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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in resist_anywhere's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, June 9th, 2011
4:22 pm
In the last year:
-Graduated college
-Traveled to Hawai'i
-Obtained dream job
-Became disillusioned with said job
-Left dream job
-Began working new super shitty job
-Reignited political work

In the last month:
-Worked 40 hours with no break in one weekend because of shitty scheduling
-my workplace was raided by the board of health and fined for abysmal nasty conditions
-Worked for less than minimum wage scrubbing floors with unmarked chemicals

In the last week:
-Met fellow workers from across the country
-Continued work for comprehensive reform and empowerment across my field

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, May 21st, 2010
7:25 am
Getting things done...
Finally write my mom a belated Mother's Day/Birthday letter: check.
Plan trip to Hawai'i to see Mom: check.
Get fingerprinted a-fucking-gain so as to get my job next year: check.

Next to do: turn IN those fingerprints, buy the plane tickets, plant a late garden, replace roof and potentially siding on my house, finish internship, write ten-page report on that internship, complete another internship, write a ten-page report on that internship, study for spanish test, pass spanish test.  All in a summer's work.

At least I only have two more weeks of work before my last-ever summer break. 

Current Mood: determined
Saturday, May 15th, 2010
3:34 am
Bah.  It sucks to close out the bars as a designated driver who doesn't smoke and go home smelling and tasting like an ashtray.  Ah well, birthdays come once a year.

Three more weeks of work until summer break!  I'm really trying hard to make sure I can visit my mom in Hawai'i sometime this summer, too, which should be awesome. 
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
6:17 pm
Break my rusty chains
I haven't written for almost a year and a half.  No, that's not true, I've written probably hundreds of pages of bullshit papers for school.

Now I'm finally done, and I can start to imagine writing as something other than a coerced, mandatory activity.  We'll see, but I may well end up updating this regularly again. 
Monday, February 9th, 2009
9:37 pm
Art and Commodity
Here's the thought I've been milling for awhile, which was brought to the front of my mind by a discussion in class tonight: is there an inherent, intrinsic distinction between "art" and "commodity"?  In class, we were discussing the supposed difference between corporate-created music like that of Britney Spears or those annoying Jonas brothers and that of Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix.  All nostalgia and musical taste aside, I don't feel that there's any difference in terms of culture or capitalism.  Similarly, whether you're drinking a Colt 45 or Dom Perignon, you're just sippin' some booze.  Just because elites, or any other subsection of society, prefers one form of commodity to another does not imbue that form with inherent value.  Consumption is consumption is consumption.

That said, I DO feel that there is a difference between indy art and corporate-controlled art: namely, that indy art at least seems more participatory.  People who just go out and buy lots of vinyl from their favorite indy bands aren't any different from the people buying the latest pop CD, but people who produce music are engaging in a different activity.  

Note that this also means that Britney is just as much of an artist in my mind as Janis Joplin.  That doesn't mean I prefer one just as much as the other, but one isn't inherently "art" while the other is not.  Any and all self-expression can be co-opted by capitalism and used in the service of profit; in fact, this seems inevitable.  However, I can't imagine a society in which this isn't true, unless it was a totalitarian system.  People create art for self-expression, sure, but also for what it gains them in social terms.  Even in a society that was post-material scarcity, producing art can win prestige and admiration, which are forms of social capital themselves.

I feel like I was going somewhere with this... ah well.  Any thoughts?

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
12:13 pm
Saturday, December 20th, 2008
8:04 pm
1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
A lot of things... lived overseas, bought a house, got a salaried job are three of the biggies.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember any, so it's kind of a moot point.  I don't plan on making any.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of my students will have given birth by new years'.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not that I remember...

5. What countries did you visit?
Italy, France, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably buying a house.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not starting a revolution, not making everyone happy.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Almost lost an eye, got extremely sick a few times, sliced up my arms.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Thunder House.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
That's kind of a creepy thing to say, I think.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Almost everyone I know, including myself.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Into mortgage payments, food, and financing my foreign adventures.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
House, relationship, Prague, Greek riots.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Maybe a little sadder.  But last year I was on a plane to Europe, so I was too nervous and giddy to be very sad.

ii. thinner or fatter?
A little fatter.

iii. richer or poorer?
Significantly richer.  MIDDLE CLASS!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Fighting, traveling, fucking.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Complaining, crying, worrying.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Some sort of family activities, I'm sure.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Not with a new person.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Hmm... Battlestar Galactica, probably.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't hate anyone.

