A Very Mueller Valentine’s Day

Ukulele Challenge: Part III “A Very Mueller Valentine’s Day”

Who can turn the world on with one file?
Who can take an endless case and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it’s you, Bob, and you should know it
With each glance and every little news breaking moment
The truth is all around, no need to worry
Still I have to say, we wish you’d hurry
You’re gonna make it after all
You will convict him after all

(doo-doo-doo-doot-doo)

(Method 37)

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“Researchers used to say that no government can survive if just 5% of its population rose up against it, but what the research showed is that no single campaigns failed during the time period after they’d achieved the active sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population.” – Erica Chenoweth

Method 27: New Signs and Names

Before I move on to Method 27, two words:

Brandy Carlile.

61st Annual Grammy Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Feb 2019

Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (10095018ic) Brandi Carlile 61st Annual Grammy Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA – 10 Feb 2019

Carlile’s performance of “The Joke” at last night’s Grammy awards has been on repeat all day. It’s one of the most powerful, timely performances I’ve seen, and I just can’t get it out of my head. Watch the performance.

They come to kick dirt in your face
To call you weak and then displace you
After carrying your baby on your back across the desert
I saw your eyes behind your hair
And you’re looking tired, but you don’t look scared

Artists are leading the revolution.

Method 27: New Signs and Names

IMG_5203Method 27 can take many forms, but the approach is to take signs that have been used against people and to turn them into something new. The signs can be repurposed, they can disappear or be replaced with something new.

When I was researching this method, I came across today’s LA Times, “Last of iconic illegal immigration crossing signs has vanished in California.” After years of debate, the last of 10 yellow “immigrants crossing” signs that once stood on either side of the 5 and 805 freeways near the U.S.-Mexico border disappeared. The department of transportation stopped making the signs and constructed fences to prevent people from crossing highways instead. (See slideshow, below.)

Method 27 was used in 1942 in occupied Poland by a group of young resistors who called themselves “The Little Wolves.” They stole the signs reading “Nur Für Deutsche” (FOR GERMANS ONLY), signs that were posted in front of Warsaw’s best cafes, hotels and theaters. One morning, hundreds of the signs reappeared on city’s lamp posts and trees where the Germans often hung Polish patriots. Overnight, street signs, placards and inscriptions throughout the city were replaced with the names of the heroes of the revolution.

I featured the artist Banksy in Method 26: “Paint as Protest,” and he’s back again today. A warning that the images in the slideshow below are triggering, but they end on a note we can all live by. I recommend listening to Brandi Carlile as you watch. [Listen.]

Let ’em live while they can
Let ’em spin, let ’em scatter in the wind
I have been to the movies, I’ve seen how it ends
And the joke’s on them.

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“Researchers used to say that no government can survive if just 5% of its population rose up against it, but what the research showed is that no single campaigns failed during the time period after they’d achieved the active sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population.” – Erica Chenoweth

Method 26: Paint as Protest

Tuesday night’s State of the Union was a gorgeous example of the effectiveness of Nonviolent Method 18. The sea of Congresswomen in white couldn’t be overlooked – not by the viewing audience and especially not from the podium.

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The rest of the SOTU caused me to flip between CNN and old episodes of Survivor after my partner asked, “Are you really going to curse at the screen every fifteen seconds?” (Answer: “F*&K YES … the likes of which has never been seen!!!”)

Former CIA Director John Brennan, a frequent critic of 45, said this of the State of the Union address: “I think Donald Trump raised to a new level,” he said, “the demagoguery, the hyperbole, the chauvinism, and even the misrepresentation on a lot of the issues, including on the foreign policy and national security front.”

For more on how how the rhetoric of dictators can bring down democracies, check out this article.

Method 26: Paint as Protest

Paint as a tool of nonviolent resistance can take many forms – as graffiti, on buildings, walls, or bodies, or symbols drawn on official portraits. In August 2017, graffiti resembling the work of the illusive artist Banksy appeared on Israel’s security barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

In June 2018, six new murals appeared in Paris to protest the French government’s anti-refugee policies. The first image in the slideshow below depicts a young girl spraying a pink wallpaper pattern over a swastika on a wall next to her sleeping bag and teddy bear in an attempt to make her patch of pavement more homelike.

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Art historian Paul Ardenne said it does not matter if the murals are by Banksy, but they do “show that the Banksy effect, and its ability to manipulate the media, works.”

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“Researchers used to say that no government can survive if just 5% of its population rose up against it, but what the research showed is that no single campaigns failed during the time period after they’d achieved the active sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population.” – Erica Chenoweth

What’s on my Nightstand: January 2019

Nonfiction

Riot Days, by Maria Alyokhina

Brazil, by Elizabeth Bishop and LIFE Magazine (1962)

Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution, by Ben Fountain

From Dictatorship to Democracy, Gene Sharp *

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel A. van der Volk

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, by Jose Antonio Vargas

* NOTE: on Wednesday, January 31, Gene Sharp passed away peacefully in his home at the age of 90. Professor Sharp is the author of the research and works that sparked the 3.5% Project.

