May 2007

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Now, I don’t know you, or your intentions, but I would like to ask you to please at least let me know who you are. If you are a student or a community member, I’d appreciate the transparency. If you are a staff member, I think you have a basic responsibility to let me know.
So, please, who are you? How’d you find my blog? Any chance you want to share why you’re pointing my boss to my blog, and not telling me, or telling her who you are? Don’t worry, I won’t retaliate or anything. I am worried, but mostly curious.
I deliberately do not mention where I work or the names of my colleagues specifically because I want to be able to talk openly with my close people about my life and work, without being disrespectful of others. Now, I’ve had friends tell me that with my recent posts about work that I’ve crossed a line and I should censor myself. So be it, that’s what I’ve done. Now I know why that was a good idea.
Hope to find out who you are, and if you have a problem with me, I hope we can at least talk about it more openly,

Jeremy

Well, as you can imagine I’ve been busy in my personal life, and I haven’t updated the blog in a little while.

In the meantime, however, I have been keeping up with current events, and I have been especially intrigued by how closely U.S. mainstream media is following the situation in Venezuela regarding the decision to not renew the broadcasting license of RCTV (think of a network like NBC, and the government deciding to not renew its license at the expiration date), and to replace the channel with a new public broadcasting channel called TVes. RCTV was one of the biggest media opponents of Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution, they were involved in the coup in 2002, among other things, and lately there have been major protests over this issue, and on Sunday there were violent demonstrations that left both protesters and police injured.

Things are heating up down there, as is coverage in U.S. media, and I want to analyze it a bit…but no today. I just got home from work and I’m tired. But I do want to encourage folks to visit venezuelaanalysis.com to catch up on your own. This situation could turn out to be significant.

I support the government’s decision in this case, and following the discourse about plans for the new channel has actually been quite inspiring. Just imagine one of the big capitalist networks losing public airwaves and those airwaves being given to independent, participatory, community media (that is, this will be independent public media, not state media). That’s something I could get being. These public airwaves networks are essentially examples of corporate welfar anyway, in my view.

More later.

A few little thoughts about my announcement…

Hey folks,

I’ve received some really interesting feedback from a few folks about my “big announcement,” and I want to write about two pieces of it here…maybe more later.

First, there was concern expressed about posting such an intense, personal letter as Glendi’s on a public blog. That perhaps this is something I should share more carefully, with my close people, rather than just anyone who comes along. I’ve been thinking about this, and I want to talk with Glendi more about it (as soon as the phone card works again!), but for now I’m going to pull the letter from the writings section, and just email it out to those who email me and ask to see it. For now, anyway.

A second piece that I’ve gotten from a number of people is some concern about the tone of my letter, as if I’m coming out with armor on, ready for our relationship to be attacked, and so I’m bringing out my talking points. This is more or less accurate feedback. I feel extremely vulnerable talking about my relationship in general and this decision in particular with people. Somewhat with my family, but definitely in political circles. This is complicated, because there are many, many levels to it, but mainly because I know that our relationship is complicated, and because I know that it is easy to go from thinking something’s complicated to thinking that it’s problematic…and then to go from that to thinking its fucked up…and then going from questioning silently to shit-talking publicly…. I have been an activist for 11 years now. There are sketchy interpersonal dynamics across all communities, including activist communities, and so yeah, in making this more public beyond certain close circles, I kind of came out erring on the side of caution, just wanting to get my reasons and my thinking out there. You should have seen my rough draft…way more thorough and intense!

Bottom line, I have worried that people, even people who I care about, won’t trust us enough to be able to do this with care and intentionality. I have worried that people would talk behind my back and even spread rumors (and some crazy rumors HAVE been spread). These things have run through my imagination too many times, and so, yeah, maybe there is some attitude in my letter as if I’m anticipating a fight.

But the wonderful thing is that so far people have come back with concerned feedback, but also with love and support, and with an understanding that I really am trying to be careful about this…perhaps even too careful. I can take that, I can hear that. I’m also prepared to hear more feedback of all sorts.

