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actual activism trump

Rebecca Solnit is giving away her book on activism and hope for free

Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit

UPDATE: The free offer is over, but the book is still available at a big discount at the link below. 

The writer and activist Rebecca Solnit — probably best known as the woman who came up with the idea of mansplaining, though not the term itself — is giving away her book on activism and hope for free, in hopes it can help some of us horrified by Trump’s win to work through the despair and helplessness so many of us are now feeling.

Solnit is aware, though, that we will all do this in our own way and at our own pace. “[I]t’s okay if you’re not ready, if you’re bitter, terrified, horrified, devastated this week,” she wrote in a Faccebook post yesterday.

I’m against lashing out, but I’m against running away from the impact too. I’m for taking it in and then gathering our strength to move on.

Hopefully her book will help a lot of people with that. (Including me — I just downloaded it myself.)

You can download it here.

Here is part of the book’s introduction:

“Memory produces hope in the same way that amnesia produces despair,” the theologian Walter Brueggeman noted. It’s an extraordinary statement, one that reminds us that though hope is about the future, grounds for hope lie in the records and recollections of the past. We can tell of a past that was nothing but defeats and cruelties and injustices, or of a past that was some lovely golden age now irretrievably lost, or we can tell a more complicated and accurate story, one that has room for the best and worst, for atrocities and liberations, for grief and jubilation. A memory commensurate to the complexity of the past and the whole cast of participants, a memory that includes our power, produces that forward-directed power called hope.

Amnesia leads to despair in many ways. The status quo would like you to believe it is immutable, inevitable, and invulnerable, and lack of memory of a dynamically changing world reinforces this view. …

One of the essential aspects of depression is the sense that you will always be mired in this misery, that nothing can or will change. … Things don’t always change for the better, but they change, and we can play a role in that change, if we act. Which is where hope comes in, and memory, the collective memory we call history.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

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Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
3 years ago

ugh, that link didn’t work. Trying again.

Maria Popova at brainpickings did a lovely post about Solnit’s book earlier this year. Worth reading even more in the current circumstances.
Thanks for letting us know about the freebie.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/03/16/rebecca-solnit-hope-in-the-dark-2/

(((VioletBeauregarde))): Crooked Nasty Social Justice Necromancer
(((VioletBeauregarde))): Crooked Nasty Social Justice Necromancer
3 years ago

Thank you, Ms. Solnit. You are doing a great act of kindness and it is acts like these that makes America great!

@Dave: Thank you for pointing us to this! Keep being your strong self!

@Mish: Thank you, I’ll check that out.

Stay strong, everyone! We will get through this together!

Handsome "Punkle Stan" Jack

Finally, a book I can afford.

eli
eli
3 years ago

Thank you, David.

I had this checked out of the library recently, but had to return it before I got very far.

So nice to have my own copy I can read some and think and come back and re-read. And SO RELEVANT now.

Thank you Rebecca Solnit and Haymarket

(and to the woman I was reading about, who decided to sell safety pins for 4 dollars on etsy and she ‘might’ donate some money if she makes enough, ^^^^^ this is how you do activism)

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

Well, that’s nice…

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
3 years ago

@Axe
You ok?

Kendall
Kendall
3 years ago

I can’t see the front page of this site now for some reason.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
3 years ago

It’s a lovely suggestion, and everyone needs help getting through the confusion and grief, and to find the hope.

But it’s a very short step from hope to acceptance. Don’t lose the anger or the outrage.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
3 years ago

@Scildfreja,

Excellent point; and see this from Solnit:

It’s important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is, or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and tremendous destruction. The hope I’m interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act. It’s also not a sunny everything-is-getting-better narrative, though it may be a counter to the everything-is-getting-worse narrative. You could call it an account of complexities and uncertainties, with openings.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
3 years ago

That’s great stuff, thanks Mish.

Angry since 11/09/2016
Angry since 11/09/2016
3 years ago

Perhaps this book can help me focus some of this anger constructively into deeds. Thanks David for the info.

Podkayne Lives (Zionist Bonobo))
Podkayne Lives (Zionist Bonobo))
3 years ago

Off topic question, hope this is OK.

I’m Jewish. I have been using the triple parentheses, the ‘echoes’ on my Twitter account for months. I see some people use them, not as many as there were a while ago, but lots.

Then I became aware that someone on my Twitter feed, not Jewish, was assertively telling people not to use the parentheses, that they were triggering to Jews, bad allyship, she wouldn’t follow or RT you if you had them, etc. I kind of asked her to knock that off, and got a vague response, basically, “I’m sorry you have a different opinion.”

