Disclaimer: This is not the property of P.I.S. we are a preservational home for this.
Welcome to issue #2 of My World. This should end up being a little shorter than #1.5. This time there are things by other people. The letter to the editor is by my friend Pam, who writes Drop Out Zine. The Black Panther Party 10-point program was written by the Black Panthers. The art was stolen from a book that was illustrated by Miriam Arguelles. In the next issue I would like to do reviews. Send me anything to review and I will find something I like about it(even if I mostly hate it). Only good reviews will be given, don’t confine yourself to just music and literature, please.
Lately I noticed two different things in the newspaper on the same day.
#1)The entire amount of tax dollars spent on the US nuclear arsenal from the very beginning to today is 4 Trillion dollars.
#2)The amount of the US deficit today is 4 Trillion dollars. I guess somehow they have most of the people here too strung out on TV, dope, work, etc., to notice that they spent 4 Trillion dollars that they haven’t even stolen(IRS) from us yet, to build bombs that we will never use. They will charge the future generations for this expense. It occurred to me that if we never built all those bombs that there would be no national debt. Yet the people in government keep playing the charade of “how do we balance the budget?”. I keep hearing the same rich white congress people who appropriated the cash for the bombs saying now that it is the fault of single mothers on welfare that there is a national debt/budget problems. They seem to fail to mention that these women are on welfare because: 1)The men left, 2)The most important work to be done in our society, raising kids, is economically devalued to the point where it is completely unpaid work, because part of the patriarchy we live inside of states that women, children and people of color are our(white males) servants and they don’t need to be compensated for their labors. If you paid a woman $5 an hour for childrearing, which is a 24 hour a day job365 days a year 19 years long: 5x24x365x19=$832,200. This comes to 43,800 a year, $3650 a month, as opposed to the $400-600 a month they receive on welfare.
Once again the people who set these policies are blaming the victims of their bad planning for the fact that the system doesn’t work. This stuff makes me want to further both the group and the idea, Food Not Bombs, as much as I can.
Also I’m sort of thinking it might be a good idea to collectively go to the “defense industry” and return the useless missiles for a full cash refund. 4 Trillion Dollars.
The other day I went on the Friday the 13th critical mass and saw the ride fall apart due to what seemed to be a near consensus opinion that it was more relevant to go to a party than to do the ride. I don’t want to go into details, that’s just the way I saw that day(probably heavily misconstrued). What I did want to bring up was the things that bond the members of our community. I never thought of it much until lately I decided to abstain from Heroin, Cocaine, Speed, Acid, Pot, Alcohol, Sex, Coffee, Cigarettes and then later Sugar. Until then I never questioned the fact that almost every bond made in our community was made of the above mentioned items.
I think there are a few reasons for this lack of questioning(that we wouldn’t accept in other areas of our lives). First, I think we have a large vested interest in not acting in an authoritarian manner towards other people. I know I have a lot of trips with this one, as my parents had me locked up(beatings, mental hospital, jail, juvenile hall, group home, non-consentual homelessness at 14) on numerous occasions for things like suspicion of possession of pot(they have been on alcohol every day of my life). Second, I think that we use the nessecary drug etiquette(some things not being OK to talk about for legal reasons) as an excuse to not deal with some things at all. Third, I think we all contain some of our societies alcoholic condition of denying the existence of some of the things that are so obviously with us.
I’ve noticed that a lot of us hold the idea that some(heroin,cocaine, speed and sometimes alcohol) chemicals are bad for the formation and stability of community. But for the three reasons mentioned above it seems to be shunned to hold that same idea about pot, acid, sex and the other so called soft-drugs.
I saw all of us(including myself) do nothing when some of us(including myself) would do occasional to regular use of the so called hard drugs. I thought it was not my place to do or say anything because of the aforementioned experiences with my parents. This way of thinking dictated to us the idea that we had to sit and watch our brothers and sisters die if that was the direction that they were headed. I certainly don’t want to ever promote trying to interfere with a persons right to do whatever the hell they want to, but I don’t think that means we have to be silent among ourselves about some peoples actions troubling us. I think there may be some sort of middle ground between becoming what we hate and suffering in passive silence.
I have watched relationships loosely based on using chemicals and sex form and disappear over and over. The only relationships I’ve seen last very long in my own realm of reality are the relationships formed while undertaking actions like squatting over the last four years, the people I’ve meet while actively dealing with the universities attacks on the park, the people I’ve gone to jail with over all the attempts to go across the bay bridge with out a car, the people who do Food Not Bombs with very clear intentions of getting the food out, and the woman I traded blood with in order to become siblings.
