Letters to Slingshot

Dear Slingshot:

This is D here writing from the bowels of the modern American gulag system! I just finished issue #74. (Yeah a bit late as I’m relying on donations, but still timely as ever!) I couldn’t believe my luck when I read the article, “Doomed to die a Correctional Slave.” Not only is the subject obviously relative to my current position, but your newspaper is the first I’ve seen to emphasize the socio-economic principles of American prison industry, and to challenge it in a progressive and comprehensive manner. My accolades for that!

As for other news, Rod Blagojevich was just re-elected as “governor” here in Illinois which means that us prisoners will be subjected to another 4 years of broken promises, failed resolutions and the general (intentional!) decline of prison conditions. All of this while the national incarceration rate continues to grow. Yet federal and state budgets dwindle as more money is being diverted to support the Holy Crusade overseas. What’s new, right? Just another day in the land of “freedom and democracy”!

— Derek Walsh #R13880

PO Box 1700, Galesburg, IL 61401

Letter – nuts

Dear Slingshot:

Hi, I am a user of your Slingshot organizer, second year in a row now, and I just wanted to remark about something I saw in my 2007 organizer. I did read on your website that you welcome comments, so I hope they are taken most graciously. Towards the back I found the page on check your nuts and your breasts, which of course is quite helpful. Here is where I found it interesting that there is a picture of breasts next to the “and your breasts” but not a picture of testicles next to “check your nuts”. Just a thought, not trying to be too critical, but consider that we do live in a patriarchal system that we are trying to unravel by way of our political expressions, such as what one can find from Slingshot. I just wanted to see a pair of nuts there too…oh well… 😉

I love what you are all doing…the history and creativeness flows out of the organizer… So thanks! — Becca


Dear Slingshot,

Congratulations on the publication of the 2007 Organizer! It looks great. The essay on “Tips for Modern Simplicity” really made me think. The first tip “Work as little as you can” seems like a more realistic goal for privileged people with access to resources to start the collective businesses to which you refer. It seems to me like there are a lot of unemployed people who would want to work in order to improve a substandard level of living. I suppose it depends on how you define “work”, but “working” can be necessary sometimes. In a utopian world we would all grow our own food and wouldn’t need to work to buy food, but then growing the food in the first place would involve working. But I guess you’re talking about “Work as little as you can at places like McDonalds”?

Also, the point about getting rid of lights might not be realistic for many people, while I agree that they should definitely be turned off when not in use. I think that when we are trying to make lifestyle changes our attitude toward the changes are as important as the changes themselves. Its important to do what we can, but also not to feel guilty if we are unable to make changes that we know would benefit the environment or humanity. Being as radical and hardcore as possible is a great goal, but don’t be TOO hard on yourself!

Call me mainstream, but for me I’ve found that there has to be a balance between making sacrifices for the greater good and preserving my sanity with some comforts like electric appliances that I finance by working. But then I use the Slingshot Organizer to try to hide this from people. They would never suspect that I am a closet blender-user. –Love, Kimiko Kobayashi