Robert Wildwood's "Robnoxious Years" Blog

Forever Living The Dream

Tag: robnoxious

White Privilege & Capitalism

“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” – Albert Einstein

It’s a street demonstration in the United States of America and the crowd chants: “Whose streets? OUR streets!” I look around at the sea of faces descended from Europeans and think: these streets were built on stolen land. The burial ground of an indigenous tribe is underneath this street. After 500+ years we are still invaders. If you find yourself in a meeting surrounded by people of the same race and your goal is to save the world, you should start wondering: Who are you saving the world for? I look around at this gathering of white Americans and think: this must be what it looked like when Columbus landed here 500 years ago to meet the indigenous tribes who lived here for 50,000 years.

We could all forgive and forget if only we had made reparations, righted the wrong, but we are still colonizing this country. Native American reservations are still the poorest places in the nation. The government and corporations take the coal under Native American reservations using deceit. Parking garages are built on top of Native American burial grounds. In Minneapolis the African American community is the most unemployed of all races here. Prison populations for people of color are far higher than for white people. People of color are still treated with prejudice and they suffer more than whites. A tornado lands in north Minneapolis and tears the place up, black residents cant get reasonable help. It’s like our own little version of Hurricane Katrina.
I’m privileged to have a job. Privileged to have a house. Privileged to have a car. Privileged to get detained by the cops and be given only a ticket or a warning, not hauled to jail and eventually to prison. I’m privileged to be around other people of European descent who don’t judge me because of my race. I’m privileged to have grown up with both parents, and that they are still together. I’m privileged for people to look at me an think I’m one of the good guys cause my skin is light. Every movie I ever saw growing up depicted dark skinned people as the villains. Racism was always there, subtle, and always there. Yesterday a black man walked up to me and smiled, and in my mind I thought, “Oh no, a black man!” like I should be afraid. Where does that thinking come from? I don’t remember anyone telling me that black people were bad, and that’s it: the racist teachings we experience growing up are subtle, but they spread thru everything so that we don’t even notice when we’re being taught racism. Why is the dark skinned guy the villain in the movie? Because the light skinned guys are the good guys, that’s just the way it is. It’s taken years of being thoughtful about racism to move towards overcoming those feeling. Sometimes I think that the early childhood training I had in racism will always be a part of my mind. I grew up in a world that believed in the Other as less human than Us.

It sucks having someone remind you of the privilege you have just because of the race you were born as. A finger points at you and you feel defensive. You! What, who, me? Yes you! Your people committed genocide and ethnocide and your people were slave owners! Okay it’s true, Europeans came here 500 years ago and did all this, and here we are the descendents, but that was before my time, why do I gotta deal with the fallout from the bad decisions my ancestors made? Well it’s true, we’re not responsible for the actions of our ancestors. We can’t time travel and stop them from doing what they did. We’re responsible for our actions, in this present moment, and we benefit from having light skin, we benefit from being perceived as part of the people who rule this country. It’s changing, yeah, it’s changing. Slowly. Maybe once we’ve had 500 more years of non-white presidents then we can talk about a post-racial society.

When someone says, “White people take everything, except the burden.” it rings true but it hurts too. I make minimum wage at my job, I bust my ass and there’s usually only 2 digits worth of money in my bank account. I live in a house with 6 other people cause I can’t afford anything else. I’m on food stamps and public health care. I worked for years busting ass building houses for other people, yet I do not have a house of my own. I also chose to quit jobs and go travel, hitch hike, ride trains, build boats out of trash and live on them for months, and then go back to the city and get a job and live in a house. Without my white skin, how easy would it be for me to have done all this? If I wanted, I could probably get a high paying job and have lots of money. I never tried it, but I bet that my skin color would make it a lot easier, and the fact that everything I saw growing up told me that I could do anything I wanted, and the people who did whatever they wanted all looked white like me.

I feel burdened sometimes, the basic human burden of being alive, but one burden I don’t have to deal with is 500 years of my people being oppressed by another people who are still occupying my land. I don’t have to live in a country that my ancestors were brought to against their will and forced to work, generation after generation. The United States was founded on stolen land and stolen labor. Indigenous tribes and African Americans were exploited by our European ancestors, that’s how the U.S. achieved dominance in the world textile market, the stepping stone to later world domination. I am descended from this colonial royalty, my ancestors were the thieves and the murderers. This system of exploitation still exists, and that is why 500 more years of Capitalism won’t actually free anyone.

