September 23, 2005

Generator turns 3 years old!

Today (Friday Sept. 23, 2005) Generator turns 3 years old! This past week I've been reviewing my old YL writings -- and since Generator is primarily an outlet for my YL stuff, I see a nice synchronicity in sharing a few vital statistics about what I've found.

Below this self-congratulatory intro, you'll find a list of nearly every YL essay I've ever written. What I want to know: Just how many YL documents have I written at this point?

...One practice that has served me well has been keeping logs of my essays. What I consider to be my first YL essay, I wrote back in 1992. Since then, I've had seven major catalogs of YL essays. Since 2002 I've restarted the log each year; that's four. Prior to that, there were two other major logs: one with 40 essays, another with 67. Prior to those, there were ten early documents that I went back to later and organized into a another log.

For practical purposes, I'm going to base my count of documents on the logs, rather than that on the true number of documents scattered across four computers. Not all of my YL writings have made it into the logs: I have a separate binder for independent studies I did through Reed, book attempts, speeches & workshops, and political actions. The essays on Generator have not been entirely about YL -- but predominantly, and this is where my YL writing focus has been for the past three years -- so I'm choosing to include the present logs in their entirety in my reckoning. [My other essay logs -- on sexism, relationships, bisexual politics, etc. -- I've excluded entirely.]

My grand total? This entry will bring the count up to 180 documents, exactly. Nice round number!

Of those 180, I've put 63 essays into the logs since I began Generator. And I see that there are now 66 entries in the Movable Type system (the software that runs this blog). [There are a few "site info" entries that don't go into the logs.]

...I've been considering getting all 180 documents online. That's a heck of a lot of work! But, even if it doesn't happen, here's at least a list of the titles -- both to prove to myself that I've really done this work, and to whet your appetite. Let me know if something really peaks your interest!


    INDEX: Early Works (1992-1993)
  1. 01/05.28.92 Letter - To Amanda Riesman
  2. 02/09.20.92 Feminism and Boys: On Youth Oppression's Structure and Significance
  3. 03/12.16.92 On Youth As A Political Identity (Hum 220 paper)
  4. 04/02.22.93 Thoughts on Youth Oppression
  5. 05/04.28.93 Imagining Direction: Liberating Works
  6. 06/05.13.93 Youth Organizations & Centers (phone list)
  7. 07/06.03.93 Being Young Sucks
  8. 08/06.06.93 Youth Oppression & Violence
  9. 09/07.23.93 Letter - To David Lee
  10. 10/08.19.93 Letter - To David Lee

    INDEX: Adultism Notebook

  11. 00/05.05.94 STARTING POINTS: Material for Essays on Adultism
  12. 01/04.18.94 Useful Definitions
  13. 02/04.20.94 Hate Crime and Minors
  14. 03/05.05.94 A Battery Protest Model for Youth Liberation
  15. 04/05.20.94 Making Rumors of Freedom / or, Generation X & Activism
  16. 05/05.29.94 What Adults Are
  17. 06/05.29.94 Anti-Adultism Action as Guerrilla Warfare
  18. 07/05.31.94 Take Back the Curfew
  19. 08/06.01.94 What Adultism Is
  20. 09/07.04.94 Is "Kids" a Social Hate Category?
  21. 10/08.28.94 Adult Supremacism and Violence Against Minors
  22. 11/12.05.94 Fundamental Tenets of Youth Oppression Theory
  23. 12/11.02.94 Minors & Adults as Caste System
  24. 13/11.04.94 The Rumor of Freedom
  25. 14/11.09.94 A Resistance Movement
  26. 15/11.20.94 Principles of Unity for Youth Liberation
  27. 16/08.06.94 Adult Supremacy: Framework
  28. 17/03.27.95 Difference
  29. 18/01.13.95 [Paideia class: Introduction to Adultism]
  30. 19/01.12.95 Things Said To or About "Kids"
  31. 20/04.18.95 Adultism Theory: Adult Supremacism, Age Stratification, & the Political Nature of Violence Against Minors
  32. 21/04.20.95 Adultism Theory: Adult Supremacism, Age Stratification, & the Political Nature of Violence Against Minors
  33. 22/04.27.95 Conversation
  34. 23/05.26.95 Rant: An Ideal World / Re-Focus on Harassment / Naming Parents
  35. 24/06.01.95 Grassroots Movement
  36. 25/06.03.95 Activism How To
  37. 26/06.12.95 Special Topics
  38. 27/06.16.95 Special Topics 2
  39. 28/08.12.95 Youth Liberation as Church
  40. 29/09.04.95 Youth Peace
  41. 30/10.03.95 Minors are Present
  42. 31/10.03.95 Penelope Conversation
  43. 32/11.08.95 Agency of Oppression, Linchpins of Social Constructionism, & Blueprints for Change
  44. 33/03.13.96 M&M Workshop Outline / "Adult Supremacism: Child Abuse viewed from an Oppression Framework"
  45. 34/03.31.96 M&M Workshop Outline - version 2 / Adult Supremacism: Child Abuse viewed from an Oppression Framework
  46. 35/01.18.96 Disseminator of Youth Liberation Politics
  47. 36/01.27.96 Abolition of Adulthood – A Strategy for Youth Liberation
  48. 37/01.07.96 Youth Culture
  49. 38/05.08.94 Refusing To Be An Adult
  50. 39/02.12.96 Age Allegory