Then, a day or two ago, I had an exchange with a young woman, Jewish, on Twitter, from the above person’s social circle, who asked why I was ‘still’ using the parentheses, and told me that ‘tons of Jews’ were extremely triggered by them and had ‘begged’ people to stop using them.

I did some searching, and found some other social-justice-y people talking about not reblogging things with the parentheses out of solidarity with the Jews with triggers. What I haven’t found, is tons of Jews with triggers, or even some Jews with triggers, talking about their issues with people using parentheses on their own names.

Does anyone have any insight? I don’t get Twitter, really, never have, but I’m finding it more than slightly weird that this belief seems to have developed while I’m still seeing all manner of Jews using them with no apparent concern, myself included, and no one from outside this particular little area of Twitter has ever mentioned an issue to me.

I’m not even sure this is coherent, but something about the interaction has left me slightly suspicious, of what I don’t exactly know. Curious to know if anyone can fill me in.

Laugher at Bigots, Mincing Betaboy
Laugher at Bigots, Mincing Betaboy
3 years ago

Being a Gentile, and new to social justice, take my opinion for what it’s worth.

I think some social justice advocates are simply unaware that some of the people using the triple parentheses are themselves Jews re-purposing anti-Semitic things, as African-Americans did to the enn-word. The triple parentheses are actually an anti-Semitic thing originally, having originated from an alt-right blog called The Right Stuff. It is recognised by the Anti-Defamation League as hate speech.

Handsome "Punkle Stan" Jack

@Podkayne

Well, you’re Jewish, you get to do whatever you want with the parenthesis because it’s being used to target Jewish people. That’s usually the consensus, the people being hurt get to dictate what hurts them.

I mean, the whole reason people started doing the parenthesis was to protect Jewish people. The Alt-Right began using them to point out or accuse people or things of being Jewish so they’d get harassed, so in order to protect people, non-Jewish peeps started using them in their own names.

I don’t doubt some of these people may get triggered by them as they may have been attacked when someone signaled they were Jewish with them.

But, like, non-Jewish people don’t get to tell you what or whatnot to do with them.

Ooglyboggles
3 years ago

@ Podkayne Lives (Zionist Bonobo))
Well it’s your choice to do so. No reason to let non-Jewish people tell you what you should and shouldn’t be offended by regarding your beliefs and culture.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
3 years ago

comment image

night night, all.

Anyte
Anyte
3 years ago

This is very kind of her, and it might help quite a few people.

As for me though, I’ve given up on hope. One more time the nation has shown me its face, and this time I don’t think I am ready to look past it or try to smooth it over anymore. Not sure yet what I will do though. For now, I’ll just keep going.

TreePerson
TreePerson
3 years ago

@Podkayne Lives (Zionist Bonobo))

Some people advocate for causes with out really talking to the people they are advocating “for” (huge issue in the autism community),
reclaimed words are a thing like how “queer” gets used by lgbt+ people a lot despite being a slur,
the logic is that by being used in a positive way by the people its intended to disparage it loses its power as an insult.

(((VioletBeauregarde))): Crooked Nasty Social Justice Necromancer
(((VioletBeauregarde))): Crooked Nasty Social Justice Necromancer
3 years ago

I do the same thing as Dave for the same reason and thankfully all that happened was a Jewish lady asked why I was using it and I explained. She thought it was cool. I’m not Jewish but I do have Jew in me (from my maternal grandmother’s mom).

Lucrece
Lucrece
3 years ago

Thanks for the heads up on the book David! I’m still trying to digest what’s happened. I’ve taken a complete break from Facebook to help me gather my thoughts and my strength. Even half a world away in Australia, the mood was grim. The signal has not been missed by local conservatives either and they’re already murmuring about how this justifies their own repugnant views. Fortunately, our prime minister still ratified the Paris Agreement, on the same day as Trump won. That is a slender victory for us!

For now though, I stand in solidarity with those in the US who are hurting right now. Grieve in whatever way and for however long it takes. But when you reach acceptance, I hope it will merely be that this has happened, not that this is the way things have to be. I beg you not to give up the fight – I’ll fight with you all the way!

bluecat
bluecat
3 years ago

Thank you for this, and for all that you do, David.

And thanks to Rebecca Solnit too – it sounds like a timely read.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
3 years ago

@Lucrece,

Fellow Aust. here. You are so right. Pauline Hanson wasted no time congratulating Trump, for one. And Turnbull was under pressure from Bernardi, Christensen, et al even before the US election. This affects all of us.

@everyone, has anyone heard from SFHC lately? Maybe I’m just really, really unobservant, but I haven’t seen her on here since the Day of Oh My God Please No.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ Violet

The ‘who is Jewish?’ question is a hot topic amongst scholars of Judaism. The most common view is that Judaism passes down the maternal line. So from what your saying, if you have an unbroken line of Jewish ladies back to your great granny then you’d be welcomed as Jewish in quite a few branches of Judaism.