All my love,

Jeremy

To all of my family and friends,
To all of the people who I love so very, very much,

I’ve got a really big announcement for you.

This summer, my partner, Glendi Susana Aguilar Lorenzo, is coming from her country of Guatemala to the United States, in order to live here with me.

We are engaged to be married.

Now, I imagine that this is a shock to most of you—and for some of you, not so much—and so in this letter I want to share with you first about our story and then about our plans, so that you can better understand and support us in this major change in our lives.

So, pretty please:

-Read through this letter (especially the part at the end with our plans and what we need from you in terms of support)

-Then, find some time to read the letter that Glendi has written to you (in the writings section). It’s actually a collection of 13 emails that I’ve translated from Spanish and edited, with her guidance and a double-checking of the translation by my friend, Isaura…thanks Isaura!

-Then visit here to see some photos!

All of this is quite a chunk of reading. I’m sorry for that, but that’s how it is, and I hope that you’ll make the time to read through it.

———————-
The Story, As I’ve Experienced It
———————-

I met Glendi in the summer of 2005, just two years ago, when I was studying Spanish in Guatemala. She was (and is) a teacher in La Escuela de la Montaña (The Mountain School), where I studied for just three weeks. We would chat a little between classes, and then she became my teacher for a week, and out of that we developed a good rapport. When I returned to the United States, through emails and phone calls this rapport turned into a friendship, and then about three months later into a more serious long-distance relationship. In those months, I had fallen for her, and she had fallen for me.

For quite a while, however, I was scared of my feelings and of our connection. One reason was the fact that my previous partner of four years, Briana, and I had just transitioned into being friends, and I didn’t want to move too quickly into anything new. A much larger reason, though, was the fact that Glendi and I are coming from such very different places, and I was worried that those differences—and especially the power dynamics that come with them—would make a long-term relationship impossible. I am an urban, middle-class white North American, Glendi is a rural, Indigenous Guatemalan from a poor, farm-worker family. My primary language is English, hers, Spanish. I am a strong atheist, she is a deeply faithful, though liberal, Protestant Christian (she calls herself evangelical, but it should be noted that this means something different in Guatemala than in the U.S.). I am a dedicated radical activist, and she is very sympathetic and is definitely lefty, but has never considered herself an activist. Moreover, I knew that if our relationship were to be real and sustainable, Glendi would have to be able to travel freely between the United States and Guatemala, and that would probably require marriage, which is a legal/religious institution that, to this day, I do not politically or ethically believe in. I had never imagined myself in such a complicated situation, I certainly hadn’t looked for it, and frankly it was freaking me out.

Yet talking on the phone and writing emails every day, the connection we had was undeniable. The openness, warmth and humor that we shared and that grew between us made it a safe place to talk about all of our differences, to analyze them and feel them, without feeling a need to push away from or reject each other. We decided to take a risk and hold on, with open eyes, yes, but also with open hearts.

And so we have held on, not only through almost two years of daily emails and phone calls, but also through 3 more trips to Guatemala, with me spending about 2 ½ months living with Glendi and her family, and through discussions of the relationship not only with my close people but also with her closest people. In all of this we have faced some real struggles, primarily related to cultural differences around dating and family, and we have processed through these struggles in ways that have strengthened our relationship and that have built intimacy, but which also have required compromises from both of us.

One of the most fundamental compromises is the very subject of this letter: our decision to get married.

For those of you in my family, I don’t want to freak you out or offend you, but I do not generally believe in the institution of marriage. I believe deeply in committed relationships, but for political reasons, historical reasons, ethical reasons, and just plain personal reasons, I do not support the institution of marriage (though of course I support people’s rights to choose to get married, including couples of the same sex/gender). Glendi, and especially her close-knit family, are not in the same place. Neither is U.S. immigration law. For these and other reasons, the decision to become engaged with Glendi has been a long, hard decision to make…a decision that, especially for reasons of the U.S. border, has been weighing on us from day one.

