Politics

January 12, 2015: 1 step forward. 2 steps back.

By default I was just subjected to the trailer "The Boy Next Door."

The general plot was as follows:

- Frustrated working housewife/mother can't divorce her cheating husband. Has a one night stand with the strapping neighbor boy. Neighbor boy goes berserk when he can't get more. Neighbor boy turns into a revengeful stalker, ultimately putting the entire family at risk. Thus ensues the suspenseful chase scenes, violence, big explosions, and horror.

What I took from the trailer was as follows:

- Woman knows her husband is an arrogant, lying, cheating fuck-wad. Although she is stunning (Jennifer Lopez), gainfully employed as a teacher, and has support from her friends, she can't leave him. In a moment of "vulnerability," she sleeps with the neighbor boy who lusts for her. Rather than ask her husband for an open marriage, or perhaps an orgy with the neighbor boy and the secretary her husband fucks on the daily, she stays in a fearful silence. So now, she's terrified to tell her husband the truth, terrified to tell the school (where she teaches and the boy is a student) the truth and is subsequently stalked, threatened, emotionally, and physically tortured. And there is nowhere for her to go.

That - is an extremely fucked up message.

In summary:
- Men: Do whatever the fuck you want. Fuck whomever you want. Threaten the lives of whomever you want.
- Boys: It's okay to harass, stalk, threaten, and abuse women if they won't sleep with you.
- Women: Male infidelity is acceptable. Shut up, smile, and nod. Stop acting on your desires and deal with the violent consequences when you do.

Funny, this one time I thought it was 2015....not the fucking inquisition of 1515.
My mistake.

"  We are   the granddaughters   of witches   you could not   burn  ."

"We are the granddaughters of witches you could not burn."

January 11, 2015: Drug of Choice

Collaborative partnerships.
Free of runaway egos.
Full of boundless hearts.

A shared mission,
which honors the
strength in diversity,

the value of autonomy,
clear communication,
cooperation, and disclosure.

Gathering over good food.
Conceptualizing solutions.
Learning. Humbling. Always.

As above,
so below.

As in vocation,
so in love.

After all,
if done right,
both are simply
a true and honest calling...

One's drug of choice.
This lifetime.

November 6, 2014: ¡Sí, se puede!

Maikaʻi nō, Maui County. After $8,000,000 of corporate campaigning, the measure still managed to pass. Celebration is real and well earned. It was a close vote, so it is vital that we also work to prevent and to heal any fractures our communities may be facing right now. Let us humbly stand in the truth to address what concerns may arise.

>> JOBS: We must kāko'o our entire community in this transition. This means standing in solidarity with our farmworkers and calling bullshit on Monsanto when they try to use our people as pawns in their expensive political game.

There is no sound reason jobs have to be lost. Monsanto and Mycogen may continue farming all crops other than GE as well as finish with whatever experiments are currently in the ground. According to the law, they may use approved chemicals if they choose. They do this elsewhere at inordinate profits.

Farming is laborious. Thus, if they are actually farming, laborers should be in high demand. Look, they just dropped $8 million on an ineffective propaganda campaign. Surely they can find a way to preserve their assets whilst protecting the lives of their farmworkers.

Let me be clear here - ANY attempt by these chemical companies to leverage the livelihoods of their employees in order to gain political traction is unnecessary, irresponsible, heartless, ruthless, selfish, foolish, dishonest and a down right abomination. No one, no initiative, no entity is forcing Monsanto et al. to close their doors. Maui County remains an economically viable location to do agri-business. The ONLY entities responsible for what jobs may or may not be lost in the wake of this win are the biotech companies themselves.

As massive biotech corporations, they have a legal obligation to their shareholders. They must do their due diligence, such as developing a contingency plan that accounts for the clear political environment against GE, the clear market shift towards organic, and clear public opinion fearful of GE. By ignoring these factors (whether by arrogance or choice) and not having a post-GE trajectory that respects the lives of their employees is, simply put, bad business practice.

>>> People don't need to lose their jobs. If they do, that blood is on Monsanto's hands, not ours and we will be there to support those whose livelihood was unnecessarily taken from them. I will not be held accountable for Monsanto's arrogant refusal to get their shit together just because I'm protecting my family and this 'āina from irreversible health consequences <<<

Biotech has everything it needs to turn a profit without the presence of GE. So, just as we won the battle to protect the health of our people and our 'āina, we must rally to protect the lives of those who Monsanto et al. may use as pawns. In the spirit of farmworker and labor leaders such as Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, Si se puede! Yes, we can! We just proved it yesterday, and the struggle continues as we reach across the aisle to stand in solidarity with our farmworker brothers and sisters!

November 4, 2014: And so it is written...

Today, 11/4/2014, the citizens of Maui County passed the very first Citizen's Initiative to make its way onto a ballot. The bill places a Moratorium on the Cultivation of Genetically Engineered Organisms until they can be proven safe. A reasonable request rooted in the Precautionary Principle.

Despite the $8,000,000 well-oiled propaganda machine, Maui County voters prevailed. Democracy in action. We made history. We are setting a precedent. It's only the beginning, we know that.

