So Human an Animal

What’s interesting about having an up front seat for the revolution is that you actually experience history in the making. While we may have once read the already-made in a text book, we now exist in that space between the last-written word and the first pen stroke of the yet to be written. The crest of this wave we’re surfing is crashing and everyone’s wondering: what’s next? It’s really remarkable to be able to witness and participate in discussions on questions like this one. We’ve established this huge network of individuals who want to change (or more importantly, who are willing to learn -i.e. be wrong-) and who support and encourage one another so we feel empowered to do so… great, so in addition to marches, rallies, sit ins, etc, what do we do with all these people who seek, in some form or fashion, a change in their reality? Discussions of this magnitude are a different beast than the action part of societal reconstruction. A beast of a debate that has come up in multiple circles throughout Occupies across the country is the unavoidable “revolution vs. reform”.

The duality makes sense. Humans naturally compartmentalize things into either/or.. just examine the environment we developed in: day/night, hot/cold, hard/soft, etc. — all things relative to our homeostasis — it makes sense that our cognitive functions would reflect something similar, at least at a basic level. The irony of humans scrutinizing themselves in search of answers to a similarly contentious dichotomy –nature vs. nurture– was unbearable. I think Sagan’s remarks, that “we are a way for the cosmos to know itself”, summed it up, but more specifically, the debate ended in a stalemate. Turns out nurture simply works within the framework of nature. The late Havard Microbiologist and author René Dubos composed a great book (one I would encourage all in the movement –and those justifiably skeptical of science in general– to read), So Human an Animal, explaining this at great length:

“There is no real conflict between these two interpretations. Both are correct, because each corresponds to one of the two complementary aspects of development in all living things. Whether the organism be microbe, plant, animal, or man, all its characteristics have a genetic basis, and all are influenced by the environment. Genes do not inexorably determine traits; they constitute potentialities that become reality only under the shaping influence of stimuli from the environment.”

When you think about it, the same applies to most dualities (save for maybe creationism vs. evolution; the exception that proves the rule, haha) Though, some examination is certainly required to make the most educated guess possible, given the information available. In the way that nature nurtures nature to nurture nature, ad infinitum, I would be surprised if there wasn’t a similar relationship between reform and revolution.

Part of the problem is our colloquial attempts at being concise. Simply framing the question around two terms implicitly assumes that everyone is on the same page with what they mean. Surely operational definitions have been devised in many discussions, but that operational definition is operationally meaningless once you’re outside the context for which it was created. When that topic comes back up with new people, the time must be dedicated to leveling the playing field. It’s digressive to expect everyone to know everything; everyone has a different accumulation of experience, something that seems like common sense, but then we get impatient with people who don’t immediately understand our point of view, or more particularly, our passion. The subliminal language of expectation is too influential to ignore when we engage in a conversation we hope to be constructive (though, some use conversation as a platform for proselytizing instead of mutual growth). It’s possible that many arguing revolution vs. reform are simply interpreting them in different ways; one person’s reform is another person’s revolution. And, broadly defined, it makes sense. Thus, many have weighed in favor of an inevitable interconnection of the two, which, I would go so far to say, is evolution.

We are not simply experiencing history, but evolution. The cultural revolution in our midst is, intentionally or not, a manifestation of realizing our influence on this reality, and a decision to take the reigns away from the status quo of ignoring that fact. We must be aware of traits we possess that are a result of developing in the system we strive to change; what will one day be considered a primitive paradigm. We’re not just up against economic inequality and unemployment, as a system based on infinite growth cannot last in a finite reality, we’re suffering a crisis of consciousness. As adbusters’ writers Carlos Delclós and Raimundo Viejo wrote in a great article the other day, “the revolution is not being televised precisely because it is happening inside and between us. We are moving too slowly for their sound-bites because we are going far, wide and deep. And, if we play our cards right, we will be in control of our time, our work and our lives before they know it.”

I may be naively optimistic, but I still think Occupy has limitless potential. It’s still only four months old… there is still so much to be accomplished. As Dubos espoused, “Since human beings are as much the product of their total environment as of their genetic endowment, it is theoretically possible to improve the lot of man on earth by manipulating the environmental factors that shape his nature and condition his destiny. In the modern world, urbanization and technology are certainly among the most important of these factors and for this reason it is deplorable that so little is done to study their effects on human life.”

