if you have robust enough internet access to use neocities then you should get into knowing the truth about things, especially if any politics that i voice at some point seem a little too extreme for you. try here and here.

this blog is going to be on any minute cultural shit i feel like thinking about, or about any politics i have opinions on. personal stuff is in my journal.

on usamerican notions of race and meaning

a few days ago, i was reading online about tahiti, the largest island of french polynesia -- then tahitians, then the last queen of tahiti, johanna marau ta'aroa a tepau salmon, then her family, and finally to a man named tamatoa v, a son of the queen at the time, queen pomare iv (queen marau's mother-in-law). his wikipedia page had little to say on him outside of his offsprings' birth and death date and his eventual death. so i thought, surely there must be something else out there on the man on the internet! he can't have been tahitian royalty and left behind nothing. one of the first, and only, relevant links on the man was a "family search" ancestry website, which at the bottom of the webpage offers to:

put your face in a costume from tamatoa v's homeland

what more is there to say than that? anyone but the most bottom-feeding plecostomi of society can puzzle what's wrong here. but where? where did it go wrong? what can be said about a society which permits this commercial enterprise to exist among the refuse-filled tides washing up under your search bar? from a purely usamerican perspective, with our long-lauded cultural practice of playing indi*n, what does it mean, to stumble across an ancestry website that offers the opportunity to feed my face to a machine to get stored in a databank god knows where so that i can have the ancestral dress of the Raiatea and Taha'a islands of present-day french polynesia, an "overseas collectivity" of that old colonial empire, shoddily slapdashed over me?

for one, it speaks to a wider issue in usamerica. here i'll turn to some pedagogy put forth by a professor of mine...a youtube video. come back and watch it; or don't, the gist is a white man doing a silly bit about his german heritage, he takes a dna test, turns out genetically majority-scottish, and gives us this interesting little kernel: "we're not german at all."

i find this fascinating. if you grew up german, were raised with german culture, and you've identified and lived as german for years -- what does it actually mean that you're a different type of white after all? this isn't a question on the veracity of the claim that he bears no german ancestry. simply, what does the distinction actually mean, and how does it affect your life at all? why does it have to mean that, or is it willingly done? consider the differences between shifting ethnic and cultural identity completely at-will, as is open to this white usamerican man, compared to other, racialized ethnic identities which may seem more fixed in the perceptions of others, thus reifying their reality as a racialized person and with little room or use for such nuances as wolof vs akan, or somali vs afar. who is responsible for those changes in perception; you or others? is there backlash? is there a material difference? how?

naturally, we're bumping against critical race theory territory here, but instead of trying to zero down on it to any meaningful extent, i'm going to balloon the scope of what i'm talking about to a gratuitous extent bordering on "crosswalk portender of doom."

what i see when observing the way white usamerican culture talks about race is that there has been a complete and devastating erosion of meaning, when it comes to its own culturally-dominant darling, naturally bred for the express purpose of solidifying a new racial majority to keep minoritized races down. all differences which cleave apart the white race on grounds of nationalistic leaning or heritage are scrubbed away, leaving only a unified, amorphous blob of english, french, scottish, irish, slavic pallor in its wake, doing away with sectarian religious/economic/labor divisions and creating an unbelievably swollen united front against all other "races," whose definitions only become more obviously stupid and meaningless the longer you stare at how the us has tried to define them over time. now, i will not do a disservice to you or to me by trying to sum up the whole fruit of critical whiteness studies, but i will offer a seed of its scholarship: in the void of culture left behind, white americans are presented, implicitly, with two options:

  • accept the dominant culture of usamerica, that watery, ever-shifting graft-on as your low-cal substitute, with its colonial mythos of washington's cherry tree and the redfaced boston tea party, its hot dogs and hamburger-bedecked grillery implements, its multibillion dollar, protean-on-profit "popular culture" icons and fashion trends.
  • search through the dearth of personal identity for a speck of what lies elsewhere to be enshrined in new prominence: yes, this. this is what i ACTUALLY am.

notably, white americans are not alone in their quest for preexisting cultural identity where there lies none -- black americans, heirs to the legacy of chattel slavery -- similarly cannot always tread back the archives to find a grain of senegambian, beninese, whatsoever culture lying somewhere in the centuries-old pages. as it stands, black americans, a subaltern class of america and an undeniably powerful font of creativity, have naturally developed their own culture, having been denied access to white culture themselves for some time -- speaking in broad terms -- and, of course, having been human beings.

the difference lies, of course, in the racial stratification of white and black americans. as has been noted by scholar-activist kwame ture, it is only natural that a shared, endemic culture would thrive and disseminate more easily among a population forced together by extreme poverty and marginalization and brought together by perhaps still-standing african systems of traditional kinship -- "it takes a village," after all, and particularly so if you have to work 60 hour work weeks while rearing however many children.

the white american -- taken to mean the most culturally-normative image of one; which is to say upper middle-class -- is, for their part, not only encouraged to pursue the nuclear model of family, atomized and isolate, but is actually able to do so. there again is the difference: the white american CAN perform the american model of culture and partake in it to its fullest extent, because generally speaking, it was manufactured for them. it doesn't matter so much if the boston tea party didn't have any black "freedom fighters" aboard, just as it doesn't matter if no black artists won an oscar this year. this dominant culture isn't FOR them; it's for the white people.

but what should happen if a white usamerican is dissatisfied with their "skinright" culture, frustrated with its changeability, ashamed by its racist past, perhaps even feeling uninspired by its juvenility compared to other great civilizations of the world. unlike the black usamerican, there is a potential to look behind them. unlike the asian, latino, indigenous usamerican, such a thing is hardly considered "backward" or would mark them as being "undeserving" of their citizenship.

of course, in certain times, things may have been different. there was a time bounds and leaps ago where the irish and german immigrants were so brutally suppressed for their un-american qualities they participated in antiblack lynch mobs and minstrelry. moving on.

