A Dream: Am I in love again?

A dream from June 3rd, 2017

Ever since I started smoking weed, I can’t remember a better dream at all.

I arrived at a baseball stadium on a clear sunny day. The back of stadium (also known as the home-run zone) was cut out, so the balls fell outside the stadium and one could see the action through a chain-link fence. Danny, my older cousin, was already there. For a while, I stayed there picking up balls hit over the fence, talking to him. I remember how we used to play one-on-one baseball together and watch games with our grandfather whose death is still a shock to all of us.

Some time passed, and I walked to where my aunt Patricia was staying. I hung out with her in her living room for a while looking through the radio as if it were a computer. I checked profiles and records to see if [hair flip emoji] was having more fun than me, and if we could meet up to no avail. I’m glad I didn’t see her because she usually shows up in my dreams.

My mom, my grandmother and a few unidentified men show-up, and we go out through the back door for a walk. I notice chickens, chicks, and a large rooster walking and exploring a garden. Something disturbed them, so they went to find a new hiding spot. We kept waking until they ran into a famous gardener who they stopped to greet. I had no interest in the guy due to [falling in love is a cliché, shall we rise together?], so I just kept going.

Somehow I found myself strolling on some wheels. I thought it was a big wheel but when I looked down it was a skateboard. I clumsily skated up a hill against traffic when these two young, black men caught up to me. The first person rode a very nice board and went ahead of me and his friend to the top of the hill. The other stopped, because I got in his way. He was friendly and helped me keep my balance. We both got to the top of the hill which was a room with a whiteboard on one wall and a dark opening on the other side. We all knew it was an obstacle course for like some x-games type-shit.

I didn’t go into the obstacle course, because I wasn’t very good at riding and the board was very small and flimsy. The rider who stopped offered me his ride which was a skateboard with a bike seat on it. I shyly declined, feeling uncoordinated and like I didn’t want to look worse in front of them. Then a whole bunch of people came in and I started to blend in by chatting, writing on the board and laughing at jokes.

After a while, they started to break up into couples and walk out of the room. I wondered if I would be alone in the end. A girl sees me lingering as everyone was saying goodbye. I had a feeling she might like me. She had a cute round face, white milky skin, blond hair, large round eyes and a playful smile + vibe. She looked like [someone that I’ve seen before in pictures].

As the last person walked out, she approached me. “Hi, my name is Mint.” She was dressed in a t-shirt and shorts which were both mint green. And so was her lipstick. “Hi, Mint. I’m Joel.”

We make both make a flirtatious gesture and she takes my hand. I was so glad she did too, because I have never been good at making the first move even if I know it is mutual. We walk out the room, up some stairs, and she sits on the steps above me. I look at her face thinking about how beautiful she is, and how lucky I am she chose me. Her lips turn themselves into a kiss, and this is one of the few times I actually kiss someone in a dream.

Our lips connected and it was so wonderful. I felt so alive. Never have I ever kissed someone I met for the first time. (Actually except once. I met them online and that was a great moment too. I dead-ass started getting emotional when I realized I bored them by sitting too far away from them and not making any moves. Thankfully they were charmed by my honest display of emotion and we had some fun.) The kiss was so enchanting. I remember Mint’s lips actually tasting minty like a breath of fresh air. Too stuck in my thoughts, my bottom lip got stuck to her teeth. Perhaps I wanted her to bite it. My lip was so stuck that I had to move it with my hand. And the kiss was over.

The next day came and I was back in the room I met her. I forgot to mention, the day before the group of people who appeared also performed a play which I only watched. Mint was a great actress too. I sat in a different spot this time waiting for all of them to come back. I remember thinking about how I wasn’t finished kissing the night before and I wanted to show her more. I wanted to thrill her.

Half the people from the night before came back in the room and Mint was among them. We locked eyes, but didn’t speak. A different girl sat next to me and said, “When are you going to tell Vanessa you like her?” I was confused. Is Vanessa another person or could she mean Mint? I’m pretty sure Mint and me had something going on. I look around, but I only see Mint smiling at me. She walks over but I stay seated. I was unsure about how to embrace her in front of everyone, because I’m the worst with being affectionate in public. I don’t like that sort of attention, and I am careful with other people being envious of me. I know I would be in such a situation. I embraced her in an awkward way, but she didn’t seem bothered. She was more humorously understanding. The play started again but soon enough it was over. I had participated a bit this time giving my reactions to the action. This time everyone left much more quickly after the play.