We may not always be on the same page, perhaps even different books, but we’re absolutely on the same bookshelf. And one side of the bookshelf is messing it up for everyone else. If I was on the side not messing up the bookshelf with my colonialism and limitless growth, I’d really want the individuals who make up the other side to do whatever they could to prevent the bookshelf from crumbling. And that’s not to say we can stop it, or should stop it. But preparing what to do when it does happen wouldn’t hurt. What’s that saying? Success is when luck meets preparation? Hmm…

-Shawn

New Evolution.

Video

Humans, whatever their subsistence or mode of production, are the only animals that have become dependent on da fruits of their technology.

Evolution. Individuality. Technology. I find the intersections of evolutionary science to be incredibly fooking fascinating. This film Waking Life is absolutely wonderful, but this part in particular is great.

Also there’s this dude Michael Garfield who explores this magical reality that would be cool to check out.

evolutionary-transitions-in-individuality

He says on technology:

“our technologies are not some sort of demonic possession or some sort of horrible external force that we need to rid ourselves of, but there a part of a unified, intelligent living evolutionary process, that themselves will eventually be miniaturized, internalized, and in that sense transcended in the same way that 3d fabrication and home-powered generation is going to miniaturize the entire industrial economy and liberate us from the tyranny of central industrial organization. This is what happens over and over and over again in evolution- we have a network, and then we learn how to internalize that network. ”

Can you see the web?

My Name Is Rosie Rae, And This Is Your Weekend

Tonight:

If you feel inclined to go to Mt. Airy, which I mean, is an alright place; it’s got the co-op, and free dinner at my parent’s house, and my synagogue and also this. Ill jams and fancy beer. So.

And then that mysterious Kevin Kong figure who was celebrating his almost birthday last weekend, is celebrating his real birthday at $weat $hop tonight. Also this party is celebrating Kim Jong Il.

who was kind of the man. at least, he loved k-pop.

K, and then there’s snacks. If you haven’t gone I feel like you’re not going to go. Like me, I never do. It could be awesome. It seems I’ll never know.

Friday:

My friend from Drexel, who goes by Dubsef now (a Dubious DJ name)(see what I did there?) is throwing a banger at the Blockley where I’m pretty sure we get naked and cover ourselves with glowing shit. We at the very least cover ourselves with glowing shit. There’s no re-entry, it’s 18+ and has the audacity to charge $15 at the door but there’s talk of an afterparty, which might be the perfect place to pick up some chick covered in glowing shit peaking on molly.

I met MountJoy at Caravan this year at like 6 in the morning when I was walking back from the porta-potties and they had just arrived and were raging in their awesome van. Their band rules, they’re releasing a new album, the $7 cover gets you a free e.p., it’s BYO and they always have bourbon. Obviously this is what I’m doing.

Invasion of the Trestle Inn is also a legitimate move. There’s no cover, and “mod, funk, psych rock and soul” and go-go dancers. And everyone who’s djing is really cute.

And Gravitron turns one. These anniversary parties tend to be ruckus. And there’s Friday, I’m In Love, which can make you feel cool by making you sign up to be on the guest list so you can…still pay $2 to hang out at the M-Room on a Friday night. Yeah. The party is sponsored by PBR, if that is worth anything to you.

Saturday:

There’s this party to help stop someone’s house from getting foreclosed on at the Beaumont Warehouse. Get drunk with purpose and passion.

Also in West Philly, my friend Pat from alternative school is throwing a house show. There are rumors of punch and pie and no cover.

Also for a good cause, there’s an Occupy Food Drive Show at the Fuck Hole. Bring a can.

um, preferably this can.

If you actually know us, we’re having a fuhrl meeting/potluck at anna’s house during the day and then we’re probably all gonna go see lightninging/your electric instinct at J.R.’s cause they’re awesome and J.R.’s is like the greatest bar ever, and for serious this show will blow your balls off like dynamite. If you wanna come to the meeting, message one of us.

And, Philadelphyinz have their monthly at Medusa and I mean, simple as these guys are awesome DJs and this shit’s free before 11.

Sunday:

Ok, our friends Conversations With Enemies are playing at PhilaMOCA (also our friends.) You could do that, or you could come to karaoke with me. Or do both, I mean, whatever.

Monday:

Banned Books and Out of The Beardspace who are both fucking awesome bands are playing at Little Bar for $5 and all profits go to Covenant House (which I learned whilst spanging this fall takes care of young homeless girls. Really important.)

And if you don’t do that, obviously do this. Maybe I’ll treat you guys to dick pics and buttholes.

