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One of the funniest posts I ever made, imho, was this one about the Olympia Food Co-op t-shirt policy. Well guess what? This is a follow-up post. If you haven’t read that one, and it’s from June 2003 so many of you haven’t, go read it. I’ll wait.

Ok, now that you’re up to speed we can continue.

Back up in Olympia a couple of months ago I was wandering around the backstock area and found a handout to help explain the t-shirt policy to the poor hippie boys who can’t seem to find their t-shirts. I thought I had lost it after showing it to everyone whose path I crossed driving cross-country. But cleaning out my wallet, I just found it again and scanned it for your reading pleasure. Here it is:

co-op shirt policy

I don’t honestly know what else I can add. Except to point out that the reason we don’t allow* un-clothed folks is that we’re a food store and that is gross. Keep those underarm hairs and pointy bits out of the bulk section!

My favorite part is the "don’t assume that just because the female staff is being paid to work here, that they will answer your questions". Second favorite: "We do not wish to be fashion police". Third: "Someday, hopefully,… we may all wear what we please." I know that’s what I’m fighting for.

My friend is going to hate me for this.



*Close readers will notice that an occasional pants-less junkie or street fest attendee may wander in. But we do kick them out or ask them to clothes-up if we see ‘em.
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Go at it! Post your yearbook photos in a comment below. C'mon, don't be bashful.

Since I already posted my senior picture, here is my pic from 1982, right before I cut off my hair the first time. It has never been this long since.

1982 ybook
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Well, I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to write. Maybe tomorrow morning. Maybe Sunday if I don’t have to work. To tide you over, let’s have another photo post!

This theme is "you in a crowd". Please post a photo too. It can be a much, much smaller crowd than the one I’m posting, but I love this photo.

My brother took this shot, that I just happen to be in, at the Rock Against Racism/Rock Against Reagan protest show at the 1984 Democratic Convention. You can read about that day here.


Can you find me? (edited: I guess you can find me! )
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Ok people, time to show off your "official" photos. First off, they don’t really have to be official. The one I’m posting below was taken (by [livejournal.com profile] obliviot) for a passport shoot, but I didn’t use it. It certainly reflects the time it was taken in 1992. Bad goatee? Check. Flannel shirt? Uh huh. Malcolm X shirt? You bet (You can see just a little of Malcolm’s hair poking out). Dangly earring? Oh yeah. Bad haircut I’m trying to spike up a little? Not working. Paleness and bags under my eyes from too many hours spent printing photos? Every day.

I can’t find the one I really wanted to use which was my high school photo from 1982. It’s the last photo taken of me with long hair. And I’m wearing a Stranglers t-shirt. It’s cutely awful as opposed to awfully cute. I’m still looking and I’m sure I’ll find it soon.

Please post your "official" photo below, interpreting that however you want. School photos, ID cards, Driver’s licences, passport photos, bus passes… whatever.

Also let me mention that I got a concerned e-mail worrying about people revealing too much information for the interworld in response to my new photo post. This is good advice. I hadn’t thought that people might actually put up their whole ID cards with sensitive license #’s, addresses etc. Be careful out there. Don’t be a victim.

(I’m enjoying this feature of my LJ. The next theme will be you in a crowd. Get your scanners ready. We’ll do that next week.)

Me in 1992 )
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I'm really enjoying the photo memes going on out there. Among my firends it started with [livejournal.com profile] girlswirlzine (and actually the others are locked entries).

For mine, I want you to post a picture in my comment section of you being a high school poseur. I know this might be easier for you goths than you others, but give it a try. Explain the context if necessary please. Give a date if you are willing. (btw, this photo-hosting site is great though it hides the code you need in the "all sizes" section after you upload the pics) (thanks [livejournal.com profile] gwenzilla for the tip.)

Here's mine: envisioning a bright future for the dictatorship of the proletariat. Taken sometime in 1985.

lenin_01
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On her LJ, [livejournal.com profile] violetisblue asked me what books were most formative to my politics. Because I spent a couple of days last week lying miserably in bed staring at my bookcase, my list kept getting longer and I decided to just post it as an entry. A good number of these books were time-and-place for me, meaning that while I found them essential, your results may vary. But all are works that are incredibly important to me, even if some I haven’t read in 20 years. Take this for what it’s worth: not much. It's definitely not supposed to be a comprehensive list of must-read books to develop a political analysis, it was just mine.

I’d be interested in other people’s answers too. So feel free to meme this if you are so inclined.

