Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Subtitled A Toolbox for Revolution, the anthology Beautiful Trouble offers advice on how to plan and execute successful protest actions. Coeditors Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell have assembled the wisdom of many activists and troublemakers like themselves into a book about what works and what doesn’t, how to recruit people and keep them engaged, and where to direct efforts for the greatest impact.
For years now my brother has gone by the name Captain Smoke, or Smoke for short. I’ve always figured it’s a reference to his chain-smoking cheap cigarettes, but it could be about marijuana. I’ve never asked. I do know that living with our father off and on for more than three decades, as Smoke did, would drive anyone crazy enough to come up with an alter ego.
I’ve been staying with my friend Jackson, and I’m wearing his large red flannel jacket with the blue padding inside. I hope he lets me keep it. It’s a comfortable jacket, and I’d freeze otherwise. The wind is blowing. In Chicago in the winter, the wind chill is the only measurement that matters. I wish Maria would get here before the cold sinks into me permanently.
As I stepped into the screened-in breezeway between my house and garage, I heard the muffled sound of wings. Something swooped by my head and landed on the screen: a brown thrush. It had flown in through the open garage door and couldn’t find its way out.
We’re invading Iraq. It’s as open an act of aggression as there has been in modern history. . . . It’s the same war crime for which the Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg: the act of aggression. There’s a pretense of self-defense . . . but it’s no more convincing than Hitler’s.
We’ve made it easier for jihadist propagandists to convince the Muslim world that this is a war against Islamic values. . . . You want to know why we’re losing the war on terror? Because they have the better marketing campaign.
There are more than a hundred more mental disorders in the DSM today than we had in 1968, including incredible new ones such as “sibling-relational problem” and even “partner-relational problem.”
“When people see these photographs, I hope they see life before death,” Angelo says. “I hope they see love before loss.”
My mother sang and laughed. She had dark hair that gradually turned silver. She felt that no matter how little the money or how bad the loss, it was OK to have fun.
I’ve read that it’s common to be repelled by someone you later find attractive. My attraction to Reptile Man was like that. He hung out at Red Emma’s Deli, arriving at ten every morning like clockwork. He always read a newspaper someone else had left behind and spaced out three coffees over a period of about two hours.