Everything is Politics

While I don’t agree with what Healy expresses in his post, I’m not finding anything wrong with it either. Speculating on where the legislative session will go is not much different from publicly declaring one’s support for the death penalty in response to the murders in Cheshire. In a kinder world, the family would be given time to mourn– the media wouldn’t print lurid details about the case that the public simply does not need to know. (Gratuitously divulging such information actually creates problems for the justice system, as we’re seeing in the Shefelbine case right now). In a perfect world, the family would not have been given reason to mourn.

But to pretend like politics isn’t remotely involved in crime is to boldly ignore the nature of violence. It’s not something created in a vacuum.

Fortunately, some people are speaking out about this.  Too bad the mainstream media ignores this.

It's a Museum, Stupid!

Others’ Perceptions

Ever since I created a “raving diva post” category, I’ve been opting to use it to vent perhaps more than I should. So what? The luxury of unpaid summer vacation includes allowing myself to get riled up over minutiae. I have this memory from when I was about ten years old, of going with my family to visit some of their friends. These friends had kids about my age, and I remember one sporting a t-shirt that read: “If Assholes Could Fly, This Place would be an Airport.” I’m thinking of making a spin-off of that, replacing “assholes” with something more benign like “idiots” or “fools.”

I bring this up because I think that with some people, the obvious could dance on their face, and they’d still be asking how come they didn’t know about something. Or, they maintain some bizarre stance they took randomly in the 80s, and are afraid to give up on it just yet. In a recent letter to the editor in the Hartford Advocate, the writer suggests of the Wadsworth: “Maybe they’d get more visitors if they just called it the Wadsworth Museum instead! […] They’re the oldest art museum in America? Bully for them! Maybe if people knew that’s what they are they could work on becoming the best art museum in America!” If you pass by the building, you can see the banners advertising current exhibits. If you read art & entertainment listings in the half-billion a&e listing publications in Connecticut, you can find the museum listed right under that art/museum/gallery section with a description that makes it pretty clear of what it is. The naming issue seems silly to me. How many places are named in the most accurate way? Certainly not most. I mean, looking at just the names, could you figure out what these places were if they didn’t have a reputation– The Gap, Banana Republic, Versace, or Anthropologie? (more…)

Down by the River

In doing research on etiquette for an article I’m writing, I found myself growing ever more frustrated by the blatant hypocrisy most people in this society seem to demonstrate when it comes to matters of manners. Mainly, people (women, especially) nearly give themselves ulcers when preparing for weddings–Is it acceptable to wear white if it’s my second wedding? How do I ask guests to not bring children without offending them? How do I seat my guests for dinner?–but such concerns don’t translate to other areas of their lives. I started off in a huff over the excessive cell phone use that borders on boasting of how many friends one has, and this expanded into other areas.

In reading some tried-and-true advice books, I found an author suggesting that one must never say disparaging things about an area to a person. Here it is, in black-and-white, something that’s been pissing me off for some time, and even the manners books thought to include it: It is unforgivably rude to insult a place that another person lives. (more…)

FNB is Back!

After a brief hiatus, Food Not Bombs will once again be serving free vegetarian food on both Saturdays and Sundays in Bushnell Park!

we are pleased to announce that as of this weekend (7/21/07), hartford food not bombs will start sharing saturday meals again. in order to sustain this group we need the assistance of dedicated volunteers like you, so please come out and help! as always, we could also use some helping hands on sundays too.

if you’d like to get involved, come by the charter oak cultural center (21 charter oak ave in hartford) any saturday or sunday @ 1pm or call 860.978.3562.   for more info check out myspace.com/hartfordfnb or www.foodnotbombs.net

Food Not Bombs is not exactly a soup kitchen. There are FNB chapters worldwide, many of which also hand out political pamphlets and books with meals.

Unconventional Politics

Tonight at 6:30 pm (not a good time for Creative Cocktail folks), some of the Democratic mayoral candidates will be holding an “Unconvention” at 331-A Wethersfield Avenue. This is across the street from Bulkeley High, where the Democratic Town Committee is expected to nominate Perez for another term.

The Unconvention will feature the other mayoral candidates who aren’t backing away from the challenge of trying to unseat Perez. The primary will be held on 9/11/07.

Good Morning Sexist Crap

CT News Junkie posts about this lawsuit being filed because of libelous comments on a website for SCSU professors:

The comments alleged one of the plaintiffs received a salary increase because she was having sexual relations with another CSU-AAUP employee.

Oh, and you also thought that we were living in the 21st century, when a woman’s career advancement is not assumed to be due to playing footsie with a boss? <buzzer> Wrong! Not only does one, as a female professor, have to deal with the weird gendered expectations that some students have of you (female =motherly/push-over/nice or bitch), but then from possibly your own colleagues, is the merit of your salary or position questioned. Throw in issues with pay, and we can call it a day.

Crime Reporting

Colin  provides a thoughtful look at the murders that happened in Parkville last week.  It’s refreshing when one of the Courant‘s own takes them to task for unquestioningly reporting speculation as news.

Here’s the problem with doing that…I know that the news media is all about getting the breaking news story, but most people only skim articles and don’t read the follow-up, so any misinformation printed the first time around remains internalized as fact.

Protest? Not in My Backyard!

He talked about the hypocrisy people embody when they can step over the dying alcoholic sprawled outside their front door on their way to the newsstand where they buy a paper and become horrified at a printed photograph of a starving ethiopian.

from Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration by David Wojnarowicz- page 178.

  1. it’s noble to want this world to change. why not? people are starving. aids is still a killer. there’re civil wars and genocide.
  2. all of those things are happening right here, in the united states, in hartford.
  3. the hungry go to soup kitchens, or find a meal with food not bombs on the weekends.
  4. aids is thought of, it seems, by this up & coming generation as a treatable virus, as something you have to take medicine for. the medical advancements are good and bad. people don’t die right away. but people don’t die right away, making it not seem so serious. and for especially young people, if a bad outcome is not immediate, then it falls off the radar far too frequently.
  5. there are civil wars being fought here, sometimes with guns, sometimes in other ways. there’s gang violence. stray bullets.
  6. genocide can be systematic and horrific without machetes. a lack of quality healthcare means that the working poor are often screwed. it means dying from treatable illnesses.
  7. people still picket the war. good. but there’s another split. there’s not much crossover between the peace community and those working on domestic issues. those who would drop everything to take a bus down to an anti-war march in dc are rarely at the anti-violence rallies in hartford.
  8. it’s like the problems here are invisible in consciousness. sure, the tv blathers incessantly about people being shot in the north end or frog hollow, and people stay away from the north end or frog hollow, but they don’t get blood boiling over our teens right here being hauled away in body bags, so to speak, just about every other week.
  9. i’ve heard people wonder why the anti-war movement, at least here in connecticut, is overwhelmingly white. i would throw out a few guesses, starting with an essay by bob jensen.