Tired covers it

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:28 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
In the spirit of solidarity with Charlottesville, I went off to laugh at neo-Nazis with 20,000-40,000 of my closest friends, and get labeled an anti-police agitator by our Very Own President, today.

The general idea, as transmitted in one of the orientation sessions I went to, was to show up, stand tall, and nnnnnot let ourselves get drawn into confrontations by the white supremacists, who would be trying their darndest to make this happen.

So I got decked out in my "I stand by my Muslim neighbors" t-shirt and wandered down to Roxbury Crossing, found fairly organized Socialists a-plenty, and got the best poster off them ever. Picture with a new friend from much later in the march, slight content warning for concentration camp imagery:

One cuts pictures. )

They also had lynching ones, but basically I'm squicked by blood and gore, whereas the concentration camp one might well be triggering to some, but it also had people pausing to look at it, nodding to me soberly, and moving on. (I also got several high-fives for the shirt.)

Anyway, I eventually found the actual Black Lives Matter march leaders, plus Tito Jackson (candidate for mayor) doing his best preachin', and then we got started late. (Because, it is a march and it is required.) Soon enough, I stumbled onto my brother and his wife, or more accurately he stumbled across me while admiring my poster, and had marching partners. (I was going to hook up with Dedham Unitarians, but I couldn't find them.)

Since we started late, and because 20,000 marchers move slowly, we missed the so-called "Free Speech Rally" entirely, since they got shuffled off at 1:30 or so, and I wasn't even to the Common by that point, I think.

I did encounter some AntiFa-plus-BLM activists around 3:30 or so down by Park Street T stop, who had found some of the white supremacists who (for agitation reasons) had stuck around. One of them got pizza thrown at him (which almost hit me as I ducked into the convenience store), and then another one was rather literally surrounded by people *entirely* willing to argue with him until the cows came home, so I figured that was pretty much covered and bailed. As it turns out, there was a little bit of violence after that, but not much at all.

About 25 arrests for minor things, and a white supremacist arrested for carrying a gun without a permit or something similar. There were also some people throwing rocks (and bottles filled with piss, wtf?) at the police, sigh. Overall, the police were incredibly helpful during the march, and then got somewhat violent as the day progressed, but they were only slightly more pissy than I expected. Overall, worth thanking.

Link smatterings: Scale of the so-called "Free Speech Rally", as compared to counter-protestors. Roxbury Crossing area, around when things started, some Globe photos.

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Aug. 16th, 2017 03:26 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
I've lost my ability to drive for 7 hours straight at a time, which means that drives like the one I had yesterday telescope out to 11 hours, but other than that, I had a pretty good weekend+ in the Adirondacks.

I had had the vague impression that my sister-in-law's place was pretty small and uninteresting, but in fact, they own about 1,000 acres of land plus Sampson Pond itself, and have two small-but-well-sealed cabins right *on* the Pond, about 1 1/2 miles off the main road. It is gorgeous and I fell in love on the instant I got there. The fact the electricity and running water are generator powered means a) it's loud and b) more expensive, but it doesn't have to be /on/ all the time, and the expense isn't my problem, so that part was less annoying than I expected. The family originally bought it because they were timber barons off in Pennsylvania, and then some of the family split off and became more minor timber royalty (baronettes?), with way less land, off in New York instead.

They have a nicely symbiotic relationship with the local hunting association, who do some maintenance in return for ATV-and-fishing access.

There are canoes and rowboats and all manner of Things To Do on-Pond, plus some local touristy nonsense for those who are interested.

The Adirondacks have some high peak areas (over 4,000 feet) and some foothills, and a lot of hilly-but-mostly-lakes-and-rivers areas, which is where the Pond is. Sort of central-northern. I didn't get west of there, but in general, it feels like the White Mountains, only wetter and with more ground scrub than the Whites.

I didn't much care about (lack of) internet, although my SiL's family (on Verizon) got service while my brother and I (on Sprint) didn't, which irritated me only because I would either rather have A Phone Blackout or have everyone have phones and internet, and not this weird mixture.

Her uncle has been in the meaner version of A Course In Miracles for 5 years or so, in that he was at the monastery in Utah, where there are undoubtedly many wonderful things, but one is basically expected to never have negative thoughts ever, and if ones does, one should conquer them immediately, and if one can't, one is looked down upon vocally. (I extrapolate from a few discussions we (me and him and my brother & sister-in-law) had, and since I am not a CIM fan, I put a negative spin on it, but it's a reasonably accurate boiling down of some of what he said.) He's leaving in large part because they're moving to Mexico and he didn't like their place in Mexico last time he went, but he's still in the "they're mostly right about me" phase, and /hopefully/ will progress to "we were no longer good for each other" phase sooner rather than later. Though he's 70, so possibly not, but I hope so. He himself is steeped in psych and religion history and I want to get to know him better.

Best part of the weekend: Two nights spent on the pond (one on the dock, one in boats) with the aforementioned crew, star-watching. Saw a bunch of Perseids. Really quite amazing.

(My S-i-L's parents have a much earlier schedule than we do, so didn't join in. Her dad basically suddenly started waking up at 5 am about 10 years ago and can't seem to stop (I know a lot of older folks who need less sleep, which is different but similar), so her mom sticks with being somewhat closer to his schedule when possible. I enjoy them a lot, in a low key way.)

I was in a total news blackout for most of the weekend, so I figured war would break out or something. Instead, I had a vague awareness of Tiki torchlight parades, but then I re-emerged and we'd had protest clashes, deaths, and the President waffling around and then going full Both Sides Did It White Nationalist, which, while teeth-grindingly infuriating, is certainly better than war, but just proves we're having about 5 news cycles per day.

I will probably write up tourist nonsense from the trip over, maybe.

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