Towards a Manifesto for Joyful Revolution

I just found this in a folder on my desktop dated about 2 years ago. I don't remember writing it. I kind of like it even though it's a bit goofy and abbreviated. I'd love to continue it, perhaps collectively.

We affirm the quality of life over the deranged demands of “work.”

We believe pleasure is the goal and we are not talking about the pleasure of convenience, of commodity fetishism, of endlessly new things, of guilt ridden romps in rub and tug parlors. We believe pleasure is slow and permeates body and mind — as if the two were even distinct. By pleasure we mean enjoyment, not consumption.

We embrace complexity as we know things in this life are multivalent.

We believe it’s good to be singular, to enjoy strange and surprising views on things — and we reject, at every turn, the attempts of the media to reduce everything to one side or the other; of Hollywood to reduce the great human complexity to pat narratives that reaffirm the same old bourgeois bullshit of family, hetero love, marriage, work, death.

We affirm the right to move slowly — and in caf├ęs that are not extensions of the workplace.

We believe in the pure gift, exchange without profit.

We believe in a basic public civility that respects the privacy, and strangeness, of people — unless it is only through incivility that we can find our strangeness.

We embrace change but reject the capitalist fetish of the new.

We believe in things — but not things that give a temporary buzz then break. We believe things should be respected as part of life, that they should be well made, well considered, and should propel pleasure, dignity, civility.

We believe education needs to be freed from the tyranny of the classroom and its state sponsored curricula and its petty pedantic academics. Education needs to permeate not just the day but the life.


jemtallon said...

Wow. Truly moving sampling of the beliefs of our people. Thank you for collecting them :)

Lauren said...

I'm glad you posted this. It's refreshing, and as a student of yours a few years ago, I always thought you did a good job of trying to unmoor the educational experience from, as you say, "pedantic academics."

Also, unconnected, I read this article today and for some reason thought it might interest you.

Daniel Coffeen said...

@ Lauren: Hey — good to see you here, as it were. That article is surprisingly good for the NYT — I like how it privileges poetry. Thanks for that. I hope you're very well.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to the last paragraph. As a student of biology I find the memorization and lack of abstract thinking stifling at times..'doing easy' is the only thing keeping me from going off the science deep end

drwatson said...

I thought the article was nice too - and I hate David Brooks, so I was really shocked. I'm not sure if people read Matt Taibbi's stuff from Rolling Stone, but he's done a great job tearing both Brooks and Friedman's bullshit political perspectives apart.

Here's a good one on Brooks:


And here's one on Friedman - and please look at this one just for his take on Friedman's use of metaphors. It's hilarious.


Pierre said...

we want frienship as virtu, given to the old friend as well that to the foreigner.

Daniel Coffeen said...

@ Pierre: Love that! Yes, friendship as the basis of the public and private alike.