No Photo Zone: Is Portland Cracked?

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I am certainly not in Portlandia. Trying to load my personal photos in a location more than the 5-block radius my son must abide by as a no-go zone after being booked by the Feds, I discovered that almost all my photographs are blocked for “security” reasons.

While I’m not surprised that our Anti-Presidency President Trump tasks the Feds to beat up journalists, I am not surprised that this is not allowed. (Double negative intended.) The better question is: Why would Anti-Presidency Trump allow anyone to take pictures?

A bit surprised Trump missed the irony, though, of tasking all these Feds to protect the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse. The irony drips and we don’t even need a statue. Misogyny first? Men first, even when Anti-Presidency Trump has a great Republican for law and order-bashing moment where he could get us all looking at disgraced 6-term liberal Republican Senator Hatfield assaulting so many of his female employees that he resigned almost as quickly as liberal Democratic Senator Al Franken from Minnesota?

Thought the alt-right was supposed to be so alt, even their young (or is he just so sloppy?) don’t get the irony that Hatfield’s not exactly a General Lee, but he should go. Why don’t they jump all over the hypocrisy of the old alt-left-and the Christie Todd Whitman Republicans for the Rule of Law? Why don’t the likes of @AndyNgo note that the 114 Feds (staying at the Marriott) are protecting a building named after a 30-year-serving “supposedly liberal” Republican Senator Hatfield, who left in disgrace? (His embarrassed wife. Antoinette, has quite a few things named after her a bit up the hill.)

I can only hope #MeToo would denounce him, given how many women he sexually harassed and assaulted during his career, ending in 1995. Part of the disgraced President Bill Clinton crowd.

Besides, I’m not here as a journalist but as a woman (mother) and an academic, who has had so many #MeToo moments that I don’t tell my graduate students so as not to discourage them from entering the academy. (My sons tell me that the reason they have so many girlfriends is that they are not “as****les” so not only the women but their mothers seemed to love them.)

Once the Feds jumped my second son and started flagging his mug shot everywhere (so he’d get beaten up by the likes of @AndyNgo and his crowd, I guess), I got on a plane despite being vulnerable as a PwD in a pandemic (having chronic disabilities and illnesses does tend to make a person vulnerable). My son’s brother already got beaten up and mugged by the Kent State PD in Ohio. I was thankful he didn’t end up in a coma, like the other protester against the gun-toting crowd at Kent State called into action again by a misogynistic alt-right woman, if memory serves well.

Talk about universities and the police — this is at least one tiny area where we could #defundthepolice #PortlandProtests as we get them off our grounds. With more Police Departments (PDs = 18,000) than McDonald’s (13,800) in the U.S., this will be hard.

Anarchy Finally Caught Up with Netflix

9780415945349  Anarchy finally caught up with Netflix. There is no such thing as an out-of-wedlock child, let alone “illegitimate,” but there is a parentless child, at least genetically. We live in an “on” world (i.e. computers have no or difficult to find on/off switches. Remember the radio?!). The surveillance state is old news.

More importantly, we now have genetically parentless children. This is to say it is not just government-sanctioned surveillance any more than it is a state or states that deem a child legitimate or illegitimate, like Rich Lowry, editor of National Review.

FYI, my book from 2005’s title is Bodies in Revolt, anticipating this situation by 15 years. Now the title is quoted back to me on Netflix, no less, or was it Acorn — in any case it is from the English empire (either Australia, Scotland, or England).

I gave this book the subtitle an “ethic of care” or bodily fluidity (it’s in the text) not necessarily from nature or requiring any performativity (i.e. Judith Butler). Stateless, genetically-less, “clon”-ish Bodies in Revolt are not revolting bodies.

The state is not only useless. The state is not only managed by state-managers, but the state of the state and the world at large more than sovereign and powerful states (i.e. empires) are not just order-less but facilitate a wonderful notion of boundary-less-ness that is transformative yet the form here means “many” (e.g. asexual, not sexual, can become a performative “they.” I too am “they.”*

 

* Fred and Theo accept my formation, though Max does not.


Trump’s People’s Park

Where would our former New Yorker, or any of his loved ones, take a turn, looking for a bit of freedom of — no, oops — peace of mind? Lafayette Park? Church? A temple, or how about a mosque, a revival tent where they do indeed speak in tongues (not some Hollywood version of it, I mean the real Weedpatch kinda thing)? It certainly wouldn’t be my mom’s alma m. on that awful Left Coast. Nor even inland, where extended “folks” got Ronald Reagan to take a turn and visit, less than 100 miles from Los Angeles, and 30 minutes off the 99.

It would be the whitest park of all, in NYC. Now I could go gather data. Instead, I went straight to the source: CPPD (one Central Park PD), not to be confused with all the other PDs, even in NYC.

Let me digress one more minute — did you know there are fewer McDonald’s in the United States of America than there are PDs? I know at least where the two McD’s are within 3 miles of my apartment, but not where 2 or 4 of my PDs are. (13,800 McDonald’s and 18,000 police departments.). This is of course why it’s easier to reform McDonald’s than law and order, let alone the police.

Here’s what I was: hot and bothered, bothered enough to go ask not one person in one building in the park but three, to go find one of the Central Park’s PDs (and of course get thrown out for asking for badges and IDs and names. I did get two of three). And here’s what the gentlemen officers told me (after the white one called me a racist, since I referred to the people outside that I counted as whizzing by with the fewest masks on, or should I say covering their noses while perspirating).