 

Fiction

Florida, by Lauren Groff

 

Short Fiction

“Death Constant Beyond Love,” by Gabriel García Márquez

“Cream,” Haruki Murakami

 

Poetry

Elizabeth Bishop, The Complete Poems: 1927 – 1979

“Resignation,” by Nikki Giovanni

“Knots,” by RD Laing

“Good Bones,” by Maggie Smith

 

Journal

Granta

The Paris Review, No. 227, Winter 2018

 

Essay / Interview / OpEd

“The Quiet American,” by Janine Di Giovanni, The New York Times

The Racist, Homophobic Attack on Jussie Smollett Is Far-Right America’s Endgame, by Joshua Rivera, GQ Magazine

“The Thread: Fatherless,” by Marissa Korbel, The Rumpus

“Teaching my daughter that love is love,” by Vanessa Martir, The Washington Post

“The Radicalization of Bedtime Stories,” by Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic

 

Catalogue

Mt. Airy Learning Tree Winter 2019 Course Catalogue

 

Magazine / Newspaper

Lesbian Connection: free to lesbians worldwide, but the suggested donation is $7/issue (more if you can, less if you can’t), January/February 2019 issue

The New Yorker

The Week

 

Random

HURRAW! moonbalm

worry stone, glass

Mexican tile (coaster)

Pixel computer glasses

Smith’s Rosebud Salve

 

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Method 25: Displays of Portraits

I need you to know about Marielle Franco.

On March 14, 2018, the Brazilian LGBT and human rights activist was assassinated  in what many believe was a targeted political attack. After leaving a public meeting, two cars followed the councilwoman’s car, pulled up behind, and shot her through the window.

Ten months later, her murderer has not been found.

Crimes like these increase in places where the divisions around race, class, gender and sexual orientation are stigmatized. There is little hope that the police investigation of Franco’s homicide will continue, because on October 28, 2018, far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro was elected president. This is a man who said that if his son was acting “gayzinho” (a little gay), he would beat him.

This is the man who has been called “The Trump of the Tropics.”

trumptweet.png

In his victory speech, Bolsonaro said he was a “defender of freedom” who would run a government that protected citizens who “follow their duties and respect the laws.” In the months leading up to his election, Brazil saw a surge in hate crimes.

In the US, hate crimes are up by 17%, rising for the third consecutive year.

Daily, our rights are being taken away, the impact of global warming on our environment is mocked, and our people are under attack.

This is what happens under dictatorships.

This is why I’m blogging these methods.

I’m doing it because they work.

And we need need to start using them.

Last month, Marielle Franco’s fiance and partner of 13 years was interviewed by The Guardian for the short film below. “The scenario is very dramatic. In Brazil, our society has a very racist way of looking at things, and it tends to criminalize those who are black or poor.” – Monica Benicio, The Guardian

marielle-996x515

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“Researchers used to say that no government can survive if just 5% of its population rose up against it, but what the research showed is that no single campaigns failed during the time period after they’d achieved the active sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population.” – Erica Chenoweth

Method 24: Symbolic Lights

“I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government. (applause) I want to thank our federal workers and their families … you are fantastic people, you are incredible patriots. Many of you have suffered more than anyone but your families would ever understand…

Again, I thank you. All Americans, I thank you. You are very, very special people. I am so proud that you are citizens of our country. When I say Make America Great Again, it could never be done without you. Great people.” – President Donald J. Trump, February 25, 2019

And with those eloquent words, the 36-day partial shutdown of the federal government is on a 3-week hiatus.

I was about to suggest #shutofftheshutdown –  nonviolent method 24 recommends the symbolic use of lights as statement of resistance. Imagine 11 million people flashing their headlights for the same twenty minutes every day. Or 3.5% of the population gathered outside of the White House every night at 8 pm as a way to say enough?

In 3 weeks, we still may need to do that.

Before I move on to #MuellerFriday, this video gives a very small glimpse of the impact that this standoff has had on the families of the roughly 800,000 federal workers who missed 2 paychecks. I doubt any of them are celebrating tonight – they spent the last month struggling to pay mortgages, credit card bills, and rent. The administration says the checks will be in the mail within the next 3 days.

See my favorite use of symbolic lights in recent history on Instagram.

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“Researchers used to say that no government can survive if just 5% of its population rose up against it, but what the research showed is that no single campaigns failed during the time period after they’d achieved the active sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population.” – Erica Chenoweth

explaining pussyhats to my mother

Since when are heartbreak, sadness, and anger political? Always. Retro post from the first Women’s March, “Explaining pussyhats to my mother.”

LeighHereNow

The morning after the Women’s March on Washington, Mom and I set up a date to talk over our experiences – mine in Philadelphia, and her march of 200 people in her rural Arizona town 40 minutes north of the wall in Mexico.

“So can we talk about the hats?” Mom asked over Skype. “My friends and I are trying to understand, but can you explain? In my generation – that word – I don’t think I even knew that word, I mean,well, it’s just so … it’s not a word I would ever say in that way. My friends agree that none of us would ever use it.” She looked at her hands. “That word makes me so uncomfortable.”

We went on to talk about the message behind the sea of pink. What it means to reclaim power over the things that make us angry and uncomfortable. What it means…

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