Fiction/Autobiography

The Dispossed Ursula LeGuin. Anarchist and capitalist planets, utopia and distopia within both. One of the only Sci-fi books I’ve ever liked and it’s probably my favorite novel ever.

Just Above My Head James Baldwin. Not growing up religious, while I can appreciate Baldwin’s early works like Go Tell it on the Mountain, this book affected me a lot more. Amazing for its scope and compassion. Underrated probably partly because it was out of print for so long. I actually first read it as a xeroxed copy that a professor made for me. A 600 page xeroxed copy!

Boxcar Bertha "as told to" Ben Reitman. "Autobiography" of a hobo woman Great historical detail of the ‘30s. Certainly spoke to me more than Steinbeck, but that’s probably just because I read BB on my own and not in school.

Living My Life Vol. 1 Emma Goldman. God that woman must have been annoying to do political work with. Still, I love this book as a document of a life of struggle to make a better society that doesn’t ignore other human emotions. By the way, you won’t find that "If I can’t dance to it…" quote in here because it doesn’t exist. And Vol. 2 gets kinds depressing.

Zami Audre Lorde It’s an identity politics classic. The biomythography of a Black, lesbian, communist. Ruptured irreparably my view of a seamless history of the nobility of the left while still offering hope for the future.

The Last Days of Christ the Vampire JG Eccarius. Ok, this book really isn’t up there, writing-wise, with the others. But as a teenager how could I resist a gang of punk rockers, graffiti artists and weirdos connecting through Maximum RocknRoll and exposing the Vampire cult in control of organized religion and world capitalism. A DIY classic.

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. Ok, this book is fucked up. No question. But important things can be found in non-ideologically pure places. A ‘60s dropout high school English teacher was so passionate about this book and the way the Combine chews us up and spits us out, that I couldn’t help being affected. I tried to re-read it a few years later and was blown away by the sexism. But I can’t deny the other politics weren’t formative. By the way, I just saw the "Strangers with Candy" episode where Amy Sedaris learns she’s adopted and really the child of "Indians". At the end she re-enacts the last scene from the movie. I was sick in bed and laughing so hard it hurt me.

Any Raymond Chandler novel. Language is important. Good writing engages the reader and makes them care. The left press doesn’t need to be SO BAD.

Essays

Yours in struggle Minnie Bruce Pratt, Elly Bulking and Barbara Smith. Not to ignore Smith’s essay, but reading white people write about anti-racism was definitely a turning point for me in thinking about "not being racist" vs. being anti-racist. I have no idea how dated this might seem today, I maybe should go back and check.

This Bridge Called my Back Cherie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua. Collection of essays written by radical women of color. Undoubtedly parts of this will read as dated. One of the attractive and important things about identity politics was the way that everyday actions and assumptions could be politicized. I think there’s, obviously, a limit to the effectiveness of this, mostly because a lot of people take it down the road of essentialism in an increasingly non-essentialized society (or maybe differently essentialized is more accurate, I’m not sure). BUT there’s no denying the great amount of truth and intellectual food for thought in contextualizing the assumptions, behaviors, and choices one has available.

Notes of a Native Son James Baldwin. Baldwin was one of my favorite novelists but was just as good an essay writer. This collection of essays contains incredible glimpses of history as it was happening in the late ‘50s through the ‘60s.

The Great Shark Hunt Hunter S Thompson. People underestimate how good a writer Hunter Thompson was before he became an over-stylized, drug-addled caricature of himself. This is a collection of amazing journalism that, as a 15 year old, made me want to write.

"The Tyranny of Structurelessness" Jo Freeman. It was just a 10-page pamphlet, but it’s the best thing ever written about small group democracy. Seriously.

History (I can be kind of a history geek, so I’m keeping this list short)

A People’s History of the United States Howard Zinn. Something to counter the textbooks….

Dynamite By Louis Adamic. A history of labor and violence in the US. Fascinating take on labor history and answers the question about how the Mob took over so many unions. (quick answer: workers needed protection from boss-funded vigilantes and Pinkertons. Then, as labor radicals were imprisoned or killed, the labor thugs seized the vacuum and took power.)

Personal Politics by Sara Evans. History of the Civil Rights movement and ‘70s feminism.

SDS by Kirkpatrick Sale. History of the ‘60s/’70s campus protest movements.

Haymarket Martyrs Paul Avrich. Incredible detailing of the working class and anarchist movements in 1880’s Chicago. Learn why International Workers Day is celebrated on May 1. And why the US doesn’t celebrate it.

