Weekly Rochester Events #646 Starting Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Discussing Anarchism Against Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia
by Jason Olshefsky at 6:30 pm (add a comment)

For the past three weeks or so, people have been meeting at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) to discuss anarchism. Having not attended the earlier meetings, I can't really tell what constitutes anarchism (e.g. self-rule? using the self-organizing facet of humanity? not having a government?) but I couldn't help but attend the seemingly unusual topic of "Anarchism Against Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia".

I'd say there were about 15 people there, and most of them had attended the other meetings and read the associated articles — it's something of a free-school model. I think everyone expected a more lively discussion because the topics were so emotionally-charged, but the ground we covered between was fruitful and interesting.

In short, Capitalism depends on exploiting value to gain more than is spent. Through that, it seems to demand an underclass: a group of people who are considered lesser and therefore are free to be exploited. (In fact, the only way great wealth and power is achieved is by exploiting others.) And the way to identify the underclass is to tie the "underclass-ness" to a defining characteristic: woman, gay, black, Irish.

Anarchism, by eliminating the presumption of authority, denies the creation of an underclass. In other words, anarchism (when considered "self-defined rule") does not permit the creation of people having authority: it is up to each individual to grant that authority. So there is no way for an authority to declare that you are X and therefore shall be exploited; rather, you as an individual would have to grant an authority that power, and permit yourself to be exploited. Presumably you would never volunteer for that.

The trouble is that the system I live with (that is, in America) will always find a new underclass to exploit. Lately it seems Hispanic people and followers of Islam are the newest targets (not that they were ever considered equals). Although we have also exploited the Chinese in their own land to that end, and I suspect the next source of cheap labor will be on the African continent. I find it a distasteful cycle that I'd like to see end sooner than later.

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Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Watching END: CIV Resist or Die at the Flying Squirrel
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:00 pm (1 comment)

I figured it would be interesting, so I headed over to The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) to see the essay film END: CIV Resist or Die. Filmmaker Franklin Lopez introduced the film by talking about how he was deeply moved when he heard Derrick Jensen speak and how he built his film around much of Jensen's work. Lopez said he was impressed by the impeccable logic laid out in Jensen's books Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization, and Endgame, Vol. 2: Resistance, which outline the environmental apocalypse in our midst as simply being caused by what we call "civilization". I'll narrow things a bit and discuss corporations and industry.

First, note that corporations, organizations, machines, and tools, if anthropomorphized, are psychopathic. In other words, these things behave without consciousness, hence without inherent morality. I know that corporations and organizations include people which do have morality, but the nature of the group does not reflect that individuality. In fact, because corporations and organizations have rules in place that prevent any one person from having any decision-making power, the effect of their individual morality is nullified.

Second, all corporations we create have as their highest priority (or if not, a high priority) to make money. The secondary priority of a corporation is to operate in its industry sector. There is no primary consideration to the value of human life, or of life in general, or of the resources life needs to survive. As such, if life-giving resources, life, and human life are an obstacle to those goals, the corporation will attempt to spend as little money as necessary to get past those "obstacles."

Third, corporations generally do not have an expiration condition. As such, they will continue to operate in the primary industry sector until there is no economically viable way to continue.

Finally, the economic and social system we have in place is generally taken as given. That is, what we call "civilization" cannot be changed directly.

The film looks closely at two industries: oil production and logging.

In the case of the logging industry, the cheapest path to financial success is greenwashing — giving the illusion of sustainability — as that is cheaper than actual responsible forestry. In one instance, a tribe of Native Americans attempted to stop a logging company from cutting down the forest on their sacred lands, but Greenpeace intervened and came to an agreement to permit logging of their lands. (Yes, you read that correctly: Greenpeace voluntarily did not stop the logging.)

More damning, though, is the case of oil production. The industry likes to claim there are nearly limitless reserves available. What they fail to mention is that unlike when oil was discovered bubbling out of the ground, the extraction of newly discovered oil is nearly a losing battle. In fact, if they were charged for the water destruction and the pollution from leaks and accidents, it would likely not be profitable. But the industry subsidizes itself by coercing agreements to use and pollute water without added cost — destroying the resources necessary for life in its driving need for further profitability.

The film refers again to Jensen's works to note that peaceful protests were coincident with violent ones. In other words, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not act in isolation — rather, they were the peaceful resisters in a sea of varying degrees of civil disobedience, property destruction, and bloodshed. As such, the power structures in place were able to engage them and make some advantageous changes, but only so much as to defuse their more violent contemporaries.

It's clear that peaceful protest alone accomplishes nothing. I have watched as wars were started with 250,000 people in the streets of Washington, D.C. in opposition. And I now see how natural gas companies are running roughshod over the peaceful protest of citizens only wishing to protect their water supplies from contamination. Without the teeth of violence, no change occurs, even if it is not those acting in violence who sit at the negotiating table in the end.

Derrick Jensen has an interesting quote about all this from Endgame, Volume 1. He opens by asking if the reader would have joined the resistance in Nazi Germany then says:

Now, would you resist if the fascists irradiated the countryside, poisoned food supplies, made rivers unfit for swimming (and so filthy you wouldn't even dream of drinking from them anymore)? What if they did this because … Hell, I can't finish that sentence because no matter how I try I can't come up with a motivation good enough even for fascists to irradiate and toxify the landscape and water supplies. If fascists systematically deforested the continent would you join an underground army of resistance, head to the forests, and from there to boardrooms and to the halls of the Reichstag to pick off the occupying deforesters and most especially those who give them their marching orders?