In the last decade I’ve learned all that I know about how oppression is maintained. It seems to me that one of the biggest tools that they have is divide and conquer. It took quite awhile longer for me to recognize how easy it is to divide people whose bonds are mainly composed of getting loaded. I also thought I was over reacting in my thinking until I went over a mental list of how I had come together with all the people that I did work with and how different my bonds to those people seem to be just in the absence of a few drugs. Just remember It’s no big deal.
GET A JOB?
How many times have I heard some human in a suit or a frat costume telling me to get a job, as though an absence of a job means something besides not having a job. I could work at McDonalds(and destroy the peoples land in south america, torture cows with factory farming, poison people here and encourage people to not cook for themselves), I could work at a book store( and destroy the chances of our kids having trees and air to breath next century), I could work at a bank( and uphold the current situation of a few people having more wealth then they could possibly know what to do with, while most people are their indentured servants), I could work at the auto factory( and help put millions of tons of toxic waste into our childrens air, while encouraging people to drive which makes the air putrid, kills more people than guns annually and make us fat and lazy), I could work for the fruit industry( and ensure the subversion of third world DEMOCRACIES by our secret military), I could work for the police(and contribute to the imprisonment of almost exclusively young, poor, black males, does genocide ring a bell), I could work digging metals or oil out of the ground(and ensure the further poisoning of the earth), I could get a job with the U.S. military(and keep the world safe for economic exploitation of the third world, world domination, weapons manufacturers profits, capitalism. Mean while your tax dollars buy overpriced bombs to kill people, towns, communities just like you), I could get a job making or selling cigarettes( which will kill our fellow people), I could get a job at a hospital(and teach people anything but how to live in a way so that they wouldn’t need hospitals/drug people for not conforming to the mental/emotional paradigm), I could sell real estate( for such high prices that people will be indebted/enslaved forever), I could rent people houses to live in( at prices so high that people will have to work for others for the rest of their lives), I could build houses for a living(and destroy all of the other living creatures houses), I could work at a grocery store( and ensure that people don’t learn how to grow their own food), I could work at a coffee shop( and keep everybody on legal low grade speed).
Additionally, any job I could get would invariably uphold the fundamental capitalist principals. For example, large amounts of goods costs less per unit while less amounts of goods cost more per unit, no it’s not just the typical drug dealer economics, it’s also a way of ensuring that the few with all the cash(THE RICH) are the only ones who get the advantage of buying in large quantities therefore ensuring that they will remain rich and dominate forever. Remember you may get a little piece of this “pie”, but never enough to make you or your people free and never enough to buy back this world which was stolen from all of us. Lastly, many of us use the excuse that we need to pay rent as a way of justifying being anothers slave, it would be good to remember that we live on what was and is rightfully Native American land. Rent is only a scam dreamed up by those who falsely claim to own this continent.
KILL ALL THE WHITE MAN
How many times have I heard the teachers say that it’s too late to make amends for the fact that we almost completely genocided various Native American peoples. It just happened. To bad. Really it’s no big deal, just cuz we killed 15 times as many Indians as Hitler killed Jews. We sure have a lot of shit to talk about Germany, but none about ourselves. It makes sense that the establishment justifies the slaughter of 90 million with the acquisition of enough land so that every white man can have 100 kids and each one can cut down their own forest, and so on. It doesn’t make as much sense that we echo that same sentiment today, seeing as how we don’t recieve the rewards of the slaughter anymore. We don’t get all the free land that they clear(KILL) the people off of. We don’t get shit. We get 40 hours a week and enough left over after rent, bills and taxes to buy a little beer or crack to forget our misery for awhile. We get enough credit to keep us indebted and enslaved for the rest of our lives.
So anyway back to our history teachers. They try to convince us in one class about, America and justice and truth and what’s right, and at the same time that it’s OK to kill for land, enslave for labor, torture for control, etc. They say that there is nothing we could do about it now. They always admit to what happened after the fact and then they say”oh it’s too late to do anything about it”.
If you got caught today for theft and was prosecuted you would have to pay restitution(they would call this justice). If you told the white men that they would have to pay restitution for the land stolen from the Indian, you would be told to live in the real world. When our so-called educators tell us it is too late to make up for what we did, it just means that they are afraid of losing the privileges and convieneces brought/bought by genocide and slavery and “civilization”. It means we as a race don’t today have the courage to make amends for what we did. It means like our parents, we are afraid to have to fend for ourselves in a world where humans are not on top of a food pyramid but rather part of a food chain like biology teaches us.
In this last year the white buffalo was born.
In this last year I have witnessed the return of rains and the return of one snowy white egret walking slowly up one of the few remaining streams in Berkeley(Strawberry Creek), swooping on fish and bugs out of the creek. I think that there will be many more pieces of nature coming back into our world(cities) to be at home again. I hope that this time we have the sense to learn respect because this time I think if we are unwilling to adapt and take our rightful humble place then there will be no place for us at all.
It has always bugged me how the society that: covers the entirety of our urban areas with cement, burns petroleum like there’s no tomorrow, utilizes nuclear power before knowing how to deal with the by-products, establishes “safe” levels of poisons in our food, cuts down the vast majority of the trees that create the oxygen we breath has the nerve to put up signs that say shit like “don’t litter”. Like in the center of an entire culture of shit, whether my candy bar rapper goes in a garbage can or on the cement really matters. The rulers get to(only because we let them) define what trash is and isn’t. If I put my little bit of trash in the garbage can then I’m supposed to feel good about myself. Where does it go from there, in the ground. A little bit more poison in the land our food grows in, the water we drink, the air we breath. Is there really somewhere good to put trash? Outer space? Why don’t they ever bring up not making the trash in the first place? Probably because government and multi-national corporations are the same entity. They think that it’s more important to sell us a ton of crap that we WILL drown in rather than give up their control of the Earths resources and our lives and minds and bodies. I don’t really know what the answer is but I have met many people who have learned how to deal with their needs by their own work. Some of the things I’ve seen are, gardening rather than safeway, sewing rather than the gap, welding bikes rather than ford, squatting and camping rather than rent, etc. They all cost less or nothing and there is no packaging to be buried later.
One more idea I had was to somehow(I’m not trying to encourage crime or anything) disable the cities garbage collection and removal systems, so that people will be forced out of their denial about garbage going somewhere appropriate. We would then be realistically facing whether or not we want to live in a dump or not, when we don’t think it’s just going somewhere else.
LAW VS. BIOLOGY
Right before I got kicked out of High School I took a biology class. Every time I went to the class I noticed things that are supposed to happen in the world, according to biology, that are against the “LAW”. When we eat food we are taking in nitrogen from our food which originated in the soil. We are supposed to return that by urinating and defecating on the ground, an act which happens to be illegal. So instead we build immense systems of pipes under everything, send our waste to a place where we add tons of chemicals to it and then put it in the water we drink, fish and swim in. When we die we are supposed to rot back into the ground. That is the least we can do to play our part in the cycle we call the food chain, however you would get in serious trouble if you got busted putting a friend or relative who had passed away in the ground in your backyard. At night time you are supposed to go to sleep. If you don’t subscribe to the reality of wage/rent slavery, then any way you deal with your need for shelter/warmth at night is totally illegal. If you don’t own/rent a piece of land it is illegal for you to go to sleep. It is illegal to have a fire to keep warm in many places. It is illegal to hunt. It is illegal to use the resources around you to make yourself shelter because everything is already privately owned or is “public property”, which means that since your a part of the public, you don’t get to use any of it. Go Figure? Unfortunately, laws can’t eradicate the need for things like sleep, shelter, urination, deification, burial, etc. they can only attempt to eradicate the people who are landless.
My parents used to always say that god/religion is for people who couldn’t deal with the real world. Of course they drank alcohol every day so I guess that means they couldn’t deal with the real world either. Anyway, as a result of their abandoning of their parents faith/churches I was never brought to even one church service by them. While I lived with them I went along with the party line of “fuck god and all that stuff”, without really thinking about it much. The kids next door had to deal with a catholic upbringing and they told me all sorts of crazy things about how god keeps a book of all my good deeds and bad deeds and how it would be tallied at my death and I would be sent to heaven or hell. There were so many obvious contradictions in what their parents said about their religions(peace, goodness, justice, truth) and what they did in real life(violence, anger, constant punishment, lies), I figured all their god stuff was crap(as my parents told me). Later on I learned about the reality of the history of christianity. Murder, slavery, war, genocide, theft, rape. At this point in time I thought that the above crimes against humanity were evidence of the nonexistence of god.
After awhile I got put in juvenile hall for being myself and all there was to read was Sweet Valley High books and the bible. Needless to say I read the entire set of sweet valley high books before I even considered opening the bible. Eventually though I did open the bible. I read it about ten or twenty times. Alot of it seemed to say “god’s peace” in between the various accounts of wars. It seemed a little weird. However some of what it said seemed totally right on. Which really blew my mind, because all the christians I knew wanted nothing more than to be super-rich. Yet their bible seemed to say that it was easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Plenty of these people seemed to support things like WWI, WWII, dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, destroying the people of Viet Nam, ruining the lives of the soldiers(children) we send all over the earth and capitol punishment even though their bible say that “thou shall not kill”. There are about a million other examples that I don’t need to mention cuz we have all seen them a thousand times already. Anyway, I was left with the idea that all the religion stuff was probably crap, but maybe the problem was all the people that claimed to be christians were fakes. Later on in life I found myself at my friends moms house and I was on some acid. My girlfriend was suffering from a pretty bad case of strep throat. I couldn’t get to sleep, so I ended up sitting there watching her sweat and cough and look miserable. For the first time in my life I felt really powerless over something. I didn’t really know how but I got on my knees and in my head asked for god or whatever It is to help her feel better. About fifteen seconds later she started sweating profusely and broke her fever. Moments later she proceeded to awaken and tell me how she had a dream that an encompassing light came down over her head and made her well. At this point I had to reassess my thoughts about god.
About a year later I was living in a house in north Oakland renting the couch in the living room. There was some weird people living with us who belonged to this cult thing called the OTO. We would do lots of speed and talk about all kinds of voo doo, magic, etc. By this time in our lives we had all read the bible enough to be familiar with it. So anyway one day on the TV news we saw something incredible.
In the book of revelations 6:12/6:13 it says, “I looked when he opened the sixth seal, and behold there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth…” Also 8:11, “..A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water”, and 9:9, “And they had breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle”, and finally 13:18, “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: his number is six hundred, three score and six.”
We were all sitting around watching the local evening news because we wanted to know what was going on with the US – Iraqi conflict. In one half hour we saw the following: an earthquake, a shot of the sun turning black as a result of the burning oil wells, the moon was red in another shot also as a result of the burning oil, lights(scud/patriot missiles) falling from the sky, Oil pouring into the sea, turning the water black, in the same place where that community desalinated the sea water to drink, helicopters flying, and after all that we heard the news caster casually refer to UN resolution 667 in regards to the conflict. That one was too much so I went straight to the library to find out what resolution 666 was. It said something like this: The UN holds sole(soul) power to relieve human suffering in Iraq.
That is in regard to the fact that a previous resolution says that it’s illegal for anyone to sell or give any food, clothing, medicine, etc. to anyone in the country of Iraq. I remembered various Berkeley paranoid conspiracy theories about how the story in the bible about the beast establishing one world government right before the end. Once again I had to rethink the god thing again.
Later on I got to a point in my life when I needed to stop using drugs and alcohol and I tried to do it myself and I couldn’t. When I found some people who had found some success with their drug/alcohol problems, the majority of what they had to tell me about how they did it was that they didn’t do it, cuz they couldn’t. This made sense to me on account of the fact that I had tried to do the same thing and failed time after time. They said that it only worked when they found a god/higher power/creator/deity of choice. This has also been my experience. I feel pretty lucky today that I never got forced into any kind of religion, church or whatever because most of that stuff that I’ve seen sucks.
Lastly, One of the people who lived in the house who lived with me left the area to live in a monastery and be a monk. At first it seemed like it had to be a bad thing that he was there because it is a christian monastery. I saw him later and he gave me a book that he had written with some other people from the monastery. This book answered one of my first questions about christianity. One of the major(to me anyway) points of the first part of the book was that Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus example/life seemed to consist of honesty, poverty, anti-imperialism, humility. Most of the churches that claim christianity seem real heavy into deceit, wealth, supportive of America/American Imperialism and social status games. When Jesus said I am the only way to god, he cut out the middle man. When the churches say that you have to give them 10% of your earnings and that you have to go to them to find Jesus, they have bastardized the whole thing back into a business. One of the other things I’ve noticed about most of the world religions is that they all say “I am the only true God” in there somewhere. For some reason people have an easier time killing each other in wars than they do realizing that it’s possible that the only difference between Allah and Jehovah is the language of the beholder.
So after a life wondering about all of this I have come to a very few conclusions. There is a power in this universe that burns the sun, spins the earth, revolves the moon around us, grows plants, animals and us out of dirt, blows the air, pulls water out of the sky, feeds everything and connects all of us. This thing seems(to me anyway) to be contained in and animate everything that there is in the world. Today I no longer think that this power is a bearded, vengeful, warmonger. Maybe we made god in our image instead of the other way around.
