4- Resist native genocide

By Jane Stillwater

I recently toured the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian.  These two museums are both very similar — and also very different.

The U.S. Holocaust Museum is devoted to chronicling the genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany — and this museum rightfully reminds us that genocide is a bad thing.  One of the exhibits that moved me to tears was commemorating the heroic Jewish resistance fighters.  They risked their lives fighting fascism.  Many of them were tortured and murdered.

Then I moved on to the American Indian Museum — same story there.  Genocide on a grand scale.  Millions of Native Americans murdered in cold blood.  But there was one big difference between the two museums.  When the Jews fought back against the evil Nazis, they were called resistance fighters and heroes.  But when the Natives fought back against genocidal attacks by Americans, they were given no place of honor in the American Indian Museum.  They were not considered heroes.  In fact, they were barely mentioned at all.

There was only a very small collage-type thingie in a back corner of the fourth floor of the museum that mentioned a few Native “activists” and the 1973 protest at Wounded Knee.  Custer’s last stand was mentioned.  And there was just one mention in passing about the American Indian Movement — but nothing at all about Leonard Peltier, the resistance fighter who defended his people from a deadly FBI attack and who is now serving his 44th year of a life sentence in some lonely Florida prison for a crime that he didn’t commit.

There is another kind of genocide going on in America today — or should I say “femicide”.  It is shamefully easy for a non-Native person to enter a Native reservation and then murder or rape or kidnap a Native woman or child — and get away with it because tribal police on American Indian reservations have no jurisdiction to arrest non-Natives.

While I was at the American Indian Museum, I suddenly found myself in the tragic midst of the REDress Project — dozens of empty red dresses, swaying tragically in the wind and rain, symbolizing the thousands of raped, maimed, murdered and disappeared Native women on reservations across America.  Something like 86% of these crimes have been committed by non-natives.

At a symposium entitled “Safety for Our Sisters” held at the museum, we learned that almost half of Native women have been abused or raped or disappeared. “It’s actually closer to 87%” said one speaker. Native women have become an endangered species — and meanwhile many politicians are too busy reveling in a sick and addictive love affair with Walls and Wars to notice.

The grim history of these many centuries of violence and genocide against Native Americans continues today, as White Americans continue to value money and greed and power over any kind of humanity or love of fellow human beings.  The Jewish Holocaust lasted a decade, but the Native American genocide is still going on today.

We can wallow in the sense that America is morally doomed, or we can take a page from the Jewish and Native resistance fighters and resist. Resist injustice. Resist corporate greed. Resist colonialism. Resist bigotry.

For centuries it was mainly American Indians who suffered from genocide by colonialists — but now it is the entire world facing extinction by corporate America’s bottomless greed.

Isn’t it time for all of us to start righting these horrendous wrongs?  Let’s join our Indigenous brothers and sisters in seeking justice!

Jane Stillwater is a child of the 60s living in cooperative housing in Berkeley. She blogs at jpstillwater.blogspot.com.

4- Divest from ecocide

By Hayley

The UN has warned that we have twelve years to limit the catastrophic impacts of climate change, and climate change isn’t the only threat.  We are also facing massive species die offs, the oceans are becoming too acidic to support life, and ecological harm is being caused by everything from concrete to deforestation to unsustainable farming practices.

Capitalism has us locked in a death march, with our collective labor being steered towards making the planet uninhabitable.  Individual lifestyle changes are important, but they simply aren’t enough to reverse the direction we’re going in, and time is running out. It is time to get brave, get public, and to start working for massive changes in the way we do things. A mere 100 companies are responsible for 71% of carbon emissions. It is time to re-imagine our financial landscape so that it becomes impossible for these mega-polluters to exist.  It’s time for a nationwide divestment movement!

A key factor fueling ecological destruction is that people are getting paid to do it. The equation is simple: Cut the funds, cut the destruction.

A 2018 report by Rain Forest Action Network shows how top banks are dumping obscene amounts of money into planet-killing activities. Wells Fargo, for instance, invested more than $4.6 billion in fossil fuels between 2015 and 2017. In response, cities like Seattle and Davis have pulled all city funds from Wells Fargo, and a number of groups have also been demonstrating in front of Wells Fargo to draw attention to its role in funding ecological destruction.

At this point, all of the major banks are putting money into ecocide, which is why it’s vital to make sure you aren’t banking with any of them. Close your account today! But also, if you have a 401k, that money might be invested without your knowledge in climate-killing funds, and likewise, your city, school, or workplace might have it’s money caught up in ecological destruction.

Recently, an online tool was developed to help you figure out if you have money accidentally invested in fossil fuels. Here’s the link: fossilfreefunds.org  Try it now!  Seriously, check your own funds, your workplace’s, and your city’s.  It’s time to get all funds out of ecological destruction.

Divestment is a huge step in taking away the power of the planet-killing industries. But this needs to go beyond a boycott. We need an alternative system.

That’s why we also need to break up the mega banks, and replace them with publicly-owned banks. In 2018, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would break up any bank with total exposure greater than 3% of the US Economy.  While this bill didn’t pass, it’s a great vision in terms of setting our sights on the next steps. But breaking up mega-banks is just the start. We also need public banks — banks that are owned and controlled by the people rather than corporate shareholders.

In North Dakota, there has been a public bank since 1919, showing us that it’s possible to have a bank owned by the people. The Bank of North Dakota earns a profit for the state, generating public funds that contribute to education, disaster relief, and infrastructure projects. While BND isn’t divested from climate chaos, it at least shows us that it’s possible to create a successful public bank.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, public banking activists have been laying the groundwork to create the East Bay Public Bank, a publicly-owned bank with the explicit mission to never invest in ecocide.  Currently, a new law, AB857, is being drafted in the California Legislature that will set things in place for public banking in California.

Simply having publicly-owned banks isn’t enough: we also have to make sure there is a clear mission to never invest in ecological destruction. Credit Unions can also be a good option to do your banking, as long as they are divested from ecocide.

We have just a few years left to course-correct our society so that the global change in temperature will be 1.5°C instead of much worse, and we’ve already killed off 60% of the planet’s species since 1970. Working to prevent ecological collapse means rethinking our society at every level, and building better ways to bank is a part of the solution. We need to think fast and act smart. Cut off the funds that fuel ecocide and de-pave the way for the planet’s ecological future.