Have an awesome weekend, I better see you.

Loki is about to Launch!!!

Holy Crap IT’S REALLY HAPPENING!!!!

Yes, yesterday the bus crew gave Loki a nice scrub down and she is finally ready to go! We are proposing to leave in about 2 weeks. In those weeks we will get some minor kinks worked out and get to add our own aesthetic touch to her already glistening image and deck her out on the inside. We’re going to transform her out of date stale, conservative 60’s style living room attire into a melodious cacophony of brilliant colors, patterns and eclectic, calming imagery. Basically, she will be ravishing. We want to send our girl off right.

En leu of this momentous accomplishment, I want to reflect on the tremendous amount of patience the 6 of us have endured in this process, and the support we’ve been given. We have been sitting on the edge of our seats, sleeping on floors, couches, being feed by each other and kept afloat by our loved ones for 7 months! AND WE OWE YOU ALL A HUGE THANK YOU! I am eternally grateful for everyone’s aid in our relentless quest for freedom. We truly have something special when we can all be crammed in each other’s space so tightly for so long without getting sick and tired of each other. This family that is the Fuhrl is comprised of the most wonderful, loving, giving people I have ever met.

In addition, I am astounded by the amazing support my dad and Sea Box Inc. has given us in helping to fund Loki’s transformation into a fully functioning vehicle that won’t crap out on the side of the highway leaving a trail of leaking fluid behind us. My dad is amazing, and I can’t thank him enough for helping to make this dream of ours possible.

Even though we weren’t on the road, the last 7 months have certainly been quite the learning experience. Through struggle and frustration was born strong bonds and understanding. The deep rooted kind. What more could I ask for? I love you all, thanks for believing in us.

Help fund Tutlie’s debut album!

http://www.indiegogo.com/Help-Fund-Tutlies-Debut-Album-Young-Cries?i=wdgi

Tutlie Fundraising Video from Acoustic Kitty on Vimeo.

Come and help Philly indie/fairy/glitter-pop band Tutlie fund their debut album Young Cries, press it to vinyl, and shoot a video! Donate your ducats and get rad stuff! (including a way more radder, super rad hat, handprinted posters and shirts, and original album artwork by Jacqueline Maloney!)

Seniors in Walkers Shut Down Local Bank of America!

Reposted from: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2012/01/occupy_geriatrics_seniors_in_w.php

​By Erin Sherbert

What some healthy and spry Occupy Movements across the nation couldn’t quite accomplish, San Francisco geriatrics have!

KCBS reports that a small group of senior citizens between the ages of 69 and 82 successfully shut down a Bank of America in Bernal Heights on Thursday with nothing more than walkers and oxygen tanks. That’s right: No shouting, chanting, tear gas, or window-smashing.

The group, which dubbed itself “Wild Old Women” set up camp right outside the BofA, holding signs in what they were calling “a run on the bank.”

While the protesters said they had no intention (or oxygen) of storming the bank, as occupiers in other communities have done, officials at Bank of America shut the doors and locked them as they spotted the slow-moving group make its way to the front of the bank.

So the seniors took a seat outside the bank where they explained their demands, which were no different than every other occupiers: They want lower fees, and they want the bank to pay higher taxes and stop the foreclosures.

“We’re upset about what the banks are doing, particularly in our neighborhood and neighboring areas, in evicting people and foreclosing on their homes,” 80-year-old Tita Caldwell told KCBS reporters. “We’re upset because the banks are raising their rates, because it really affects seniors who are on a fixed income.”

And that’s just no way to spend your Golden Years.

Ponderinginginging

What’s happening?

You can feel it. That energy that has been bubbling around the present. Connecting. History. The super-organic, as Spencer called it. That thing hanging in the air. The force that makes people experience and understand reality in the way they do. Culture. Intangible influence.

And I’m fading away into my bed. There’s millions of hours of television to watch on my computer. I get wifi for free.

Am I spoiled? yizzur. Am I apathetic to the point where I don’t even care about my own well being- my own purpose as a human who is suppose to function as a part of this society. Why don’t I want to function?

It’s hard to make sense of who I’m suppose to be in a society in which people are in large part connected administratively. Society has functions people aren’t aware of. As its own social organism. (very Durkeimian I know).

So maybe my sense of individualism is the problem. Could this be my road block? Could this be OUR road block? I know I’m not going through this alone. Through some of my anthropology lessons in college I came to a conclusion that globalization (capitalization, modernization, neoliberalism…blaahhh etc..)= individualism.

