First off: headlines screaming “PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT” are distortions that follow the same warped narrative that got us here. Without any clear evidence that the thousands of peaceful protesters from all over Boston had anything to do with localized and sporadic violence after dark, we need to question the assumption that there was a continuum or connection between the protests and whatever followed. The assumption that they are connected by anything except the presumption on the part of those engaging in violence after a day of peaceful protest that that connection would be drawn is specious.
Like most people I know, I’ve had some experience with protests, mostly when I was in college. We’re talking first Gulf War. Like, back in ‘91. Ancient times, but I suspect much of the story and the characters remain strikingly the same. That summer I lived in a tent city set up by war protesters in Dunn Meadow on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington. I had long curly hair, wore flannel, and looked like Eddie Vedder. I will not be providing photographic proof, but here is a reasonable facsimile:
There were a series of protests that summer, over the whole agonizing build-up to military action, and over time a group of preppy kids took to antagonizing the grunge kids camping out in the meadow. This antagonism had more or less nothing to do with the war or the substance of the protests. It likely had more to do with dirty hippies taking up the meadow, which was a favorite spot among Chad, Brock and the ultimate frisbee set.
One night a group of twenty or so of the latter, dressed to the teeth in pink oxfords and boat shoes, ambushed our little tent city, raised a ruckus, overturning our tents, and chasing us — there were probably twenty or so of us as well — down past the Student Union to Showalter Fountain, where, probably owing to burning off the adrenaline rush in the sprint to the fountain (which was, frankly, exhilarating), it turned into one of those shouting debates that always seem to erupt among protesters and “counter-protesters” on college campuses. I would rather it had ended in some sort of ‘60s lovefest, but this was the ‘90s, and in the ’90s you had to pay for that shit.
After we’d all blown off some steam, we went back to our tents, they went back to Frat Row, and a few days later Operation Desert Shield went off as planned.
Later in the mid-aughts I did some organizing, and what I can tell you about any protest is that there will always be that group of shitty white kids from the suburbs who call themselves “anarchists” and want to hijack whatever it is you’re protesting (in my case it was public transit fare hikes) to quell the screaming maw of boredom of their meaningless existence. In the case of last night, we know suburban Nazis are stirring shit up, with the President’s encouragement, because they really want their race war, and he really wants them to have it. They know they’re not going to be held accountable. They know if anything goes down it will be: “PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT.”
This is not new information, is what I’m saying. Protests like these have been happening since the dawn of modernity. If you’re just now tuning in, that’s your problem. Point being: unless the media can verify who was responsible, making assumptions about “protesters” turned rabble-rousers is irresponsible. It also plays into a relentless and false narrative that associates protest with violence and justifies more militarization and brutality. And the band plays on.
I took a ride downtown this morning, by the way, to see what I could see of the aftermath, and, yeah, there were some smash-n-grabs last night, for sure. It sucks, because we’re heading into an economic depression — I lived through ‘70s stagflation, too — and those boarded-up shops: they’re gonna stay boarded up for years. I know just yesterday I was saying we can’t be for “Back to Normal.” At this point, I don’t think we have to worry too much about that happening.
I have so many thoughts and so much anguish about the horrific week just past, about the lynching of George Floyd, the latest in the seemingly never-ending assaults on black and brown bodies, and promises of more from this administration. It seems inadequate to just post something on social media, but at the same time silence in the face of innocent suffering is complicity in the act itself. It just feels numbingly like “thoughts and prayers”: a performative gesture with no real connection to systemic change.
While Democrats condemned the latest lynching, reaction from the administration has been to pour as much jet fuel on the flames as possible. I’m not saying the Democrats’ reaction has been adequate, or that the current administration is the cause of this, but when the president gleefully tweets “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” it is clearly weaponizing these incidents and doing what it can to escalate them, presumably for what it hopes will be political gain. This is the shock and awe, the state of constant trauma that we were warned would be this administration’s MO. The chaos we are witnessing daily is a deadly combination of bad faith and ill-will. Much of it is absolutely carelessness and incompetence — scary enough — but the rest: strategic inattention to complex systems, and then weaponizing their collapse for profit — is truly terrifying.
