Theorizing a future

This’ll be unruly, but after reading the preceding David Graeber piece last night, I thought of the work of Timothy Morton and Derrick Jensen, and the thought occurred to me that these three are helping to articulate something like a practical philosophy well-suited towards creating a pro-humanity, pro-life, anti-capitalist, anti-growth future.

In trying to do a quick online search of something related, I landed on this page, devoted to what it positions as five essential texts on Radical Environmentalism and I’m absolutely delighted by the unexpected choices contained therein, most especially so by the inclusion of Ralph Ellison and Emily Dickinson.

Dickinson in particular I have adored most of my adult life, and celebrated as one of our most profound poets and thinkers–through her writing.

The Argonauts crossed my path just yesterday, in this interesting piece on Heteropessimism, by way of a friend. I must confess to not recalling or having been aware of Maggie Nelson’s book, but given Indiana Seresin’s description as “a book once so rabidly popular among women and queers that my first copy was swiped from my bag at a dyke bar in 2016,” I’m very interested.

Additionally, I admire the writing of Solnit, and anything thoughtful, theoretical, and useful on anarchism is 100% up my alley.

David Graeber

Freedom has become the right to share in the proceeds of one’s own permanent enslavement.

Graeber, nearly as always, speaks more closely to my core inclinations than just about any other public theorist and activist.

My FB comment in response to the friend who shared it:

Shatteringly correct.

I’ve read him as much as I can, and one evening had the pleasure of actually talking with him about exactly what he’s written about here.

So much that’s written here is what I struggle with on a nearly daily basis–how to actualize and disentangle myself/us as far as possible from capitalism and all of the insidious social structures he’s described.

Monteverdi

I’ve suddenly become weirdly interested in Monteverdi.

Baroque music isn’t my go-to, and late Renaissance generally falls towards the end of my interest in ‘early music,’ but perhaps it’s the inherent bridging of the two that presents itself in L’Orfeo that gets me.

I have finally purchased a copy of this early masterpiece, and am looking forward to spending time with it.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/aug/03/monterverdi-orfeo-john-eliot-gardiner-the-inalienable-power-of-music

Sequoia National Park photo contest

So this surprised me this morning.

I haven’t been in a contest or competition or vied for an award for pretty much my entire adult life. It’s not my thing. In high school, my teachers entered paintings I did in school district contests without even asking (which is indirectly related to how I got accepted in to college, what with my uninspiring academic performance). I was nominated best artist in my senior year, or something like that. My main art teacher wisely vetoed the win that most people seemed to agree was mine to have, and gave it to the school paper cartoonist instead. To teach me a lesson.

It worked.

Thank you Jerry Citrin for that. Sincerely, I thank this wonderful, inspiring man many days of my life for teaching me that lesson.

On a lark, a few weeks ago, I saw the SEKI announcement about the photo contest, and figured, what the hell, throw a couple photos in the ring, and forget about it.

For a change, that’s what I did.

A friend asked what the prize is. I don’t know. I didn’t look, and I’m not concerned. I’m sure it’s cool, whatever it is.

Mainly, I’m glad to give a little something back to SEKI NPS, a place that holds some of the universe’s most beautiful secrets. Some are easy to find. Others take work and knowledge and skill, and sometimes just a touch of fearlessness. The place that yielded this photo is unseen by probably 95% of all the parks’ visitors. Simply getting there is half the photograph.

But as with all of the secrets of the mountains and forests and deserts, the getting there is its own reward, and as long as the trees will ever stand and the water will ever move, that reward precedes, and then follows, any mere photograph we might ever take.