Open veins of Latin America Eduardo Galeano. History of imperialism in Latin America that reads almost like a novel. At least it did to me as a Sandinista-supporting 17 year old.

Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus. Sloppy history I’m sure, but it weaves together the story of radical ideas and radical art movements. Seemingly with no precedent, certain ideas reassert themselves periodically, reappearing with shocking force when the correct societal situation arises even when they’ve laid dormant for years. Read it as fiction so you don’t have to worry about the parts that don’t make historical sense.

Homage to Catalonia George Orwell. Story of the Spanish Revolution, anarchism’s most shining and depressing moment. Solidified my conviction that you can’t trust CP members and you can only trust Trotskyists when they are poorly armed and fighting for their survival. This book started my interest in learning about the Spanish Revolution. Unfortunately, the books that I agree with more, ideologically speaking, are dry and boring so I’m glad I started here.

The M section on my bookshelf.

Marx, Mao, Malatesta and Malcolm X. The basics are important.
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I am 37. Tell me funny, sad, or otherwise notable birthday stories.

When I was in 5th grade my Mom bought a birthday cake for my little party and it was completely moldy on the inside. I thought it was green frosting of some sort. I was going to eat the pretty green cake until my mom saw it, uncharacteristically yelled, "Nooooo!" and grabbed back all the pieces. She brought the whole party, 6 or 8 kids, to the bakery and showed the cake to the horrified counter person who then let us get whatever we wanted. I mean, what was the person going to say when presented with a party of sad little kids?

I had an elephant ear. I remember wishing I had the cake.
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After the horrific Beach Blanket Babylon episode and [livejournal.com profile] crosley_bendix’s comment, I got to thinking about tourism. It is San Francisco’s only industry after all. BBB is definitely part of the official tourist world that I wouldn’t think of recommending to friends

The genius who designed Fisherman’s Wharf deserves a medal. It’s a holding pen where visitors can feel like they’re visiting SF when they’re really just hanging out with other tourists. There’s little reason for locals to go there, though I have known a couple of people who lived on boats at Pier 39. This section of town manages to separate tourists from their money without inflicting too much annoyance on anyone else, except for those who work there of course.

Which is why it was such a tragedy when the Musee Mecanique moved there from the Cliff House. It was my favorite place in San Francisco: overlooking the Ocean, cold, drippy, surrounded by cracked concrete and a few sullen teenagers smoking pot. Perfect. That says San Francisco to me.. I haven’t been since the relocation, it just makes me sad. There are a couple of things to do in that part of town though. Seeing the seals at their reclaimed home at Pier 39 is great. Alcatraz was interesting too, though it’s been nearly 20 years since the last time I went.

In Chicago, the one must-see thing that I did was to visit the Haymarket Memorial and Emma Goldman’s grave. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring any offerings and all I had with me were "Cheese Pride" and "I’m on a date with my Feelings" buttons. They had to do.

But that’s the kind of tourism I like. Something meaningful, only available in the place I’m visiting, and hopefully not very crowded. In the Bay Area the things I’d recommend would be the Albany Landfill, the F Market (especially if it’s one of the three days a year the open-air gondola is running), the Wave Organ, Zeitgeist in the middle of the day, and Tire Beach.

Tell me what not-usually-touristed things I should visit in your town. Or add some good things to the Bay Area list I started above.
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As I was walking home from work last night, I realized that there are certain groups of people that I hate instantly. I can’t justify it. One on one I’m sure I’d treat them nicely and fairly, but when they’re out in public doing their thing? No way.

It really should come as no surprise to my readers that I’m a hater. I even wrote an anti- "Hate Free Zone" entry a million years ago, which I’d link if I could be bothered to find it before I have to leave for work. But I’m going to come clean here right now on LJ with my biggest irrational hate.

Joggers.

I see them puff by me, not carrying anything, wearing shorts when it’s too cold, and looking all red-cheeked. I especially hate them when they jog in place at red lights. It just seems so suburban and undignified. And indeed, it’s only in certain parts of the city. People blame a lot of things for gentrification, but I think the sure sign of a gentrified neighborhood is one where people run without being chased. I start mumbling things like, "Fuck you, you healthy fucks," and just hope I’m not saying it aloud. I would yell Jim Fixx jokes at them, but people have such short memories.

And I bet you have them too: Twinklers, Volvo drivers, Tie-dye wearers, people who dress their dogs, etc. C’mon share with us, the LJ community. What are things that people do that you instantly judge them for? Share the hate.

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