Polywog

February 23, 2009

New Site for Radical Love!

Filed under: Uncategorized — polywog @ 11:13 p02

So there is action on the radical love front.
My good friend Michele and I gave two radical love workshops over Valentine’s weekend. The first was at Bluestockings Bookstore in the lower east side of Manhattan, and the second was at Sarah Lawrence College. The workshops resulted in the super awesome radical writer and lover of Michele’s offering to interview me. After the interview, I decided to start a new blog related to radical love. So please, go check it out and tell me what you think!

http://loveradical.wordpress.com/

and a link to the interview on Infoshop: http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20090223181418873

Here’s one of the event descriptions. I’ll share a photo of the flier later…

It’s (the day after) Valentine’s Day and monogamy is overrated. Join our discussion on what happens when radicalism meets love. Some topics we hope to touch on are: loving well in an unwell world; love and language; ethics and ecology: and polyamory and marriage. Please bring ideas and stories to share! We will have treats and prizes!

After our discussion, Liana Stillman will open for Natti Vogel.

myspace.com/nattivogel

“Too complex to be reduced to genre” (Associated Press), underground “indie rock fusion virtuoso” (New York Press) Natti Vogel’s music is passionate, ambiguous, colorful and immediate. Accompanied by himself on piano as well as by Valerie Kuehne on electric cello, Natti will play a special set on Saturday/Sunday night devoted to the concept of redefining love.

Come at 5:30 for mingling and treats
Discussion begins at 6pm
Musical entertainment begins at 7pm

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January 10, 2009

History Is a Weapon

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History Is A Weapon

December 9, 2008

process

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she forgot to sleep for a couple days ’cause she got all excited about discursive rebellions and counter hegemonic conceptual frameworks…….

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November 18, 2008

memoirs

Filed under: Uncategorized — polywog @ 11:13 p11

So along with my thesis and the ever back-shelved history of forest defense, i’ve decided to start working on some memoirs.  Not my whole life kind of “autobiography,” but just a collection of vignettes of the last several years.  I have several motivations, first and foremost being that my memory is very slippery.  If i dont write my memories down, they will slip away, leaving vague imprints in the forms of values, inclinations, and opinions, without the textures, the life and blood, of what created them.  Secondly, i have spent a lot of time thinking about radical love.  I’ve taught a few workshops and had endless conversations… and quite a bit of practice.  I have thought seriously about dedicating myself to writing a zine on radical love after i graduate.  I probably will, but I also feel that nothing can explain a philosophy of relating to the world better than the raw and imperfect lived experience of it.  It is a way of exploring praxis.  Thirdly, I hope that the self-reflexivity of a memoir project will help me make sense of “self,” as small as i am and as big as i am, in the context of nature, culture, radicalism, activism, family, relationships, community, privilege, gender, etc., in a way that lends to a sense of situatedness in a postmodern/hyper-individualized/uber-suffring world.

Here’s my hope: These are the memoirs of a polynomial creature striving to stay sacred and passionate in the heart of civilization. I relocate pansexuality and polyamorory from “identity” to art, values, and political and cultural criticism.  The multiple and circuitous journeys of this life shape a praxis which begins with the heart and the moves through politics of relation, activism, theory, and embodied spirituality. This is a kind of manifesto for radical praxis spoken through a life imperfectly lived.

I’ve been writing stories in my free time, and soon enough i’ll start sharing them here.

November 13, 2008

Great New Things

Filed under: Uncategorized — polywog @ 11:13 p11

This is CRUX– New York’s Gay and Lesbian rock climbing group, started by my lovely managers, Meghan and Danielle. Check out their cite: http://www.meetup.com/gay-rock-climbing/ and http://www.lgbtclimbing.com/

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(Lovely Michelle is on the very right side of both of these photos!)

(Meghan is below left and Danielle is below right)

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Writers Solidarity Project!

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This is a group for politically radical writers to meet and discuss our nonfiction writing projects: to develop ideas, share our writing, and workshop. If you are focusing on anti-racism, queer theory, environmentalism, feminism, post-colonial theory, anarchism, disability studies, etc., and you need feedback on your writing, come this way! I hope for this group to be dynamic, nurturing, non-intimidating, and inclusive.

