Closet contract? The uninvited mediator

by Pre Kaarina

In 2007 Helsinki Pride procession Pink Black Block activists tore down the banner of ultraconservative Christians. Next year, Pink Black Block threatened with violence. However, Christian demonstrators were nowhere to be seen. The police had ordered them to stay clear of Kaivopuisto Park, where the procession ended. However, they harassed some participants of the Pride outside the park.

Although this arrangement was a great convenience for both of us, it was an infringement on the constitutional freedom of speech.

Later, in December there was to be arranged a Pink Lucia Procession to challenge the heterosexist and cissexist St Lucia celebration in Helsinki. The police told me in no uncertain terms to stay clear from the procession. I was holding the rainbow flag at the moment. We pulled it through, though, even though the police interference probably diminished our ranks remarkably. We had male St Lucias as a homosexual couple and I was holding the rainbow flag. The security ordered us to stay clear from the official St Lucia, but we got our point across in the full view of 20000-30000 people. The media, however, kept the whole issue under wraps and we were not shown in the national television even though all television channels were present and we were not in any newspapers.

Police infringed with our freedom of speech here.

I see that there is a police-enforced silent agreement of the queers not demonstrating in religious occasions and vice versa. As said, that might be convenient, but that is inhibiting real, potentially violent dialogue. It is like members of the family not talking with each other.

The police itself is not conversational. According to police, there is no homophobic violence in Finland, which is a blatant refusal to record it. The police does not see necessary for the queers in the police force to attend meetings of queer policemen in other countries. There seems to be a don’t ask, don’t tell-policy within the police force.

Also Heseta, the NGO-organization for sexual and gender minorities in Helsinki is not conversational, using police instead of discussion. The Pink Black Block threat with violence was hailed by a threat to contact the police by Heseta. Police has been a frequent visitor since Heseta’s funds were embezzled.

It seems that the only way to have a discussion in Finland is by threats and calling the police. This reminds me of the Czarist times where the public discussion was conducted by assassinating aristocrats who in turn executed innocent demonstrators.

Outside the temple are the dogs and the whores

My first impressions on Sompasaari

A car has been seen patrolling the area with a person taking photos of Sompasaari visitors.

A car has been seen patrolling the area with a person taking photos of Sompasaari visitors.

By Pre Kaarina

I went to Sompasaari to watch “69”. The renovations were still in process, so I unfairly judge unfinished job.  Even though there was a declaration of not having sex-designated jobs, women did things like mopping the premises and making food, while men took care of everything technical that was related in showing the movie.  Due to technical difficulties the movie was postponed a full hour. The food and the mopping were done in due time, though. I could not have escaped noticing a big graffiti of erect penis, which I thought looked offensive.

The movie was cast and within it a homosexual man said he had no place other than that in the area known as Denmark. He could not conform to the unity. Many activists were traumatized when they came to realization of the fact that the rule occupying area known as Denmark had no will in integrating their own underlings by means other than brute police force.

After the movie was cast, a brief discussion ensued.

I was able to inquire about the public opinion. The public opinion was divided,  about half  being supportive of the squatters.  A question was made about riots in Scania and the inclusion of immigrants. It seems that the immigrants did not want to conform to the ban of sexism and homophobia, even attacking parties where there were homosexuals, but they were eager to participate in demonstrations.

Danish police had tried to confiscate the tapes in many occasions making the filming difficult. That was a direct violation of the freedom of the press.  In one point they gave the tapes back as they should have, but then tried to get a permission in court for home search, which was denied.

Much of the discussion centered around technicalities and especially Riikka Kaihovaara was asking a lot of questions.

In the announcement board there was a note that a car has been patrolling the area,  seemingly spying squatters.

No alcoholic beverages were sold or used in the premises. Sosiaalikeskus is not accessible for people that are on wheelchair. I spotted open heterosexual behavior, but also some gender nonconformity. People were young, only few people estimated over thirty-five, none were non-Caucasian.

