Women Buskers Project Interviews #4: A Woman Saw Player and Woman Spoon Player!
Read interviews with NYC's Natalia "Saw Lady" Paruz and also Abby the Spoon Lady, from the US...(Read More...)
Mariide Widman, busking the Pike Place Market in Seattle, 1975
Women Buskers Project Interviews #3: More Seattle Women Buskers!!
Read interviews with Seattle women buskers Kathleen Winters and Mariide Widman...(Read More...)
Yva Las Vegass
Women Buskers Project Interviews #2: Seattle Women Buskers!!
Read interviews with Seattle women buskers Yva Las Vegass, Pamela Suzanne Burdwell and Christine Gunn...(Read More...)
WATER FOOTPRINTS: Hidden Water Costs for Products
"Water footprint" is a term used to define all the hidden water consumption required to produce a product. According to the National Geographic Magazine/April 2010 (http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/embedded-water/), it takes 1,857 gallons of fresh water to serve one pound of beef as food, when you add up the water the animal drinks, the water used to grow its food and the water used to clean its waste. Coffee takes 37 gallons of water to produce every cup of coffee. Although our planet is covered with water, 97% of the water is salty and 2% of our fresh water is locked up as snow and ice, which leaves 1% of our planet's fresh water for all our current water uses, which range from crop irrigation and industrial production to cooling nuclear reactors, sewers and drinking/bathing/recreational uses (http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthwherewater.html). Referred to as "blue gold" or "the next oil," competition for fresh water is growing all over the world as we pollute and use more fresh water than is replenished, overdrawing our environmental bank account...(Read More...)
Woods on Vashon Island, WA (Photo: K. Anderberg 2004)
"Do yourself a favor, educate your mind..." - Stevie Wonder
I have been involved with activism to help stop homelessness for decades. The following is an article I wrote on the topic a few years back...
(Photo taken by K. Anderberg, Downtown Seattle, WA., 2007)
Homelessness and the Privilege of Privacy
When I've been homeless, the hardest part has been the lack of privacy. The *privilege of privacy* is something many take for granted, but for those of us who have experienced homelessness firsthand, privacy becomes a mindset, rather than a physical reality. And that fortress of privacy within one's *mind* adds to the wide chasm between the housed and the homeless, often making homeless people seem "crazy" to housed folks. And when one has been forced to make *mental* doors that shut, since physical doors to shut for safety are nonexistent, it is as if there is a change to one's soul.
Discipline and Punishment in Prisons, Schools, and Labor
Foucault details how torture was previously based on physical fear and "collective horror," with images branded upon the psyches of all the spectators to torture. The progression Foucault describes in punishment was a move to punishment now being based on a "lesson," and legally prescribed punishments for crimes with elemental standards. Foucault then also says this "gentler" punishment would then make possible "in society an inversion of the traditional discourse of crime," meaning there needed to be a proactive move to "extinguish the dubious glory of the criminal." (It is interesting to look at modern society's current glorification of "thug life," and "gangsta rap," as well as old school classics such as Ice-T's "Cop Killer" in this context.) Foucault says the discipline movement wanted to "silence the adventures of the great criminals celebrated in the almanacs, broadsheets, and popular tales," and that these then must be replaced in the public conscience by the recording and publicity of the punishment of these criminals so "the crime can no longer appear as anything but misfortune and the criminal as an enemy who must be re-educated into social life."
Miriamma Carson, Amazing Midwife
Women helping other women deliver babies is as old as humanity. It makes sense. So why do mainstream doctors and hospitals act like midwifery is some radical, dangerous, medically-irresponsible quackery? In Scandanavia, the UK, and the Netherlands, female midwifery is a thriving occupation. Yet in America, it has been constructively outlawed as a profession, for 100 years. While I was in labor, during my home birth, I actually asked the midwives, "Are you sure this is okay to do at home, and not in a hospital?" They said, "Kirsten, think about it. THIS is the way women birthed for thousands of years before doctors and hospitals." That made sense, but I had to ask, due to my years of American medical brainwashing.
Nettles have many medicinal uses...
Nettles, Nettles, Everywhere!
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) grow like weeds in the woods where I live in the Pacific Northwest (Washington State, USA). Spring is the time to collect the top 6-8 inches of stinging nettles before they flower. You can dry them for later use, or make fresh oil or vinegar infusions, tinctures, hair tonics, herbal drinks, etc. Nettles have been used for centuries in medicines, cosmetics, dyes, teas, and also as an edible, calcium-rich green, like spinach.
Women Street Performers and Sexual Safety
Everyone agrees street performing, or "busking," is hard work. Someone once said about acting, that they do not pay you for the acting, they pay you for the waiting around. That is true in busking, too. Performing talent is about 30% of a good street act. The ability to persevere under harsh conditions, to battle police and merchants over air space, to assert free speech rights at every corner as they are questioned, to spontaneously gather and hold a crowd, and to keep up with hecklers, makes the profession a die-hard one, at best. You spend little time on musical rehearsal, as compared to holding your place in line for a good spot, or "pitch," and then defending that pitch from police when they show up to shut you down. Street performing is not for the weak. And being a solo woman street performer has extra unseen entanglements, due to societal gender stereotypes.
To learn something - you must seek it out.
To know something - you must write it.
To master something - you must teach it.
This sculpture of adult and child whales at Seattle Center artfully uses the lawn as the sea...
"I don't know what weapons will be used in WWIII, but I do know WWIV will be fought with spears and clubs!" -
American "Insane Asylum" History: Giving Names To Numbered Graves
In 1997, an ex-mental hospital patient and activist, Pat Deegan, was walking her dog on the property of the then closed Danvers State Mental Hospital, located 30 minutes north of Boston. (Danvers State Hospital opened in 1878, and has been closed since the early 1990's). She came upon an overgrown, abandoned cemetery, with only numbers on small round markers. Soon she found a second overgrown cemetery of numbered markers. (It was estimated there was about 40 years of overgrowth covering the cemeteries). Pat soon began facilitating slide shows of what she had seen, as well as organizing ex-patients for field trips and action.