THIS IS AN OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION FROM THE CENTER FOR SUPPORTIVE BUREAUCRACY
This is an official communication from the Empowering Clerks Network (LLE) - Center for Supportive Bureaucracy (ECN newsletter May 2016)
Dear fellow bureaucrat,
First, welcome everyone who joined this list through Miranda July's Instagram post! I'm honored she likes the project and so glad to have you guys here! To confirm your subscription, please share something vulnerable with someone you love or perform an act of kindness to a person who acts in mean ways (A741). You're welcome to order from our large catalog of Playful Paperwork documents or simply become an Empowerment Processing Facility (EPF) and print them yourself & issue and distribute them in your community, following Empowering Clerks Network regulations of course (G-786, K-775, F-79 and L-71).
Two weeks ago I offered office hours as an ECN representative at a Trump rally in Poughkeepsie NYand issued numerous Joy Permits, Adults Special Achievement Stickers, DIY Certificates of Recognition and other official documents. On the way there I was nervous, anxious and worried that something bad or violent would happen. I handed hundreds official documents, was mostly ignored and didn't have a significant conversation with rally attendants ('I don't need a Joy Permit, I have Jesus' or 'these protesters, they need Joy Permits!' were common responses). I plan to write a more detailed article about the experience soon, in the meantime here are some bulletin points regarding that experience -
It's almost always good to go out of our comfort zones, even if just for a short period of time (KJPL-45).
Learn more about the ECN visit to Trump rally at the Radical Therapist interview!
2.A/3 The Center for Supportive Bureaucracy is EXPANDING!
Congratulations Ms. Teafly, the founder of the Oregon division of the ECN. Teafly just won the Awesome Foundation grant, that'll allow her to establish her fully functional EPF and print lots of paperwork including Forgiver's Licenses and Happiness Insurance cards. She also plans on building a portable office-bike-trailer with all necessary paperwork and typewriters (how cool is that??) to serve the people of Oregon. Watch an interview with her here and if you think that it's great - why not do it yourself? So many people have been printing and issuing Joy Permits and other document themselves, if you have a home printer - you can do it too! Becoming an Empowerment Processing Facility only takes a few mouse clicks - visit www.supportivebureaucracy.org to learn more. And if you have a new model of Canon Pixma or Epson, you can easily print Forgiver's Licenses too and dramatically increase compassion stats in your community! Ask us how if you're interested, many documents are available to download at the website right now. Many Empowering Clerks report that issuing documents to their fellow human beings is a meaningful, powerful and joyful activity that helps their self-growth and self-esteem.
Teafly Peterson receiving the Bend, OR Awesome Foundation grant
We are pleased to announce that we are very likely to reach our goal of issuing 1.2 million documents by June of 2019, but it can only happen if thousands of concerned citizens will print Learner's Permits, Joy Permits, Refurbished Report Cards and other documents themselves. This summer we plan to launch our annual Refurbished Report Card issuing event in which teachers, adults and children will be invited to issue Refurbished Report Cards to one another. The Beacon NY Howland Public Library had already showed enthusiastic interest in hosting such event, and it's likely that your community can benefit from it too. Why wait? Simply download the RRC, print and issue to the people who are close to you! Or stand outside a school at the last day and offer the service to students. If only 0.04% of Americans would issue and receive a Refurbished Report Card, it might create a ripple effect that is beyond our imagination!
More details about the (national or international, TBD) Refurbished Report Card Graduation Fest - soon. Stay tuned!
ECN representative issuing a Clown Visa to Clay Mazing, founder of the amazing Emergency Circus at the Clowntown Healing Fest in Phoenix, AZ. Check out this beautiful project and support them generously! They are currently bringing joy to Syrian refugees all over the Middle East and are a living proof that humanity has a future.
As you sure know, the ECN has been walking hand in hand with the US Government for quite a while. A second collection of this fruitful dialog between the two entities has been released by Alfassi Books community publishing house now and is available to read online or at the attached file for a limited amount of time! (time is inevitably limited). Read our letters to the NY DMV to issue our Adult Special Achievement stickers together with car registration stickers, to the Family Court to recognize our Chosen Family Affidavit adoption, the USDA to help us offer Karma Inspection, the emergency notice urging everyone to open carry musical instruments in public places and more letters and special announcements here or at the attached PDF. If you want an actual copy of the new book or other official documents - simply reply to this email with your info, address and booklets/documents you're interested at. Orders are based on the gift economy - you can either support my work via a Paypal donation to this email or pay it forward to someone else. Enjoy reading!
