Breaking down the 2021 holidays Dickens-style – Marin Unbiased Journal

Frankie Frost / IJ Archives

Jeff Burkhart

The drinks menu clacked in its printed edition, barely audible over the holiday music even though the holiday had come, and immediately caused problems. It said, “Tequila, soda, chilled, up.”

“What does that mean?” asked my co-bartender.

“What does that mean?” I asked the server.

“That’s what he said,” she replied.

The problem was twofold. Firstly, “up” means shaken with ice and then strained into a cocktail glass, and secondly, you never shake a drink with carbonated water as it loses its fizziness almost immediately.

“He says he gets it here all the time,” added the server.

I looked at the waiter and bartender and realized that the three of us had worked every shift in the restaurant. Everyone who walked through these doors came through us, so the chances that we had never heard of this drink were slim.

But there are still some people who yearn for the “customer is always right” restaurant business. This year’s Christmas celebrations have clearly shown that. The holidays are still amateur lessons, but luckily this year instead of the amateur lesson on steroids, it was amateur lesson on mute.

Technically, we’re in the middle of the 12 days of Christmas (even though it’s after New Year’s Eve) which means a Dickensian Christmas carol might still be appropriate. With that in mind, let’s break down the 2021 holidays in Dickens style.

• The Spirit of Jacob Marley:

Marley is Ebenezer Scrooge’s stingy partner, who warns him not to change his ways or risk wandering the spirit world shrouded in chains and lamenting his choices. Apparently, even in Victorian times, valuing money above people was a thing. The impetus for Scrooge’s nightly “ghostly” visits is that Scrooge does not want to give his employee Bob Cratchit off on paid Christmas days. One hundred and eighty years later, not much has changed. Nobody in the catering industry gets Christmas free, let alone paid. In fact, few people do this. So I ask you, are things getting better or worse?

• The spirit of the past Christmas season:

Remember a time when there was a serious impact if someone hit or pushed a flight attendant or service agent? It is now a weekly release. Where’s the outrage that sparked Zsa Zsa Gabor when she slapped a cop in Beverly Hills in 1989 after being pulled over for a routine traffic violation? Or the legal anger that was directed against Jim Morrison 20 years earlier when he was drunk on the way to a Rolling Stones concert and “disturbed a flight crew” and threatened him with up to 10 years in prison? I don’t know what’s happening these days, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

• The spirit of the Christmas present:

According to the Associated Press, unemployment claims for the United States nationwide are just under 200,000 from 1.7 million in March last year, meaning 1.5 million people are no longer receiving benefits. Can we please stop hearing how unemployment insurance is fueling labor shortages? Every restaurant I know is still looking for people. Obviously something else is going on. Maybe people just don’t want to work for people like Scrooge anymore. Just a thought.

• The spirit of the Christmas future:

“Everywhere people confuse what they read in newspapers with news,” wrote journalist AJ Liebling. And that is even more true today. Everything has become famous. Instead of Julia Child we now have Gordon Ramsay, instead of Walter Cronkite we have Tucker Carlson. Bravery and loudness are a big part of the news these days, and it’s embarrassing to see it. Instead of real stories about real things, it’s all clickbait. Social media sites have made a lot of people think they are more important than anyone else. And once you think that, anything is possible.

However, there are still bright spots for the future. I applaud the man on this plane who confronted the so-called “Delta Karen” and received a slap in the face. (She was arrested.) We need more people like him.

Leave me with these thoughts:

• “The only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn anything from history,” wrote the German philosopher Georg Hegel.

• “Humanity was my business. The common good was my business; Charity, Compassion, Forbearance, Benevolence were all my business. The business of my trade was just a drop of water in the vast ocean of my business! ”Spoke the spirit of Jacob Marley, as it was written by Charles Dickens in” A Christmas Carol “.

• Saying “I come here all the time” sounds hollow to those who are actually always there.

• Let’s hope for a happy new year. I think we could all really use it now.

Jeff Burkhart is the author of Twenty Years Behind Bars: The Spirited Adventures of a Real Bartender, Vol. I and II“, The host of the Barfly podcast on iTunes and an award-winning bartender at a local restaurant. Follow him below jeffburkhart.net and contact him at jeffbarflyIJ@outlook.com

Distant tellers, restaurant-style pagers: Department design within the COVID period | Credit score Union Journal

At Landmark Credit Union in Brookfield, Wisconsin, waiting for a cashier feels like waiting for a table in a restaurant.

In order to enable social distancing in the three new branches that the credit union built this year with assets of $ 5.8 billion, Landmark is trying to get rid of the queues at the counter. Instead, the same pagers are issued that many chain restaurants use to warn diners when a table is ready. Members can also schedule an appointment online where they can see bankers’ availability for key services such as loan closings and account openings.

“This allows members to schedule a time that best fits their schedule and eliminates the waiting time typically associated with walk-in appointments. We are also expanding our self-service capabilities in our branches, ”said Chief Experience Officer Brian Melter.

Pinnacle Credit Union in Atlanta takes a different approach to social distancing. In the next branch, she expects many of her cashiers to be able to work from home.

The new branch will have a mix of distributed ATMs and interactive ATMs that will be operated remotely. Depending on the machine type, customers could still sign and show their IDs to authorize transactions. The $ 89 million credit union expects cashiers to remotely perform at least 95% of normal transactions.

“We bet at least half a human resources department will be needed in the future because the personal touch is still important,” said Matt Selke, CEO of the $ 89 million credit union.

It’s a balancing act, said Selke. While it can allow almost all cashiers to work remotely, the credit union’s customers still want personal access to bank employees.

“We will have more traditional checkout lines than we previously thought – albeit more widely – with the option of ITMs in a different section of the store,” said Selke.

These pagers enable Landmark Credit Union members to know when it is their turn to meet a cashier without queuing.