A conclusion that modern feminism has arrived at is this: For one person to be free, all people must be free. Capitalism doesn’t care what race people are, it only demands that there be a small percentage exploiting the large majority. If the small percentage of exploiters is multi racial, multi cultural, so be it, Capitalism is happy. The continuation of Capitalism could lead to a racially blind exploitation, where everyone is exploited, without discrimination. Capitalism is like a virus, it will mutate to survive.
The original exploitation is so deep in our culture that we don’t even notice it. Sports teams are still named after indigenous tribes. Villains in movies are still dark skinned. Individuals participate in Cultural Appropriation. What is the difference between unethical cultural appropriation and an ethical acculturation? When the power dynamic between two people is not equal, then cultural appropriation may happen, such as when a person of European descent wears a feathered headdress which mimics the feathered headdress of Native American tribes. Let’s say a Native American and a European met up on some path somewhere 500 years ago with no history of exploitation between these people, and the Native American gave the European a beaded headband with feathers in it and the European gave the Native American a necklace with a silver crucifix on it. This would be acculturation, on equal ground. What if the European pointed a gun at the Native American’s head and demanded the beaded feathered headband? This would be cultural appropriation, and that is what has been going on for the past 500 years, and that’s why it’s not okay for people of European descent to dress up and act like Native Americans. The same applies to the cultural appropriation of African American culture. When white kids take up hip hop and rapping, why does that feel different than when a rapper samples a European sound like a cello and uses it in a song? If you look at the big picture, you will see there is a different power dynamic, and that is the difference. African Americans were brought into the culture of European style music in America by force. White kids TAKE hip hop and rap because they like it and they want to be cool. Native Americans and African Americans were forced to become Christians by the Colonial Europeans. White people TAKE Native American and African American spirituality as their own, without asking.

There is much cross-over now, cultures now mingle at an accelerating rate, so that sometimes it’s hard to tell where one started and the other begins. More cross over will continue happening too. It’s natural for cultures to share their culture: art, music, language, fashion, technology, and for cultures to create new things out of the fusion. If you think about it, it will be obvious. If you are of European descent, don’t dress your kids up as Indians for Halloween, and if you are thinking of picking up rapping, you better think about it. If you grew up in the culture, if you were welcomed into it and think you should rock it, then rock it, and suffer the judgment. Are you flexing your white privilege by appropriating the culture of an oppressed culture, or are you really part of it? If a person of color calls you out on something you’re rocking, then take it to heart, think about it, because you are probably not the first clueless colonial they’ve met.

(Thanks to the Women of Color in Science Fiction panel at Galacticon 2009, and thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion on White Privilege at Idapalooza 2012, and to the article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh.)

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“Sweet Summer by Robnoxious” Zine Masters

Turn your computer sideways OR print it out and figure it out! These are the masters used to make the zine. If this type of free art/information transfer does not interest you, get the actual print zine from me with heavy cardstock  and hand lettered cover for $4, send it to my Paypal account: robotearl@gmail.com
You can also go to Boneshaker Books http://www.boneshakerbooks.com/ the only bookstore in the world that currently stocks this zine. I’m too obsessed with drawing the stories to spend a lot of time fucking around with distributing them.




















From Arab Spring to American Autumn


A Report on Occupy Minnesota by Robnoxious

The Occupy Wall Street movement is based on the fact that 1% of the population owns a majority of the wealth in the U.S., and therefore controls the country. The occupiers demanding satisfaction from the rich call themselves “The 99%”. A totally reasonable basis for revolt.

When I first heard that folks were going to take inspiration from the Occupy Wall Street movement and occupy downtown Minneapolis, I formed an immediate Theory based on my past experiences with such movements in this city: this is going to be another sad and pathetic event in a long line of sad and pathetic events attempting to halt the suffering caused by global capitalism. The usual big egos of activism would show up and strut about the stage, satisfy their egos, get trashed by the cops, file a lawsuit, get a bunch of money, and take their friends out to dinner. Business as usual.

