back to alignment

it’s been quiet, i know, in this blog for awhile. there are a few reasons for the lack of posts–overall, covidtide was not particularly fertile time for me as a blogger. in addition, i was busy with a number of creative, pedagogical, and writing tasks that took me away from blogging toward the work of getting an installation done for the taipei biennial, teaching remotely, and going through editors’ comments

nonetheless, over the past few months, i have been developing again a nearly daily yoga practice

as some of you know, i’ve been practicing ashtanga yoga for awhile; however, when a shoulder injury made vinyasa somewhat undesirable, i had to reset my practice. so, i turned to the kind of yoga with which i began, iyengar yoga

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singsiaw sanga’ayen to ko rakat! 老師,一路好走 maharateng ciLifokan 紀念黃貴潮老師


我們坐在太平洋社區Lifok (黃貴潮) 老師的公寓裡面,書架、書桌、工作桌、餐桌、等都堆滿了筆記本、書、各種各樣的印刷品和照片。黃貴潮老師一邊幫我詮釋一首歌一邊寫「浪漫」、「幽默」、 「感情」兩個字,並用很日本味的英文說「romantic」、「humor」、「sentimental」

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my plastic fast: recoup

over lent, i fasted from single use plastic

as it turned out, i figured out how hard it is, for systemic reasons, to remove plastic from one’s life, even if one is well meaning

for one, it requires a great deal of planning. overall, i liked this. now that we are in eastertide, i will maintain the kind of mindfulness about making and packing my own lunch on most workdays, bringing a water container or reusable coffee cup as well as utensils along with me

but try as i might, i don’t always tell people at restaurants “please no straw”

nor have i figured out how to avoid plastic salad dressing containers that come with salad when i eat at my neighborhood places

secondly, there are ways that food safety concerns keep us from being able to refuse plastic: cheese at all of the supermarkets i frequent is always packed in cling wrap; requests to have it cut in placed in my own containers were refused on health code reasons

finally, do we risk a kind of self-righteousness here? after all, the ability to avoid single use plastic often correlates with kinds of social and real capital. one’s ability to shop at places that sell in bulk or to plan ahead, for example, are not evenly distributed in our society. does a kind of purism here cause one to reproduce a kind of class antagonism but cloak it in goodness?

still, i found pleasure in making my own conditioner and skin care products and bringing a DIY feel to bread and soy milk

also, i learned that in order for us to move away from plastic, we will need to figure out how to get grocery stores, restaurants, and retail concerns to use less packaging and to make more products available without plastic. that is political work

so it turns out that my lenten fast actually encourages me to continue the work of caring for the environment

fasting from plastic: how it broke just as it began

it turned out that my fast from single use plastic broke nearly just as it began (time to pick myself up and start over…)

to prepare for my fast, i did all the right things: made a inventory of the single use plastic in my daily life, remembered to pull together what i needed to avoid single use plastic, and encouraged myself actively to refuse single use plastic by saying “please no straw” or “please use my cup.” carrying my string bags, equipped with bento box and reusable coffee cup thermos, i was ready to face the challenge

but it wasn’t that simple. who would have thought that single use plastic appears when you least expect it?

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fasting from plastic: toiletries

today i was thinking about my grooming habits and how they require quite a bit of plastic, from toothbrushes and toothpaste to the packaging for facial masks. can i get rid of this plastic?

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my plastic fast (3): groceries without plastic, or a setback

having looked over all of the single use plastic that i typically use, i found that i do pretty well with grocery shopping but could do better. i’m particularly worried about those products that form a major part of my diet that i cannot buy without packaging, like tofu

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my plastic fast (2): where do i use single use plastic

the first step in preparing for my plastic fast will be to account for all of my use of single use plastic at home and when out

fortunately, stanley bought a wide array of mesh and cotton bags that we use for buying produce and items that we can purchase at the grocery store in bulk. because of my experience living on taiwan, i was already in the habit of taking my own bags to make groceries. for the same reason, i usually carry chopsticks or my own cutlery. i thought that we were doing a good job, until i looked around…

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my plastic fast

lent has a bad name, probably because of its association with the rather silly giving up of good things, like chocolate. but i want to claim the battle between carnival and lent for a kind of environmental ascesis

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the market! how academic institutions swallow the koolade of constructive engagement with china

given the current love affair between capital and authoritarianism moving toward matrimonial alliance in china, it’s time not to be led astray by the notion that capitalism promotes press or academic freedom. nonetheless, many academic institutions in the united states have bought into the failed promises of “constructive engagement”

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