Mint lay on a bed now. She told me she’d rather not hook-up, because she was still tired from staying up and walking home the night before. I smiled and sat in a chair next to her. We made small talk about Portugal (which was kinda strange because we were in South America). I also thought about [a lovely human] and what she might think. I hardly ever pass a day without thinking about [luminescence], but I never see her in person or even in my dreams. Mint’s friend joined us and we talked about the future. I asked how much is rent here and we talked as if we would move in together. I notice her smile and the sunshine one last time and think, “Am I in love again?” I wake up.

I wish you could be untitled

Huge Purple Dinosaur

Happy white smile

songs about love and family

 

Fresh new eyes expand with torrid light

ears shake with indolent vibrations

feel and discover

the world out of reach

fed through a television screen

 

I am trapped inside this concrete box

a fertile hostility gleams in the window

 

T V

the ultimate relationship for the decay of relationships

activity becomes a free and spontaneous relationship with oppression

sweet images blossom from coarse languid skeletons of the invisible

buried in the imagination of gears and circuitry

 

the cowardly few who will be in a grave or in flames before the story is through

play their vampiric game

sucking out our life essence

converting us into the living dead

slaves for blood

the thirst

the poison in our lives

digs in and turns all,

even love into a tragedy

 

 

my first Love

 

diving in with the passion of a religious conversion

hands in prayer

the best christian husband could see my reality was an illusion

-that I saved her from the misery of being alone and free

– that god made the relationship possible not me

-that I should cherish her as if she were my property

 

These ideas could not stand in peace without concession

there is no peace through ownership of people

our fairy-tale would not soar

 

left sore from pushing to make it work

we closed our eyes and wished love was real

but it hid behind jealousy

and almost

killed two lovers who couldn’t help but feel

 

breaking out of a cage one lover calls a home is like sawing off a piece of yourself and then another

 

the nights when

cold air cut between panicked screams,

sharpened tears cut paths down my cheeks,

kitchen blades cut through divine skin

will never stop haunting me

 

the attack on our souls kills the most beautiful things

 

escaping the cage

hasn’t stopped the tears

knowing I left her inside

Creative Manifestos for the Collapse of Imperialism: A Very Sweet Goodbye

 

Our generation is giving birth to a new era. Call it the collapse of imperialism or anything you see. A whole new phase of thinking promises to provide us with a new life. Artists must stop looking at only themselves as artists. All humans create. We call paintings, sculptures, music, architecture, dance, theater, literature and so on art. Humans have developed those techniques and they are creative. The limitation of all human’s involvement in those arts comes from their development in non-creation or value production. Working for a wage is non-creation, because what is produced through wage-labor is profit. The actual quality of the work is secondary.

Creation is a complete process. It starts in our environment and the imagination, goes through steps, and has various results. Because working for a wage is only one part of the whole process of value creation, it is not totally creative. It is alienated creativity. The full creative process at work is the process of value production or profit. The labor we do is disconnected from its product, so it denies the creative process. We are reunited with the product of our labor in consumption. Waged-workers consume commodities they can afford. Unwaged-workers receive what waged-workers give them or they are imprisoned by state institutions. Consumption is separated from its source and is thus alienated too. Together production and consumption form the total disunity of our creative activities. Capitalists consume the worker. The unity of their activity is the creation of our disunity or alienation. To unite our lives we must take back our creative and consuming power and produce for ourselves not the capitalists. We must all be artists whose creation would be a unified life for each producer. Our art will need to cross a new boundary to complete the collapse of commodification.

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Realms of legitimization are the moments and spaces of exchange in which creative works receive approval. Legitimization is a concept that exists because of the adversarial nature between artistic expression and commodity production. Artistic expression and more generally creation is meant to be free and serve a useful purpose which is the choice of the producer. The value of a creation is relative to its use. It is different with commodities which can only be used when the producer isn’t using it. Commodities require an exchange to be valuable. So in order for an alienated-creation (a commodity) to be legitimate it has to be sold. The only way something can be sold is if someone else wants it. So the producer has to not want it and someone else has to want it in order for a commodity to be valuable. What kinds of products are produced in this relationship? Chill, I want to cry at this moment. The product produced in this relationship is our concrete oppression.

