Every week, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 36-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.
The way we understand ourselves originates with the family. Typically a microcosm of patriarchy, depending on age and specifics. Children in families are regarded in various ways. In longer ago times, children helped with food production, child rearing and animal husbandry. Some cultures expect offspring to care for elders in twilight years.
Therapists have helped those who can afford their unravelling fees to dissect versions of family as a force in our lives that shapes experience well beyond those 18-25 years we’re clumped together in lunacy. Family. Much milk has been split on the subject.
To understand, dismantle and reconfigure life beyond patriarchy in terms of unjust appropriation of resources and jurisdiction requires similar interest and attention, but for those who continue to benefit (settler types) from the oppression of others this requires empathy. Empathy is a fragment of personality the development of which seems significantly jeopardized by difficult times during the childhood experience.
Empathy is the nose to which injustice is the stench.
“Cultivating an ethic of responsibility begins with non-natives understanding ourselves as beneficiaries of the illegal settlement of Indigenous people’s land and unjust appropriation of Indigenous peoples’ resources and jurisdiction.” —Harsha Walia, an excerpt from her 2012 essay “Moving Beyond A Politics Of Solidarity Towards A Practice Of Decolonization”
“Family Swan” from The Family Swan (Kill Rock Stars, 2002) (download):