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tv   The Mother of All Questions  CSPAN  April 2, 2017 7:45pm-9:03pm EDT

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examines how government has impacted my money and interest groups ., the corporate american democracy.he's into the new york times investigative reporter eric lipton. >> when you one corporate front rope spending $700 million plus in the last election, and that any planning to spend $400 million in the next election in the midterms, that is just a huge footprint. and there's a lot more going on behind it.the second piece of that has been kind of brought home the long-term effort of the republican party and the social business friendly judges in the courts. so that the courts have become increasingly hostile to regular folks and increasingly interested in protecting corporations. >> watched "after words" tonight at nine eastern on c-span2's booktv.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good evening friends.
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welcome to the berkeley hillside club. the latest in a series of events produced by the wonderful folks at berkeley arts and letters. we are very privileged to have them as a regular contributor to our cultural events here. evan is the boss and you have him to thank you and his volunteers to thank for all of these wonderful events. [applause] how many of you have been in this hall before? fair number. that is good. how many of you have not and have not a clue what this place is?okay, that's great because i'm good to take about 30 seconds to tell you about the berkeley hillside club. it was founded in 1895 women who were really concerned about the plan the city fathers has for laying a great organization and paving reading in and says, they got physically active. we think we probably need some more of that these days.
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they were able to get the city to turnoff the way it has and in large measure it is just one of the most beautiful cities in this part of the country. i believe. in 1910, the gentleman under the two light spectra, famous for the architect was our president in 1910. he designed and built the first clubhouse. unfortunately it burned down. have his client's homes were burned as well. much bigger than the open fire. to replace the beautiful clubhouse listed on the site, his brother-in-law another architect named john wright felt this wonderful mop tutor revival structure. it has been our clubhouse ever since. have a long tradition of involvement in civic activities. live cultural activities. we do conscious and talk like this one. and dances and dinners. if you're interested in joining the hillside club, either a
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membership application in the hall or the membership rolls are currently is a great organization to become a part of and help contribute to if you also shameless, as i have to apologize. we actually rent this hall for certain discrete events. we do not do fraternity mixers but birthday parties and memorials for, in any case keep that in mind. if you're interested rentals that hillside will get you there. i think that's all we have.if you have any electronic anointed that we tend to carry in our pockets please turn them off. if there are any empty seats available, raise your hand next to an empty seat. there are a couple of them. are we looking for seats still? i think we are good. and i will bring evan up berkeley arts and letters, let them take over from here.
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thank you very much. [applause] >> hi everyone. thank you bruce. i want to thank the hillside club for hosting us tonight and as a regular host for our series. we generally, we've been around for seven years. most exceptional authors and thinkers with new books. it is a process concept. we have posted everybody from heidi smith and others. you can find more about our past and upcoming events at berkeley that we are very excited to be hosting rebecca in support of her new book mother of all questions. and with her tonight we have jeff chang. please anybody here in november when we had jeff chang? awesome. you're very excited like me then to have him back. [laughter] i want to thank rebecca and
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jeff for being here tonight. these guys are asking the hard questions for all of us. and fighting on behalf of all of our rights. i just want to get in a round of applause. [applause] so i am going to read a little bit about them and then i will get out of the way. just in case, there are books of theirs that you do not know about you are about to find out. so rebecca is a writer historian activist and the author of 16 books about environment landscape, community art, politics, hope and memory. including the national bestseller men explain things to me. hope in the dark, faraway nearby, paradise built and held them a gut getting lust, wanderlust, future walking and vigor of shadows.
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-- for which she received a guggenheim, the national book critics circle award and a literary award. a product of the california public education system from kindergarten transects. [applause] she is a contributing editor and as you probably know the mother of all questions is a new collection of feminist essays. joining rebecca as it is jeff chang. jeff has most recently published we gonna be all right which is a total much reflection. i can mention that we have all of the books, not all of them but we have a bunch of books in the back. amy is waving at you right now. berkeley arts and letters is organized by both smith, a bookstore in san francisco. we would be happy to sell you books tonight. [laughter] jeff has been extensively on culture pulses and the arts. his second book was released
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under the title who we be. he cofounded culture strike and color wars, color lines it's -- he is a winner of that news prize.who is named one of 50 visionaries for changing a world in 2016 they named him one of the 100 list of those shaping the future of american culture. do you guys mind helping me welcome them to the stage. [applause]
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>> i did not want to spell that. >> i think david was laughing at me for pulling books out of my bag or something. [laughter] >> good evening. >> hello! >> thank you so much to evan, berkeley arts and letters, both smith staff, wonderful staff. the hillside club and all of you for coming out tonight.i get the honor to ask you questions tonight. well, hip-hop, right? although i do not rap. shall we start? >> we shall. >> the last time we got to talk you just come back if i remember correctly from standing rock. >> was it that long ago? i went out there in september with a real sense that you know it was the center of the world and i wanted to see what was was amazing
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being there. i was happy i went when the weather was bonnie. i have so much admiration the people that stuck it out for the winter. it is one of those things. you know like occupy the arab spring black lives matter, nobody knew it was coming. and it is one of the things that you knowing that we are supposed to talk about this book but we could talk about this one too. >> we definitely will. >> to see, so much about standing rock which felt it was not there to adjust one pipeline. but to really kind of remedy in turn half the millennium, i think in meaningful ways we do not know what stan iraq has done because it will take decades to find out. but it was amazing being out there. >> let's pursue that idea in a second. i also, if i remember correctly when you were coming back from
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north dakota, he was sitting next to a chump supporter, yes? >> yes this is what happened. i have had to conversation with trump supporters. [laughter] you know my friends in nevada, new mexico and i think have had some more. it was fascinating. i do not remember. what i found fascinating was that both of them were voting for a man who was you know completely fictitious. it wasn't even a facial trump propaganda. it was there platonic trump. >> who is this platonic trump to them? >> while i set next to a week and swabian farmer whose son had addiction problems.which is how you know you are in america. that type of junkie and you know, he was like this was right around, was it before?