in any case, here it is: the quest for culture. if it wasn't already known, perhaps the white usamerican sends in a dna kit to ancestry dot com, or any other number of hucksters looking to hawk biometric data to the highest bidder, and receives, for their trouble, a lone graphic of a family tree right back. finally, the adult usamerican has found it -- their culture. at last, meaning. identity. heritage. pride. but this is an illusion, a farce: no one whose mind has not floated back to the dark and unscientific days of phrenology could really believe that culture is an inborn quality. an indigenous person of turtle island kidnapped from their family during the still-ongoing sixties scoop has a right to immerse themself in their rightful culture. the scottish-british-german-finnish hypothetical sibling of this person, who aspires to have a culture of THEIR own -- in what are THEIR aspirations for culture grounded? what, with all these generations of comfortable settling behind them and their biological kin, when they have not done so much as touched a piece of tartan cloth, when they have marinated in the sugary culture of the united states of america for decades at this point, could this person be yearning for? what could cause a person, thoroughly enculturated already, to long for greener highlands?

i posit that the answer is meaning.

i believe the average everyday american; not even solely the white among them, and indeed perhaps the entire planet, is currently searching for meaning (if not also food, water, medical aid that hasn't been sieged). but i believe in our late-stage capitalist-imperialist settler-colony society, that we are not only searching for it but hungering for it; starving for it, even, and in this arrangement which the dominant interests have set up -- as meaning is socially-constructed, and, remember that these upper interests similarly took advantage of pre-existing biases and a newborn colonial economy to orchestrate an institutionalized racial hierarchy for a black surplus laboring population and intra-class violence of poor whites against the impoverished and racialized for "stealing" labor opportunities -- the superstructure is all too happy to pour unfulfilling sludge down our gullets.

everything is a replacement for meaning, and everything is ephemeral. spiritual fulfillment can be found in a six-week yoga class made to "align your chakras through mindfulness," community can be found in fandom (the kpop army, the "swifties," the "potterheads!"), psychological fulfillment can be found in forty hours a day of "work," mythology and legend can be found in theaters, and on it goes. as climate change grinds down the differences between the seasons (as north-central turtle island experiences them) and every social media platform becomes the same regurgitated shortform text/video/photo fediverse-averse piece of excrement and every niche of creation in the visual arts remains in few hands and eventually is cloistered into only a few joint stock investor boardrooms, if even that many, cultural meaning is disappearing before our very eyes, or at least whatever illusion you and i took as "meaning" -- i certainly can't point to a time in history when "meaning" "died," and that's not really within the scope of this post anyway.

gone are the days of darning and mending, as the average person who ISN'T modern-day royalty would be expected to have to perform on their peasant clothing. gone, even, are the days of the private tailor on the new petty-bourgeoisie's cobblestoned street. your benefactor is no longer your neighbor, a fellow professional, nor even someone you can be totally sure isn't a modern-day slave: no, dropship outlets, online marketplaces, and big-box stores are your god now! consume endless plasticky-threaded garbage dredged from the sweltering earth and processed in a factory who treats its human workers like pieces of replaceable garbage; after all, that's what EVERYTHING is made out of in the future! throw it all away; give it all away, leave it to "rot" in a landmass or let it trickle back to the country it came from in tatters -- it's CLOTHING, after all, it doesn't MEAN anything. but what does it mean to the worker living off less than a dollar a day who toiled for hours inside of a suicide-netted, sweltering kiln, on aching knees and spine to make it and millions like it? and what does it mean to the corporation who just made $38 off your online order, shaving 25% off your minimum-wage monthly income and adding a humble 0.00000000057 (5.7E^-8) repeating to their total net worth, using shein's current $66B -- down from a hundred as of writing -- and the federal minwage of $7.25 for examples here.

i don't have to lecture to you about the decline in quality of clothing over time as styles eclipse each other more rapidly and factories are suited to make only the most egregiously, wastefully thin pieces of shit by the pound; everyone can see it and is kvetching about it rather than the state of affairs which have allowed this all to come to pass -- for ages -- in the first place. i am not a folkloric ned ludd urging people to smash at the machines of capitalism aimlessly -- the factory buildings have committed no crime, only their owners, and naturally violence committed against the means themselves will do little, if anything, to halt their owners. but garment factory human rights violations aside, as is cultural protocol...let's talk about fashion!

the cultural dress of one tamatoa v's homelands have come to be regarded -- apparently -- as just as meaningless as the usamerican notion of clothing. "just" clothing. there is little to no reason to hold it in high regard, to defer "wearing" it because it is not yours. you can simply put it on and take it off, and it means nothing to anybody that matters. no matter how many lawsuits different indigenous peoples must levy against corporation after corporation for the barefaced disgrace of cultural/ethnic dress, it stalled no one's mind, in the process of designing that website, to pull the plug on that idea. at least no one whose opinion actually mattered, that is. things only MEAN things, things only matter when they're part of the dominant cultural paradigm -- non-european conceptions of gender, belief systems, cultural dress, religious symbols; god forbid any of these are held in the same regard as their white-imperial counterparts except in small doses that eventually become assimilated as part of the system they intend to dissent from or criticize. reddit for conciseness. and because it's funny to link to reddit.

i do not ask for nor demand iconoclasm. as it is, there are tender few icons to smash apart, and fewer still that are tangible -- like i said, nothing is truly held in high regard, nothing is infused with meaning -- every movie starring the new cast of cultural heroes like the marvelverse, every celebrity to pick to side with in an abuse or violence-related legal spat, every televangelist church, every article of clothing is interchangeable, disposable, not something to be pondered deeply lest you stop consuming for a second and think about what all these trappings of domestic usamerican popular culture do actually mean, if indeed you are even aware they must mean SOMETHING.