There are constant tensions between tradition and modern ideas of nation/state. We are no longer rooted. To land or family. We exist completely in the present.

So what if individualism is really focusing our attention inward, thus distracting us from this organic (seemingly demonic) structure forming.

This thought is not concluded….and this complicated matter feels so connected to how I’m feeling, as a useless being: unattached. But that’s what we’re attempting to change isn’t it?

Rosie Rae and the First Weekend of The End of The World

Today:

Ok so unfortunately I slightly dropped the ball on this cause I’m not writing this til 11pm. But theres this PZZA/PRTY (because JHN RDN hates vowels) at the Barbary. It’s free, there’s a free open bar, and there’s free za. And ’90s music. And upstairs, there’s New Radio which is a Riot Grrl party and also there’s tequila and taco specials. So…yeah.

Winter Beer Night at Barcade. There’s 20+ different kinds of beers. And 25 cent arcade games. Bam.

Come on Homewreckers/Atlas/Left & Right/Ted Nguyent at Murphs. It’s a free punk show, Murphs is hilarious, and Terry Foley and Kyle Press are going. And they tend to like good music. Also, how great of a band name is Ted Nguyent?

And as always, there’s snacks, which still has free hot dogs and dollar PBRs. And “anything goes” apparently.

Friday:

Ok so it’s first friday, in fact it’s the first friday of the end of the world. Bambi, which used to be a gallery but now is just a chick is putting on this crazy installation at the Projects Gallery. Apparently the artists are some of the badassest philly up and comers making installation-y weird art stuff. Go. It’s free and probably has free booze and food.

Then there’s this opening called Momentary at Goldilocks Gallery. The concept is “patterns in youth” and there’s 7 artists showing, all of whom are local. There’s an afterparty DJed by Xavier Bustos (STASH party) its $5 cover with dollar beers. Also there’s a complimentary coat check, so I mean….you can check your coats.

There’s also this thing at Hollandia International. This girl‘s mad talented.

In the department of “militant trans/queer activist art” and a bunch of other cool stuff, there’s this show at the Marvelous in West Philly. It’s BYOB, and technically is $5 but it says no one is turned away for lack of funds. Also, these queer freaks get wild.

So, every band that Will Wright plays bass in is awesome. Seriously, he’s in like 10 bands and all of them are outstanding. This particular band is called the Modern Inventors, and they’ve never played live before even though they’ve been recording for like two years. This is their first show, and Matt Kass (the guitarist) says on the facebook event that if you say hi to him after their set, he’ll buy you a beer. Word.

It’s my friend the Reverand TJ McGlinchey’s album release party at the World Cafe Live. I met the Rev at Folk Fest this year, because he camps at Fish Pro Crow (the campsite that gives out free Old Crow.) He also performs Folk Fest weddings. And he’s an awesome musician. Go.

this represents fish pro crow

Saturday:

In the early evening, there’s an art show For Penn Treaty at Slingluff Gallery. 30+ artists are selling work, and a portion of the money goes to improving Penn Treaty Park, which is an awesome place for doing yoga after free Dr. Dog concerts, getting drunk before going to the Barbary in the summer, watching the fireworks or the sunset and a ton of other things. It’s hard to remember, but in the summer, this park is fucking magical. And the event is sponsored by Art In The Age, those people who make Root, Snap and Rhuby, those weird Philadelphia liquors.

Hurrah. No cover. Disco. When was the last time you went to Medusa Lounge? I know man, it’s been aaaaages.

There’s a Wizard Stache Party in Fishtown. It sounds amazing. *

Um, and then there’s Kevin Kong’s 25th Birthday Rave Warm-Up Party at Little Bar. I dunno who the hell he is, but there’s no cover and drink specials all night. And the DJs downstairs are called Stab N Grab. Yeah.

Bouffant Bangout 3 Year Anniversary!! Open Bar!! Go Go Dancers! A dance contest that has a fucking cash prize! It’s 50’s and 60’s surf rock. Also I liked this party when it was on Wednesdays and no one came. And don’t even lie, how fucking badass would it be to win the dance contest. I’m looking at you, Mike Rod.

fucking best dancer I know

Sunday:

No Pants Subway Ride. Yeah, I mean, duh.

Karaoke at the Barbary. Always.

Monday:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it. T-beats. Mondays are for dancing.