I am not going to detail all of our discussions and deliberations here. There is simply not room in this letter to outline the emotional and logical paths that we have followed to come to this point. If you email me or call me and ask, I will surely talk with you about it, but for now, I do want you to know just a few things:

• I love Glendi tremendously. Tremendously. I am committed to her and I am excited about building a family with her, a family that has strong, deep connections with our existing families, friends, and also with our extended activist “families” as well. Though our decision to get married has been confined and structured by U.S. law, this is no kind of “green card” marriage. Our commitment is much deeper than that.

• Our marriage, however, will not be completely conventional. We are going to share between us all of the traditional “husband/wife” marriage roles like cleaning, cooking, childcare, working, etc. ; we’re also going to prefer the term “partners” to “husband and wife;” we’re going to try something creative regarding the whole changing last names thing; we’re going to have a very non-traditional, non-religious “ceremony of commitment” in the U.S. (and something more traditional in Guatemala); and we are definitely going to work to stay connected with our communities, friends, and families so that we don’t get too isolated into our own little nuclear family unit.

• I have a strong relationship with Glendi’s family, and though I do not agree with all of their beliefs and traditions, I have tried to build my relationship with Glendi in a way that has been open to and respectful of where she and her loved ones are coming from. This has sometimes meant things like traveling to Guatemala to ask her parents’ permission to enter the house (which is a Guatemalan tradition), or traveling to meet all of her aunts and uncles…and it will also mean an eventual traditional-style wedding in Guatemala, in her family’s church.

• So far, our relationship has grown in a Guatemalan, Spanish-speaking context…in Glendi’s context. Now we are taking a major step towards strengthening our relationship in my context…the United States. Seattle. We think and discuss constantly about what this means in terms of greatly shifting power dynamics, of her experiences as an immigrant, as an English-learner, as a poor woman of color, and so much more. We also recognize the sad possibility that, despite our will to commit, our relationship might not be able to survive all of the challenges this transition throws at us…but we hope so much that this isn’t true! I take my own responsibilities very seriously in all of these regards, and we hope that you also will do what you can to support her and us (even if that means lovingly holding me accountable for mistakes sometimes). Please read Glendi’s letter and finish this letter to get a sense of the support that we are asking for.

• Even with our current plans to live in the U.S., our relationship is founded on a long-term commitment to share our lives in both of our countries. This means that probably within the next three years we will be moving together to Guatemala, to live near Glendi’s family. We are planning on moving back and forth periodically throughout our lives, and the life of our family, and this will very much depend on circumstances. I just want you to have a heads-up about this, and also to know that I will take my responsibilities as a North-American living in Guatemala very seriously, as well.

There is much, much more that I could say. There are many stories to tell (about Glendi’s family, her culture, our relationship, the VISA process, etc.), and I hope that you will stick with us and hang out with us so that you can hear these stories directly from our mouths!

I imagine that some of you are worried, skeptical, questioning, and I want you to know that I support you in those feelings. It shows that you care about Glendi’s well-being and my own. At the same time, we need you to put some trust in us that we know what we are doing, and what we are getting into, and we need you to know that your loving support and welcoming attitude toward Glendi are crucially important, even with any lingering doubts that you may hold.

I love you, and I look forward to further discussing this amazing new stage of my life with you as it develops. But for now, let’s move on to the actual plan!

———————-
The Plan
———————-

June 22: I leave for Guatemala, where I will spend a week with Glendi’s family as she says her “see you laters” and gets ready to come to the United States for the first time.

June 30: We fly together from Guatemala to Houston, where she will go through customs, and then we will fly to Seattle, arriving at night. This will be her first time in a plane, we’ve got seats together (of course), and any strategies you might be able to offer a first-time flyer might be helpful! We will stay one night in a hotel near the airport, to relax, get our bearings, and save her first real view of Washington for the daytime.