on the impregnable inadequacy of the united nations

it is no secret to anyone that the united nations' alleged raison d'etre is to serve as an international peacekeeping force, nor is it a secret that it has failed miserably in this regard. current events at time of writing notwithstanding, the faux bulwark of democracy that the united nations and its dragon's hoard of red tape represents is obvious to anyone with an open eye facing back through human history. from its meek response to the rwandan genocide, the bangladeshi genocide, bosnian muslim genocide, zaghawa/indigenous-sudanese genocide, the ongoing genocidal abuses characteristic of the coltan mining operations in african nations, and so on and so forth, to its inherently misdirected and neocolonialist character, imagining the united nations as anything but a dress show for its wealthy security council and an experiment in public image boosting is grotesquely immoral at worst and naive at best.

authors have summed its failings more efficiently than i, but of those i have read i align myself somewhat with eric posner's "pessimism." the united nations' methodology of trying to enforce "top-down" morality wherein the elite write and orchestrate the enforcement of basic human rights is worth a hearty laugh if not its billion-dollar price tag. in a capitalist system wherein the opportunities to make the rules are dictated by whether one is able to access certain resources (education, time, bodily safety, the grace of the gatekeepers of the upper echelons of political society) are defined by your access to money, and the accumulation of sufficient finances requires some unethical chain of labor relations, it is obvious to see that those elected into positions of such power may not have the actual best interests of the world at heart.

this is without even a cursory glance at the obvious fact that in a world undergoing a sort of "second phase" of colonization along similar fault lines as before, those moneyed individuals will seek to preserve their money by any rhetoric necessary. during the 1994 rwandan genocide, un officials lept to assuage themselves of responsibility by claiming that intervention upon a state body would violate its sovereignty, despite the fact that the ethnic tensions in rwanda had been flamed for decades by german and belgian colonization -- it was the policy of these arbiters and defenders of human rights to discard their nations' roles in fanning the flames of hatred and destitution and go forth unabashed in their lack of regard for the loss of human life this willful ignorance caused.

if you can construe this course of action as some honest respect for the institution of "national sovereignty," despite the respect usamerican culture places on the notion that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government," the united states orchestration of the united nations to war against former "ally" iraq to protect kuwaiti oilmen -- intriguingly, intervening on the part of the oil-rich state of kuwait in order to protect kuwaiti sovereignty from iraq was perfectly acceptable.

the hegemonic u.s. and its cronies on the security council make a mockery of human rights by using the institution of the united nations as a method to facilitate the picking up and dropping of vassal nations, pumping its less-fortunate members or nonmembers with strings-attached loans that bar development and selecting similarly "benign" methods of top-down, centralized diplomacy. it is an insult to insinuate that the same vessel that produced the means for the persian gulf war is helpless to give the universal declaration of human rights or its treaty bodies any teeth.

but alas, such is the nature of a top-down, centralized diplomacy manufactured nigh exclusively by global northern intellectuals, think tanks, and doctorate-holders from prestigious european institutions whose wheels are greased by the milk and honey of neoimperialist capital. as is commonly said among scholars of international relations, human rights ought to be scored by their legitimacy and effectiveness, and the institution of the united nations as well as the inert discharge it refers to as its treaties fail miserably to achieve either.

the "rule" of united nations-style soft law is a confounding puzzle. human rights are considered self-evident to an adequately "advanced" civilization and therefore universalized, yet foreign to the minds of countries still in ideological and spiritual recovery from the brutal repression carried out by these "advanced" countries throughout the past centuries to the point that their enshrinement into practice must be brute forced or "carrot and stick"-ed into being, such as in the case of the highly predatory and repressive international monetary fund, whose loan programs are fit only for entrapping second- and third-world nations in a new form of practical slave labor to their imperialist beneficiaries; in particular the united states.

yet at the same time there must be no direct intervention in conflicts wherein the ruling government -- more often than not propped up by the u.s. or one of its allies -- brutally oppresses some or all segments of population, lest the council, inundated with the influences of its global northern adherents, 'regress' to its 'previous' policies of imperialism.

i do not mean to discount the strides towards textual enshrinement of human rights into law by those countries who have used the udhr as a talking point to validate the existence of their rights -- in fact, i celebrate the achievements of political activists in colombia who used the udhr to legitimate the right of women to abortion in a government addled with the draconian restrictions possibly to be expected of a largely catholic state. however, it is clear that relying on a confluence of grassroots organization, competent and well-meaning individual leaders, a sympathetic existing government, and an assortment of flexible and newly-democratized voting blocs in order to force a national government to heed the moral "expectations" of the international order does not present a workable or sustainable methodology to actually materially protect human rights.

just before my publishing of this post came to be, i was confronted with the news that the united states has vetoed the united nations' resolution to condemn all violence against civilians in the ongoing conflict. there is no conclusion i could offer that would be more succinct nor more foul.

contact your representatives. join a campaign. boycott. you must do something for your fellow people -- your government has not and will not.

on palestine, boycotting, and doing something about it

when living through a time of genocide, i find it incredible that some people refuse to take stands and hold on to the bothsidesism that excuses such violations of human rights and dignity. i stand against the ethnic cleansing that the apartheid state of israel is perpetuating before our eyes. claims of indigeneity are farcical when taken with the context of israel's statehood being sanctioned by the settler british in the first place: this land was not britain's to give. similarly, i stand against antisemitism and individuals who believe this is a matter of god vs. god, "arab vs. jew," or anything but colonized global southern peoples struggling for their existence against a settler class enrichened by the support of the world's modern neocolonist imperial core and predicated on decades of brutal settler tactics, like the nakba. misrepresentation is unacceptable.

speaking for myself, i disagree with a two-state solution and refuse to agree with the idea that the people of palestine must be forced to bear the burden of settlers impinging on their sovereignty, though this is only my opinion as an idealist: palestinians have agreed to a two-state solution themselves, respecting israeli sovereignty, but israel has not yielded in its obstinate hunger for blood and land -- and fossil gas.

and so capitalism, settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and brutality for the sake of turning a profit are once again proven intertwined.

they have used white phosphorus. they have murdered thousands of people in a territory containing mostly children. they have destroyed and monopolized water sources. they allow holocaust survivors to live in poverty. they have forced ethiopian women to inject birth control; forcibly sterilizing black jews without their consent.