Sexsist "artwork" in Sompasaari

I could see someone being offended by the sexism of this

The everyday regular

Posted by Milla

I forget to put all the things happening around the social centre conflict on the blog. It’s a part of my everyday reality. It’s normal that the same guy who makes erotic calendars in order to raise money for the project – and also has been a face in the media representing the movement – is extremely self-conscious and anxious about me taking space in the bloggosphere, venting my frustration of constantly getting my basic right to speech postponed (the man was there herself in dec 2008, voting for not having the issue of sexism discussed for at least another 2 years). She made a comment about this blog, that it wasn’t nice that I speak openly about there being problems with sexism. That she didn’t want to be called sexist.

Alternative 1: Riot Porn.

Click this to see the article from Iltalehti.


Some people asked me what I thought of this calendar, and I must say that my first impression, looking at the picture making it to the Finnish tabloid papers, was that it “wasn’t that bad”. Fortunately I was with sane company, that felt disturbed by the bondage connotation in the image. The way the body is exposed, as an offering, head covered. I’ve watched women being violated in so many ways in the porn you easily get access to on the internet, so I must say that I’m a bit damaged. The slavery and abuse and violence. I’m used to it. I’ve developed tough skin. Been desensitized. The objectification is like a part of the ‘everyday regular’. Comes with the everyday “Evening Girl” served as eye-candy on the last pages of the same paper where the Beauty of Black Block 2008 was promoted. Alternative my ass…

Mainstream

Alternative 2: Diet Porn.

Click this to see the article from Iltalehti.

The title of the tabloid article is “An anarchist calendar from the squatters“. It states that the calendar is the refined outcome of all the discussions on sexism and beauty ideals held within the activist scene.

In a promotional letter it’s also stated to touch the issues of for instance: civic responsibility, anarchism, consumerism, mental illness. At the same time as it “deals with sexuality in an artistic fashion, without the cheap feel of commercial erotics”.

The statement I finally made to the people who wanted to know my opinion was this “… a calendar selling political concepts by objectifying the people taking part in the movement, I don’t see as a a step forward in the struggle for everybody’s right to be able to set boundaries and not to be seen as sexualized / erotified anonymous body parts.
It’s the same as selling cars with a naked bikini-broad. And that it’s marketed as “anti-pornographic” on a web-blog, doesn’t get a whole lot of credibility.”

Especially taken into consideration that the working name for this calendar – circulating on the same mailing list where I tried to get a discussion going on sexism, but instead faced severe ridicule, harassment, and eventually got silenced from – was: Riot Porn. [“projekti mellakkaporno” in finnish. One of the emails had the head line: Black Block calendar: Resistance is sexy !! This coming from a person who on several occasions has shown, that she has difficulties in taking in and respecting other persons’ boundaries.]

Home

Posted by Milla
I love Ladyfest

I love Ladyfest

Today.

After having the issue of the insanity declaration made a year ago on a mailing list linked to the social centre project criticized and trashed by (s) – kind dear sweet soul – on another mailing list linked to the anarchist group doing its thing at the university. Getting this support in breaking the silence. Told that I’m not crazy, but that it’s the arguments used against having me speaking my reality that are totally bonkers. It was like having somebody doing CPR on me.

I was at a meeting with the a-group today, and for the first time, I wasn’t so afraid. I felt comfort in (s) being there. Maybe I can feel safe in this group.

(d) coming here. Listening to the endless repetitive thoughts by a person gone mad by the stonewalling * tactics to kill my speech. Life disappearing, hope and sanity disappearing hand in hand. Me going deeper into self-hatred bitterness and drinking. It was one of the conditions for the radical exchange. No drinking. And the constant talking talking and feeling feeling and self-reflection lead to a positive change. My numb and madly hurting insides ripped out and up in the air. Disoriented and disorganized stumbling onto some new paths. Some sanity. Islands of clarity.

Land growing bigger. (p) giving so much of herself. The rage and clear analysis, when I was still blaming myself. The love and patience. Her listening and listening and supporting my tries towards dialogue that she herself did not believe would happen. Seeing it more clearly than me. There’s no way, cause there’s simply no will. It was never there. For a year I tried. Not knowing what to do. Desperate. Self-hating, self-blaming. Believing. Thinking that when people say “this is important”, “feminism is important”, and this needs to be discussed “later”, “not now, later”, “at another time, in another place when it’s more convenient and appropriate”. Really naively believing that this was so. And not just words to build a wall. Words that instead of connecting, create a distance. Pushing me into madness.