Wednesday:

We thought Streaks of Light had ended for good, when August moved to Austin. Somehow they are back in action, with added trombone for flavor, playing Folk The World at Little Bar. They have never been anything less than fucking amazing live, and I trust that they won’t disappoint. This is gonna be outstanding.

*An addendum on the wizard stash party.  This is not your ordinary wizard stash party.  There are some restrictions–if you are allergic to any of the following, please do take caution amidst attendance: cabbage, baggage, backgammon, backjammin, capguns, overtures, aquafers, aqueducts, agua (but not aqua or water).  Risk of nail biting at this event is increase two fold, but only amongst cycling females.  But.. these risks are far worth the potential payout–studies show that, for males, facial hair has been shown to increase 12% and magical powers 8% after attendance.  For females, overall, 9-14% of the variance in female progress in North America (except Quebec) has been attributed to half-life from the Wizard Stashparty.  Also, do keep in mind that this is a Wizard-based event.  If you have a scrolls, BRING THAT SHIT.  I mean, you can charm plenty of ladies (or manly animals) with a [insert french-based word here] stash, but just be wary of the wizardry amuck.  And just remember, when in doubt, “The stones…are in me!” (Diva Plavalaguna, The Fifth Element) and  “There’s never been a more wretched hive of scum and villainy” (Ben “Obi-Wan” Kenobi, Star Wars).

–Jake The Voge

See/Hear: Hayley Tomlinson

I first saw Hayley Tomlinson’s work in her first department critique a few years ago, and even then her work had an edge, original but going down easy, exceptionally crafted but without drawing attention to its technical quality, and thought-provoking.  My memory of this critique is right in line with her present goal: to continue to observe and talk about her interests visually, and to earn a good living doing it.

“CLSTRFCK”

When I asked Hayley about her process in a recent interview, she talked mostly about research.  I wasn’t surprised…her work reads as a kind of a visual digestion of information and Hayley speaks with earnest interest in her subject matter, even when her pursuit is an ironic one.  The overriding tone in her work is that of serious play more than playful seriousness.

In her own words:

“I get a kick out of making art about things that are ridiculous or making fun of myself/other people/the art world. Sometimes my art feels like an inside joke. I also draw inspiration from trends in art that I consider to be profitable. I shamelessly use Tumblr as a guide for interesting things.  Aside from markers, I like rhinestones, glitter, using Styrofoam because it’s easy to acquire and sculpt.”

Currently, Hayley is working on a series that she repeatedly alluded to as “trendy.” It will probably include images of cats, crystals, and outerspace:

“Cats are really trendy…I’m thinking about how trendy imagery of galaxies/outer space is right now, and I’ve been combining that with line drawings of crystals. Essentially, I’m creating things that are aesthetically pleasing to me, and that I know will garner a positive response on my blog. I’m interested in how Tumblr is affecting the art world, since it is used by contemporary artists. The Saatchi Gallery even has a Tumblr page. I also like that Tumblr has so many young users, and attracting a following on Tumblr will definitely help me in my quest to become a well-known artist (one day!)”

Hayley is three months from completing her undergraduate thesis at Moore College of Art, but the pace and openness of her creative pursuits do not reflect the common overworked, closeted, just-get-me-through-this-assignment-so-I-can-sleep student brain.  Rather, her vision has clarity and focus, she seems inspired and stimulated and inquisitive, and as a result her portfolio, three years after that debut critique, looks poised to set some trends in the contemporary art scene.  And, in case you didn’t pick up on this yet, she is not at all bashful about her intent to be the next hot ticket:

“Ideally, I will one day be as popular as Damien Hirst. I think that would be funny and amazing. It’s not even about earning the same amount of money as he does, but having a recognizable name for creating interesting, funny work. I think that would be great!”

If you like, you can follow Hayley’s instructions (below) to see more of her work, and then, when Tomlinson is a household name, you can say “I knew about her when…”:

You can see some of my “experiments” at http://hayley-tomlinson.tumblr.com, but that is not my official portfolio site. I use Tumblr to post art as well as other artists I’m looking at, and sometimes I like to vent about my ridiculous life. Most of my work is photographed and can be seen at http://cargocollective.com/hayleytomlinson, although that site needs some touching up. I was in a show at the Prelude Gallery, where I won first place in a competition, which has resulted in another opening with my work which will be happening on January 13th!”

written by Jacqueline Maloney, with original quotes from Hayley Tomlinson, January 2012.