You can learn more about the Bay Area project to create the nation’s first eco-friendly public bank at publicbankeastbay.org.

3- Identity crisis

By Rachelle Hughes

Am I white? I acknowledge my privilege as a white passing person, but I am still hesitant to classify myself as such. My late mother was British and Caucasian, but my father is Persian, and even though I identify as Middle Eastern, the ‘Ethnicity’ section on every single official document I’ve ever encountered seems to want to pigeonhole me into a white identity I am not fully comfortable with. So what am I? Am I white? And regardless of whether or not I am, why am I so uncomfortable with this label?
I’ve been conflicted about my racial identity ever since I learned of the complexities of racial privilege in the United States and what being a person of color really means. Middle Easterners are often boxed into the “white” category, but the term P.O.C. represents the racial groups that are not dominant in this country and that struggle under its existing systems of racial privilege and hierarchy. Now, faced with this definition, I can do nothing else but conclude that Middle Easterners are undeniably a group that falls into the P.O.C. category.
The fact that some Persians and Mid-Easterners still assert their “whiteness” is evidence enough of how badly we are treated when we are not white. When we cannot pass ourselves off as such. Rampant Islamophobia after the 9/11 attacks has led to an increasingly contagious level of hatred towards Middle Eastern people in the United States (ive seen “MUSLIMS GET OUT” sharpied onto the back of a street sign). When I remember how intense this hatred can be, I remember how privileged I am to be white passing. But recognition of my privilege often comes with guilt as I ask myself: “What makes me more worthy of respect than non white-passing Middle Easterners?” I would gladly renounce this privilege if it meant I could help other people fight its existence in our society, but all things aside, it is a relief and a blessing to be able to slip under the radar of racists, or to have a common, English first name that doesn’t prompt suspicious glances and whispered jokes from my classmates whenever it is called out for roll. I often take these little things for granted, and that is why I am scared of assuming a white identity.
I am scared of assuming a white identity because I am scared of becoming complicit in a system of oppression that is pitted against people just like me and my father. By calling myself white, I would be reinforcing the notion that it is shameful to be anything contrary to the white norm in our society—that it is “better to be white.” I also refuse to call myself something that I am not. I am Persian. My whole life was spent around my Persian father’s Persian acquaintances— I belong to no other ethnic culture. An African-American person who has one white parent and one black parent can still identify as African-American, so why can’t I identify as Middle Eastern? I am fervently proud of my Persian heritage and feel like it represents me strongly. I refuse to back down against society telling me to be anything except what I am. I will not bend to a racist will; I will fight it. I am Persian. I am of mixed Middle Eastern descent. I will fight for my identity. In the words of the Iranian-Americans who stood up against the ethnic misidentification of Middle Easterners in the 2010 U.S. National Census, “Check it right, I ain’t white.”

3- Peadalution – biking as a radical act and climate solution

By Jesse D. Palmer

Let me start by saying that I love to ride my bike. When I think about the climate crisis — that human extinction is now on the line if humans don’t immediately and dramatically decarbonize and otherwise reduce our foot print — one of the first things I think the universe will miss if humans go extinct is the bicycle. Bikes could be the greatest human invention — simple, efficient, powerful and yet still fun, humble and human scale. Our technology may be the thing that destroys our species, but bikes are one of the tools that empower individuals and communities and free us to reach our full potential.

So it is fitting that bikes have a role in the grassroots resistance that is building against sleepwalking off a climate cliff. We have run out of time waiting for governments and corporations to decarbonize. If humans stay on our current unsustainable course — where everything we do day-to-day degrades the earth — we’ll soon cross climate tipping points, and rapid ecological change will be out of our hands. There’s a slim chance that if we quickly reverse ecological damage, we can save ourselves, and what’s lacking is massive political, cultural and social will. We need urgency, speed and collective action. The price of inaction must be constant and overwhelming resistance and disorder in the streets.

The Friday For Future student climate strikes inspired by Greta Thunberg is just the type of disruptive action that can help as it expands and diversifies so that it’s not just students but everyone refusing to sit idly by while our house is on fire.

One small piece of raising the cost of climate inaction could be rush hour mass bike rides — a fun and legal way to tie up traffic and block business as usual with a clear message: if you keep destroying the world, we’ll shut you down. In California and most other places it is legal to ride your bike on the street, but because bikes are slower than cars, just a small group of legally moving bikes function like a mobile freeway accident. Traffic is already stressed at rush hour and a small hiccup can tie up the commute big time.

In the 1990s I was involved in huge Critical Mass bike rides that happened Friday nights during rush hour. They weren’t (and aren’t) protests — CM has no demands, no leaders and no meetings. Because big bike rides are so disruptive and because just daring to ride a bike in a car dominated world puts you so far outside the mainstream and at odds with the powers that be, Critical Mass at its heyday was more effective than any protest bike advocates could have organized.

Riding your bike with a big leaderless group is fun. Not knowing who is in charge or what is going to happen next is a rare experience in our pre-programmed lives. Humans yearn for excitement, spontaneity, and the sense of community that exists on a CM ride when everyone can talk to anyone and individuals takes responsibility for the whole. Rides have music and costumes and a few simple tips help make it work: the people in front shouldn’t ride so fast that it gets spread out and cars get into the mass. If you’re in front its up to you to select a good route to avoid going in circles.

Some bike advocates hate Critical Mass because it is unruly and can antagonize drivers, cops and city officials. But chaos works — there’s plenty of reason to credit CM in the 1990s and early 2000s with increasing pressure to improve bike infrastructure.

Around the Bay Area, Critical Mass still exists in San Francisco on the last Friday of each month at 6 at Justin Herman Plaza. But it has dwindled in numbers and social weight and no longer exists at all in many other cities. Locally, CM has mostly been replaced with Bike Party: huge, fun and diverse bike rides that happen well after rush hour, on a pre-planned route, with rules of conduct and a division of labor between leaders and participants. I get that Bike Party is organized to avoid disruption and conflict with cars so it can be just a fun bike ride, and that’s fine.

But its really time to reclaim Critical Mass or better yet, something with a new name that uses the basic tactic of a rush hour, mass disruptive ride, but goes beyond CM’s (reasonable) refusal to unify around an articulate political goal other than “we like to ride our bikes” and “bikes are good.”