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he had all the scandals that were fabricated and it wasn't really you know he thought he was a much better man. he basically thought that trump is more like him than any of the evidence would suggest. then every four years my amazing friend who organized this radical progressive coalition for the state of nevada, it is my sacrifice on the democracy to try and ward off evil. and i was in this kind of legal suburb about 10 miles north of downtown reno doing this and some women steadily badgering me. she was there to dig it out for trump. alex wanted to figure out what she liked him. she had two things she was really committed to. and if there was no arguing with her about. she was convinced that immigrants were preventing the family from actually she was egyptian. undocumented immigrants were preventing her family from legal immigration.
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as of the portal system was somehow tied to all of these people that walk in mexico so that you can't come. which is completely ridiculous. >> although there is a really weird kind of relationship they are. because in some ways, you can argue that undocumented or not undocumented folks but the government approach to undocumented folks is the reason she hasn't been able to become legalized. >> she was legal but she wanted her family to come explained that somehow people can get paperwork to become legal immigrants because of and illegal immigrants. and they clog the system but they're not even in the system. >> i think that's true because all of the resources have been moved away from naturalization. and enforcement. and that is something that has happened since the reagan administration. before this immigration used to be about trying to get people naturalized as fast as
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possible. the minute she was a kind of quotas that they put in each country which for the most part, they got rid of in 1965. but still limit the number of folks that can become legalized every year. so if you're in the queue and you are filipino or mexican, it will take you 20 or 30 years to get to the head of the line so to speak. and so, she is right in a really weird way. but for the wrong reason. >> she also said i was literally kind of like a numbers game. give 5 million undocumented people disappeared and 5 million people with suddenly get immigration visas. and another thing she told me was that you know, she believed about climate change and donald trump was going to do all of the right things. he wasn't going to favor fossil fuel. you know and bring back things like that. so it's just like, where do you get your information? can i go bring some doorbells and handsome door hangers and escape from you? she really wanted to argue. so those my two trump
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supporters. >> is explaining. >> there is variations on this. >> yes. well, i did not want, i do not want to sort of relitigate where sort of relive november. i guess i want to ask how you're feeling now. less beholden to -- people
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didn't like hillary clinton because she hung out with rich and powerful people. and i was like, trump is rich and powerful people. so, i find nothing about what has happened surprising, except the beauty and intensity and courage of the resistance. i thought it might be a little bit like life after 9/11 when a lot of people were intimidated and afraid to speak up and there was this kind of patriotic pall all over the land. but people are ferociously outspoken. >> this is essay you wrote in the book next loudness of the now, which i really want to get into but i also wanted to talk about sort of what they comes out of and you have this beautiful essay called the short history of silence.
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so i was wonder if you could talk about how you think about silence as opposed to quiet. >> the english language is full of synonyms and words that overlap there's a real request good sense of silence in a monastic retreat and silence not listening to track noise and there's also the act of being silent which could stand for a huge amount of what feminism tried to address and there's literal being silenced, no woman holding positions of power in congress and the supreme court and the legal system, a woman's testimony about being discountered of things like that, but there's also -- for the purposes of this this is sa, quiet was removal from.
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noiseness and sigh license is enforced and you could use that as a summary condition for what feminism is trying to address. the silenting you know when -- the see lensing -- silencing when you consent or not consent to bat is happening. that's agency, the right to vote we got in 1920, most of us and ex-then had to fight for all over again in the south, and for men and women. so it was a very interesting essay. i set out to write about the way women are silencees, and realized that gender is a system of reciprocal silence. there's a male silence as well. men are silent in -- silenced in different ways than women are and -- you had to look the whole system as whole. one thing that is different from
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the book is it's about as much as many and children as women and it's all feminism. >> we talk about the ways in which women are silenced and the way that men are silenced and how they're different? i think in particular -- i work at stanford university and the brock turner case, of course, seems to illustrate some of these different things. can you sort of unpack what you think are -- how the silences are overcome and different ways and what that means. >> i think of male silence is all the thing that men are not supposed to do and say and feel and like, and i recount a conversation with my five year -- almost five-year-old nephew and his favorite colors were pink, purple and orange, and i was monitoring the pink.