There are some branches (who seem to adopt a rather patriarchal interpretation of the Talmud) who say Judaism passes only down the male line; but they’re very much in a minority.

If you’re interested it’s well worth having a chat with a rabbi. I got nattering to one at a wedding and that’s how I got all the above. Apparently I’m also Jewish, but only since 1983(!?)

Kreator
Kreator
3 years ago

There’s another giveaway going on, for this weekend only: the video game Gone Home. You can also pay an amount of your choice if you want, in that case the proceeds will be donated to Lambda Legal:

Lambda Legal, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Starfury
Starfury
3 years ago
Shadowplay
Shadowplay
3 years ago

It’s a good book. Despite her sometimes convoluted and rather purple prose, you’ll get a lot out of it. No earth shattering revelations, I think, but she strings together a logical, coherent (and very human!) look at hope.

sparkalipoo
sparkalipoo
3 years ago

(and to the woman I was reading about, who decided to sell safety pins for 4 dollars on etsy and she ‘might’ donate some money if she makes enough, ^^^^^ this is how you do activism)

How do you not realize how bad this looks? How?

@Podkayne Lives (Zionist Bonobo))
apparently triple parenthesis are a antisemitic dog whistle. While it is totally possible that some Jewish people are triggered by that as treeperson person said it’s a problem for people to advocate for another group without talking to them and as someone with a mental illness who does get triggered in the true medical meaning of the term, I take issue with people using the word to mean offended or upset or who use the term to refer to someone else’s feelings when they don’t know if that person was actually having a panic attack or similar mental illness flair up/relapse

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 years ago

I just saw this post on tumblr, seems to be from a lawyer/law student perhaps, musing on Trump meeting Obama (who I gather is a former law professor? Didn’t know that, though I knew he did law). The poster explains why they think this may have been a pretty uncomfortable meeting for Trump.

http://valadilenne.tumblr.com/post/153048664118

I’m hoping it’s generally ok to link to a public post from another forum, especially a pseudonymous one, but if I’m wrong about that I’d be very grateful if this could be deleted?

Wanda
Wanda
3 years ago

Speaking of activism, to all my DC-area peeps or anyone in the general vicinity, there is a “Women March on DC’ protest going down the day after Trump’s inauguration. There are spin-offs around the country, but for the one in DC, there are already 45,000 people signed up and another 122,000 interested in going. I know I will be there, and I volunteered my place to the event should someone out of town need a place to stay. Obviously it won’t accomplish anything immediate, but I think it’s necessary to put it on every television in the country and around the world that a huge segment of this country supports equality and progress.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
3 years ago

Sorry to necro this, but what program does one use to open and read her e-book?

Skiriki
Skiriki
3 years ago

@Fishy Goat

Calibri knows most e-book formats (on PC). You can probably convert the book with it to whatever you normally use for reading things.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
3 years ago

Adobe didn’t work by itself, so I found an EPUB to Pdf site. THanks anyway. 🙂

Claire
Claire
3 years ago

@sparkalipoo

I may be reading this wrong but I think Eli was stating that Ms Solnit’s free download is activism (and that the safety pin person was not an activist).

Lucrece
Lucrece
3 years ago
Reply to  Fishy Goat

@Fishy Goat

I use an app called File Converter for iOS (icon is a dark green circular arrow) to convert pretty much any ebook format to any other document format. (It isn’t free but it’s also not very expensive.)

Not sure if something similar is available for PC. However, the Kindle reader is available for PC and the evook was also available in .mobi format. If you’re not having a good experience with the PDF version, this might be worth a try.
😊

Neremanth, 329 year old Contributor to Society
Neremanth, 329 year old Contributor to Society
3 years ago

@ Claire

I also may perhaps be reading it wrong, but as I understand it, you’re spot on about what eli was stating but have missed the fact that “you” in sparkalipoo’s “How do you not realize how bad this looks? How?” was directed towards the woman selling the safety pins (not eli), and was intended as agreement with and further comment on what eli said.

Claire
Claire
3 years ago

Ah. My bad. That makes way more sense.

Mike Koivula
Mike Koivula
3 years ago

Solnit did a great article in Harpers Magazine about the way that many people can be both ignorant and cynical at the same time….

http://harpers.org/archive/2016/05/the-habits-of-highly-cynical-people/

Cassandra
Cassandra
3 years ago

I wasn’t able to get the book free – I did buy it for $5 which I’m fine with – but if it says free you want your link to work so that people don’t get upset with you. Just saying. 🙂