I'm up in Portland this week, visiting Debbie and hanging out at the Bitch office. I haven't been here in about a year, and it's amazing to see how bustling the office is—with interns and volunteers and new staffers (hi, Brian!)—while maintaining a relatively unfrenzied vibe, even though it's the middle of production on a new issue. This kind of calm, um, was never really achieved when I was working here. I'm going to try not to read anything into that.
Last night I co-hosted a fundraising house party for the kick-ass feminist media organization Women in Media and News. I've been involved in the organization since its planning and launch, and am proud to be its founding board chair.
Someone on my favorite feminist- and media-related listserv just pointed me to this article, by the ever-knowledgable Cristina Page, about a new Health and Human Services Department proposal that would define the pill, the patch, the shot, the IUD, the ring, and Plan B as abortion rather than contraception.
This morning in my in box was an e-mail titled, "An Open Letter to the South End Press Community." I clicked right on it, before I read my daily-headlines e-mail or the note from Debbie asking my opinion on a Very Important Matter—and even before I read the note from the boy I am currently most crushed out on. Because I am a member of their Community Supported Publishing program, which means I get a copy of every single book they publish as a thank-you for my monthly donation, and that's how much I love South End, the publisher of some of the most important political books being pubished today. Just to make sure you know.
If you're not already familiar with South End, you should get to know them right now. They are, as their letter notes, "the nation's only unapologetically radical, feminist, mission-driven, and majority women of color publishing collective." Their list is tremendous: big names like bell hooks, Vandana Shiva, and Howard Zinn, plus less well-known but no less important books from Incite!, Andrea Smith, Kristian Williams, and many more.
So last week I tried to buy my plane tickets to the ever-awesome Allied Media Conference in Detroit, June 20-21. I was really looking forward to being in the presence of so many radical media folks, building coalitions, hearing about the work other people are doing, and just hangin' out. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a ticket under $600, so it's not going to happen for me this year. A lot of people are surely in the same situation, so I figured I'd spend some of what I budgeted for travel on helping other folks get there; if you can, please do the same (and consider donating to Bitch, too, to help with our very own Debbie Rasmussen's costs).
What that means is that right now I need to listen to peoplewhoknowmorethanme: to their analysis, to their experiences, to their strategies (not that I'm expecting anyone to hand me the answers on a silver platter, or that I think it's up to other people to tell me all about what's wrong with the world I live in, or that I plan to rely on others to do my intellectual heavy lifting, or that...yeah, you get the picture). And I'm eager to read what the carnival brings forth.
But if I just want to listen, why the hell am I talking?
Sorry for the terrible photo quality—I took this with my phone out the window of a car on the way to my acupuncture appointment the other day. I wanted to stop on the way back and get a better shot, but I was late getting the car back (I don't have my own but use the awesome City Car Share program when I can't bike or get somewhere on pubic transit), so I couldn't.