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knew the pink wouldn't stay with us. asked him why he didn't like pink anymore and he now that pink was girly and he couldn't like girl things and he is not yet five. it's not coming front his parents. it's ambient. i know parent yu try to keep your sons from guns or war games but aambient. parents don't succeed in doing it alone. then i went shopping for any not yet born god son's -- the clothing department and the gendering of newborns clothes was shocking. boys' clothes were like it was rocket ships and astronauts and cowboys and football players and dinosaur and reptile. girl were all this passive, cuddly infant stuff, kittens and pink. and boys don't cry, men not allowed to express weakness and
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certain feelings and i think that there's a great deal of deadness. if you go to brock turner, to be able to do something horrible to another person, whether it's any kind of violence, degradation, abuse, you have to cut downure empathy, and if have written about it other places that you have to kill off partoff yourself before you can become a killing machine and there's a way men's bodies are weaponized as well. they're not tools of experiencal sensation, their weapons, and you see all that in the brock turner case, which then has all these interesting wrinkles when the victim spoke up in court and became maybe the most well heard
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rape victim ever, with that incredible letter she wrote. that really kind of turned the tables in the power dynamic. she was given a chance to have a voice. we're two an era where rape visit of -- victims weren't supposed to appear but she hid her name and there was need from protection for shame or further threats or the story following her, and she just read this extraordinary thing that made him -- that just -- with justice, diminished him into nothing in a very powerful way. just extraordinary. and spoke with empathy to all other victims of similar crimes, and really expressed the kin of greatness in here and a way in which, by having that voice, that empathy, that strength, she hadn't been destroyed by an act that was meant to dehumanize and destroy her. >> you wrote, if i may -- you may.
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>> just beautiful. violence against women is often against our voices and our stories. it is a refusal of voices and what voice means. the wright too self-determination, to participation, to consent or dissent, to live and participate, to interpret and narrate. >> those are what it means to be human and we can talk about physical rights and property rights and economic rights and things like that, but the very core, having a voice is what it means to be human, and we can look at jim crow or the -- i've been talking about the anti-chinese riots in 1977 or different kinds -- there's a lot of ways that the dispossession of native americans, genocide, the criminalization of homosexuality. there's immunable ways people
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are sigh lend. disappearance of the disabled. but feminism has been a project of arriving at voices and it's very exciting -- susan griffin is in the audience, great heroine,. [applause] >> and a great sort of muse role model and friend of minimum and he was part of this incredible thing which happened in the '70s and '60s, the feminists kept writing about violence. and i name a dozen works by feminists from that period that were addressing silence. they were clear what was at stake and i was the right to participate, the right to have agency to have a voice, the right to show up and that's -- the right to not be silenced.
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>> there's a beautiful part of your book, wander lust, which is a meditation on your idea of walking, where you suddenly sort of shift gears up and talk about marching and women marching. >> yeah. >> and it just sort of -- it's a powerful chapter. it's one i use a lot with my students, and i guess i was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about your journey into feminism. >> male violence is what made me a feminist. grew up in a house of it, thinking all i had to do was escape itch escaped and then when i was 19 moved to a neighborhood where that -- home was safe and nothing else was. there was massive street harassment. and not just like, hey, baby stuff. that's where the implication was
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that you might bit raped or murdered or tortured and where i lived in constant danger, and what was outrageous for me and still is, because young women still face and it it fades away and i'm now past the age of harassment except for blurry-eyed bums in new york city. it's really a loss of basic freedom, of the ability to move around, to be independent, to be a full participant to be a anybody of civil society, to be in public, and it's really, really hard to get people to treat it as a civil rights, human rights issue. as the women are told, like, i should disguise miss as majors buy a gun, learn martial arts, never legal home, move to a white suck bush, make money and
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have a car, be with man at all times. the fact that you're targeted and a problem you need to solve -- we don't tell victims of lynchings what were your wearing? there have been some great movements and our books are writing an incredible new with a of feminism addressing male vie license with a ferocity, clarity, refusal to see ground and a kind of collective voice through social media we have never seen before. but it's still hard to bet a lot of home behind the able to walk down the street without being threaten is a basic human right and one that in a great many places young women don't have and it happens to you and you don't feel safe anywhere.