    INDEX: YL!J – Youth Liberation! Journal

  51. 01/08.18.96 A Letter to Generation X
  52. 02/09.18.96 Coverture [incomplete]
  53. 03/09.20.96 A Movement By and For Youth
  54. 04/09.29.96 Unfair to Youth!
  55. 05/10.01.96 Lines of Acquaintance - for Sven
  56. 06/10.03.96 Age Monism
  57. 07/10.05.96 Vision Statement
  58. 08/10.15.96 FIRST OBJECTIVES for Youth Liberation
  59. 09/10.29.96 PARENTAL RIGHTS [incomplete]
  60. 10/11.21.96 CR: Courage Raising
  61. 11/01.06.97 ADULTISM: The Oppression of Young People - OUTLINE
  62. 12/02.25.97 YOUTH LIB How-To – For Adults
  63. 13/05.12.97 Book Outline: / Youth Liberation: Strategy for Stopping Adult Sup
  64. 14/08.24.97 "But he's never hit me…"
  65. 15/09.05.97 A Framework for Understanding Young People's Oppression
  66. 16/09.16.97 The Goals of Youth Liberation
  67. 17/10.12.97 Violence Against Minors – OUTLINE
  68. 18/10.13.97 Violence Against Minors (part 1)
  69. 19/10.13.97 Youth Liberation: A Movement Led By Youth, For Youth
  70. 20/10.13.97 Youth Liberation: A Movement Led By Youth, For Youth
  71. 21/10.19.97 Violence Against Minors (part 2)
  72. 22/10.27.97 Violence Against Minors (part 3)
  73. 23/12.13.97 What makes someone an adult?
  74. 24/12.15.97 What makes someone an adult? – OUTLINE
  75. 25/12.15.97 What makes someone an adult? [version 2]
  76. 26/01.07.98 Analysis: The Identity "Adult" – OUTLINE
  77. 27/01.07.98 Analysis: The Identity "Adult"
  78. 28/01.12.98 Introduction: Transforming the Adult Supremacist Society
  79. 29/01.15.98 Transforming the Adult Supremacist Society
  80. 30/02.01.98 The Youth Liberation! Handbook – Table of Contents
  81. 31/02.04.98 Analysis: Adulthood & identifying as an adult – OUTLINE
  82. 32/02.17.98 Analysis: How (and why) young people become adults – Pt.A
  83. 33/02.25.98 Analysis: How (and why) young people become adults – Pt.B
  84. 34/02.27.98 Analysis: The oppression of young people (Q#5)
  85. 35/03.03.98 Analysis: How (and why) young people become adults – Pt.C
  86. 36/03.03.98 Why Progressives should care about Youth Liberation
  87. 37/03.04.98 Vision: Youth Liberation Movement (Q#3,4,5)
  88. 38/03.13.98 Workshop: Youth Liberation 101
  89. 39/03.14.98 Youth Liberation 101 [handout]
  90. 40/03.16.98 Youth Liberation 101 [4 pages]
  91. 41/03.28.98 Comparing Visions
  92. 42/03.28.98 What would a world without adultism look like?
  93. 43/03.31.98 Youth Liberation: Analysis - Table of Contents
  94. 44/04.23.98 ROUGH DRAFT/The Youth Liberation! Handbook-Analysis, Vision, & Strategy
  95. 45/06.07.98 Youth Liberation Handbook - Table of Contents
  96. 46/07.08.98 Rules for Adult Allies
  97. 47/07.24.98 The role of 18-25's in Youth Lib
  98. 48/08.03.98 The Liberation Framework
  99. 49/08.13.98 How to be an Adult Ally to Youth
  100. 50/10.31.98 Problem: Adult Supremacism, Solution: Youth Liberation
  101. 51/01.10.99 Youth Liberation Book - OUTLINE
  102. 52/02.03.99 The Shape of a Youth Liberation Movement
  103. 53/02.17.99 Unlearning Adultism
  104. 54/02.23.99 Abolitionists
  105. 55/03.03.99 Youth Liberation 101 Booklet
  106. 56/05.25.99 Protectors
  107. 57/06.11.99 The Concept of Oppression
  108. 58/07.10.99 Why "adultism" instead of "ageism"?
  109. 59/07.10.99 Why the word "Adultism" instead of "Ageism"?
  110. 60/07.18.99 The Life-line of a Movement
  111. 61/07.18.99 Book Outline - YOUTH LIBERATION: tools for young people fighting adult oppression
  112. 62/02.14.00 What is Youth Liberation?
  113. 63/07.18.00 Adultism: The Oppression of Young People - Book Outline
  114. 64/07.18.00 Adultism: The Oppression of Young People - Book Outline with Notes
  115. 65/08.09.00 (0) Preface
  116. 66/10.25.00 (1.1.) Different Models of Age
  117. 67/07.12.01 Working in Groups