Bikes are good and it’s great that there are better bike lanes and bike parking some places. In the 1990s, us “critical massholes” were aware of climate change but it wasn’t clear that it was an existential threat. It wasn’t clear that no matter how bike friendly cities might get, there’s no bike commuting on a dead planet.

Do we call it Friday Bike for Future or Climate Mass or is there a better name you can think up? Climate bike rides can be a leaderless movement but with a clear political message: massive action is needed to decarbonize and the status quo is unacceptable.

Protest tactics that are also fun and that build community are win-win-win situations — they help avoid burnout because they add joy as opposed to actions that feel like a grim, boring duty. To really increase political pressure, movements need to grow exponentially and be infectious by self-creating their own energy and having tactics that automatically attract new members.

Right now youth-led groups like the Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion and others are figuring out how to raise the stakes. Many of these activists weren’t born during CM’s heyday so its useful to share tactics that worked.

During street protests groups often get pushed onto the sidewalk or to a less visible location by police — largely to avoid disrupting traffic. A bike contingent with just a few dozen people can out-flank police lines. Bike groups are mobile, swift and so long as they are moving in traffic they’re usually legal.

It all goes back to bikes being special. When you ride you’re almost flying, you’re in balance. Bikes don’t need a sign. Emissions-free, healthy, and joyful is part of a future worth having, or at least worth struggling for.

2- DJ Captain Fred aka Paul Griffin 1955-2019

By DJ Rubble

I am saddened and shocked to have heard a few weeks ago – word of mouth from Berkeley Liberation Radio (BLR) collective members – that DJ Captain Fred (aka Paul Griffin) died suddenly on February 21 from a heart attack. I’d just exchanged E-mails with him a couple of weeks earlier about donating cheap used equipment to the station to help keep it operating, and had collaborated with him over the past half year to get audio from several Save People’s Park rally/concerts onto the BLR playlists, which still broadcast over the internet. None of us I spoke with had any knowledge that he was dealing with any type of life-threatening health issues.

Media activist insiders knew Captain Fred to have a unique set of skills and abilities vital to this type of ultra-low-budget, anti-corporate, DIY broadcasting. Some station background is important in understanding his unique contributions. Free Radio Berkeley was started in the early 90’s by founder Steven Dunifer, as a voice for the rapidly growing homeless population which had no “voice” in the corporate media. The station went on the airwaves at 104.1 FM without a broadcasting license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – the government agency which oversees the airwaves – as an act of civil disobedience. The station re-launched and continued on as Berkeley Liberation Radio sometime around the turn of the century.

As these types of smaller signal range stations proliferated, they came to be known as “Low Power FM” (LPFM), and “micro-radio” and were embroiled in legalistic battles over who really owns and who has the right to the airwaves. The FCC has considered this broadcasting illegal and has worked to force these stations off the air, including with armed raids and draconian personal “illegal broadcasting” fines to individuals involved. Industry lobbying arm the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has worked hand-in-hand with the FCC on this, to continue to limit airwaves access to multi-million dollar corporations with the express goal of maximizing profit with repetitive “cookie-cutter” content.

BLR runs under a broad set of anarchist-oriented values shared by many of us. The fiercely DIY approach resulted in a much longer on-again, off-again tenure on air than other unlicensed stations, many which tried and failed at more conventional radio strategies, such as reforming the FCC process and obtaining institutional funding. BLR’s all-volunteer collective has never had traditional hierarchies, such as station managers, security guards, or administrators on which to dump the continuing set of structural and interpersonal issues that always arise on.

BLR operates on a self-funded shoe-string budget, demonstrating that quality radio can be produced for as little as hundreds of dollars monthly, mostly for rent. Equipment is inexpensive, mostly used and donated. Virtually anyone who applied for a DJ slot was given a chance to broadcast, including those who never have broadcast before, with very little restriction on content beyond guidelines in the mission statement. Political and social content has always been grassroots and a welcome alternative to monolithic corporate-driven perspectives.

Captain Fred moved to the Bay Area from New York in 1979 after finishing college with a goal of being a rock musician. He spent the rest of his life in the East Bay. Along the way, he developed and combined skills as a musician with an array of technical abilities much needed for both music and radio. He played in various bands playing various types of music. His radio shows reflected the always increasing range of musical styles he enjoyed.

He has been active with the station virtually throughout its existence. He became a member in 1993, when he launched his well-regarded Saturday evening radio show, “Captain Fred’s World Cruise”, which he continued broadcasting right up to his untimely death. He was well known in the Bay Area micro-radio community as far back as the turn of the century for the syndicated version of “Captain Fred’s World Cruise”. Before the explosion of MP3’s and other computerized transmittals, he would produce and send out self-produced CD’s with playlists of the independent music played on the show to other local LPFM stations.. These were really valuable to stations not always able to have a live broadcaster or show producer in the studio or buy slickly produced materials.

In this context, Captain Fred’s skills and contributions were immense. He was extremely tech savvy, constantly able to obtain, connect, replace and repair cheap or donated equipment to help keep the broadcasts coming as consistently as possible. He also had a relatively high level of mechanical skills, useful for having to install and move transmitters and equipment in and out of new often temporary broadcast locations, as the station spent several decades evading repressive scrutiny of the FCC and NAB and unaffordable commercial rents.

He worked in Steven Dunifer’s workshop which served as catalyst for LPFM stations worldwide, creating and selling radio start-up kits that cost probably less than $1,000 to people who wanted to create their own small radio stations.

He was great at configuring the internet stream — also donated — and uploading a vast array of music and political talk so that the station could operate 24-hours daily, often without a live DJ.

He always seemed to be available to help people individually and share his knowledge. For years, he used his weekly show time as a training site for new DJs and for others – myself included – who needed updated skills and resources. Recently, he used the time to load free activist audio shows into the shuffler so that listeners can hear much about the political issues and perspectives that need to be heard.

He and several other long-term collective members often took on the thankless tasks of resolving personal/interpersonal problems among members, and working towards important due process-oriented decisions in often contentious staff meetings. He was heavily involved in political strategy-making. He had a lot of skill and patience with people, and could also be refreshingly direct. He had a lively sense of humor and laid back persona, with a seemingly endless stream of comical stories about the often bizarre situations collective members were embroiled in.

His skill and contributions will be sorely missed, and hopefully long remembered and valued by many.