July 1: We will drive to Bellingham, where my parents live, and we will spend a week there. Glendi will give my family Spanish lessons (a great way to balance the power dynamics and allow us North Americans to feel some of the vulnerability that she will be feeling for a long time), we will cook and explore all together as a family.

July 8 or so: We will return to Seattle, where we are going to live together in the basement “apartment” of my cooperative house, alongside 5 other wonderful people. This way, Glendi will be able to be welcomed right in to my political and social community, she will be less isolated and less dependent on me alone (once again, helping to balance power dynamics), and both of us will be less isolated as a couple. Once again, Spanish lessons are offered to everyone in the house (but thankfully some already speak it)!

At some point in the three months of her visa: We will get officially, legally married, with no fanfare and the minimum number of witnesses (not even family) necessary. This is just the official part.

Sunday, August 12: We will have a non-religious, very non-traditional, and bi-lingual “ceremony of commitment and partnership,” probably outdoors. I am very excited about it!
ALL OF YOU who have received this ARE WARMLY INVITED, but I do need to make two points: 1) Because of the stress and newness of her first few months in the U.S., Glendi and I need to be able to focus on each other and make this event very casual…which means that we can’t take logistical responsibility for any of you who wish to come from out of town…so if you come (and you are invited!) you may need to coordinate it through my parents, or on your own. 2) Since this will be our kind of ceremony, which will uphold our values and the values of my community, this will be an event that is welcoming to all of my queer, lesbian, gay, and transgender friends and their partners. I want them to be safe and free to express themselves and have fun, and so if sharing this kind of space with my friends will make you so uncomfortable that you are unable to participate happily, then I want to give you a heads-up that this event might not be a good idea for you.
Please let me or my mom know ASAP if you are planning on coming to this.

August 13-20 or so: Glendi and I will fly to Alaska, to celebrate with my Alaska family and to explore the places where I was born and grew up. Ondras, Kochs, Brewsters: this also means that it’s okay if you can’t make it down for the ceremony.

August 20 until Glendi receives her permanent residency or at least permission to return to Guatemala: We will just focus on building our lives together, while Glendi prepares to start her business as a private Spanish teacher (waiting for a green card), and I will be working and possibly pursuing a Master’s degree in teaching.

When Glendi can travel back to Guatemala (hopefully by December): We will return to Guatemala, with my family, where we will have a more traditional Guatemalan wedding in Glendi’s church and with Glendi’s family and friends. If you are really interested in coming down to Guatemala for this, please let me know ASAP.

For the next 3 years or so: We will live primarily in the U.S., traveling when we can to Guatemala. We will be focusing on saving money and paying off my college debt, so that…

In the future: We will build a small house on a small piece of land near her family’s community, where we will live some years in Guatemala, some in the United States…we clearly don’t know the actual breakdown of how it will work yet.

———————-
How You Can Support Us
———————-

Of course, you can support us emotionally by writing to us (Glendi’s email address is aguilarlorenzo_3@hotmail.com) with love and best wishes, and by trying to make it to our August celebration (please RSVP ASAP), and by being at our sides in good times and bad.

But also, because I have chosen a career path of important social justice work that pays very little, and because Glendi will be moving from a situation of being the breadwinner of her large family to being unemployed until she gets her green card (anywhere from 3-6 or more months), we actually can use your financial support as well.

In sort of a surprise move, the Bush administration announced a doubling of immigration fees, and we are not sure how this is going to affect our budget, and with our need to support ourselves, plus the need to support Glendi’s 12 person family in Guatemala, plus staying on top of my debts, and also trying to save for the return to Guatemala, your financial help can make a huge difference. We will have no wedding registry, but if between now and the August ceremony you would be able to make us a donation, we will really, really appreciate it.

My address is 1643 S. King St., Seattle, WA 98144

Also, if you know anyone in the Seattle area or in King County who might be interested in paying for private Spanish lessons from an excellent professional teacher from a highly regarded Spanish school, Glendi’s classes will be available for a reasonable rate when she has a green card, but until then she is up for trading English lessons for Spanish lessons, groceries for lessons, or other fair barter/trade kinds of things. Please let us know, and when Glendi has a website, we’ll send it out to you.