Before actually going down to the Occupy Minnesota site at Government Plaza to gather empirical data in support of this theory, I decided to first write down some hypothesis about the protest scene:

Hypothesis 1: Bored of the previous struggle of drinking cheap beer and then suffering thru school and work hungover and talking shit about global capitalism, people decided to release their passions and try to rage in the streets like in other fun countries.

Hypothesis 2: We would not actually enjoy a revolution here because as citizens of the U.S. we are at the top of the food chain, a successful revolution would be a staggering blow to our quality of life expectations.

Hypothesis 3: Tired of first person shooter games we desire to actually chase our crappy leaders and other actors from Hollywood around a REAL landscape using REAL guns.

Hypothesis 4: Minnesota has actually been occupied by white activists for hundreds of years, so maybe technically this protest event should be called Continuing to Occupy Minnesota.

Hypothesis 5: Black unemployment rates and foreclosures on houses have been really bad for a long time, really going all the way back to the “end” of slavery. But now it has affected and come to the attention of white people so we must do something about it.

Hypothesis 6: Any successful movement to swiftly change the U.S. Government will be met with the nearly incomprehensible powers of the Military Industrial machine as it defends itself and it’s children (the 1% of rich people). Resistors will be beaten, sprayed with chemicals, arrested, terrorized, infiltrated, neutralized, demoralized, threatened, bombed, burned, shot, robbed, insulted, and that is just what the cops will do. Police are the tip of the tentacle leading back to this violent monster Global Capitalism that has wrapped itself across this continent and the world. It has flying robots that can target and drop bombs on individual people, dear God! These machines are being tested on people of color overseas right now, how long before there’s a swarm of these over every major U.S. city?

Hypothesis 7: Global Capitalism is fighting a war to achieve Global Domination, and it is winning. If we desire to be free and to end all exploitation and oppression world wide, then we are opposed to Global Capitalism, and therefore we are at war with Global Capitalism and must defend ourselves. Meeting the enemy at a time and a place of it’s own choosing is a terrible strategy and is not the way towards victory. For example, attending a publicized protest, or “Cop Fest”, and getting gnashed in the gears of the machine. Partial Solution: read Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.

Hypothesis 8: If the cutting edge of the anti-capitalist movement in Minnesota is a few banquet tables, some crappy cardboard signs, and a row of porta potties outside a government building, then we are FUCKED!

Having formed my hypotheses I began searching to find support for the theory that this event was a load of the same old shit.

I first attempted to investigate the phenomenon online from the comfort of my home, and at the Occupy MN website was assaulted by an advertisement for Walmart! JESUS FUCK! I jabbed my fingers at the damn thing, trying to find the mute button as the advertisement lashed out with it’s brainwashing message for me to CONSUME! I narrowly escaped the attempted Manufacturing of Desire in my mind to “Shop at Walmart”. Okay People, as long as we are supporting Walmart there is not going to be justice anywhere. For real, totally unacceptable. Having a live video stream of your anti-capitalist protest being interrupted by advertisements for Walmart is obscene.

I read in the papers that homeless people were congregating at the Occupy protests in cities across the continent. Hmm, a movement that interested the poorest of the poor, interesting. After the Walmart video attack I was skeptical of our own local Occupy Minnesota, but then a friend told me that there were people of color involved in the organizing and that members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) were involved and were considering erecting a traditional living structure down there. This was starting to sound like something possibly real, and I wondered if several of my hypotheses were on the verge of being disproved.

I decided to actually go down and attend a General Assembly meeting. On October 20th, a chilly Thursday night, I attended the General Assembly at 7pm. The meeting was well facilitated, thank god. There were some short tempers and lots of enthusiasm and some amount of haggard baby tantrums. Someone reported that regular masking tape should not be used because it left sticky stuff that had to be cleaned up. Okay, this report was not a very compelling use of anyone’s time. A medic reported that people needed hand warmers and chapstick. The food coordinator showed up and expressed the common sentiment that HOT food was greatly needed and appreciated. Dear god, I wanted to cook them a pot of soup on the spot, poor kids out there in the cold. Finally the most interesting thing occurred, a report from the one of the people who had been arrested earlier that day for “occupying the street”. All those arrested had been bailed out at a cost of $50 per person. Hmmm, I thot: $400 could buy a whole lot of fucking HOT FOOD, HANDWARMERS, and CHAPSTICK! This sentiment was expressed by a lone voice standing to the left, “Was this agreed on by the General Assembly? I mean, what did you THINK was going to happen when you sat down in the street? Of course you got arrested!”

