“Wut” issue 1

Yeah, we’re releasing our first-ever Blend publication, “wut”, very very soon.

As like, a printed, tangible thing. 

And as a big fuck you to every guy who has made me feel like shit. I may have been voiceless in my relationships, but never as an artist.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 18.42.53.png

Calling out every human who has been left feeling broken and lonely by a man, “wut” is an ode to self-empowerment, to standing up for yourself, for breaking down and feeling weak, to feeling and being unafraid to feel.

All poetry/drawings/pictures were created and experienced during times of great turmoil and disempowerment.

format:
A5 softcover zine
50 pages
words/images/drawings

you can buy it at the BlendShop! (very soon)

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 18.43.30.png

If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy, comment below or email me at bhd@berkeley.edu, and I’ll send you something special along with the zine 🙂

**

B

On: Valentine’s Day

alain_delon
Alain Delon and Romy Schneider C. 1960s

We just got in our beautiful Valentine’s Day cards in the shop. Simple and elegant, the whole card devoted to Alain Delon reading to Romy Schneider casually on their couch. I fold each card, and look at how happy they are. And then I think of all of the people who will buy these cards and give them to their special someones. And then I think of how I’ve never had a Valentine, and how I was dumped a week before Valentine’s Day last February. I tell my boss how much I like the cards, and how I’m excited to sell them off to cute boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives… But clearly the expression on my face indicates otherwise.

Excited about being in the early days of a budding romance with a boy I like more and more with each coming day, I have this idea in my mind that maybe I’ll have a Valentine this year. Maybe I’ll get an extra special kiss that day that tells me that I’m someone important in his life. Maybe he’ll make me a card or make me a bouquet of flowers he finds around Berkeley, or even just ask me to be his Valentine. But alas, such simple gestures seem to be asking too much still.

I go home after work and all I can think about is how this boy had told me just the night before that “Valentine’s Day is stupid”, all after proudly telling him about the new cards we had just received in the store.

But is it really? Sure, you could argue that you wouldn’t want to be involved in the “capitalist scheme” to get people to buy flowers, chocolate, cards, and presents under the guise of a fake holiday that celebrates “love”. Yeah, of course the whole idea is “stupid”, but him saying that to me invalidates everything I had ever felt about the significance of the holiday, and everything I feel about even just feeling special. 

Embarrassed beyond belief, I nervously laugh and tell him that I was just talking about the cards and how they’re cute, nothing more. But deep inside, my little hopes of being surprised and feeling special on Valentine’s Day are crushed. My heart sinks a little, and I think back to every guy who has invalidated my feelings, and back to every guy who has ignored the little things that I care about, and the little things that make me happy. I think back to all of these times, and I remember that I’m the one who lets people treat me this way.

But knowing myself, I probably still won’t stand up for myself, even though deep down I know very well that I deserve so much more. And so does every person out there who has been told that they “ask too much” or are “being ridiculous” when it comes to wanting to feel special. You’re not asking too much, because Valentine’s Day is fun, and why not celebrate being together? Why not spend a day to be mindful about feelings and ultimately just digging each other a little more?

So, if you’ve got a boo on Valentine’s Day, show them some love and make them a card/pick them flowers/cook them a cute dinner, because no matter how stupid the significance of the holiday actually is, showing someone you care never is.

**

B

 

I want so badly to be knowledgable, experienced, politically aware, worldly… and all of that sh*t

I’m so curious. I want to know about literally everything! I wish I could somehow acquire knowledge and experience infinitely quickly. I have always been this way and I love this about myself but it definitely does pose challenges for me.

I was the type of child to go through a million different phases and interests… my poor parents had to deal with this and I am eternally grateful for how well they did so. When I wanted to be a singer my parents sent me to singing lessons. When I wanted to be a pianist the signed me up for piano lessons. And guitar. And ballet. And theatre. And gymnastics. And soccer. And softball. When I wanted to be a scientist they, being the supportive parents they are, supplied me with the microscope I had been begging for. When I wanted to learn a new language, learn what it’s like to live in a new culture, and learn to be independent and create a network of friends and peers around me, they gave me this opportunity too! They sent me to Rome, Italy all by myself during high school… just as I had asked for.

