When I was a kid growing up in the eighties and early nineties, there were these commercials on TV telling us in no uncertain terms that HIV was the cause of AIDS
remember these commercials?
The other AIDS commercials just really wanted to scare the fuck out of you
I've never seen similar commercials in this day and age. There are no commercials on TV telling you in no uncertain terms that such and such a microbe is the cause of such and such a disease ( I mean, okay fine, there are those despicable, guilt-trip commercials about teens getting cancer from HPV, but the vast majority of people who are exposed to HPV don't get cancer, or anything at all for that matter)
And sure, there are lots of pharmaceutical commercials on TV these days ( they probably single-handedly fund what's left of traditional TV channels ) insisting you beg your doctor for this new drug like a kid needs to beg his parents for a new toy at Christmas, but none of these heavy duty mass deals where death and the grim reaper appeared imminently in your living room
( I've also caught "I want my 80's" on MTV a few times in the last few weeks and I don't remember music videos being so gritty. Even the fun and colorful ones. Commercials, music videos, so gloomy and dark, even if they didn't mean to be...)
BACK THEN, it was touted as THE epidemic of the century, ready to explode on the heterosexual population, and the casualties were to be ENORMOUS
When I was in high school ( and I don't even remember how this even came about, but I take these adventures with books, and these stepping stones all lead to each other, so IT DID), I discovered this amazing book called "Inventing the AIDS Virus" by a rogue microbiologist named Peter Duesberg. The book is thick, but I devoured it in a few days. It made so much sense, and I felt like I had nipped this problem in the bud: the worry over "contracting HIV" and "developing AIDS". There were and are still dissident voices, people like Celia Farber and Liam Scheff ( who recently died), some of the only journalists to chronicle HIV dissent. I told anyone who would listen this amazing arguments in the book for an epidemic that never truly was, and in my naivete didn't think I would be considered 1) homophobic and 2) just plain bonkers
None of this happened though
AIDS today, is treated like a chronic illness
Back in the days when you would be given straight up, uncut AZT to remedy your perceived ill, you were pretty much handed a death sentence. Even those in the AIDS industry acknowledge that AZT was a bit harsh and as Peter Duesberg, rogue scientist and HIV dissident argued and still does, it was "AIDS by prescription".
There are definitely sexually transmitted illnesses that will make you very ill, infertile, or insane. The rates of these illnesses seem to be going up, and nowadays, the antibiotics people have relied on for their treatment are becoming useless against them due to their overuse in general for things like, THE FLU
Michael Carroll in his book "Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory" suggests that Lyme Disease was created in this lab and somehow released into the environment. The island is located very close to Old Lyme, Connecticut, where the first cases were observed. It is also located in a known hurricane corridor. The US government wants to move it to Manhattan, Kansas, which is in a TORNADO corridor, and much preferable to where it is now
Now Lyme Disease, this is a totally different story!
And completely wacko jacko
Back in the 70's, young children ( as opposed to OLD children) were getting a strange kind of arthritis, or something, in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Lyme Disease was officially discovered
Everyone said you just look for that bull's eye target behind your knee and get yourself to the doctor for an Elisa test and some antibiotics
Caught early enough, you nip it in the bud, and that was the end of the story
I didn't see and still haven't seen any commercials about Lyme disease, if left untreated, creating multi-organ havoc resulting in total debilitation and separation from your normal life's activities
Strangely enough, "chronic" Lyme disease is only taken seriously by a handful of physicians who have had the courage to develop aggressive antibiotic regimens for their suffering patients
Patients who have told physicians they have this condition have sometimes been sent for psychological evaluation
For some dang-nabbed reason it has been extremely difficult to break this illness into the medical mainstream, to get it taken seriously as a major threat. I mean, it's much easier to contract than HIV, and appears to be much more difficult to treat
Add to this the fact that quite a few celebrities have contracted the illness, and it's STILL puzzling that more attention hasn't been paid to it
"The Punk Singer" is a somewhat recent documentary about Kathleen Hanna, lead singer and brilliant poet and creator of feminist riot grrrrl bands like Bikini Kill, Julie Ruin, Le Tigre, and THE Julie Ruin ( truly the icon of a generation, and even though she reluctantly supported Hillary, I still love her). She suddenly disappeared from the musical spotlight for a few years and it was a general mystery as to why. She revealed in the film that she had been suffering Lyme for more than a decade, and was actually only able to come to the diagnoseis after viewing the documentary "Under Our Skin" (so documentary viewing isn't always bad).