but i digress. if you as a member of the imperial core wish to use your buying power, or at least attempt to, i encourage it. donating to charities unaffiliated with the united nations, red cross, or any so-called "international" organization may be more effective, however. in today's global economy, where capitalistic multinational hegemony rules the market, it is practically impossible to navigate the fog and discern what brands are NOT affiliated with israel. by far the most effective to boycott are those set forth by the palestinian bds: hewlett-packard, siemens, puma, sabra, carrefour, axa, ahava dead sea mineral (stolen from palestinian land), "produced in israel"-marked fruits and vegetables, and sodastream.

opinions differ on the efficacy of boycotting other companies, and certainly for people of certain incomes, avoidance is quite difficult. however, given mcdonald's recent deal for "free fries" every friday (actually only through a $1+ app purchase) and starbucks' recent "bogo" deal, there seems to be some anxiety on the part of executive parties -- and i personally would like to minimize how much money of mine these corporations receive, so i have taken it upon myself to make a NON-EXHAUSTIVE list of possible brands to skip past in the supermarket, or wherever you may see them. megacorporations' brands can be found on their website, and i assure you that finding their statements with a cursory internet search will yield the proof you're looking for. since google is pro-israel, grotesquely invasive, and monopolizing the internet, may i suggest the mozilla or tor browser and the duck duck go search engine -- and maybe go ahead and install adblock plus while you're at it.

restaurant chains

starbucks (tazo, teavana, naked juice, seattle's best coffee), mcdonald's, burger king, kentucky fried chicken, hardee's, subway, domino's, papa john's, pizza hut, baskin-robbins

fashion versace, jimmy choo, michael kors, aeropostale, forever 21, juicy couture, levi's, tory burch, GAP, victoria's secret, j-crew, jc penny, ralph lauren, playtex, calvin klein, banana republic (duh!), timberland

makeup/personal care

bath and body works

l'oreal (giorgio armani, redken 5th avenue nyc, maybelline, ralph lauren perfumes, garnier, lancome paris, vichy, biotherm, helena rubinstein)

estee lauder (clinique, mac, too faced, aramis, aveda, bobbi brown, bumble and bumble, glamglow, jo malone, killian paris, la mer, lab series, le labo, niod, origins, smashbox, the ordinary, tom ford beauty, kate spade)

revlon (elizabeth arden, almay, american crew, cnd, cutex, sinfulcolors, mitchum, britney spears fragrances, christina aguilera fragrances, elizabeth taylor fragrances, john varvatos, juicy couture)

p&g (pampers, charlie banana, luvs, ariel, bounce, downy, dreft, era, gain, rindex, tide, bounty, charmin, puffs, always, just, tampax, braun, gillette, aussie, head & shoulders, herbal essences, my black is beautiful, old spice, pantene, cascade, dawn ultra, febreze, mr. clean, salvo, swiffer, zevo, crest, fixodent, oral-b, scope, meta mucil, pepto bismol, prilosec, vicks, zzzquil, ivory, native, olay, secret, safeguard)

entertainment media netflix, cnn, disney (abc, espn, touchstone pictures, marvel, lucasfilm, a&e, the history channel, lifetime, pixar, hollywood records, vice media, core publishing, gopro, photobucket, maker studios, national geographic, hulu) warner bros., mashable, pcmag, ign, humble games, wix/wordpress (creators are israeli and zionist.)

squishmallows, lego, mattel (american girl, barbie, hot wheels, fisher-price, disney princesses, jurassic world, little people, megablocks, uno, monster high, power wheels, wwe toys, polly pocket, pictionary, apples to apples, rock 'em sock 'em, magic 8 ball)

the internet

google, wix/wordpress (seriously!), meta (instagram, facebook, whatsapp, oculus vr, giphy, sanzaru games, scape technologies, faciometrics (what lets the emoji read your face if you use that filter,) the tbh app, protogeo [and moves, its app], threadsy)


instacart, sweetgreen, ford, tide, nokia, motorola, gillette, energizer

and last but not least, as it is only here at the end so you would actually read what's before it rather than immediately exiting this page in despair upon seeing this section:


food and drink (do what you will.) nestle (anything with the purina label, carnation, cheerios, chips ahoy! (canada), coffee-mate, corn flakes, cookie crisp, golden grahams (non-us), digiorno, drumstick ice cream, garden gourmet, garden of life, gerber, haagen-dazs, hot pockets, kit kat (non-us), la vie water, lean cuisine, life cuisine, lily's kitchen pet food, maggi bouillons, milo, nescafe, nespresso, nesquick, nestea, perrier, pellegrino, stouffer's, toll house)

pepsico (pepsi, gatorade, crush, squirt, propel, dole, mug, canada dry, bubly, simply, life water, mountain dew, rockstar energy, celsius, brisk, tropicana, naked juice, hawaiian punch, aquafina, izze, sobe, kevita, lipton, manzanita sol, ocean spray, muscle milk, pringles, quaker chewy, life cereal, cap'n crunch, pasta roni, aunt jemima/pearl milling, chester's/cheetos, doritos, tostitos, fritos, funyuns, spitz sunflower seeds, smartfood, sunchips, rold gold, cracker jack, lay's, munchos, ruffles, starry soda, pure leaf tea, matador, maui style, munchies, health warrior brands, sabritas, sabritones, miss vickies, natuchips, popcorners, red rock deli, off the eaten path, soulboost, santitas, stacy's, spitz, hilo life, stubborn soda, voss, neon zebra, siberian chill, royal hawaiian, ocean spray, vita ice, fruit shoot, bundaberg, tang)

coca cola (lipton, aha sparkling water, barq's, coca cola, dasani, fanta, fresca, fuze, gold peak, georgia, jack daniels/coca cola, minute maid, peace tea, powerade, schweppes, simply, smartwater, sprite, topo chico, vitaminwater, ades, appletiser, aquarius, ayataka, ciel, costa coffee, del valle, dogadan, fairlife, ilohas, lemon-dou)