Anyways… that’s all to say that I haven’t changed one bit. I am still curious and interested in just about EVERYTHING. I don’t know what I want to major in… because I want to choose all of the majors. I want to do pre-med, economics, business, legal studies, engineering, nutrition, political science, cognitive science, computer science, mathematics, integrative biology while simultaneously learning 3 different languages and joining  an investment club, the sailing team, the Effective Altruists club, trying to get in shape, stay updated on the news and have a social life… oh yeah and I want to get a part-time job too! Although I am very far from it, I want to be well-read and be able to discuss books that commonly come up in conversation. I even feel left out when people discuss TV shows they are following and feel that I need to keep with that part of “general knowledge” and watch popular shows to stay in the loop with that stuff.  Does anyone else feel this way? It’s such a struggle because I feel that if I am not learning all of these things and experiencing all of these things then I am not taking full advantage of the life and opportunities I have been given. I feel like I am missing out on everything and anything that I am not doing… which is most things. It’s just too much. There’s not enough time in life to do all of these things and be sane. I wonder all the time if being more efficient and wasting less time and taking less time to just talk to friends and relax would allow me to get more of these things done. I wonder to what extent it would be worth it. Who knows!

This all feeds into why I want to know about what’s going on in the world, know about different political views and understand where everyone is coming from and know the context of big topics and events. I want to be able to engage in conversation and understand what people are talking about and be able to contribute my own ideas too. I have for the longest time stayed away from engaging in particular conversations because I am insecure that my knowledge on whatever particular topic being discussed is too narrow. I always think:”they probably all know a lot more about this topic than I do so that’s probably the main reason I have a different opinion.” I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point where I am completely confident with how much I know because I will always feel that it is not enough, but I know that learning more about frequently conversed topics helps with this enormously.

I recently copied Brianna and downloaded the Apple News App on my phone and turned on the settings for notifications from some of the top news stations such as CNN, NY Times, Tim, Vox, The Washington Post, and even Fox News. I think it is very important to look at information from all sides because all news is biased. It is essentially impossible to learn what is going on in the world objectively. If you surround yourself with information that is already in conjunction with your bias you are not learning anything really. Is your intention just to convince yourself more of what what you already believe? Well that’s definitely not mine as I want to learn NEW things. It’s a lot easier to follow the track you have already been on and not look outside of what you already believe. It’s easy to not have to question your past views, but it’s much more rewarding and commendable to fully consider opposing beliefs and decide for yourself in this moment, not just going back to what “old you” would have felt, what your stance on any particular topic is.

I have found it incredibly helpful to read about what is going on in the world. I only recently, maybe just 3 or 4 days ago, notably increased how much I go out out of my way to read and/or listen to the news and have already recognized how big the return for this small investment is. For example, with the recent political events that have occurred at my school, UC Berkeley, I decided to read about everything that was happening and why people on the right felt the way they did and likewise with the left. In this particular instance,  Berkeley College Republicans invited an alt-right speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, to speak at our school. Left supporters protested against this to show that they did not tolerate the Yiannopoulos’ ideas and the speech was eventually canceled. Although it was not typical of me, I really challenged myself to learn about the events and to fully understand the different points of view. Although it may seem like a small feat for most, I was proud of myself because I was completely able to understand the context and arguments of the many in-person and social media debates about the topic.

So am I crazy? Or do you want to know about everything too?

xx

G

teach-me

BBB Reading Lists: Social Justice Edition

The purpose of this reading list: to get woke.

  1. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Gareth Stedman Jones
  2. The Autobiography of Malcom X – Malcom X, Alex Haley
  3. Why We Can’t Wait – Martin Luther King Jr.
  4. Animal liberation – Peter singer
  5. Up From Slavery – Booker T. Washington
  6. Are Prisons Obsolete – Angela Y. Davis
  7. On Anarchism – Noam Chomsky
  8. Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order – Noam Chomsky
  9. The History of Sexuality – Michel Foucault
  10. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson
  11. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City  – Matthew Desmond
  12. Undoing Gender – Judith Butler
  13. Plunder: When the Rule of Law is Illegal – Laura Nader

**

B