Archive for the “life” Category

As good as any root beer I’ve ever had #BeverageforSanity

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
and I am a root beer freak

at @northsidesocial in Clarendon VA w the lovely @wonderwillow

Tomorrow is the #RallyforSanity

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In DC w Lizz Winstead at Pre-#RallyforSanity comedy show

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Lizz has been rockin it since the 80s and co-created The Daily Show. A true feminist and prolific political comic. Amazing to meet her and perform in the same show. Many thanks to Jeff Kreisler for having me at Comedy Against Evil.

“The American dream is a couch with a toilet.”-Lizz Winstead

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The humans at Bard’s Being Human in an Inhuman Age Conference

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I don’t find our time inhuman at all. Here we are together!

Thanks to Roger Berkowitz and Bard for having me. I’ll post my talk/performance when the video’s available soon.

((tags: #

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My kinda road food #<3trip

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

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TummelVivion live. Real Time Crowdsourcing

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Kevin, Deb and I tummeled everyone at Crowd Conference. Kevin made one beautiful slide that shows really well how tummeling is the key to the sweet spot of engagement and conversation. Didn’t that sound compelling in market-o-speak? In regular talk: it’s a way to be able to hear others, make connection and sense out of what’s going on.

It was fun to have the whole TummelVision band together. More podcast delights from us here.

Thanks to Lucas Biewald and everyone for having us.


If you’d like to learn how to tummel a room, check out my UnPresenting workshops.

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Comics Night out at ladyparts

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

With Mary Van Note at ladyparts in SF tonight: a kind of happy dev house for creative chicks w cookies and wine.

Next workshop: SF 10/17

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Join me in socially creating my new piece WITH – Speaking at: Being Human in an InHuman Age Watch at 12 EST [video]

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
I'm speaking at this conference at Bard full of philosophers, Hannah Arendt experts, and very smart people. And then there will be me. I am still not sure what the word ontological means. I'm going to use that as an asset and intimacy the place up.

You can watch the stream here.

Today is the beginning of socially developing my new piece WITH (it's a working title. If I capitalize it all then it's at least as important as The Man From U.N.C.L.E.).

For Bard folks, here are links to pieces I will refer to: Flow: How I Deal With Information Overwhelm, Totally Gay for the Web, How to Tummel: Design for Conversation, my podcast with Kevin Marks and Deb Schultz on the art of social engagement and human-centred life :

Everything, as they say, is subject to change. Here is how I will begin. You and your thoughts are welcome

The geeks are been afraid of people and built the web.

The social people have been afraid of technology but now have to use it.

The geeks built the web for information *and* to connect w each other.

The web has passed the social tipping point. The relational will pass pure info as a mode of understanding.

The industrial era included the creation of psychoanalysis, the novel, self-consciousness.

We are now entering a new era of social-consciousness: awareness of the (already, always existing) social /relational element to all we do BECAUSE WE HAVE DATA + FEEDBACK SHOWING US ALL THE TIME. WE ALL EXIST IN DATA ALL THE TIME.

The geek dream was to have all the data all the time. To exist in information. 

But why? to connect. Information is a tool for understanding and also the safe space for geeks to connect.

The industrial era turned everything into a product and people into objects.

The info era turned everything into a service and even business relational.

It will help us return to our relational selves.

People may say it's isolating us, we spend less time with each other, more time alone w a screen:

1) being in front of a screen snit' necessarily being alone

2) being with others isn't necessarily being together

3) to be together now, in person, is much more of a choice

For an incredibly long time public power has been about the rational, white, men, the controllers of technology and information.

The social web is the tipping point of when the "private" entered public and the skills of the previously "feminine" world become publicly necessary.

Authority was vested in position. In status. In the ability to do things AT and TO people.

When everyone has tools and information. And physical needs are met (the West) then what remains (in awareness) is the social / relational driver. 

People created business and technology to serve their needs. Then often they repressed their own human-ness in order to serve the goals of biz and tech which we've come to trust as more "inevitable" than our internal needs.

In village life people lived communally. They had to repress their individual personalities and differences (inc. ethnic, religious, etc) in order to socially connect. GROUP The industrial era urbanized. People could be different in their own ghetto (Harlem, Glazer/Jews: 5:00 Shadow, gays, the nerd table etc)-early web organized like this too: special interest group because organized by Keyword. SELF (difference)

The social tipping point puts us in a new stage. Info economy. Socially: *networked village* exists in urban *and* rural places. We have to learn how to be >different together<. How to create space for that. THIS IS THE MAJOR CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME. We need new public space, new lessons, new skills.

WITH tells this story but also gives some insights into How to be social in this *new networked way* How to create space in which we can be different together. We need to build tools and biz with this awareness.  (lots of biz reasons why too-loss of traditional marketing, the social OS. need for authenticity to have trust to navigate etc)

A healthy relational state is one in which people and things act WITH each other.

WITH demands self-agency. You have to choose the other person(s) or acts. If you cannot really see other people then you are not really WITH them. You may be next to them. Or doing things TO them.  Most of our isms come from people not seeing each other.

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#ItGetsBetter Beauty Break – To call this a Gymnastics Video doesn’t Do It Justice

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

This made me tear up. We are capable of conceiving making and even just watching in astonishment, beauty like this.

Beauty is a wonderful reason to live. It does not judge you. It asks nothing of you.

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Patti Smith: “My first influence was Jo March in Little Women”

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Fun Democracy Now interview with the great patti Smith. The best stuff is after 5:40.

