Sunday, April 02, 2017

Public Service Announcement

Over the past week, more than 100 "comments" appeared on this blog pleading for money ($250,000!!), offering loans, and making other inappropriate approaches to my Faithful Readers. In a decade of blogging, this had never happened to me before, so you can imagine how tickled I was. Being uncharacteristically paranoid this year -- and given the fairly spectacular recent increase in my readership, I considered the fact that it might be trolls or harassment by the authorities (whoever they are). But I was more inclined to believe it was just opportunists trying to sucker punch people financially (which meant they were seriously misguided about who they might find here).

Anyway, the upshot is that I spent hours this week trying to scrub my blog post comment sections of foolishness before it donned on me that I needed to change my settings or this was going to become a regular part of my life. So I have now instituted comment approval as part of the process on this blog. I'm sorry. I didn't want to do it. I did, however, leave the option of commenting anonymously. And I don't have a lot of comments, for whatever reason, so it shouldn't complicate my life -- or yours -- too much. If you want to comment (and you're not selling something, asking for money, or offering it), your comment will almost without question be published as soon as I see it in my inbox.

If on the other hand, you come across a comment I missed (they're liable to appear anywhere in my more than 600 posts), please send me an email and let me know. I promise not to ask you for money or try to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Let Me Make One Thing Perfectly Clear

When I first dropped out in 1970, hit San Francisco for a hot minute, and then proceeded on to join a collective in Iowa City, Iowa, committed to the prison abolition movement, I could not possibly have imagined that 45 years later, I would want to re-publish something I wrote in 1972. Yet here I am, more than a little disappointed that the call for unity, solidarity, and action I issued in the Prisoners' Digest International four and a half decades ago would still be pertinent -- and even sorely needed.

This is why I am still doing what I am doing, teaching what I am teaching, and writing what I am writing. Still trying to make our situation perfectly clear.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bloody, But Unbowed

Emory Douglas/2016 (by permission)

It's taken me a while to catch my breath. That one-two punch last November was a doozy and though I've been meeting my responsibilities (which are many), my psyche went down for the count and has been lying on the canvas in the ring ever since, trying to figure out if I can make it to the locker room on these jelly legs or do I need to jump in a cab and head straight for the border. There's something to be said for living to fight another day.

I've been lying still with my eyes closed, as it were, reminding myself that this is not new news. White Supremacy. the patriarchy, capitalism, and a cold-blooded commitment to power held by a handful of old White men combined with an almost stunning lack of consciousness in the mass public over the past 250 years has delivered us to the present like an express train to hell. And for the last fifty years of that period, I've been watching it all unfold like a Grade B movie. Yet -- no matter how you've trained -- a well-placed upper cut that catches you off-guard can rock your world, even if you're the better fighter.

Still, as I often tell my students, it's not what happens. It's what happens after that. Watcha gonna do?