Thank you so much for reading through this whole thing, for being in my life all of these years, and for continuing to be in my life and now in Glendi’s life for many years to come!

I love you,

Jeremy

Big Stuff Coming…

For a little while I’ve been hinting at opening up about some rather big stuff that I haven’t yet discussed on this blog…for a variety of reasons.

Well, things are getting to a point where I’m ready to change that situation. So just sit tight and check back on this blog in the next few days.

I hope you’re well, and things are flowing okay in your lives. My life is okay right now. The big staff meeting is tomorrow, supposedly. But I don’t believe anything anymore. I’m just going to show up, speak when asked to speak, and see what happens. I’ve already been saying my goodbyes to students.

Until soon, much love to each of you.

Over the last few days, Guatemalan presidential candidate Rigoberta Menchú and her political alliance have begun to discuss their plans for Guatemala, should they win. However, they are saying that they won’t officially announcement their programs and plans until next week.

What they have hinted at, though, is pretty interesting in my opinion. Crucially, they are calling for constitutional reform, including the possible convocation of a constitutional assembly, to “build a new republic.” While possibly not as ambitious as Evo, Correa, or Chávez, it is an interesting parallel.

Further, they discuss guaranteeing indigenous political participation and gender equality in political parties, regulating property, reforming the intelligence services (notorious in their brutality) to come under democratic control, redefining the role of the military, fighting corruption and crime, reforming the economy and tax system, and more and more and more.

As of like two weeks ago, Menchú was in 4th place with only like 5%, but the most popular, Alvaro Colom, only has like 25%, and the campaigns only officially started last week. The majority of Guatemalans are indigenous, and so if Menchú can energize indigenous communities, I think she could possibly have a shot at second place, thus being a part of the second round, against Colom. This would be really interesting, with Guatemala facing a turn even slightly leftward for the first time in half a century.

Guatemala doesn’t have the kind of social movement strength that Ecuador or Bolivia had in electing their presidents. It is very much still a traumatized society, from everything I’ve observed and read. So maybe there just won’t be a strong lefty government there for a long time. But even a non-corrupt social democratic government, which can build even basic civil institutions (like a tax system, a real justice system, school systems, health care, etc.) would be a massive improvement. I do think that Colom’s center-left UNE is corrupt, but they also have a very strong infrastructure and they can also possibly win a lot of congressional strength, so I don’t think even their win would be so, so bad. At least they could get some institutional functionality out of it.

I’ll write in more detail about the campaign and compare the candidates as things build. But for now I’m just glad that ambitious language like “new republic” and “constitutional assembly” are being discussed. People in Guatemala don’t trust the system. That’s why talking about going beyond or outside the system is refreshing to me…and hopefully will be refreshing to the indigenous base. But the deeper question is, do indigenous Guatemalans trust Menchú or think she’s a sell out, and do they believe in her electability enough to vote for her instead of Colom (who also has his base amongst indigenous people)?

In the writings section I’ve just uploaded a college reflection paper, in which I wrote about an INCITE! event I had attended back in 2005 (in New Orleans, before Katrina…), but more broadly about the perspective that I had about INCITE! as an organization at that time.

I wanted to share this with folks because on this blog, but even more in emailing with some blog readers, I’ve been thinking a lot about questions of identity-based politics and identity-based spaces within revolutionary politics. I do not think that the INCITE! paper reflects all of my current thinking about either the organization or the larger questions, but I do think it is provocative.