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My story and a request: #PleaseHearMe for teens so that #ItGetsBetter (video coming)

Friday, October 1st, 2010
I will make a video about this. But this has been percolating and I can't take reading yet another posting about yet another queer teen suicide (oy, Raymond Chase RIP ) after it's been, what, 6 publicized in the past two weeks?

I'm writing ( and soon video-ing) for three reasons:
•to participate in Dan Savage's #ItGetsBetter project to encourage queer youth
•to reply to the many comments (Megan McCardle's the first among them) I've seen on the web suggesting that there's no need to specifically address queer youth suicide and encouragement because we should just address all bullying and it's all the same, and
•suggest a new, twist to #ItGetsBetter. That we not only talk to queer youth but listen to them. Let's not just tell or ask. Let's listen. Let's not just witness the Tyler Clementi's after they're tragically gone.

I'm asking queer youth to tell us their stories and feelings, asking us to #PleaseHearMe. And I'm asking you queer youth to post them as video responses to people who have posted #ItGetsBetter videos and the IGB folks to respond. even with one sentence. Please, let's witness our youth. 


I'm not so pleased with all the "it's no different than being fat etc". Listen bullying is shit for everyone and I know about it intimately. The point of the LGBT outrage this week is not that bullying isn't shit for everyone who is pegged as different and tortured. it's bad and we should do everything we can to stop all bullying and listen to all kids who are alone and isolated.


there is a special kind of queer invisibility that is related to the active legal persecution of LGBT folks. I'm not saying "our pain is better  than your pain" I know pain, like Fran Lebowitz said of genocides are like snowflakes: no two are alike.

I'm saying that the not even understanding who or what you are, especially in the heat of sexual identity development is tough and especially when you have no mirroring, no examples and for some of these kids religious parents or o=institutions actively persecuting them and telling them basically that what they naturally feel is'n't what they naturally feel or that t is evil.

A basic  feeling, driver, like "I'm hungry" or "I'm tired' is wrong. This is shown to you a million ways., even from those who have most influence over you. Now try to trust yourself, your instincts., your perception of the world. We know what we know psychologically because it is mirrored. It's how we all develop as people.

And is it fucked up and wrong that peoples projected discomfort and anger is getting poured all over queer kids (or anyone) and that this is ENCOURAGED or allowed. This intolerance is mirrored as ok rather than the most basic impulse of life and life's BEST impulse: affection, caring, desire, LOVE.

I was treated like absolute shit most days of my high school life for all kinds of reasons: being nerdy, beign pegged oung in a small town (bullies rarely innovate in terms of targets and worse than bullies were the many who just silently shunned me) socially inept, intellectual, very much so for being Jewish not so much for being openly gay because I was confused as hell about it, not really so completely gay and I guess I could pass a little bit. 

But the truth is that I didn't even know the WORD LESBIAN till I got to college. There was not a single book in the public library under "homosexuality" when I looked and I was more an more inept , looking back, BECAUSE I was faking so many heterosexual things which were the social currency of having any kind of friendship much of the time. Once I started to feel I was feeling something intense for girls I started to fear I'd be disowned for it. 

So I only had "dyke" yelled at me once even though I had the entire football team stand up daily and chant anti-Semitic stuff at me every day in the cafeteria. The latter was humiliating but I never felt odd about being Jewish. I felt comfortable and proud because I had a strong Jewish community and family and lots of fun and warmth associated with it.

There was no one gay though. No one. Except Velma on Scooby Doo.

I contemplated suicide as a teen and I did a pretty useless attempt at something once (and I'm aware the the insurance system is bizarre enough that these words may be scraped, de-contextualized and used against me some day but I'm putting them out there now because it's too important to not share if I can help even one young person know that i really do understand and feel an ounce better). But I loved life. As painful as it was at the moment and as much as I lived for the future there was so much beauty in people, ideas, learning, music, sport, a story..there was just too much that I loved. I was desperate to be seen in those lonely lonely days.

So to all of you at the nerd table: the Jews, and the geeks and the fat kids and the freaks and regular looking and privately vomiting or awkwarding ones and the misfits. I love you all. It will get better for you and all of the injustice done to you is unfair and the bullying should not be tolerated. But to you young queer kids: please please know that those feelings you might already be learning to push down are yours. No one else gets to own them, tell you they're no real. Your feelings are how you know you're alive.  They're the sensors of life. They are what art is made of and that's the greatest thing humans have ever come up with. They are why you're fabulous and please please please find a way to have those feelings and share them with someone or the Net in a way that works for you.

Let those feelings flow through you, course through you, harder and stronger every day. Don't limit them. You can contain them .You can be smart about when you and how you express them (thus leading to a level of emotional maturity your peers will probably wait decades more to develop) but please please don't listen to someone who tries to erase them.

They are part of your magnificence. Please share them. We're listening. Practice seeing and focussing on the one's who can hear you and know that just because many cannot does not mean no one can. We'll hear you. Someone will hear you. Please feel. Please stay alive. They are the essence of life. 

I made it through the only ways i knew how. I took friendliness wherever i could find it. I hid out in the library and the guidance counsellors office and among adults who couldn't be as bad and I read books like some do crack.

That's what I had. You have all these people making #ItGets Better videos. if it's safe (you can turn away from the camera if you must…you don't just have to listen. You can talk and be listened to. And I urge each wonderful person making an #ItGetsBetter video to please respond to each video sent to you by a kid that says #PleaseHearMe . Even if it's a one sentence response. Please listen. So it will get better.

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