I don’t know how to express my gratitude to her. I wish I could. I will try. At least. I hope to return some of the love she’s so graciously shared with me.

And the love that was there by (e) and all the supportive emails, and chats, and (j) coming from germany. The talks all over Europe. With people who live the same. Why if we are so many, is it so? Why don’t we break free? Take hold of a small island of clarity. Connect and share and plan and change. It would be easy. It could be really easy.

Like today. Another meeting. Ladyfest. Feeling included. Long talk about how the statement presented at the social centre should be formulated. Getting the bans dissolved for May 7 – 10. Trying to make sense out of this Hex Hunt with a group of women. Feeling support. For the first time: No one’s left behind. Today I felt it. I felt carried. Not the usual pushing and pulling. I know this will not last forever. But these moments are important to focus on. Cause usually I’m there with the negative. Looking at it, trying to solve it. Getting pulled in. Getting numb. Not feeling the love anymore. Not believing in it anymore. And then it’s just there. Like today. A whole room of it. No hatred, just sharing, and trying to resolve things.

I wish life was always like this.

.

* i thought i wouldn’t put this particular link to this word, because (1) marriage is prison and slavery and prostitution and (2) the advice sincerely sucks. cause if the little woman just smiles a bit more, shuts her yap, and bites her tongue and just makes an effort to appreciate how great this asshole really is – then she has a chance of saving this wonderfully dysfunctional relationship. but (3) the description of the patterns played out fits really well with my own experiences (including the sexist “stop criticizing you horrible bitch!” “don’t feel uncomfortable, show appreciation and smile!”-advice)

shit shit crap crap

Posted by Milla (in a somewhat sarcastic mood)

Communication isn’t a big thing. And learning hurts. And we’re emotional beings, and try to avoid it the best we can. We focus on what’s tangible, visible. The rest is a big pretend game. Magicians throwing words here and there. The ones with most status or the ones with a nice convincing flow gets a “Bingo! You’re REAL”. crap crap shit shit.

Had lovely talks again with one particular swedish speaking individual who really gets some weird kicks out of reading this blog. [ Hello !! ] She contacts me over the chat and has paranoid onesided rants on me being a collaborator with the police and all the right wing evil ones of the world. The last time around i was letting off some steam. Cause she was getting into insulting me: “stupid fuck”, “dork”, “mediaWHORE”, and i was saying “you too”, “you too” and “slimy booger in your eye”. “john sperm all over your paranoid keyboard-scribbling bitter fingers ” “john sperm in your nose” etc. we eventually got into pee and poo as well.

“S H” is my fan number one. Always there with some unintelligible criticism that due to her S H-yness (?) can never be deciphered into something that would be in use for this blog. But thanks for reading anyways. Here’s some fan photos especially for you…

"Yes, it's favorite fan number one! SH! Yeay!"

"Yes, it's favorite fan number one! SH! Yeay!"

"Booger in your eye, SH! John speeerm!!"

"Booger in your eye, SH! John SPEERM!!"

In the beginning it was kind of interesting. I wanted to find out how this person thinks or relates to things. But it’s just this same shit shit crap crap supremacist aggression coming out over and over again. And always on her terms. I’m just there asking questions into empty space, that she can choose to respond to, be silent, or just come with some weird cryptical paranoid crap shit. That I’m supposed to understand. Because when i clearly say i don’t, there’s some nice verbal abuse coming up. Well two can play that game, so right back attcha! SH, you should get a blog… It would be healthy for you.

And what else. Talked with a woman once again about the crap shit situation with the social centre not being a place where everybody can speak and act freely, but more a popularity competition in the friend hierarchy. It was weird, but also developing speaking with her. Cause i feel i really dropped all fear in this issue. The power relations are there out in the open. Visible for some. And for others it’s just normal and equal and okay. This woman didn’t have any personal problems with me, but thought that some “friends” who don’t want me around in the social centre scene, are worth more than the friends who want a discussion on what the hell is going on. Her unawareness frightens me. The value system she speaks with ease – erasing my human rights – and rationalizing away any bumps in the logic, and when the questions get to hard and we talk about her responsibility in this, she gets very tired and says she’s not interested in talking about this anymore. She sees no other way out than to collaborate with the “friends” who want me out, and say “hush, hush” to the friends that say there’s still something really important to talk about.