Add to all of this the scorched-earth tactics of an election year. Brian Levin, director of the Cal State San Bernardino Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, told the LA Times in January: “with an election season coming up, we really have to be concerned because over the last decade, the three worst months were all around politically charged events.” I have been through enough of these election cycles in my life to have seen the “political violence cycle” with my own eyes, and how it usually impacts people of color, women, immigrants, religious minorities, and LGBTQ folk. We already know that this regime does not value all human lives equally, and that they are committed to keeping power at whatever the cost. Again, a president who tweets: “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat” is encouraging political terror, whatever prevarications or excuses his handlers offer for his messaging.
It’s already a lot. And we’re not even into the real thick of it. The chaos can blind us to the patterns beneath. We are overwhelmed by evils on all fronts, and our outrage can silence us into complicity. There’s plenty of reason for despair, and that can lead those of us with privilege to withdraw. Many of us worry that we are playing a part in spreading violence by participating in a culture that relies on us to amplify it, but gives us very little in the way of solutions. There is value in witness, but when the spectacle of cruelty and violence is a tool of those in power, we become simply an audience for it. I wish I could say turning off the telly and engaging in self-care until things “get back to normal” was the answer. But “Back to Normal” is the moderate, good white people version of “Make America Great Again.” Back to normal, as we have seen, involves unrelenting systemic violence against people of color.
When it was “revealed” that Amy Cooper was a “Buttegieg liberal,” it was no surprise to me. Blue cap. To be clear: all white Americans benefit from systemic racism. All white Americans have internalized racial privilege. They may not even realize it until it’s “activated.” As Christian Cooper suggested in several interviews, it comes out in “stressful” situations, where that privilege is questioned, even if only by the innocent presumption of equality by a person of color. Amy Cooper’s racism was reflexive. The logic of privilege is conditioned over a lifetime by systems of oppression that our unquestioned participation in makes seem organic and ineluctable. This does not mean that she, or any of us, is not responsible for participating in and perpetuating, in our millions of tiny everyday ways, this great evil. I’ll quote again, as I often do, from Marjorie Suchocki’s The Fall to Violence:
Ingrained attitudes of passive acceptance of a great social evil … is sin, and entails guilt. It is original sin, in that it is a pre-given structure of ill-being through which we view the world, inherited as the very stuff that forms the world as world. It becomes personal sin when, having the ability to question the structure, we fail to do so, and thus support and perpetuate the structure.
“…When, having the ability to question the structure, we fail to do so.” It’s very hard for “good white people” to stay focused on this, to really grasp the myriad ways we individually benefit from the systemic oppression of black and brown people. When we say that Amy Cooper “knew what she was doing,” we’re saying she knew what all white people know. Her acting on this knowledge is the flipside of our own ongoing inaction on it. As long as racism for us is little more than a “distraction,” however tragic, from other agenda items, black people will continue to be lynched in the streets; black and brown kids will continue to grow up in cages, separated, likely forever, from their parents, mostly forgotten among the multitudes of other victims of the human rights atrocities that are the human cost of our “normal”; and the powers that seek to profit from cruelty, violence and division will continue to provide content for audiences, outraged and otherwise, for their atrocities. The ratings, as our reality game show host-in-chief likes to say, are “through the roof.”
It feels like we are at war, doesn’t it? Everyday we wake up to devastating stories involving the loss of innocent lives. There’s good reason reasonable people shy away from the rhetoric of warfare, of course. We know that acts of retaliatory violence will only result in greater violence toward those who are already suffering. So, what’s the answer? We want to believe that our system of electoral politics, which we know to be flawed, if not broken, will rescue us from what that same system has wrought. We long for the “normalcy” of “before.” But we need to stop pretending that the normal we want to get back to was “at peace” just because we weren’t targeted for violence, because the systems of oppression and violence benefited us. I’ll say it again: “Back to Normal” is the blue cap version of “Make America Great Again.”
I’ve watched as good white people have hoped against hope that someone or something would bring down this cruel, corrupt regime. Remember Robert Mueller? Now we wait, a little impatiently, a little put out, for November’s “blue wave,” urging our friends and “followers” on social media to remember to register to vote, to do the right thing! All the while dread and doubt eating at us, as we diligently follow the news, watching helplessly as those in power chip away at the transparency and fairness of our electoral system. The disbelief that any of this could really be happening is far outpaced by the fact that much of it has already been accomplished. We are like the search party, meticulously gathering clues in the dust, while the body rots in a ditch ten feet away.