    INDEX: 2002 Generator Blog

  118. 001/09.23.02 On Writing A 'Blog
  119. 002/09.24.02 Poly Means...
  120. 003/09.25.02 Property and Ownership - part 1
  121. 004/09.26.02 Property and Ownership - part 2
  122. 005/10.01.02 Property and Ownership - part 3
  123. 006/10.09.02 Property and Ownership - part 4
  124. 007/10.10.02 Property and Ownership - part 5
  125. 008/12.02.02 Adult Supremacism - part 1
  126. 009/12.09.02 Compass [poem]
  127. 010/12.11.02 Adult Supremacism - part 2

    INDEX: 2003 Generator Blog

  128. 001/01.06.03 Adult Supremacism - part 3
  129. 002/01.08.03 Adult Supremacism - part 4
  130. 003/01.09.03 Adult Supremacism - part 5
  131. 004/01.13.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 1
  132. 005/01.22.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 2
  133. 006/02.18.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 3
  134. 007/02.20.03 Book Outline - YOUTH LIBERATION: Fighting Adults' Abuse of Power
  135. 008/02.20.03 Book Blurb - YOUTH LIBERATION: Fighting Adults' Abuse of Power
  136. 009/02.20.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 4
  137. 010/03.03.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 5
  138. 011/03.04.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 6
  139. 012/03.05.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 7
  140. 013/03.05.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 8
  141. 014/03.07.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 9
  142. 015/03.07.03 Chapter 1: About This Book - part 10
  143. 016/07.08.03 Three Types of Youth Liberatioin: Youth Equality, Youth Power, Youth Culture
  144. 017/07.10.03 The Role of Adults within Youth Liberation
  145. 018/07.13.03 The Future of Youth Justice
  146. 019/07.30.03 Age Lines: How to Define "Adults" and "Youth"
  147. 020/08.01.03 Thoughts About How To Package Youth Liberation Texts


  148. 01)09.20.04 OUTLINE: Youth Are Nobody's Property -- Except Their Own
  149. 02)09.29.04 Exploration: Emancipation
  150. 03)10.05.04 Exploration: Public Education
  151. 04)10.06.04 Exploration: Youth As Their Own Property
  152. 05)10.07.04 Why "Youth Liberation" instead of "Youth Rights"? [fragment]
  153. 06)10.27.04 YL Theory: Topic Areas
  154. 07)12.08.04 Exploration: Outline for a Youth History of Adult Power
  155. 08)12.20.04 Exploration: Ageless Being - A Thought Experiment
  156. 09)12.22.04 Exploration: Worldview of the Youth Power Movement