These chic and wealthy celebrities, who all hang out on the Eastern seaboard, go summering in the Hamptons
I don't know if she actually went to the Hampton's, but the East Coast is the hotbed of Lyme, and she's not the only celebrity to be infected
Darryl Hall of Hall and Oates, Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and actress Jamie Lynn Seigler have all come out with having it.
I've met a lot of people who suffer from it, or know someone who has. It makes me terrified to enter forested areas with big bad signs warning of ticks. It makes me terrified in general, because I know someone who contracted meningitis from a tick in the city...
Ticks terrify me! I don't even want to go camping! I feel much more at risk for Lyme Disease than I do HIV, but there seems to be less information and less consensus regarding this disease. Fewer scary commercials, and no vaccines or miracle drugs from the pharmaceutical companies. No commercials imploring me to ask my doctor about kukachanah wanga, proven to be effective against your "mild to moderate" Lyme disease.
Why do some illnesses get so much traction in the media and big pharma and others, just seem to fall by the wayside?
Hmmmmmm.... it's just all so weird to me...
I am super excited to publish this article - it was percolating a while back and now THIS has happened, making me as giddy as when Trump got elected two years ago...
( it also should really be called "Slovenian companies have been owned by foreigners FOR A WHILE NOW:WILL IT BE ABLE TO SAVE ITSELF?" )
I also got excited about seeing THIS a bit earlier in the weeks...
So the title of my article refers to the fact that through the years ensuing their independence from Yugoslavia, Slovenia's cultural and economic hallmarks have been slowly devoured by foreign entities ( the opportunity to do so being one of the main goals of Western powers encouraging them and manipulating ethnic squabbles to win their independence in the first place)
I grew up as the child of Slovenian immigrants in a region that still touts itself as being the place in America with the most Slovenian immigration, but that feels hollow and crusty now, as I doubt many are still around and they're not really coming here anymore in the first place...
I have memories of going to Slovenian places of business and my parents loading up on staples that pertain to this mythical part of the world (what? Because no one knows shit about it).
Corn meal for polenta, Slovenian sausages, soft cheeses, candies, chocolates, other dried goods, and the ultimate staple, Radenska mineral water
Culled from the mineral springs of Radenci, Slovenia, it is THE mineral water of Slovenia ( well, at least to me. I know there are other brands, but this one was and is the iconic water of Slovenia.)
Ironically when I lived in Slovenia, I didn't really drink it much. I drank the tap water, which you CAN actually drink worry-free ( not so in Cleveland, no matter how badly the city wants to convince you otherwise. Tap water here is disgusting, and reeks of chlorine; not so in Ljubljana. There isn't any fluoride either, but I know most people believe in their "need for that essential element" )
The three stars on the insignia refer to the three majority parts of the former Yugoslavia: the Slovenes, the Croats, and the Serbs. It is an iconically YUGOSLAV product, which a lot of the products and entities I will showcase here are. It is a fitting metaphor that while Yugoslavia has been physically destroyed, even its' cultural and culinary symbols have been compromised as well.
Radenska is still obviously sourced in Slovenia, but the company itself is no longer in Slovenian hands: it is owned by a Czech company
I continue to drink Radenska, because it is still possible to buy it in this area ( not telling you where, because I don't want you to take all of it), but another drink I think fondly of is Cockta
Slovenia's ( or rather, Yugoslavia's ) answer to Coca-Cola, its' taste is millions of miles better, and it has some health advantages. For one, it's a special formulation of herbs ( why the flavor is so unique), it doesn't contain phosphoric acid, high fructose corn syrup, or caffeine ( like the majority of soda pops do). And it comes in cute little glass bottles if you prefer to be gentle to the environment ( or you can be cruel and buy the big plastic liter bottles)
I am not a fan of sugary drinks, so Cockta, (which by the way, I recently located a new place to acquire it), is a dessert like treat; sugary drinks are always just desserts for me, and not used to quench thirst.
Anyway, Cockta, which is iconically Slovenian, and while still produced in Slovenia, is no longer under their ownership; Cockta was acquired by Droga Kolinska, which is a Slovenian company, but then that Slovenian company was purchased by a Croatian company, Atlanticgrupa, but does it really make it okay? Being owned by a Croatian company? Croatia? Who is always bullying Slovenia for more and more coastline?