But what a beginning it is.

October 13, 2014: Ola i ka Wai

ʻAʻohe wai, ʻaʻohe ola.
No water, no life.

(I am finding it challenging to articulate the immensity of today. But being speechless doesnʻt last long for this wahine walaʻau...an unfortunate convention for those near and dear.)

ʻOʻopu, ʻōpae, hīhīwai, and hapawai waiting to come home, loʻi kalo waiting to quench their thirst, and ka wai, the water, long waiting to be released, finally set free on a day that is celebrated across the United States as "Columbus Day" or "Discovererʻs Day" or "Indigenous Peoples Day" ---> a linguistic trail of gestured acquiescence as the long tail of the once indomitable empire slowly retreats in-between its quivering, gaunt, capitalist legs.

The arrogance of illusory entitlement.
The irreparable vandalism of avarice.
The sanctioned ignorance of privilege.

Encountered, met, and overcome by:

The auspiciousness of timing and release.
The virtues of patience and steadfastness.
The indefatigable spirit of doing what is righteous.

As above, so below.
As below, so above.

Ua loku, ʻōlapa ka uila, kuʻi ka hekili.
So as to match the freshwater figuratively rushing from the mountain to the sea, in an act of biospheric solidarity, the sky today is marked by water rushing from low clouds, lightning shamelessly brandishing its brightness, and thunder beating the drums of the heavens. In celebration. In affirmation. In proclamation. A reminder in the midst of our (mis)perceived human greatness, of our inherent human smallness. Which is to say, the water will always find a way to run its course, whether by the laws of man or the laws of nature.
We best be choosing our allies wisely.


"After 10 years and 4 months...which included a long drawn out contested case, protests, marches, documentaries, a dissenting opinion, appeals, and a Supreme Court ruling, Hui o Nā Wai ʻEhā along with Maui Tomorrow and Office Hawaiian Affairs and Earth Justice have secured the release of stream flow from Wailuku Water Company and Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company diversions that have been used for 152 years...E ola ka wai a Kāne."
- Hui o Nā Wai ʻEhā

He lā makaʻi nō kēia, o ke kanaka, o ka wai, o Hawaiʻi nei, and a stand for the planet as a whole. My heart has been personally enraptured with restoring stream flow for as long as I can remember. Thus twenty years later to see the fruits of victory begin to ripen, the results of an arduous and continual journey, which has far preceded me, is an honor, a privilege, and a motivation to keep moving forward. Holo i mua, mauka i makai.

"Monday, October 13, 2014 will go in the history books as a monumental victory for so many who have for generations worked tirelessly fighting to re-establish mauka to makai flow of the 4 great waters known as Na Wai Eha. Although this is a victory, we cant forget there are many others still fighting for their share of the water, especially in East Maui. So as we celebrate with those in Central Maui, lets also re-commit support to East Maui residents who have seen more than 100 streams negatively impacted by diversions for more than 100 years." 

September 24, 2014: Seduction is Stockholm Syndrome

This has been a thorn in my side for many years now but this morning I opened a NY Magazine article entitled Meet the College Women Who Are Starting a Revolution Against Campus Sexual Assault and my entire screen was taken over, assaulted by an advertisement for a makeup entitled “envy”. The tragic irony put me over the fucking edge.

Ladies: “Seduction” is Stockholm Syndrome.

I’m so utterly over it. I’m over watching women around me placate to their captors under the guise of “being empowered”. Reducing yourself to a sexual object, whether you enjoy sex or not, whether you claim to be a “tantrika” or not, is not Women’s Liberation. It’s being a sexual object. Let’s call a spade a spade.

A brief history lesson: There was the Women’s Liberation Movement AND there was the Sexual Revolution. Intersections existed, yes. Mostly over the availability of birth control (which continues today) but they are NOT the same movement. Although “A” may be parallel to “B” (A // B) , “A” does not equal “B” (A ≠ B). So, when one parades as a sexually liberated woman "B", awesome, thank your mothers who fought for that privilege. But that does not implicitly make you an empowered woman, "A". It’s math. And history. Together. Like Peaches and Cream…without the sugar drop.

Some definitions to help clarify:

Seduction: is the process of deliberately enticing a person, to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour The word seduction stems from Latin and means literally "to lead astray".

Stockholm Syndrome: or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness

This isn’t to say that sex, romance, adorning oneself, or feeling beautiful, are bad. Those things are great! It is the wholesale acceptance that “seduction” is somehow not only acceptable as an everyday behavior, but a preferable state of being, mostly for women and mostly in an objectified manner. That it is tolerable to lead men and women astray so that you can get you want. The primary issues here are (1) That’s lying and lying isn’t cool, and (2) It’s pushing the Women’s Lib Movement backwards.

Ladies, men think about having sex with you like 18,000 times a day. They have their own set of cultural conditioning unapologetically leveraging on their testosterone and lack of appropriate outlets in contemporary society. So to intentionally cultivate a personality, a languaging, a persona, the body movements, and an energetic that purposefully “seduces” men at every glance or sashay is a massive disservice to women’s liberation as well as to men who are trying to look past the sexualization of everything, ever.