Even as vaccination rates go up and people push back to concerts and sporting events, there is still a push to Wear masks and distance yourself socially to protect the unvaccinated as well as to protect against breakthrough cases and new coronavirus variants. These concerns take center stage when banks and credit unions consider new branch structures.

Those building new branches have the opportunity to experiment with floor plans that offer more space between checkout lines or self-service options.

One factor that helps create social distance is the increasing acceptance of drive-through or digital banking. This allows banks and credit unions to provide more personal space without a larger floor plan.

“Although newly built stores are smaller, new concepts are more open and provide more space within the facility to allow social distancing, as many institutions want to maintain at least minimal counter presence,” said Glenn Grau, senior vice president of sales for the Pittsburgh facility resident industry advisor PWCampbell.

Another example of this branch design philosophy is Credit Union 1, with $ 1.4 billion in assets, which recently opened a new branch in Anchorage, where the Alaskan credit union is headquartered.

This facility, which opened on November 1st, has seen strong adoption of interactive ATMs and has been praised for the lack of traditional ATMs. Members can access individual help in the branch via employees who can be reached by video.

“We thought of the future throughout the process and then the current events of COVID happened and we were already on the move to give Alaskans a better way to invest in this environment. The financial center and the state of the world could not have been more symbiotic, ”said Rachel Langtry, chief operating officer of the credit union.

The $ 305 million asset Greater Community Bank in Rome, Georgia, had started a “major expansion renovation” in a market prior to COVID and eventually decided to continue that plan for a larger physical presence, said President and CEO David Lance.

The bank has created space for one-on-one meetings, zoom rooms and more open space to provide a comfortable and safe environment for both employees and customers, he said.

The dynamism of these newer branch concepts, however, comes up against another trend to reduce the number of branches overall. Younger consumers are more comfortable with the technology and less likely to have to visit their bank or credit union in person – but they still want to be able to go to a branch when needed.

“There is an ongoing discussion about how many and what types of stores are working, but it looks like there will be fewer,” said Peter Duffy, general manager at Piper Sandler. “Technology is the bank of millennials. You want to see a branch nearby, but don’t use it. “

Considering Cash for Children exhibition coming to the South Lorain Department, because of nationwide grant – Morning Journal

That Branch office south Lorain The Lorain Public Library System will host a traveling exhibit teaching youth and their families about money thanks to a competitive national grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Thinking Money for Kids is a new multimedia experience for children ages 7-11, as well as their parents, carers and educators, according to a press release from the Lorain Public Library System.

The interactive exhibit uses games, activities, and a fun story to help children understand what money is, its role in society, monetary decisions, and monetary values ​​like fairness, responsibility, and charity, the press release said.

The exhibition is on display in the South Lorain Branch, 2121 Homewood Drive, along with a number of related special events from August 16 through
September 26th

“Money is such an important issue that people often forget to talk to their children about,” says branch manager Ally Morgan. “We encourage people of all ages to explore Thinking Money for Kids.”

Lorain is one of 50 websites selected to host Thinking Money for Kids on its two-year tour of the United States, the press release said.

Nearly 130 public libraries across the country applied, according to the American Library Association.

In addition to the touring exhibit on loan, the Lorain Public Library System will receive $ 1,000 for public events related to the exhibit.

The library will also receive funding to send a staff member to a Thinking Money for Kids workshop held during the American Library Association’s annual conference in Washington, DC, where they can learn more about the exhibit and financial literacy issues, according to a press release Experienced.

For more information on Thinking Money for Children, see LorainPublicLibrary.org.

Lifeless bushes and lacking cash — State Journal report from 125 years in the past | Column



Angular screw station

The Angle Worm Station at Barnes Boat Dock on Lake Monona in Madison was the site of a bruise and a lost wallet in 1896. The station got its name from its owner and operator Captain Frank Barneswho gave a speech on July 4th every year on how civilization depends on earthworms, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society.


WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY

This summary of the State Journal’s local news ran on August 1, 1896:

Hundreds of dead trees can be seen along Lake Mendota Drive. Last summer’s drought killed them.

Williamson Street is delighted that William Mueller opened a world-class bakery down there.

A man painting telegraph poles along Main Street’s business district attracts the attention of dozens of people with nothing else to do.

The joinery at the intersection of South Hamilton and Fairchild Streets, which had long been in the hands of the late SL Chase, is now run by Henry Skidmore.

Dr. CA Harper bought the old Durrie homestead on North Carroll Street from EJ Foster for $ 6,300; The lot is 66 x 132 feet and is considered a bargain.

Yesterday afternoon, after James Gallagher suffered bruises from buckling part of the platform at Angle Worm Station, he lost a wallet between $ 4 and $ 5.

The next thing for entertainment lovers will be a lumberjack picnic in Cross Plains on Sunday. Madison will provide the speaker in the person of Mr EW De Bower.

North Henry Street, from Mifflin to State, is to be greatly expanded and the residential buildings on it will be supplied with a sewage system. The macadamization of West Dayton Street from Henry to Broom will begin at an early stage.

Soho Avenue Fashion Serves DIY Denim and Pores and skin-Baring Seems – Sourcing Journal

June 10, 2021 7:14 p.m. ET

Soho Street style offers a glimpse into consumers’ desire to ditch home fashion in favor of a flashy look-at-me flair As New York City reopens and America in general takes huge strides toward a return to normal, consumers seem eager to wear something other than the loungewear that has endured them for the past 15 months.

Skin bared looks abound. Consumers paired crop tops with leggings and denim cutoffs that a frugal fashion merchandising graduate went for Home improvement.

Logos ruled sovereignly in one quintessence Street fashion look. A New Yorker on the beach paired a chambray bikini from Soho’s Mystique Boutique with ’90s-style platform flip-flops from Amazon, an Alife bag from Budweiser and denim shorts from Zara.

Another consumer piqued interest in an effortlessly resort-ready ensemble with a deck of cards face mask. Other men rely on a subtle style. An all-black classic New York jersey contrasts with someone else’s no-frills, easy-to-wear shorts tee and baseball hat look.

