3rd Blogiversary

On this day (give or take) in 2008, the doors opened on a feisty little blog called The Czech. Three years later, I am still here, battling misogynists, privileged assholes, and the many ways the world fails to do justice to all.

As a reward, I give myself this Angry Turtle Cookie!

Photo by kittycakesbakery on Flickr.

Watch a surprisingly fast and hostile turtle attack fluffy kitties:

You can watch another angry turtle attacking cats here.

Or if angry turtles aren’t your thing, here is a nice tortoise giving a ride to an adorable kitten:

Czech-Approved News Sources!

I just set up a new feature on The Czech. I have been getting many requests for quality news sources, and I’m tired of hand-writing the same list over and over. So now you can get them all in one place! Just cast your eyes to the left-hand column and scroll down until you see the section Czech-Approved News Sources.

I included a link to listings of African-American newspapers because I have found in many cities that I’ve visited the best independent print news can be found in the African-American newspapers. Shout out to Amsterdam News, The San Francisco Bay View, and The Chicago Defender!

Please add anything you think I missed in comments. My list is especially low on non-US sources of independent and alternative news, so help a sister out.

What Can Change the World?

Things that I think are more likely to make positive change in the world than Democrats:

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Dead Poet’s Society, written by Tom Schulman

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”
Margaret Mead

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation.”
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)

“”Realistic” people who pursue “practical” aims are rarely as realistic or practical in the long run as dreamers who pursue their dreams.”
Hans Selye

“Transformation is only valid if it is carried out with the people, not for them. Liberation is like a childbirth, and a painful one. The person who emerges is a new person: no longer either oppressor or oppressed, but a person in the process of achieving freedom. It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free their oppressors.”
Paulo Freire

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
Howard Zinn

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never allow us to bring about genuine change.”
Audre Lorde

Goblin

I’m ramping up for Halloween, and this video is simply the awesomest thing I have seen in a long, long time. This is Goblin performing the theme to Profondo Rosso live on Italian TV at some point in the 70s. It doesn’t get cooler than this.

People Growing Food & Saying Hello

“When the white man landed on the moon, my father cried. He said the day had to come, he knew; but still, he cried. I told him there weren’t any Indians on the moon, so stop crying. He said nothing for a long time. Then he said our spirits were there, too—and he was sure Indians were crying up there, and trying to hide, and hoping that soon they’d go back to their Earth, the white men, where they make so many people unhappy, and where they don’t know what to do next.

But my aunt told me, ‘the moon is yours to look at and talk to, so don’t worry.’ And I don’t. One day, you know, everything will settle down; there won’t be the Federal Government and their troops, or the army and navy and air force—only some people growing their food and saying hello and smiling when they speak and not worrying about landing on the moon.”

-Anonymous Oklahoma Indian boy, not long after the first moon landing.
From Native American Testimony, edited by Peter Nabokov, page 402

Alternative Holidays

I compiled this list originally to help me with social justice organizing… I wanted to find alternative holidays to use as occasions to do education, activities, or protests around certain issues. I was looking for holidays that celebrate people with marginalized identities, economic and social human rights, or events with social justice significance. I wanted alternatives to holidays celebrating imperialism, jingoism, consumerism, or a dominant religion.

I have linked to a website for each holiday if you want to learn more. Many of these are US-specific, which simply reflects my nationality. I encourage readers to add anything I have missed- this list is far from exhaustive!

January 17: Martin Luther King Day of Service [US]

January 27: Holocaust Remembrance Day (This is the day that Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated.)

February: Black History Month [US]

February 20: World Day of Social Justice

March: Women’s History Month

March 8: International Women’s Day

March 31: César Chávez Day [US]

May: Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month [US]

May 1: International Worker’s Day aka May Day
(Find out why we have a different Labor Day in the US.)

June 19: Juneteenth (commemorating the end of slavery in the US) [US]

June 20: World Refugee Day

July 18: Nelson Mandela Day [South Africa]

August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

September 15-October 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month [US]

1st Monday in October (Oct.4 in 2010): World Habitat Day (Celebrating the right to housing.)

2nd Monday in October (Same day as Columbus Day, Oct.11 in 2010): Indigenous People’s Day aka Native American Day [US]

November 20: Trans Day of Remembrance

November 29: Solidarity Day aka International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

December 1: World AIDS Day

December 10: Human Rights Day

December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa [US]

The UN’s list of EVEN MORE alternative holidays! (Scroll down to the United Nations category.)

SHOUT PEACE

Shout Peace on Mount Oread

The Oread Hotel, ostentatiously built atop “Mount Oread” next to the campus of the University of Kansas, opened in January.  Its location on the top of the largest hill in town (that would be “Mount Oread”), and thereby it’s immediate status as the tallest thing in any direction for miles (some townsfolk non-jokingly call it a “sky scraper”) is controversial.  Some people in the community aren’t entirely sure that they’re pleased that wealthy developers erecting a private, for-profit business are able to so drastically change their city’s skyline without community consultation.  Others think it looks like a giant medieval prison.  Still others think it adds “class” to a neighborhood characterized by cheap, rundown housing and nicknamed the “student ghetto”.

The controversy has only escalated since the appearance of a vandal’s ominous message on it’s highest wall: SHOUT PEACE.  Just read the comments section on the local newspaper’s story: The Oread hotel falls victim to vandals.

In a town/city of Lawrence’s size, it’s kind of a “round up the usual suspects” sort of situation. But what I love/hate about this little scenario is how a little bit of optimistic, anti-violence graffiti has rocked the whole community, creating contention, divisions, and sad head shaking about what the world is coming to.

Yes, what must the world be coming to when an activist shouts peace from the rooftops? Vandals! Anarchy! Graffiti! Urban crime!

Now that I reside in New York, my view on the situation is rather different than what I imagine it would have been had I never left Kansas. Really, my only reaction is delight. Wealthy business owners and a “high class” establishment for elites have been angered, an anonymous townsperson spontaneously took back a public-facing wall, and a message of SHOUT PEACE was spread.

Hilarious. And awesome. Typical Kansas.

Newborn Walrus!

For some unknown reason, people who have been searching “newborn walrus” have been landing on my site. But there are no newborn walruses to be found! Imagine their disappointment.

UNTIL NOW…

Newborn Walrus