moving this weekend, among other things

i’m just clearing the decks from my last blog post, booting it off the top of the page…& making sure everyone scrolls down to read it by writing that. which is fine. i’m just not interested in having something so potentially controversial & incendiary topping the page when suddenly i am getting mad hits here.

jared & i are moving into our new apartment on saturday morning. it’s just upstairs from where we are now, so it should be a pretty easy move, even with just the two of us doing all the heavy lifting. even though we haven’t really packed at all. i don’t see the point in boxing up thirty crates of books just to carry them up on flight of stairs. i’m hopeful that the move will be fast & uneventful, & that the new apartment is as awesome as it looks. i’m reserving judgment right now because a) one of the bedroom windows is completely shattered, rendering air conditioning something of a crapshoot, & when i mentioned it to the landlord, he said it was the current tenants’ responsibility to fix it, even though they said it had been broken since before they moved in two months ago, & b) it doesn’t have a bathroom door. it apparently has never had a bathroom door for as long as anyone i know has been aware of the apartment, which is several years. people have just used curtains. curtains might fly for 19-year-olds or people who live alone & never entertain, but i’m 31, living with my boyfriend, & unlikely to feel comfortable telling dinner party guests to be careful with the curtain. i called the landlord & asked him to install a bathroom door, & he said, “what? there’s no bathroom door? no one ever told me! did it fall off or did someone take it off?” dude, how the fuck do i know? i don’t even live there yet. jared joked that he’d seen a mysterious dude in a burglar-style eyemask creeping down the hallway with a bathroom door tucked under his arm. how does the landlord, who is supposedly responsible for maintenance & repairs, not know that one of his units has been missing a bathroom door for at least a few years now? this does not fill me with confidence in terms of getting the window fixed. & doing repairs out of pocket & taking the cost out of rent is not technically legal in kansas. from what i’ve read, it’s not technically illegal either…but i don’t want to open hostilities with a landlord the same day i move into a new place, you know?

so, with the move, i’m not sure i will really have much time to dick around on the internet in the coming week(s). plus, i don’t want to dick around on the internet. it bums me out & saps my emotional energy…even though it can sometimes make me laugh & laugh. such as…okay, this relates to the incendiary topic i didn’t want topping my page, but it’s hilarious, so–if you are sick of reading about microcosm/joe biel, SKIP AHEAD. i’ll tell you when. so, in response to the public statement released by joe biel’ latest accountability team, joe exercised his near-pathological inability to let anyone else have the final word on anything & released his own public statement. it was really long & obfuscating & rambling. when i put it through the babelfish translator (set on “the PR babblings of a deranged mind to english”), it came back as, “i wanted to post a public statement because it makes me feel good to let other people know that they are wrong about me. i am very sorry for any pain i hear i may have caused anyone. i saw a therapist for six months, & she let me know that i’m not abusive, hence trumping the real life true experiences of people i spent far more time with for far longer who feel that i am abusive, but the therapist told me what i wanted to hear, so i’m not going to put that ball down anytime soon. she also told me that batterer rehabilitation programs are for people who refuse to acknowledge that they have ever done anything bad & have a sociopathic lack of empathy for other human beings. since that’s clearly not me, because hai guise i am SO SORRY (that this has turned into a PR trainwreck) & i am just really clueless & self-absorbed instead of actually being a sociopath, that means that i’m not a batterer & that means i’m not abusive. also, one day on NPR, they did this story about how france wrote these vaguely oppressive laws that differentiate between people with abusive personalities & people who accidentally committed abuse because they had really sad childhoods. so, you know, in france, we’d be totally copacetic. i wish this was france, guys. i also think it’s really important to point out that i had this undiagnosed corn allergy, so i actually don’t remember anything i have ever done before 2008 when i finally got some corn allergy serum medication. that means that i cannot be held responsible for anything i did before 2008, not that you should feel bad for me (feel bad for me), & also i’m really sorry if maybe someone got hurt by something i did when i was all high on corn. but dudes, i don’t even remember what i did! my friends tried to tell me, or accountability people told me, & i was like, ‘what the fuck! i must have been hitting the corn pretty hard because this is news to me!’ sorry though. i do remember getting kicked out of the 2008 portland zine symposium, even though that was when i was still on the corn. so apparently my memory is a little porous. i definitely remember bad things that have happened to me, but i don’t remember my own actions. it’s very convenient…i mean, i’m sorry. i have now catastrophically failed two attempts at community accountability, but i still work with therapists that enable me to pursue the myth of my own victimization, i have an awesome girlfriend who makes sure to spend a lot of time online writing about how the abuse allegations against me are patently & categorically lies, & i’ve won my life-long battle against corn. if anyone wants to start up a new accountability team, please contact the head of my PR department.”

one of my friends responded the only way that really befits the gravity of the situation: a trigger warning followed by a cartoon corncob saying, “i’m in everything.”

