For the past three years, I've posted a blog entry for Memorial Day, to remember and honor all who have died for military violence - US soldiers and otherwise. This year I included a video of a 13 year old girl giving a speech at some energy summit in Rio de Janeiro. I believe that the speech was given in 1982.

The video was indeed inspiring, but I was so discouraged by how little progress humanity has made in the past thirty years. While the video was inspiring to me, I bemoaned that it was not also inspiring to the diplomats in the room; that the violence and injustice in our world were so clear to a 13 year old girl from Vancouver but her eloquent pleas for a peaceful and healthy planet, for sane governance and environmental policy, fell on the deaf ears of a whole generation of diplomats. 

I posted the video on facebook, saying "if we think reform is possible, we're kidding ourselves." This comment led to a discussion with a close friend - my own personal agitator - who took issue with what he perceived as pessimism on my part. I then clarified "my rejection of 'reform' simply implies my endorsement of 'revolution' as an alternative... don't wait for Obama, politicians, 'the man', religious entities, or any such nonsense to tweak the system here and there (that would be reformist). Just BE the change you wish to see. That is revolution."

After some more interchange, my agitator posed a few questions that I felt compelled to answer for this blog. Here they are with my brief answers.

1) If you had absolute power, wealth and influence in the world what would you do differently than those currently in charge?

I would share my wealth and power so that nobody would have need and so that everyone could join my work to build a peaceful world. I would also buy another planet. Just in case this doesn't work out.  

2) What is the greatest struggle you face in your daily life?

Going to bed by 11p every night and waking up by 6a. Quitting my terrible nail-biting habit, which I've had since I was a very small kid. Also, diminishing my body odor without using deodorant.

3) In your opinion who is to blame for all the sadness and sickness in the world? 

Well. Lots of people. But I'll go ahead and blame the people who are responsible in a most indirect (but still incredibly substantial) way: folks who are apathetic, complacent, ambivalent. Also Ronald McDonald.

4) What is the single greatest gift that you can offer the world?

I'm going to go with: time. Music is a close contender.


updates sure to come, haha.
Check out this load of dishes!
They've been piling up since I didn't get to them right after cooking about a week ago. My roommates have since helped to add to the clutter. 

There are dirty dishes. Somebody's got to do them.

There's a saying that spins around anarchist circles, "everyone wants a revolution but nobody wants to do the dishes." Nothing could ring truer in describing my years of living in community. And in a way, the same could be said about society in general. 

People use dishes without washing them. Dishes pile up. The sink overflows with dirty dishes so they cover the counters and stove. Nobody wants to clean the pile because "they're not all mine."

We sometimes approach society similarly. Poverty, inequity, homelessness, hunger, racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, heterosexism, xenophobia - these all exist, we see them all around us, overflowing the kitchen sink of our world, piling up on the counter and stove tops. So they are rare souls who confront this pile, sponge in hand, ready for the long, hard, dirty road ahead. Indeed it would seem as though cleaning dishes is the most revolutionary act of all! 

I hope to find myself in good company as the years pass, as I draw into community with fellow dishwashers, as I pursue the vision God has given me for the city of Chicago. Imagine...
I'm working on a new song, here's the first verse:

Everyone wants a revolution
but nobody claims responsibility
for the dirty dishes that pile up
when living in community.
Emma Goldman said a revolution
is none at all without a bit of dancing,
So I invite you all to this epic event,
the Dance Party at the Kitchen Sink.

On a marginally related note, I think I've decided upon the name for the endeavors I plan to undertake in Chicago =D