I’ve been telling people for some time that I’ve been wanting to do more personal updates to the blog. So here it goes.
This has been a pretty stressful week. But I’ve been deflating all day to hopefully move into a marathon week of studying and work.
I’ve been playing catch up with school work the past month and the stress hit its apex this week. After having talked to some professors and readjusting some of my work though, I feel I’ll be okay.
I’m very excited for SEAC at Wayne State. It’s growing in a great way. We all held a dinner event at a local bar to bring in folks who’ve been hearing a lot about us, but didn’t know how to take a first step in. So we invited a ton of friends, acquaintances, etc. out for pizza (on us), while we talked about what SEAC is, what we’re working on (socially and environmentally responsible investing at the university, pressuring local US reps and senators to pass good climate legislation this year), and told everybody about how they can plug in. About ten non-members showed up and I really get a sense that they all liked what SEAC was about and working on, and that they’ll stick around and work with us.
This was something we tried with SDS a year ago, shortly before I left. People showed up when it was held, I suspect because they had heard so much about SDS, but saw very little going on. The biggest problem was that there was such little direction for the local chapter or national organization that recruitment couldn’t really be sustained. People from the event came to meetings and left with no sense of anything to do, or accomplishment in the organization. But now, with SEAC we have an organization with a sense of direction, both locally and nationally, that is doing work people can plug into and help us build for change.
My friend Chris who just moved here from Ann Arbor and works with the Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition showed up to that SEAC dinner, but we didn’t really get a chance to hang out then. So we hung out later on Friday night, and caught Noman at the Trowbridge House of Coffee (THC), then went to the Motor City Funk Night (I went relunctantly, I usually get overwhelmed by the amount of people and crowdedness).
Funk Night ended up being pretty cool. There was more than enough space for everybody at the Hoban Foods Center (a pretty large empty industrial building, but I couldn’t tell if it was abandoned or not), where they held it this month. We parked over on Russell when I casually commented how shady of a damn spot my car was parked in. No sooner do I say then two kids start running by us saying, “Don’t go down that way man,” with no real explanation. We didn’t really need one, we just found a different way in. Everybody’s safe.
About three or four people at Funk Night had something to say about the party my roommates and I threw just a couple weeks ago to fundraise for SEAC. Noman, James & the Rainbros and Leaf Erikson played in my basement helping raise money for SEAC’s trip to PowerShift 09. The party went really well minus some things getting stolen, like to the tap to the keg we rented or a friend’s iPod.
Chris and I took off from Funk Night to Duly’s Place, a old school diner on Vernor in the Southwest side that got it’s start in the 1920s. I used to go there a lot when I first moved to the city, but unfortunately tend to only come around now for late night breakfast at $1.90. I went there when I first started studying Spanish since it’s located in a predominantly Latino community and would have a lot of opportunities to practice it there. It’s no more than a countertop in a narrow building with worn wood paneling, two tables and a bathroom that you can only access by walking through the kitchen, which I’m sure is in violation of some code of some sort. It’s one of the Motown’s best kept secrets. It’s also forever immortalized in the great Motown masterpiece The Rosary Murders, starring Donald Sutherland as a priest trying to uncover a string of murders that revolve around the old Holy Redeemer (right across the street from Duly’s Place). This movie is also features of Jack White as a child actor playing an altar boy.
Since that overwhelming night I’ve been wrapping up a book on Antonio Gramsci, that I finally finished last night. I’m probably going to write up something soon from the notes I took. Gramsci offers so much insight into how change is made and what moments like these (moments of serious social crises) really hold for progressive change. I’m also planning soon on putting out a quick article about all the madness around markets and why I think there’ll always be madness around markets.
Speaking of madness, two quick things to wrap this up. Rick Wagoner is out of GM. It’s about time as far as I’m concerned. Next step. Obama should follow Chavez’s advice and take it over. Two, everybody should take a couple minutes to watch the new South Park. I know, I know. But honestly, these guys have gotten about as close as anybody else to simplifying the economic crisis (and pointing out how absurd the whole matter really is). Even more than expert economists on NPR (of course, one might suggest that it may be in their interests to mystify the ordeal in the first place).