26. What was the best book you read?
maybe Good Soldier Svejk?

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Uh... I'll say "rediscovery" and go with The (International) Noise Conspiracy

28. What did you want and get?
Adventure, intrigue, a house, a good job, to live close to Mary Kate.

29.What did you want and not get?
70's porn/poolparty house, satisfaction, respect.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Dark Knight.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I'll be 23 tomorrow.  I don't know what i'm doing tomorrow.  Last year, if I remember right, I had like a 106 degree fever in a hotel room in Rome.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A great victory of any sort.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
For a while?  Badass "American": bandanna, black "AMERICAN LEGEND" t-shirt, bruce springsteen style.  Lately?  "Intelligentsia" style (button down Western shirt or nice sweater, nice pants).  Always my badass brown comrade coat.

34. What kept you sane?
Pshhaw.  Sanity is for the weak.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Hmm... hard to say.  Really, more a historical one: the Soviet Union's invasion of Czechoslovakia.

37. Who did you miss?
Errbody, from friends I haven't seen in years to people I see almost every day.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Probably my friend's boyfriend Dan or my friend Lucy when I was in Prague.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Life's too easy to make it so hard.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I'm sitting here in my safe European home.
Saturday, November 1st, 2008
3:01 pm
Rape in the Congo
Sometimes I just get reminded of how terrifyingly bad things are for so many people.  It makes me wonder how a world so bad could even exist.

Other times, it's the small-scale suffering that pins me down.  I feel ineffectual and unable to enact change; when you hate the status quo as much as I do, that's a sure recipe for intense depression.

Sometimes I feel like everyone feels this way; at most, people can keep up their facades for a while, but when the moon comes out we're all just desperate, raving beasts.  Werewolf syndrome, if you will.

I'm supposed to go watch a student of mine fight in a series of cage matches tonight, and even though I've already paid twenty bucks for a ticket, I don't know that I really feel like it.

Current Mood: self-sacrificial
Sunday, October 19th, 2008
3:35 pm
Building a power base
Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
Ooh, theyre red, white and blue.
And when the band plays hail to the chief,
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, lord,

It aint me, it aint me, I aint no senators son, son.
It aint me, it aint me; I aint no fortunate one, no,

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, dont they help themselves, oh.
But when the taxman comes to the door,
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes,

It aint me, it aint me, I aint no millionaires son, no.
It aint me, it aint me; I aint no fortunate one, no.

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
Ooh, they send you down to war, lord,
And when you ask them, how much should we give?
Ooh, they only answer more! more! more! yoh,

It aint me, it aint me, I aint no military son, son.
It aint me, it aint me; I aint no fortunate one, one.

It aint me, it aint me, I aint no fortunate one, no no no,
It aint me, it aint me, I aint no fortunate son, no no no.

Renewed vigor.

Current Mood: pending
Tuesday, August 19th, 2008
8:33 pm
Saturday, August 16th, 2008
11:31 am
Love of life: returned.
Other things: better with this new perspective.
Thursday, August 14th, 2008
9:58 pm
Just FYI, everything sucks.  My computer is broken, the backup laptop I've been using is broken, I'm sick, I can't smell anything so nothing tastes good, I am sick to my stomach with stress all the time, my friends and family relentlessly make fun of me, and the love of my life is disappeared.

Some news is still good: I'm most likely going to be moving in to my newly-purchased house within a few weeks, my job is going well, etc, etc, etc.
Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
5:57 pm
I am, in fact, still alive
Recent updates:

Relationship status: happier than ever.

Housing status: still undecided, but considering buying a home.

Job status: 20,000 a year job this coming year, complete with benefits

School status: still going full time, probably until the spring of '10.

Mood status: very upbeat, and shows potential of great gains if I can get the fuck out of my mom's house soon.

Dread Pirate/ Militia Leader status: still working on it.
Monday, April 28th, 2008
2:44 pm
Create and Destroy
So this weekend I went to Krakow, Poland.  It was actually a really ridiculously cool city, and I had a really good time.

But while I was there, I visited Auschwitz, as well.  They only had a few exhibit-things that were very moving, but it served to reinforce the reality behind all the numbers that everyone knows.

I've never been much of a religious person, but lately the very idea that there could be an omnipotent God offends me.

If there IS such a being, and he/she/it/they/whatever did nothing to intervene in situations like the Holocaust, they are the most twisted and evil beings imaginable, and I would rather go to hell than acknowledge their tyrannical rule.

If such a being couldn't intervene, what's the use?  Fuck wasting time giving lip service to something that can't help me in my life.

It's humans that had the awesome and terrifying power to build giant machines of war and slaughter each other in the millions, and it's humans that had the power to rebuild an entire continent in the wake of such devastation.  We have the power to write our own destinies, and we are too powerful to waste our lives being slaves and underlings.  We can accomplish the most wonderful and the most hideous things, and it's up to us to decide which we give our power to. 
Saturday, April 12th, 2008
6:33 pm
We can be Heroes
Okay, so we've gotta do something to fix society, or move it closer to the right track at least.  I just can't really decide what the first thing to do should be.  Food not bombs starting this summer.  Treehouse fort starting this summer.  Biking groups starting this summer.  But all of that is just recreational stuff, in my opinion.

Maybe I could find some way to start a worker-owned, worker-run company?  One of the terrible results of living in Eastern Europe is that you come to realize that market economies are just way way more efficient than command economies, and then you get to start wanting a worker-run market economy.  I'm not a full-fledged ancap yet or anything like that, but it's gotten pretty far along.  So what sort of company should I start?  Who wants in?  And where the fuck can I get the starting capital?

Maybe these problems are why this isn't often tried.

Oh, in other news, I've spent the last three weeks fighting a horrific eye infection.  Probably the worst medical problem I've had in my whole life.  I thought for a while I was going to lose the eye... although that's probably partly because I'm a hypochondriac.

Current Mood: Contemplative
Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
10:55 pm
Relax... take it easy
Every day I get stronger, every day I figure a little piece of the world out, every day I learn and think and grow.  Sometimes the process of living itself surprises and excites me.  So many cells and tissues and organs firing and working in unison, all at my beck and call... and I am capable of influencing so much of my environment.  To be human is near to be a god. 

In an unrelated story, coffee is apparently really good for you?  And the more you drink, the better you are?  I don't know if I trust this; maybe Starbucks just knows how to buy research as well as brainwash their employees?  Anyway, I am trusting it for now, and drinking way too much coffee.  Synapses firing nonstop at six in the morning last night caused me to rethink my late-night coffee policy, but during the days it can be nice.  After a week, I will try to assess my feelings and health, and decide where to go from there.
1:46 am
My religious beliefs
Its a kind of magic
Its a kind of magic
A kind of magic
One dream one soul one prize one goal
One golden glance of what should be
Its a kind of magic
One shaft of light that shows the way
No mortal man can win this day
Its a kind of magic
The bell that rings inside your mind
Is challenging the doors of time
Its a kind of magic
The waiting seems eternity
The day will dawn of sanity
Is this a kind of magic
Its a kind of magic
There can be only one
This rage that lasts a thousand years
Will soon be done
This flame that burns inside of me
Im here in secret harmonies
Its a kind of magic
The bell that rings inside your mind
Is challenging the doors of time
Its a kind of magic
Its a kind of magic
The rage that lasts a thousand years
Will soon be will soon be
Will soon be done
This is a kind of magic
There can be only one
This rage that lasts a thousand years
Will soon be done-done
Magic - its a kind of magic
Its a kind of magic
Magic magic magic magic
Ha ha ha its magic
Its a kind of magic

Well, okay, I don't believe there can be only one... and I'm not about to start cutting off heads anytime soon to gain more power... but still, it's close.

Current Mood: fire
Saturday, March 1st, 2008
10:01 am
Privilege; stolen from zer

What Privilege Do You Have?

Father went to college: no
Father finished college: no
Mother went to college: yes
Mother finished college: yes
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor: not a blood relative, but yes
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home: yes
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home: yes
Were read children's books by a parent: yes
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18: countless lessons
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18: these questions seem a bit confusing, but yes.
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively: no, but that's because I choose to look and talk a bit differently... if I wanted to, I could look just like the rulers of the society.
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18:  Hmm, I got myself a debit card for my bank account.  Not a credit card though.
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs: Hah!  No.
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs: No.
Went to a private high school: Yep, one of the richest, preppiest ones in the Midwest.  Got in on scholarships, financial aid paid for a lot, and my mom worked her ass off to pay the rest.
Went to summer camp: No.
Had a private tutor before you turned 18: Not to brag, but i WAS a private tutor before I turned 18.
Family vacations involved staying at hotels: Yeah, but I could count those vacations without taking off my socks.
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18: No, but I probably could have had more new clothes if I wanted them.
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them: I bought my own car.  And it's a 1988 corolla.
There was original art in your house when you were a child: Yep!  Some of it was made by me, some by my brothers, and some by my mom!.
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18: No.
You and your family lived in a single family house: Yes... a large one, eventually.
You had your own room as a child: yes, when we got the big old house.  No, for most of the rest of the time.
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course: I could have for free as part of my high school, but I didn't prep at all and got a 1490 and a 36 anyway.  PwND!  (Note: I don't think the SAT and ACT measure anything but your ability to think like the oppressive society, so I'm not actually all that proud of this accomplishment)
Had your own TV in your room in High School: No.
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College:  Yeah, I have a few thousand in the bank thanks to my grandpa putting 500 bucks in when I was born.
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16: Several times a year, actually.  That's because my dad lives across the country, and I was visiting him.
Went on a cruise with your family: Fuck cruises!  I could have gone on one with marching band for free, but I'm against them on principle.
Went on more than one cruise with your family: No; see above.
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up: yes
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family: No... when your mom is crying about it and telling you you can't have groceries this month, it's hard to be unaware :(

In the group exercise which was originally designed for college students, staff and faculty, everyone stands in a line and steps forward if any of these things are true for them.