An interlude glimmer of hope: a company that is not foreign-owned, and still holding its own with well-made and highly stylish footwear, is Alpina.
It's not as big as it used to be, and has foreign affiliates, but it's actually not owned by another country's corporations : amazing
This iconic hotel in downtown Ljubljana is the Hotel Slon ( "slon" means elephant in Slovenian).
Located across the street from the old post office ( Stara Posta) and at the head of Copova Ulica ( Copov Street ), I used to go with my folks for ledena kava ( iced coffee in Slovenian, and it's not cold brew; iced coffee in Slovenia is coffee with ice cream, but there are probably new gentrified cafes selling cold brew coffee in the American tradition )
It is no longer a Slovenian entity in Slovenia : it is owned by Best Western now
There are lots more stories like this one, and many other buildings and landmarks that are no longer in Slovenia's own grasp since its' "independence" ( isn't that ironic?)
The grocery store I remember from my extreme youth visiting Yugoslavia and later living in Slovenia is Mercator. Mercator was the major grocery store in Slovenia, and now not only is the property of a Croatian corporation Agrokor, but it has many competitors that have invaded Slovenia since the country's independence in 1991.
Lidl (from Austria) , Hofer ( which is Aldi's in America ), Interspar (Austrian) , LeClerque ( like French Target ), and Mueller (Austrian drugstore/record store). And speaking of stores in general, Slovenian companies have to contend now with stores like Harvey Norman (furniture store from Australia) and of course, your requisite and qorld-ubiquitous fashion stores like H&M, Mango ( Spain) and Zara ( Portugal) .
The world is just becoming a free-for-all for the most obnoxious big box stores, in pursuit of the realization of the most repulsive conformist capitalism
Observers complain that anywhere you go in America, you find the same McDonald's, the same gas stations, the same Targets and Walmarts. Europe is also acquiring a homogenous landscape, with all the same stores being available whether you live in Spain or Italy, and with a liberal spattering of American McDonald's.
But then you also see the conformist gentrification that occurs in response to the big-box conformity. I follow many Slovenian instagram accounts and they all sell products and style in the same manner as American indie companies and Instagram influencers. Gentrification seems to look the same in any country, and it's not a push for economic and cultural independence, it's a push to be JUST LIKE everyone else who is brewing local beer and making local soap and all the requisite products and services in a gentrification-driven economic and cultural movement.
But the thing that really frightened me when I was learning that entity after entity was being taken over by foreigners, was the thought that Slovenia itself would no longer exist, because how could it justify itself? Slovenians don't own hardly anything in their own country!!??!?!
And some of their land has already been taken by other countries ( parts of Slovenia, with Slovenian-speaking populations, exist in Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungary)
It is the vision of progress though. Once the world has been consolidated into a few mega states ruled by a few corporations, that is when aliens will of course land, and there will no longer be nationalities, we will all just be considered "human" as opposed to "the alien" that will have landed to explore our world ( if they would even bother)
But they will bother, because that's just how it works, and they will be bored. But the point IS, the era of Star Trek diplomacy will begin.
AT ANY RATE, I hate technology and I don't want to go to space, and I want nature to remain in power on Earth and I have strong feelings for the ethnic group ( actually, Yugoslavia as a whole) that my parents come from. I probably care about it more than most actual Slovenians ( because, obviously, I am not an authentic Slovenian ), and this is typical with people who are insecure as to their identity, and who tend to be more zealous to compensate for their lack of authenticity.
Irena Markarovic is not her real name in America. It's "Irene", and she married a guy with an Anglo-Saxon last name, so her full name is now Irene Smith; total cultural obliteration.
The past is the future though
An exciting action adventure book I have recently read is "Shoot the Women First" by Eileen MacDonald
It is an older book, published in 1991, but with gems that gleam so brightly, they lit up vacant,t empty spaces of my mind that were devoid of information about female "terrorists"
For eradicating this emptiness, I am grateful to this book
As to its' actual veracity, and the validity of its' premise, that is still undecided, but I don't think it really matters
This is a history book
The premise of the book is that women freedom fighters ( which is what I will refer to "terrorists" from now on in this article ) tend to be more deadly than males.
