Playing it safe

A lot of people have an unhealthy obsession with normalcy.

The Active Voice

This past weekend, I was invited to attend a performance of Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues. Since 1998, The Vagina Monologues has been performed around the world as part of V-Day, a global activist movement intended to raise awareness and stop violence against women and girls. Some of the monologues, such as “My Angry Vagina,” “Because He Liked to Look at It,” and “The Little Coochi Snorcher that Could,” are raucously hilarious. Others, like “The Flood,” are funny, but they’re also kind of depressing. And a few are so painful that they’re hard to listen to – that one, for me, was “My Vagina Was My Village.” Horrible, painful stuff.

For me, the most powerful monologue was the one at the end, titled “ONE BILLION RISING” (deliberately printed in all caps). According to statistics compiled by the United Nations, one out of every three women on Earth will be raped or beaten in…

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Thoughts on 420

A little over a week ago  I was riding my bike downtown and recognized a vacant buildingaround 10th Street as an old cannabis clinic. It had a for lease sign in front of it and some not very skilled graffiti on the side wall. Two homeless men  sat on the steps next to a dingy shopping cart filled with their belongings. I glanced around the street and saw a storefront preschool and remembered something about zoning being the reason the club was shut down.

A few years ago my dance teacher’s troupe performed at a 4-20  celebration held in the clinic’s parking lot. It was a community festival vibe with the dance troupe, a few local bands and information booths for non profits like American’s for Safe Access. There was also a strictly enforced no drugs rule. I remember going, having a good time and learning things about the non profits.

I also remember going home and seeing the club on the news. They showed footage of the front of the building and a little girl standing in front of her family’s apartment next door, with the obvious angle of the story being how horrible it was that drugs were being sold near children. (Nevermind the improbability of a child being exposed to the inside of a cannabis clinic) What I don’t remember was a reporter or cameraman coming to talk to me or anyone else at the event.

The club was eventually closed and I have yet to see a news report on homeless people being near a preschool.