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Nomatic Folk No.3,p.17-18

Dear Fly, (...) Dear Laura,

Sunday 1 January 1995

Dear Fly,

In your piece "sickness", you have defined sickness as people who have lost any sense of compassion, identification with others. "They are stuck in their own diseased logic." This society thrives on our seeing each other through the oppressor’s eyes: developing racist, sexist, homophobic, classist perceptions of each other as homeless, street punks, people of color, women, lesbians, maricones, drug addicts, prostitute,... It is rare to find spaces where people are interested in taking the time to be attentive and careful with each other, of really listening to the complex realities we live, assuming that we are not going to easily understand each other rather than try to simplify each other’s realities, appreciating moment of ambiguity in the interest of seeing ourselves through our compaņeros eyes rather than through the oppressor’s eye.

I’m interested in creating spaces where compassion and a sense of connection with each other can develop as I know you are. I think it’s always important to appreciate our anger in the face of sickness as resisting the diseased logic and moving us to act and create. However, some of your reactions of anger and frustration seem to be more supportive of the diseased logic. In your rage, you "envision smashing the paramedics head against the bars of the cell’. Later, you speak about the man in the paddy wagon and "smashing his head against the metal bar behind him over and over again".

I see these two examples as very different contexts, however, you have used the very same language. If you have these images in your mond, what stops you from acting on them? You obviously would not have acted on it with the parametric because then Khunta would not have gotten any help and you would be in jail for the rest of your life. Therefore, the vision becomes more of a sick fantasy. Even if you did kill the paramedic, there were be plenty more to replace him. Killing him is not going to "cut out the disease."

In the paddy wagon, it was dawn lucky that you both did not get into a fight. Otherwise, you probably both may have been shot or locked up for much longer. Other people in the wagon took responsability for that not to happen. So what do these violent images do to create spaces of compassion and a sense of connection with each other? You later state a concern about your frustration leading to violence with your compaņero Gentle Spike, ’’We were about to go at it. There was a serious communication breakdown, a sickness. Our frustration was leading us to violence." What about all the times men act on these violent images and kill each other, their wives, or their girlfriends? Each year in this country, 2,500 women are killed by their husbands. An equal number of women kill their husbands in selfdefense and spend most of the rest of their lives in prison.

The only time you talk about women is when you get out of jail, "I want to be with a woman. I want her to hold me in her arms." You are seeing women as your consoler or comforter. That makes me nauseous! We are struggling to no longer be treated as servants, consolers, comforters, and performers for men. Seeing us in that way is not to appreciate or identify with the realities of the diseased logic we face.

I know my words are harsh, but I speak to you as my political compaņero and in the interest of thinking about how we can all work together to create spaces of compassion and a sense of connection to each other. Your story has initiated a discussion on the sickness and the diseased logic, and most significantly asks how we can ’’cut out the disease’’ in creating news autonomous zones together. Our discussion would not have been possible without your initiation. I hope that you, Gentle Spike, Khunta and Darrius continue your struggle to create new autonomous zones.

Love, Laura

Dear Laura, The diseased logic of the society we live in has affected us all, including myself as you point out very clearly. As we strive for a continual state of self transformation and a change of the preser state of reality, our healing, we need to have dialogue. We need to learn from each other. It is only through the dialectic that we can achieve the synthesis, the revolution, a revolution which will include everyone’s voice, creativity, and needs.

In continual struggle and love, Fly

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