& this is the culmination of all the years i have spent seething with suppressed rage over people who use imaginary/over-exaggerated food allergies/sensitivities to escape responsibility for their own actions & agency. for every raw food potluck i skipped, for every person who self-diagnosed themselves with celiac disease after ODing on a loaf of sourdough, for every candy bar i ostentatiously devoured during a tedious collective meeting, for every adherent to the lemon water/cayenne pepper fast that made me roll my eyes, THIS IS WHY. i said a few years ago, after a somewhat similar incident, that autism is a real thing, not just something you can claim to have so you have an excuse to act like an asshole. (dude in question was stalking a woman & claimed he did it because his autism prevented him from understanding social cues, like it’s just an inability read body language that inspired him to force his way into her apartment & threaten to kill her. for clarity’s sake, this was absolutely NOT joe that did this.) food allergies & diseases like celiac & crohn’s are real things, not just things to blame asshole, abusive behavior on (or excuses for radical punk kid eating disorders).

OKAY, DONE! you can come back now & start reading again. but jared has cued up some “TV for cats” on youtube & charlotte is intrigued, so i’m going to go watch how this all pans out. also, “project runway” debuts tonight, & both “britain’s next top model” & “australia’s next top model” started airing within the past few weeks. opinions? i has them!

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

8 thoughts on “moving this weekend, among other things

    1. it’s a bit of a broad interpretation to say that he “blamed everything on corn,” but he did mention suffering from blood sugar issues & a corn allergy, which made him “irritable” & affected his memory. (this was said among many, many other things. his open letter is longer than “infinite jest,” practically.) which is just too fucking hilariously anarcho-punk perfect to take seriously.

  1. Thanks for summing up his statement. I’m not going to read it because I don’t think I’ll get anything out of it. I linked to your blog from mine and you have probably read what I wrote by now. Thank you for encouraging me to say something.

    1. yeah, i saw your post. well-reasoned, & i hope this will clear up a lot of the confusion people have expressed. smart move not reading joe’s statement. i’m sure you’re familiar with the most salient points already, & his style continues to be absolutely crazy-making. hopefully your blog will set some of the key issues to rest & we can all get on with things.

  2. ..and a “gluten allergy,” too. If I didn’t know it was him I would have assumed it was satire.

    Oh, and I see he is apparently trying to find a new accountability group. This after what, two failed attempts?

    Also, the comments remind me why I quit reading We Make Zines. That James Dawson character is a complete toolshed, and it’s not the first time I’ve seen him wringing his hands over the supposed persecution of some fucking creep.

    1. i admit it, i laughed out loud at the gluten/corn allergies. it’s the twinkie defense for anarcho-punks, i swear to god. “i didn’t mean to shoot the mayor! i ate a dumpstered bagel & everything else is a blank! i woke up with the gun in my hand, your honor!”

      the thing about the accountability thing is that i guess it’s a condition of attending the portland zine symposium that joe have a good outcome from an accountability process. to, you know, show that he is being accountable for his actions. it’s also good PR for him to be involved in an accountability group, & it takes the heat off him for a while in terms of people talking about shit. i can’t tell you how many times i have heard the following interaction, “joe biel is an abusive manipulator.” “O RLY? i heard he’s working with an accountability group. let’s reserve judgment for now.” the rumor was also going around for a while that joe had in fact already had a positive outcome from an accountability group & that basically the problem was solved. so, you know, i can’t help but be very cynical about his desire to establish a new accountability group.

      we make zines is a cesspool. i was confused by james’s response. the idea of an accountability process was anathema to him, he thought the people in favor of it were “kafka-esque” persecutors, & he clearly thought joe was a fool for agreeing to it. so why contribute to the thread at all? but j rae’s corncob cartoon made it all worthwhile.

  3. My brother and I have been just debating your very topic, he’s always endeavouring to prove me incorrect. Your current view on this is fantastic and just how I really feel. I just now sent my brother this site to demonstrate him your current view. Right after looking over your web log I book-marked and will be coming back to read your updates!

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