  157. 01)01.19.05 Exploration: Compare/Contrast Youth Equality vs. Youth Power
  158. 02)01.26.05 Exploration: Youth Liberation - First Person Singular
  159. 03)02.09.05 Exploration: Life in a Post- Youth Liberation World
  160. 04)02.23.05 Book Outline: The Keywords of Youth Liberation
  161. 05)02.23.05 Book Outline: The Keywords of Youth Liberation - Revised
  162. 06)02.23.05 Book Outline: Youth Liberation's Big Ideas
  163. 07)04.09.05 Justice is a drama that plays out on many stages
  164. 08)04.27.05 Research: History of Adulthood
  165. 09)04.28.05 Notes: How Adulthood Evolved - A Speculative History
  166. 10)05.03.05 Exploration: Expanding Parents' Role in YL Work
  167. 11)05.05.05 Exploration: A New Contract Between Parents and Youth
  168. 12)05.10.05 Outline: New Framework for Historical Research on Adulthood
  169. 13)05.26.05 Exploration: Youth Against Youth Liberation
  170. 14)05.26.05 Research: The Origins of Law
  171. 15)05.27.05 Exploration: Joining the Opposition?
  172. 16)06.08.05 The Evolution of Youth's Position Under the State - A Hypothesis
  173. 17)06.25.05 Historical Research on Adulthood, draft #1
  174. 18)07.22.05 YL Simplified
  175. 19)08.23.05 Exploration: Blueprint for Revolution (part 1)
  176. 20)08.24.05 Exploration: Blueprint for Revolution (part 2)
  177. 21)08.25.05 Exploration: Blueprint for Revolution (part 3)
  178. 22)08.29.05 Exploration: Blueprint for Revolution (part 4)
  179. 23)09.15.05 Exploration: Criteria for YL Organizations
  180. 24)09.23.05 Generator turns 3 years old!

Posted by Sven at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2005

10 essays from May-Aug 2005 uploaded

Here are ten documents from this summer, written during the period of May 2005 through August 2005. I'm pretty pleased with "Youth Against Youth Liberation" and "Youth Liberation Simplified", and expect to edit them into finished essays. The "Blueprint for Revolution" series has an enormous amount of material that I'll be able to draw upon later, but don't have a clear vision for at present. There are also several more installments here in my ongoing research on the "age of majority".

Posted by Sven at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2005

12 essays from Jan-May 2005 uploaded

Over the past few days I uploaded twelve more documents, written during the period of Jan. 2005 through May 2005. ...Formatting takes quite a bit of time.

Posted by Sven at 06:32 PM

May 16, 2005

9 essays from Sept-Dec 2004 uploaded

Today I uploaded nine documents that I wrote during the period of Sept. 2004 through Dec. 2004.

The blog has looked dead -- but I've been busy writing. I just haven't been good about posting the results.

One of the reasons for this is that it's taken me a while to get comfortable with a new philosophy of writing. Despite my original vision for this blog, which emphasized putting up rough drafts, I've struggled against a perfectionistic streak that doesn't want to share unpolished work with the world. Here are a few thoughts that are helping me combat that streak now:

  1. quality will be the by-product of quantity
  2. don't mix generating text with editing it
  3. for every ten essays I write, probably only one will be worth editing
  4. it's OK to be a beginner -- to let my true level show
  5. it's legitimate to write "explorations", wherein I simply try to sort out my own thoughts
  6. it's easier to respond to a prompt, than to create out of thin air

At present I have 12 new YL documents written during 2005 yet to be uploaded. I hope to get them up soon. Once they're up, I have more than a hundred YL essays dating back to 1991 that I'd like to get online...


Posted by Sven at 08:58 PM

December 10, 2003

New address for GENERATOR

The GENERATOR's new address is:

If you've got this page bookmarked, please change the address now.

Thanks to gl. and mph, who are helping me integrate Generator and Notepad with my new site-to-be,

Posted by Sven at 10:46 PM | Comments (3)

September 23, 2002

On Writing A 'Blog

"'Blog" -- short for "web log". Having only been introduced to the concept yesterday, my understanding of the form is pretty fuzzy. However, my impression is that the generic 'blog is a webpage with serial entries -- suitable for a daily online diary, or a pundit's column. Seizing the inspiration (and the generous offer of tech support from Michael Hall), I've decided to give writing a 'blog a shot.

The Generator's Previous Incarnation
At the beginning of September 2001 -- just over a year ago -- I announced that I was going to publish a weekly essay series via email. Unfortunately, that announcement was the last anyone heard of it. A number of things happened. (A) Writing, editing, and publishing the introductory essay took 20 hours -- more than I could expect myself to accomplish every week. (B) A new partner joined our poly household -- so there was relationship work to do. (C) The World Trade Center fell on 9/11, making an emotional shock that took some time to get over.

My big plan with Generator was to create a number of books, writing the chapters in a serialized form. I left my position as president of the Portland Bisexual Alliance in July of 2001 largely because I'd come to realize that my books would never get written, given the amount of time that PBA was consuming. However, as I picked up the writing project again this spring, I made a self-discovery: I don't actually know how to manage writing and editing long essays, let alone a book.