Clearly, this poor officer has not heard of whiteness, white supremacy, or even Zadie Smith’s white labels in one of her novels. More importantly, all three men tried to tell me that Central Park has no rule about masks, only social distancing. So we can run/walk/jog/cycle in a space that holds very few people following social distancing. Sweat is flying, mouths open, moisture of all kinds, and yet Mayor de Blasio has the gall to ask us not to wear masks and social distance in outdoor funerals and demonstrations? Is this because Central Park is not only white, it’s Trump’s Peoples’ Park?

Spiritual Sisterhood across States (and by sister I mean any non-patriarchal thinkers welcome)

dna  https://www.google.com/search?q=heretical+thought&oq=heretical+thought&aqs=chrome..69i57j0j69i60l3j0.2381j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 IdeaImpact.org’s project “Spiritual Sisterhood across States” 
welcomes you.  Until I get conversant with Zoom and lick this COVID-19 fully, we hope to begin with 12ish participants to whom we have extended invitations. Our initial topic will be how we are all coping in light of this isolating, alienating pandemic. We could all benefit from 45 minutes of discussing and sharing once a week/month/whatever helps. Think book club, only this will be a virtual coping club.

While we are not all girls and women, we are all sisters in openness. Spiritual Sisterhood Across States is for all those who are authentic and honest, and seek to understand or are searching for the nexus of their own epistemology/ontology, or what Socrates called “Know Thy Self.”  In common theoretical lingo — try situated-ness.

Spiritual Sisterhood Across States could well appeal to atheists, agnostics, or those who study or find fascinating all the different religious traditions over time (three dominant world religions, such as mainline and non-mainline Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and of course Zen, Atheism and Agnosticism).  This spiritual sisterhood is inclusive of all peoples in all ethical, spiritual, and religious traditions across all continents.

We are excluding those who believe in harming any group or category of peoples, forms of life, fauna and flora.

We’ve sent out the first round of invitations to those we think might be interested initially.  We hope to expand, though we must figure out logistics to do that.

And by all means, please do not think this is limited to girls or women or trans — it’s those who practice some form of the Society of Ethical Culture’s “Deeds before Creeds” ethics that are inclusive of all bodies (or peoples), no matter how many different intersecting, overlapping identities they embody or could embody.

To that end, a current picture, space, email and phone number will be required to guarantee that our space remains open and safe.  There will be zero tolerance of people, ideas or thoughts who profess white supremacy, white nationalism, other nationalisms, misogyny, institutional sexism, sexism, racism, nativism, xenophobia, and anti-atheism as well as anti-agnosticism.

Good Deeds over Creeds is accepting of all peoples, all genders, all sexualities and non-sexualities, races, ethnicities — excluding white supremacists, supremacists, misogynists, sexists, racists, nativists, xenophobes, homophobes, abilists, and any other artificial human hierarchies or institutionalizations. (Note: auto-correct keeps changing “othering” to “mothering” haha). Also it is not limited to academics.

So if you’re interested in joining once we get Zoom up and working for break out groups, please identify your “hood,” culture, tradition, religion, set of ethics, or what you most call the intersection of your ontology/epistemology over time or from an experiential perspective.  Drop me an email with the subject line “Spiritual Sisterhood Across States” at ruthobriencunygc@gmail.com.

To throw myself out there first, here is a short selection of ideas and thoughts from people, in books and in institutions or programs that I have read, edited, written, or heard. They greatly influenced my own ontology/epistemology nexus, helping me better “know” myself.

 

Martha Fineman, Emory Law


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The Public Square Book Series, PUP, Joan Wallach Scott, Politics of the Veil

The Public Square Book Series,PUP, Jeff Madrick, The Case for Big Government

The Public Square Book Series, PUP, Andrei Codescru, The PostHuman Dada Guide, Tzara and Lenin Play Chess

The Public Square Book Series, PUP, Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America

Writing Politics Specialization Founded

Ruth O’Brien, author and editor, Voices from the Edge, edited, OUP

1st book In Heretical Thought Book Series ~
Book Series Editor, Ruth O’Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York

The Public Square Book Series, PUP, Jill Lepore, The Whites of their Eyes, the Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle over American History

Baby, I’m Back

Been quiet for quiet some time. Out of deference to the President? No. Out of respect to this nation, he, Trump, Trumped, No. Borised?  Blond locks unite?  No?  White locks and blond locks unite?  

More mundane than that. Getting lots of my own work done.

Sure, I’m editing books and we’ve got some FABULOUS ones coming down the pike. Indeed, I’m behind in presenting Max Tomba’s Insurgent Universality, which came out just this fall.

Sure, I’m getting my own book written — 385 years of heretical women — my direct descendants or relatives, starting with Penelope who is not only scalped, impaled, left for dead, rescued, all on Sandy Hook where my sons learned their colonial history 400 years later. Then, she is sold or traded back to the Dutch, and marries her second Englishman (her first was scalped beside her and had the audacity to die in Jersey), and the fun begins — she’s one of the original 400 New Yorkers, and she’s got quiet a presence and even gets sued — when few women (certainly not the English) had standing. Good for her. Then, after cultivating the most land in Gravesend with her “man”, bearing two digits worth of children, they decide to skedaddle back to Jersey, when the English invade (again) where again she seeks shelter with the matrilineal, matriarhical, all around good gal tribe that helped her, helps her and her brood and crew, where again as a fam. they cultivate the most land … (Key here is not that they “own” the most as property is theft, or that’s what Penelope’s sisters taught her. To be continued….

No. I’ve been busy practicing my performances — I like to call them 1bottom or 1 body commotions with consequence. A sit down strike against those who bar PwD passage, or access, or acccommodation. It’s so common it’s almost trite.