Last night I went to the second co-counselling discussion group at Dry River. I missed the first one but I'm totally psyched about it now. Basically co-counselling is just listening and talking to each other about personal stuff, rather than, or I guess in addition to, paying some psychiatrist $80 and hour to listen. We live in such a repressed society that this idea seems revolutionary, but its natural for community to support us in our struggles through life. Of course i keep mentioning as an antecedent the project done by some friends a few years ago called unlicensedtherapist.com,
In addition to that, I've been thinking about and appreciating all the other things I've been doing in an effort to work on myself as a person. Back in late June I made a pledge to do that, and I'm making some progress.
I've been going to this great meditation class called "Meditation for Drunks, Rockstars, and the Rest of Us." It's a really down-to-earth class without all the new age trappings and the guy teaching it is really funny and great.
I've also been going to yoga again, though not as often. I'm doing stretches every morning, or almost every one. And I have plans to do some dietary stuff that i think will make me a lot healthier. Oh, and I pretty much cut out caffeine since early July.
Lots of work left to do but it's a gradual process.
Today is Jessica's 26th birthday, so I thought I would post this incredibly cute photo of her recent meeting with a new suitor:
I guess I could get jealous but I feel that I'm likely quite capable of having a radical relationship involving myself, her, and this prince. One never knows what the future may bring.
Happy birthday, Jess.
I'm appearing at a screening of my film on the U of A campus tonite. Three of the interviewees will be there too. Should be cool.
I also recently got confirmation that it will have its Juarez premiere soon, at the Border Social Forum, October 13-15. This is exciting.
I'll also be showing it at Arizona State in a couple of weeks. There are various other potential dates too. keep watching the film's site for news.
In personal news, things are starting to get a little better, gradually. Whew.
What a perfunctory blog post. sorry. too busy today. gotta get out of the house. now.
Well, stuff kind of sucks lately. Like, in the last week things have just suddenly taken a downturn. It was so sudden and all at once, I'm just kind of reeling with shock, especially because it and the resolution of it are pretty much completely out of my control. I Ultimately think it will turn out okay. It's just bad timing and so sudden, and I'm so totally helpless to effect the outcome, that I am having a hard time dealing with it. My concious mind says, yeah, ok, i can understand and accept this, but my lizard brain, my gut-brain, is saying oh god this is horrible i don't think i can live through this.
It's not stuff I want to go into detail about. I guess if it wasn't for the fact that I haven't blogged for a week, I would not even bother with this. But I have nothing else to blog about because I'm so upset. And yet I don't want to do that whole public moaning and whining that I did before back in June. It's not as bad as that, anyway. Although compared to how GOOD things have been up till a week ago, it's relatively pretty damn bad.
I guess the positive things to say are:
i'm having a little last day of summer mojito micro-party at my place tonite. it will be the first gathering of more than 2 people in my apartment. Should be fun.
Also, I have to mention that I am completely knocked off my socks and brought to the edge of tears just by the trailer for "Science of Sleep". Maybe it's because of my currently emotionally raw state, but I just think it's so touching and beautiful, I can't hardly wait to see it. And I'll probably cry all the way through it. What's wrong with me? And I never ever feel this way about mainstream hollywood films.
Godfuckingdammit I hatehatehate how every time I put up photos on Flickr, any shot that has a woman in it gets at LEAST about 1/3 more views than ones that don't, and often twice as many views or more. So fucking predictable. C'mon, you stupid horny internet photo dweebs. Get a fucking life. God dammit.
This past weekend I and 4 other Tucson activists drove to San Diego for the Roots of Resistance Summer Camp. The Organic Collective had organized it to get people, mostly border activists, to come and share skills and talk about plans.
It was a really great time and really inspiring. I now feel re-energized to get going on a few new or neglected projects, tho i also feel a little like these things, if i go through with them, may wind up making me feel overwhelmed, overobligated, and possibly even burned out, along with all the other things I'm doing or getting back into doing here in Tucson, now that I'm back. Need to work on finding balance and prioritization.
I took a few photos, not only of the camp but our brief visit to the border wall on the beach - where there are gaps in the wall right now big enough that people can easily squeeze through, and do. Mexicans were casually slipping over and wandering the sand, but a border patrol truck on the hill was making sure no one went too far. We played soccer and talked with some of the Tijuanans for awhile. It was really cool.
The whole weekend was just really really awesome.
Sorry for that silly reference to the Wall of Voodoo song. I just had to do it, because I was just interviewed for a college radio station in Mexico City, talking about my Juarez film. It went really well. She spoke excellent english, luckily. I really wish I had been keeping in practice with my spanish for the past year. Anyway, the station is Ibero 90.9 (because the school is the Iberoamerican Unversity, I think). I'll try to link to their stream soon. They also want to try to bring me down there to show the film and talk about it. Exciting.