One consumer’s denim jacket picked up on the splash of color, while a Crown Heights boutique provided a fashionista’s rainbow-colored jumpsuit that appealed to the cheerful, post-pandemic-invigorating nightlife style.

Striking trousers in metallic gold bring out the nighttime attitude. A retro stylesetter serving big “I Love Lucy” vibes got her quirky brooch-covered bag from a vintage store in New Jersey.

Another opted for an airy, floor-length, vintage-inspired duster paired with sustainable Veja sneakers, a favorite of Meghan Markle.

Leisure heart to honor 12 who’ve ‘earned the appropriate to have some enjoyable’ » Albuquerque Journal

Main Event Entertainment is holding a competition to honor people who have done everything for their community. Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)

Main Event Entertainment wants to recognize people who have helped the community during the pandemic.

The Albuquerque entertainment complex is temporarily closed, but the company recognizes Above and Beyonders. The public can identify families and individuals who have improved the life of the community over the past year. Nominations for the campaign “Every reason to celebrate: Above and Beyond” can be made under mainevent.com/everyreasontocelebrate. The competition runs until May 16, according to a press release from the main event.

“At the Main Event, we believe we are more than just the best place for families to celebrate,” said Chris Morris, CEO of Main Event Entertainment, in the press release. “We are the place where the family is celebrated.”

Twelve winners from the Main Event markets will be selected to win a year of free fun in the entertainment center. Winners will enjoy free activities, games, and food at the main event. The winners will be announced in mid-June.

The Main Event Entertainment also offers a full menu of food and drinks. (Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)

“Doing good things for each other and sharing moments makes a family family,” said Sarah Beddoe, chief brand officer of Main Event Entertainment, in the press release. “As a brand rooted in creating moments to connect, we have an obligation to celebrate the families that have kept us all going over the last year, and we can’t wait to do it through this incredible program to do.”

Criteria for nominations include local service and friendliness that have had an impact – for example, a father who works as a first responder and has no days off, or a creative mother with a brilliant idea or a student who starts a neighborhood clothing campaign has to donate to a local charity, according to the press release.

………………………………………….. …………..

“We know that there are so many inspiring people in all of our communities who have either worked countless days on the front lines protecting their communities during the pandemic, started a small business that gave back to the most vulnerable, or even made it has to maintain the family unit together through home schooling and multiple jobs, “says Morris in the press release. “These Above and Beyonders definitely deserve their right to have fun, and we’re excited to offer them this opportunity.”

Main Event Entertainment offers state-of-the-art bowling. (Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)

The main event features state-of-the-art bowling, billiards, arcade games, shuffleboard, gravity ropes, virtual reality, a full-service menu and drinks menu, and much more.

The Dallas-based entertainment company was founded in 1998. It operates 44 centers in 16 states and serves more than 20 million guests annually, according to a press release.

Main Event is the main sponsor of Special Olympics International. It supports the cause through fundraising and serves as a venue for Special Olympics events across the country. It is also a proud partner of the Dallas Cowboys. For more information on entertainment, see mainevent.com

Discuss, expertise can supply youngsters cash classes » Albuquerque Journal

We all try to raise children to become hardworking, happy, and financially responsible adults.

It’s a big job!

First, we need to recognize that every child has their own personality and we cannot fully shape or control the way our children end up. However, there are many ways we can teach our children money skills that will serve them well as adults. These tips apply to grandparents too – children often prefer to listen to their grandparents rather than their own parents.

Communicate!

Any tip for teaching kids money depends on communication. Money is an issue that has been swept under the rug for generations. That has to stop. Talking about money with your kids or grandchildren is one of the best things you can do. Here are some conversation starters:

………………………………………….. …………..

In the course of your life have you found it easy or difficult to manage money? Why?

What mistakes have you made in your life related to money?

What successes have you had in terms of money?

Artwork by Michael Osbun

What did your parents or grandparents teach you about money? We call these “money messages” that we received as children. An example could be: “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “We never had enough money to make it to the end of the month” or “Except for a rainy day” or “Our parents lived through the Great Depression and they told us stories about it … “

It’s important to start the conversation even if it feels a bit like preaching. When it comes to money, opinion-based comments are warranted; For example, telling a child or grandchild that they should never buy something they cannot afford, or that it is a dangerous habit to have credit card debt month to month, or that many people who live in expensive homes, Striving to pay their bills each month because they are living beyond their means are all key. Share positive and negative money stories with them because they need to know that everyone makes mistakes. You also need to understand that many people are far less fortunate and generous in helping others.

Experiences to teach children about money

As well as talking about money, you can gain experience to give your children and grandchildren real-life examples.

When you go to a restaurant, let your child or grandchildren pay the bill (with your money). Use cash instead of a credit card. Help them count the money and calculate the tip – without a cell phone calculator. Calculate how much your family would have saved on this meal if you hadn’t ordered sodas or other beverages and drank water instead. Calculate how the savings can add up over a year.

When the pandemic is over, take your child or grandchild to a bank. Once they are a teen they can have a checking account, and many banks offer special services for teenagers and students. Show them how to write a check and fill out a check registration. You can also choose an online service like Quicken or Mint to manage your finances.

Games like Scrabble. This will teach your child or grandchildren spelling and vocabulary, but will also help them count their scores.

If interested, explain the definition of a stock and a bond, a mutual fund, a CD (certificate of deposit), a mortgage, and a credit score. If you know what these are, use your own definition. If you need help, you can find more information on the Internet. When you do research with your child or grandchild, you learn together.

Strategies based on age

Consider these strategies based on the age of your child or grandchild.

Age 3-9: Children can begin to understand the concept of money at a young age. Give them an allowance of $ 3 per week (or whatever amount you choose). Set up three mason jars, one labeled “Saving,” one labeled “Spend,” and one labeled Charity. Have your child split the $ 3 by putting $ 1 in each jar. They can explain that the savings jar should be saved for a specific item in the future, the money in the spending jar should be used for any time they want, and the money should be given to charity to someone in need. Starting an allowance of $ 3 per week for a child aged 3 or 4 is appropriate. As they get older, increase them to $ 5, $ 10, or more at will.