7- Alternative families – parenting on the verge of extinction

By Jesse D. Palmer

Becoming a dad has been one of life’s great adventures — something I hope other people can share. Yet I’m not surprised that so many people are going on birth strike — deciding not to have kids in response to the climate crisis. There is so much being lost so quickly and so much to grieve. Sometimes my partner and I lie in bed after my daughter has gone to sleep and wonder if we did the right thing bringing a child into the world.

I love my daughter more than anything I can think of. My feelings about her are powerful and magical. Being a dad is complex, intense and meaningful — it can be hard to explain or describe to people who don’t have kids.

Parenting in the middle of our world’s current ecological and social collapse is also a complex and intense feeling, but less pleasant. My main job as a parent is to protect my daughter from harm and it is painfully obvious that I am failing. We know that anything like continuing the status quo — billions of people relying on massive fossil fuel combustion and an array of other unsustainable practices to meet our basic needs — is causing ecological collapse that threatens to cause a near-term, massive human die-off, if not our extinction.

Yet as the floods, storms, fires and crop failures increase, the current political / economic / cultural system is failing to take any meaningful action to change course. To have a chance, the scale of response has to be equal to the scale of the problem, which means global and huge — unprecedented in human history — the way rapid climate change is global, huge and unprecedented.

This article isn’t focused on doom and gloom. We’re all numb. Fear isn’t spurring change, it’s just making people withdraw, give up, go into denial, or chase illusory fake solutions rather than do the obvious: massively reduce and change consumption right now on both a systemic and personal level.

I want to offer alternatives that aren’t just about survival and hardship but offer options for more joy, more community with others and a more meaningful existence. This isn’t because I am denying the crisis or trying to change the subject. Rather, my hunch is that the types of changes we so desperately need will require more meaningful, connected and joyful lives — we can’t survive without them.

The climate / ecological crisis is a crisis of concentration of power in too few hands. Those in power use consumerism, mass-media, social isolation and instant techno gratification to maintain control and domination. When we smash short-term disposable fossil fuel dependence, we’ll also end up smashing boredom, loneliness, powerlessness, separation of the mind from the heart and separation of human beings from the rest of nature.

When I heard that my Slingshot comrade Isabel was going to get her tubes tied, I understood and respected what she was going to do, but I also felt a sense of grief about it. I really like Isabel and I want the best for her — a life full of all the experiences she might want to have. I wondered if deciding to get sterilized at 23 years old was closing a door she would regret but I grasp not wanting to bring more kids into this mess. Not only is this a reasonable, ethical and caring thing to do, but if enough people did it, it could possibly help avert the worst forms of ecological breakdown.

It’s politically correct to say that population is unrelated to human ecological overreach, but I’m unconvinced that human population can keep growing infinitely on a finite planet. In any case, people in developed countries use dramatically more resources per capita than most of the world’s people — the richest 10% of the world’s population emits 1/2 of the CO2 according to an Oxfam report. So if people in the US and other developed countries have less children, it makes a difference. While its obvious that individuals can’t address a global crisis with individual consumer choices, it is also a mistake to dismiss individual action as irrelevant to the type of all-hands on deck societal effort necessary to address the scale of the climate crisis.

There are plenty of cultural norms about what constitutes a “good life” that structure individual decisions on a mass scale that can’t be changed by the government or corporations. If billions of people shift cultural expectations, those changes can add up to huge changes in resource consumption.

So I want to promote a cultural shift around children and parenting away from nuclear families raising multiple children and towards larger groups of people raising fewer children. Raising kids is one of life’s key experiences — it connects you with the circle of life, your parents and ancestors, and other people across time and around the world. I have grown and learned a lot from being a dad and from my daughter.

But one shouldn’t have to have their own child to share in these intense experiences. For biological parents, having more people participate in childrearing reduces the overwhelming workload parents face. Parents end up too busy to even ask for or organize help… Non-parents who take on a significant role in childrearing get something meaningful. And raising kids as a group builds community, distributes joy and reduces isolation and loneliness.

This isn’t just theory — this is happening. For the last six years my partner and I have been raising our daughter in a big collective house. Right now there’s one other kid and his single mom, plus three other adults — 6 adults and 2 kids in a house. Sometimes we call the kids “ziblings” which means they aren’t siblings, but at particular moments they relate like siblings, mitigating the concern some parents have about having an only-child. The kids — without us even suggesting this — started calling each other “my sister” and “my brother” and they play together a lot. Living with another kid has been important for socialization — learning how to share and relate to others. I think the kids also have a more complex relationship with adults since they live with 6 adults rather than the more-typical 1 or 2. The kids have more varied role models and can relate to adults on a more equal basis.

Raising kids like this is an on-going experiment for us and like anything, it’s not always perfect. It can be complex to figure out how to resolve different opinions about how things work, and feelings about raising kids can be particularly intense. At our house meetings we have an agenda item where the parents talk about issues they are having with the other parents, the non-parents talk about the parents and the kids, and the parents talk about the non-parents. But most house issues get talked out over dinner since we eat together 5-6 times a week. With 8 or more people at most dinners — we have a lot of guests — the kids invented the idea of saying “dinner announce” so they can have a turn in the conversation. It’s one of my favorite moments of the day.

The non-parents didn’t sign up to be parents, so they aren’t responsible for childcare duties in our house, but that doesn’t mean they don’t relate to or spend time with the kids, pick up a lot of chore slack or deal with plenty of kid chaos. Because we have more people living in the house, there’s more opportunities for fun and flexibility. If a particular person doesn’t want to do something, probably someone else will. If some people go on vacation there’s always someone staying behind who can water the plants. Living like this saves some resources since more people share tools, utensils, etc. And whereas cooking dinner almost every night might not make sense with a nuclear family, cooking-time per meal served is lower the more people sitting around the table.

Our house has been going for over 20 years and very close connections have grown up between us. I cannot imagine living with just a partner and children. It is easy to see how group childrearing could be the normal way things are done, rather than something unusual the way it is now, because this is a lower-resource adaption that adds to our lives rather than something we have to give up.

I’m aware of several other groups helping to raise kids up and down the West Coast. There are other group houses like mine that host one or two kids. My friend’s son who was raised at a notorious punk house is now 17 years old and a teenaged friend has moved in. I recently ran across a compound with 2 houses, 4 living units, 9 adults raising a whole lot of kids who share expenses equally even though different members occupy different amounts of space. It’s a form of income-sharing.