Because of the concentration of wealth in the hands of capitalists and state institutions, they monopolize the power of legitimization. Legitimization will be obsolete when all people express themselves freely. A creation that pleases others will meet the expression of joy and comradery in return rather than a cash sum. Unfavorable creations will meet the expression of people taking it down (negation). Expressions are not meant to fit an ideal, but instead flow in the spirit of dialog which is different from legitimization, a one sided process controlled by the economy. In dialog, the producer and the product are reunited and freed from the commodity form. Creations no longer express the power of capitalists and institutions who monopolize the power of legitimization and hence the means of expression. Expression finds a new mediator apart from the realms of legitimization and is legitimized by the act itself.

Exchange is an expression of the commodity form. In school, ideas are often legitimized in forms that can be easily commodified. The lesson plan allows the school to effectively commodify the work and ideas of the instructor to be consumed by the student. The homework assignment represents another exchange between the student, an unwaged worker in the case of some and a sponsored employee in the case of some others, and the instructor who represents the institution indirectly because of the discretion they can take. In some cases instructors are willing to bend the rules and give a higher or lower grade or in other cases are more representative of the institution’s standards. Going back to those who are sponsored by the institution. Those who have scholarships and go on to conduct paid research have their ideas legitimized in papers, books, and lectures, which are all forms of commodified knowledge. Students who do not work in academia can still be legitimized by the same forms or they can choose other forms of documented knowledge.

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The realms of legitimization also create a void where the product (ideas) are separated from the producers (students but more generally the proletariat) and consumed by the institution to continue the factory style production of the university business. The institutions neglect the social practice of education or dialog and turn education into a long term bid (like a jail sentence) to mediocrity aka wage slavery. The expression of ideas in a fluid state among members of a community is a creative expression at the heart of transforming social relations. The thoughts and ideas of people are often not valued when they are not in the form of expert opinions because of the domination of the economic sector over all life. Expert opinion in this case means legitimized by the institution. The expertise of individuals should come from an experience that can be applied to the logic and values of the oppressed. Expertise builds on educational practice but does not give it ultimate power. Our (identifying with the oppressed) experts cannot come purely from the realm of exchange but from experience. The poverty of thought which may exist in communities comes from a poverty of life and should be listened to as the witness to an oppressed experience. I do not mean to reference poverty defined by the social disorder which defines poverty in terms of commodity accumulation. I mean poverty in its useful sense, which is a poverty detrimental to freedom and expression. Every expression must be looked at with careful scrutiny against the imposition of any predetermined ideal be it based on anarchism or anything. The true threat to our freedom is idealism and the wicked worlds it spins. Rather, a careful process of communication is necessary to name the world for the purpose of transforming it and for the power of legitimization to be in the hands of each individual not in the exclusive hands of the economy.

The fetishization of appearances replaces the real experience. Take online dating in one case: the experience of meeting someone and learning things about them is replaced by a simulated experience. The computer program gets to know us. It collects our pictures and other information, and mediates who we talk to and how we appear to them. The experience of meeting someone has always been dependent on the conditions of society. Never before has a society been so based on imagined realities found in the images of the processes of production. Our dependence on the simulation spontaneously created comes from the very productive forces which hold us captive. As long as we consider our lives separate from our work, we will be alienated from connection of the two. Because our work continues to be something alienated, our lives will be alienated which includes all our activities outside of work.

In your life, you must have gone through or witnessed a profound change in a relationship. Perhaps you did not know someone, and through the process of sharing moments with one another you grew an affinity towards them which is a bonding kind of love. Maybe that relationship becomes stronger and transforms into something more permanent. Or maybe in a different direction: you learn your wishes to live a free life come into conflict with the other person and you either adapt to theirs, agree on a mutual position, or break the bond altogether. This conflict occurs on a personal level when we battle between our repression and our desire. Our relationships on individual levels in society can be seen, for example, when we go to the grocery store or a restaurant, and carelessly eat food prepared or grown by people who we never communicate with or think about. Some might even have poor relationships with those who reproduce their living. It seems like going about life relating to other people in this completely disconnected way could be considered an alienated and therefore unhealthy relationship.