Age 10-17: This is the age when kids start to feel peer pressure to have nice clothes or the latest technology gadget. Talk to your children about values. Teach them that family and friends are far more important than money. If they need new jeans or sneakers, help them find discounts. When the pandemic is over, take them to a vintage clothing store and find some treasure. They establish their identity at this age, but that doesn’t have to include designer clothes. Let them make mistakes. When they buy expensive sneakers, you let them see that they would still have money if they opted for a high-quality, but less expensive, brand. Talk to them about the costs of government and non-government universities, as well as public and private universities. Discuss what your family can afford. Explore college loans with them.

Ages 18-29: Help your child or grandchild create a budget. Parents or grandparents can learn new financial skills at any age. If you haven’t set up the save to do it automatically for you, set it up now (via a taxable account or Roth IRA with a brokerage firm or bank account). Also, help your child or grandchild set up automatic savings accounts.

Discuss the storage examples in the box. These exercises teach the concept of compounding, which is a powerful financial tool. Play with the calculators at www.calculator.net for education loans, mortgages, and auto loans.

When your child goes to college, work with them on a monthly budget for their pocket money. Talk to them about credit cards, filing taxes, and maintaining a high credit score.

Discuss finances with your child or grandchildren. It will enrich your relationship and your child will benefit from your wisdom about money.

Donna Skeels Cygan, CFP, MBA, is the author of The Joy of Financial Security. She has been a paid financial planner in Albuquerque for over 20 years and is a branch manager for the Mercer Advisors New Mexico office. Contact her at dscygan@sagefuture.com.

Like a Actual Veil, Like a Dangerous Analogy: Dissociative Type and Trans Aesthetics – Journal #117 April 2021

Am I even real? is a cringe question to begin with because, even as a rhetorical one, it doesn’t seem worth asking. Its cheap thrills, however, point to the fact that sometimes, your feelings are not valid. By “your feelings,” I mean, among others, mine when they don’t feel like mine. By “sometimes,” I mean a kind of frequency that is hard to tie to the level of the anecdotal or the structural. To say that some feelings are not valid, contrary to the assessment of pastel infographics, is not to say that they are really––unblurred by an edgy reading––something else. They are not valid in the sense that they, formally, do not pass as personal, not even to yourself.

We tell ourselves stories in order to live, but what if these stories are too pulpy? The word “dissociation” is increasingly used to describe episodes in which feeling doesn’t feel like feeling, in which it can’t sufficiently get across the effects of personhood on the one hand and reality on the other. In 1845, fifty years prior to the proper invention of dissociation as a distinct pathology, the psychiatrist Jean-Étienne-Dominique Esquirol paraphrases one of his patient’s experience of the world like this: “Objects do not come to me, they do not identify themselves with my being; a thick cloud, a veil changes the hue and aspect of objects.” Which is a lot. In its melodrama, it also resembles a kind of too-much-ness that sounds like ordinary life in a world in which social relations appear as a quality of things, though often out of focus (racial capitalism).

In more recent memes that name-check dissociation, we can see a veil that is not attached to objects but to the sketchy, literally cartoonish form of personhood: it is often surrounding anime or animated characters, mostly SpongeBob SquarePants, splitting them up into doppelgängers, as if they’re frozen in movement, casually detached from the animation that is surrounding them in time and space. In another version of this meme, however, SpongeBob has created a real rainbow with his bare hands, captioned as, in the detached tonality of all-caps, DISSOCIATION.

In the affective zone between vibe and (self-)diagnosis, dissociation has become one of the concepts describing complications in linking personal experience to the social world. On this side of a more straightforward pathologization, dissociation is described as something that you realize you’re doing during sex, on ketamine, or while trying to remember a childhood. It gets applied to a wide range of situations, from slightly vague episodes deep within the everyday to a blur of threateningly biographic shape.

A relatively paradoxical form sets these accounts apart from some other allegedly contemporary feelings: within sentimental genres from the niche meme to the feminist long-read, they manifest an intense lack of intensity—or at least, a lack of a kind of intensity that would indicate significance, presence, or coherence. In this applied use, dissociation—not unlike alienation—functions to make relatable where relation isn’t recognizable as relation, especially to the ones who are in the middle of it, overwhelmed.

Which is most of us. The veil feels normal. If everyone knows what it feels like to not feel like yourself, where does it become a problem only some have? The impossibility of scaling dissociation down to such an evaluation, even on the spectrum of pathologization, seems to be part of the missing link. If there is a dissociation mini-trend, then I would suggest it is not a phenomenon from which it is possible to retrieve a new, or bad, or queer feeling with a particularly valuable relationship to “the” contemporary. Dissociation is an archive of not feeling it.

Here I want to trace how people, mostly trans people, navigate the shattering and clouding that dissociative language describes as a real layer of life—as it is mediated by anesthetics (not limited to ketamine), and by extension, aesthetics. However, I do not think that the weak descriptor “trans” in itself touches on a distinctly severe or particularly expert variety of dissociation. As Oren Gozlan writes, “If gender functions as a veil for the constitutive instability of the subject split by her unconscious, it can be argued that every gender disposition carries a kernel of helplessness, anxiety, and guilt, and therefore it is susceptible to dissociation, splitting, and idealization.” Gender itself functions as a veil, one would have to polemically add, for the operations of racialization and capital.

If am I even real? is one of the cheap catchphrases of dissociative style, it has a particular place in both the internal monologues of gendered imposter syndrome and transphobic hate speech. When being trans is constantly transposed to the tonality of sentimental debatability and scientific diagnosis, am I even real? is not just a rhetorical and/or pathological question. It can describe social abstractions that are both part of life and hovering outside of it, blocking access to it. The veil, in this sense, is real. It also hides certain struggles (also real) from others: it is a clichéd veil of loneliness for some but is life-threatening for others. Trans and dissociation both seem like concepts that are most useful in distinguishing a set of situations in their divergence, not necessarily where they overlap or have proximity to each other.