Social ethicist and professor of Latinx Studies Miguel De La Torre, has written about embracing hopelessness. He is interested in “the function of hope in reinforcing oppressive structures and reining in revolutionary tendencies.” The “hopey, changey thing,” which has been a staple of the left, may, perversely, be serving an oppressive status quo. De La Torre suggests that as long as that hope exists, unchallenged, even the least of us may feel that we have something to lose, “and thus will not risk all to change the social structures. The realization that there is nothing to lose,” he says, can be the most powerful catalyst for change there is. It brings to mind the American president’s pitch to black voters in 2016: “what the hell have you got to lose?” Maybe it’s time we all de-centered our hopes of returning to normal, and started fighting for the world we want as if our own lives depended on it, as if we, ourselves, have nothing to lose.
It somehow doesn’t surprise me that many of our practices in Restorative Justice have come to us from New Zealand. Within days of the recent terror attack in Christchurch, the nation had acted on gun laws. What this tells me is that there is some connection between a moral and political will there that is broadly lacking in our own culture and society. MacRae and Zehr talk about using Family Group Conferencing for Restorative Justice in “serious and complicated cases, and the power of practice based in principle.” This last part is what I have struggled with since coming to seminary: do we really have a culture of “practice based in principle” in the US right now? We have cultures of practice based in principle, but I think, especially where it counts, they are the exception.
NZ passed their landmark Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act with provisions for FGC in 1989. In the US today we not only incarcerate youth (unsurprisingly: disproportionately black youth) in staggering numbers, many in adult facilities, but, according to the Sentencing Project, only 21 states (and the District of Columbia) “do not have any prisoners serving life without parole for crimes committed as juveniles, either due to laws prohibiting the sentence or because there are no individuals serving the sentence at this time.” A majority of states still allow the sentence, with 3 — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Louisiana — accounting for nearly 2/3 of all JLWOP sentences.)
We could not be further from NZ on this.
I was reading this great article about African Prisons Project from ideas.TED.com. The program, founded in 2007 by then-law student (now a barrister in the UK), Alexander McLean, provides “high-quality legal advice, training, and education to those living and working in prison” across Kenya and Uganda. Through highly structured training programs, legal support services and “empowering Changemakers” in the short-, medium- and long-term, APP seeks to “place the power of the law into the hands of the poor, enabling them to make, shape and implement the law.” It’s pretty incredible, transformative stuff, and not just in theory.
Certainly in the US but also from what I’ve seen globally, most prisoners weren’t given adequate educational opportunities to begin with. The most fundamental reason why a society needs to give education to people in prison is because it failed them in the first place…. It’s a moral issue at heart, but it also makes sense economically, with numerous studies that show how it’s cheaper to educate than to incarcerate. If we don’t want to keep recycling people into and out of an expensive system, then education is key to reducing the recidivism rate.
I agree with all that, but it was the last sentence that caught me. Who is the “we” there? I think Dreisinger probably means, “we” as in “society”. But there are plenty of stakeholders in the current system and society who clearly do want to recycle people (mostly people of color) into and out of this system, and that’s the piece we need to reckon with.
The truth is: the economics can work for the people who need the economics to work, not only for the profits but also the perpetuation of white power. But the profits are there. From the local economies that are conned into hosting prisons, to the corporations and private contractors who build, maintain, and provide services to them and the businesses that use cheap (or in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Texas: free) prison labor. Those numbers are great for business!
So are we being disingenuous or credulous when we make arguments about the “inefficiency” of slavery for the slavers? Or about the cost, which society, not the slavers, bear? Michelle Alexander talks about the need for a “great awakening” — not to the facts, which we possess — but to the evil to which we’re a party. The arguments against mass incarceration that focus on economics seem laughable, based on the outrageous lie that the economy is supposed to function for all of us, that vast sectors of the economy that enrich the few don’t actually flourish on widespread poverty, oppression and racial inequity. The Slave economy of the American South worked very well for slaveholders:
by 1860, there were more millionaires (slaveholders all) living in the lower Mississippi Valley than anywhere else in the United States. In the same year, the nearly 4 million American slaves were worth some $3.5 billion, making them the largest single financial asset in the entire U.S. economy, worth more than all manufacturing and railroads combined.