In our class the other day we were having a discussion about the N-word and who is allowed to say it, and who isn’t. In the class, some of our students showed a clip from a documentary called “The N-Word,” and in it Chris Rock makes an observation about how white people are often so intent on their right to say it, precisely BECAUSE it is the one thing that white people are not allowed to say. I think the point holds so much truth, and I think it’s just one example of entitlement around privilege (think also about men demanding, every year, to march in some Take Back The Night! marches…I know that it’s different from the N-word, especially thinking about trans folks and about male survivors of sexual violence, but among some males I think there is an entitlement thing going on around the demand to march). I recognized then in writing the piece and now still that entitlement plays a part in my own reflections on INCITE!, but I really do think my thinking and feelings go deeper than that in this case. I genuinely want to be a part of a large revolutionary organization with deep, complex anti-authoritarian politics. I believe my radical work would be so much stronger if it was linked in a structure with other like minded folks. It makes me sad that I don’t have that kind of group right now.

I have a right to that sadness, while I also have the responsibility to join with folks to do something about it…

…which means MARCHING INTO INCITE! MEETINGS AND DEMANDING THAT THEY LET ME JOIN!!! SI SE PUEDE, SI SE PUEDE!!!…

…no, of course not. It means organizing with other anti-racist white folks, other feminist men, etc…to try to build supporting radical structures that are actually worth the time and energy of groups like INCITE! to work with us. The burden is on the privileged to build new organizing structures, and to transcend old, unworkable models of “allyship” and “solidarity.”

…Which is something I’ll be blogging further about in coming days. In the meantime, check out the piece in the writing section.

PS Had another staff meeting today. Things are still a big mess. All bets are off. The decision has been postponed until next Tuesday. I’m so sick of waiting…I’m just moving forward as if we don’t have a job there, and maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s more important to work with the students and help them build their initiative and structures until the end of the year. And so that’s what we’ll keep doing.

Meanwhile, in Bolivia…

I just read this article and it just showed me how little I know about what is happening in Bolivia.

Before Evo was elected, I was following the Bolivian movements daily, but then I kind of shifted gears and just looked for what Evo and his government have been doing, with less attention to the movements. That is, I shifted my attention up the hierarchy. This was a mistake, and now I feel very disconnected from the changes being made in that country. This is especially sad because of the uniquely indigenous characteristics of Bolivia and its movements, which are important in themselves, but which are also important for one of the other Latin American countries with a majority indigenous population: Guatemala.

The idea of de-constructing and re-constructing a country away from 500 year old colonial roots is a massive one. I imagine that the debates happening in Bolivia are really profound and rich. The problem is that unlike with Venezuela, I don’t know what the good websites are. Perhaps I need to do some research.

A little bit of self-censorship.

I’ve received a little bit of advice from a net-savvy friend of mine that maybe I should be careful about my “blog identity.” That is, I should be careful about how much I talk about my job, people I work with, etc.

I think he’s right. People do find this site in their google searches sometimes. And although I don’t think I’m saying much that I wouldn’t say to anyone’s face at the school, I think I do want to be more careful.

So, I’m going to keep updating occasionally about the job, but more cautiously. And maybe I’ll end up making some of my previous posts unavailable to the public. Not sure yet.

Please comment here if you think differently. Thanks to all who are reading!

WTF?!

Today, after lunch ended, the principal came into our office, with all of us standing there awkwardly, and she said:

“I just want to tell you that I want you two here. We need you two here. And I want you to know that I’m going to find the money. It may only be part time, but we will do what we can. I’m going to take the budget home over the weekend and find the money.”

She also apologized for her insensitivity and hurtful comments in a past staff meeting, she acknowledged her use of power to try to frame reality, and told us that yesterday’s emergency student/staff meeting was powerful…and she left saying, “So, before I just walked in, were you two organizing to overthrow me on this?”

No, we weren’t. But the students were planning some things. They had refined their walkout plans and messaging, and they were getting ready to go…the campus has been buzzing.

And they still are going to do something, but now it is a much more toned-down lunch forum about the future of student voice at the school. They’ve made new fliers. None of us are giving up, because having funding doesn’t mean that we get the kind of work we want. This is just the opening of the conversation.