Being good at keeping one’s distance, at zoning out in the right moments, is a crucial technique for hanging out—but how does one get better at it? How do you develop it as a style? As Charlie Markbreiter has put it: “How to wield dissociation so that it makes you more collectively-minded and not less?” This is a particularly nontrivial question. Clinical literature often describes the blur of dissociation as a defense that turns into a “collapse of relationality—both intra- and interpersonal.” The absent-mindedness I’m following around here, however, often can’t afford such climactic characterization, as it is involved in figuring out forms of not being alone that are too precarious to break down. Improvising a convoluted collectivity in this way might or might not amount to the kind of world-building that Lauren Berlant, if I remember a 2017 talk correctly, has called a “dissociative poetics.”

When something terrifying happened in front of my eyes two years ago, I wasn’t shocked by how I didn’t feel anything but by how normal not feeling felt. “But isn’t that also part of the trans magic?” a friend offered over coffee. Then we went to join a protest for trans rights in front of the US embassy in Berlin-Mitte, even if we both didn’t really feel it, though we did meet friends. Now I imagine this kind of magic to be the slightly underwhelming cheap trick of letting something disappear, and even though everyone feels as if they know it hasn’t, the trick still works, every time.

Then we went to join a protest for trans rights in front of the US embassy in Berlin-Mitte, even if we both didn’t really feel it, though we did meet friends. Now I imagine this kind of magic to be the slightly underwhelming cheap trick of letting something disappear, and even though everyone feels as if they know it hasn‘t, the trick still works, every time.

Dissociative Symptoms: The Bad Style of Pathologization

In clinical psychology, too, in trauma-based, interrelational, psychoanalytic, and other models, dissociation seems to be an attractive concept not despite but because of its vagueness. Dissociative symptoms are described from the therapy-talk truism to the case study labelled as “severe.” They are often first explained as ordinary or even structural mental processes with which one adapts to the inherent too-much-ness of the social, including where it’s internalized—muffling it by keeping certain modes and parts of knowing, feeling, thinking at a distance from each other. In this “normal” sense, dissociation seems to be one way to describe everything that’s rounding off the messiness of relations to a relatively functional fantasy of being involved.

Clinically observed at the other end of what is almost always flattened to a spectrum are cases in which this tips over to what the DSM-V classifies as “dissociative disorder.” One popular idea seems to be that one initially dissociates as a way of zoning out of the traumatic aspects of a relationship in order to not be overwhelmed, and then staying that way. In Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder (and many things before that), this splitting then is said to manifest as parts and selves oscillating between me and not-me. This “shattering” is often observed along not only lines of sex and gender, but of class, age, and race, too. Depersonalization-derealization disorder, on the other hand, hyphenates other kinds of detachment, from the world, feelings, self, body, everyone you love, etc.

As condensed into self-help talk, the description of dissociative symptoms that evade rigid categorization often invokes feeling trapped in the wrong body. Or, as if on the wrong end of a similarly difficult analogy: behind a glass wall, in a movie, dream, or cloud. If one of the great inventors of dissociation, late-nineteenth-century psychiatrist Pierre Janet, has described dissociation as the inability to tell a coherent story about oneself, it is little surprise that the style in which its symptoms appear is often kind of bad.

It might not feel like a movie, if it did not feel too much like a movie, overdone. “Dissociative style” comes across as over-aestheticizing, but to anaesthetizing effect. It demands too much emotional performance while doing too little to elicit it. The connections and parallels that dissociative style draws, also the doodles, are unmotivated. “The most common dissociative intrusions include hearing voices, depersonalization, derealization, ‘made’ thoughts, ‘made’ urges, ‘made’ desires, ‘made’ emotions, and ‘made’ actions.” Here the social form-ness of feeling shines through.

The diagnosis of dissociation is in itself a judgment of affective capacity. It’s an evaluation that a given patient (or person) could potentially learn to be more competent at feeling, which is feeling real, present, and personal. As Abby Stein has pointed out, those who are non-allegorically but literally incarcerated, even when meeting criteria that are in themselves highly biased against them, are often not attributed either the diagnosis of a dissociative disorder and its treatment nor, by extension, the benefit of the doubt of “just not having been themselves” that does legal wonders for some. From infographics to new materialisms, feelings are often presented as unified in form and universal in distribution. Even if squidgy, affect is a resource that everyone has relatively equal access to—if they would just lean into it! Again, it would be to underestimate dissociative symptoms and the style derived from them to reduce them to failing at this sentimental chore.

The problem of dissociative style points to the social abstractions that are blurring the background: Kyla Schuller shows in The Biopolitics of Feeling that affective capacity—the capacity to affect and be affected—is not commonly shared, but assigned, split, and kept apart by regimes of racialization and sex difference. Whether one feels as if they are real enough or whether others feel as if they are real enough indexes real evaluations that appear as social relations. In this sense, the performance of showing off intense relationality, as it manifests in demands from radical vulnerability to vibrant matter, often also gets caught up in the aesthetics of the virtuousness of white feelings.

Dissociated Episode: The Soap Opera of Good Sex

The aesthetics of gender dysphoria, too, are sentimental. Even where it is transposed to an emphasis on euphoria or a universal condition of female fucked-ness, dysphoria entangles the possibility of self-knowledge with feeling intense. Mostly, dysphoria is still coded as a particular way of feeling intense—not fucking and being high, but rather respectable suffering. In a very few parts of the world the medicalization of transition has shifted from the spectral model of the invert, via the singular model of the identity disorder, to a model of gender dysphoria that is supposedly more in touch. In those situations there is now a wider range of anecdotes that one can dish out to doctors (or memoir publishing houses). Getting what you want from having feelings (a prescription; a pronoun) is related to tone-matching the genre conventions of dysphoria.

