Mass Extinction

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mass extinctions
we’re dropping like flies
everything everywhere eventually
dies

The Passionately Apathetic

I’ve been thinking recently that there’s a certain sort of person in the world who could be described as “passionately apathetic”. You know the sort, they remain steadfastly disinterested, apolitical and “unemotional”… until they encounter someone who cares about something and is speaking up about it, in other words, someone who is simply passionate. The passionately apathetic person finds the passionate person intolerable to the point where they can become incredibly angry, vitriolic and judgemental towards them.

My theory is that this is because apathy is often a defence mechanism that comes from a place of fear and anxiety. The passionately apathetic person is terrified of the chaos that comes from emotions and passions of others and afraid of their own internal emotional landscape. They feel the passion of others as a challenge and confrontation to their own constructed apathy.

Genuinely apathetic people simply don’t care. I suspect that passionately apathetic people, on the other hand, are afraid of what caring might mean for them. To care is to open up our heart and being open is being vulnerable. Apathy creates a false sense of security and so when the passionately apathetic person is confronted with genuine passion, they feel the fragility of their own defence mechanisms.

Or… yanno… something.

Childless Women

We are just childless women but you like to call us selfish women.

While you preach your gospel of family values and hide away in your homogenous houses.

Hey, now that the Arctic is melting and now that our planet is dying… where are you?

There. We see you.

Expelling your energy policing our wombs. Hoarding and wasting resources while you attempt to resuscitate industries that gurgle death rattles. Desperately clinging to a futile and failing feeling of power and control.

There. We see you.

Standing by while the world burns.  Ignoring the cries of your children who are facing a nightmarish future. Do you tell your babies you love them? Do you protect the planet they live on?

You like to call us selfish women. But lately…

Lately I wonder if we care more about your children than you do.

The Creeper

Those of us who experience the world as women and girls (inclusive of transgender, non-binary folks, etc) know all about predators, in fact it has been my observation that as we age we develop an acute sense for them, that feeling in your gut, that discomfort that’s difficult to express in words but which tells you to avoid being alone with that man, you can’t quite explain why but you have learned to trust your instincts. Though instincts are imperfect, we also hone our skills by talking with one another about our experiences, about what we have learnt and about how we have survived. Recently, I had a conversation with my housemate where we realised there was a type of predator that we hadn’t heard a lot of discussions about, which we had both fallen prey to in the past, we named this particular species of predator “the creeper”.

See, there are as many sorts of predators as there are colours in the rainbow! For example, there are the brutish predators, they who will use direct force and obvious violence to get what they want. There are the camouflaged predators, those who use strategies of mimicry to imitate safe people, teachers, priests, family members, those who you should be able to trust. And then there is the creeper, a predatory species who has a specific sort of strategy involving slow, strategic, sneaking subterfuge.

The creeper is that guy at the party who will never directly reveal that he is attracted to you, he will not flirt and he will not ask you on a date, there will be no sense of sexual energy. Instead, he seems to want friendship, appears genuinely interested in just knowing you as a person, taking real interest in what you have to say. He will add you on social media, you will spend time gravitating around the same people, at the same social occasions. The energy will remain free of flirting, he’ll hover on the periphery of your awareness, just a nice, harmless person in your social sphere. Sometimes maybe he will just like a little too many of your posts of Facebook, maybe he will compliment you just a little too much, but it will never seem as if he is actually taking an interest and so you will shrug it off. He’ll never ask you on a date but perhaps he will invite you along to something you have mutual friends at, in a manner that very much suggests it is not a date. You’ll vaguely wonder if it is, but there’s never been a strong indication of his interest so again, you shrug it off.

Yet some day, somehow, you’re sitting alone on a couch and his hand is on your thigh. His mouth is on yours. You’re not attracted to him and you don’t know quite how this has happened but maybe you’re young and uncomfortable asserting your boundaries, maybe because you’re female, our culture has taught you that you are responsible for the feelings of others and though you don’t want to be kissing this man, he is a friend and you don’t want to hurt his feelings. Maybe his hand moves up inside your skirt and though this feels wrong, maybe you feel it’s already too late to stop. Maybe after you’ve had sex with this guy, you feel uncomfortable, gross in ways you don’t quite understand. You start avoiding him at parties and you feel guilty about that. He seems like a nice guy but you really didn’t want to have sex with him. So why did you? How the hell did this happen?