kraft-heinz/mondelez international (oreo, cadbury, belvita, oscar mayer, ore-ida, kraft mac & cheese, delimex, miracle whip, cool whip, clif bar, daim, halls cough drops, honey maid, bagel bites, classico pasta sauce, velveeta, ritz, sour patch kids, tang, stride gum, toblerone, triscuit, wheat thins, smart ones, abc, capri sun, wattie's, kool-aid, jell-o, philadelphia, golden circle, lunchables, pudliszki, maxwell-house, grey poupon, master, honig, plasmon, quero)

mars (3 musketeers, 5 gum, altoids, american heritage chocolate, balisto, big red, bounty, celebrations, combos stuffed snacks, wrigley's doublemint, dove chocolate, eclipse gum, ethel m chocolate, galaxy, hubba bubba, juicy fruit, kind bars, lifesavers, m&m's, maltesers, milky way, nature's bakery, orbit, skittles, snickers, starburst, tru fru, winterfresh, extra gum, wrigley's spearmint)

two statements:

  • boycotting in a world of intentional obfuscation by corporations and wherein your time and money are demanded by work and rent can be extremely difficult and disheartening.
  • palestinians and numerous other nations' peoples enduring grotesquely unfair wages, pollution, climate change, xenophobia, loose labor protections, and silencing at the international level by the global north's private and public interests deserve your consideration.

both of these statements can be, and are, true.

you may not have a lot of power, and you may feel as though you can make no difference. i myself do not believe a boycott is truly "enough" -- but i also believe that handing your money to these corporations when it is not vitally necessary you do so under the mistaken belief that supporting them is a foregone conclusion is both callous and irresponsible.

there are more effective paths to liberation, yes. but are you taking them? if not, how can you say that this is too little?

on mobile accessibility (and lack thereof)

i bitched a little on my tumblr about this, but basically, right now, most mobile platforms (tumblr included) are rapidly experiencing the effects of enshittification (article and explanation viewable under links). essentially, the endless crunch to make some item more profitable to grow infinitely better for investors, because to keep up, everything under capitalism must make more and more money into the future: stability is the enemy, which is why wikipedia has to e-beg lest it turn into the cesspool that, say, fandom wikia is (eight ads and trackers per page).

this has a lot of people, myself included, wanting the internet to migrate back towards personal website curation. and to be honest, i think that’s a fun idea, even though i have my doubts of neocities’ ability to provide enough server space to keep up with theoretical demand. you know, the free rider problem and all that.

but the other problem is that it would be racist!

the more you know about the world, the more aware you become that yes, everything is racist. toggling all social media activity onto a platform that almost exclusively caters to desktop/laptop users is a bad call, categorically and indirectly excluding lots of people of color. this “indirect racism” is a common problem in everything from ‘free choice schools’ to healthcare to computer programming.

lightning round rundown:

  • lawmaking: laws that allow ‘free choice’ don’t allow for provisions for people who work non-salaried, lower-wage jobs, because the school can and often does request a 9-5 appointment in-person with the parents. it also doesn’t require schools to provide adequate transportation, and allows the school to favor “better” more segregated schools as shorthand for academic achievement, shortcutting those who can’t afford private school and funneling the already well-taken-care-of into the best, most attractive schools.
  • healthcare: access to state benefits requires that the healthcare recipient have worked a certain type of job for so many years. a lot of elderly people of color who need state healthcare were either officially barred from these types of jobs when they were young due to segregation, or were unable to get access to college degrees due to their inaccessibility for poc in recent decades. this means a lot of elderly bipoc don’t get healthcare because of structural and systemic racism, even though you could argue that the plan isn’t “MEANT” to be racist.
  • programming: a lot of facial recognition software and skin/motion programming is trained on what’s most available, and what’s most available is usually white training data. stock photos, recordings, the people allowed to be seen are mostly white. that results in photo IDs for entry that don’t see black people, criminal facial recognition that has a hard time telling black people apart and frames the wrong person, and so on. consult work by joy buolamwini for more.

i don’t know. i’m aware i need to fix my graphics page because it doesn’t work on mobile, but i’ve tried to keep all my pages somewhat usable on desktop, laptop, and mobile sizes just because i worry about denying anyone access to my content if they want it. if we earnestly want people to get into web revival, surely we've got to stop the defunding of public libraries and make them more accessible to people, sure, but it doesn't hurt to do what can be done on your own end.

note: honestly it’s a bigger problem and has to do with the inaccessibility of expensive desktops to chronically-underpaid peoples who don’t have the same access to generational wealth as whites, as well as the long hours poc often have to work due to their overrepresentation in notoriously abusive sectors like service and agriculture and industry, but we have the power to do what we can to curate a positive and accessible space for those who are ignored by capitalists. and isn’t that a big part of what we’re trying to do by using neocities?

on commodity fetishism

i don’t know about you, but as someone who navigated the trove of adult knowledge that the 10s internet was, i had first heard the word “fetish” in a sexual context. learning about indigenous animist religions and hearing about “fetishes” as in charms or idols always threw me for a loop for a second, just because the word had been so hard-coded as explicit to me.

anyway, it’s interesting how the term “commodity fetishism” sounds way more incisive now than it did then. i think the implied marriage of commodities to sexual obsession is a pretty snappy thing! but that’s not really what it means – commodity fetishism really refers to how people look as items (with use value) as detached commodities made for the commercial vacuum. once a log turns into a chair, it’s a chair. it’s as though the chair came into being just to be sold, and the social relationship that is the buyer and the laborer and the labor-commanding boss’ combined efforts is made ephemeral, shadowed, obfuscated. it’s a magical thing, to want a table and to be able to summon one to your home through your want (and purchasing power). it’s not idolization or personification, it’s just referring to forsaking the human relations involved in the item’s production and viewing the item itself as axiomatic. you want to buy a table. you open and buy a table. you will now own a table. who made it? what is everyone’s wage in the table-making place? where is that, anyway? how many workplace accidents have happened there in the last year? who provided the wood to make it, where was the wood grown, what wildlife was cleared for the tree monoculture? what trucking companies are responsible for transporting it? what oil companies do the trucking companies buy from? where is that oil from; which countries? you don’t know. all you have to think about is the table.