This had been often enough reiterated by male law enforcement officials to the author that she decided to explore it
I wanted to believe the thesis that women are more cold-blooded and bloodthirsty than your average freedom-fighting male. The culture we live in values these traits, and being this way makes it seem like women give zero fucks and are above it all, so men better watch out, but what I got from the interviews the author did were glowing portraits of really complex and interesting women who simply did and some continue to do, what needs to be done ( and they were only really glowing because they were so new to me, and such a relief!)
And some who did it against their will, and were simply the pawns of men
I had never even heard of these ladies before ( well, with the exception of Astrid Proll of the Red Army Faction ), and now I had new ladies to add to my ever growing list of REALLY GREAT-TRULY GREAT-ladies-to-admire ( not phonies like Hillary Clinton and Madelaine Albright) and hearing about them seemed to fill in a missing puzzle piece in my own psyche: OF COURSE there have been passionate, death-defying ladies like this, and in very recent history to boot!
I don't even remember how i stumbled upon it, but when I first got it from the library, I devoured the section on the Red Army Faction
( because i am obsessed with left wing female activists and philosophers, and the Baader Meinhof group in particular)
They were some serious folks, and a huge portion of their membership was surprisingly female
As i can recall from the movie that was made about their lives, and the books and internet pages I have read about them, the leadership was mostly women ( Gudrun Ensslin and Ulrike Meinhoff ( kind of), and then Andreas Baader, and that's who was referred to when people talked about "Baader-Meinhof")
At any rate, each chapter of the book focuses on a different group of these freedom-fighting women ( this is kind of a misnomer too, because are they fighting freedom?) and I couldn't believe how it captivated me ( well, I guess it would make sense, given I am interested in this kind of thing and was very close to becoming one of these underground political dwellers myself...in my dreams)
some things that really stuck out for me
The public criticizes women who write to sadistic murderers in prison and desire to marry them, but Leila Khaled hijacked a plane ( didn't kill anybody, granted) and got marriage proposals. From men. But she dutifully sent her postcards, to her prison guards in England after she was released. Terrifying...
The idea that women who engage in freedom-fighting ( I will refer to "terrorism" by this description now) , or anyone who engages in violent political activism is somehow "abnormal", and are motivated by purely ABNORMAL reasons
This is totally ludicrous, and totally mainstream media brainwashing; accusing individuals of something outside of a context
Freedom fighters are normal, ordinary people driven by extraordinary circumstances; this is the incredible irony. They could be you or me given different societal conditions. They ARE actually you or me when the government or the State tells us to go fight somewhere and it's not such a great idea; THEY ARE you or me when governments oppress us and try to take away our homes and our rights
They are average people who couldn't stand the repercussions of the system they live under, in some cases maybe only intellectually ( like the majority of white activists in the US), but in others, like, this is life or death
Irish people facing the grave oppression of the British ( all of these examples continuing into recent times), Palestinians being run out of their homeland by Jews, Basque separatists duking it out in Spain, and young white people in the United States and Europe being inspired by these types of movements and becoming "Antifa" and/or becoming anti-racist/anti-capitalist activists; it's never going to end...
Because "normal people" would just sit in their beds twiddling their thumbs while an occupier force bulldozed their house and not react AT ALL
The relatively lax prison environments and airport security that allowed these women to actually hijack a plane and party in their prison cells
I wouldn't really say they were "lax", and maybe I am totally brainwashed by movies and TV, but "they" make it seem like it would be really hard to maintain defiant shenanigans in prison or to sneak on a plane with a bomb and a bunch of hand grenades, like Leila Khaled did in 1969 or Kim Hyon Hui in 1987
With all the airport security, especially in the United States ( they don't make you take your shoes off in other countries) you'd have to have like a dress made out of an explosive material and then set yourself on fire in order to enact a terrorist plot ( or it could be an inside job, like one very famous one that happened 17 years ago)
It could also be my extreme anxiety and sense of hopelessness, or a heady trifecta brew of these three things I have mentioned but I do get a definite sense that times were a little looser back then
According to this book, IRA (Irish Republican Army) prisoners in British prisons were actually allowed seven to a cell to drink booze and have little parties. They were considered "political prisoners" and got what seem to be amazing privileges: they didn't have to work like non-political prisoners. They were even allowed "OC's" ( officers in command) that operated like union reps for the rest of the poltical prisoners, and prison staff and inmates communicated through them
The seemingly easy relationship Leila Khaled had with her prison guards in England ( Jesus, England must be a great place to be in jail) seems like out of a weird novel about a kinder, gentler time, and does not compute to my mind that's been blasted over so many times with images and stories of brutal crimes, brutal criminals, and brutal punishments and prisons on TV and in recent movies. It's like the Colombo version of terrorism
Those were kinder, gentler times...less technology too
This one is the weirdest:
Kim Hyon Hui is a North Korean woman who placed a bomb on a plane headed to South Korea in 1987 and it exploded, klling 115 people.