A few friends are raising kids in cohousing communities in which the parents and kids have their own apartment, but there is a lot of sharing and interaction with neighbors like a village. Adults pick up kids who aren’t theirs from school. My friends’ kid plays with the neighbor’s dog and gardens with an older childless couple. Common spaces are inhabited by unrelated kids.

Another community I’m close to involved 4 couples living in 4 cottages on a big old farm raising 6 kids. They have a main house where they share some meals and when the kids were little, they all ran around in a pack. Sean, who is an adult now, reflected “It certainly worked for me, and for the kids I grew up with. We benefited from a healthy example of co-operative living that we can now model in a productive way having moved on from that community. Having grown up in a dynamic community, we have a stronger intuition for how to nurture healthy community. I’ve come across many young adults who had less positive experiences in similar circumstances and this emphasizes that no matter what the situation, the health of the relationships matters most.”

In addition to shifting norms about how kids are raised, norms can shift about how many kids parents have — moving towards a voluntary “one child” expectation. When I was growing up in the 1970s, the middle-American “ideal” / “normal” family size was 2 or more kids. These cultural norms structure the way the world looks and can all be changed, just as coal-fire power plants can be replaced with solar panels and windmills. Often I speak with parents who have one kid who feel they should have another so their first kid doesn’t get lonely — isn’t an only child. This is tied into the suburban ideal for raising children — a nuclear family made up of a mom and dad (or two moms or two dads) and kids living in a house. How quaint. And how potentially lonely and limiting and isolating!

In calling for new values around kids as a way of discussing human population, we need to acknowledge the ugly history of racist and colonial population policies imposed on non-whites — particularly involuntary sterilization and immigration restrictions. Increasingly white supremacists are pushing “replacement theory” and urging whites to have more children.

Changing social norms is a voluntary process and the best population control measure is education, equal rights for women and widespread access to contraception and abortion. My hope is that changing norms about raising kids go along with a decline in the patriarchy, hetero-normativity, monogamy and other oppressive standards — because the dominance of the nuclear family ideal carries with it a lot of outdated baggage. As the idea of the family is re-defined and made more collective, my hope is that each of us can be free to take on the roles that suit us so each of us can reach our full potential, rather than being forced into a limited number of socially pre-defined boxes.

Some people are going to keep having kids and the reason I started this article by saying how much I enjoy being a parent is to clarify that I want a world that supports kids and parents better than the world we’re in now. Some people are also not going to want kids for a variety of reasons and the world should support and honor that decision, too. Concluding that you can’t have kids because the world is doomed and your kids would face a hopeless future isn’t the way it should work.

Spread over millions of people, cultural changes can meaningfully reduce ecological impact — bending trend-lines from increasing population using more resources, to lower populations using less resources.

The status quo, on the other hand, isn’t an option. Once natural feedback loops are triggered — perhaps in the next few years — ecological collapse will be self-sustaining and out of our hands. By then, it will be too late to reduce emissions — it won’t matter anymore.

I take my daughter to elementary school a few days a week and I can’t help standing in the playground looking at all the energetic, beautiful children and wondering if they are already the doomed walking dead. Will they reach adulthood, or will they be cut down by famine and wars over migration and water? Are oil company profits really worth it? Do we really need to continue living just like we’ve been living up until now — with so many clothes, so much plastic, such powerful corporations, so many flights, so many cars — so much?

But really, the way we live now is not normal for human beings — we’ve only been burning fossil fuels for a few generations and before that, humans lived just fine for thousands of years without all the stuff we currently see as necessary. The nuclear family is also a very recent development tied to the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism. For most of human history and still to this day in many world cultures, children are raised by larger groups — extended family or villages. Let’s not maintain oppressive family structures but rather build new norms around collective childrearing.

Parents spend loads of time trying to keep kids safe. It’s time we face up to the overwhelming dangers we’re facing and come together to try to survive and even thrive in community on this lovely world.

2- Introduction to Slingshot issue 129

Slingshot is an independent radical newspaper published in Berkeley since 1988.

Slingshot layout weekend coincided with a concert to celebrate People’s Park 50th anniversary — we wish we could have made it.

Recently, Oakland teachers went on strike for 7 days and won well-deserved pay raises. But because of the way funding is set up, the school board then voted to cut $21 million from libraries, youth case managers, and restorative justice as a way to pay for the raises. Maybe instead of a teachers strike we need a general strike to seize some of the wealth hoarded by the 1% and use it to educate kids in Oakland.

The Bay Area is becoming unlivable in bizarre ways. One Slingshot collective member lives on a boat because of skyrocketing rents. As we were writing this, their bicycle fell into the San Francisco Bay. After a friend with a wetsuit helped pull the bike out, they almost got run over by an Uber driver before finally making it to the Slingshot loft. Whew! Plus there are so many hippies staying in the living room that one has to make out in a Tesla.

Thanks for those who responded to our survey in the last issue — everyone who wrote in was excited about print media which warms our analog hearts.

Last year, the Long Haul felt rather dead, but now it seems lively, with lots of events happening and people coming in during open hours. It feels like people are getting out and getting involved! This issue saw lots of energy, with new friends and old participating.

At the same time, as we have a gathering of energy around Slingshot and other groups we are involved in, we also feel mired in interpersonal friction and conflict. Even within our affinity groups, not everyone shares similar opinions. It’s important to focus on why we are here. We have to be willing to step outside our comfort zones to work constructively with people we don’t personally get along well with while also being gentle with ourselves and admitting that it is hard.

The collective sometimes wonders if anyone actually reads Slingshot. Recently, someone traveled to California from NYC to get involved in a direct action they read about in Slingshot – they have since moved into our squat and are a dear comrade. Slingshot is a door that you can open leading to a bunch of awesome, life-changing, radical stuff – the places on the radical contact list are each benevolent black holes that — once you enter — can consume you in the best way! Join us wherever you are — plug into the wingnut-verse!

Last issue was themed around climate chaos and ways to respond to it, and the collective envisions every issue being similarly themed from here on out. We still welcome submissions about a variety of subjects.

Slingshot is always looking for new writers, artists, editors, photographers, translators, distributors, and critical thinkers to make this paper. If you send an article, please be open to editing.

We’re a collective, but not all the articles reflect the opinions of all collective members. We welcome debate and constructive criticism.