through commodity-fetishism, through the perspective of the purchaser who enters the store: you buy a chair and now own it with no concept of the people who made that chair available aside from a glance at the cashier. the commodity-maker is now invisible. in today’s market, she almost certainly lives overseas. she joins an army of people across the global south who cut the wood, refine the wood, transport the wood, transport the wood again, treat the wood, shave the wood down into pieces, make the machines that treat/transport/shave the wood down, and the same for all the screws and nails and whatever goes into a chair; i’m an internet leftist pseudo-scholar, of course i don’t know how to work with my hands.

don’t get me wrong, i don’t hold the complacent purchaser responsible for the daily reification of this practice or anything – it’s through the shifty handiwork of the people who are buying up the labor power and profiting off of the chairs, who often inhabit the global north and may install cronies, puppets, or vassals in neocolonized states who provide the real estate and lax laws to really make profits sweet. when obama ate dinner with steve jobs and asked what he could do to entice apple into employing laborers in the u.s. (where wage laws are at least marginally powerful compared to not-at-all), steve jobs was astute: "those jobs aren't coming back." woof.

what i will say is that it makes me sick – not just to think of the people dealing with the worst effects of our commodity obsession living in refuse and squalor while being paid to make more low-quality dirt that their race will get blamed for, but what it’s doing to the overall psyche of the hegemonic class (white people, cough). everything is a thing to be consumed: young women’s bodies, black culture, eastern religion, “representation” with no soul to it, your wife, your house, your skin. want, take, want, take. it’s why people like us let people like taylor swift fly around and shit thousands of tons of carbon dioxide into our asthmatic planet for fun. the ruling class (not jewish people. whites. look at me. white people.) has divorced the working class from another through the power of racism and used white terror of being knocked down a rung closer to people of color to ensure that we’re all miserable, just some less than others.

it’s incredible to me, the inability of some people to care about the people behind the transaction, and nothing is going to change unless people do. that’s a weak, pithy conclusion, but it’s the truth – and i don’t have a solution. the inherent strength to this muddled web is that it was constructed to make the commodity seem autogenic, and is thus impossible to cancel out through the savvy withholding of one’s funds…though i don’t mean to discourage it. “voting with your dollar” is a pipe dream in this age of government subsidized transnational megacorps, (historically-predicated) financial inequality, “trickledown” fallout, but it also always has been because of how individualist it is. nonetheless, i would prefer to try my best to buy from transparent, ethical companies whenever possible, just for my own gratification. what else is there anymore?

on global warming in recent news

i've been watching the news about the ocean temperatures these days, and it's one of those things that's such a familiar pain i don't really feel like linking sources. i know what's happening. i know who did it. i know who's paying the price for it.

exxon's foul internal mission directives to downplay climate change. the steady death march of capitalism into destroying the environment that provided the riches for it to exist. economics, for all its allure of hard numbers and bare information, is proposed to exist in a contextual vacuum. it seeks to expand without limit, profit without end, innovation no matter the souls in the surplus laboring population crushed under its bootheels or the lush earth it razes to fuel its fires.

and the people, again, god, the people. it isn't me who's paying for the 101 degree ocean water or the triple-digit temperatures sweeping the world. it's the people with no air conditioning, the people with outdoor laboring jobs they've been funneled into by racialization, the people stripped of their homeland and clustered into infrastructure-less reservations, the descendants of enslaved laborers cooking alive in urban kilns with no greenspace and bursting with "no loitering" signs, the people on colonized island nations who are denied the safety and privilege of their settler-colonist peers and in some cases even staring down the eventuality of their homelands being swallowed whole.

for money. not their money. not even your money in most cases, though if you're white or american you do draw some tier of benefit from their situation. for money kept in liquid, ephemeral, stock market form, never even approaching the capitalist excuse of "trickle down" economics.

i hate the phrases of "human activity" and "anthropogenic sources" and "it's all humanity's fault." ecofascist bullshit. it isn't "humanity's fault," it's the fault of a specific tier of the wealthy. we know their names, we know their brands, and here we are. unless people take a leap and give up their ill-gotten boons at the second, third, fourth rung on the ladder, it won't get any better. but unfortunately for all of us, political revolution takes community -- and we don't really have that.

on old net

first of all, i feel more full of hot air than a fucking tea kettle talking about this when i barely witnessed it. i only started my internet addiction at 2008; i admit it; i'm a poser! a fraud! i even preferred the imac g3 to the musty commodores at the time! "but crt," you might say, "your whole shit is windows." and first i'd say that's not my name but it works, and second of all, it was because it was colorful! it was bright and inviting, like the rest of the internet at the time.

i'm not going to say that the eye-searing advertisements plastered everywhere now aren't, but at least as a kid it was funny to see some business hucking cash at some artist to make a spinning 3d advert so you could order a hunk of junk for $19.99 i didn't have. now what is there for the little bastards who don't have adblock? skinny white women on banner bars advertising keto, probably?

everyone and their dog has bitched about the death of flash, and i'm preaching to the choir, i know, but i do feel like it's worth lamenting over and over again. even sites that survived, like coolmathgames, are bloated with mandatory advertisements and wait-to-play pre-game videos like it was fucking easybib. the kids of today are getting beamed in the skull by ads on kids' sites, then beamed in the skull when they inevitably get funneled into instagram or tik tok.

by the way, i don't hate tik tok because i'm a sinophobe, but because it's an engineered commercial juggernaut. personally, the decision of the state to ban it on state wifi or whatever is just a perfect example of how politics makes strange bedfellows -- anticapitalists who fear overcommercialization and the erosion of privacy, and state legislatures. naturally, as a bedfellow would, they've just only taken a break to stop fucking us in the ass to do this.