Jessica wrote a short but good article in the new issue of the NYC Indypendent about Rising Tide, a new group focused on slowing global warming by slowing its source: fossil fuel use.
"...most other organizations who say they work for climate protection merely promote technological reforms to the capitalist economy, and shy away from demanding deep changes that address the common causes of war, social and economic injustice and ecological destruction."
Reviews are starting to slowly trickle in after the release last month of the DVD. This one from a Salt Lake City magazine is mixed.
They seem to like the content but not the form, which is something I'm very used to hearing by now.
Full of face-to-face interviews and statistical analysis, On the Edge offers much as far as explanations, but little in terms of feeling. It presents numerous first person accounts, but you never get an inside look at the problem. There is an element of theatrics within filmmaking that must be administered in order to capture attention and then hold on to it, and while the makers of On the Edge should be commended for their efforts, their film comes up just short of quality.
A quite good article in the Independent (the UK paper, not a misspelling of the NYC IMC one), covers the efforts of the Samaritans and No More Deaths to prevent migrant deaths in the desert around here. The author talks to and refers to several people I know. I feel honored to know them. They're heroes.
But I think the most important thing is this question and answer with Steve Johnston, one of the long-term volunteers who ran the NMD camp in Arivaca all summer:
What does he say to the argument that his work actually encourages illegal immigration?
"We've never run into anyone out here who knew who we were, or why we were here," he says "Everyone is totally surprised. I'm certain we have no impact whatsoever on encouraging people."
This is important because the biggest legitimate-seeming criticism, I think, from racists and other anti-immigrants is that idea that by helping these people we're encouraging more to come. It would be interesting for some reporter to travel Mexico and ask people, "hey, are you aware that if you cross in southern arizona you might run into some nice people in the desert who'll give you water and food?" It sounds like none of them have any idea, and I've heard most of them also have no clue how difficult it is to get across the desert. That's why they come so unprepared, for instance with only a single gallon of water wearing dress clothes.
Very cool. Really good interface. From the organize tool, you can just drag photos onto the map. Awesome.
The wedding we went to in Portland last weekend was great, and fun. I'm dragging my feet on posting my photos because I'm waiting for approval from a certain shy someone, but Petr has posted some photos Pepper took, including a funny one of me and Jessica. In the meantime you can also look at the photos of my new place, which I just finished moving into.
Excellent story on Thomas Paine.com about the media, child murder/rape, and racism. It's mainly about the new attention given to the JonBenet Ramsy case while simultaneously the story of U.S. soldiers raping a young Iraqi girl is getting almost no coverage. The author mentions the Juarez murders as well.
I had the same thought over and over last summer as I worked on my film about those poor Mexican girls disappearing and dying and meanwhile had to sit through the inordinate amount of media about the young pretty blonde Utah girl who went missing in Aruba. It made me furious.
I've been to 2 different neighborhood, urban-development, "should-we-allow-more-gentrification?" kind of meetings in the last week and a half, even though I'm just 3 days into living in the neighborhood. It's odd, thinking of getting involved - well, being involved, already - considering that 2 months ago I didn't know if I'd even be able to stay in Tucson and remain sane. Also, I've lived in enough places to see that this gentrification, re-development struggle is happening everywhere, albeit at different rates and in different stages depending on which city we're talking about. I've never known where to settle down, dig in, and join the fight.
Here I'm talking about a "green" (solar panels, rooftop gardens, etc) condo project just a few blocks from my new place called OneWest, which was voted down by the neighborhood association in March and then it was brought back and that vote was reversed last week, amid much controversy (now the talk is that the re-vote was against Robert's Rules of Order, which ostensibly the neighborhood association follows as its decision-making process).
Meanwhile just south of me is part of the target area of something called Downtown Links. It's the legacy of battle that's been happening in Tucson since the 70s when the state wanted to just punch a freeway right through downtown to link the east side of town to the interstate. They got most of the way but then the opposition was so fierce that they gave up and handed it off to the city government in the late 80s. The city has been trying to finish it in some form, and it's been gradually downgraded to basically a 25mph surface street with a bunch of awkward connections to existing surface streets and some accompanying urban development along the side, supposedly, like bike paths, some greenery, maybe some noise abatement walls, etc - but also lots of "opportunities" for business development along the route.
These things are both very contentious. There's just a couple opinions/observations that I want to mention: first, they're both really all about money; second, they involve bait-and-switch "quality of life" or "greenwashing" tactics to make them seem more palatable to regular people, and to obscure the fact that it's really to serve the relevant members of the business class that wants to exploit the situation; third, about the Downtown Links specificially: this project is 15 to 20 years from being done. By then, for all we know 90% of us will not be able to afford gasoline or any other means for propelling personal motor vehicles. What are we doing continuing to make decisions revolving around motorists and a car-centered lifestyle?