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it's like an initiation ritual to tell you, you don't have full rights, you're a target, bills of people -- billions of people may hate you and want to harm you because of your gender, think about in a parking lot in an elevator, when you plan your vacations, on the campus. so it's deeply damaging damagind that's -- male violence made me a feminist. >> there's some real beautiful dialogue in your essays right the questions. on one hand you're rigor obviously debunking the narratives and the myths that silence women, and then on the other hand there's the hope thing. you sort -- there's a way in which i feel like a lot of your writing is about the awe and the wonder of what happens when folks come together or the awe
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and wonder of the natural world, in which you see a lot of parallels between the ecosystems of the natural world and the building of movements. can you talk about that, the hopey changey thing. >> well, hope never sound more like breck cereal. it's a tough moment. i think a lot of us secretly had a kind of enlightenment narrative we were progressing towards a more inclusive, humane, less prejudiced society and this election troubles those waters a little, but -- [laughter] -- i think it's really important, and this is sort of a footnote to this but to remember that trump did not win a majority of the people who voted. that 55% of the electorate voted less than half of that voted for him, and then in order to win
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the election, we had to have massive voter disenfranchisement but i guess that 15 million would be a kind of low ball number for how many people were prevented from voting. a problem with people who can vote and don't. but let's say 15 million people can mostly people of color, who were proevented from voting and then we need a voting rights movement. you reenfranchise those people. i'll get back to me main question. and then clinton doesn't win three million plus more votes. she wins eight million more votes and if we had free and fair elections the republicans would never again win a national election that has taken massive corruption. it took enter mainstream media running from right wing spin at a private serve which they're now owl using in the trump
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administration with some kind of shocking thing, took misogyny, the russian intervention, trump himself getting kind of kid glove treatment for a lot of -- for being an associate of mobsters, a liar, a wood-be rapist, and an incredible racist and et cetera. so, back to the question. i think hope is -- [laughter] -- i feel like -- >> we love your digressions. just put a mark in the fact that these die gregs are -- digressions are amazing. >> i have had times i'm 700 words along on the radio and what was the question. i know on this one it's the hopey changey thing. the question is, isty trump election a sign? and i think those people were there before, they've been there all along itch think we need to
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figure out what reinforces the racism and the xenophobia and the fear, because conservative politics are really fear-driven and scarcity driven and how do we tell our stories better and circulate them more broadly to reach beyond the circle that already abe with. how do we have more custom pelling stories with more compelling circulation. the hope thing is the trump election is pretty -- a pretty bleak event in american history but you look the arc of the american history -- i was born the same year the wall win down, and women have -- women are so profoundly unequal. there are no laws against sexual harassment and discrimination, and sexual harassment in the workplace. marital rape is not a concept.
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marriage is by law a deeply unequal relationship in which the husband becomes the owner of the wife and the ivy leagues do not admit women ask you can look at race and it's equally beak and the status or queer people and they're bleak but in idea of bioaccumulation and the way these -- systemly don't exist yet so in the past half century we have undergrounds a extraordinary and antisectarian revolution and the authoritarianism is against what we have accomplished and wants to undo it but it will never be 1961 again and i think -- these are global changes, not just national ones itch don't think we'll if every -- i don't think the status of qur will -- home
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homophobia will not go away but there are no longerber a broad consent sunday that we can keep gay people invisible through pre repression and crimization and the denial of climate change in the u.s. with very little -- but hope for me is really about a sense -- not that everything is going to be fine, which is optimism and inducesive passivity just like pessimism that everything is going to be horrible and there's nothing to do about i whichs also induces passivity. hope is a sense we don't to what is going to happen an acceptance of the true uncertainty you can understand when you see the sudden emeasurens of things like standing rock or occupy or black lives matter to bring up the extraordinary things in this decade. so it is the sense that what
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happened -- that we may be able to play a role in it and it's worth trying. and any definition of hope and my definition of silence is not exactly the dictionary definition. a sense of possibility, an acceptance of uncertainty. we're in a time where people love their certainty more than they love possibility, and so i -- it's almost like a language problem where people don't know how to use the sub j.tive and say maybe if or what if or we don't know that. think people make crazy pronouncements like this will never happen. this will happen in three months and it's like, what are you, god, the prophets? people -- some it's like they don't know -- their language is tonka toys when it needs to be a much more sophies fix indicated midwest -- sew is sophisticated
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methodology. >> you were writing about the -- >> people love their despair. they love their despair like they love their perfectionity. it's a great -- >> i love that, teddy bear of despair. the teddy bear is like alec baldwin's impression of trump with the -- the teddy bear of despair and it's a security blanket. >> and i wrote hope in the dark and i weapon on the road all over -- i went on the road all over the country for a few years after that and i met amazing people and heard amazing stories and overall the revenge was great but agot a certain grumpy person, usually middle age, middle class, white, who is really angry at me and partly because there's this mistaken -- i'm in berkeley so maybe this is worth saying -- that being miserable is a form of solidarity. and you know what?
