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Notes From The Flip Side: 03.23.2003

"When you want to make it clear to the world that you're not an imperialist, the people you want in your corner are Britain and Spain."

Bill Maher

War on Iraq? Not in my name.

We've got our war. And I'd rather be flag burning. I disagree with this administration, its actions, its motivations and how it has handled this process. I will remember their names. And someday, I may have another opportunity to work against these war pigs and keep them from harming my country again.

After all, this is my country, even though it's a nation which feels increasingly divided by religion, matters of choice, politics and ideology; even though I usually feel like I'm walking head-on into the prevailing wind. I'm not sure when wanting to be left alone and leave other people alone to do their own thing became such a radical stance, but I'm tired of people wanting to meddle in my life when they can't even manage their own.

In some ways, it boils down to power, to people wanting to feel in control of something, anything - and those power relations at the macro level (whether social, economic, racial, cultural or another form) usually harm us since they are rarely negotiated.

I think about this periodically in relation to, of all things, sex. I used to read a fair bit of feminist criticism (Dworkin, MacKinnon, et al) and the prevailing view seemed to be that, since women were frequently abused through power relations, they were incapable of giving real consent, that all consent was in some way coerced.

I've been thinking about this at the interpersonal level - the micro level, if you will - because it's a place where we can begin to effect real change. I started thinking about this as a byproduct of conversations I've had with former lovers but there's no reason why this understanding of negotiation in relationships can't extend to friendships (which usually don't need such negotiation) and expand from there.

After all, I think most of us understand that we did not elect this government, nor did we consent to this abuse of power, nor did negotiation occur at any time. Instead, this administration seized power, subverting the will of the people, and has presumed consent while ignoring dissent.

While it may seem odd to think of this process in terms of interpersonal, intimate relations, it really isn't.

After all, the personal is political.

And right now, we're all fucked.

Off The Top Of My Head ...

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Last modified on Wednesday, March 26, 2008