I started this group in May, and it’s going really well! If you want to get involved, email me at polywoging@gmail.com

I also started a radical sarah lawrence college discussion group. We had our first meeting last tuesday and it was just beautiful. Everyone was so passionate and full of amazing things to say. If it is possible, i will share more about that group along the way.

And this is DEVRA!

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June 3, 2008

internal landscape

Filed under: anti-assimilation,Uncategorized,women's history — polywog @ 11:13 p06

The internal landscape is the world inside the body, beneath the skin. Light from the outside world refracts through a mosaic of experiences, paints fractals of light and color, patterns within. The internal landscape is never simply a reflection of what its seen, never a reproduction of the world as is. Rather, it is through how we choose to organize and understand our experiences, and how we choose to engage in the world as we understand it, that we become who we are. The internal landscape is a name for the narratives, metaphors, myths, and patterns–visual, discursive, palpable–that shape our lives. And like any place on a map, the internal landscape is deeply defined by its relationship to the people, places, cultures, struggles, and institutions around it.

Our internal landscapes are deeply shaped by the natural and discursive landscapes of our surroundings. Inside in our bodies and minds we hold knowledge of certain shapes and textures: the stories that root us into our communities and institutions, the assumptions we often never know are assumptions, and the invisible ways of thinking we often take for the only ways of thinking. I saw a movie once about a man who went out in the sea in a storm, and he came up against a wall at the edge of the ocean. He discovered his whole world and everything he knew was only a world within a world. He could open the door and be somewhere else. These edges exist everywhere, discursively, in our minds. And finding the edge of discourse is essential to any liberatory project. Feminism is a means, a boat which takes us out to sea, by which we find the edges of our worlds, destabilize what meanings we might have taken for granted, denaturalize what they have tried to make us feel is natural.

I want to start with this idea of internal landscape: the mess of internalized knowledge we take for granted. So far I have two scholars to draw on in terms of how language reflects and shapes this landscape. These are Jean-Francois Lyotard and Ludwig Wittgenstein. I dont know who else to read. Anyone, ideas??

Of course i have no idea what i am taking about. but. i like this idea as a beginning for writing about epistemology and methodology in a more accessible way.

May 27, 2008

Summer trip…

Filed under: pictures,Uncategorized — polywog @ 11:13 p05

January 28, 2008

Bronxville

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 Here are a few more pictures I didn’t see until recently….

My new apartment/ my friend’s old apartment

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Part of me studying

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Me moving in: I was very enamored with the prospect of having a little home for each pair of shoes….

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The Ginko leaves from Fall time

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January 22, 2008

Photos

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this is a most beautiful twee

January 5, 2008

New Year’s Eve

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Lindsay and I had a fabulous New Year’s Eve. We stayed at our aunt’s house in Portland and went out for martinis and dancing with Lindsay’s friends. I had an unexpected romantic interlude with a beautiful amazing person. Little romances keep me on my toes; they remind me that the world is full of spontaneity and beauty and if you are open to it sparkles will eventually come, even if just a glimmer in passing. I read this from a book today: “you can travel around the world with your heart completely open and no one can hurt you. You can say, ‘I love you,’ without fear of being ridiculed or rejected…. You can say yes, or you can say no—whatever you choose—without guilt or self-judgment. You can choose to follow your heart always.” These moments remind me to not get attached, to know that what is beautiful is free and often fleeting. I feel alive and happy whether or not I see her again. The picture of Lindsay (my sister) below is out of focus, but I love it because she is so beautiful, and the picture looks really similar to one of her in fifth grade.

January 4, 2008

Tumalo Falls, Benham Falls

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Benham Falls

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Tumalo Falls

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Faeries in the Forest: Queering Environmental Activism

Filed under: anarchism,Ecofeminism,nature,Queer activism/theory,Uncategorized — polywog @ 11:13 p01

Queers marked the first years of the 21st century with a vanguard praxis that reverberated throughout the forest and its network of defenders. They transformed a once starkly heteronormative activism into one which loudly undermined gender convention. Coming from an anti-assimilationist perspective, queer activists did not simply join largely heterosexual forest defense campaigns; in Cascadia, inclusion meant radical transformation. The presence of radical queer perspectives transformed the attitudes and politics of the broader movement. A significant strand of activists, including many people who did not identify as queer, understood activism, sexuality, ecology, anarchism, and feminism as inextricably linked. In Oregon’s green valley in the early 2000’s, activists who defended forests also deconstructed gender and sexuality, freeing something in themselves as they defended the wild and free surrounding them.

