In the 60's, Rachel Carson linked the use of DDT to the drop in pelican populations (not to mention the other atrocities and harm from its use that extend into the reaches of war history). After its ban, the population was able to repair. Here's to the release of what no longer serves (and never did) so that we can fly again.
The history of hip hop in the bay area and the tremendous loss of Zumbi**
Open Letter To Greg Abbot*
Women in Afghanistan***
The California Recall
A few months ago, on that trip I wrote about in the last letter, I heard a radio program that opened up a new longitude in my brain. OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) was doing a radio feature on the Right to Repair. I never heard of it. It's a movement that is gaining steam, based on the most fundamental thing: to be able to repair what we have. It's most clarified example is a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that we are being sold goods that we aren't allowed to fix.
At one point we were given manuals to fix nearly any durable good or appliance, but now we are dealing with throwaways from monopolies. And things are moving so fast, we are having more and more difficulty navigating repair, both in form and formlessness. Repairs cost more and more now, an obligatory add-on to what we were sold. It's untenable. Ultimately, the first purchase turns into a chain of continual purchases, plagiarizing the very autonomy the first purchase promised (see: iphone). Actually, it's more about disposability and increased reliance. Not empowering in the least.
Somewhere along the way, we've lost our right to repair our things. Our objects, our governments (thank you for voting in the recall, California!), our environment, and at times, our Selves. Within that space, sometimes abandoning the necessity of change, often repair, makes more sense than fixing it from the inside out. It's frustrating.
This idea of repair is one that can be seen from a physical perspective, a sociological perspective, political - you name it. Culturally, we are in a state of emergency when it comes to repair. Wouldn't you say?
So, let's discover clarity amidst the waves of chaos. Let's get clear on what we are up to, what our goals are, and our vision is. Let's unearth how they've changed over time. Through that process, we'll find what needs repair, and initiate that. And then we'll have our sit bones well cushioned so we can sit upright in what we do and put out into the proverbial “world”. If you've got a project that feels like it's at a stuck point or a message that feels stale and like it could be causing more harm than good, give a holler. We'll fix it.
All the small gestures of repair add up to a great big dance of evolution. Let's go!