Alienated relationships seem to come from the adaptation to an agreement but not a mutual one. It is the adaptation to an overarching system that is not mutual but strictly imposed. Here we can move past the individual and the personal. Just like a relationship with a person can transform so can our relationship with capitalism and the state. An oppressive overarching system doesn’t have to be a reality. We can go from reluctant compliance to defiance and a strong effort to fix our social relationships. It can be changed to something consciously controlled instead of unconsciously controlling us. It can be an overarching system whose very order is harmony with disorder. A society of diverse self-sustaining communities connected on a global level would make it easier to maintain ourselves in the face of a decaying ecology and very large population. A central government apparatus is inefficient handling the problems of world wide catastrophe on the largest scale. Or even lesser matters like proper transportation or work conditions. We have seen bureaucracy collapse plenty of times and fall upon foundational communal structures to bring it back. It isn’t government and non-government agencies which save people from catastrophe, it is the people. We are the only ones keeping ourselves alive. Every community working on a local level and communicating internationally is the most efficient way to fix the problems. Each part doing their part.

Think about a life where instead of having to fit one ideal we can conceive of the possibility of no ideals. Instead, people would be free to mediate their own experience instead of it being mediated by a simulation backed by bureaucracy. The simulation of life <!–referenced by Guy Debord in Society of the Spectacle–>, is in the midst of crumbling before us. The possibilities we once took as impossible now make up the tragedies we shudder at. All the worst we could imagine has continued to happen. Despite the proliferation of images which spell progress, we see more people in prisons and detainment centers, more people fleeing from war, more regions engaged in combat against imperialism, more environmental catastrophe, more native displacement and so on.

 

The reality is not represented in the simulation. The simulation cannot find any base in reality and hence is crumbing before us. Reality is still the source of life not its negation, the simulation. Its cancerous hold on our social esteem gives it some legitimacy in the realm of exchange. But that is a realm steadily in decline with the steady decline of the conditions of actual life. Never before have the excesses of capitalism posed such a threat to life and now we find ourselves in an explosive moment of realization. The chance for a revolutionary moment is here. It is up to us to make it a revolution that is permanent. We must show the limits of the world (the possible impossibilities)<!–reference to book The Impossible Community–>, releasing our repression. And also show what it unbelievably is (impossible possibilities). But how do we show that limit and furthermore break it when so much of our resistance is coopted or destroyed and what survives is all dependent on taste? The taste of the patrons puts art and artists at the mercy of the market. Artists and other creators fight for survival and their art becomes a means to surplus.

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What is the relation between realms of legitimization and the fetishization of appearances? What is the relevance to a political artistic release? Realms of legitimization thrive through separation or alienation while the fetish of appearances is ideological. Although, the realms of legitimization are also ideological because they separate reality into parts to control potential outcomes of human behavior. The fetishization of appearences also relies on separation or alienation because it is the consumption of images and ideas separate from their realities. The two work together. Legitimization is inherent in the fetishization of appearances.

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**A few words here after talking about realms of legitimization and the fetishization of appearances to list some main ideas.

1) Capitalism’s expansion of the economic aspect of society. <!– Bookchin Post Sarcity Anarchism-→

2) Unity and separation ←-Society of the Spectacle-→

3) Production for the producer. This will play a crucial role in revolutionary practice.

I want to be a part of a political art movement that plays with the forms available freely and socially. A movement of hyper copying. Down with the planned exhibition. Enough of the gallery form. Goodbye to state approval. Our art will be in the streets; in fiber optic cables; on shopfronts. It will be ephemeral like the performance works of artists who escape the realm of legitimization in art galleries and the violence of the state by performing in public spaces←-reference Corpus Delecti by Coco Fusco–>.. Or graffiti artists who leave their mark in the dark. And memes which are a very effective method of social and political critique. Memes take the imagery of the excess of the economic sector and infuse it with new meaning. This method proliferates the spectacle in an accelerated way to accelerate its decay.