Some trans activists have argued that gender dysphoria should be considered in the treatment of dissociative symptoms, as a possible cause. It might seem cheap, to turn this hierarchy on its head and instead suggest dysphoria as one particular style of dissociation. Transition can be about wanting to feel better, or hotter, or worse but differently worse, but it is also, on a more fundamental level, about changing how life relates to its own story-ness. Without ignoring the limitations of dissociation, where it problematizes the immediacy of feeling, it also nudges the discourse of transition towards its social, or socially awkward, dimension.

Like in sex! Sex can be one of the scenes in which the unfeeling of embodiment steals out of isolation. In Torrey Peters’s novel Detransition, Baby, however, it is dissociation, clocked under this name, that both hides and contains the possibility of sex that is good in itself and also related to at least “some kind of redemption.” When Amy, one of three main protagonists, suddenly goes internally AWOL during sex, the narration follows the trajectory of her episode, to sex as well as gender scenes of her partly pre-transition past. Ones in which her acute absentmindedness can’t be told apart from having fantasies. Fugue-like states almost, filled with dreams of switching positions, cross-dressing, being someone else, that, in the precise multi-edgedness of fantasizing, will have turned out to be more than that while also, in the moment, actually keeping Amy from acknowledging them.

At the end of the story, after her transition, this form of dissociation is a guard that Amy is capable of letting down, at least for a while. “For Amy it was the first time she saw herself fucking as a woman without laying a psychic veil over whatever sexual scene was occurring.” Going somewhere in your mind is of course not just a pre-transition move, or sex-negative self-state. What sets these kinds of being in a fog apart from other kinds of feeling bad, including dysphoria, is that they are also immensely desirable in themselves. Losing a sense of self in one specific way instead of another can be something you want from gendered life, too. Jamie Hood talks about “the sexualization of dissociation” that she terms “fucking like a housewife”—alluding to the depersonalization that heterosexuality, specifically, is so good at edging on.

But back to Detransition, Baby:

“Baby, why are you crying?” Reese had asked. Because some combination of hormones and poppers had made possible the sex that Amy had given up on. The poppers made her too dumb to flee into herself, to send herself somewhere. So there she was with Reese. Not off elsewhere working to see herself as a woman when she lay on top of a woman, or replacing a man with someone else while he lay on top of her. She simply was a woman present with a woman. It felt like some kind of healing, some kind of redemption.

This breakthrough to intimacy that tautologically feels like intimacy is neither separable from nor reducible to some ratio of anesthetics (poppers, in this case) and transition. It is also held by the woman that Amy is sleeping, then crying with. Reese, who is also trans, has dated and fucked trans women for longer time and is seemingly capable of seeing Amy. Which also means seeing through parts of her, but like, “casually.”

A casualness, fermented in trans relationships that can be fucked up, can be saving and also boring (which is to say normal), making possible the trust exercise of leaning into relation without falling into where category is threatening. To break down dissociation in this scene is then not just getting better at being yourself and present, at wanting—although here, it might well be that, and it seems fun. Neither is it just submitting more to not being yourself. To dumb oneself down into being present hinges on an environment where the related/non-relatedness of sexual intimacy is held by a sociality that in turn holds the immediately personal by extending it.

If all this sounds melodramatic that is because it really is. Torrey Peters has said that initially, the project of writing Detransition, Baby was to address specific trans issues within the framework of a soap opera, a genre characterized by a cheap and sentimental gloss. Counterintuitively, there seems to be something about the complexity of trans life that the novel wants to figure out, including dissociation, that is only appropriately captured under a soapy film. In this scene, on that day, sex is good again, actually. This is not an allegory. But the possibility of fucking through and working around alienation and/or dissociation is itself noncoherent to the point of sometimes feeling unearned, cheap, too much. It is also real. In this scene, to take dissociation seriously means to commit both to the possibility of overcoming some of its parts while making it an art to deal with others. Dissociative virtuosity then, I think, includes both managing and submitting to—so power-bottoming for?—something like noncoherence, while neither romanticizing nor vilifying what’s noncoherent about it.



Elif Saydam, selfing, 2020. Detail. Courtesy of Elif Saydam.

Dissociative Style: Afterwork Non Sequitur

Dissociation does not only take shape as a relatively distinct episode one is able to leave behind by being melodramatic—or not. Skillfully abstracted away from experience, it can also become its own style. A style in which the fact that there are parts which don’t seem reconcilable indicates neither romanticist fragmentation nor pseudo-deconstructive relativism. Their non-integration is not reduced to a formal gesture but becomes a formal infrastructure in its own way—that can hold, for example, the beautiful and the analytic, in their disparity, without collapsing one into the other or approximating them in a collage.

I think of dissociative style as the poetics that shine through a Juliana Huxtable DJ set. When she plays two or more tracks at the same time, that doesn’t mean they are being mixed, even if they match. They drown and sound out each other from a distance. Dissociative style is riffing on form itself, that is, “the nonviolent synthesis of the diffuse that nevertheless preserves it as what it is in its divergences and contradictions, and for this reason form is actually unfolding a truth,” but going down this spiral even further, and tending to the violence in nonviolence.

At the same time it is also spiraling further into this negativity, tending to, e.g., the violence in nonviolence. One thing that often seems to shift into view, in this way, is a violently depersonalized relation: work, but mostly its absurdity. In one of Huxtable’s poems that is called “WORKING,” we follow a lyrical subject waking up not at home and making her way to work from there, in the tonality of the all-caps flat affect that permeates Huxtable’s poetry. The odyssey to collect “ENOUGH OF MYSELF” plus an outfit, navigating a hangover-veiled New York, culminates in the absurdity that work didn’t really need her that day: “AND FINALLY SAT DOWN AT MY COMPUTER ONLY TO REALIZE NO ONE WAS IN THE OFFICE TODAY AND I HADN’T RECEIVED A SINGLE EMAIL. WELCOME TO SUMMER.” Sometimes, dissociative style feels gimmick-y in the sense that Sianne Ngai has outlined: it seems to have comically bad timing in catching up with its supposed significance, or value. It’s running late for work, or worse, early.