Everyone was excited as a group of the released arrestees came around the corner, hooting and hollering. I really appreciated the dissenter’s response. I went and shook his hand. Fuck that goofy let-the-cops-arrest-you type bullshit! There’s only three scenarios I think it is understandable to end in police custody: First, if they surround you or if they can run faster than you (unlikely). Second, if they kick down your door and drag you out of bed in the middle of the night, and third, if they are holding someone you love hostage.

The prevailing sentiment seemed to be on the side of the people who were arrested, for their “bravery”. I laughed out loud, thinking what people must have suffered in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria,Yemen, and a dozen others during the various revolutions and revolutions-in-progress this year during Arab Spring.

Use of this lame old-school non-violent tactic seemed to confirm several of my hypotheses.

A break followed so that friends could welcome the brave hearts back and also to surround the guy who voiced his dissenting opinion and tell him how he was being disrespectful to the brave arrestees.

Despite the old-school tactics dragged from the dusty closet once again to dance their dusty bones in the streets, I did feel a small but strong flame of passion at Occupy Minnesota. I felt like it had the potential to grow into something profound, if only it had not begun in the fall, with gradually lowering temperatures. The government knows this too, and they are playing a waiting game. Yes, in a month of so, the occupiers will simply freeze to death. There is another excellent possibility tho, that the occupiers will be driven to occupy a sensible place INDOORS, such as a vacant government building with insulation and heat, now that is something I could get behind!

For social change movement to be successful, there must be many different angles of approach to dislodge entrenched old ideas. Some of the approaches may have totally opposite philosophies, such as the use of non-violence or pro-violence. Using the independence movement of India as an example, the non-violent protesters are credited with kicking the British out, but it was also the increasingly violent anti-British attacks that convinced the oppressors to get the fuck out and turn the county over to it’s people. In consideration that a successful movement must be diverse in tactics and strategy, I don’t want to dissuade anyone from getting involved and doing what they felt was right in bringing Justice to Global Capitalism. If you think that knitting a peace sign into a scarf is what’s gonna bring the villains to their knees, more power to ya. Just don’t expect me to wear it.

The fact that young people across the continent are coming together and realizing that there is something very wrong with Global Capitalism thru the Occupy Wall Street event is reason enough to support it. I think it’s what people will take away from this movement that is going to be important, not that the event itself will achieve much directly in the way of change.

Hey, you never know. Don’t take my shoddy methodology in this field of inquiry to be the final word, head on down and check out the scene for yourself! Downtown Minneapolis, Government Plaza is at 4th Avenue South & 6th Street South. Ongoing rallies at 5pm, General Assembly at 7pm. Websites: occupymn.org & occupytogether.org. If you bring booze to drink, make sure it is well concealed in a travel mug or perhaps in a wax soda cup with a lid and straw, as there are cops all over the place! Don’t stress it. Gotta keep life exciting somehow.

Oh ya, and bring hot food.

(This article was supposed to be published a couple weeksago. The OccupyMN movement has now occupied a home that was foreclosed on by a major bankwith the support of the home owner who was foreclosed upon! Check it out: occupyminneapolis.mn )

Sweet Summer Zine Release Party

The Downhill Thunder Road Challenge by Robnoxious

Friendship On Fire by Robnoxious


When Is A Good Time?

by Robnoxious

I was in Winona, Minnesota, when I got a call from my dad: Grandma June had passed away. The funeral was in Nebraska, two days away. My plans to buy a fuel efficient car a necessarily expedited, a friend loans me 900 and another friend sells me his 98 Ford Escort. I sign the title and pack my bag. On the way out of town I get several calls from California, so I pull the car over to hear the news: there’s been another death. Our friend Amber Kellar. She was too young. Not even 30 yet, I think. My grandma was 94. Grandma lived a full life. No reason to be sad and cry about that, that’s what people do, they are born and they live and then they die. Amber’s death was a tragedy, too young, and too good. She was so full of compassion and love for everyone. Amber was great. Of all the knuckle headed asshole people in the world that I would have picked to leave the Earth, Amber would have been the last. So now my 9 hours in the car felt a lot more ominous. What was I doing with my life? People were dropping like flies and I could be one of them soon. Another reminder to stop fucking around and get did what I want done.