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The method relies on the simulation’s unreality. If the simulation’s unreality is emphasized, the experience of disbelief will also be widespread. Its footing in reality will be lost and it will dissolve. But the exposition of the unreality of the simulation must be coupled with the reality of the expression of our lives. The decay of the simulation will come from our freedom to play and participate. Make art for the experience. Make art to play with your friends… to show your enemy how we play and that their standards won’t curb your happiness. Make art for thinking, and make art for laughing. Make art for crying. Experience all your passions and emotions. Copy what you like and make it fly with the spirit of revolution. Copy what disgusts you and give it fangs to show everyone its sinistera. Expropriate pleasure. Take back life for the purpose of living. Unite the producers and the products.

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Politics are dead. It has grown mold and is infected with worms from prolonged death after bureaucratic alienation. With all the means of subversion and social revolution available to us politics are obsolete and what is left is pleasure or free play. A life for pleasure is the opposite of a lie in the imagination of our exploiters. When living for pleasure, one would not be able to ignore the exploitation of daily life. In the simulation, enjoyment becomes a duty of consumption rather than an art of a life where we live without selling our labor. Capitalism alienates our consumption from our production. Instead of enjoying our work and working for the fun of it, capitalism alienates us from our work and makes it something we dislike. It is separated from what we imagine we do for our own selfish needs as we enter into the relationship as consumers. As consumers we have no choice but to consume the alienated products of our production. The real freedom lies in deciding what is done in production.

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Alienated consumption is not pleasure. Pleasure must exist in struggle not in slavery. A life without struggle is a struggle without life. It is the struggle that we live in our capitalist society. True enjoyment is policed and put in cages. Laws prohibit all types of free play: graffiti, truancy, smoking, drinking, not paying for enjoyment or survival. Life should be for the producer not the products of the masters.

The alienation from revolutionary life is an epidemic. We organize to create a world according to the logic and values of the oppressed. To use a method that creates a separation from the everyday activities of life is to separate first ourselves (our life and our work) and just as disastrous our work and the communities meant to be impacted by the work. A solution has to be: to free our organizing from the economic sector and make the totality of everyday life the terrain for transformation. Revolutionary life has been bureaucratized, because of the limits on our imagination for organization from our miseducation, cooptation, and repression. Organization is easily crushed when it does not break from those limits imposed by interpolation from the state. Oppressive conditions exist in all of life not just in economics. The alienation, also, from realizing your group as the authentic community to transform social relationships exists when we pose the revolution as yet to happen. Adding the insistence on fighting to get to a revolution, so we can behave as though we have won. The revolution is already happening and will never stop. The conditions for revolution have been forming for many years and if they should ever stop we will be living in a state of oppression once again. The universe itself is chaotic and developing, why fight it?

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The corpse of politics has been sucked dry and everyday life cannot be ignored. Everyday life is the arena for political activity. Fuck organizing and take your affinity groups to the streets to find pleasure creating the community to end alienation.

We must fight boredom at all costs. Nothing we do can be boring. I find it too easy to lose spirits in the activities of organizing. Alienation sets into our lives and makes political activity into a side project. Fully immerse yourself in the life adventure of realizing a world without repressive apparatuses. Make our suffering into the motivation to found a way of life that aims to alleviate suffering. Make joy, fun, and experimentation with the forms which exist the new life to transition to new games and forms of play. Bring play to those who suffer more from our boredom and complacency. Give up the chains of institutionalized entertainment and create the theater of the streets. Turn conversation into the fuel of the fires to crumble the old world. Embrace revolutionary drama and the joy of everyday life. Make love with art and make life an art form itself. Just do it for fun and not for perfection. Perfection is in the act itself, not a standard for exploitation.

The time for organizing is done. It is time for disorganizing. Society has already been organized to its own demise, and to strengthen it objectively/ subjectively is to run faster towards your demise. Organizing runs stale with the ghosts of old traditions. The left has collapsed into the basement of history, only revived when we take a crawl into its depths. It is possible to jump ahead of the game turned against us. Lets point the finger fully at the evidence of resistance in our own lives. One day of our lives can provide enough evidence to arm a revolutionary moment. To arm each individual with the tools to their fulfillment will transform our society, which fetishizes organization, into a flux which embraces the power of disorganization or our own spontaneous capacities. An individual who trusts themselves to be responsible can create trust and responsibility in the world until all individuals form the foundation for a collective of cooperation. Not a utopia by any means, because calling any subjective reality ideal is totalitarian. To transform everyday life is to see that life without exploitation is an aim worth getting to NOW!