Thanks to the people who made this: CJ, Chaya, Dov, eggplant, Elke, Eric, Fred, Hannah, Ingrid, Isabel, Jesse, Karen, Korvin, Mark, Rachelle, Stuart, Talia and all the authors and artists!

Slingshot New Volunteer Meeting

Volunteers interested in getting involved with Slingshot can come to the new volunteer meeting on Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 7 pm at the Long Haul in Berkeley (see below.)

Article Deadline & Next Issue Date

Submit your articles for issue 130 by September 14, 2019 at 3 pm.

Volume 1, Number 129, Circulation 22,000

Printed April 20, 2019

Slingshot Newspaper

A publication of Long Haul

Office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705

Mailing: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

510-540-0751 slingshotcollective@protonmail.com

slingshotcollective.org • twitter @slingshotnews

Slingshot free stuff

We’ll send you a random assortment of back issues for the cost of postage. Send $4 for 2 lbs. Free if you’re an infoshop or library. slingshotcollective.org

Circulation information
Subscriptions to Slingshot are free to prisoners, low income, or anyone in the USA with a Slingshot Organizer, or $1 per issue. International $3 per issue. Outside the Bay Area we’ll mail you a free stack of copies if you give them out for free. Say how many copies and how long you’ll be at your address. In the Bay Area pick up copies at Long Haul and Bound Together books, SF.

a16- What am I doing (Calendar issue 129)

May 16 – 18

Chicago Zine Fest 1340 W. Washington Blvd. chicagozinefest.org

May 19 • 4 pm

Freedom Archives 20 Year Celebration – freedomarchives.org

The Lab 2948 16th St, SF

May 24 • 6 pm

Soupstock Food Not Bombs concert – 612 Ocean St, Santa Cruz

May 25 – 26 • 10 – 5 FREE ALL AGES

Montreal Anarchist Bookfair – 2515 rue Delisle and 2450 rue Workman anarchistbookfair.ca

May 26

Los Angeles Zine Fest @ Helms Bakery

May 31 – June 2

North American Anarchist Studies Network. Atlanta, Georgia naasn2019.noblogs.org

June 7 – 8 FREE ALL AGES

New York Anarchist Book Fair – 55 Washington Square South anarchistbookfair.net

June 8 – 9

Railroad Days Dunsmuir, CA

June 8

Zinecinatti zinecinnati.com


International Day of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners

events many places june11.org

June 14 – 8 pm FREE ALL AGES

East Bay Bike Party – at a BART station to be announced

June 14 – 17

Fight Toxic Prisons national convergence Gainesville, FL fighttoxicprisons.org,

June 23

Denver Zine Fest denverzinelibrary.org


Trans March Dolores Park, San Francisco transmarch.org

June 28-30

Left Forum. Long Island University – Brooklyn Campus. leftforum.org

June 28 • 6 pm FREE ALL AGES

San Francisco Critical Mass bike ride – last Friday of each month, Justin Herman Plaza, sfcriticalmass.org

July 3 – 10

Earth First! Round River Rendezvous – Utah (occupied land of the Shoshone, Goshute, Southern Paiute, Ute, and Diné peoples) 2019rrr.org

July 4 • 2 pm FREE ALL AGES

Opening weekend of SF Mime Troupe, Dolores Park, San Francisco sfmt.org

July 4th-ish FREE ALL AGES

Rainbow Gathering – ask a hippie for location this year.


Mad Pride. Everywhere! mindfreedom.org

July 27/28 and August 3/4

Join Slingshot to publish the 2020 Organizer. 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley slingshotcollective.org

August 1

Earth strike local protest – Earth-strike.com/us

August 9 – 11

Speak for Wolves conference – Portland, Oregon – speakforwolves.org

August 11 • 7-9 pm FREE ALL AGES

Long Haul Infoshop’s 26th birthday party, 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley thelonghaul.org

August 25 • 7 pm

Slingshot article brainstorm & new volunteer meeting to kick-off work on issue #130 – 3124 Shattuck, Berkeley

September 14 – 3 pm

Article deadline for Slingshot issue #130 – 3124 Shattuck Ave Berkeley slingshotcollective.org

September 27

First global Earth strike – Earth-strike.com/us

October 5

ABQ Zine Fest (Albuquerque, NM) abqzinefest.tumblr.com

October 25 – 27

Olympia Zine Fest olympiazinefest.org

1- Resist cyborg evolution – return to analog organizing – zombie Apocalypse is NOW

By H. Sabet

I visit Vancouver’s city park during the most stunning sunset and every. single. person. is staring down at their phones. Not just the majority, I mean everyone. Necks craned, dim glow of the sun reflected in their sickly pallor, they’re transforming before my eyes. It has begun. We have begun the mass techvolution into zombies. Except that this virus we are infected with is more scheming than a zombie virus. Not only do we willingly take the virus in, we are addicted to it, and we find more and more ways to let it in—continuously crafting new platforms to infect ourselves, to inject it straight into our bodies, to eat our brains.

The virus takes many platforms, always flattened into a screen. And screens are everywhere—homes, phones, cars, pockets, bedrooms, offices, airplanes, permanently melded to our hands and eyes. More than half of the world’s population, about 4.4 billion people, are active internet users. Of people who are even internet-using age and within access of internet, that’s basically everyone. Almost half uses social media, about 3.5 billion people. In North America, about 80% of the population uses the internet and social media. Why wouldn’t governments and every other advertising company and corporation want to buy, trade, and steal our information, our souls from facebook and other social media platforms? It’s the perfect tracking and trapping device.

