Personal Autonomy or “For Love of my Brewpub”

 

Okay, I am aware that at first glance “personal autonomy” looks to be a redundant statement.  However, it’s just the comment that this particular post is not necessarily a commentary on the autonomous collective of family, but my own personal autonomy and balancing my personal choices and rules with the rules that surround me as a member of society and the groups and collectives that I live inside of.

So, the primary collectives I’m part of are of course, first and foremost, my family, and then secondly, The Grove Street Brewhouse, which is my place of employment, and my home away from home (I’m writing this blog update here, and I’m here on a daily basis), it is the place I come for downtime, when I need to be able to flex my brainspace without the screaming of toddlers or ranting of video-gaming 8 year olds.  Let’s face it, no matter how much any parent loves their children, without the option of being ourselves OUTSIDE of our role of parenthood, we quickly disintegrate as individuals.

However, even here at The Grove, I’m not merely an individual.  I am a member of a team, personally doing my best to contribute to a business that I love and believe in.  My own autonomous rules that tell me how to function, do not necessarily tell me how to best function as a member of this said team.  We have to have our own rules that are also flexible to fit into the the structures around us.  This does not result in being mindless cogs, this results in the improvement and fluidity of our own lives.  To be independent and yet be able to function with a group is one of the most important skills we can learn.  For those as fiercely independent and anti-authoritarian as myself, it can also be one of the hardest skills to learn.

Obviously, this isn’t the first time I’ve been part of a “team” of employees.  However, I have little problem saying that this is the first business I’ve worked for that I cared about separately from the concept of “not shitting where I eat”.  Obviously, the more successful any business I work for is, the more successful I will be.  However, this place has acquired such value in my life, that I have to learn how to think of it during the moments where I’m not realizing that that I still reflect back on this business.  For the first time I find myself not struggling daily to assert my individuality despite all odds, but actually figuring out how to function more thoroughly as part of a collective that matters to me on more than just a personal level.  Which provides me with somewhat of an interesting quandary.

The balance, again, of finding the self-control to set aside my personal battle against authority and allow the love I have for an establishment to reflect in my behavior.  Reminding me, perhaps, that my personal arguments shouldn’t be brought up aggressively against people who help the fluidity of this business, and that, regardless of how much I love the beer here, tossing back 8 pints after I get off work might end up causing problems or embarrassment for this place I hold such high regard for, and want so desperately to succeed.

After all, though I am an atheist, beer is definitely the closest thing I have to a god, and in this small, sad, economically struggling little pacific town, the fact that we have a brewery at all is one of the few redeeming qualities.  But more importantly the people I’ve met through this place include many of the best people I’ve ever known.  From employees to Mug Club members, they’ve become people I consider family, filling out my fluid Ohana.  Being myself, this isn’t something I speak of real frequently (except in those embarrassing occasions where I’ve opted to toss back a few too many pints after work), but my soul feels enmeshed in this place, after only about 6 months.

I do hope to run my own sustainable brewhouse one day, and while I don’t really plan to run it in the same way as The Grove, I’ve realized that each place kind of has it’s own personality.  And the personality here just somehow feels like home.

This is the difference between working here, at a small, locally owned business, or at a large corporation, in my mind.  Large corporations function as machines, mindless, lacking in personality, and using people as cogs, small parts working synonymously to keep the overall machine plowing forward, with little thought or energy.  Small businesses, oftentimes, are more of organisms.  Employees are the microorganisms that live and stretch and flex within it, impacting and furthering the evolution of the organism, each part autonomous and individual, but reflecting the whole macrocosm.  This is the importance of craft beer, and brewpubs.  Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are machines, not organisms, and the flavor and spirit of their drinks reflect that.  Let’s support organisms, not machines.

When I first started this entry, I didn’t mean for it to just be a reflection on The Grove and my place within it, and my personal responsibility to protect and honor it, but that has become very much what it is.  Thank you to Tessie and Jeff, and everyone else here for letting me find my place within the organism which is the soul of The Grove, I hope to be a part of it for a long time to come.

So now, I’ll raise a pint of Big Tiny, smell the hoppiness, the rye-malt back, and drink a toast to everyone who’s found themselves with the opportunity to be an autonomous microcosm within the macrocosm of a brewpub, from Busser to Brewmaster; and also, to my own.  Grovestreet, long may your kegs be full, and your taps flowing.

 

-Domestic Anarchist

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The Relation Between Marriage and Anarchy… OR puttin’ the FUN in Dysfunctional

The Husband and I met in July of 2006.  We married in December of 2008.  A few months back we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.  so, it’s getting close to 6 years now we’ve known each other.  Earlier today we were talking about the hardships in life, and the value of experience and self-examination, being able to think freely about things without having mother culture dictate how we experience the events in our lives.  The experiences we go through can either strengthen or weaken us depending on our reactions and outlooks.  It was actually watching The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo {Extended Swedish Version} that inspired this conversation, but then I realized how this doesn’t just apply to a single person.

