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Friday June 5th 2020

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Movie Corner: “Lord of the Flies” (1990)

By HOWARD McQUITTER II

Did you ever wonder what you would do if you had to fend for yourself after a holocaust and the survivors around you, whether you know them or not, are strangers? Similar to that question is what’s going on today with the pandemic coronavirus where “normal” human encounters are truncated as if in clouds of uncertainty—social distancing, wearing masks, sometimes wearing gloves, confining ourselves to home or apartment, maybe daily watching the dreary stories of Covid cases and deaths on CNN. In these times where coronavirus faces you in its unseen and mysterious form wondering if that sneeze near you will infect you or the doctor or nurse hands on patients with coronavirus may turn up postive.

In “Lord of the Flies,” schoolboys escape a place crash in the ocean making it to an island. Ralph (Balthazar Getty) quickly goes into survivor mode by giving each boy an assignment. Shortly after each boy is assigned a duty, a rebel named Jack Merridew (Chris Furrh) decides to slip the campfire and, when the other boys go on search for him, they miss the chance to be seen by a helicopter. What follows is the group divides among themselves under the leadership of Jack, who is a tyrant. Under Jack’s spell the boys resort to savagery of all kinds. All the boys went to military school but it’s Jack who uses his training to control his group. He orders his boys to steal the possessions of Ralph’s group. After the group is divided, Jack goes as far as a killing spree. And while Ralph tries to win back boys from Jack’s group, Ralph is really no match for the evil Jack.

So, then today, in the midst of coronavirus when the world is turned on its ear, do people take Ralph’s or Jack’s route—or does society take some actions from both camps?

Cast: Balthazar Getty (Ralph), Chris Furrh (Jack Merridew), Danuel Pipoly (Piggy), James Badge Dale (Simon), Andrew Taft (The Twins), Edward Taft (The Twins), Gary Rule (Roger), Terry Wells (Andy), Barden MacDonald (Larry), Angus Burgin (Greg), Martin Zentz (Sheraton), Brian Jacobs (Peter), Vincent Amabile (Patterson), David Weinstein (Mikey), Chuck Bell (Steve), Everado Elizondo (Pablo), James Hamm (John), Charlie Newmark (Will), Brian Matthews (Tony), Shawn Skie (Rapper), Judson McCune (Luke), Zane Rockenbaugh (Tex), Robert Shea (Billy), Gordon Elder (Rusty), Bob Peck (Marine Officer), Bill Shoppert (Marine Petty Officer), Micahel Greene (Captain Benson). Director: Harry Hook. Writers: William (novel) and Jay Presson (screenplay). Cinematography: Martin Fuhrer. Music by Philippe Sarde. Rated: (R). Running Time: 90 minutes. This is a remake of “Lord of the Flies” in 1963. The 1963 version is the better of the two.

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“the alley” Newspaper June 2020 Issue

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The Practice of Mutual Aid & Community Care

by Nicole Sara Simpkins, Sarah Jane Keavney, Cara Carlson, Minkara Tezet

Photo: Minkara Tezet

In mid-March, several community practitioners and elders began sharing concerns about our city’s collective response to Covid-19. In particular, we were concerned for our neighbors who depend on social services, health clinics, and community for their basic needs and safety. We asked ourselves: what will happen when people without housing can’t access public libraries, or the Midtown Global Market? Where will these community members find health and safety information? How can we continue to offer care and knowledge with the Backyard Community Health Hub closed? How will people stay safe when social distancing isn’t possible in crowded shelters? What about the 700+ unsheltered people not currently on any priority list for housing and care?

We also asked, what would it be like to answer these questions from the standpoint of cultural and community wellness, informed by the Cultural Wellness Center’s 21 Principles of Community/Cultural Health Practices? How would this response be different from a state, agency, or hospital system response? Where would the resources, expertise, and support come from?

When systems are tasked with providing care, words like prioritization, eligibility, service delivery, and vulnerability describe how we respond to human needs. Within systems, people become symptoms, risk, percentages. When a community is tasked with providing care, words like context, inherent, tending, relationship, and reflective describe how we experience our health together. People become their capacity, their wisdom, their healing.

The principles of cultural wellness teach us that a “tremendous amount of healing takes place when people take responsibility for their own healing and the healing of their community and when the community takes responsibility for the healing of its members” (Principle 4). Principles 8 and 9 teach us:
• Emphasize prevention over treatment and teach that prevention must involve the whole community.
• View illness as affecting a person within the context of a whole community, not as an isolated event.

The “Mutual” in Mutual Aid
We began to deepen our practice of these principles in mid-March, by showing up to Peavey Park every day from 1-3 PM. We call ourselves The Mobile Outdoor Outreach Drop-In (MOODI), and we offer a practice of mutual aid and community care. We’re focused primarily on our neighbors without shelter – members of our community who exist outside of the systems tasked with providing care. We bring what we know about cultural and community wellness. This includes the cultural practice of hospitality: we offer tea, coffee and hot chocolate, snacks, warm clothing, personal hygiene and wellness supplies, information, knowledge about how to care for ourselves while experiencing stress, connection to on-site needs assessment for medical care, assistance with seeking aid, harm reduction items, and, most importantly, presence: care in community.

