slubs in the city

Slub (adj): Maverick; unorthodox; independent in behavior or thought.

our first drive is the drive to actually belong.

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For a bit of a pick-me-up after the Republican nominee debate this past Monday, Kat showed us this youtube video:

There are so many cool things about this guy.

  1. He can draw mega fast and his pictures of people and animals are positively adorable. Especially the drawing of the elephant, dolphin and dog. Gaaaah.
  2. He uses the word “shibboleth”. I had no idea what the heck that meant, but now I’m going to use it every single day for the rest of my life. And look how convenient! Miriam Webster provided me with a list of words that rhyme with shibboleth: Crystal meth. Isopleth. Megadeath. Morning breath. Oh, the ways in which my vernacular is expanding…
  3. THIS: Thought bubble at 1:13 – The scientist who wanders into the Italian lab says, “I’m hungry. Mmm…nuts.” After he breaks the nut open, the confused monkey says, “What’s he doing? Eating the hard things!” Finally, the baffled scientist says to the MRI, “Stupid machine. Are you sick?” and the MRI responds, “It’s not me, although the monkey doesn’t taste that nice!”
  4. ALSO: 4:51 – the first angel says, “Have you seen death? Big fella, skull, wears a lot of black…” and the other angel responds, “Mmm…can’t say I have. His name doesn’t ring any bells!”
  5. I think Jeremy Rifkin draws himself in some of the scenes, and if his caricature is true to life, then he looks just like my study abroad leader Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb. So cute. So wonderful.
  6. He speaks complete truth: “It’s very tough being alive on this planet, whether you’re a human being or a fox navigating the forest.”
  7. He brings up some incredibly interesting points about human nature and our capacity to interact with and understand each other on a basic, empathic level. Some of my personal favorite quotes:

“We are actually softwired not for aggression, and violence, and self-interest, and utilitarianism – we are actually softwired for sociability, attachment…affection, companionship…the first drive is the drive to actually belong. It’s an empathic drive.”

“Empathy is grounded in the acknowledgment of death and the celebration of life, and rooting for each other to flourish and be. It’s based on our frailties and our imperfections.”

Every day, we reveal our empathy for one another. Story: Thrivent’s Minneapolis headquarters is on the corner of 4th Ave and 7th St in downtown, right across the street from the Hennepin County Government Center. The Occupy MN movement has been stationed right in front of the Government Center, and hence right across the street from Thrivent, for the past two weeks. Though I see occupiers rustle in their sleeping bags and tout signs around the Plaza every day, I know little more about the actual movement than what I’ve been reading on their blog. Still, the messages they post echo enough universal philosophy that I can understand the spirit of the protest, if not the exact mission. At its foundation, the Occupation is about rejecting the secondary drives that Rifkin speaks of in his video: narcissism, aggression, selfishness. Nora, Laura, Kat, Anna and I resonate with those concepts; you need only look at the work each of us is completing during this year for proof. The five of us believe that it is much easier to feel another’s joy and share another’s sorrow than to assume you are unconnected to the lives of others.

On October 17th, one of the Minnesota occupiers posted the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City on their blog. The first sentence of that declaration is:

“As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together.”

I think Jeremy Rifkin would approve of that statement.

I’ll leave you with one last parting quote from the video:

“6.8 billion people at various stages of consciousness – theological, ideological, psychological, dramaturgical – we’re all fighting with each other with different ideas about the world. And, well, guess what? We all came from two people…we could have come from many. But the point is, we have to begin thinking as an extended family. We have to broaden our sense of identity. We don’t lose the old identities of nationhood, and our religious identities, and even our blood ties. But we extend our identities so we can think of the human race as our fellow sojourners.”

con amor,



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