things continue to happen on earth
|Roshan Abraham||May 16||1|
Hello I’m here mainly to bring you a few links to music & readings & talks that were valuable to me then hide again in my hiding hole. The weather is warming up and soon masks will start coming off & everyone will be able able to see how many grey hairs I grew during the past year. I think I grew the exact right amount but I’ll let you decide.
I got two jabs, waited 2 weeks & then stared directly into the sun for 60 seconds as is recommended; I am now fully immune from the coronavirus & can see angels. Like a lot of people in NYC I feel cautious optimism about the pandemic’s local impact (& less optimistic about ongoing vaccine apartheid ) though deep down I know that there are other, I guess, metaphorical pandemics around the corner. Sorry I promise not to be one of those people who says “x thing is the real pandemic” - I too hope epidemiological metaphors go the way of small pox. Pandemic deaths in the U.S. will go down this summer but if like me you need things to feel bad about to center yourself just remember that homicides and all types of accidental deaths increase in the Summer. Someone asked me what’s the first thing I will do when I’m fully vaccinated & I said spend a month in solitude processing what just happened. It’s been a few weeks now & I am mostly just embodying the confused math lady meme & wondering what to wear when I start talking to people again.
Some recommended readings & viewings:
Tamara K Nopper gave a great talk at Asian American Writers Workshop deconstructing narratives of Black-Asian solidarity & suggesting we structure Asian American liberation struggles not as parallel or competing for space with Black liberation struggles but as burgeoning from & benefitting from movements against Anti-Blackness.
We Must Regard The Revolution as Unfinished Asian American Writers Workshop put together a compilation of essays on the 50th anniversary of the Bangladeshi Liberation Struggle, including essays by Tanaïs, Mikail Khan and Fariha Roisin.
Haymarket Books has a free copy of Palestine: A Socialist Introduction available on its website.
Maybe old news but I appreciated this analysis of the failed Amazon union vote in Bessemer, Alabama
Here’s a list of mutual aid resources to donate to for people battling Covid in India
Books I’ve Been reading:
Grace Lee Boggs - The Next American Revolution
Poor People’s Movements - Frances Fox Piven and Robert Cloward
Curb -Divya Victor
Music I’ve been listening to:
I listen to reggaeton when I wake up (from youtube & also from car stereos outside my window) & ambient music when I go to sleep.
Here’s snippets from albums I’ve been really enjoying:
Rachika Nayar: Our Hands Against The Dusk (2021)
Brian Eno, Harold Budd - Ambient, Vol.2 The Plateau of Mirror
Sarah Davachi - Cactus, Descant (2020)
Visible Cloaks - Reassemblage (2017)
STEFA* - Sepalina (2018)
Floating Points/Pharoah Sanders - Promises (2021)
Freddie Gibbs is consistently great
I’ve watched this Bad Bunny x Rosalìa video I don’t know how many times & I think it is the best song of the year sure why not. I always mouth along to Rosalìa’s part when she sings “dime papi” & Bad Bunny’s part when he says “dime, mami” if you don’t also do that you’re bad
As long-time readers will know I only watch cartoons. I watched “Pacific Rim: The Black” because it has giant robots fighting giant monsters. I liked it! It did not have to do much for me to like it because I just want to see the monsters fighting, but it made good use of the concepts from the mediocre franchise on which it was based. It is 3D animated but does not look “bad.” I watched Season 4 of Infinity Train which was cute if way more straight-forward than previous seasons.
I moved to Jackson Heights which is nice. We have a really well-organized community fridge which you can donate to. I realized the volunteer infrastructure for these fridges is really important. Some people just kind of put fridges in neighborhoods & periodically post pictures of them to instagram. Those fridges are nearly always empty. You can also have a well-resourced fridge that’s always empty, because you need regular volunteers to do grocery runs and pick food up from restaurants and build relationships with vendors in the community. Food scarcity in NYC is very real & even the best-managed fridges are emptied almost immediately. The city has a food delivery program but the quality of the food varies greatly; it’s not unusual for city-provided meals, consisting of cheap, processed items, to go untouched in our community fridge even as fresh fruits & vegetables are snatched up quickly. I have more thoughts on the relationship between mutual aid and food policy but it’s only for my paid subscribers (I don’t have paid subscribers but if one of you pays me I’ll write about it.)
Some of my neighbors lost their home in a fire & you can donate to them.
I’ve been feeling not well lately which is kind of a bummer. I had to delay and then cancel a trip I had planned for my birthday and am still in sort of a spiral of tests & doctor’s visits to see what my body’s “whole deal is.” Will my body clarify our situation-ship?? Unclear; tune in next time.
I hope you are eating well and taking things slow. I hope you are meeting with others when you have energy & reading quietly when you do not. & because the vast majority of subscribers to this newsletter are people I know, I hope to see your face in the sun one day soon.
love & solidarity,