This is my first attempt toward a first paragraph of a paper I am presenting in Chicago in March. I’m in the midst of transforming the last chapter of my undergraduate thesis into a stand-alone essay with the title above. What do ya’ll think of the title? I’ve gotten two approvals and one person felt it was offensive. I like it, but I obviously don’t want it to have a derogatory ring, and I don’t want it to be a direct reference to the Radical Faeries either. This is the first time I’m making any of this work public. The abstract for the larger paper is as follows:

Between 1985 and 2006, radical ecological activism in the Pacific Northwest made significant theoretical and strategic shifts which challenge and contribute to feminism, ecofeminism, queer theory, and anarchism. As feminist forest defenders spoke out against the male-dominance in the movement, they challenged individual men as well as the patriarchal underpinnings of the environmental and eco-anarchist movements at large. Through a process of articulating patriarchy within their activist groups; separating from men into autonomous women- and transgender-only spaces; challenging men to take up feminist politics; and then reintegrating to work in coalition with men, these activists created deeply lived theories and political strategies which managed to affirm their goals as anarchists and feminists while successfully stopping timber sales. Importantly, women and transgender activists created a ‘separatism’ to create safe and empowering spaces, challenging sexism and sexual harassment, while working with the men who shared their goals. This noteworthy strategy transformed and strengthened their community rather than fracturing it. Forest defense was a site on which many theories were embodied on the ground, contested, and used as tools along with such useful items as wrenches, truck rope and harnesses. A historical analysis combined with ecofeminist, feminist, anarchist, and queer theory elucidates an important theme for feminist and movement history: the failure of single-issue politics. The objective of forest defense does not preclude or undermine the objective of feminism. Rather, forest defense provides a physical and cultural space to experiment with anti-oppression and anti-authoritarianism in ways that mainstream society and mainstream spaces cannot as readily afford.

December 22, 2007

Changes and New Blogroll Links

Filed under: Uncategorized — polywog @ 11:13 p12

Hello friends,

Everything is change right now.  I am in an empty house waiting for Sunday when I go back to Oregon to see my friends and family.   When I return, it will be to a new house, a new roommate, and a new semester.  I’m ready for renewal.

I’ve added several new goodies in my blogroll, among them:

An article about Eugene and unicycling.  This is an awesome tribute to Eugene and the beautiful and positive effect he has wherever he goes.  I cannot recommend this article without saying how much i hate that the writer called me a follower.  So if you read this you must do so with the knowledge that I do not consent to the description of myself.  I do, however, love Elizabeth’s (the author’s) descriptions of Eugene: “a geeky, over-padded failure of an athlete, sliding and falling and scrambling after his wheel,” “mild- mannered and ponytailed Cathcart” with “earnest geek vernacular,” etc.

An article about a Seattle rock climbing gym.  I was ten years old in this article and I’m always surprised to find it still hanging around the internet.  I was really enthusiastic about being “different” when i was little.  I told the interviewer that I liked climbing because it wasn’t “normal, like baseball.”  I remember feeling shattered with embarrassment when my dad saw the article.  I had recently  met Ken Griffy Jr. at a restaurant and he signed my purple bookmark for me (I accidentally asked his body guard first and they all laughed).  My dad told me when Ken Griffy read the article and found out i thought baseball was boring, his feelings would be hurt.

I also posted a link to a video clip of The Journey of Natty Gann.  People often ask me where my nickname came from.  You’ll understand when you watch the video.

November 10, 2007

Purpose

Filed under: Uncategorized — polywog @ 11:13 p11

This is an informal blog with an informal purpose. A general audience may find parts of it useful–particularly for those interested in how anarchism, feminism, and a radicalized perception of nature change the way one thinks about and practices love. But I write with my intentions directed toward the readership of a few friends: Eugene, Stina, Quin, Sundeep, Lindsay, and Lindsey. I hope that my occasional entries will allow these geographically dispersed friends some small insight into my passions and musings.

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