Here is our theory; Maybe he’s a creeper. The creeper moves slowly. So slowly that his movements are almost imperceptible and his intentions are veiled, so slowly that his prey doesn’t get a chance to become startled and take flight. You know that friend you slept with when you were younger even though you didn’t like him? You know that man who took an interest in your art and then when you visited to see his studio, his hands were on you and you’re not sure when it happened? How did this happen? How did you find yourself engaging in sexual intimacy with someone you had no attraction to?

Well… perhaps they snuck up slowly, ever so slowly, so you never had a chance to say “yes” and you never had a chance to say “no”. Perhaps they are a creeper.

Rebecca Solnit on Hope in Dark Times

The moment passed long ago, but despair, defeatism, cynicism, and the amnesia and assumptions from which they often arise have not dispersed, even as the most wildly, unimaginably magnificent things came to pass. There is a lot of evidence for the defense… Progressive, populist, and grassroots constituencies have had many victories. Popular power has continued to be a profound force for change. And the changes we’ve undergone, both wonderful and terrible, are astonishing.

[…]

This is an extraordinary time full of vital, transformative movements that could not be foreseen. It’s also a nightmarish time. Full engagement requires the ability to perceive both.

~ From this fantastic article.

If the land is sick, you are sick.

I just read this article: ‘If the land is sick, you are sick’: An Aboriginal approach to mental health in times of drought.

It made me think…

We were camping in outback NSW recently and the signs of drought were everywhere. The last time I’d been there, the land was abundant with strange and fascinating wildlife, lizards, butterflies, birds and plants I’d never seen before. Now it was just dust and underneath the worryingly dried out trees, I found the picked over corpses of baby kangaroos and baby emus.

I felt the reality of the climate crisis, I saw that we are truly losing these incredible treasures to the devastating affects of global warming. I thought about how Aboriginal Australians have been on this land for over 50,000 years, I thought of the book “Dark Emu” which demonstrates overwhelming evidence of how they had sophisticated agricultural practices that once made this land a fertile and abundant place and how in such a devastatingly short place of time, colonialism and Western agriculture devastated the land.

Not only were their people raped and murdered, not only was their culture silenced but the carefully tilled soil on their land was stomped down into compacted clay by the hooves of imported livestock, the grasses they made bread with were devoured… in a horrifically short space of time, colonialism and cultural imperialism transformed their verdant, fertile lands into something that was so much less.

And it keeps happening. They keep losing their lands because of our ancestors and because of us. Because of our mismanagement of the land our ancestors stole.

There has been a national crisis of Aboriginal suicides, over this summer, eight Aboriginal children took their own lives. Eight. Eight children killed themselves. Doesn’t this just make your heart break? Doesn’t this make your want to break down in full body sobbing? What drives children to such hopeless despair that they take an action that ends their own lives?

As I walked around the outback, there was dust, bones and silence. Too much silence. The climate crisis is not only taking it’s toll on the beautiful natural world around us but also the people least responsible for it happening. Taking action, demanding better from our politicians, our business leaders and ourselves… it’s our responsibility not just for the sake our our natural world and ourselves, but something we must admit that is a dark debt we owe as part of our colonial inheritance.

I love this country. I’ve lived here my entire adult life and I feel it in my bloodstream as much as my home of Aotearoa New Zealand, I also acutely feel my privilege and the understanding that for Indigenous and underprivileged people around the world, the affects of climate change are already here and they are utterly devastating.

Art For Sale

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Who likes affordable art? YOU LIKE AFFORDABLE ART! I’ve just put a bunch of little drawings up for sale on my store:

http://jngaio.storenvy.com/

Get ’em while they’re there! Prices are shit-hot, I only use quality artist’s materials and shipping is free in Australia and reasonable elsewhere! If this sale of little drawings is successful, I’ll absolutely do more of this in future! It’s actually SUPER difficult to promote my work as many platforms are becoming increasingly intolerant of work with any sort of sexual content and I’m really hoping to find a way to find a way to make a modest living off my art so if anyone felt inclined to spread the word, it’d be immensely appreciated! Oh and prices are $USD.