Part two of my fiction series for A Sense of Place was just posted.
“I first heard of them from a witch. Her cards had said she should help the Muslims, and she hadn’t believed it at first. But her coven had heard the same thing, and had heard of Animists dreaming of animals speaking of the same matter. There were several shrines in this city, and their priests had heard a new demand from their god. Ceremonial mages had heard from their spirits, Shamans and spirit-workers from the land and the dead. They all heard the same thing: we should stop the violence against the followers of the Prophet.
Also, I just found work in Eugene, which is good. I fell in love with this place two days ago after walking outside the city (a very short walk, happily) by following a creek into a vast, quiet, and numinous stretch of wetlands. Work means I’ll be able to stay and do so again.
I’d sort of been keeping myself on hold a bit until finding work, finding myself unable to focus on things too deeply. I don’t own a pillow yet, as I’d been waiting for work, now have I had anything approximating good tea. Likewise, I don’t have a library card, because I figured it’d be a disappointment to have access to what, on all accounts, is an incredibly good library system and then have to leave. And most of all, attempting to work on a book about Capitalism while looking for work? Not as easy as it sounds. Each application to someone who might agree to purchase (exploit) my labor felt a little…tragic.
But that’s settled now. Also, I recently started reading David Graeber. I’ve been out of direct study of anarchism and critical theory for the last year and a half, and I somehow missed him during that time. Reading him I discovered a funny thing I’d forgotten–we, Pagans, with our general Naturalist bent (Naturalism the way it’s defined by others, not theologically), aren’t reading much Kropotkin. He’s responsible, more than any other, for critiquing evolutionary theory by presenting an alternative, non-Capitalist thread into it, suggesting that co-operation rather than competition is a primary influence on the development of species. Of course, he was an Anarchist, so there’s a reason most people haven’t heard of him.
If you’ve the time, I highly suggest this essay by Graeber: Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit. He does an excellent job at one of the things I’ll have to do in my book: showing that Capitalism is not responsible for technological “advance,” but is rather a hindrance to it. I’m hardly a futurist, but it’s something I’ve noticed significantly–what we see as “progress” (new information technology, new medicines) is often mere re-working of older forms in a way which presents an illusion that we are “advancing” as a civilization. Each new iPhone is merely a slightly better version of the one before, presented as a “revolution” when all it often ends up being is a reason to throw something away and consume something else remarkably like the thing that was just tossed.