The author's rendition of Hui's story and the situation in North Korea is right out of the American propaganda handbook: no freedoms, austerity, a constant pledge of allegiance to the "Great Leader"; it's right out of 1984. Today Kim is consulted on the current topic of relations with North Korea as a sort of permanent resident of South Korea, from where she is from time to time asked to comment on current-day Korean affairs.
No matter what the actual situation, being a person of conscience and having committed such a beyond heinous crime would shatter my personality and sense of self; being allowed to live the rest of my life with the knowledge of what I had once done would probably not be too fun
If it is true, she was taken as a child into espionage training and not allowed to see her own beloved family for years. At the time the book was published, neither she nor the author even knew the fate of Hui's parents.
She was isolated and taught Japanese by a Japanese woman kidnapped with the sole purpose of teaching a spy to speak Japanese, in order for her to pass as a Japanese person
She was also taught Chinese and taught how to pass as a Chinese person, but this didn't really get her very far, because when she was ultimately captured, she tried to maintain she wasn't Korean while a few minor slips in cultural knowledge gave her away
She was going to be executed for her crime, but was pardoned because the South Korean president believed she was just a brainwashed pawn. I think staying alive and having to live with the knowledge that you literally slaughtered over a hundred people would be punishment enough, and that it was for such a worthless reason too, would be too much to bear
I feel sorry for her because she was and is an ultimately dehumanized and destroyed human being who was taught to gleefully commit mass murder for the sake of some cause ( i can't even remember why they claimed that bombing a South Korean plane would reunite the two Koreas because I guess the reason was nonsensical)
but the fact she is still alive is eerie...
I proceeded to get her memoir out from the library, and it's pretty freaking exciting, the things she had to do in her long and extensive training to become a North Korean spy. It was refreshing to read about a woman who had to undertake serious physical and mental tests to determine if she could be a spy. The fact that they even considered her for spydom is a relief, and obliterates the monopoly held by James Bond, and the idea that only men can be important spies.
I'm not advocating for women to be murderous automatons in the service of nefarious governments, but her story validated another recess in my psyche that JUST KNEW that women had played a greater role in international politics and "freedom-fighting"; popping a bubble of frustration hidden in my subconscious that even I didn't really understand what it was or that it was there.
Leila Khaled is described as almost sociopathic by the author, but I think she is biased and doesn't understand. I got the impression that Leila is pretty laid back for a freedom-fighter, and maintained a good enough attitude in order to execute the actions she had to perform and to endure the pressure and the stress of her lifestyle. It's constantly reconciling the oppression your own people are facing and the innocence of bystanders to your actions. It's a tough game of reconciling family obligations and obligations to the cause of your people, who are ultimately your family
There are instances of right wing women featured in this book ( one where the woman really only did it because she was crazy bonkers in love with the guy who led the particular group) and it was like one of the only examples of a woman doing it for love, which was also a stereotype amongst male law enforcement, which the author has debunked, because most of the women showcased here did it out of love for their people and to alleviate the unbearable conditions they live under, not for a man.
I think the "Shoot the Women First" idea is just misogyny. It's anger at why a woman would forsake her "natural role" and kill people (although this is obtuse when you review the situation in the light of protecting her people; this idea of "forsaking her natural role" never even occurred to me before by the way because I don't think of child-bearing as a woman's natural role. Maybe I am crazy, but I believe that woman's natural role is just to be.)
"Danger and play" is a "men's rights" website crested by current right-wing anti-woman political pundit Mike Cernovich, who took from Nietzche the idea that "woman is the most dangerous plaything" for men. This is not a new idea, the idea of the evil, dangerous woman hellbent on destroying men.