We recognize the “mutual” in mutual aid – as we, ourselves, experience the mending that takes place when we gather material and cultural resources to share. “We” include teachers, practitioners and learners from the Cultural Wellness Center and Anam Cara; outreach workers from agencies and organizations; activists and community organizers, volunteers and professionals, herbalists, and people who live and care in a web of overlapping communities. The cultural resources come from ourselves, our bodies, our hearts and spirits, our training and expertise, our resilience and our networks. The material resources come from our connections with people who recognize our shared humanity and who are able to share their excess and abundance. We ask, we talk, and we offer to redistribute.

We are mindful of what it means to show up to this work during a pandemic. If we do not apply the principles of care, wellbeing, and “best practices for safety” when it comes to our own health, we will undermine our work. In truth, we are only ever as safe as the most vulnerable people in our communities. In this time of Corona, we encounter this stark truth in a new way: we are not separate beings. When we keep ourselves safe from exposure to the virus, we keep our community safe. When we provide increased safety to our community, we keep ourselves safe.

MN ‘Shelter-In-Place Order
On Friday, March 27, Governor Walz issued what is now referred to as a “Shelter-in-place” order: all persons currently living within the State of Minnesota are asked to stay at home, unless to engage in essential services. As community care practitioners, we gathered in the park after this announcement, standing in a very wide circle, with 6 feet between each of our bodies, and attempted to figure out what this might mean for us and the people we are caring for. We figured out that yelling across the space with our homemade masks wasn’t going to get us far, so we started meeting weekly online to support our on-site work.

Waltz’s order contains the following note: “Individuals without a home are exempt from the restrictions in this Executive Order, and they may move between emergency shelters, drop-in centers, and encampments. Encampments should not be subject to sweeps or disbandment by state or local governments, as such sweeps or disbandment increase the potential risk and spread of COVID-19.”

Community Responsibility for Safety
As days and weeks pile toward months ahead, we continue to question what it means to take community responsibility for safety during this time. We know that, pre-Corona, there were inadequate shelter beds, a housing crisis, and pre-existing outbreaks of disease and poor health. We know that community members experiencing these conditions are disproportionately black, indigenous and people of color. We know that in actuality, this systemic scarcity is a creation; in factual reality, there are enough rooms, beds, meals and money within our city to house and nourish all of us. Pandemic conditions heighten the brittleness of what has been.

We continue to show up in the park from 1-3 each day, practicing an attitude of cultural dignity and community connection (Principle 15) as we care for one another. We continue to reflect on what is needed during this time. As we seek to address the concerns that first brought us together, we are asking, how can this moment become a chance for healing and learning? How can we see cracks where the light gets in to provoke shifts toward truthful, stronger, and lasting wellness?

These questions spin threads that strengthen us toward becoming a community in service to itself. CWC Principle 7 teaches us, “Present, when possible, lifestyle changes and renewed decision-making within a cultural context as preferable to clinical options.” This is how we are showing up with a renewed sense of purpose – out of concern for the lived conditions of our neighbors, friends, family, and ourselves – we become a community who cares for itself.

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Coming in June…

“Returning,” Another sequel Chapter of the 35 novella Chapter, “Searching,” by Patrick Cabello Hansel will appear in the June issue of The Alley.

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Truth to the People

By AL FLOWERS

Veteran activist Al Flowers delivers a daily address, #truthtothepeople, via Facebook, on the corona crisis and our communities.

3PM
Monday through Saturday, 2:30PM on Sundays.
Archived on Facebook

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Something I Said: Corona Crisis Increasing Domestic Abuse

By DWIGHT HOBBES

Remembering:

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz didn’t grant license to physically, emotionally and mentally terrorize, issuing the order to stay home when you don’t have to be outdoors. Cowards, of course, consider this a gift dropped in their laps and, accordingly, the National Domestic Violence Hotline logged no less than 951 calls for help between March 10 and 24 alone.

Close quarters, it goes without saying, contribute to conflict in normal circumstances. People simply get on one another’s nerves when they’ve been cooped up too long. Crazy as true love can get, reasonably sane couples manage to drive each other nuts and not come to blows. It’s not even a strange idea that this widespread disaster might make them all the more mindful of how rare strong, healthy relationship is. It is not, by any means, a time to drag out a knee-jerk think-tank rationalization regularly leaned on to clinically assess batterers, “Oh, they have anger management issues.” Issues that somehow are managed and never arise when a partner’s hulking family member or friend happens to be around. It certainly isn’t a time for self-loathing sufferers to say, “it’s love.” Love doesn’t leave knots upside your head. It doesn’t put you in the emergency room. It sure doesn’t lay you out on a slab in the morgue. For good measure, tragedy on top of tragedy, there are amusing social media anecdotes of parents desperate for a corona cure if only to get kids out from under foot, back in school. Nothing’s cute, though, about reported instances of increased child abuse.