What a weird place to work. A low-income high school that two years ago was totally traditional and has now become a national darling as an example of a successful conversion of a large campus into 3 small schools…an institution that is in an active state of transformation, and where very marginalized young people are finding themselves in new positions of activism and leadership around all sorts of issues…seriously, my head is just spinning and I’m in shock. What is this place?! This job is so hard to read. Every year we keep pushing and pushing, and they eventually give in…it’s like: when is this power structure actually going to stop us, because in four years it hasn’t yet. It’s kind of disconcerting.

It was almost easier just to see the principal in her power role…Briana and I were just staring at each other, like: “What happened to her? What got to her? What do we do now?” It was almost easier having all the drama…more familiar.

We’ll see, huh? There’s still the lunch forum and the staff vote on Tuesday. I’ll update as it seems valuable.

Last week, Rafael Correa, the president of ecuador gave a brief and hastily organized press conference in which he spoke out strongly against the actions of his brother, Fabricio, to create a new “Correaist” organization, called the RCD movement (citizens democratic revolution…but also Rafael Correa’s initials). This organization was organized in support of the president, with aims of participating in the constitutional assembly, but the president called it ridiculous and absurd, saying that the revolution needs to be based not on family ties and personalities, and not a cult of personality, but in the power of the people.

He repeated in a variety of ways about the need for unity and not dividing into new groups, as well as his rejection of the cult of personality, and his rejection of tying Ecuador’s “magical moment” up with his personality or that of his family, or with an organization, or with the government, insisting instead that Ecuador’s moment should be seen as a time for the people, once the people have awoken. He has also specifically said that he doesn’t want to hear anyone calling themselves “Correistas.” Hmmm….interesting.

I have said many times that I like this guy. Now I like him even more. Similar strategies and politics and bravery as Chavez, but very different stylistically, and I think it will have implications for the future.

But I should note something else interesting here, and that is the class differences between Correa and Chavez. Correa is Univeristy of Chicago educated, middle class. Chavez is a working-class ex-soldier. Correa’s style seems different, more moderated, more…well…middle class. Whereas Chavez speaks in a much more working class style…which can actually draw some comparisons with George W. Bush, style-wise…at least in that he is speaking to his base and not to the intelligentsia (although I don’t think Chavez is faking it). I enjoy listening to Chavez speak, because he packs a hell of a lot of substance into all of his speeches (he always seems to have a book ready to pick up and talk about…like it’s an episode of Reading Rainbow or something…I’ve never seen any other world leader do that), but his style can also be really annoying to me, and I want to think some more about why that is. It definitely irks me and my anarchist tendencies, but there is more going on than that, I’m sure.

But still, this press conference by Correa really interested me, although I’d bet there is some other stuff going on behind the scenes with his brother. Only time will tell.

Should I stay or should I go?

This’ll be funny coming off the heels of my last post, but I just got word today that I’ve been accepted into the Master in Teaching program at The Evergreen State College.

It’s flattering of course, to have the opportunity to go grad school to eventually be a teacher, but all my thinking and reading and experiences, as shown in the last post, are just really telling me that this is not a bargain that I should be trying to make with the system. I have other things I could be doing.

But I will admit that I’m not sure yet. Teaching public high school is way different from joining the academy. Yet it is still working for the state, and choosing to spend the vast majority of one’s active energies within a more or less structurally limited institution. The good thing is that I won’t even hear about financial aid/scholarships until mid-June, so I have a long while to decide. In the mean time, I have many other things going on in my life that I have to think about, and write about soon enough.

Also, you should go here and watch the newest PBS Frontline, a history of the Mormons. Fascinating stuff. Really got me thinking a lot about how faith works…it simply isn’t rational, it just isn’t. And as much as I try to understand religious people (including my Christian partner, Glendi) with my intellect, I can’t. I can’t cross that gap of faith that they have. Now, maybe I do cross it in my own ways (for instance, believing that revolution is possible), but I can’t cross it in their ways…I just find myself shaking my head and being perplexed. Doesn’t mean that I can’t respect faithful people in many ways, because I can. But there are just certain ways that I can’t understand them. But I am fascinated.

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi