth—this rule is not … Continue reading “May Day, 2021”

Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History.

Imagine with me a city with a major transnational logistics provider and several data-mining enterprises wielding astronomical levels of computing power amongst themselves, pooling resources to, I don’t know, maybe help with tracking vaccine doses per medical provider per neighborhood—avoiding false moral dilemmas around “cutting in line” when there are no lines to cut in a spiraling rhizome of geographically-zoned inoculation not that many degrees more advanced in logic and efficiency and care than Balto and his sled—rather than wasting their time trying to stop their employees from unionizing instead. No, but seriously though, imagine with me whole neighborhoods vaccinated … Continue reading “Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History.”

Bad Like I Feel: Empathy as Solidarity

The institution that I’ve been dedicating myself to is embroiled in an online controversy, and this is valid and good, but I don’t want to discuss the specifics, as I would be doing so in ignorance of much. I prefer to avoid joining the cacophony of voices talking past and over each other. I do want to discuss some of these voices, though, because if I have skills in anything, it’s in listening for the words that people trip over in the thick of the awful din. I believe that, for most people, the human capacity to imagine worlds at … Continue reading “Bad Like I Feel: Empathy as Solidarity”

Reflections on the Fourth Monday of Advent

“You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth…He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.” It’s readings like these that make me empathize with the people who interacted with Jesus—how frustrating it must have been to hear these words! The audacity of these claims! And yet, with 20/20 hindsight, we, as … Continue reading “Reflections on the Fourth Monday of Advent”

Reflections on the Second Saturday of Advent

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:31-38) Sometimes I wonder why Jesus chose Simon to be his Peter—his rock, the Rock on which he built his Church. Throughout the … Continue reading “Reflections on the Second Saturday of Advent”

Against American Exceptionalism: Voting as Harm Reduction

There’s an organization here called Seattle Solidarity. Years ago, I’d read about them on an old iteration of their website, which was a lot more explicit about a fundamental organizing principle they follow or have followed for over a decade: agitate to win and never mobilize if you’re not convinced that you will. I remember reading somewhere in their FAQs how they understood the critical importance to their effectiveness as a solidarity network and pressure group of maintaining a 100% win rate. I can’t find that information now; I don’t know if their ethos has changed, but when I first … Continue reading “Against American Exceptionalism: Voting as Harm Reduction”

Do You Want To Come Join?

When words frustrate, I sometimes turn to collage. I took this video on July 17, on my way back home after livestreaming a socially-distanced concert at work. I wasn’t the only bystander there, though I may have been the the only one filming — I’m not entirely sure. “Rather than recording, do you want to come join?” No, I did not expect to be addressed so directly by “ongoing events.”