Minnesota Day One crisis center:
1-866-223-1111
Text: 612-399-9995
Emergencies: 911

It is an international issue. Since the plague, domestic violence increased by almost 40% in a single week in Paris, a city that enjoys an historic reputation for knowing how to appreciate women: one romantic stereotype seriously debunked. French can women resort to code words at pharmacies to escape domestic violence during that country’s corona virus lockdown. They have this resource because on March 27, the Interior Minister put a strategy in place making pharmacies a lifeline for victims of domestic violence. Even, if the abuser is standing right there. The pharmacist calls the cops and they step in. This kind of thing is also being done in Spain (don’t hold your breath hoping the U.S. President follows suit). Right here, March 22nd, a few days before Gov. Walz announced the executive order, was a Sunday, usually the slowest day for Minnesota’s domestic abuse hotlines: about 25% more people called in. That number can’t help but have grown by now.

With the corona crisis, now, more than ever, domestic abusers have their victims cornered. Which makes it more important that sufferers show him or her the door. Or get out, themselves. Importantly, there are shelters available despite the virus.

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Raise Your Voice: Consuming the orange coronafruit

By PETER MOLENAAR

Remembering:

April 14…
Most of the day was spent responding to text messages and calls of concern. Comrade Harry had entered Hennepin County’s ICU (COVID-19). Blood oxygen was dangerously low, and failed to improve.

January 8…
The CDC issued a warning.
January, February, March…
Eight campaign rallies and five golf trips are interspersed with, “its a hoax… the corona virus is very much under control… stock market looking very good to me.”

April 2…
The economy is imploding and 35 million U.S.A. citizens are in line to loose their private health insurance.

March 3…
After having passed through two sites of infection (Seward Co-op and May Day Cafe) I visited East Lake St. Allina Clinic, but was not tested (no tests available)… I thought, as a senior with damaged lungs that I might die should the symptoms emerge… was not even placed on a prioritized list!

March 4…
The East Lake St. Walgreens had no disinfectant at the check-out counters!

March 20…
Busy cashiers at the 1700 East Lake Stop-N-Shop were frantically disinfecting after each customer, but nobody was disinfecting the gas pump handles!

March, April…
I regularly wage a one person online campaign to have our country’s ethanol supply deployed as a mass disinfectant… but fail miserably.

April 17…
I spent much of the day conveying to friends: in a comatose state of being, Harry’s condition has deteriorated over the night…

Now…
Thankfully, my undiagnosed symptoms have remained mild for about two weeks.

Meanwhile…
A Texas senator (the one with small hands) is complaining about all the “free stuff” us regular folks crave… stuff like Medicare and Medicaid. Gosh, Senator, you represent the 10% which owns 80% of our country’s wealth, and your people pay a lower tax rate on stock dividends than we pay on wages. Never mind that labor is the source of all wealth, including the wealth most of your 10% are simply born with. Right, Senator?

Note: Sadly, the orange coronafruit has been consumed by the “under educated” lot of the GOP base.

Truthfully, the “inevitable crash” was predicated by Trump’s “great tax break” for the parasite class, even as many had foreseen a looming pandemic. So, here we are. I say we demand single-payer universal health care (Medicare for All) or we make the revolution. What do you say?

Remembering Comrade Harry by Peter Molenaar

Covidiots Rally
April 19, COVID-19
Passing from a coma to beyond
Mariana held his hand
Take a deep breath…
Stars and stripes seek
access to watering holes
nurses face exhaustion and death

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Movie Corner: Covid-19 Stay-at-Home Movie Recommendations

By HOWARD McQUITTER II
oldschoolmovies.wordpress.com
howardmcquitter68@gmail.com

During Covid-19, the lights went out in movie theaters across the country along with countless restaurants, bars, sporting event, churches, and schools. At first, crowds of 500 were prohibited, then 100, then 50, and, finally 10. Physical distancing is in order, preferably six feet; yes, wearing masks outdoos is commonplace now.Since people are strongly encouraged to stay home, I am recommending some movies to watch while sitting on the couch or doing household chores.

Remembering Movies from the Past

  1. “Parasite,” rich, in Korean, with English subtitles, 2019.
  2. “Once Upon a Time…When We Were Colored,” 1995.
  3. “Beast of the Southern Wild,” 2012.
  4. “The Haunting,” 1963.
  5. “The Producers,” 1968.
  6. “Passion of Joan of Arc,” 1928.
  7. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” 2019.
  8. “The Pink Panther,” 1964.
  9. “Whiplash,” 2014.
  10. “Attack the Block,” 2011.
  11. “A Shot in the Dark,” 1964.
  12. “The Women,” 1939.
  13. “Nebraska,” black and white, 2013.
  14. “Lust for Life,” 1956.
  15. “Paterson,” 2016.
  16. “Shane,” 1953.
  17. “Joker,” 2019.
  18. “The Irishman,” 2019.
  19. “The Nun’s Story,” 1959.
  20. “Roma,” Spanish with subtitles, 2018.
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