Americans spend most of their waking hours staring at screens—phones, computers, ipads, tvs. That means we spend more time staring into the face of our phones than the faces of our loved ones. Screens and social media have become psychological addictions; a significant amount of internet users are unable to control how much time they spend on screens. Because social media provides immediate rewards with very little effort required, your brain begins to rewire itself, making you desire these stimulations often, craving more of this neurological excitement after each fix. Internet addiction disorder (IAD), also called problematic or pathological internet use, is characterized by an individual’s inability to control their internet use, which may eventually result in marked distress and functional impairments of general life such as academic performance, social interaction, occupational interest and behavioral problems. (Lin & Zhou et al, 2012)

Studies indicate that internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions—atrophy in white and gray matter—that influence and impair emotional generation and processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control. Internet addiction disorder shares psychological and neural mechanisms with substance addiction and impulse control disorders such as alcoholism and opiate addictions. (Lin & Zhou et al, 2012)

Research also shows impaired dopamine function and reduced numbers of dopamine receptors. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by neurons—critical to thinking, moving, sleeping, mood, attention, motivation, and seeking reward. Dopamine causes you to desire, seek out, and search. It increases your general level of arousal and your goal-oriented behavior. Dopamine receptors crave reward and surge every single time you get a reward. For example, a line of cocaine increases your dopamine levels to 400. Receiving a notification on your phone causes your dopamine to spike to nearly cocaine levels. After several lines /notifications, aka boosting our dopamine levels multiple times, our new average becomes much higher. All that we are then driven to do is that which will increase our dopamine level further. It’s why we immediately pull out our phone or feel the urge to check it the second we get an uninterrupted moment. Even when you don’t get a notification, you may feel as if you did. Phantom Vibration Syndrome is our brains perceiving an itch as an actual vibration from our phones and is experienced by ~90% of people at least once every two weeks. Technology has begun to rewire our nervous systems.

This intense reward dependence explains why people addicted to drugs and screens may lose interest in hobbies, socializing and sustaining healthy daily life. And why teenagers would rather stare into the snapchat oblivion, text friends or play fortnite than complete homework, chat with family over dinner, or adventure outside with friends. This impairment to our dopamine levels not only kills our motivations and desires, but also our instincts for survival. A study by Kent Berridge on rats whose dopamine neurons were destroyed showed they could still walk, chew, and swallow. But the rats lost their anticipation and desire to have food and would starve to death, not eating food when it was right under their noses.

Screens are neurologically destroying our ability to focus and to store information to memory. How can we focus on anything when there is this quick and easy fix, this immediate high with such little effort required and virtually no barriers to attaining it? This crippling instant gratification k hole is obliterating society’s efforts to achieve long term goals for the betterment of the planet and future generations. That instagram-ification perpetuates a deep capitalist monster within us all: I see it. I want it. I have to have it. *click* I bought it. Wait, I want that other thing. *throws original thing away*

We are playing a constant game of catchup, in constant competition with others; how to be as successful as their fake selves are, how to be as beautiful, as smart, as happy. Humans are social creatures; we thrive on real social interactions. But in cyberreality, we constantly seek social validation that is not even real. The emotional and psychological stress that we encounter from screens every day—fake news, fake world of perfection, fake social “connections”—actually weaken our immune systems and damage our mental health. By constantly raising our cortisol levels, stress suppresses our immune systems leaving us more vulnerable to infections, disorders and disease. It is no coincidence we are societally at a greater risk for anxiety disorders such as phobias, OCD, major depressive disorder, etc. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated in developing countries with almost 1 million people taking their lives each year.

Not only do screens stress us out, but the experiences that we miss out on because of them, which normally lower our stress levels, are no longer happening. Think about the last time you were at a park. Were you more likely to see a caretaker engaging and interacting with a child or just staring into a screen like a zombie while vaguely pushing them on a swing? And when is the last time you took a moment to recognize and relish the sheer number of plant species around you? Engaging with loved ones and noticing the natural world are two of the best coping mechanisms for stress, which have been hijacked by screens.

Very little research is known on how these changes to brain structure and function are affecting the evolution of our brains long-term, but I think it is obvious. Undeniably, excessive screen-time appears to impair brain structure and function. Much of the damage occurs in the brain’s frontal lobe, which undergoes massive changes from puberty to mid-twenties. Frontal lobe development largely determines success in every area of life—from sense of wellbeing to academic and career success to relationship skills. Not only are our brains evolving rapidly with each generation, they are evolving within our own lifespans. The minds of young people, who are particularly addicted, are exceptionally malleable putty playgrounds for this zombie virus. If you’ve ever seen a baby, a young child, or a teen use a touch screen, you know what I’m talking about.

A survey by the nonprofit Common Sense Media found that 95 % of 13-17 year olds have their own mobile device and 70% of them check social media several times a day (up from 34% in 2012). More than half say their devices distract them from homework or people they’re with. At least one in four children between the ages of 13-18 are affected by anxiety disorders. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse (Anxiety and Depression Association of America). Why don’t we have DARE for screens? We have drug prevention programs for all sorts of substance use, but no educational programs for screen time and internet addictions. The media is all up in arms about vape use among teens…the news—always quickest to judge and dramatize the symptom without addressing the actual root of the problem. Adolescents are more likely to seek coping mechanisms like vaping if they are struggling with the stress, anxiety, and depression that screen use generates.

If we have never taken the time to speculate, individually and societally, on screens’ influence over the quality of our lives, you can thank screens for that. Screens destroy our ability to create original thought—to think. We are eternally stuck on intake autopilot, constantly scanning the news, checking emails, scrolling through photos and curated stories. We have outsourced our ability to think. To whom do we outsource? To search engines. To headlines. To a cousin’s dumb conspiracy theory thread. To pinterest and yelp. We no longer do the work to form original ideas, we leave that to the screens. Even the act of creating visual art has been monopolized by computer generated imaging.

Screen use also contributes to the obscene economic inequity in the US. On a worldwide scale, Oxfam research showed that the top 26 billionaires own the same wealth as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. The number of billionaires in the world and their net worth is climbing every year, while the net worth of lowest income populations is dwindling. Technology drives our economic inequity in that it favors a small group of financially privileged individuals by highlighting and amplifying their talent and luck. The Kardashians and many other celebrities make up to one million dollars for posting ONE photo to instagram.

Possibly the gravest effect of technology that is rarely talked about in the neurological conversation is the detrimental environmental impact. If our brains are too busy responding to and being motivated by screens, our reward systems no longer respond to nature in the ways they have for thousands of years. We are no longer motivated to go outside and form caring, nurturing relationships with the wild and one another. With this detachment from natural environments and wildlife, we feel more pleasure, have a higher surge of dopamine hearing the ding of a text message than we do hearing birdsong. We’d rather chase the high of capturing the right photo of our trip than actually experience a unique, precious life moment with loved ones. No matter how many photos you take of sunset, it’s never as beautiful as the real thing.