It also applies to relationships.  The trials and experiences the husband and I have gone through together make us stronger as a couple.  Sometimes we haven’t necessarily realized it at the time (as demonstrated by the numerous times we broke up before we got married, and then the almost year we spent separated after), but now we’re so very aware of how much we can survive.  From homelessness, custody battles, unemployment, madness, breakdowns, and deaths, not to mention all the horrible misadventures during our separation, and then a million little (and not so little) fights and arguments, there’s a multitude of things we’ve been through, and never fallen out of love.  The most important thing is probably that whether or not we get mad at each other, our personal anarchist principles mean that we allow each other the mistakes we make and the experiences we need. How do we support a marriage with anarchistic ideals?  How do we support our partners in the life experiences they’re going through, supporting them to strengthen, evolve and develop, and do so in their own way and manner, without neglecting our own needs?

It is a fine and complicated line we walk, but the line that gives us the individual strength and power to do what we need for ourselves, and at the same time, take care of eachother and our children.  We adjust and adapt to eachothers struggles and phases.  My depression and PTSD is a prime example.  The Husband did not enable me, but he was present, accepting, and loved me through everything.  Being with a woman who was suffering from extreme PTSD, anxiety and depression definitely required him to adjust and adapt, and being with him allowed me to process and experience the things I needed to, until I resolved my issues and became the (moreso at least) functional person I am today.  I want my husband to be happy, be the best he is, and be proud and secure in himself and his family.  But I cannot know the choices he should make in order to grow and evolve, he is the only one who can possibly know those things.

It’s a matter of not telling eachother how to live our lives, while still expressing honestly our experiences and perspectives.  With communication comes understanding (sometimes!) and with love comes acceptance.

I’ve known a lot of “dysfunctional” marriages in my life, and I’m sure from an outside perspective we’re definitely in that category.  Still, we are so happy.  With eachothers, our lives, our family and our marriage.  We do put the “fun” in dysfunctional, and we are probably the healthiest dysfunctional family I’ve ever known.

With love to my Husband, and our two wonderful children,

-DomesticAnarchist

Supporting and Raising a Natural Anarchist

Supporting and Raising a Natural Anarchist:

all children are natural anarchists and free-thinkers.  this is the natural state for any animal.

my parenting values are largely based on self-expression, free-thinking, and personal development.  which, when examined openmindedly, is in essence, the raising of an anarchist.

I am not saying you should raise your children to be anarchists or terrorists, I’m just saying that this is their natural state, and that our job is not to teach our children to be cogs.  our children should be supported in being individuals, and thinking for themselves.  we should encourage them to question things, and look at them from another way, and not blindly accept what they are taught.

however, teaching your children anarchism or any political view is equivalent with dogmatizing children with religious beliefs.  it’s unfair to force our beliefs on our children from a position of power, and being larger, and the provider, places us in a position of power.  we are the ones who control whether they receive food or shelter, or really anything else.  there is nothing we can do to remove ourselves from this position of power.  however, we can do everything we can to NOT ABUSE this power, and to provide children with the most power they can experience themselves.

we must allow children to have their own interests, and support them in it.  sometimes they may mimic ours, sometimes not.  if their choices are dangerous to them, their minds, or their health, are the times when we should intervene, and the intervention should come just as that.  not as demanding pressure, or guilt, but through explanation and discussion.

our culture and society are made 2 be brainwashing systems that leave us fearful, bored, accepting and compliant.  we should try to prepare our children for this as much as possible.

I try to keep my kids away from flouride excess sugar, caffeine and processed foods, because I believe these to be tools of a system which breaks down and pollutes our minds and bodies.  once Israel became old enough to question these decisions, I explained them to him, and he is in agreement with me… 90% of the time.

we should try to point out the voice of Mother Culture to our children, when we see it around us or when we hear them repeating it to us.  encourage them to question things, view them a new way, and ask them what they think.

for very small children, their exposure to the media and Cultural programming should probably be limited, but as they grow, they need to be exposed, they need to be prepared, so they can experience it and question it.  Children should be taught to question the media, the world, and the rules around them.

INCLUDING YOURS.

this is the hard part.  we have the programming that children should be dominated, should blindly follow our rules, and should listen to what we say without question.

but if your child comes to you with a good reason as to why a certain rule of yours is either unfair, outdated, moot, or needs ammending, show them the respect of discussing it open-mindedly with them, and choosing together as to whether to change, negate or ammend it.

after a certain point, your home should be a reason-based autonamous collective, instead of a dictatorship.  children’s powers of reason begin much earlier than people think, especially if encouraged.

-citrus