Why do we continue to pretend otherwise? This is not a rhetorical question. Treating it as such is a kind of compound cynicism. If we want to create a culture of practice based in principle, to re-establish some connection between a moral and political will, we have to keep speaking our principled truth, explicitly, in a loud, clear, prophetic voice. The economic argument is not going to win this one.
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!’ (John 2:13-16 NIV)
I can hear it now, can’t you? “What has happened to civility?” “Couldn’t he have just asked nicely?” “Here’s this guy who hangs out with publicans and prostitutes, and all the sudden he can’t handle a few money-changers in the Temple?” “What a hypocrite!” “Yeah, where’s the tolerance?” Pretty sure that’s how this would go down on Meet the Press.
It is probably no coincidence that the “civility movement” always seems to gain steam when the marginalized have been pushed so far they must raise a ruckus simply to be heard. But we know as well from recent events that even silent protests, like “taking a knee,” can provoke charges of incivility when the message is one that threatens privilege. As Vann Newkirk wrote in the Atlantic last year when the immigration and family-separation crisis sparked outrage: “Civility is … wielded as a cudgel against those already facing obliteration that dictates to them how they must face it” by “a majority inclined to ignore the violence done in its name—because in the end, they will be alright.”
Like the language of civility, that of tolerance can be a kind of cudgel as well, an “iron fist in a velvet glove.” Tolerance speaks even more frankly than civility of inequality in the social order. Think of the profound asymmetry of the active and passive of the verb: while we may feel pride at our ability to tolerate others, how does it feel to “be tolerated”? Tolerance remains a pillar of the political life of a secular society, but like the language of civility, it is inadequate — I would argue inappropriate even — for communities of faith and coalitions of conscience.
Whether in our own communities or in interfaith conversations, tolerance, aside from indicating entrenched (if implicit) bias, is the language of spiritual scarcity. And if you doubt this, think again of a verb in the active and passive that communicates true abundance: to love and be loved. The language of tolerance is too often used in religious settings to begrudge admittance to those whose whole humanity we are unwilling to engage with our own. It often substitutes without our even realizing it for the language of abundance that truly opens up possibilities of transformation.
The language of tolerance and civility not only glosses over the difficult work of justice and equality, of radical love and hospitality to which our transformative communities really owe their existence and to which they must continually and explicitly recommit themselves, it also makes the work itself harder to conceive. Our uncritical use of language that continually reinforces power and privilege can actually silence the language of abundance out of which flows the courage and conviction to live in abundance with one another.
Language matters. In the beginning was the Word. Relying on the language of tolerance and civility limits what we can expect from encounters across difference and makes us complicit in the world of scarcity that this language depicts. That the language and life of abundance can embrace difference, encourage us to work together through difficulty and discord, and provide us with tools to navigate conflict in the pursuit of transformation is, for me, a fundamental article of faith. In fact, it may be what faith itself is for.
It being Valentine week, I thought I’d look into the human and environmental cost of the popular romantic holiday! Spoiler alert: this is kind of a “Mike Ruins Everything” post.
Depending on whom you ask, Americans spend between $18-20b on V-Day flowers, chocolates, plushies and foil or “mylar” balloons to prove their affection. Obviously all of these have environmental and human costs.
We’ll start with balloons and plushies. Latex balloons can take up to four years to biodegrade (don’t get me started on mylars, which are “metalicized polyester” and not classified as biodegradable) but it is their release into the environment that wreaks havoc on wildlife (if you need a good cry, check out the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s blog post on the subject, but be warned, there are pictures. )
Americans consume 58 million lbs of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Most of the cocoa comes from West Africa, where, because 1 cocoa tree produces only about half a pound of chocolate a year, and global demand is so high, tropical forests are often clearcut to make way for this cash crop. Child labor is another ongoing reality of chocolate production, with an estimated 2+ million West African children involved in harvesting cocoa.