With this detachment, we are able to trash our only home. To destroy our precious and limited resources without thinking twice, numbing ourselves to the destruction of the planet and humanity. Remember when kids/we played outside in backyards, ran through sprinklers, collected bugs in jars, roamed the streets with friends until dusk, and biked around the neighborhood together? It aches to think about the sheer joy of it all. “Bothering to care about saving the world is based on the love I feel while experiencing the sky, plants, animals, dirt and people.” (Jesse Palmer in “We’ve reached a Turning Point–Disrupt and Decarbonize”, Slingshot Issue #128) It is up to parents to facilitate the amount of screen time, or to never give your kid a screen, to encourage a love for the real, natural world and foster true connection with the present moment.

If you haven’t already boycotted facebook, you are part of the problem. Straight up. Sorry not sorry if that’s a harsh reality. (Also instagram because facebook owns instagram). The list of facebook fuckery is endless—racist political interference, complete and total invasion of privacy, selling our personal information (and our souls) to the devil. The NAACP, with more than 500,000 members across the US, called for a boycott of facebook and instagram to protest their suppression of African-American turnout in the 2016 election. The protest #LogOutFacebook was “a way to signify to Facebook that the data and privacy of its users of color matter more than its corporate interests.” They also returned the monetary donation that they received from facebook. With such an influential group paving the boycott path and channeling the mounting collective outrage against facebook’s abuse of privacy and data security, it feels more and more possible for other groups and individuals to follow suit.

Though it may seem unrealistic or challenging to quit screens or social media altogether, it’s really not that crazy of a concept. If we know that cigarettes are unhealthy and addictive, smoking a few cigarettes a day versus a pack doesn’t somehow magically make cigarettes healthy. Telling yourself that you can moderate the amount of time you spend scrolling facebook or instagram (even though you’re probably lying to yourself) doesn’t change the fact that any time spent on your screen is altering the health and wellbeing of your brain and body, of those whom you love, of society and the planet. In a TED talk, Amber Quinney describes her 30-day turned 6-month social media fast— “For the first time in a long time, I felt free. Free to think, free from judgment, free to focus, and free from this busy, noisy information-hungry world.”

I have not been active on social media for about five years. When I’m experiencing something rad or seeing something beautiful, I no longer feel that urge to pull out my phone and capture the perfect, most impressive photo to post. More and more, I notice myself wanting to detach myself from my phone and enjoy the present moment. When I’m at the beach, I want to taste the salty spray on my skin, wriggle my toes in warm sand, plunge into a crescendo of waves swishing into sunset. I saw a fucking golden eagle at work the other week, about ten feet away, and I FORGOT to pull my phone out of my pocket and take a photo—I was so entranced by the moment. I hope I never go back to being an active social media user.

I am still addicted to my phone—to Spotify, to searching information, to my fucking email. But it is a consciously defiant and deadly act. I am moving toward a life where that dependency is not a requirement of me as a functioning human, and away from a career where sitting at a screen for eight hours is the norm. I used to work a job where I was expected to sit in a chair and stare at a screen for most of the day. Now I teach children at a wilderness survival school where I am outside all day and phones are highly discouraged.

A surprising downfall of leaving social media is the sense that people act as if I am dead. That I have ceased to exist or at least do anything cool or remotely exciting. It’s funny because I’ve been doing ten times more exciting things since allowing more time and space in my life for the things I actually want to do. Rather than being sucked into techno-consumerist blackhole oblivion, I decided to kick the toxic negative feedback loop that social media created in my mind.

Sure screens may have some positive contributions to relationships and society, but my argument is that the bad not only outweighs the good, but that the bad subverts the good in insidious way—by strengthening our believed reliance on devices and weakening our trust, competence and belief in our own capabilities. We think we need social media to stay connected with friends and family, yet we never take the time to reach out personally, make a call, or plan a visit. We believe we need GPS maps to navigate, but we have been navigating for centuries without them. It’s just that now we don’t know exactly where we are going or how to get there.

The more we believe in the good of screens, the less we value our own work, our own thoughts, our autonomy. Rad things like #metoo can happen, but I believe the credit is due more to a generation empowered to name and call out injustice than a social media platform. To womyn and people who evolved to an awareness wherein sexual harassment is no longer accepted or normalized. I called out sexual harassment at work long before #metoo because I was like wait, I don’t want to feel uncomfortable like this at work and shouldn’t have to. The ripple effects of a hashtag have had significant impact, but what does it say about us as a society if it takes a hashtag, a mass assimilation, to create change? Why can’t the change come from within communities of womyn and people communicating, reflecting and supporting one another at the workplace, in schools, at home? It wasn’t until after I came forward at work about my discomfort that other coworkers started to report similar experiences. What does it mean if your cyber voice is only heard if it is saying the exact same thing that everyone else is saying? If your words suddenly matter and hold weight in a mob mentality matrix, but only if your hashtag gets enough likes to even be seen in the first place? How do we create change within a world that evolves with the masses, while resisting with the minority? How do we organize without technology?

Let’s get creative. Whatever that may mean in your communities, lifestyle, experiences. Use word of mouth—remember that!? Letters, meetups, potlucks, clothing exchanges, art and wine nights, shows. Recycle flyers and ads into resistance art. Write papers, zines, poems on napkins, and music. Hand them out and perform them to people staring at screens. Teach through simple acts and sweeping ones. Volunteer. Tend to a community garden. Significantly increase your time spent outside—hold meetings and gatherings in a backyard, pass out papers in a park, take a walk around the neighborhood to hand out zines and posters. Tend to a community garden. Go on a hike and identify new edible plants that you can sustainably harvest to feed yourself and a friend. Practice regular silent sit spots outside—starting with a few minutes every few days to ten minutes a day. Ask coworkers to join. Camp at a park where you can meet other radical outdoorspeople. Organize your own critical mass bike tour with friends. We can’t let the true act of organizing, the essence of coordinating, planning, mobilizing, revolting and reviving be flattened and deadened into screens. Encourage and support analog organizing—don’t assume everyone has a phone or expect everyone to use social media for outreach.

Everyone’s always trying to tell me, whether explicitly or not, that change is inevitable and that people have always tried to resist the inevitable—that TVs have taken over the world and screens are the future. But the cyborg evolution is not the future for me. I want to be a conscious member of the resistance, the evolutionary minority, the subspecies that moves to the countryside to start a radical community, nurture life on an artist commune where screens are extinct. Where our minds are free and our hearts still flutter at birdsong and pulse to the beat of the wild.