NO SHIRT NO SHOES…
How many times have I been confronted by a store employee telling me about how I can’t come in and give them money because I’m not wearing shoes. I never really seem to have the time to explain to them why I’m barefoot before they think that my trying to talk to them about it is just my way of disobeying their “authority”. See it all started when I got terrible foot rot. This happened as a result of wearing shoes and no other reason. As soon as I quit wearing shoes the problem disappeared and never came back. It’s been years now.
The alleged reason for the requirement of shoes almost everywhere you go is that it protects people from spreading contagious foot diseases. Of course who ever thought up this crap failed to notice that in the absence of shoes there isn’t really much foot disease in the first place.
Sometimes I wonder if the employees and managers and owners realize they are blindly complying with rules not on the basis that they make sense, but instead, on the basis of being told to comply with said rules. How many times have I heard history teachers say that gassing Jews works only because the people were compliant and said nothing even though they new it was wrong, and that it couldn’t happen here because we aren’t like that. Oh well.
(This was a letter to the editor in some Sacto paper. It was then in Drop Out #2. It was written by my friend Pam. You can reach her at: Pam Davis 1901 P St. #27 Sacramento CA 95814. I am stealing/reprinting it because it more accurately sums up my feelings on what we call education then I ever could hope to.)
The title of the article should have been “Can we save our teaching jobs?”. Educators statewide, with the help of the theme-recycling media, love to create the image that they wish they could overhaul the schooling system but they just haven’t been able to galvanize enough support to bring in that tidal wave of change. The dialog was the same as always: Fortieth in the nation in per pupil spending, Multi-racial and non-english speaking student population, kids from broken homes, too many kids in each class, not enough school days in the year, not enough hours in each school day, teachers not committed enough, teachers burning out…
No one is willing to state the obvious, so I will. People calling themselves educators don’t really know anything about learning, or they do know in their hearts but are unwilling to acknowledge it. Learning, the kind that matters, does not take place inside the classroom. Just ask anyone about their schooling experience and whether they learned anything truly useful. Ask a parent who watches, really watches,their own kids when they are at home doing their own thing. Humans learn all the time just by being alive in the world! Teachers, administrators, educational counselors are trying desperately to justify their existence, and they have the nation duped. Structured schooling as we all know it and experienced it, is obsolete and ultimately damaging to actual learning, but to admit this would means thousands and thousands of school employees out of work.
The most direct and simple solution to the public school mess is to remove the compulsory attendance laws. The fact that the dropout rate is so high should tell us That kids don’t want to be there. The finger is always pointed at the drop out with the question “why did you fail?” The question should be “Why does everyone hate school? Could it be that school itself is a failure?”, or “What gives adults the right to force children to do things they despise? Can we honestly say, with the world as it is, that we know best?”, or “Why would it be such a disaster for children to play all day as they are growing up? Maybe they might learn something about life!”
If it were made optional whether to attend school or not, then schools might finally have to figure out what they are doing wrong, otherwise no one would show up. Any teacher that didn’t have something to offer would be out of a job. Any school that continued to structure itself in ways that are not about real learning would close down, because real learning is compelling, interesting, motivating and if you know kids you know they love it.
“They process the people like they process the food.” Whenever I was in school I didn’t want to do the things I was being forced to. When I simply refused to comply they would argue with me about how I didn’t know how negatively I was impacting my future. What I didn’t know then, and I do know now is that everything they had to say to me didn’t matter at all. All of their arguments were really just intimidation tactics. They were actively threatening me with confinement, banishment and the encouragement of abuse at the hands of my parents. The real lesson they were trying to impart on me was OBEDIENCE. This is one of the primary functions of the so called educational system, to intimidate all people into a constant state of submitting to authority. If you doubt this premise try out disobeying any of the hundreds of pointless orders given to you in one school day. If these people really knew what was best for our futures why would they actively encourage us to join the military, they did that to some of the boys my age who later ended up murdering and being murdered in Iraq. Also there is now a new slew of human toxicity problems due to the “anecdotes” they injected into all the desert storm soldiers. Those are really the actions of caring guidance givers.
You don’t ever need to argue with the school authorities about why you should or shouldn’t do this or that. Just ask them why, if they are RIGHT can’t they sway your opinion on the basis of superior logic rather than fear, intimidation and abuse.