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”

Threads To The Naked Eye

The other night, I shared the hyperlink to an interview about a book on ecology. In it, the author gushes about the affect he hopes his work will have on the reader’s way of perceiving the world: “To go and see something like a bunch of gulls swarming, [before you’re like] ‘Oh, they’re just gulls swarming,’ but then realize, ‘Wow, no, directly underneath them there could be thousands of herring.’ I mean, how cool is that? And I just think, wow, I want to be able to see that. I want others to be able to see that and make … Continue reading “Threads To The Naked Eye”

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.”

Seattle: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 19

Part 1: #WIP I’ve been skirting around the topic of Seattle’s big, contradictory, & broken-open heart for a while now—pretty much since I moved here. The crisis has brought the different aspects of what I love and what I don’t love about this place in & out of focus, and an overall gestalt has gradually emerged: Seattle is a tender place—tender as in fragile, and sore, and almost too sensitive to touch, but also tender as in loving, and patient, and kind. That second sense of tenderness has bled out into the open during this lockdown in many ways; one … Continue reading “Seattle: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 19”

Earth Week: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 17

Part 1: Lebanon I’ve noticed a pattern on Instagram in the last few weeks; every time I flick through your stories, I see one or two or three or four of you posting images of plant life—wild flowers, potted plants, tree bark, even grass. These little odes to botany come from different countries & diverse people, but they usually share a similar aesthetic: close up, almost reverential, with an air of rediscovered naïveté like “have you ever really seen a leaf, like really really seen a leaf?” It seems that social distancing has brought us closer to our non-human neighbors. … Continue reading “Earth Week: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 17”

Marking Time: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 16

Part 1: Non-Standard Calendar Time has been an interesting medium and muse for this weekly ritual. When I started this, I knew that I’d be making a partner of the unfolding days; I did not have a script nor plan for the whole arc of my gratitude in the first twenty weeks of #TwentyTwenty. I had general bearings, but no clear map—anything more definite would have been a contradiction in terms. So as we begin to crest the horizon and near the last leg of this journey, I’ve become increasingly aware of the regions of time that I’ve lingered in … Continue reading “Marking Time: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 16”