The Empowering Clerks Network recently issued documents at the vigil in memory of Samuel Harrell, who was beaten to death by officers in Fishkill NY Correctional Facility a year ago. We'd like to thank the Beacon Prison Action for organizing this incredibly important 5 days event, hunger strike and call to action to reform our "justice" system, which was also covered by Democracy Now. We hope to soon offer document issuing workshops at local prisons for inmates and officers and to create official documents about the War on Drugs and the tragic mass incarceration in the US. If you're interested in joining us in this effort or can help us offer this service to people who are currently or were incarnated in the past, please contact us.
With the joy of giving service,
Ori Alon (licensed Empowering Clerk #439372A)
You're welcome to forward this message to a friend. If you do not wish to receive official communication from the Center for Supportive Bureaucracy simply reply 'stop'. Thank you!
PhD Diploma, Graduate School Diploma and an OK Parent Award at a Vassar College professor office.
Happiness Insurance, Aunty adoption, OK Parent Award, Joy Permit and more from the Center for Supportive Bureaucracy (newsletter 3/5/2016)
This is an official communication from the Center for Supportive Bureaucracy - Empowering Clerks Network
Dear Empowerment Agent #441902/L,
Last week the ECN offered office hours and trained new Empowering Clerks at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. The new clerks-social workers will issue a variety of official documents to their clients, and we hope that such documentation will increase compassion and self acceptance statistics. We also offered office hours at the Clown Town Healing conference in Phoenix AZ, in which we issued and distributed thousands of Joy Permits, Adults Special Achievement Stickers, Certificates of Recognition and more. The weekend was led by the Certified Prophet, Dr. Patch Adams. Adams is a pioneer of bringing humor to medical practice, and the ECN journey of infusing joy and spirituality to paperwork is inspired by his life work. Watch the movie about him with Robin Williams here and the 'real' Patch Adams Ted Talk here.
ECN Prophecy License acknowledge Mr. Adams unique contributions to humanity.
The ECN recently started to work with a local Beacon NY doctor, Michael O'Brien MD, who will be establishing a new medical practice by the end of 2016. This collaborative will hopefully lead to efficient use of health related Playful Paperwork documents, for example the Happiness Insurance Card, Non Violence Prescription Form, Free Play Admission Ticket and more, with the assistance of our Secretary of Design, Ms Teafly. Obviously, more paperwork is needed in our health care system, and therefore the ECN now offers Happiness Insurance plan. If you have a Joy Permit, it's a good idea to insure it. You may choose your providers (people or actions that brings you happiness, like family, friends, creativity etc) and a copay method (things you're not thrilled about but do to maintain happiness like exercise or therapy). Your deductible is based on your Annual Karma Report (a formless form). The ECN-CSB UNITED takes no responsibility for your happiness, it is solely incumbent upon you to contact your providers in case of happiness reduction claims. You may file Form 77A to apply.
The ECN now also runs an adoption agency - the Aunt and Uncle Adoption Agency (AUAA) allows you to honor the chosen family in your life and adopt an uncle, aunt, grandparent or cousins. Please review the guidelines and make sure you and your chosen family agree upon the terms and conditions of the adoption. You can download and print the adoption certificate atwww.supportivebureaucracy.org.
ECN self-service station at the Howland Public Library Conflicts-Resolutions exhibition. You can easily open a self service station at your community as well.
As you sure know, the CSB communicates regularly with the US Government, in the form of sending all sorts of offers to public servants. A collection of these letters appeared in Official Letters from the Empowering Clerks Network, including ideas likeissuing Joy Permits together with Building Permits, training the County Clerk as an Empowering Clerk (the G-786), reinterpretation of the Second Amendment as the right to express oneself creatively (as it is more powerful than firearms) and establishing a Federal Compassion Agency (FCA). If you enjoyed these letters, stay tuned for the new collection of this fruitful collaboration, coming this spring
"Can I add a smiley face to the True Friend Diploma?" recipients of services in Phoenix AZ
We now also celebrate a variety of ECN Holidays, for example the 26th of each month is the ECN Love Yourself More Day. You can simply add the ECN calendar to your own calendar and receive notifications on special events, office hours and holidays. The ECN Calendar idea was brought to us by the professional Empowering Clerk Yoni Stadlin, founder of Eden Village (LLE) inspiring and wonderful summer camp.
ECN Pain Deed allows you to take official ownership over the pain you've experienced during a period of time and invest it in according to your preference.
PS - my comics collection Checkpoint Charlie was reviewed by The Great Red Oak Press. You can read the full review, 'Bleeding Between the Lines' here -
(...) "This is the truth that bleeds through the lines in Alon’s Checkpoint Charlie.
