Am I A Poseur?
I am wishing for anonymous opinions and including a personal email which some anarchist wrote me regarding a room for rent.
I became interested in anarchism just this year after moving to Portland from the Midwest. I responded to an ad on Craigslist a while back about a communal living situation, though I did not save what I wrote to them. This is the response I received today:
Sorry about the delay in answering your request but we were busy with our families for the holiday and finishing up finals, as I'm sure you were as well. I'm sorry but we have chosen our new roommate but out of politeness I am responding to all who answered our ad.
After reviewing your e-mail, we decided not to ask you for an interview, but I wanted to tell you why.
There were a number of things that caused concern to us. The most prevalent was your verbage. We imagined you toting around your thesaurus/dictionary and correcting us at every corner. Do you really talk like that? Does anyone? We just happily got rid of a pretentious roommate that complained about noise and drunken debauchery, we do not want a replica of her moving in.
2nd, most of us are vegetarian, but respect those who aren't. We were afraid that your "pestering of issues that concern YOU" could lead to physical violence against you.
3rd, I "like" anarchism? I have to admit that we all had flashes of Britney Spears in our minds. Had you said "I believe in anarchism" or "I am an anarchist" Britney would have not emerged. We don't "like" political issues in this house, we believe and follow them.
4th, you work at FOREVER 21!!!!! Which means that you are neither an animal rights activist or an anarchist. They practically run sweat shops. It seems you are not cut out for anarchism, when you hold a job like that to help feed your creature comforts. You are indeed supporting a White-Supremist-Capitalist-Patriarchial system.
I'm sorry if all of this seems harsh, but maybe instead of a communal living situation, what you need is an apartment. You need to learn to respect others beliefs and find out what yours are! With solitude and maturity, hopefully that can be achieved.
Best of luck!
Now my first reaction to this response was of confusion and sadness, because I thought that the whole letter, aside from the smiley at the end, was unnecessarily mean and vicious. I thought that an important element in anarchism was love, but I did not get that tone from this letter.
Although I have not saved the email I wrote to them, I do write how I speak most of the time, and I don't know what 'verbage' they are referring to. I worked in a library for a long time and am an English major. I read a lot of books, and though I often sound like a book, I do not do it to be pretentious or to feel superior. In the dormitory that I live at, there is a heroin dealer who lives across the hall from me, and they are loud and noisy every night. Does the fact that I don't like listening to loud drunk people every night mean that I am not an anarchist?
I can't say that I have a lot of respect for humyns who eat meat or animal bi-products. It's just unnecessary and cruel. I wonder if the author of this letter was afraid that someone in the house would beat me up when s/he noted that there was a fear of physical violence. If so, that does not sound very revolutionary.
As stated before, I do not have the email I sent them, but I suppose I wrote that I "like anarchism." I do like anarchism; I enjoy reading about it, learning more about it, taking part in actions with anarchists and trying to live a more egalitarian life. Do other anarchists think of Britney Spears when people say things like, "I like anarchism" ?
I worked at Forever 21 for three days, and emailed these people about the room within those three days. I then quit when I was told not to lean against a wall. While I do not support the leather sold at Forever 21, they did go fur free in 2004 after being urged by animal rights activists. I was making minimum wage and badly needed money; I had very few options left. I feel that the most offensive part of this letter was when s/he said that I am not an animal right's activist. I have been doing demos, leafleting, reaching out to others and writing articles about animal liberation for more than half of my life. I am a vegan and animal rights is what is dearest to me.
I've met many people in Portland who call themselves anarchists and still work jobs that support a white-supremist-patriarchal-capitalist system. There are employees of mainstream movie theatres, union workers, computer company employees, people who I have seen go into Whole Foods, people who shop at Wal-Mart (I do not shop at Wal-Mart), etc.
I'm not trying to break up movements or cause controversy; I am just kind of bored and curious as to whether or not any really cool snobby assholes who are much better than I am have any opinions on the topic. (I also think that Britney Spears is entertaining. I really like her cover of the Cher hit "The Beat Goes On")
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