I don't even think it's an acknowledgement that women need to overcompensate to compete with men. The impression I get from the women interviewed in these books is that they give zero fucks what men think of them in the political arena ( as to their personal lives, can't help you there). There are obviously instances of misogyny amongst freedom fighters and leftist activist groups, and they are mentioned here, but I really don't feel that sexism has a huge bearing on their activities and I don't feel it distorts their enthusiasm; it's just one more thing they have to contend with on occasion.
Renata Hedgeway is the External Affairs Editor at Devilish Turn
One of the BIG THREE
(and my favorite)
...of far-left activism, more or less, anarchism, in the United States
And they were all women no less and no doubt
But let's start with the most famous but my least favorite and then end with "Voltie"
I am actually kind of starting to feel like this whole endeavor (this particular article) is kind of lame, because while these three women may have been an inspiration to me in my early youth, they are like dried out leaves by now, and i barely think about them
But I am always interested in the past, i practically live in it, and I find it more and more instructive as my experience and wisdom ripens with the passing years, and the information of the past and past lived experiences continue curing and yielding new information
I really liked Emma Goldman at first. She is like everyone's training wheel anarchist, because she has that famous quote about dancing, ("If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution") and she's just more famous ( for whatever reason, I have a theory, which I will mention later
The things I do appreciate about her, is that she was critical of the suffragettes and voting in general, basically of her stance of it's being totally useless, which it is, and her notion that fighting against capitalism shouldn't be boring and dry and pedantic, like many people want to make it. She wanted it to be a celebration, to be fun, and I took that to heart, concluding that capitalism is what takes the fun out of everything, and to have fun is therefore to fight capitalism
And while she seemed like a benign inspiration at the time, little did I know that she would not only be an inspiration for many future anarchists, but she would be the motherfucking template, as lots of young women sought to emulate her activist-y leadership-y ways
And her obnoxious, overbearing behavior
Many years ago, when I was devouring books about political activists, I read a passage that I thought astonishing, but today I can't remember from which book I read it ( I believe it probably was from Paul Avrich's account but I could be wrong)
Astonishing because Emma Goldman is so regularly praised and hardly a harsh word uttered against her
But if I can recall correctly, she used to stay at people's houses and pretty much demand they wait on her hand and foot; and she helped herself to people's stuff
Just like her intellectual progeny of today
You better believe I know this to be true, because the essence of the anarchist is that they don't want to work for the man, and they believe that if you have more than them, you should be willing to just give them your stuff, even if it is against your will, and even if it means swindling you, or taking advantage of you in some way
It also means that if they use and ruin your stuff, you can't complain because how dare you be so materialistic?
The seeds of patterns are sewn so far in the past, if we don't take the time to examine them, we will never find out where something very interesting comes from
At one point, I thought shop lifting was fine, as long as you helped yourself to stolen goods from a Walmart.
But unfortunately for pathological shoplifters, thieves in general really, lying, and helping themselves to pretty much ANYONE's stuff, is what actually ends up happening. And this happened to me in spades, as my former anarchist housemates instituted a "swap pile" where amazingly, things I never recalled putting there ended up in my housemate's hands because they claimed they had found them there ( I can tell you now I never ONCE put any item I owned on the swap pile )
Another housemate didn't even bother with that excuse, and just took my shit, which I later discovered in her parent's house. Another stole books, and another never gave back borrowed clothes or books. Another destroyed household appliances AND MY CAR because they were "above all that stuff"
Other housemates said they believed it was important to engage in something called "radical honesty", but unfortunately this only applied to other people; no one could criticize them about anything. They were also big on another thing called "consensus" and then proceeded to bully me and others and to make important household decisions without me
I would say that these individuals were acting in a more "capitalistic" capacity, and you better believe that their behavior needed to be examined in an "anarchist critique"
I also met women who were unbearably bossy and disrespectful to me, violating my personal space, touching me inappropriately and mocking my concerns regarding material possessions ( like once ruining a beloved souvenir I had acquired during a trip to Spain and then laughing at me when I complained about it). One fucking nightmare woman in particular who although most people found themselves uncomfortable around her, felt compelled to participate in a huge "intervention" about a man she claimed had sexually violated her; I had nothing to do with that circus, and of course, was criticized for being a hypocrite. A bossy, overbearing Zionist woman who for as much as she talked and tried to dominate discussions and activities in general, would fall strangely silent in discussions of activism regarding Palestine