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starving people and people in war zones are not actually buoyed up with the people living in slender in the u.s.a. are sulking over their organic arugula sandwiches. people are really attached to their despay and is was hard-hearted for trying to take it away from them and meant i didn't love suffering people. really love ending suffering. i'm really interested in being pragmatic and looking at what we can do and. >> wallow is is just not the revolution. [applause] >> i think a lot of you out there already knew that but that's kind of what that
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attachment to despair is. it's also dish -- i came up with a bunch of descriptions. despair as black leather jacket than everybody looks cool inch hope is a frilly pink dress than nonwas to way. you sea we're all doomed and people say, that can't be right, you're full of it. and you say i think something amazing might come out of this and people are like, that's ridiculous. the one is just as likely as the other, but -- there's historical record of extraordinary unforeseen things the fall of the berlin well in '89 and the breaking occupy the east bloc. breaking away from totalitarianism, we live in an extraordinary period and have been surprised over and over again, the way same-sex marriage
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arrived was amazing and that's actually being realistic, pragmatic and reasonable and that extraordinary things happen and we dent foresee them and despair that hat confidence -- has that confidence and if think it bull shit and it's really more about -- so much on he left is more about identity formation than doing useful work. >> despairists. >> yes. it's a posture. >> can i throw a wrench into this with this -- >> sure. >> just complicate it a little bit with a quote from somebody name rebecca solnit. you write failure of empathy and respect are central and not marginal to how we organize osite so if there central to how we organize society, how do we overcome it is the question. >> you know, i think there has been -- you look the way people are kind of walked down into what you call their empathy
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zones and empathize only with people like them. not everybody but a lot of people learning to bridge differences around gender, and transidentity and orientation, nationality, et cetera. i think nat people i was very hip to critique the photo booksow remember growing up, the family of man, this attempt at a universal humanism, and i was repeating some hip post modernists attack it and my aunt born in 1947 you don't understand how fragmented we we are after the third reich and after the war and people have gotten out of their bunkers bund empathize more. and i keep mentioning, the definitions of human nature we have inherited have been social darwinists and you -- i just
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found out we're an economics major. >> -- you're an economics major. >> true. >> this idea of rational self-interest, tasteful way of saying we're all deeply selfish, and when i wrote -- paradise in hell -- most of us in a crisis revert to a default system and we well to deeply connected and you see emerging in a neurobiology, psychology, radical economics theory, a number of other fields, a real drove mission of human nature to studies of small children, et cetera, that say say that we irinharenly empath emempathyic. and empathy is unprofitable, like -- convince people they need to drive and you can sell them a car. if they walk everybody at best
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you can sell them expensive shoes but it's not the same kind of market. and there's a sense in which -- misery and isolation makes us good consumers and there's a lot of things that market fears. fear is really important to conservative marketing, and it's what local tv news used to really one off with all the crime wave stories and things like that and there's a real assault on empathy that has been built in and the fact that a lot of people are empathic, you know -- and not just in theory if there's an imagine. there's two women economists whose compound name it's like gibson-graham or something. ail in a paradise built in hell. who made me into -- if you ask what kind of system we live, in most would say capitalist, but in relationship to your children, your friends, maybure
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church group or the nonprofits you might von for, in ways we are actually functioning in nonopportunistic, nonselfish economies and capital limp is propped it by capitalism. it creates poverty and then people feed and house and try to run free clinics to assuage that poverty. capitalism destroys environment and the sierra club and everybody else comes out to try to protect from capitalism. the sierra club runs off of donations, so and why do people do not? dot toes serve the self-interest economics defines. it's like it's actually a kind of idealism-0 wanting things to be better that may not benefit them directly and they may never see, and i think that's really
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huge part of who we are, and it's pragmatic and realistic and if you recognize and understand it and can harness it and movement building and -- you can change the world and people have, and gandhi did, mandela did, ella baker and the people in the civil rights movement did, and people like -- what's the reverend in north carolina, reverend barber doing that now, and "occupy" was amazing, like so many of these moments, and see what a deep appetite people have for meaningful life, deep connection, capacity to care for the most vulnerable, for equality and inclusion like the response to economic collapse in argentina in 2001. so there. >> that's good.
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take that, rebeca solnit. the question i have -- in this conversation we had with amy on the democracy and color podcast and with david, we were sort of talking about the politics of love. so, the notion that empathy hopefully could lead towards an enactment of the politics of love and you through his out which was amazing and made me kind of stop in my tracks you. said maybe it's not hate that is the opposite of love. maybe it's fear that is the opposite of love and i was listening to a country song, an out -- i didn't know outlaw country was a thing itch found out this past weekend. and so this outlaw country song --
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>> way lon jennings? >> a group called the flatlanders and did a song called borderless love and a lyric says it's like it's all too clear the fearless love and the loveless fear. and i just was like, whoa. it was pretty amazing. >> i have to dig that up. i've learn a lot from country songs. after punk rock i went into country. old country, classical country, the kind of hank william to lieu lucinda williams with merle haggard in the middle. what is the opposite is a good way to define things and we have these conventional love hate things and i wrote a kole bum about anger and what is the opposite of anger in it's curiosity.