And more. Had a strange email exchange with a person in Hungary. Subject line: “feminists in budapest?” to which i got a reply that i shouldn’t even think about going there cause there are persons there calling me “paranoid and accusing” and therefore i would run a risk of getting the same kind of social affair going on there as here in Helsinki. Exclusion at least till spring or summer, then for some magic reason “the scene” wouldn’t have a “1000% sure consensus” on my co-existence with others being a certain no-go anymore. What would change from now, till spring? Persons coming or leaving? Elections on leadership within the scene coming up? Or just the lightness of bird twitter in the air, getting people in a not so sullen and unfriendly mood?

Once again there was this weird submissive logic going on. Apparently if someone talks about me in a not so nice way, and also has the influence to affect others with what they say, then I should just give up existence without even quenching my endless burning curiosity with a childlike: “Why?” Why am I perceived as paranoid and accusing…?

The winner takes it all. And being born with a cunt apparently set me off on an eternal losing streak. My words can make no magic. My emotional reality is as credible as a Unicorn. All nice and dandy in fairytales but nothing to do with the REAL world. No Bingo shouts for me… And it pisses me off. Being handed all these faulty no-win cards with smiles and reassurance that “sure, we still care…” And lies about this not having anything to do with the system, but more something to do with me not being bright enough to get how things work. I should put some effort into fitting in better. Try to adjust a bit more.

Sometimes being in this oppressive muddy surreal existence, where walls are said to be open spaces and empty eyes and empty blah blah is all i get. Well, being pissed off can make life bearable. If I’m pissed off enough I put my magic wherever I please. I stop playing along.

[Sketch based on the REAL world] Educational video number one:

there are more of these sketches, but they easily turn misogynistic after a while. too much ha-ha over the real condition we’re in…

[The real thing] Educational video number two:


Finland – how to lose Friends and alienate neighbors

Posted by Pre Kaarina.

Finland is the product of idle Swedish-speaking elite of the mid 19th century. Devoid of any healthier pursuits the elite started to see something noble in the impoverished and sickness-ridden people in the bedbug-infested smoke-cabins. The Finnish common folks were too busy just eking out mere existence.

Consequently, the idle Russians had the same idea about their own nation. Because Finland was the Grand-Duchy of the Czar, the idlers from St. Petersburg got irritated by the autonomy of Finland when traveling to their summer cabins in the Isthmus and being searched by the customs by Finnish civil-servants known for their diligence if not intellect.

Due to misunderstanding, the national epic work Kalevala for both the Russians and Finns were seen as  Carelian, even though according to Finnish more recent study it originated in Western Finland. Russians may as well claim it their work. The Russian nobility saw their noble task to teach Carelians in the Grand-Duchy to be Russians.  Many schools were found to further this purpose. In Salmi the Russians shouted “Uraa!” (“hooray”) in a Russification festival. The residents of Salmi interpreted it as “urai” (=lunatic”). As well the Finnish nationalists wanted to convert the Carelians to be Finnish-speaking. I do not know if they were seen lunatics also!

The Finnish government was organized in military fashion so that the civil servants have much power. In case Russia would see fit to change the whole Parliament and Senate, the overall direction of the politics would not change. This made Finland permanently undemocratic.

Fiinland is situated in Central Europe right by enviable routes of trade and culture exchange on the Baltic Sea.  However, when Finland has been the borderland between east and west, Finland has been always regarded as periphery. Finns think that big decisions are first made somewhere else, in the imaginary center of Europe, and are much later adopteed here, if at all. Instead of creating new, Finns are satisfied with reacting, therefore being staunch reactionaries.

This reactionary position was so solid in 1906 that when the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy rebelled right outside Helsinki, the Finnish Social Democrats did not  join the revolt, missing an only chance to change world history.

