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Versatile Blogger Award

March 9, 2012

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Tough to feel deserving of any positive blogging recognition when my updates here have been so scattered the past few months.  But as always, I’m honored and humbled by this shoutout from the wonderful engaged Buddhist writer and activist Maia Duerr.  You know how some people are mad talented at giving compliments? Maia is one of those people.  She’s so thoughtful and specific when she names what she appreciates about people’s work. You can tell she’s really moving with what they’re putting out; not just scattering praise for feel-good purposes.  Of Kloncke.com, she writes

Katie Loncke’s blog is, to me, the perfect intersection of spirit, politics, and heart.

Is that sweet or what?  Really tho.

And the best part about being tagged with this kind of blogly award?  Passing it on.  Since Maia put her own spin on the shoutout selection by limiting her list to women, I’m going to create my own parameters, too. My list consists only of people I know and build with (politically, spiritually) in person.

In my eyes, when friends / comrades / fellow travelers read each other’s blogs, we help build a culture that resists commodification; a culture that supports re-humanization.  When I read comrades’ blogs, I don’t approach them as polished objects — the way I might view a book, or even a zine to a certain extent.  Instead, I tend to see blogs as actively, dynamically extending, reflecting, and reshaping the activity of the creators’ minds and hearts.  Maybe it’s the serial, multi-directionally open-ended structure of the form: indeterminate end of the blog, indeterminate end of any given comment thread, and indeterminate scope of sharing among internet reader/participants.   Or certain roots in diarism, which give that being-let-in-on feeling.

For these and more reasons, reading a comrade’s blog isn’t just about relating to its immediate content (although I love that element).  It also informs the way I relate to the creators offline, in our evolving connections and shared work.  The blog isn’t simply or mainly an externalized, “finished” object; it also lives as a part of our ongoing dialogue, conversation, relationship.  And not just between me and the blogger(s), but in the ways I see their online work nourishing, informing, and inspiring other folks in our community.

Okay, enough geeking out!  Here are 10 blogs that continually uplift, inform, inspire, and endear me to their creators, whom I’m proud to call friends.

1. . . . Or Does It Explode?

Perhaps owing (or at least related) to his arresting poetry and visual art, Crunch writes some of the most vivid, soulful political prose I know — always sharply emotional and real, grounded in queer Black radical experience.  I imagine Audre Lorde and James Baldwin wanting to be his friend.  Offline he is grace, sharp jokes, and an unbeatable smile.

2. Huli: A Place For Very Occasional Writings

Huli’s subtitle tells no lies: there are three posts on this blog, and only two of them have words.  But they are very good posts — the two essays rich with clear argument and emotional intelligence — about struggle in Oakland and on Kauai (where she used to live and organize with native Hawai’ians).  My offline relationship with Huli kind of mirrors her blog: quality over quantity.  I see her only rarely, but every time I do, I come away with a bounty of challenging shit upon which to reflect.

3. This Is A Takeover, Not A Makeover

The breadth and depth of Sycorax’s sociopolitical knowledge might at first seem intimidating (this is a person who READS), but her theoretical firepower blends consistently with a self-reflexiveness and emotional/spiritual exploration that engage the heart as much as the head.  I love this from her latest:

Materialist Marxists cannot deny, that there is something spectacularly ‘magical’ about this human existence. In fact, I think the pursuit of communism at its heart is about the fact of our interconnectedness and interdependency as a species and as part of this universe. Capitalism is anti-social, hides our interdependency and breeds the notion that we are all discrete individuals responsible for our lot and in perfect control of our lives. Interestingly, this orientation towards life is one that is arguably aligned best with the functions of our Ego*– the part of our brain hardwired for Self preservation.

4. Caring Labor

Hella love for my anarchists, too!  Lol.  With topic tabs including “migration,” “precarity,” and “queering domesticity,” this collection of essays, articles, videos, and other dope resources on caring labor was “born as an attempt by students in the East Bay in California to understand our role in the fight to prevent the closure of a community college childcare center and the layoffs of eight childcare workers.”

5. Photo Revolution 

Good Lord I love this person’s photographs.  Dark and electric, earthy yet urban, they make me want to get up and (a) appreciate my world more fully, and (b) change it for the better, out of love.  And in addition to her visual poetry, she also has a fabulous blog with words.

6. In The Process of Being

One of the many reasons I adore this blog is the way the tags on each insightful post reinforce a radical framework and add layers of meaning.

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Offline, this author is integrity personified.  She is ‘on to herself’ (the tricks of the mind, as well as its marvelous capacities) in an absolutely real way: which is part of what makes her online writings so powerfully pithy yet down-to-earth and familiar.  She also happens to be one of my dearest friends, as well as a fly-as-hell visual artist and dancer.

7. Kissing In The Dark

One of the qualities I admire most about ChakaZ is the way she inspires so many people around her, in our community, to look deeper into reality.  Whether investigating her own ancestry, Portugese music, Romare Bearden, gentrification in West Oakland, or Black queer Marxist revolutionaries, she moves through ideas with a strong sense of purpose.  Passion that’s not only obvious, but infectious: why not move boldly?

8. Nursing School Diaries (formerly Diary of a Disparaged CNA)

Caring: a labor on stolen time is possibly one of my favorite blog posts ever written, from the perspective of a revolutionary trying to organize inside their nursing home workplace.  To me, the author of this blog embodies the quest for liberation more than anyone else I know.  SO DOPE.  So brilliant, compassionate, and openly, unapologetically human: online and in person.  Phew okay intellectual crush overload. :)

9. Clear View Blog

Having read his latest book and had the good luck to participate in a retreat, symposium, sidewalk sit, Golden Gate Bridge walk, and Engaged Buddhism study groups with Hozan Alan Senauke, I already knew his politics were solid: rooted in anti-imperialism and a global, systemic take on social transformation.  But keeping up with his (fairly new) organizational blog gives me a whole new appreciation for the ongoing prison support and international work he does.  A really amazing person to observe, and with whom to be in conversation.

10. Handful of Earth

Through her writing and in her life’s work, this person bravely offers her most vulnerable selves in pursuit of healing and justice for all beings.  Offline she is both firebrand and consummate caretaker (her couch and kitchen constantly occupied).  Online she’s resilient, fragile, and nourishing — befitting the title of her blog.

Explore and enjoy!  Much gratitude to these dope-ass bloggers and human beings.

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