In a different vernacular, Nora Fulton’s poem “suqu” opens with the description of a closing shift, the contradictions of which have infested the modality of description itself, as a pun: “I was working at the franchise I’ve never worked at.” She, perhaps almost a lyrical subject, is just about to close up shop as two other trans girls text her that they can relate to “suqu,” a term that the almost-lyrical subject can’t remember ever coming up with. “I love them both, but we have little in common in terms of our transness, so suqu couldn’t have to do with that.” She then drives home—through mist, naturally—to arrive at a party at her apartment that seems similarly blurry:

The light music and soft clamour of people was all around me, and the rent was due. I stood the long flat black box upright below the slatted window. The people who were and weren’t there totally accepted my presence, welcomed me, but I was distracted. I tried to think of everything I’d said to ____ and ____—in that strange form of trans temporality both of them are much younger than me, but having transitioned earlier, also much older—and I couldn’t remember coming up with some nonce term like suqu to describe something that, years later, would probably seem like the most obvious and oft-restated component of a world that was, at the point when I had coined it, more unknown than I knew, and deserved a term that constituted more than the entirety of my descriptive capabilities. I was sure I hadn’t coined it and would never coin it. As soon as I woke up the next morning I searched the word and could find nothing; or rather, I found any number of irrelevant meanings, because language rarely helps. I wanted to go back to sleep, but couldn’t, and then could.

Because the word “trans” is a weak descriptor most useful in only loosely relating one situation to another, the kind of sociality it invites often feels particularly crunchy. Fulton’s “suqu” formalizes how the challenge of being trans, but with others, is mediated by a virtuosity in keeping several forms of temporality and knowledge apart. A kind of virtuosity that is vibrating in the only slightly less negative sentence structure of viral tweets à la just because x is y, doesn’t mean that z. Just because someone, in non-trans temporality, is younger than you, that doesn’t mean that, in trans temporality, they are not also older. This is not just funny because it satirizes a detached mind game that online teenagers play but it is also funny because it is true. Trans discourse dissociates, too, in that it speaks to a rapidly shifting taxonomy that sometimes indexes an actually existing infrastructure, and at the same time to anti-trans violence that just persists in undoing its groundwork.

The distracting attempt to remember a possible common ground is framed by the end of the workday at the beginning of the poem and then at the end, a kind of sleep that might be more than just reproductive. “The light music and soft clamour of people was all around me, and the rent was due.” From the smudginess of collectivity suddenly, connected via non sequitur, the deadline of property emerges. On the other hand, the “and” syndeton places party and money almost side by side. Constellated in this way, value shows up as something that is derived from and informs social relations, but is also separate, as its own thing. An applied formalism of noncoherency makes it possible to carefully depersonalize narrative so that it can intertwine these two levels of analysis, and life, in their disparity.

Coda

Trans life is clouded and sparkling with a veil of unreality that can be as cheesy as it can be deadly. This veil is real as it is abstracted away from the “assumption that trans women’s very existence means something outside itself,” as Emma Heaney puts it. The figure of the trans woman supposedly encapsulates a kind of dissociated knowledge that is knowledge not for her but for other people: writers, doctors, and queer theorists, for instance. Heaney shows how a specific transfeminine experience becomes the go-to allegory for the writer’s alienation, both from oneself and society. The transfeminine experience is “read as mere allegory and reduced at the same time to the too literal,” as Jules Gill-Peterson writes. Value is extracted from it, even if it appears as sentimental value, or diagnostic value. If dissociation can be the name of a process that slows down or even freezes the imaging processes of metaphor and that precede this valorization, it is no surprise that it pops up in proximity to this emotional overload.

What does it take to move away from over-stylized readings resembling this transfeminine allegory, e.g., as Grace Lavery puts it, “descriptions of trans as instability, fuckery, or interstitiality that reduce such ontologies to intellectual or aesthetic patterns”? And how can we at the same time not assume trans experience as something that only appears in the tonality of self-recognition and sincerity? Counterintuitively perhaps, the refinement of a style of analysis that is more scaled to life might include a commitment to the bad analogy, as it points to the anesthetic patterns that are clearly structuring it, too, if painfully or blissfully.

To take noncoherency seriously as an elaborate style, rather than kitsching it down to a constitutive lack or campy gesture, might ultimately hint at a way of describing the complex relationship of gender to value—while facing the challenge that Kay Gabriel has so brilliantly formulated: “to think capital’s instrumentalisation of gender without reducing the latter to the former as epiphenomenon or, indeed, a handmaiden.” After all, as Ngai puts it, sometimes an “abuse of logic … is required to show how the basic relations and operations of capital work.”

Weirdly enough, if sometimes dissociation fills in as a word for alienation, where we can wield it collectively, it can also become a word for the messiness of relating that works in our favor. As The Faggots and Friends Between Their Revolutions reminds us, “WEAK LINKS IN THE CHAIN ARE LINKS IN THE CHAIN.” There is a dissociative tension that vibrates in those social relations that make “an association of free people” both more imaginable and also more unimaginable, in the gossipy way, in the sense that they blur what we thought we knew about what feeling real feels like.

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Maxi Wallenhorst is a writer living in Berlin. Recent texts have appeared in Texte zur Kunst and The Interjection Calendar from Montez Press.

© 2021 e-flux and the author

Following pot’s cash path – The Ukiah Every day Journal

After last week’s column on the North Coast Regional Water Board’s Investigation Order finding that the North Coast region was inundated with cannabis cultivation, I myself was inundated with phone calls and emails from people mainly asking : “What do the regulators think? When are you planning to expand marijuana cultivation in the county? “

I gave them the same answer as I gave in my column.