And those Valentine’s Day roses? Around 2/3 of them come from Colombia, where labor laws (including, again, child labor laws) and environmental regulations are lax. One study found that floriculture workers (2:1 female to male) “were exposed to 127 different types of pesticides. The female workers as well as the female partners of male workers experienced an “increase in the prevalence of abortion, prematurity, and congenital malformations … for pregnancies occurring after the start of work in floriculture.” This is particularly horrifying, given the product and its intended purpose and message.
I am the Church Street Ministry Coordinator at First Parish in Cambridge Unitarian Universalist, and was asked to speak this Sunday morning on the theme of “journeying together” (and to throw in a pitch for volunteers for one of the programs I oversee, the Tuesday Community Meal, a once-weekly free sit-down meal in Harvard Square for anyone in need of nourishment.)
We’re talking about journeys today, and I, for one, can’t talk about journeys without talking about getting lost. So let me ask you a question first: when you’re on vacation or taking a weekend drive, do you ever get lost?
How do you feel when you realize you’re lost?
What do you need?
What do you do?
I’ll admit sometimes I get lost by design. Sometimes I rent a Zip and just go until I’m a little turned around. Like 10-15 minutes lost. A little lost. But people get lost for a lot of different reasons, and even when you’re really lost there’s usually someone you can ask for help. We have all kinds of wayfinding technology nowadays, but the old-fashioned wayfinder was just another person.
But let’s be honest: sometimes that person knows what they’re talking about, and sometimes not. I’ve lived in Boston for almost 15 years and I still give terrible directions of the street. Like, really, really terrible. But sometimes being a wayfinder is just about being there when someone needs you. (But having a charged smartphone is definitely a plus.)
Back in my early twenties I used to really love flying by the seat of my pants — and one day I landed with a thud in Cambridge Common, a few hundred feet from here. I had just spent about a month and a half on the Appalachian Trail — I was no match for the black flies of Maine — and I had about six weeks before heading to an orchard in New Hampshire for apple-picking season. I had this gap between gigs and about twenty bucks in my pocket.
There was a lot of rough-sleeping, sofa-surfing, and days spent in the air-conditioned luxury of the Boston public library. But I quickly found a community here — there was a shelter in Porter Square at the time, and the meal programs here in Harvard Square –Ordinary people willing to step out of their comfort zone and help me find work, or shelter, or a meal. I was a kid from the Midwest and it was an adventure but there’s a lot that could have gone wrong if not for the countless folks who offered me a nudge, a kind word, a little humanity.
I’m privileged. I was able to go from rough-sleeping in the Common to shelter and a full-time job in a matter of days. Many of the young people we serve here at the Y2Y Shelter and Tuesday Meals are living in a much more complicated world, and the zero-sum scarcity culture we live in has only gotten harsher for them. Not to mention the stress on our elder community, for which we have the wonderful wayfinders at Paine Senior Services. And that’s part of what we’re here for — all of us: to be wayfinders.
Nearly one in every six seniors in America faces the threat of hunger and not being properly nourished. AARP reports that seniors face a healthcare bill of more than $130 billion every year due to medical issues stemming from senior hunger.
Sometimes food insecurity impacts people you might not expect:
It’s good to be armed with the facts but it can all be pretty overwhelming when you think of it like that. So let’s think of it like this, instead: We have a wonderful community of resourceful wayfinders right here and we are committed to a culture of abundance in this space. So I’m going to offer a challenge (and not to worry, there are no Tide Pods involved):
We’re calling it the Tuesday Meals 1-2-3 challenge because honestly it’s just that easy:
1 Tuesday in 2019 — there are still 40-something to choose from!
2 hours — the serving hour starts at 5:30 and ends at 7.
3-5 friends, family, colleagues or crew.
You’ll find some more information in your order of worship, but my challenge to you is to show up and be a wayfinder in this very special and Beloved Community.
I work as the Church Street Ministry Coordinator at First Parish Unitarian Universalist on Church Street just off Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., and one of my jobs is to educate the Congregation on issues of housing and food insecurity in our neighborhood and beyond. I wrote the following for our monthly newsletter after having been asked by several congregants how to approach individuals they assume to be homeless in the neighborhood.