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because anger is a profound kind of close-mindedness and which is why it's enormous presence in our culture now is so destructive. it's the closing off of empathy, but if i hate you i want to cause you harm because i don't feel what you feel and empathy means to feel into and for me it's the -- my boundaries nor longer here, they'reon me, and the profoundly empathic and can take it all in and it's partly fear that makes people shut down of their open vulnerability, the risk of getting hurt, and kind of political circles being wrong and things like that. so, yeah, i think that -- love and fear. and then it's -- and i also felt looking at anger, which was fascinating, being angry is miserable but it's a way to escape other miseries which is
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sort of fear, doubt, and the introspective miss riz. a great deal of confidence in rage, and so i'm interested in -- yeah, how do we -- how do we make it okay to not feel like you need hate and fear and that i think is exactly what david kim the center for love -- what is -- love-driven politics project is about, whose name i may have slightly mangled. and he dares to use love, and i talk about done a lot of people talk about truism and empathy and find sneaky ways about it but he users the four-letter l word. >> let's talk about the idea of change and revolution. you have been thinking a lot about the nature of change and have been writing about that over your entire career, and
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sort of what kind of revolution we need to be pushing towards. i think one thing you said is that we need to get past the idea that revolution is only about regime change as one sort of starting point. >> i think going back to hit said earlier, with the revolutions in my lifetime, it's that there's an ongoing revolution -- i think it's deeply antiauthoritarian, the authority of bosses over employees and police over citizens and parents over children, men over women. colonist over the colonist, all delegitimize, even humans over animals for a lot of us, and so what we're really talking about is not starting a revolution, i think, but feeding the long revolution we're in the midst of and removing obstacles and encouraging people to join the
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revolution and not the counterrevolution, which is powerful right now, but whether it can win and how long that is is a real question. i think that we are seeing a bunch of scary conservative regimes in russian and eastern europe and the u.s. and the philippines and et cetera. i don't know if this is like world war iv come can go some sort of long-term momentum or just sort of of blips, but it will change again, and how do we feed that future to give it something to change into, is part of the question. >> i think one thing you have also said is that we can't be sure what the impacts are going to be of events that may happen or of things that may be generated. >> yeah. that's something that is really, really central to the hopefulness in the work. i have a piece that game out in
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the guardian on monday that is my basically nevertheless she persisted, and it opens with damage ellsberg who lives near here and one of hi great heroes. in conversation with edward snowden and snowden says, had ellsberg not existed as an example, he, snowden, would not have been able to do that. he watched the documentary, the most dangerous man in america, before he did what he did, and that means that only did daniel ellsberg expose the corruption of six presidents and the false premises of the war, and help contribute to the end of that war, and the discreditingcredite nixon regime, bus laid groundwork for an important act in 2013 performed by someone who wasn't born yet and that is so amazing. there's no way you can say in 1971 i'm going to do this so a
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kid who will be born in 1983 will in 2013 do this thing. you can't -- and so you look at these long-term changes, and i tell a story there that i love of the first real official act of civil disobedience is gandhi and south asia community in southern africa resisting the kind of racial -- the caste sim there and gandhi goes to london to fight in this british controlled territory and three days after he lands british sufferats infade the parliament and play civil disoowe obedience and gandhi is so impressedfully sufferats and write as prophetic
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essay about people laugh at these women but a they will win. ty laugh at us bus we will liberate the subcontinent. it's amazing and then gandhi leads to -- sets up models and tactics and visions that kind of love-driven politics for the civil rights movement, and so i was able to kind of go from these british women in 1906 to john lewis opposing the trump muslim ban in the airport, john lewis think great civil rights hero in january of 2017. it's like you're always planting seeds, and who will harvest that fruit? you don't know. just have to plant the seeds, knowing that you don't know. that is a really important part of what i guess company call my credo. you saw our five-minute sign? >> i didn't but i felt it.
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>> that was about two and a half minutes ago. >> oh, okay. so, do we have time for questions? so, guess we have folks that have been letting down their questions on cards. as we wait for the questions, i had a quick lightning round. just say a couple of names or things and just quickly react. >> you're good at this, jeff. you should have a radio show. >> i'd like to. somebody hire me. [inaudible] -- >> if you have your questions on your cards please raise your cards and we'll collect them. lightning round. virginia wolfe. >> yes. >> tell me more, though. she has played such an important role in your writing. >> i like hen re david sure sure rowed she modeled a wholeness.
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and the poetry has no politics but that writing is the two separate nonintersecting apartheid camps camps and both s body of work that refuses to make that division. and sure to to the rowe gets outfield of jail and -- leads a huckleberry party and you think huckle -- and antislavery and antiwar goes to jail together and virginia wolfe writes guess war and really important formative feminist stuff and so she really holds big space, i think, for all of news which you don't have to feel like, i'm going to accept this pigeon hole and tame the solos and thes a
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gearous writer about things i write about. and the uncertainty of the value of being in doubt and this experimental message and the time of hope in the dark comes from something she wrote in their journal, the future is dark, the best thing the future can be and i always want to resuscitate the word "dark" as something other than pejorative. i love shade and night and darkness as a desert rat. >> and so many origins, the beginning of creation. >> i think creation takes place in darkness, whether it's erotic or artistic. the light.