The radio stations between Winona, Minnesota and Hastings, Nebraska are not so good, a few hot jams going thru Des Moines, and then again in Omaha. The rest was a lot of bad country. Like yeah dude, we know what colors are on the flag, duh. Remedial patriotism. Big brother coming at you with a country song. Is mainstream country music subsidized by the government?

Rolled into Hastings and meet my folks in the parking lot of the Walmart. Of course they had to go inside and buy some stuff so there I was shopping with my folks in Hastings Nebraska. Walking around inside a hideously illuminated Walmart is not the first thing you want to do after driving a car 9 hours.

It was late. We went to Mary’s house and I slept on the couch after meeting her dog Cody and Bubbles, and another dog named Jesse that was my aunt & uncles. Bubbles was a little terrorist chihuahua, barked madly in a high pitch whenever it saw me. Damn those dogs. Jesse and Cody were cool. Jesse was a black lab that loved his frisbee.

In the morning I got up with the sun, made green tea, and waited for the old folks to rise. One by one they shuffled zombie steps to the kitchen for the coffee. I had conversations with everyone. Uncle Chuck. Cousin Alan. Aunt Mary. Aunt Jeanne. Aunt Mary got off the phone with my one remaining grandparent, grandpa Bob.

Somebody needs to go shave him.” my Aunt Mary said.

My Aunt Jeanne looked at me, “Do you feel comfortable doing this?”

Uh… No. I haven’t seen him in ten years.”

Okay, I’ll do it.” Jeanne said, “But will someone go with me?”

I’ll go with you.” I said.

Aunt Jeanne drove us to Grandpa Bob’s house. My dad was already there with Grandpa, sitting watching TV and conversating. Grandpa Bob is 96 years old and still walking, sometimes using a cane, when he remembered to use it. Grandpa wouldn’t let people help him get up, he would swat your hand away if you tried. The famous Sutter family stubbornness! The only thing about Grandpa that seemed to have stopped working was his memory.

Hey, remember me? I’m Robert Earl Sutter the 3rd!” I said and shook his hand.

Grandpa looked at me smiling and said, “Well, we hung a name on you!” and then seemed to promptly forget who he was talking to. Probably didn’t help that I hadn’t seen him in ten years. I would catch his eyes across the room and he would blink and look perplexed, no sign of recognition. Strange to be forgotten by your grandparent, or only remembered for a second. He must live in a strange world now, what is that like? Is it like being so drunk at a party that you cant remember anyone’s name or use language to talk to them, so you sit there on the couch watching people move around you and wishing you were sober again?

Aunt Jeanne shaved Grandpa Bob with a small battery powered shaver, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

Hey check it out,” I said, pointing at the TV, “the final space shuttle is about to launch!”

Oh, this is LIVE!” my dad said, turning to face the TV.

A few minutes after Grandpa was shaved I pointed at the TV, “There it goes!”

All four of us turned to watch the three main thrusters under the space shuttle Atlantis ignite amid a shower of sparks, then a great flame and billowing smoke and the rocket took the sky, gently rolling onto it’s back and heading for a low earth orbit to rendezvous with the International Space Station. The final mission in the space shuttle program, after the Atlantis returned to Earth, the entire fleet would be grounded and scrapped.

Dad, are you ready to go to June’s funeral?” Jeanne asked Grandpa, “Today is her funeral.”

Yeah.” Grandpa wrestled himself out of the easy chair and grabbed the cane that was offered.

June was Grandpa Bob’s first wife, it was the marriage that produced all of us. They separated long ago, but somehow ended up living in the same town, Hastings, Nebraska, because that’s where Aunt Mary lived. Mary was willing to take care of her mom, Grandma June, and she did this for years.