One of my favorite things to do when I was a young teacher in a little village in Eastern Hungary in the mid-’90s was to take the train 25 miles East to the Provincial Capital, Debrecen, near the Romanian border. It was a beautiful city, to be sure, but it was that hour traveling by train across the plains of Pannonia, the great Hungarian Puszta, that was the real attraction for me. The landscape, “flat as an ocean,” in the poet Sándor Petőfi’s words, reminded me of my Indiana home, and being a stranger among strangers on the old no-frills Soviet-era intercity train was oddly calming. Whenever I was homesick I could ride my janky old bicycle (provided at no cost by the local gimnázium) to the station, hop on a train, and I suddenly felt right at home amongst the rabble.
It’s good to be at home among strangers, and despite growing up in suburbia, where the appearance of a stranger is often cause for suspicion if not outright alarm, I think it’s in my blood. I recently became mildly obsessed with ancestry.com, and what struck me after doing a little research was the staggering scope of global displacement over the last several generations. Take my great-grandparents, who, like so many of their compatriots fleeing the grinding rural poverty of their Southern Italian home, arrived in New York around 1900 in what’s known as The Great Arrival. But while “L’America” was a land of opportunity, the story my genealogy tells of the century that followed was one of even greater fragmentation and displacement, with two World Wars and the Great Depression, and a relentless push West that saw relatives scattered from New York and Pennsylvania to Indiana, Texas and California. Growing up I hardly knew my relatives on my father’s side at all. I met my grandfather once. We’ve been in this country for 120 years.
First Parish Cambridge has been here much longer, of course. Many of its current congregants can no doubt trace their lineage back 400 years as well. One thing I’ve learned in my own short time in New England: folks take enormous pride in being of a place. I do it, too. Each September when the next freshman class floods in from parts unknown, despite only having lived here a mere 15 years, I’m suddenly a native. We often draw the arbitrary line of belonging to a place from the moment we arrived, whether it’s the queue for our morning coffee or Plymouth Rock. We take great, sometimes comical umbrage at strangers and newcomers, puffing our chests as if to say: “we were here first!” And when it comes to the line at Starbucks: yeah, ok, fair enough. But when we telescope out a bit, things get a little more complicated. Here isn’t always here. Take First Parish. In our first 200 years the Congregation moved five times (not to mention the much greater trek from Calvinism to Unitarian Universalism that accompanied all those moves.)
We are a people on the move, a species of travelers from the beginning, for whom “home” is a fairly recent adaptation. The first shelters may have been built as long ago as 400,000 years, but the first proto-houses did not appear until just 15,000 years ago, give or take. We would do well to keep that in mind when we think about homelessness. Like “displacement,” “homelessness” is a word that hides its privilege in plain sight. We rarely dig too deeply into the root — “home,” “place,” even less so “placement” — when we think of those who are homeless or displaced. We sometimes lament that they (and they are always a “they”) have had to leave their homes, but we invariably conceive of “home” as the place they are from, not the place they are in. It is a way of reinforcing that they are “out of place” here and now. The fact that many have had to leave the place they are from doesn’t mean that they need to feel or be treated as out of place where they are. We sometimes assume that those we encounter on our streets have nowhere to be without considering how it is that we have found our place here, on the same street where they are. They are here, we sometimes seem to be saying, in the place where we belong!
But home is not just an ephemeral and transient idea for them, as much as our own good fortune in having found a place for the moment might suggest to us. I say this as a renter in Boston who has been forced to move eight times in the past 13 years. And that’s stable compared to friends earning the minimum wage. In Cambridge today they’d have to work 145 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom rent. If we zoom out to the even bigger picture, we are in the middle of an epoch of global displacement, fueled by radical income inequality and unstoppable climate change. A recent study from the Union of Concerned Scientists warns that rising sea levels will, by the end of the century, cause a third of the homes in Cambridge to face flooding every other week. A third of Cambridge underwater. (It seems likely this will only exacerbate the housing crunch.)
We have one home, not many. That much is obvious. It can be hard to remember that in moments of encounter with those who seem out of place to us in the here and now. When I forget, myself, I like to hop on the train. It doesn’t really matter where to. It’s just good to be at home among my fellow travelers.