Clearly I'm not one of those people who can keep my blog up-to-the-minute, but I want to mention two more things about my visit to Detroit, even though I'm actually two states beyond at this point.
Before I left town, I had lunch with some staff members of Labor Notes, an incredible and radical organization/magazine that provides a forum for union activists to honestly examine problems within the labor movement (i.e., not just ever-weakening labor laws and employer offensives, but problems like weak unions and union leaders not doing their job). Similar to Bitch, they're a nonprofit organization that publishes a magazine. They also publish pamphlets and books (including one of my favorites, The Troublemakers Handbook: How to fight back where you work and win) and organize a bi-annual Labor Notes conference. I highly encourage everyone to read what happened at their most recent conference in April. There's some f'd-up stuff going on in union organizing these days.
Thank you, TrumbullPlex folx, for letting us use your space for Sunday's discussion. Thank you, Adele, Clara, and Jess for making the event happen here, and for getting the word out (and special thanks to Clara for the tour and history of the TrumbullPlex, a radical housing collective in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Detroit). And a huge thank you to everyone who attended. I didn't count, but I think between 20 and 25 people came. I felt honored to be in the presence of so many people committed to honesty, sincerity, openness, and creating a safe space to share what are sometimes difficult and differing perspectives.
Not a good week for the ladies, sports-wise. First up, in order of horrifying: The Chicago White Sox haven't been doing so hot, so they initiated a little "slumpbuster" that involved taking two female blow-up dolls and arranging them in the team clubhouse with baseball bats jammed into various orifices. Surrounding the dolls with players' bats, the team also stuck a sign on one encouraging players and clubhouse visitors to "push."
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?
Lately, it seems there's been more discussion of what it means to be a man. Maybe because old school notions are becoming so unworkable that there's a critical mass of resentful partners in hetero relationships; perhaps Hilary's presidential run is raising some eyebrows in sheltered communities; certainly, movies like Knocked Up and 40 Year Old Virgin, which portray an alarmingly large group of American males that exist in perpetual adolescence, have attracted media attention.