pantryslut: (Default)
I was kind of freaked out by my walk home from preschool with the kids. There were at least four cop cars and three police officers on foot on the block between the school and the highway bridge. It's not an easy block to bypass.

One asshole cop backed into the intersection I had to cross without ever even glancing into his goddamn rearview mirror to notice that, hi, a mom with two small children is trying to cross the street and can't tell which direction you plan to go.

I overheard something about "they're in the garden," so obviously they were pursuing/surrounding someone for some reason.

Four cop cars. Minimum. In Oakland.

I walked very quickly uphill. (Note for longtime readers: and checked the lock on the back door when I came home :P) I passed a nice woman with a tiny baby strapped to her chest, who smiled wryly and said something about "not a great time to be out here, I guess" and kept walking.

Yeah. I think we'll be staying in this afternoon.
pantryslut: (Default)
This happened around the corner last night. G. and I came home from dancing to find police tape closing off the entire block.
pantryslut: (Default)
Sometimes I don't talk much here about the things that are really, actually, preoccupying my head, in part b/c they seem so obvious -- they may be taking up space in my head, but that doesn't mean there's much of anything new to say about it.

Today, waking up in the aftermath of the riot in downtown Oakland last night, is an example. I could say a lot about my thoughts on institutional power and attempts to disguise/flatten its structure and effects; about false equivalentizing; about misplaced anger and justified anger; about private property, even. But I wouldn't be saying anything new or particularly insightful, and I would be opening this space up for pointless fights that don't even change anyone's mind, much less anything else more substantial.

So I am going to say something else oblique about a different, though related, topic.

I think I have decided that, rather than ever utter a word in any discussion of writing and cultural appropriation again, I am just going to buy a stack of copies of John Rechy's memoir, About My Life and the Kept Woman. (An awkward title that makes perfect sense once you get to the end of the book.) I am going to stick a Post-It note to the cover of each book. That note will read:

"If you think as hard about what you're thinking of doing as Rechy did about telling the stories of other people -- people he knew, people he spent a lot of time with, people who were his friends, but people who were not him, were not fictional, and had a different place in the world than he did, but not by much -- then you're probably heading in the right direction. But that's a start, not a finish. The proof is in the pudding and always will be."

This is aside from the rest of the book, which is quite lovely and thought-provoking and recommended.
pantryslut: (Default)
The mayor right now is addressing the protestors* just a half block down from where I used to live.


* For non-locals: there was a protest in Oakland tonight of the recent shooting of an unarmed black man by BART police on New Year's. Looks like things got a little exciting as the evening wore on; we've been watching and listening to the helicopters for a couple hours.

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