Grandma June’s funeral was the first I had been to since the one I attended as a teenager in Alaska when Aunt Mary’s boyfriend, Chad, killed himself with a pistol. I just sat in the back of that funeral, next to a large potted plant.

You want to go look in the casket?” my dad asked me.

No!”

The funeral for grandma June was in Geneva, an hour drive away. We all piled in two cars and drove there. In the back seat with grandpa I experienced uncomfortable silence. Should I keep reminding grandpa of who I am? Should I leave him in peace to stare out the window? How strange it must be for him to be in a car full of strangers. My dad is transgender and decided not to hide the fact from grandpa. The funeral of my grandma may not have been the best time for coming out to grandpa Bob, but when is a good time? I don’t think grandpa had the mental capacity to understand what the deal was, and if he did understand it for a moment, he soon forgot it. I wasn’t inside his brain, but that was my impression.

The rest of the family had asked Rachel to “tone it down” for the funeral, but she declined, wearing a dress and high heels. Most of my relatives were upset about this, and said they thot it was disrespectful of grandma June. They called Rachel “Bob” and referred to her as “him”. I reckon they hadn’t any previous experience with a transgendered person in the process of transition. When a person discovers their true happy nature and accepts it, going back to the old ways seems like something similar to death. My relatives asked me what I thot about the “new person”, and I said, “It’s her life, she’s happy with it, so I support it.”

Sexuality and gender are so taboo in our culture. If you cross certain lines, even tho you harm no one, you are in big trouble.

As we drove thru Geneva, Grandpa Bob had memories come to him, “That’s the old sale barn, I used to work there.” A sale barn is place where livestock gets sold, “This place is very familiar to me.” he said, and continued to point out landmarks as we drove, “There’s a good place to go if you’re dead.” he said as we pulled up and parked in front of the funeral home. At this moment I am pretty certain that he didn’t remember we were there to bury grandma, the woman he was once married to.

Grandma June had been cremated, in the funeral parlor there was a black urn with silver designs, surrounded by floral bouquets and illuminated with warm lighting. We sat thru a christian ceremony by a pastor, the type of thing where you start wondering if we are burying Jesus or my Grandma? I definitely heard Jesus mentioned as much as June. Well she was christian I guess. Don’t remember any goings to church or crucifixes around. A quiet christian.

They played some country songs during the service. Cool. I had been listening to country on the 9 hour drive to Hastings. Grandma loved music. I kept thinking about my friend Amber who had died. Grandma and Amber. An old woman, a young woman. Women I had seen loving and laughing. I could feel my arms around them, hugging them. I thot to myself, “Damn, I knew this was gonna suck. I shouldn’t have come.”

After the service I dashed outside, only to find that we were going to another church next door to have lunch! I was real Christianed-out at this point, but I got to meet a bunch of relatives who were excited to see “The 3rd”. That was cool, they were very nice folks and also seeming to be very accepting of Rachel being transgender. I was so impressed, there seemed to be no backlash against it. Family is family, I reckon. People from the cities like to talk shit about small town folk, but in my experience, people in big cities are just as loaded with hate and prejudice as small town folk are.

I continued feeling really strange. I was the only one there who knew Amber and so there was no one to talk to about her death. I also had a cold sore on my lip which makes me self conscious as fuck, having this wound there on my face when everyone is talking to me. Grandpa was so radically different from when I saw him last that I didn’t know how to interact with him. Rachel was coming out to various relatives as transgender. And oh yeah, Grandma June was dead. Holy fuck! Too much to process, there was smoke coming out of my ears.

I was happy when lunch was done. I helped move flowers and grabbed the keys and jumped in the driver’s seat. I needed to do something to keep from freaking out.

We drove to the cemetery to put Grandma’s ashes in the ground. June had a shared headstone with her sister, Wilma. We moved the piece of wood covering the hole and decided who would lower the ashes down, Mary would do it, she was closest to June during her last years. Mary started to lower the urn and uncle chuck yells, “Wait! Wait!” and Mary says, “Oh god, he wants to take a picture of this.” So we cleared a path in the circle of people so chuck could get a shot of aunt Mary holding the urn. I was thinking, damn, she’s trying to bury her mother, and you’re yelling at her? As a photographer you either get the shot or you don’t. You cant make life go backwards to get what you want. Sorry chuck, but you know that was rude.

