Sunday, October 22, 2006

What it means to resist the war---and the little Hitler inside us

(by Marina)

"Dictatorship is a constant lecture instructing you that your feelings, your thoughts and desires are of no account, that you are a nobody and must live as you are told by other people who desire and think for you." --- Stephen Vizinczey

As much as this quote galvanizes resistance, I have also found it necessary to keep in mind what Mother Theresa once said, that she was led to do her work because she realized she had "a Hitler inside me." It's easy to tell other people how to live their lives, and another thing to listen to where they're coming from, important to shine a light on the suffering of the planet and animals so that others may see what was hidden, and another thing to stick with them as they show you their hidden fears and anxieties. Everyone has to start from where they are, and trying to dictate "the truth" to others dooms your efforts from the start. We on the political left need to remember this just as much as those on the political right. This Ken Nerburn quote says it all: "Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance, and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lie brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices no more easily made. And give, give in any way you can, of whatever you possess. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared, and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace."

The Gap

(by Marina)

Except for one "Drawing 101" class, I'm not trained as an artist, so maybe that's why collage interests me: it's definitely grassroots, outsider art. Probably a stretch to say that it's inherently more political, though. And Wite-Out art, or, as I like to call it, "Planet Pleaser White Multi-Purpose Correction Fluid" art (since that is the vegan product that I use to create mine) is even more so. Easily accessed materials, found in most desk drawers nowawdays. Using Wite-Out/Planet Pleaser on an image feels similar to Asian brush painting: it's not about making lines go the way you want them to so much as creating spaces that weren't there before, and even further, creating what I think of as negative spaces. Like the child's eyes: what was warm and alive is negated, blanked out. The bottom right corner, where the paper pieces don't meet was intentional---only machines can make something perfect, and a machine is the last thing I want to be.

To find out how you're doing in the consumption realm, try this quick quiz.

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Illusions of Security

What is that is keeping you from your life?

(by Marina)

When I created this, I was thinking about how dreams often tell us the truth we can't tell ourselves in the daylight; how our dreamlife is just as real as our waking life; and how, even on a lazy, hot afternoon, we contain the seeds of that dreamlife self from when it's 3 am on a black and windy night. For one of my friends, it made him think, "What is that is keeping you from your life?"

You might have entirely different thoughts about these images...

"A standard beef slaughterhouse kills 250 cattle every hour"

"The high speed of the assembly line makes it increasingly difficult to treat animals with any semblance of humaneness. A "Meat & Poultry" article states, 'Good handling is extremely difficult if equipment is "maxed out" all the time. It is impossible to have a good attitude toward cattle if employees have to constantly overexert themselves, and thus transfer all that stress right down to the animals, just to keep up with the line.'" --- from