Hi, I'm Nick. I just graduated from college. I have a job in education for a year and then I will be going to Emerson for graduate education in publishing. Generally, my (largely reblogged) topics include marxist philosophy, feminism, semiotics, literary theory, quite a bit of humor, and anything else that comes along. I'm also trying to change my self-conception by blogging positively under the tag "positive identity."

Quote blog: The Neural Itch

This is my wonderful girlfriend.
"What is, so to speak, the object of abolition? Not so much the abolition of prisons but the abolition of a society that could have prisons, that could have slavery, that could have the wage, and therefore not abolition as the elimination of anything but abolition as the founding of a new society."
Moten & Harney, “University and the Undercommons” (via todoelajo)
Sunday, September 14, 2014
"You Were Cool" by The Mountain Goats



i hope the people who did you wrong

have trouble sleeping at night

you were cool // the mountain goats




Lawns are stupid. You have a tiny field that exists just so you can cut it and produce nothing.

(slavery content below)

Lawns are stupid! I don’t want to get too preachy (or, like, tell you things you have already heard from one hundred anarchists or alt gardeners otherwise), but lawns are absolute textbook bourgeois muscling. Probably they originate with gardens of British aristocracy and Louis XIV’s tapis vert, which is to say they were developed literally only as a way to extend the cultivated interior into the outdoors. Probably a lot of you know way more about the history of English gardens than I do, but their cultivated exteriors are part of this history, too—“produce nothing” can be argued to have been a status symbol, for sure. And grass has always been the actual most tedious thing to grow in any climate, so lawns require a lot of water dedicated just to keep them alive, and a lot of labor to tend. The first leftist who ever gave me this speech called it “conspicuous consumption of the aristocracy” which is fully fair.

I think most of the time critics of the Institution of the Lawn approach it as a 20th century construct, although everybody knows about Versailles. I think it is almost most important, though, to look at how the lawn came to America, namely, via Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, et al.: transplanting this performance of wealth (and, importantly!, literally transplanting difficult non-native plants into North America) “required” labor that sustained the slave trade. Lawns came to America as a display of slave ownership, and to create another “need” for it.

(I googled some stuff about Monticello, anticipating people being extra-demanding for sources here, lol, and I regret witnessing this shit.)

But, yes, the twentieth century. People who lecture at you about how lawns were invented by fertilizer companies are kind of not wrong! Or, at least, the lawn was fiercely marketed (mainly after WWII) via one million new consumer goods (pink flamingos, rototillers, and so on). What I am even more interested in, here, is how the suburban lawn developed through processes of zoning and neighborhood associations—ie, “your house must be oriented to the road as such, spaced x feet from the street” not distinct from the regulation of farming for food, or things like (surprise!) housing segregation as organized by community associations. (The tending of lawns and a “nice” yard was* actually a big part of how segregation happened, I have seen lots and lots of documents coming out of Flint in the 1950s that show white homeowners associations justifying redlining practices by claiming that Black people were incapable of tending to a house, and a yard.)

*still is

I think that’s all the big points!

"I think one thing you can do to help your friends who are depressed is to reach out to them not in the spirit of helping, but in the spirit of liking them and wanting their company. “I’m here to help if you ever need me” is good to know, but hard to act on, especially when you’re in a dark place. Specific, ongoing, pleasure-based invitations are much easier to absorb. “I’m here. Let’s go to the movies. Or stay in and order takeout and watch some dumb TV.” “I’m having a party, it would be really great if you could come for a little while.” Ask them for help with things you know they are good at and like doing, so there is reciprocity and a way for them to contribute. “Will you come over Sunday and help me clear my closet of unfashionable and unflattering items? I trust your eye.” “Will you read this story I wrote and help me fix the dialogue?” “Want to make dinner together? You chop, I’ll assemble.” “I am going glasses shopping and I need another set of eyes.” Remind yourself why you like this person, and in the process, remind them that they are likable and worth your time and interest.

Talk to the parts of the person that aren’t being eaten by the depression. Make it as easy as possible to make and keep plans, if you have the emotional resources to be the initiator and to meet your friends a little more than halfway. If the person turns down a bunch of invitations in a row because (presumably) they don’t have the energy to be social, respect their autonomy by giving it a month or two and then try again. Keep the invitations simple; “Any chance we could have breakfast Saturday?” > “ARE YOU AVOIDING ME BECAUSE YOU’RE DEPRESSED OR BECAUSE YOU HATE ME I AM ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.” “I miss you and I want to see you” > “I’m worried about you.” A depressed person is going to have a shame spiral about how their shame is making them avoid you and how that’s giving them more shame, which is making them avoid you no matter what you do. No need for you to call attention to it. Just keep asking. “I want to see you” “Let’s do this thing.” “If you are feeling low, I understand, and I don’t want to impose on you, but I miss your face. Please come have coffee with me.” “Apology accepted. ApologIES accepted. So. Gelato and Outlander?”"

#613: How do I reach out to my friends who have depression? | Captain Awkward

P.S. A lot of people with depression and other mental illnesses have trouble making decisions or choosing from a bunch of different options. “Wanna get dinner at that pizza place on Tuesday night?” is a LOT easier to answer than “So wanna hang out sometime? What do you want to do?”

(via startrekrenegades)

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