Other Writings, Elsewhere

December 27, 2016


To say the times are tumultuous is as useless and empty as proclaiming one of Dante’s imagined circles of hell to be unpleasant, and my own life has been largely consumed by adventures this past year which reflect the worldly tumult, leaving few opportunities to publish here. Those few textual artifacts from most of 2016 that do exist are on other corners of the internet.

Breaking the Will to Evil: On Various Conceptualizations of Climate Direct Action” was written for the Climate Disobedience Center blog. Acknowledging the uniqueness of the climate crisis and the heterogeneous political orientations that are converging into a mass movement against it, this paper discusses frequent points of contention or confusion in climate DA organizing. (Some of these points  are familiar from any number of other political contexts, but again, let us acknowledge the uniqueness of the climate crisis). Topics include the ostensible symbolic vs. disruptive binary; the need to eschew simple thinking wherein past movement trajectories can be replicated in the current context; and the use of moral force against a physically overpowering adversary.

On Direct Action with Trump Around” was written a few days after the election and represents a few thoughts on exercising counter-power to that wielded by this uniquely dangerous moron. With the overarching theme of the radical opportunities presented by the complete alienation of so many people and so much of the institutional power structure from the demagogue-elect, this paper discusses implications for climate action, the need to integrate work explicitly opposing the criminal justice system into climate work, and some general thoughts on leveraging smaller-scale structures of power against the federal government.

Sometime not that recently—2015?—I wrote this piece called “The Logic of Failed Climate Policies vs. the Logic of Direct Action: Oregon As a Case Study.” Along with this article in the Earth First! Journal, it forms a very modest theoretical core for a much more ambitious program of articulating explicit greenhouse gas emissions reduction trajectories which can be coupled with direct action. Doing this research and writing, in a way that is useful to groups doing climate action, is a big part of what I imagine myself to be doing with my life right now. Originally I put this up on the Portland Rising Tide website, then on a blog I thought I was starting this summer, before fighting the fossil fuel industry got so exciting for awhile I didn’t have time to be on the internet. Now I’m abandoning the notion of that nascent blog and relocating all the writing I’m certain I don’t want to lose onto a server outside the United States, under the assumption that it won’t be well received in dystopia.

Finally, here is a PDF of a zine I made in 2013 which was never released online and received almost no print distribution whatsoever. It was a sprawling endeavor with a lot of varied content. There’s texts on maintaining sanity in a dying world, and on maintaining an experiential connection with said world, which runs onto the literary end of things. And some more academic work on the connection between the developmental environment associated with technologically-intensive civilization and our collective behavior; as well as a piece on the changes in African elephant behavior and social structure wrought by chronic hunting. Not ever doing anything with this zine seems highly probable, and it was enough work it certainly warrants a link at the end of a list of links to things I’ve written.

It’s worth mentioning I was publishing here at a brisk pace for awhile, but that was back during the months-long odyssey wherein I never slept and spent the vast majority of my time remembering awful things I’d forgotten about my childhood. However unpleasant, that phase produced an almost uncontrollable desire to write. Everything I’ve experienced since spring of 2016 has, in contrast, produced mostly weariness. Perhaps more academic endeavors await, perhaps not. In recent months I’ve watched Aztec dancers blockade pipeline construction and witnessed the ascent of fascism through a reality television star; the cumulative effect has been to inculcate a radical aversion to predicting the future.

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