Archive for January, 2011

My friends in Waco, TX wrote a song that beautifully encompasses how I understand the christian story and why it (still) gives me hope.

Bread and Circus by Lesser Beggers

For the first time in the history of mankind, man finds himself in a position where, rather than needing to adapt himself to an existing order, he must be able to adapt himself to a series of changing orders. For the first time in the history of mankind, the length of the individual life span is greater than the length of time necessary for major social and cultural change to take place. Moreover, the rapidity with which this change occurs is accelerating.

Those therapies that direct themselves to the past and to individual history do so under the assumption that if an individual once resolves the issues around a traumatic personal event (usually in infancy or childhood), he will be prepared for all time to deal with the world; for the world is considered a stable order. Today, however, the problem becomes one of discerning where one stands in relationship to a shifting society. Confronted with a pluralistic, multifaceted, changing system, the individual is left to his own devices to find stability. He must do this through an approach that allows him to move dynamically and flexibly with the times while still maintaining some central gyroscope to guide him. He can no longer do this with ideologies, which become obsolete, but must do it with a change theory, whether explicit or implicit. The goal of therapy becomes not so much to develop a good, fixed character but to be able to move with the times while retaining some individual stability.

from Paradoxical Theory of Change by Arnold Beisser M.D.

Current Playlist

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’m eatin up this new style of 80’s glam punk mixed with decades of polish and a shoegaze ambiance

No Age

Wild Nothing

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Pomegranates

Dum Dum Girls

Fucked Up

Nothing Universal

Posted: January 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

So the latest idea to be tripping me out is something Jacques Ellul said in his book What I Believe. This quote is in the context of a chapter about prehistoric people groups, yet I have been kind of playing with the idea of relating it to the whole of life experience. We are trained to put everything in categories. Yet categorization seems to be more of a western scientific mindset, cemented in our heads as kids through all kind of ‘matching games,’ than something real or universal.

I do not believe that anything is universal. In history I have never found a universal factor, whether for individuals or societies. I do not believe that there is a given, fixed, and permanent human nature, not even general characteristics. It is our practice to generalize extensively, yet if we want to find universal factors in societies, we never get beyond words.
-Jacques Ellul, What I Believe

Speaking of scumfucks, my friend Meghan just wrote a zine about her early experiences as a traveling kid. Before she discovered the PC culture of the radical community, she was a self-proclaimed scumfuck traveling kid. The zine is really fun to read as it chronicles her travels and experiences. And she does a good job of calling out the radical community for our tendency to be exclusive and ostracize “scumfucks” or “oogles.” The zine is called I Used To Be A Teenage Scumfuck. Email me if you want to get in touch with Meghan for a copy.

Also, Enole from Oakland came through Gainesville recently on her zine tour with No Gods No Mattresses. She did a really awesome presentation of the latest issue, number “thirt,” which is half of thirteen. Her zine tackles some tuff personal issues, coming from a perspective that you’d never read about in mainstream books or media, and that’s what I love about zine culture.

Lastly, I’m done with Issue one of my latest zine project Crossed Out. Let me know if you want a copy.      busyrusty@gmail.com

 

Celebrate People’s History

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Happy Birthday Jacques Ellul!

Neo-Luddite, Christian Anarchist, Radical Sociologist, check out some of Ellul’s work here

For those who care:

I started massage school back up yesterday. It’s a six month program that I was stretching out for a year by going part time. Yet in order to focus on the Grounds & Leaves coffee house project that I am involved in, I took a leave of absence a few months ago. Things are on hold with the G&L and so I am going back to school. I’ll be busy as hell for the next two months, which scares me. It was a convenient excuse for me to drop out of school for G&L, yet in actuality it had more to do with my inability to focus my mind and my emotions. I had taken on too much responsibility with various projects, and school was, at the time, just another one of those many responsibilities. Massage school is intense though, emotionally and in terms of the time commitment, and I was not taking it seriously enough. So my solstice resolution this season is to work on two things- (1) my tendency to over-commit, which goes hand-in-hand with my tendency to selfishly quit things when they become too overwhelming, and (2) focusing my scattered brain and getting a hold on my flip-floppy emotions.

I had a wake-up call last year when I worked with an Earth First! campaign that required of me more than I was comfortable giving. I won’t go into details, but essentially I zealously committed to an action without fully understanding the expectations, and  dropped out when I realized that I couldn’t handle it- physically or emotionally. My decision was a bad one, yet it didn’t come without conversation. It was a miscommunication on all sides from various factors and faulty group dymanics. Yet I’ve had a year to think about it, and I fully admit that it was fucked up of me to drop out of the action. Though there were assumptions made on the part of the group about my experience and ability, and assumptions made by me about what I could handle and what was expected, the assumptions the group made were more or less inevitable, and therefore understandable. The affinity group was made up of people who didn’t really know each other, and in such circumstances assumptions fly wild, and such dynamics necessitate open communication, which was lacking. But it was my fault, and I’ve learned a shit-ton about myself from it. It’s haunted me for the whole year and this is the first time I have really been able to articulate it openly without triggers going off left and right.

I now know what I can handle in terms of actions and activism, and I also recognize in myself this terribly ugly tendency to flippantly commit to things and selfishly drop those commitments. I feel like I can trace this tendency back pretty far. I have always been this way. I dropped out of high-school, I dropped out of 2 colleges, and I quit jobs rather quickly. In most circumstances this isn’t problematic- in fact it’s rightly liberating. I don’t have a capitalist work ethic or any desire to be ordered around by authorities who are disengaged with my interests. I value leisure time and friendships, self-reliance and productivity that mirrors what’s important to me and my community as opposed to what’s helpful for the “market” or “productive society.” I like these values in myself, yet I can’t let them leak over into what is actually important in life- and that is the tendency that I am going to attempt to curb this winter.

Rant over.