The economic model the Supes are driving is bigger – better for pot growing and the likely new tax revenue generated by the big business model. And needless to say, the oft-heard commitment by county officials to the importance of ensuring that smallholder farmers remain a living force in the burgeoning pot industry are just empty words.

The Supes (with the exception of 3rd Supe John Haschak) have tentatively decided to effectively expand pot growing by removing all caps on the pot and opening up the pasture for growing weeds, despite opposition from the sheriff, small cannabis growers, Environmentalists and ranchers.

The marijuana industry, its lobbyists, and far too many local officials (especially here on the North Shore) forget, don’t know or care that the state legalization effort was forged amid the record five-year drought in California that it launched in compulsory nationwide water consumption reductions.

They forget that while the majority of state voters are in favor of legalization, they also want it with many conditions. For example, enforcing regulations to protect natural resources as well as water and water catchment areas.

Fortunately, the government agencies primarily responsible for enforcing the various legal frameworks related to legalized cannabis have been reminding everyone over the past few weeks that legalization comes with all the necessary conditions.

Three years ago, the State Water Board passed a new statewide policy setting strict environmental standards for growing cannabis to protect water flows and water quality in California’s rivers and streams. The new regulations and programs address the less-than-friendly watershed practices of too many farmers.

The Water Board understands that it’s all about water: you can’t grow weeds without water.

The Water Board’s regulatory framework is based on the recognition that after the legalization of adult use through Proposition 64, commercial cannabis cultivation will increase significantly and spread to new areas of the state. The regulation of the Regional Water Board explicitly refers to the flooding of cannabis “in the spring and main water area” river systems with active, developed sites in steep and rough terrain. Cultivation and related activities throughout the North Coast region have resulted in significant waste discharges and losses of electricity flows associated with improper development of rural landscapes on privately owned plots and diversion of springs and streams to the cumulative disadvantage of the regional water authority’s designated beneficial use of Water. “

One of the cornerstones of the Water Board’s regulatory package is that, if left unregulated, cannabis cultivation can pose a serious threat to water quality, as well as fish and wildlife, by diverting water or releasing fertilizers, pesticides and sediments into waterways.

It is clear that the Water Board understands that, to the point where specific reference is made to “environmental damage” on the north coast, it was the intent of the legislature that all natural resource issues be carefully considered. As I said earlier, this is a fact that has been lost to far too many in the burgeoning marijuana industry, as well as our local officials who continue to tinker endlessly with cannabis regulation.

In determining its new rules, the water authority relied on numerous reports and studies on the effects of cultivation on water catchment areas.

What are the State Water Board’s plans to address the effects of growing cannabis?

It appears that the State Water Board is taking an approach of determining how many permits and licenses are given to farmers. It’s about the cumulative effects of pot growing, basically the same environmental standard that is theoretically applied to logging, land use planning, capital construction projects, and the like.

Several years ago, Erin Ragazzi, assistant director of the State Water Board’s water rights division, explained her agency’s plan on the “cumulative effects” of cannabis cultivation.

“Well, I think we are aware of the need to develop requirements that we believe will protect water quality but also create an environment where people want to join the regulated community because they have been on the black market for so long . What will your carrots and whips be?

“A key component of this is education to make people aware of what we need, why we need it, but then also the necessary enforcement arm to allow people to know that they cannot hide in the black market, but that we will take enforcement action against people who are not registered and registered in our program.

“I think there are already incentives in the legislation that encourage people to get into the process sooner rather than later. There is the potential for a limited number of asset identifiers and licenses to be issued by the various entities. Therefore, the people who call in earlier are in a better position than the people who may stand on the sidelines and wait a while.

“There are these carrots in terms of early adopters, and the board has an enforcement policy that is very much focused on education as one of its first pillars before moving straight to further enforcement.”

It is worth mentioning the comment by Ms. Ragazzi on the limitation of the “number of system IDs and licenses issued by the various companies …”.

She talks about the state’s plan to calculate, plant by plant, how many potted plants can be sustainably grown in each watershed.

And just at the same time as the regional water authority was just issuing an investigative ordinance stating that our region is “flooded” with cannabis, the Mendocino County Regulatory Authority thinks it is a good idea to remove the caps from the cultivation and weed to introduce into the pastureland?

The only answer is to follow the money trail, it starts with greed and ends with greed.

Jim Shields is the editor and editor of the Mendocino County Observer, Observer@pacific.net, and the longtime district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday lunchtime on KPFN 105.1 FM, which is also broadcast live: https://www.kpfn.org

SBA Releases FAQ for Leisure Venue Aid Grants – Enterprise Journal Each day

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Small Business Administration has has published a new FAQ for companies looking for grants for closed venue operators that explain who is eligible, how much money they can get and how the funds can be used.

Applications for the money from the $ 15 billion grant pool are pending. However, the SBA has announced that it will allocate at least $ 2 billion for venues with up to 50 employees in the first 59 days of the program. Businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program loans after December 27, 2020 are not eligible for closed venue operator grants.

The application deadlines are based on how much revenue a venue lost between April and December. The first 14 days are reserved for those with annual losses of 90% or more, followed by those with losses between 70% and 89% for the second period of two weeks.

After the first and second priority have been assigned, applications are made for companies that have had a loss of 25% or more between comparable quarters.

Funds can be used to pay for business expenses, including ticket refunds, live production expenses, and payments to independent contractors.

The list of eligible venues includes live venue operators or organizers, theater producers, live performing arts groups, museums, cinemas and talent representatives. Some state-owned companies are also eligible, provided they do not operate other types of companies. Companies must be up and running on February 29, 2020 to apply.

Travel venues – companies must have defined performance and audience areas – and drive-in cinemas are not eligible for funding.

Grant applications must be registered on the Federal System for Award Management website. SAM.gov, apply. Applications must use a DUNS identification number. Individual tax or employer identification numbers are not accepted.

The full FAQ can be read HERE.

Pictured: Opening night in December 2019 at the Robins Theater in Warren.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.