Seducing a man is like shooting fish in a bucket. It’s nothing to be proud of. If you were starving and needed a meal and “Oh Heavens me, here’s a bucket of fish!” then alright. But it’s no significant achievement. Please abandon the conditioning that being perceived as a seductress is somehow honorable. Being perceived as a human, as a woman, as a whole being, as something outside of just tits, ass, lips, eyes, three orifices, and a tongue, that is (though unfortunately, more challenging) honorable.

No one here is telling you to don a bonnet and put skirts on the piano legs. It’s any human’s right to wear whatever they please, feel good about it, and most importantly, safe. But as a woman I am so frustrated with not only fighting an uphill battle against the patriarchy but now, post Women’s Lib, having to fight upstream against the actions of my sisters as well. This self-objectification is an insidious disease that spreads like a wildfire of envy, competition, scarcity, and show(wo)manship through our sacred femininity, burning up and annihilating the subtle beauties of being woman, or those identifying as woman. Silencing the subtle, dark nature of feminine. Numbing the subtle. Seduction is not subtle. Seduction is not beauty. It is trickery. Subtlety is beauty.

Let’s take the story of Krishna and Radha. I am not an Indian historian but I will take a gander that the large majority of women and men in the U.S.(largely in the geographical region between the Northwest and the Southwest) who claim to resonate with the story of Krishna/Radha aren’t either. From the layman’s perspective (not the academic analysis) you have Krishna – he’s a super rad bro, everyone loves him, he loves everyone, he’s got super powers (as Avatars do) and he’s generally an amicable, über competent dude. Then there’s Radha, she’s like the grooviest chick in the land and she loves Krishna and he loves her. So much so that er’body knows Krishna’s p-whipped by Radha. So like, even though he actually controls everything all Supreme Being status, she actually-actually controls everything from behind the curtain (you know, like most all marriages the world over). Then there is this added twist that most people are familiar with in that she’s the divine feminine, he’s the divine masculine and as such they are inseparable. Oh my Goddess, what a sweet story of mutual respect and adoration, I love it so much! It’s like an historic example of gender equality! Right? Oh wait; who are these Gopi bitches all of a sudden all up in the scene? Wait, Krishna gets access to infinite Gopi Booty? Oh, alright it’s an open marriage. That’s super progressive, so what are Radha’s man-bitches called? Oh. Radha doesn’t get man-bitches? *scratches head* Okay, so let me get this straight. Radha is bound to Krishna FOREVER, inseparable, no divorce papers allowed. She loves him unconditionally and ONLY him. Krishna on the other hand, digs her love, but also digs fucking the infinite supply of Gopis? I don’t know, man. That doesn’t sound so epic to me. As a matter of fact, it sounds like the EXACT patriarchal arrangement women have been trying to liberate themselves from! *face in palm* Frankly, I’m not taking my relationship cues from a society that threw live widows on the funeral pyre of their deceased husbands.

Now, we could get into a philosophical dissection of this story but that’s not the point. The point is – most people know this story to be: Radha loves Krishna, Krishna loves Radha, Krishna gets bitches, Radha doesn’t and it’s cool, preferable actually. And then they try to live up to that standard as if it is some golden example of equality. Dude, that’s messed up and NO-ONE in the new-age community even gives it a second thought. That’s Stockholm Syndrome if I’ve ever seen it.

If you need a deity upon which to affix your sexual identification, why not choose someone like Lilith; the badass chick that refused to submit to Adam, thus getting banished from the Garden of Eden (where you couldn’t even eat the apples anyway). But even better yet, just recognize that your sexuality is your sexuality. What you like and don’t like is up to you, it’s allowed to change, and it doesn’t have to be utilized in order to trick men or women into false-worshipping you.

What I ultimately ask is this:

Women: Check yourself. Why must you objectify yourself? You have so much to offer beyond being eye candy and three holes. Beautiful is fine. Sexy is fine. But using your body as a commodity, as your means to navigate the world – that’s not only damaging to you, sister, but it damages all of us.

Men: Come on, guys. Be smarter than that. See that shit from a mile away and rather than succumb, help a sister out to come correct and respect herself.

It is important to be clear with our intentions, clear of hidden agendas, and clear with our words - choose them wisely and know what you are identifying with before you affix yourself to the larger mechanisms behind every choice.

July 21, 2014: Stairway to Heaven

Antiquated brotherly rivalries.
Men fighting religious wars.
Crucifixions.

Yes,
Crucifixion.

In my lifetime, we are truly witnessing the re-emergence of crucifixion.
Somehow I thought that fell out of fashion with the Roman Empire.
Not so.
The witch in me shudders with memories.
The humanitarian in me shakes her head with something darker than disbelief.
The woman in me sees sons.
The sister in me sees brothers.
The daughter in me sees fathers.
The friend in me sees comrades.
The lover in me sees hands once used for tender touch and sweet caresses, slung lifeless over wooden crosses. Necks once used for gentle kissing, hanging down limp and absent.

Souls in scores, brutally torn from this plane, climbing their own, personal stairways to heaven.