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>> we have two really great questions. the first is, thank you for your post election leadership and activity. many activists are calling on the left to say outraged and angry. as a motivation or drive to action. how too relate to this call for outrage and anger and how does your activism relate to this and to empathy? >> i think that anger will eat your insides out, and one thing i know about angry people, certainly experienced a lot during the other ex, it's kind of like a machine gun that can shift just a little and start turning into friendly fire and i've been taken out by people who got all ramped up and just stayed that way. it's a really destructive force but i think outrage is indignation, a sense that this should in the be so. but what i feel pretty sure for most of the long-term activists
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i know, they love environment more than they hate oil companies. they love justice more than they hate people who carry out injustice. hate is kind of -- hate is a kind of sugar you get a rush off but i'm afraid i'm going to go into a protein bar metaphor so i'll stop right here. it's really sad and pathetic and granola-y but it's a sustaining force and they're easy to confuse and the anti-abortion movement is scare because they claim to love the unborn baby and they don't seem to give a damn about born babies and seem clearly driven by hatred of free sexual independent autonomous women, women with voices, and the agency, and -- >> host: could it be fear? >> yeah, free women are threat to patriot kick which is --
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patriarchy, so i think that -- it's not about being different to -- indifferent to suffering and outrage but just -- i think also staying in touch with what you love sustains you personally and politically. if you're an environmental list, go camping. if you care about human rights, hang out with people who are doing the work. and on whose behalf you think you're walking, partly because they should be in charge of their own liberation, but i'm -- outrage is a funny word and exists without rage per se, just a state of kind of indignation, a deep sense this should not be so, and i hopefully then that i will do what i took change it. >> this question is related -- i
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really -- i got it this past weekend the tucson book festival. it relates to the recent protests, student protests, at at mid middle berry college where students disrupted the appearance of the neoconservative intellectual charles murray. the professor stinger is a owes and wrote an op-ed but the question is and what are your thoughts bet protests relative to the thoughts on silence. >> there's a huge debate on the left about violence and i feel -- i'm not a big fan of the idea that everybody wherever should be nonviolent. i certainly believe in everybody's right to self-defense.
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there was a really interesting story a few days ago bat woman jogger got assaulted in a bathroom in seattle, fought back, subdued the guy and now like it was kind of awesome. and they may need to jet edit this for book tv but she kept shouting not today, mother fucker. >> not ever. >> the kind of movement i'm been part've in the united states. never heard anybody make a agrees argument how violence will get us where we want to go. and at least since the seattle -- in 1999 -- it is that far bill clinton a huge debate about diversity of tactic's tasteful euphemism can violence be part've nonviolent tactics.
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i'm friends with mark rud, part of the weather underground, and they -- whenty decided to do violence they did violence big. they flew stuff up and it still -- he is now kind of a ferocious and even aggressive proponent of nonviolence but a real stickler about it. he has seen people be blown up and killed. nobody is just really made a convincing case for me that squabbling with the police and lighting garbage cans on fire and smashing windows is this -- is netting us any really great benefit and there are times light at "occupy oakland" where i saw -- i wasn't there when nat was happening but i kept hearing stories, including from a wheelchair bound friend of mine about the police getting whipped up into a frenzy by able-bodied people who then scampered off and left the moms with kids,
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slower older people, disabled people tober bear the brunt of the police. so i think theoretically possible hasn't yet seen the circumstances in which it belongs in the stuff i've been part of. but i also think what property destruction is violence, it's a complicated question, and i wrote after during during "occupy" the firefighter breaks down the door to save life. the husband breaks the dishes to demonstrate to the wife you can also break her. what we do to inanimate objects can have difference meanings. >> another fast round while we are at it. beyoncé. >> she's great. she's like the virginia wolfe of hip-hop, don't you think?
