October 3rd, 2003

3 Oct 2003, by

I rarely, if ever, have nightmares but last night when I woke up from this awful dream it left me tense and uneasy, and I had to tell myself several times that it was only a dream.

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3 Oct 2003, by

I have much to tell you, and probably not much time in which to do it. I haven’t been feeling too great lately, and I’ve been rather busy and it has all come down to not much time or inclination or energy to blog, though as usual all the ideas are still there waiting to be written and complaining when they aren’t. I am hoping there is light at the end of the tunnel and that my life will shortly return to some semblance of sanity. If it makes you feel better, blog, you are by far not the only thing being neglected at the moment.

I have been thinking and talking a lot of politics lately, most of which will not be elucidated here, but I do have one thing to say and it is this : California, if you elect Schwarzenegger, you deserve him. And I’ll be laughing at you. Oh, and I’m also very much enjoying the gloatingly tart irony of having a drug using, wild sex having, random woman groping, debauched two bit actor with no qualifications to run anything but his mouth represent the party of morality and family values.

I meant, of course, to talk at length about banned books week, but that has come and gone and not a peep from me. I’ll just say that I think everyone should annually take a moment to read one of the challenged books on ALA’s yearly list. If, perhaps, you should find that you don’t have the time or inclination to read a whole book, you might, instead take a look at one of the top 25 censored media stories of 2002-2003. In another slant on the freedom of information issue, I found this website on the Bush administration’s promotion of ideology over science to be both frightening and enlightening.

In other news, my friend Legomancer
has joined the RIAA boycott.
I think this is a splendid idea, and may give it a spin. When I have a moment, (which may be a while, of course) I’m going to go over to my amazon wishlist and trim out all the CDs that are on RIAA member labels. Then, I’m going to turn to my existing CD collection, and give it more time and effort and hearings than I have lately. With 500 CDs of stuff I already know I like, why should I buy anything new? So, unless something really spectacular comes up on a non-RIAA label, I’ll be buried in my own CD collection from here on out. I’m sure no one will miss my dollars, but I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing I didn’t spend my money to pay lawyers to harangue 70 year olds with Macs who can’t even RUN kazaa.

Among the things that I do as a human being is sometimes worry about huge overarching problems I could never solve and try to suss out whether I am contributing to the problem or if in any small way I can take a stand and refuse to let it be a part of my life. Right now, I’m really struggling with the problem of slavery, forced labor and child labor. This will probably sound stupid to most everyone, and I freely admit it probably is somewhat stupid, but in my defense, I can’t really help myself. I worry that I’m wearing clothes made by some 7 year old working 10 hour days. And the thing that is most frightening to me about it all is that I have no way of knowing whether this is the case or not. Sure, I could buy all my clothing from a place like No Sweat Apparel (yes, I’m aware the link is not working at the moment. I’m including it in the hope it will work again soon) if I were willing (or able) to spend my life in sweatpants and a couple of t-shirts. That would ease my conscience some, but I’m not sure that on any other level (primarily the taking a stand level) it really counts for much. Everything I’ve read about slavery, in particular, seems to indicate that boycotts are not a good solution to this problem as, being at the bottom of the economic chain, the slaves will be the first to suffer repercussions based on the loss of profit. But I find it repugnant to support such a system, to think that the clothes I wear, the sheets I sleep on, the towels I dry off with, the rugs I walk on could very well have been made by people with no freedoms and no rights for no money. I don’t want to live my life blindly, unaware of the harm I create, and I want – whenever possible – to do good, not harm. I feel it’s my responsibility to know where my clothes come from, and that they were made by people working a fair job for fair pay. I have no idea how to go about discovering this. It doesn’t really matter to me that clothes made in this way will almost certainly cost more than what I currently pay for them. It matters more to me that I cannot now go somewhere and pay top dollar and have any guarantee by doing so that I’m buying slave-free clothing, nor can I buy from “reputable” brandmakers and be assured of this, as it’s been proven they consistently lie about the labor practices of their subcontractors. Thinking about this has made me reluctant to buy clothes at all, to be honest. It’s not like I was ever a clothes horse or a fashion maven, I’m pretty much the most unfashionable girl I know (ok, so that’s exaggerating, though not by much), but even so, I’ve got some really beat up and worn out clothes that I should replace, yet feel extremely hesitant to go out and shop for. I know it will seem strange to people that I’m afraid to buy clothes. It seems strange to me, too. I’ve taken the liberty of making a list of links in the extended portion of this entry, for anyone interested in more information on the subject.

If I get an opportunity, I have some updates on my nutty co-worker to deliver. I’ve also got a couple of cute Sophia stories up my sleeve, not to mention more gabbing about Europe to do and some discussion of my Halloween plans. Today’s best news is that this week marked the return of my camera (the one that got broken in Europe) from the repair shop. It appears to be working just fine. Hooray!

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