December 4-5, 2014

Thursday was a long one at work, and afterwards I split my time between social media and catching up on a month’s worth of New Yorkers. Dinner was fried catfish from Saltbox, whose existence I thank my lucky stars for on the regular. I have eaten a lot of fried fish in my life, and none of the rest of it has ever been as good as what Ricky turns out on a daily basis. The man has some kind of sixth sense about exactly how long each piece of fish needs to spend in the fryer.

Which might make his eventual expansion plans kind of complicated. Right now he cooks every single piece of fish himself. Will he be able to convey that supernatural knowledge to anyone else?

Friday evening M & our friend E wanted to go to the tower lighting thing at American Tobacco. It was a full production, with an elementary school chorus, a high school choir, some kind of adult vocal ensemble, and 750 children in the audience flailing blinking/glowing cylinders like light sabers at each other.

And then at the appointed moment (a solid hour after the start of the event), someone flips a switch and the legs of the water tower light up with multicolored lights. It’s pretty anticlimactic.

Walking back uptown, we got to the Eric Garner protest at the CCB Plaza right when it was coalescing and getting underway. We talked to some friends for a bit, listened to a couple of speakers, and then headed out.

See, I’m an introvert. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings and opinions about things, but no matter how powerful they may be, none of them are strong enough to overcome my aversion to crowds for very long.

If we hadn’t just spent an hour at Ambacco I probably could have stood it for longer. But instead we followed along on Twitter & Instagram and listened to the helicopters circling over our apartment for hours.

I was heartened to see the size of the group, and to see them cause the disruption they caused downtown. I haven’t been out & about yet today, so I don’t know for sure whether there was any property damage, but I didn’t hear about any last night.

I’ve gotten more radicalized lately, to the point that I understand property damage in a political context as a necessary means to remind the holders of capital that they are fully culpable for the actions of police, since police exist solely to protect the holders of capital.

But too often around here, property damage during protests happens at the hands of privileged white “anarchists” who perennially co-opt other people’s (often people of color) otherwise peaceful protests.

So the current tactics of blocking streets & freeways, and holding die-ins, are a welcome shift, and seem to be hugely effective at reaching larger numbers of otherwise unpoliticized civilians.

I lay in bed last night thinking about guns, and about how different civilization and conflict were before their invention. It reminded me that last week I’d been thinking about Guns, Germs & Steel, and specifically about how I’d gotten distracted and put it down after one chapter & hadn’t ever picked it back up again. My copy is one of those archaic paper things, so it requires a lot more coordination to use it.

December 4-5, 2014

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