This was going to be a comment on Nick's entry "Madness and Disability", but I decided it should be it's own post.
"this knowledge would allow us to operate the group as the radical action front in the fight central to all three groups."
I think "front" is a poor choice of words, given its association with all kinds of groups that have acted without considering the possible consequences/backlash of their actions on the larger community - groups who engage in "direct action" not cause they give a shit about their cause, but because they want to engage in a "radical" dick-measuring contest. I think Nick'll agree with me here.
More importantly, though, it suggests a vanguardist approach to mad activism that I don't associate with the Icarus Project's mission at all - that we, the "real" radicals (the privileged few), will represent and speak/act for the others.
"The Icarus Project could be situated not just as a way of providing mutual support and safe space, but(for the daring members), as the "blac block"of alternate states of consciousness. "
Two things here:
First, most importantly, "daring" is a TERRIBLE way to describe it. "Privileged" is what you're looking for - it's not a matter of courage or dedication, it's about how much you've got to lose/how much of a risk it is to you (and sure, perhaps part of it'll be how mad we are at the time). As in my first entry, this is something that needs to be worked out - with any action that is even mildly disruptive/abnormal, no matter how banal, we need to find a way to CLEARLY communicate that every day thousands of people are run through the system or locked up for doing things just like it, because they're TOO mad/non-white/poor...(you see where I'm going with this) and aren't protected by the liberal arts college bubble. Additionally, we need to consider how any action would impact other mad students/groups on campus and in the community - we want to smash stereotypes, not feed em. Sure, too much emphasis on making yourself/your group palatable and easier assimilate can lead to stagnation and isn't ideal either. Unfortunately, the line between the two is pretty damn shifty. In this particular case, I'd argue that any public direct action should err on the side of caution. This of course, is open to debate.
The second thing to point out about this is that I think it's really fucking important that we not dismiss the legitimacy of mutual aid as direct action. At this point we can only guess based on the international website what approach the other mental health group is going to take, but I've got a feeling that the ideas we've thrown around so far in terms of mutual aid have NOT been covered by other groups, and that in fact they might not have the resources or interest to pursue them.
OK, now that that's outta the way...
We literally JUST heard about the Active Minds chapter, but I agree with Nick's analysis (for the most part, as noted above) - an active Active Minds would definitely allow/challenge us to make new maps and explore new ways of acting in and on these disabling institutions.
Personally (read: selfishly), it would also make this whole endeavor much more interesting, cause frankly, I'm SICK.......of having to explain/"promote awareness"/educate the non-mad about psychophobia. But of course, I do it, with a smile - taking on the role of the "nice" mad girl (quiet, unthreatening and never "mad" - at least not that way) - and I'd resigned myself to that being my role while this whole thing gets off the ground. I've gotten used to it - it's almost a mechanical response now - but it's certainly not something I chose. Now that there's [maybe? potentially?] a choice, I feel free to admit the unspeakable: I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more!
You want a nice mad girl? I'll give you her email. Now get the fuck outta my way.
I'm so sorry if I'm alienating some of you; your fucking culture alienates me! - Bikini Kill
Submitted by MadMiddletown on