On Facebook Activism, and Armchair Activism. Or, Social Networks for Beginners.

As I’m sitting here by the fire with a glass of wine and the hipster-ass local radish salad with lemon juice and parsley that I just made, I’m reflecting on the current momentum in various activist circles, new and old, and the role of Facebook and social media as a whole in these dialogues. I’m reminded of pictures of Tahrir Square, of thousands and thousands of people brought onto the streets of Cairo through messages passed through social media, and to be honest, at the time I was pretty skeptical. Surely no one really uses Twitter that much and that seriously, right? Continue reading

#icymi: fuck the censors

Here are @BadlandsNPS’s tweets that disappeared a mere 3 hours (or less) after being posted in direct violation of an administration-issued directive for media blackout re: taxpayer-funded science.

A brief summary of headlines from the last 24-ish hours, and what to do about it.

#tbh, I’m already exhausted.

It’s now Day 5, and reading through my Facebook, NYT, and other news feeds, there are too many ridiculous things happening to even feel as though I can address any one of them and be effective, let alone all the ones that anger me and chill me to my core.

Here’s a sampling of things from the roughly last 24 hours that we should all be anywhere from pretty to terribly concerned about. In some cases, I’ve included links to or suggestions for concrete actions: Continue reading

Day 2, Day 3

On Day 2, we marched. (On Day 3, we called our Senator about Healthcare.)

It was huge, it was remarkably quiet, and it seemed honestly quite festive, like the social event of the season. Which, of course, was a little disturbing. I’m all for documenting on social media, but not everything needs to be a selfie opp, #amirite? Anyway, I also found the whiteness of the crowd, at least in Portland, a little discomfiting, but it’s always hard to know here how much of that is just due to the nature of the demographics of the state, or something else.

I also had another, perhaps more critical realization. It started while reading several posts from Facebook contacts, urging unity, compromise, understanding, etc., etc., with the other side of the aisle, with the racists, with the ethnocrats, with the white supremacists, with the America First-ers, basically, with Trump supporters, all the fluffy words we bill as integral parts of the human experience, assuming we like all humans the same. The warm-hearted liberal in me is all, “yes! unity! peace! understanding! compromise!”. But the cold-hearted progressive is all, “fuck them.” And I’m leaning cold. Frigid. Continue reading

I should have done this months ago.

This blog post — verbal barrage — manifesto — beginning of the end — has, as I’m sure in many of yours, been stirring in my mind for months. I should have done it then, but I was waiting for some moment, some trigger, which would tell me, this is it. This is the time. This is the time to stand up and fight. Why fight early? Why waste energy, or resources, or put myself at risk, if it wasn’t the time yet?

But it was the time, and I should have known better. Better late than never, though, right? Continue reading

We stand by: a Thanksgiving meditation

There has never been anything, nor will there ever be anything, which so frightens those in power as a great demographic shift among the powerless.

Because the powerless, when they see themselves in the powerful, can delude themselves into thinking they share in the power. After all, they have the same interests, the same concerns, the same ideology. But when the powerless look up and see something that looks so unfamiliar, they begin to feel restless. They clamor for change. They know that these strangers, who purport to speak for them, in no way have their best interests at heart. Ultimately, they threaten the powerful — not overtly (necessarily), but covertly. Not with conflict and protest, with guns and violence, but with that most subversive act of all. With their vote.
Continue reading