Tag Archives: oakland

Musings On Mold

I can’t remember the PIN number to my handy-dandy, hippie-dippie credit union bank card. I’ve had it for sometime and I’ve never experienced a problem like this before in my life. All of the other uncharacteristic “brain farts” or missing pieces I could vaguely explain away to myself as cannabis or the one-size-fits all favorite, “getting older.”

There are things you know you forget. There are things you know are the most vulnerable to being forgotten during stressful times. Then there are things you just don’t forget.

My PIN number is one of things I just don’t forget and when I stood at the register of the grocery store trying to pick up just a few items for my anti-mold diet staring at my dumb fingers at the keypad with neither the muscle memory to type it out nor the ability to recall the sequence I knew that it was going to be a long recovery process.

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Filed under About me, activism, opinion, politics, poly

Anarchists & Zines

street grafitti reading 'exercise empathy' on a light pole

So out in Oakland I made my way out to the East Bay Anarchist Book Fair which was a nice treat for a rainy day. I really value talking about social resistance and sharing literature and music and words with one another. The Humanist Hall in Oakland was the hosting venue who are tolerant hippies ready to take on the manarchists and chain smoking in the back.  It was also nice to match some faces to names and to get to re-know a friend I from college. It was strange and wonderful to realize that Laika Fox and I were taking our clothes off in Rocky Horror way back in the day. There’s something supremely awesome about crossing paths again and realize that political wheels in the mind can also be directed into swiveling hips and shaking tits.

This was a cool spread and I really do enjoy being in far left spaces. A lot of this material is niche and harder to find because it doesn’t have mass distribution. It’s true that you can access most of these ideas and many of the zines and books online but it’s also really empowering to create a space to see that others are browsing, too. I picked up books on anarchist queers, I bumped into a Syringe Exchanger that I met years ago at an HIV test training. I had been the one to roleplay his first practice positive test disclosure to and I was the intimidating one who had already been doing it for a long time. I remembered him instantly. I was so proud that he was still fighting the good fight. I totally love and support syringe exchange and overdose prevention and naxolene distribution. Sensible drug policy, to me, has always included overdose prevention as a part of first aid and CPR training. This should be integrated into all of our emergency care models.

Bash Back & Self Defense

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Mayhem Loves: Oakland Museum

Black Panther print on display at the Oakland Museum

I love the city of Oakland. Certainly not its leadership and definitely not the corporate entities and banks squatting on vacancies and keeping property value low to ease the growing pains of gentrification, and the violence that comes with poverty and oppression can certainly be scary. What I love are the people, the revolutionary spirit, the diversity, and the sheer amount of culture exuded on any given day or block in town regardless of the grit that surrounds it.

The Oakland Museum Of California has impressed me very much with its sleek and social justice oriented curation in all its exhibits from natural history to its rotating galleries. Although it is a small museum in comparison to San Francisco’s incredible offerings, the Oakland Museum has an edgy heart and one hell of an eye for design. In many ways, it’s the same reason why I’m a huge devotee of the Oakland Airport over the horror show of SFO. I go for small but packed full of a proper punch.

Huey P. Newton on trial for murder at the Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland across the street from the museum.

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Filed under About me, art, at home, community, culture, hippie, oakland

Dear PETA: Shut The Fuck Up

PETA being douchey with the ability to write big checks.

I’ve gone through cycles of carnivorous, veggie, and veganism throughout my life as I’ve struggled to learn what it means to live causing the least harm possible.

Right now I’m on what I believe to be a vegan renaissance coming into my life as my food tastes are undergoing a dramatic shift as I just got a taste bud upgrade and the new software is unprecedentedly sharp. This might have to do with quitting smoking as well. Nevertheless, I’m aware that there is a mental changing of the guards taking place and I’m letting my body lead the process in the new twists my paradigms of food and eating twirl once again.

This would be well and good but PETA has a brick and mortar location in my city of Oakland in a neighborhood that I frequent. Every time my eyes fall on their sign, I have a moment of frustration. PETA dedicates themselves to making as many people feel bad about their food choices, bodies, identities, class, gender, and pretty much anything else they can think of and their huge media reach means that lots of people have felt very bad at their hands. It’s created a view that food ethics are solely about self-righteous white people.

Oakland is a city with a lot of social justice movements inside of it. PETA may have the overwhelming share of global attention, budgeting, and common knowledge but they comprise a sliver of food justice actions taking place within the city and there is no clear reason why they have a branch office in Oakland, especially with a perpetually offensive stream of ads with unquestioned jerkwadded thinking and the quick defense that they’re just trying to raise awareness by being “provocative.”

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