So at any rate, I came to the conclusion that Emma Goldman was a massive and insufferable egotist, and since I had begun knowing actual living breathing individuals of her ilk, their existences flashing mirror reflections at me of her but decades later, she went super down in my estimation, to where she is now floating nowhere AT ALL; she is a small footnote in my intellectual experiences
To be honest, I didn't know much about Lucy ( and gosh , Emma is taking over everything AGAIN, like she did in life)
I could be accused of racism here, since she is the only non-white member of this elite group, but I think it was her husband who was more famous (Albert Parsons)
And while she also did rabble-rousing ( which is all these people did, they didn't fight physical blood-and-gore battles, they just went around giving speeches but because this was even too sensitive for the Deep State of the time that they also spent most of their days evading the law), I guess maybe, according to the Wikipedia article, she wasn't "right-thinking" ( this is a problem in the proto-fascist anarchist community - when you don't tow the line, you are targeted for greater scrutiny, cause you don't "think right" ); she didn't preach the "correct version" of anarchism ( which we know today, and since the early 2000's, is anarcho-syndicalism, Emma Goldman's shtick)
Yeah, I didn't know much about her. I think when I tried to, I kept hitting the wall of her husband, a fellow who was a suspect at the Haymarket bombing in Chicago in 1886
But damn, is this article going to be about Emma Goldman? I didn't remember a feud between her and Lucy Parsons, but I did remember that she thought she was better than everyone else
but voltairine de cleyre's story made me cry...
What I remember about Voltairine de Cleyre is reading about how there was a point in her life where she was so low, felt so hopeless, I started crying at the description of her despair, and I remember thinking "WOW, I can actually be moved by a literary description of someone else's pain"
I felt she was a much more sincere anarchist laborer than Emma Goldman; she was pure and industrious, always working, writing, and teaching poor people how to read; in this sense she actually was a laborer, whereas Emma Goldman was more like a "rock star"
Voltairine de Cleyre had tough principles and lived in poverty and without luxury, total opposite of Goldman. who wanted pretty dresses ( and there's nothing wrong with that, but it can lend itself to temptation and corruption, which is fine, whatever)
Voltairine de Cleyre is discussed, and is not invisible in anarchist discussion circles, but she is as not considered as important or is as well-known; you also know ( and I thought this too), that I was a serious political student ( I never considered myself an anarchist, even then I knew that was mega-lame) because I sought out the truly esoteric players in American anarchism, she being an example of one
It could be because she was American, and Europeans are more exotic ( they were also more dynamic in general, as most of the people who struggled for labor improvements in this country were immigrants and not "native Americans" ; and Americans can be kind of bland )
The Wikipedia article on her speculates that it is because she died relatively young, but I think it was because she wasn't flashy enough. Compared to Goldman, she's boring. She also didn't espouse the "correct form of anarchism", having started as an advocate of "anarchism without adjectives" (which sounds suspiciously like "lifestyle anarchism" to me... and take it from me, that's a big no-no)
Josefina Fermin will never live down her days as the token South American girl in a now-defunct anarchist collective
Candy Darling's diary is a guidebook in misery
Was my guidebook for so many years
If you don't know who Candy Darling was, she was a transgender off off off Broadway actress who acted in Andy Warhol films and was member of a subset of his "Superstars" along with Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis. She wasn't a "drag queen" ( according to Mary Harron, who wrote this introduction, which I find odd, I didn't think she would be so dismissive) and Candy would not be considered a "drag queen" today, the liberal left would go into hysterics if you called her that
Although I am not transgender, I felt pretty hopeless that I would ever find a romantic partner to accompany me through life, and that I would be denied other things as well, that I cannot relate to you right now
Let's just say life was one long miserable slog through hydrogenated grease mud
The days were long and lonesome and a total waste of my twenties and thirties, and the same pain and longing seemed to be evidenced by Darling in her diary, so it was a comfort to me
Here was the recorded testament of a being for whom doom hovered over everywhere and everything and it is haunting
A lifetime of longing for people to understand her, to not judge her harshly, to allow her to have the things she wanted
But her life was a haunted ADVENTURE, and ultimately, she got everything that she wanted. It's a similar case of burn out to Ian Curtis ( of Joy Division ): you get everything you actually want, and then you know you're done
And at the same time, you were sort of luxuriating in the despair
i can't own it, because it's so damn expensive. I mean jesus, the original price was like 30 dollars, which I would be willing to spend, but people on amazon ( and no one sells it on ebay ) want near a hundred dollars
So I get it from the library ever so often
When I need it
it never occurred to me that it would become a collector's item ( I don't ever recall in my life wanting to own something that has become a collector's item and has gone up in price like a comic book or baseball card - the diary of a transwoman no one really talks about anymore?)