When, exactly, is enough?

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  • T
    Today at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.), author Priscilla Rattazzi will be on hand to discuss her book, Luna and Lola. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick This evening at 6:30 p.m. at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is the Rochester Anarchism Discussion and Debate Series titled Anarchism and Contemporary Issues. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    Tonight from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) is The Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) Chamber Music. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

    R. Tripp Evans will present a lecture tonight at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) on American Gothic artist Grant Wood at 7 p.m. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge), Andrew Conley will read poems in a progrma titled An Eddy In The Current Of Time. [source: Facebook]

    Tonight through Saturday at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) at 8 p.m., ShakeCo: The Shakespeare Company will present a staged reading of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus as adapted and directed by Philip R. Frey. [source: MuCCC website]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Now, Voyager starting at 8 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, "withdrawn, repressed, and unhappy, spinster Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) leaves her home and cruel mother to spend time in a sanitarium. Newly transformed, Charlotte begins a relationship with the married Jerry Durrance, a tumultuous affair that leads her to find happiness in an unexpected place. An impeccable melodrama that can bring tears to the eyes of any viewer, Now, Voyager gave Davis one of her most complex and sympathetic roles." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is The Black Mountain SymphonyMySpace link, StereopticonMySpace link, and White Woods starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite BoysMySpace link will be at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

    JayceLand Pick Brilliant satirical gospel from The Lobster QuadrilleMySpace link will be at at Delilah's on Cayuga (112 South Cayuga St., Ithaca) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Facebook]

    All this weekend is The Roc City Rib Fest at Ontario Beach Park (Beach Ave. at Lake Ave.) starting today at 5 p.m. [source: RocWiki] [all ages]

    Apparently The Critical Mass Bike Ride is tonight starting at 6 p.m. at The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) and heading through the city from there. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

    Dr. Jerome Watts will be at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) to discuss his book, The Power of Resilience starting at 7 p.m. [source: Baobab website]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Morrer Como Um Homem (To Die Like a Man) starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 7 p.m. From the Eastman House calendar, "aging drag performer Tonia (Fernando Santos) is faced with a multitude of struggles: a junkie boyfriend, a psychotic son, a declining audience, and a personal battle between her desire to become "plural" — i.e., have a sex-change operation — and her devout Catholicism." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Skeletons in the PianoMySpace link, The SpacelordsMySpace link, Cold Steel TestedMySpace link, and The ChinchillasGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Tonight at 6 p.m. at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara), Greg Townson will perform at Happy Hour followed at 10 p.m. by The Tommy Brunett BandMySpace link. [source: Abilene website]

    This morning starting around 8 a.m. at The Rochester Civic Garden Center at Warner Castle (5 Castle Park) is The Proud Market Plant Sale. [source: MEETinROCHESTER calendar]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Secret to a Happy Ending — a documentary about The Drive-By TruckersMySpace link starting at 8 p.m. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is JoywaveMySpace link, The DemosMySpace link, Doctors, and good country-based rock from Josh NetskyMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) will be hosting The Lawnmowers starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

    Top Pick Over at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is good punk-rock from The EmersonsGarageBand link, great punk-rock from The BlastoffsMySpace link, and good, amiable hard rock from The ClockmenMySpace link. [source: Monty's Krown Facebook page] [21+]

    Tonight is another Left of Center Stage Variety Show at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    JayceLand Pick Today at 2 p.m. at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.), ShakeCo: The Shakespeare Company presents ShakeCo Radio Theater. [source: MuCCC website]

    JayceLand Pick Sunflower and the SeedsMySpace link, very good electrified acoustic rock from The Driftwood SailorsMySpace link, Sarah AumentMySpace link, and Gurnsey and The Greener Grass BandMySpace link will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Memorial Day

    Fly the flag today.Memorial Day Observed (half-staff until noon)

    Today at 7:30 p.m. is Wide Open Mic with Norm Davis at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight starting around 8:30 p.m. at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is The Bug Jar's 20th Anniversary featuring great dual-minded hip-hop-and-bass from Hank and CupcakesMySpace link, effortlessly tight, fast, hard-pop-rock from Stereophone, and solidly good power electric alt-acoustic rock from The DadsMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Johnny Guitar starting at 8 p.m. — "a lady Western whose strangeness has not diminished with age." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Lie StillMySpace link, Order of the DeadMySpace link, Burn Everything, and P-spotMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Red Badge of Courage starting at 8 p.m. along with The Civil War segment from How the West Was Won. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is Dinosaur BonesMySpace link, The AbsolutesMySpace link, and Allergic to Retro. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

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    This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, May 26, 2011 (Thu, May 26, 2011, 5/26/2011, or 5/26/11) Friday, May 27, 2011 (Fri, May 27, 2011, 5/27/2011, or 5/27/11) Saturday, May 28, 2011 (Sat, May 28, 2011, 5/28/2011, or 5/28/11) Sunday, May 29, 2011 (Sun, May 29, 2011, 5/29/2011, or 5/29/11) Monday, May 30, 2011 (Mon, May 30, 2011, 5/30/2011, or 5/30/11) Tuesday, May 31, 2011 (Tue, May 31, 2011, 5/31/2011, or 5/31/11) and Wednesday, June 1, 2011 (Wed, Jun 1, 2011, 6/1/2011, or 6/1/11).

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