2013 Oct 12
2013 Oct 12
2013 Sep 3
Sitting around talking about free education sometimes feels like being at a church and everyone is talking about how GREAT god is (prRRreach!!) but you don’t actually feel shit or believe it’s real.
Everyone wants to believe.
Bums me out.
I myself am almost never not skeptical and self-aware. Too much, most times, to feel like I am even present in a conversation. When I was little in church and didn’t feel shit. When I’m doing yoga and they tell me to clear my head and I can’t. When “I am making art” and I self-consciously hate myself more than ever. When I was checking twitter in the middle of someone’s crit (sorry.).
What an asshole. I think I’m being melodramatic. The world is not ending. Actually the world probably IS ending. So I guess there’s no point in hiding anymore that I don’t believe in newspapers, science, or politics. I can’t explain why. They’re like church to me…flat. Something dogma paradigm paradigms something.
When the occupation at Cooper was winding down in a negotiated agreement that will maybe be helpful in saving the school, I was perhaps selfishly shunning it and doing whatever I could to keep the action going. Not, I think, because it was best for saving the school, but because we had created a completely separate and real ideological space up there with each other, one that I have almost never seen opened outside the context of direct actions and which I could not bear to see close again.
Direct action is like stepping onto a moving sidewalk at the airport. It’s like getting abducted at church. Inventing the universe from scratch every time you start a sentence. Money’s not real! This administration is NOT real! New York City is sinking! The building is upside down! Education is free if you want it. Delusional realism. They can’t remove you. They can’t not listen to you. Headlines that tried flatly to call your dénouement are forced to backpedal. They might not ~believe~ but you’re working on it for them and yourself.
It wasn’t always like this (a lot of times it sucked) but when it was good it was like getting grabbed at the shoulders and shaken by the universe: WHWOhohooAAAaaAA!!!!!!
I think some crackpots are able to let go of paradigms on their own. As if you’re lying in bed and you just fall through your mattress. But I haven’t seen that paradigm portal opened so earnestly to a whole group and taken off it’s hinges outside of actions I’ve been a part of.
Like I said, I couldn’t bear to see it close again. But it did. It needed to be considered a tactic in a toolbelt. Friends’ bodies and minds started to die after two months, after being threatened by friends to negotiate and foes to get the fuck out of their face. In a separate post I outlined how we’re maybe getting screwed, but didn’t write about the loss of delusional realism, which is how in my opinion you screw yourself.
The return to “real” realism. Institutions are malleable duh. With good strategy (and having met some badass freshmen) I feel confident that Free Cooper will continue kicking ass and is primed for a takeover.
But I realized what I’m really into is sitting in a room with people who are being shaken by the universe!! In a few cases, school was like that too. School starts again today. Happy first day of school Free Cooper Union students. I’m not a student anymore. What.
But when Jeff Gural and Mike Borkowsky close one paradigm black hole…Bruce High Quality opens another. I hate the universe it’s so fucked up. I’ve always been scared — from the time of pizza balloons — that my life was turning into one big BHQF piece. I don’t know if they can open a paradigm black hole, but we can use their space almost whenever to try this fall. Joe, Victoria, and I will be B.H.Q.F.U. Fellows, meaning Bruce is paying our rent so that we can spend more time organizing and thinking about freeeeee education. Thank you, Bruce. It might be even easier to do this here than in school, where I always felt like this was a meta-job that I should get out of the way so I could get back to making nothing. I’M SCAREd because I know how hard it is to fall through my own mattress if there isn’t a whole room of people doing it in an upside down building. Because I don’t know if 34 AVENUE A 3RD FL NYC 10009 (BTWN 2ND & 3RD ST) will be a church where nobody believes in shit. I’m getting scared that if I do it wrong it’s a co-opting, a re-creation of hegemonies, soc prac. As the saying goes, “a kiss can be art.” But I’ll be hanging out there doing whatever it takes.
You can sign up here to hang on Wenesday evenings at 7pm.
And there will be a lecture series about it all on Sundays at 4pm.