2017 In Review Part 1: personal, politics and uh, pizza ?
I didn't publish one of these last year. 2017 was a trying, fucked up
year in many of the same ways 2016 was but on the plus side I got more
politically involved with activism. Namely this was via the DSA in the
Bay Area. A big part of this was canvassing for Medicare for All which
tried but unfortunately failed to get off the ground in California. So
much for "liberal Bay Area" but then that typical means "socially
liberal/economically eat shit anyone making lower than 100K". However,
my comrades & I had a quite a few successes with people signing up
to support the cause and even on the hottest day of the year (when it
was a gross as hell 110 F in San Jose).
Additionally, I went to the DSA
National Convention and met a lot of comrades who I had only known via
Twitter or had met for just the first time ever. It was really great
meeting people not just from the chapters I was familiar with SF, C'bus,
Middle TN, Portland) but also ones I didn't know much about (Montana,
Houston, Central FL, Anchorage). This was also the first time I got to
experience the Chicago that's not O'Hare Airport. It's a great city
where I think I could live if it wasn't more pricey & colder than
C'bus. But otherwise a good place with a lot of great people. On top of
this, I went to a bunch of rad parties which started with a comedy night
in a art space hosted by comedian and Street Fight Radio guest, Arish Singh.
The next night involved a fun but somewhat confusing wrestling/create a
fighter board game with some fine folks from the Gainsville-area, LA
and (I think?) suburban Chicago chapters. The process of the convention
reminded me of the Music, Metal & Politics Conference I went to in
'08 - work stuff during the day and party at night.
The last party I
went to was at the In These Times office was wild as fuck as it was held
in a seemingly smallish office building but on the inside there were
extremely long hallways that snaked around and around. Shortly before I
was at the party I was feeling very anxious about seeing some friends
who I thought weren't going to be in town the next few days. So dumbass
me didn't see a giant crack in the sidewalk and fell on my hands right
into front of a music venue across the street. Though at the time I
hands had just minor scrape which after the party turned into what I
thought was a broken elbow late that night into the morning/early
afternoon. Fuuuuuuck! But luckily it was just a big sprain that I
thankfully got a sling and painkillers for. Thanks DSA Medical. However,
it was real shitty trying to navigate the blue line into O'Hara airport
> crowded plane home with 1 useful arm.
against the Neo-nazis in S.F. was another big event
for me. This was in August right after Charlottesville and a few weeks after the National
Convention was a huge deal. I had all kinds of fear going up that
morning and on into the afternoon. However, we saw exactly one MAGA CHUD
dingus with a shield on our way to the park. The only exchange that
went on was a an anarchist saying to him "hey, dude nice shield" and
that shied goofus walking away in shame. One of the things that eased
the tension was not just the turnout from DSA but the big turnout from
other orgs like PSL, ISO, WWP, a few organizations I'm sure I'm forgetting (sorry!), and a bunch of anarchists and quite a few
non-organization affiliated people that were marching alongside
everyone. The march went from Alamo Square and through part of the upper part of Market Street all the way into 26th Street in the Mission. I also really like that there were people handing out snacks and water along the march. Granted I've not studied a ton of anarchism theory but I believe this was a strong case of mutual aid.
I really wanted to go the next day in Berkeley when shit REALLY went down but I unfortunately was way too exhausted to go but big thanks to everyone who put up a strong front against the Nazis and their supporters. All this was a nice change from the very Democrat-party centered /
"The Russians are stealing your mail!" Women's March in San Jose in
January aka: Though, cheers to the person off in the distance who had the
"Fuck White Feminism" sign. Seriously stop giving support to the FBI and
put the fucking breaks on the 2016 election for-ever.
plus was getting involved with Columbus DSA and working with them on
promoting Tenants Rights, Medicare for All along with the weekly pizza nights. Speaking of pizza there's seems to be a billion places to get it here and I think they have nearly every kind possible. So, far I've just had the go-to of Donato's (pretty good but I gotta order something else on the menu minus standard veggie & cheese) and Hounddog's which is some of the best I've ever had. Anyway, there's loads more to do in this city and moreso the
more I learn about the gentrification and other major issues here.
in 2017: I listened to more Hawkwind & got deeper into Japanese
psych-rock like Les Rallizes Dénudés. Finally got the fuck outta
Swilicon Valley and onward to Central Ohio where things are a bit easier
and no more hellcommutes like in San Jose and Mtn. View. Columbus'
public transpo situation could suck less - i.e the buses only go so far
into Dublin (the next city north) which is really sucks when you work
there. Yet at least most things are 15-20 min. away with not too
much traffic. The narrow roads in certain places are something that I'm still getting used to but in general driving here is a lot easier than the anxiety producing ways of the Bay Area.
Work stuff was mostly shit as I had a really good job and good job environment up in San Bruno, CA but this multi-billion dollar company was too fucking cheap to hire me on full-time much less extend my contract or give me benefits. I continue to be a contract worker in C'bus with no healthcare benefits and a giant question mark where I go after this current job is done but on the plus side my rent isn't costing me a fortune and I have more space for less money.
I also watched a lotta college football than I expected.
It's sorta hard to avoid when everyone person at Kroger on Saturday has
scarlet & grey on but my only real argument is why the fuck did OSU
play USC on December 29th instead of New Year's Day? Welp by the time
that game rolled around I had lost interest and went to the MUCH more
fun Street Fight Radio live show at this place called Tree Bar in the middle of a pretty gnarly snowstorm.
to a new city and environment has been a somewhat tough especially
doing this entirely on my own. Plus, regretting some of the things I
left behind that I unfortunately didn't have space for but would've still
helped me a lot in my current apt. situation. Well, someday I'll get
that couch and a comfy chair that isn't from on thin legs. That said
Columbus has a million places to eat and I've noticed the bars are a LOT
cheaper i.e. - a $4-5 PBR tall boy in S.F. is about $2.50-$3.00 in
C'bus. Plus, I again live in a city where there's not just 1 record
store but at around 5! This is a big jump from the sad remnants of the
Mountain View Rasputin's which closed for good in mid-'17.
I have a bunch of challenges and stuff that I need to still figure out in the first few months of 2018 that I hope don't add to feelings of anxiety, occasional social isolation and depression I've had these past few months (which just carried over from the Bay Area only maybe a bit less intense at times) will be more in control despite it all.