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Wow, been like six months since I posted anything here. No excuse – just haven’t bothered.But writing today cause I am off to New York tomorrow to see my brother, who is an applied mathematics prof at Stonybrook. No, don’t ask me what an applied mathematics prof is, cause it’s way beyond me. It’s math plus physics plus chemistry, and involves lots of theory, from what I can tell. At least, that’s what I gather from the little I understand when he talks.

Anyway, Occupy Wall Street is in full swing, and we’re excited about checking that out. Meeting up with an old friend of Meg’s who is in the city at the same time as us, and we all figure a protest gathering is an appropriate place to reconnect. And Mica is excited about Central Park and fashion and cool shops and cafes, as a 13 year old girl is inclined to be. Mostly I’m just glad to have some time with my brother, who I don’t see nearly enough and who has been going through a rough time lately. (more…)

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Some time ago my brother and sister-in-law were up for a visit from their home in New York, and we sat in the living room bull-shitting about this and that. Not sure how the subject came up, but my sister-in-law joked to Megan, about me, “We call Brian the lazy brother”. Offended? No. Hurt? No. It was pretty awesome, actually. I am pretty much satisfied with my level of accomplishment, and actually pretty glad that I am not an all-out achievement-seeker. I like to rest. I like to lie back and laze. I like to lie in the bath and read books. And sometimes – often, actually – I like to sit on the couch at watch the walls for an hour or so at a time, doing and thinking absolutely nothing. (more…)

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Everything that gets written on this blog is stream-of-consciousness. I sit down, I start typing, and at some point I stop typing. That’s it. Which is why there are typos, which is why it is sometimes way beyond dull, and which is why these little posts are, at their best, unpolished and kinda rambly and, at their worst, incoherent babble. But so be it.

It’s interesting though, how little thoughts turn into one another, the process of weird association in the brain that leaves us thinking what we are thinking. Today, then, an example of how such strangeness happens, this being the true story of my own brain’s journey along a few meandering pathways. (more…)

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It is International Women’s Day today. Originally called International Working Women’s Day, it was an explicitly working class day of honour when first celebrated 100 years ago. And IWD remains of particular importance for the Left, one of those days to remember past struggles, to pay due homage to those women – strugglers and diehards – who continue to resist and continue to hope big. But something more, too – a day to simply recognize the unpaid and so often invisible labour performed by women around the world to sustain their communities.

Today, personally, a moment to remember some of the outstanding women I have known. By no means all of them, nor even those I have known the best. But a few who cross my mind this morning as I take a moment to reflect. (more…)

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Been on a bit of Jesus thing lately. Thinking about religion, considering the role it plays in our understandings of the world, its function as an ethical code, a yearning for something more, a mark of community boundaries and so on. And generally considering the importance that religious symbols and religious communities have had at various time in my life. (more…)

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I am a communist, and an anarchist, and – despite the fact that I have not the slightest hint of belief in God – a Catholic. There are some, I’m sure, who find the last particularly worthy of ridicule or contempt, but so be it. And many who will wonder at how I identify as both communist and anarchist at once, some simply puzzled and some presuming this must be indicative of a failure to understand what either term really means. Again, so be it.

This post is not ultimately not about me. But as I think about political engagement, resistance, the incredible risings across the Middle East and North Africa, the re-igniting of labour’s spark in Wisconsin, and recent conversations fireside with friends from a wide range of communities and associated great breadth of political struggles, I can’t help but reflect upon my own identity as a radical, where it comes from and where it finds me now. But for now, I am thinking about the human relationships of struggle, and how hard it sometimes is, for those of us whose lives are largely defined by our political struggles, to distinguish bonds of love and respect among our friends from bonds of alliance and support in our politics. Or, to frame it from the other end, how common it is for what we believed were friendships and loves to go up in smoke because in a particular moment a particular political or strategic disagreement seems insurmountable, seems a symbol of profound betrayal. (more…)

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Lots of babies being born these days. Over the past six weeks or so, no less than seven people I know have had or are due to have brand-new gorgeous babies to welcome to the world. And that’s exciting to me, cause I love babies and I love to see new parents celebrate and find this whole new joy and love. Welcome, to all of you, to the very best of the world.

My own baby ain’t so little any more. A teenager now, and well on the way from the last of childhood to the meat of adolescence. It’s a time of pride in who she has become, a time of remembering that little girl who is, in a very real sense, gone, and a time of reflection on my relationship with her, my role as a parent. There is much to be thankful for. But also much regret and a whole lot of struggle with inadequacy. (more…)

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