In 1917 after the Russian February/March Revolution, the Finnish Social Democrats started to establish independent rule here in Finland, opposed by the Provisional Government in Russia and the Finnish conservatives.  Social Democrats failed so completely that they lost the parliamentary elections the same year and the Senate was formed by the conservatives. After the November revolution also conservatives became interested in the Finnish independence, which was declared December 6, 1917.

However, the Social Democrats were not happy that they first give an opportunity for free elections and then the conservatives win it. They start a revolution that does not get any support from the Russians and becomes the bloodiest civil-war in Europe. The conservatives build concentration camps which later become example followed by the German Nazis.

The Social Democratic party was rearranged on conservative and reactionary basis and they lose their meaning as a political alternative. Masses of  radicals flee Finland permanently, to be buried in Russian soil during Stalin’s purges

The conservatives turn to Germany and ask a German Prince to become the king of Finland, but he declines. Soon, Germany loses the war.

With the failed revolution and ensuing concentration camps, Finland has burned bridges with Russia and Germany was not any good for help. Three million semi-starved people next to an emerging super-power and no friends in the world.

What would you, in a similar situation not do. At least not start military campaigns against Russia. Private Finns formed an army and went to Olonets to fight in 1919. Probably the real purpose was to save the property of a Finnish bank, KOP, from the Bolcheviks. The purpose did fail, the Finnish rogue-generals did rob the bank of Olonets, but shared the gold themselves.

Finland was also providing shelter for the English fleet attacking Kronstadt. Seen from the Russian point of view, Finland was definitely a state providing base for terrorists.

Bolcheviks were so busy killing Russians that it took 20 years for them to actually attack Finland. Before that there were negotiations. To spice up the atmosphere Finland shot two Russian planes trespassing Finnish territory, a fact that is omitted from the Finnish history.

During the ensuing Winter War, the Finnish labor market is rearranged according to the Corporatist model from Fascist Italy.  Corporatism is nothing short of Feudalism, which intensified the class tensions in 1918.

In the World War II, Finland bets on the wrong horse again and becomes allied with the Nazi-Germany.

After the war, Finns elected Mr. Juho-Kusti Paasikivi as the President. He was the corporate executive officer of KOP during the time when the Olonetian war was fought against the Bolcheviks.

The history of Finland has been a total and miserable failure from the beginning. An impossible dream by some idle men from the Swedish-speaking nobility. The irony of the history is that at that time there was one nobleman that agreed with me in this –  C.G.E. Mannerheim, who has been unfairly used as the ultimate icon of the Finnish independence.

The Giant Pandas of the Finnish Media -08

Posted by Pre Kaarina

In 2008 the Finnish media saw fit to arrange public faces to summary and unjust lay-offs of people. Sympathetic Ms. Johanna Korhonen, who was clumsily fired by Alma-Media due to her sexual orientation quickly became a martyr. Alma-Media was fiercely boycotted by lesbigaytr-community.

However, precarian queers are fired day in, day out, and nobody cares. Nobody cares about the lay-offs of temporary or hired work force and no lawsuits will be taken.

Then the media found a transitioning priest, Ms. Marja-Sisko Aalto who had been threatened by the Finnish Lutheran Church. Nothing unusual, though, the Finnish Lutheran Church has had priests transitioning without media reactions and these threats did not even seriously suggest firing. Reverend Marja-Sisko Aalto was also very sympathetic-looking person.

Now, was Aalto used as a lightning rod to extinguish the political uproar that came from firing Ms. Korhonen? It was evident from the beginning that Reverend Aalto would not become another martyr. Their cases were a red herring leading the discussion away from the fact that there were massive and panicked lay-offs being made for queers and straights as well, even with less justice than with Ms. Korhonen. The Aalto-case also led the uneasy suspicion of intolerance from Alma-Media back to the Lutheran Church.

Most of us queers cannot raise sympathies with the public. Some are troubled, depressed, drinking, smoking, butchy, fairy, live in polygamous relationships. The use of sympathetic personalities in the media does not translate to protection of the less liked of us.

The Church does not deliver its message to our doorsteps daily, media does. Let’s not be distracted by clumsy maneuvers of the media!