digressions charged up by this whole stupid weather balloon business aside, though, i really do feel sorry for the weird kids of today. i guess they have roblox -- which i seldom used, literally because i was too afraid of how many people were in it -- but flash games and small advertisement-free community zones like animal jam absolutely formed my person.

when i was shafted by my friends for being unable to play sports, it devastated my confidence. finding a virtual space to talk and write and roleplay back then probably saved whatever scraps of social skill and inner personality i had, considering that a difficult childhood made it similarly impossible to express myself outwardly.

if roblox, youtube, tik tok, and instagram were all i had at the time, i have no idea what would have become of me. maybe it's a little myopic to only consider the ways in which the changing times would retroactively impact my development, but i can't really think of any other situations a kid might be in -- i don't know what the club penguin or pixie hollow scenes were like, and i can't find out anymore. everything was terminated because it wasn't generating profit anymore. the social good it provided to millions of children like me or not wasn't taken into account, because why would it be?

just like the loss of advertisement-free browsing and the loss of quirky consumer computers, it's capitalism's fault. god you guys better be prepared for how many of these are gonna end with that

on the spasming corpse of 10-style otherkinity and a personal retrospective (updated)

just as a preface, i know otherkin/kinnies/therians are still out there and that the subculture is extant. it would take a lot more than an extinction event brought out by the blinding cringe culture of the teens of the mid-late 2010s to blast something that started on the elfenkind digest all those decades ago, and it seems now that the subculture has gone back to its roots: yesterday werelist, today alterhumanity forums and people who still use tumblr like wordpress or facebook. you know, the out-of-touch nerds among the out-of-touch nerds.

but that's just the point! the old has eclipsed the fiery ball of gas that was kinblr, and probably kinstagram or...kinterest? that was probably a thing. as someone who passively observed it without ever really getting into the drama, it's been so weird to see the old vitriol fade out of memory. i know that minors still kin; i see it on here a lot, but it's not even an echo of the old days of "dni if you kin juuzou suzuya because my mutual does" sort of hyperonline webring bullshit. people used to fake their races in order to kin animeboys without being called out to the point where it was a serious fucking problem! i sound like a fucking geezer here, but it's got less to do with nostalgia (of which i have none) and more to do with my sheer fucking amazement that kinning for fun got blasted out of the terminally online teen's toolbelt almost as soon as "kinning for fun" or "kff" got coined. like, that was what most people were doing after all. there's no shame in it as far as i believe, even though it ruffled the feathers of a lot of serious older folks, which i get, even though i never really got the vibe when they were like, committed spiritualists instead of psychological/copinglink ones.

i think the psychological ones (who are probably closer to delusional attachment/copingkinnies) actually got ousted by their spiritual peers, even though they were good buddies in like, 2013ish. pretty sure therianguide still mentions psychological therianthropy, though, so i'm not sure.

anyway, the life stages of the online kin community seemed to have a relationship linked directly to the legitimacy of the claim of selfhood, exempting the comparatively more mature (as in, aged) and grounded therian community. first it was the spiritual "i identify as this because i was it in a past life," then the psychological "i identify as this because of unknown non-spiritual reasons," then the otherhearted "i identify WITH this," then the loop around back to psychological (but more specific) "i identify as this because of a delusional attachment, i know it's not real," then the kff "i kin for fun" thing, at which point what i know of the serious-lifestyle, late-20s mid-30s otherkin really started decrying the tweens for identifying as "kinnies," at which point it seemed everyone had gotten tired of the whole thing and either quit the kin stuff wholecloth or set it all side in a carrd link instead of right there in the about page.

i don't mean to condescend. obviously if i did this would be a "girl what were YOU doing at the devil's sacrament" sort of thing, to which i have to attest, i was also bending to lucifer's will, or at the very least curious about it. personally, i think the reason i was in the kin community in the first place was basically just because i have brain problems that fuck with my identity and ability to connect with people and because i love escapism and fiction.

if you were to ask me, i think the therian/otherkin bump in the 90s and through to the 2020s -- particularly as a phenomenon that arose on and in the usamerican internet age -- may correspond somewhat to the decline of "magic" and "spirituality" in typical anglo culture at this time. sure, there was a decline long before then, but i truly do believe that it could have been a sort of refuge for the 1970s fantasy nerds after being awash in satanic panic for a while. there's no question that the idea of being "othered" in some magical way is an uncommon for people with any number of mental or physical conditions. hyperempathic autistic "indigo children," intellectually disabled "changelings," spaced-out dissociative "earth angels," clinical lycanthropes, nonhuman dissociative identity alters, and on it goes.

for those of us not so disabled as to be othered into inhumanity by the psychiatric complex, as does happen, it would make sense for this new herd of internet-savvy children looking for explanations for their "otherness" to happen upon a prompt straight out of a YA novel -- secretly, you have a magical soul, you came from another world, your inclinations to roleplay as a wolf at recess when all your friends have graduated to talking about celebrities are not because you're immature but because you are ACTUALLY a wolf -- it makes sense that herds of us would have taken to it. otherkinity gives a very seductive answer to any number of questions in any number of childhood contexts. to the traumatized child wondering why they feel subhuman, to the child who feels more attached to fictional characters than real life people, to the child who is obsessively interested in dragons or cats or dinosaurs, the otherkin umbrella seems a panacea.

i don't mean to characterize alterhumanity as exclusively immature or childish in nature. as for why the community, whatever it calls itself at any point in time, deals with sporadic bursts of activity from children 12-16, i think my hypothesis could be a possible answer outside of 'this is when the mind develops an identity and gets in touch with the soul,' though i do believe that that is in a sense true. that time was, for me, when i first began to develop a stronger sense individuality...aided by internet access. the same points made about identity-development and the realization of the self as socially "othered" also could explain why many furries come to identify as such around the same age as otherkin, and could explain the possible overlap.

