Last Friday we decided to drop everything to drive 5 hours out into the desert and see the Super Bloom that is happening right now in California. Thousands of other people did the same, which meant there was no place for us to stay so we had to sleep in our car in a mall parking lot out in the middle of nowhere. Which we did, because fuck it. it was totally worth it. And yes, I’m 42 years old. That photo above is one I took during the weekend. If you follow me on instagram you already saw it.
The whole meme of punching Nazis keeps getting play with endless hand wringing about the implications and ethics of said punching. I keep meaning to write something about it but then I realize that I should just link to this article that Darien wrote called Punching Nazis totally works again. I grew up with Darien in Florida. I lived through and saw first hand most of what he talks about in this piece and that experience most certainly impacts my view of things today. Is everyone being called a Nazi these days an actual Nazi? No. Are some of the people denying they are Nazis in fact Nazis? Yes. Should you just go out and punch anyone you don’t agree with? No. Should you punch Nazis? There’s worse ways to spend an afternoon.
I think a lot of the hemming and hawing can be tied to “unprovoked attacks” and such, though I genuinely believe that’s a matter of perspective. Few would argue that if you are being attacked you have the right to defend yourself, so the question then lies with who is attacking who, and when. As well as where the attack is coming from. If Person A convinces Person B to attack Person C, who then - ethically - does Person C have the right to fight back against? Some would argue only Person B, but others would see the folly in this noting that Person B is just the pawn and endlessly replaceable, and for the attacks to stop it’s really Person A who should received the return fire. This is armies attack government buildings and not just the other soldiers within reach, and why if you want to clean a polluted stream you go to the source and stop the pollution. If you think “Well that Nazi didn’t punch you, punching him is unprovoked aggression” then I would suggest you might be missing the larger perspective and context. Punching Nazis (or advocating in favor of such fisticuffs) isn’t starting a fight, it’s recognizing that a fight is ongoing and deciding that you can no longer stand on the sidelines and watch. Again, if you haven’t yet, read Darien’s article. And maybe also Fight Club.
In the latest episode of Radiolab which happens to be about police shootings, they talk to the sheriff of West Palm Beach, Florida and he notes that his best officers are ex-military because they know how to remain calm and focused during intense situations, and are trained in de-escalation, conversely the younger recruit more and more often have never been in a fist fight and so the moment things get at all harry they are pulling their guns and freaking out. There’s obviously no way you can mandate that everyone gets punched in the face a few times, but there’s no question that anyone who has looks at things a little differently.
Speaking of police shootings, if you think you know what happened with Mike Brown and Darren Wilson you are probably wrong. And the officer who killed Eric Garner had a long history of assaults and complaints that the NYPD have been trying to hide. Perhaps related, liberals are getting more comfortable with guns.
This is the most important page in the new CIA info dump. A vegetarian diet is more paleo than you thought, but from my vegan perspective still kinda just half assing it. I really liked Derek’s post about thinking like a bronze medalist, as well as this interview with Sean where he responded with photos. I stumbled across the droney noise project Amulets the other day and have everything I’ve listened to. I thought “This is a cool new project, I’ll buy the album!” only to find there are like 35 albums or something overwhelming like that which made me feel super out of touch but then I reread Derek’s piece and realized that some people are just better at shipping shit while others keep things held back, and to that end I went ahead and took some of the noise tracks I’ve sheepishly put up on soundcloud and turned them into proper EP releases on bandcamp. I’ll hype that better later, but if you are still reading then you get a sneak peak.
My friend Esraa is a fearless, sleepless activist and a force to be reckoned with, and the other day her family’s home was burned to the ground, destroying everything they have. It’s a horrific story, and some of us are chipping in to help her and her family out. I never ask you to give money to people, so you know if I’m doing it now it’s justified. This is worthwhile.
US CBP searched more devices of people coming into the USA in February 2017 then the entire year of 2015. I’m basically done traveling with devices at this point, it’s insane. I want a cheap tablet that I can load movies on for the plane, and a 3g dumb phone that I can throw my SIM into and text people with. I don’t have either of those things yet, but once I do that’s the only thing I’m traveling with. If you have recommendations let me know.