If we were all in a big room, I would have taken more than 15 steps forward. How about you? How many would you have taken? How many steps will your kids have taken by the time they're 18?

Notice that each of these are things that were given to you or provided for you rather than things you necessarily earned yourself. The exercise instructions note that just because you've taken a lot of steps doesn't mean that you haven't worked hard to get where you are. But perhaps consider the things you've had handed to you that others didn't have.

To participate in this blog game, copy and paste the above list into your blog, and bold the items that are true for you.

(Exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game please acknowledge their copyright.)

I don't think that copyrighting a blog meme is in the spirit of such things, but it has a good lesson in it, so I'll indulge the authors.

Zer wrote a long and interesting comment on his privilege here, after the quiz, but I'm late for the flight i'm taking for two days worth of seeing my girlfriend.  While I'm in Europe.  Just studying and traveling.  With no job.  Zing!
Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
10:34 am
Fear is the Mind-Killer
Yesterday, I didn't end up buying any of the badass consumer goods that I wanted to.  A good pair of army boots is apparently like 250 bucks.  Who knew?  And the knives they sell here are all either really amazingly top-of-the-line or more expensive than I could get them elsewhere, so that was out.  And I don't drink nearly enough, nor is it cold enough, to merit a flask.  My roommate got a butterfly knife and a flask, though, so I can live vicariously through him.

This morning, I wrote a letter that made me realize a lot of things about myself that I never have before.  Part of me is a controlling, manipulative asshole!  That part was completely subconscious until this morning, when a fusion of a conversation last night, some prophetic dreams, and an introspective letter led me to re-examine myself. 

I often let myself be completely ruled by fear.  I subconsciously set other people up to disappoint me or hurt me, so that they always end up feeling like they don't do enough for me, don't make me happy, or owe me something.

I guess the pathetic, fearful oppressor in me believes that if I keep people subservient to me, on edge around me, and constantly feeling like they can't make me happy, they will always try harder and do more for me and never leave me.

It's obvious upon reading that written down, but I'll say it just to emphasize the point: that's fucking stupid. It's despicable to treat other people like that, disgusting to let myself become so weak and fearful, and also completely ineffective!  The only thing that behavior like that does is push other people away and leave them feeling powerless to make me happy.

It would be too easy to say that these negative aspects "aren't the real me," because clearly I am responsible for my thoughts and behavior.  What I will say instead is that these aspects of me are not ideal in any way, and so I will refuse to feed them.  I am more than a random mix of predestined genes.  I am an agent, a rational actor, the divine and all-powerful author of my own destiny.  If there are problems in my life, it is because I will them to be.  So I just need to stop willing them to be.  Easier said than done, but I think trying to consciously keep my eye on these types of thoughts and behaviors should work wonders.

So, finally, an apology: to anybody who's been really close to me, especially past girlfriends and close friends, I am very sorry.  I treated you all like shit, at least some of the time, and I let myself be a total victim.  I was impossible to please.  Thank you all for giving me the experiences that I am now using to try to change this type of behavior.

Current Mood: renewed
Sunday, February 17th, 2008
12:11 pm
Straight outta Z`isz`kov
My neighborhood in Prague rocks.  From the Wikipedia article about it:

"historically a working-class district, and was sometimes referred to as "red Žižkov", because so many of its inhabitants supported left-wing parties"..."

Also, it's named after Jan Zizka.  Well, the Z's should have accents over them, but I can't figure out how to insert Czech letters.  But Zizka is a badass, even if he is a general and thus shitty.  He was a one-eyed general, never lost a battle, led a bunch of peasants to victory over huge numbers of German professional soldiers.  Loved incredibly well, subject of badass-looking statues... it's pretty sweet.

In other news, 70% of my study abroad group is a bunch of worthless frat boys and sorority girls.  A few people so far are pretty cool.  I am constantly hating on these people so much that I'm starting to be described as having "excessive anti-American sentiment."  This calls for a reinstitution of the Invincible Badass Battalion.  Ihave been working out a fair amount; I think this week my to-do list includes:
  • buy army boots to replace worn-out sneakers.
  • buy knife of some sort to have something to play with.
  • buy flask for hot water/liquor in ratios appropriate for the weather (the Czechs are smart, they drink grog)
  • find gym and/or martial arts lessons in english or very basic Czech.

Current Mood: Impervious
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