Scans of rad material by 1970’s CUNY student groups

Most of these scans are about anti-racist organizing on CUNY campuses in the 1970’s as well as organizing against tuition hikes and the end of free tuition at CUNY. These materials were scanned by a proletarian student at the Interference Archive in Brooklyn, NY.

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How can we apply our radical history to current student struggles? How have the issues of students in the 1970’s changed form or stayed the same?

Reflection on Alejandro De Acosta’s essay “A Funny Thought on a New Way to Play”

Link to the essay: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/alejandro-de-acosta-a-funny-thought-on-a-new-way-to-play

The subject of play has come up before when studying the methods of “Theatre of the Oppressed.”  In “Theatre of the Oppressed”, play is a way to know yourself through exercises practiced alone, with a partner and progressively with a group.  It is instrumental in the transformation of participants from spectators to actors. In our relationship with the state, our role in society is reduced to spectatorship.  We often participate passively in matters decided in advance by capitalist production.  In order to break out of passive participation in a process quickly leading to our extinction, we must develop the capabilities to actively participate in the social, economic and political structuring of our lives.  “Theater of the Oppressed” creates a living forum of experiences to be transformed in a playful setting.  But how can that playful, creative activity, so essential to the liberation of the spectator, be applied to our everyday lives?

Alejandro De Acosta has helped me start answering that question.  Acosta writes philosophically about the games which exist in our universe and in our society.  He writes about the differences between discreet games or unspoken games in which we all participate but do not create the rules; and games that are communicated– the rules of which are freely developed by all participants.  Acosta also writes about seriousness and how it leads to superstition, impeding free play and hence progress.  The essay ends with a kind of invitation to play.  Acosta writes, “This is my move, my position: nature or cosmos is the outside, unbounded in every sense. Which is perhaps how, playfully, we might have come to admit that nature also – and eminently – plays games. But if that kind of language is too abstract, turn to your lover and say, “this is a game.” Turn to your parents or children and say, “this is a game.” Turn to your friends and enemies and say, “this is a game.” Say silently to your self and any imaginary entities you discover in solitude, “this is a game.” See what happens next.” After reading this I find myself playing truthfully in situations where before I might have been more passive.  I can see more clearly the rules which I once followed subconsciously, and can visualize actions to change those rules which oppress me.  But my ability to play is still limited.  I have to build my capabilities alone, with a partner and progressively with a group.

What are your experiences with games, playing. or seriousness?  How do you think we can be free from spectatorship and become free actors?  What are your impressions of Acosta’s essay or this reflection?

Welcome Comrades!!

This is a blog devoted to the work of students taking action for a revolutionary transformation of the everyday life of all people.  The kind of transformations which take place will be chosen by the proletariat.  The bourgeoisie will have us believe only they can decide on the matters of our lives and that our ideas are only suggestions, for only they know what is truly right.  They have taken great care to employ the services of an entire state apparatus including but not limited to schools, churches, courts, and prisons to maintain control of our lives.  The life of the proletariat and hence the majority of human existence depends on our ability to organize against the forces of the bourgeoisie who depend on the tools of conquest to steal our lives effectively consuming us whole.  Education is one of our strongest tools in the collective project to liberate ourselves from all boundaries– primarily the current historical boundary we face which is the dominance of the bourgeoisie who manipulate us with false institutions of education.  In all class societies education has either been non existent for the proletariat or has been used to indoctrinate young people to perform a function once they are considered mature. To hell with their functions! The proletariat creates the entire world.  We hold it up on our backs for the capitalists to destroy. It is time to use education as a tool of liberation! In their game to enslave us the masters have dug their own grave.  The same institutions they use to try and alienate us are the same ones we will subvert to overcome alienation. As students we have practiced the different tools for our liberation: science, art and philosophy; and use them to create a revolutionary transformation for the benefit of all people with education as an essential part of freedom.  This blog is to breath life into our history, and to show our ideas, creations, and discoveries which bring us closer to one another and to victory!