Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bird rescue and Solano Land Trust

Lost a very close friend to cancer recently. Hard to write/talk about, but two excellent organizations can take donations in his memory. One of which, the Bird Rescue Center of Sonoma County, I have some (positive, of course) personal experience with, and the other sounds like a great org as well. Please check them out. Thank you.

On Citizen Fish, Clockwork Oranges, and Mailchimps

One of my favorite punk bands is Citizen Fish, who blend punk with ska and have a levity that provides a buoyancy other heavier, darker bands lack. CF nonetheless have serious, thought-provoking lyrics that aim to wake people up to the world around them. I once heard the singer of CF (in a documentary about the band, I believe) say that the band's name is a combination of the wild, feral, anarchistic aspect of humanity -- the fish in a wild ocean -- as well as the citizen: the impulse (instinct?) to have some sense of social order, a desire for justice and fairness, a willingness to be a little less feral in exchange for the benefits of societal membership. And in this citizenry of course is, as the band sing about, the capacity for over-control, oppression, the creation of government and its abuses. 

I saw a sticker in town for the internet email company Mailchimp randomly next to a sticker for anarchism. 

It struck me that the concept of a "Mailchimp" (not sure the origins of that company's name) is similar to a "citizen fish" (or "a clockwork orange"?) -- a chimp, though cutesy-fied in Mailchimp's official logo of a friendly-looking, smiling chimp with a little bellhop/mailman hat on, is a wild, feral, selfish, potentially violent animal, but can be put to work on something organized, societal, and time-dependent as sending/delivering mail. It's that same combination of anarchist/citizen that the singer of CF is going for, I think. A chimp can rip your face off, but also has, apparently, the emotions and intellect of a 3-year old human being, so it has that capacity for societal rule-following, order, time-keeping, etc. Humans are mailchimps as well as citizen fish. We have that capacity for both modes of expression as opposed to, say, a shark, which can/will never be tamed, or even, hell, the common housecat (ragdoll cats excepted). 

But what of those mail workers who used to go postal? Going postal evolved into mass shooting, and it wasn't just postal workers doing it. "PostalChimp" just doesn't have the same ring to it for a profit-minded company, I s'pose. Although it might've worked, since "going postal" has died down and whatever the hell was going on at the US post office to cause such disgruntled outbursts (hiring veterans, perhaps? Overworking employees?) seems to have quieted.