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>> absolutely. that's the perfect analogy. >> this complex kind of feminism and these long narratives she is constructing and her tremendous inininsistence. >> one of her influences is rebecca solnit. >> quote beyoncé. from formation. just become my new kind of silence. but no, there's very funny thing that happened in 2012 which divided my world into those who knew beyoncé and cared and those who didn't. it was fun. somebody in any family don't know how to pronounce her name. >> people don't care about beyoncé. >> there are those people. we're protecting you. but beyoncé tweeted about the --
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after the bearing of the daughter and people don't conclusion because win you're that famous everybody is overinterpretting and projecting on you like crazy -- this was actually the explanation why her daughter was named blue and is beyoncé named -- people didn't know there was a thing called nonfiction so was turn interest a novel or poem or things like that. and the sad thing about it is there are times where somebody mentions your book and you get a little bounce out of it. beyoncé fans turn out to not be really big book-buyers. but i am -- it's also this fun thing -- such a fact-checker where -- like, at first i was like, that's really cool. nope, was trained as a fact-checker. did she say that's why he named her daughter that? what is the origin of story. it was inoctober accuse fake
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news and i wouldn't take create for it but the person who edited my wikipedia entry that no longer says it was -- i regret it because what's the thing in the man who shot liberty valance? when the truth becomes legend, print the legend. that's -- i went to j scholar at burkly. that's not what we were taught. >> what is your take 0 trump's proposed budget cut opens the national endo youment for endowment for the arts we. >> have a small budget for arts which is smaller than canada which is about to double their arts funding under the cute guy,
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trudeau. he is handsome but he keeps building pipelines. i received nea work -- my new orleans atlas received the neh. but one of the sad things about this kind of budget cutting is that it doesn't really understand how economies work, that one thing that trump is doing is scaring off the tourist economy which is crashing dramatically, and for a lot of cities including san francisco and new york and new orleans, i probably should have been closer to this the whole time but nobody told me -- wow, and -- this wicker chair has me leaning way back. it's very tilty. and i should have test evidence it. but the arts are a huge -- have a huge economic benefit and so cutting them, which they pre --
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it's tiny. they're pending more money protecting melanie in trump tower than the nea. it's a hate crime basically. and you look at the -- all the way they're allocating spending and science research benefits the country. cutting automatic emissions, people actually save money on gas. and so they're doing all this stuff and in a funny way they are idealist, they're responding according to how the world should be rather than the way the world is so doing symbolic things that reinforce the white pate -- old ways. coal with never be a useful fuel again. and there's not that many coalminers and where it's -- it's basically -- i joke that make america great again really means make america 1958 again so
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that's an idea it's still 19 exactly coal is our energy and climate change doesn't exist and lots of men work in coal mining and we pretend that black lung and other things that happened to them don't happen. so it's weird seeing them build an economy or destroy an economy based on ideological fantasy rather than what works. the military is we're the biggest military in the world. what are well go to dive 10% more and then goes back to fear anded idea if you throw more money the military we'll be safe ever safer. it's what are we not safe from? it's white men with guns guns gd maple violence generally -- male violence generally and the opium epidemic and health crises and one thing is find interesting is this bait and switch fear game. but the nea, i it would be a great symbolic victory and is
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about the cart of pencil necks being crushed, that's me. possibly you, although you're not really a pencil neck. that's an adlai stevensen term and now the republicans trying to live out their fantasy and they're mostly destruct. >> feels like the nea, one of the first places to really promote multiculturalism in the arts has become this symbolic thing in the way that obama's image became a symbolic thing of what needs to be done away with in order to make america 1958 again. >> does represent a diverse progressive integrated vision of cultural and so this is kind of like i don't -- i don't know what their idea is culture is.
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ted nugent? >> last question here. we have gone through this entire night and not talk about the women's march which feels like a huge omission. i guess the first question is, does it make sense that -- to me it makes perfect sense but want to understand how to -- how you think about it. the women's march in terms of the way the -- you now your principle came out ands a vance a whole bunch of things. climate change is not a feminist issue or shouldn't be a feminist issue. racial justice shouldn't be a feminist issue. but it seem -- >> wow, way to marginalize and get to thize feminism. >> these are the debated that occurred around the unity principles principles and -- then four million people show up for these
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ewany -- unity principles. the question i had is, well, the rest of the resistance continued to be led by women and why not? >> i hope. so i hope. so and woman is slightly more than half of the human beings on seater that doesn't feel like a very restrictive category. and also feels symbolic and antithesis to the almost all white male cabinet. we didn't talk about the world intersectional, the place where two things cross or this kind of -- joking with you, kind of like we'll meet the intersection and we have talking about gender and race and everything else. feel like something that we know instinctively is how these are connected but don't have and would really benefit from a really powerful manifesto
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explaining how human rights and all the categories we recognize them, disability, orientation, et cetera, and environmental justice, et cetera, are connected, and it is wonderful seeing people refused to be separate. they can pick you off when you're separate and seeing the sierra club and stand up for "black lives matter" a year or two doing and say racial justice is not separate from what we're working for and then "black lives matter" developed a climate platform and to really refuse -- every time they've try to separate us and say, like, my -- your suffering doesn't have anything to do with their suffering so we'll put them in camps and exclude them from full citizenship or you'll watch them
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lose their meal's wheels and you won't care because we con veined you you're separate. it's what do we del -- in indivisible. it really was about solidarity which is empathy which we can use the scary word, love. and fear -- fear divides and hate divides. a wonderful live in gloria steinam saying that hate generalize, love particularizes. and hate divides and love connects and so i think that
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indevicibility -- the practical and economic and kind of spiritual and moral ways that -- you can't deal with these things in isolation. ... they were pretty much all handmade and they were not sweatshop made.
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people could harvest their own salt and there was a kind of do-it-yourself to it, but it's like purple and yellow and -- [inaudible] >> my friend that wears a kind of clerical somebody made her a hat anhalf and it was all some f like catwoman. [applause]
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[inaudible] thank you so much for coming out. [applause]


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