But it has so many gems to help you stumble along in life
The greatest of her quotes, the most potent and meaningful and famous ( of those who know her), is this one:
"You must always be yourself, no matter what the price. It is the highest form of morality"
This statement always makes me want to cry, but it also always centers me
Because she's right
When I have tried to go against myself to please other people, those other people have never remembered how they bullied me ( it was nothing to them! ), but i had to live with the soul-twisting consequences, and then I became intolerable to myself and to others
You become a burden to others when you do not gratify yourself
(In reasonable ways, of course; I don't think wanting to kill people counts)
You always think you are being selfish, that you have no right to be yourself, that it is too painful and inconvenient to others, when it is only momentarily painful, if even that, to those who seek to control you; it is nowhere near as painful as the destruction you do to yourself to please them
it doesn't even feel natural, it's a struggle to go against yourself, but sometimes the guilt and shame supposed loved ones and "friends" make you feel seems legitimate and powerful enough to make you bend
But you always lose, and you kill yourself. you sin, and now you must be punished
Not only do you betray yourself, but the universe betrays you now too
It is odd to think of going against yourself as a sin, as actually something that is as bad as hurting someone else, but it is
Because it is your contribution to the whole when you execute your exact DNA plan; otherwise, you are a cancer
The surrounding statements to this magnificent quote are also worth noting:
"you've got to keep your heart and mind open. you can disguise you emotions, you can even numb them, and finally you can paralyze them. And that is tragic. Our emotions are the only clues to our identity"
I had never even thought if it that way before, because I always feel my emotions are wrong, and everyone else knows what's best; when you have succumbed to that kind of brainwashing, you cannot possibly believe that anything organic that emanates out of you could actually have any legitimacy or relevance. It's why I don't trust myself, why many people don't trust themselves, and THIS evil people sniff out and use to their advantage
"The only meaning in life is passion. The passion to learn, to paint, to love, etc. don't dare destroy your passion for the sake of others. When you do, you've lost the beauty of life, and that's what a sin is. By robbing yourself of your very reason to exist, you have cheated. You must laugh when you must laugh, you must weep when you must weep, and you must love when you must love."
Candy did have a knack for "manifesting" ( that new age term or whatever for putting out your wishes into the universe and having them granted)
Candy didn't want to get old, and probably set herself a deadline for her life, sort of like Ian Curtis of Joy division supposedly did. Curtis supposed didn't want to live past thirty ( which he cursed David Bowie for reneging on), and Candy seemed to model herself after tragic blonde Hollywood actresses. Although she barely mentions Marilyn Monroe in her diaries, you could extrapolate that she modeled her short life on her, or as Mary Harmon put it, an amalgamation of glamorous Hollywood actresses, but not all of them had short, tragic lives
It's also a travel guide, better yet, A PORTAL BACK IN TIME, showing an inner glimpse of true artistic types living on the edge in the most romantic of places ( to me), Greenwich Village
( and about ) in New York City in the sixties and seventies
How they talked, what they might have cared about, what were they styles of clothes???
The excitement and adventure of struggling artists mingling with movie stars and eccentrics and rich people and all the myriad of combinations of these choices
(Source material for the movie "I Shot Andy Warhol")
Times will never be like that again, they'll only be like that once again, unfortunately only in my mind
Candy wrote many letters to people, and rough drafts of these letters
I used to write many letters myself when I was a girl
To myself, and to others
But mostly to foreigners. I was always seeking people to write to in foreign countries. I even maintained a somewhat bland correspondence with a Maori woman in New Zealand for two years; it is amazing we kept up with each other, having never once met before in our entire lives, and never going to meet
Technology has obliterated all of that. And while some people might still keep diaries, even ones written with pens or pencils, nobody really writes letters anymore
Candy Darling died in 1974 at the age of 29 of lymphoma definitely caused by the hormone treatments she was taking
Juesina Fevery is hitting the crystals HARD; crystal therapy, crystals and sacred stones, guides for life, anything helps really