I was working on a piece titled "Equal [does not equal] Same" over the course of several weeks. I was up to my seventh draft, and still kept on discovering new sections that needed to be written, old sections that ought to be severed and turned into separate essays altogether. The problem was that I hadn't started with a rough draft that deserved so much editing. So I switched my approach. I figure there's probably going to be about a 1:10 ratio: for every ten rough essays I write, there'll be maybe one that I'm really happy with and deserves to get polished up to a publishable form. So, during the late spring and summer I adopted the strategy of "previsualization". That's a term I stole from George Lucas and the making of Star Wars Episode I. "Previsualization" in movie-making is the period where you're making sketches of alien critters, costumes, architecture, and landscapes, before the script is even written. [The word itself seems weird to me -- how can you start "visualizing" before you're visualizing?] I figured I would try writing the books that I have in mind without doing any editing -- simply to get them out of my head and see if the general shape makes sense. If I like the whole, then I could use these "previsualized" essays like a storyboard as I make the real thing -- the serious, edited chapters.

That writing strategy actually worked really well. I don't have any problem creating volume, so I got to try out two long arcs of essays and discover that my overall approach to one of my book projects needs to be shifted. The lingering problem is that it's been a year and still nobody's read my work. It might as well not exist!

Embracing Imperfection
Content. My interests haven't particularly changed during the past year. The seven book ideas that I described in "An Introduction to the Generator" are still the projects I want to tackle:

What I'm beginning to question, though, is my investment in the format we understand as "book". I see in my self someone who's internalized the notion of publication as immortality... which is of course a lie. I think most writers probably get sucked into this one. We hope that we will write one of the Great Books that critics and public alike canonize, a book that is remembered for centuries to come. Reality is that we laugh at books written in the fifties because they're so tragically dated, we remember only a handful of books that were published a decade ago, and most of the stuff sitting on our bedstands right now only gets one reading -- and we skim through the boring parts.

...It becomes a question of economics -- how much greater impact am I getting for every hour spent trying to craft the perfect paragraph? An off-the-cuff conversation is more powerful than the essay that never even gets published. And an essay now that is topical, that responds to current events, is more powerful than the really polished writing that comes out six months too late. The metaphor I need to embrace -- especially as someone who thinks about politics and activism -- is writing as conversation. As the post-modernists say, culture is constantly engaged in "discourse"; for my writing to matter, establishing myself as a participant in the conversation has to come before considerations about the quality of what I have to say. To put it another way, it's better to put my foot in my mouth than to not open my mouth at all.

Conversation isn't like making a business presentation or a press release. In conversation, I say something dumb, muddled, or just plain wrong -- which evokes a response from whoever I'm talking with -- then giving me the opportunity to correct myself, elaborate upon a point, make my position more sophisticated. It's a dialectic. Contrast this with the metaphor for writing that I, like many other writers, have absorbed: writing as product. A piece of writing should be complete, polished, shrink-wrapped -- something that you can put on a shelf and sell. It's a metaphor that originates, I suspect, in the modern book publishing / distribution industry. "Success" is getting a publishing house to make several thousand copies of your work and put copies (2 or 3 each) into chain bookstores around the nation. There's so much distance, so much alienation, from the people you're writing to -- one's focus gets stuck on the production process.

I think I have a block against publishing because the stakes seem so high. Trying to make the perfect product, the one that every anonymous consumer will buy, that will immortalize me as a household name , is a good way to get burnt out. That's why I'm excited to try writing a 'blog. It feels less heavy -- like jazz instead of classical music, like improvisation.

Here's what I want to do: write for two hours a day, Monday through Thursday, and post what I come up with sans editing (just a spell-check). The problem of distribution is essentially done away with, and I'm not putting upon my readers because it's their choice to visit the site. And yet, what I've done is available to them, and I can respond in my writings if I do get feedback. For me it means accepting and living with the fact that I won't like a lot of what I write -- it will seem transparently dumb, wrong, and muddled to me. ...But I can move in the direction of creating a lifestyle where writing is more about how I live with people, less about the shame of failing to get my product out by its announced release date.

A Writer's Routine
Any large project, that requires sustained effort over time, needs a plan. Over the past few years I've developed a routine that works pretty well for me when I'm writing. Here's the outline, including my latest tweaks...

...I'm going to try writing this 'blog for two weeks. If it goes well, I'll continue. I'm optimistic -- the way to becoming a better writer is more likely through volume than sporadic frenzies of editing. Over time I may even have enough good fragments to put together the books I keep fantasizing about. And hell, if I die, now no one's saddled with the job of trying to compile and publish my stuff posthumously. Here it all is.

September 23, 2002

Posted by Sven at 07:02 PM