Mary seemed relieved. She had been caring for June for many years in Hastings, living together, it had become a struggle with her. Suddenly caring for a parent who can no longer care for themselves, living your life around them and their needs, a constant nurse. That would be hard. My parents have told me, “If we become senile just put us in a home, don’t listen to what we say. You don’t have to take care of us.” Ha ha. I appreciate that.

We all drove back to Hastings and did some hanging out, ate a simple dinner. Everyone seemed relieved that the funeral was over. I felt a weight lifted off me, I smiled with the rest. I watched Grandpa Bob help clean up the lunch by taking a loaf of bread in a plastic bag and spin it, then tie the end in a knot, all with his incredibly gnarled arthritic hands. I was impressed with the dexterity still available to him.

Yes!” I thot to myself, “If I make it to 96 my genes should allow for me to continue writing and drawing!”

Grandpa bob seemed to enjoy hanging out with all of us in the living room, tho he didn’t talk at all. When my aunt Jeanne asked if he was tired and wanted to go home, grandpa said with a vigorous smile, “You’re just trying to get my chair!”

Talk turned to politics and I let the old folks do battle in the democrat/republican debate. All us kids went downstairs, me, cousin Alan, and aunt Mary. It was Mary’s apartment down there, and just a messy as her rooms always had been. Alan played an online computer game. Mary moved around doing something. I looked at old photos: Mary as a majorette leader of the high school band, Mary as dancer in a school production, Mary as trophy girl for a sports car race. That one made me laugh. “I had to kiss him.” she told me, “The winner of the race. We didn’t like each other, but then when it came time he grabbed me and went for it. I thot I was such hot shit, being the trophy girl.” the photo is a man holding a trophy, my aunt Mary looking hot in the middle, and the winner of the race on the right. It’s a good picture, it would make a nice album cover.

We had breakfast at a greasy spoon and hit some yard sales the next day. My relatives were gearing up to remodel grandpa bob’s house, the carpets were nasty, smelling of dog urine, and underneath them lay a nice hardwood floor. The walls needed painting. grandpa bob lives on, in his own place, with his dog “Garcan”, a contraction of “Garbage Can” cause he liked getting in them so much. Occasionally an in home support person would come over and help grandpa with some things. Things he couldn’t remember to do.

Two days seems to be my limit for hanging out exclusively with relatives. I had work and play in other places. I got in my car and drove outta town with a stern warning from my mother, “Don’t pick up any hitch hikers!” I could have picked up three or four hitch hikers, and I looked hard to find them. I was ready to pack my car full of joyous travelers thru life. Between Nebraska and Minnesota on that day, there were none.

(For any of my relatives who may stumble upon this: you know I love you and would do anything for you. -love rob)

Awesome Future! Zine Release & Art Opening in Winona, MN

The tour that started on the West coast has now made it to the heartland! From Weed to Berkeley to Winona. I took a freight train to get myself out here, but as I discovered on the Dunsmuir to Oakland run, delicate paper based art can take a real pounding in the jungle. The shit got all banged up. I boxed and mailed the show from California via the old reliable postal service.
Original comic art by Robnoxious on display at the newly opened Dibs Cafe. The zine “Awesome Future: Stories of Victorious Action” will be available at the show. See the expensive art on the wall, take a cheap zine of the same thing home with you! Sweet.
Two days of Awesome Future! art opening:
On Friday the 29th as part of the Winona Fringe Art crawl 4-7pm!
On Saturday the 30th from 7-10pm w/ music upstairs @ Cloud 9 Union! Featuring musicians “Page Foster”, “And/Or Live”, and “Breakaway”.

Flyer for June 4th 2011 Zine Release & Art Show

Awesome Future! by Robnoxious: Zine Release & Art Show

June 4th, Saturday, 7-10pm

at the Long Haul

3124 Shattuck Ave.

Berkeley, California.

Original sequential graphic art (Comix!) by Robnoxious on display and for sale, accompanied by a zine called “Awesome Future! Stories of Victorious Action” of the same art. Awesome Future! is published and distributed by Microcosm Publishing.

microcosmpublishing.com

For more info call Rob at 530-718-8494 or email: robotearl@gmail.com