micro-scale social identity development pseudoscience aside and returning back to the topic of "magic," given the current state of popular religion, especially those which are particularly common in the u.s., canada, and western europe, (from which i have witnessed the greatest proportion of otherkin activity), i find it somewhat in-step with the current teen/young adult slide into new age religion and spirituality that young people really are appearing to favor having a strong relationship between their identity and their belief system that many disaffected youths may not find with whatever religion they may have been born into. perhaps taking on a nonhuman identity and/or enfusing it with spirituality could be a sort of rebellion against their circumstances, as people at the age cohort discussed are pretty much bereft of individual rights or control. perhaps it's simply an alternative way of viewing themself and the world around them outside of their guardians' direct influence.

outside of the realm of magic, maybe it truly is just a further development in personal identity, a tool to navigate the self, a fun label that grants them access to a community that feels similarly "othered," an exit ticket from the anti-magic greater mass culture, or any number of harmless, pleasant things for those who adopt and retain the label. in any case, it's an internet phenomenon i find personally fascinating. i look forward to seeing if and how it develops as a culture going forward, and what can be gleaned from it regarding the society and technology that have cradled it.

in the spirit of being one more nervous system fire in the old cadaver, though, and sincerely using the kinning framework at face value, i think i'd be a psychological ai kinnie. and the judge from off, just because he's the first guy i ever kinned and i think he's like 15% responsible for how pretentious i was/am. oh, and chara dreemurr from undertale because i have problems.

on neocities

it's hard for me to make anything, period. there's obviously the want for it to be liked to "make up" for me being me, which is its own thing, but it paralyzes me from doing anything if regular exhaustion doesn't, which is, frankly, most of the time. i think i'm really burnt out as a baseline, but negative consequences and insecurity motivate me for the "serious stuff" i have to do, so the burnout isn't as obvious -- and it's really easy for me to get scared i'm not doing enough! i can work for hours on my thesis and feel extreme guilt for spending my lunch watching youtube, even though i'm way ahead of schedule on writing it. it feels weird to call a "successful" student like myself or whatever a burnout when i can still get the will to focus on work, but god, i can't even play video games or read sometimes because i'm so tired.

and i really think i need to be doing stuff. scrolling endlessly on the couple social medias i have (but don't make original posts on) only worsens my mood half the time, and then i feel shittier for wasting my time doing something lazy that makes me feel bad instead of something productive that makes me feel bad.

i moved back in with my mom at her behest, and it's been a really difficult time for me that doesn't help the exhaustion, nor the terror of inactivity since i'm forced to sit in the living room with her all day and night. i think typing my feelings might help me sort things out, or at least gratify me somewhat, but when i've put effort into trying to curate some kind of aesthetically pleasing website i don't have the time (nor the energy) to actually learn how to keep up, i get stymied.

so i made kind of a mess. and i think i prefer that to the specific windows xp style that probably got people visiting my site in the first place. see how the background gets displaced when you open a tab on this page? i don't know why the hell that happens and i'm not gonna bother to learn, either. geocities bitches had the right idea about just making indeterminate hodge-podges.

long live amateurity and mediocrity. love wins


you are not as powerless as the powers that be want you to believe. whoever is reading this page: my one wish is that this galvanizes you to do what you can. if you can just click once a day, do that. if you can educate yourself an issue to spread it to other people, do that. if you can donate a dollar, do that. look within yourself and recognize others' humanity. the structures that constrain our world are not made to help the little guy: YOU AND I HAVE TO BE THE ONES TO DO IT.

this list is non-comprehensive and intended to expand over time. links here are intended to be accessible for the uninitiated.

help palestine

click to help palestine (unrwa) FREE click-a-day fundraising sponsored by ad revenue
crips for e-sims for gaza a place to donate for e-sims. money is maximized by pooling it!
unrwa witness palestine and donate to the united nations
al jazeera's palestine timeline educate yourself on the brutal history of british-israeli colonial occupation
funds for gaza rotating urgent list of individual and family donation campaigns
al jazeera's palestine timeline donate money directly to palestinian relief

help the congolese

friends of the congo contact your representatives and read about the violent expropriation of natural resources from drc
genocide watch congo educate yourself on the ongoing violence in drc
help children in the drc read on the experiences of and donate to displaced families, children, and victims of violence
the silent genocide of the congolese educate yourself on the brutal neocolonial appropriation and enslavement of the congolese and their resources

help the sudanese

medicins sans frontieres donate from ANYWHERE to aid sudanese victims of genocide
quick video summary on sudan educate yourself briefly on the developing violence in sudan
read about the occupation from npr educate yourself on the situation of doctors, activists, and victims in sudan
eyes on sudan donate to the sudan crisis coordination unit and demand action on sudan

help victims of the tigray genocide

human rights watch on tigray read about the genocide that's claimed possibly over 400,000 lives
omna tigray read about the state-sanctioned genocide and donate relief in ethiopia
rise up for tigray linktree connect with ethiopian activists and donate to tigray
world without genocide - tigray educate yourself on the timeline and effects of the ongoing genocide

support indigenous causes

linktree for valles centrales fire aide support zapotec communities affected by fire and failure of oaxaca govt. to send immediate aid
sign for recognition of the chinook nation demand re-recognition of the chinook people and an end to their humanitarian crisis
help the quileute move to higher ground aid the tribe whose name was appropriated for "twilight" relocate out of a tsunami zone
community outreach for chronically ill indigenous people donate to a navajo-nation run community-based care organization
native american rights fund donate to a legal aid organization that serves indigenous people of turtle island
timeline of the illegal encroachment on sami reindeer herding and way of life read about the ongoing colonialism in norway
survival international - potential genocide of the shompen people educate yourself on the $9b plan to destroy an indigenous peoples' homeland for economic spoils
sign a petition to help prevent destruction of sacred indigenous land sign and donate to preserve indigenous brazilian land rights

support other marginalized groups

black and trans led sex worker outreach program donate to uplift sex workers