The title Checkpoint Charlie at first appears to be a reference to the ever famous American clown Charlie Chaplin, and it is in a way. Alon, like Bretch, is a huge fan of Chaplin and his disarming humor. Yet, then you turn the page your learn about the real Checkpoint Charlie… it is a place where an innocent man, a refugee from an oppressive society, was shot between the lines of two nation-states, and was left there to bleed to death between the lines, because everyone was too afraid to help or say something.
And this is where this art leaves us, bleeding between the lines of nation-states, those peculiar entities, in which all sensible people believe, which all purport to their citizens to exist as some sort of center for supportive bureaucracy. This art exposes the repulsiveness, absurdity, and pain beneath human fear.
Fear is what killed Peter Fetcher (the man who was trying to escape East Germany through Checkpoint Charlie).
Fear is what Ori Alon seeks for us to first feel (in the repulsion), then laugh at (in the humor), and then understand (in the bleeding through the lines on the page).
This is a comic book about America (and Israel), from an Israeli-American artist who deeply loves the people of those two places, as he deeply loves humanity, and his desperate cry to help us see each other as people again, and end war and militarism, and their mutual progenitor, fear." (...)
A short non-fiction piece about my recent visit to Israel. Any literary magazine interested in publishing it - please send me a brief cover letter, a short bio of your publication and why do you think your magazine is right for my writing (up to 250 words). Submission fee is $7 (paypal to oribeacon [at]gmail.com). Due to a large amount of submissions I won't be able to answer personally each submission, but I promise to consider any large or small publication without bias. Please share with your editors friends.
Five Days in the Holy Land
Five days in the holy land. It's been more than three years since my last visit. I am here now, in America, a Jewish man who chooses everyday not to live in Israel. “I’m pregnant,” said the email that brought me here. And what’s here and there these days, what’s a promised land, what’s a cursed one? Give me your hand, said one leader to the other and so they danced naked in the forest while their people are still killing one another.
Rabbi Nachman, the 18th century Hasidic Rabbi left the Ukraine for his journey to the holy land. But he did not make it to Jerusalem. Jerusalem itself is an unfinished journey, trying to make it to all the dreams and illusions people have about it. One night I was walking out of the old city of Jerusalem. I cut my finger somehow, rubbed the blood on the walls of the old city pretending I’m the messiah, knowing how crazy it is. “If I’ll ever forget you, Jerusalem, my right arm would get paralyzed.” says the psalm that Jews have been chanting during the wedding ceremony, as they break the glass to remember the destruction of the city. Our friend Stephan thought it is a political statement and didn’t want to include it in his wedding. The convert lesbian Rabbi refused to conduct the wedding without it.
The Wall by Pink Floyd, that album flushed through my bare teenager soul. And here I am, some twenty years later, comfortably numb. I was once in a party in which they played Mami, one of Israel’s harshest protest songs: the story of a young Jewish girl that is raped by seven Palestinian workers. “We’ll fuck you ’cos we were fucked”. People danced, the land is being raped for centuries, the Greek, the Romans, the Ottomans, the British and the Jews all sodomize the land in one neverending occupation. They build walls and highways all over the ancient hills, but very few bridges.
I talked to a prophet in a cafe in Tel Aviv. He quoted this and that, explaining why it’s all bound to collapse, how capitalism, corruption and Netanyahu ruined Israel. One year there’s an election, the next year there's a war, he said. But he didn’t look in my eyes while he was saying that. It’s over. The dream is gone. The skyscrapers, the alleys, the guns, the souls of the unprotected folks who had to die through all of this. The cause and the price we had to pay. Wars are always stupid.
A silly pop song, an American one. I remember the first Mcdonald's in Ramat-Gan. I was ten, there was a one hour line in order to have a taste of the American dream. And now how I crave these hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the old city. The fig tree is poisoned, its fruits are filled with the juice of hate and intolerance. So are the dates, and even the hummus. And what makes a place? Its smell, its food, its music. Its ideas, its violence, its history. Cultures rise, cultures fall, it’s all just stories we tell ourselves.
There’s no privacy in Israel. In government offices and banks clerks scream questions about your private matters to the supervisor across the hall, always giving you a sense that they’re doing you a favor. Everyone smokes there. The single justifiable war America had fought in the last fifty years completely failed to make its way overseas. It feels like everything can get blown away any second, and there’s always enough smoke in the air to make it evident there is fire. The tone of voice there. The fact that I don’t miss it so much. It’s been three years since the last visit, and facebook gives me a taste of home without the aftertaste.
The Hebrew in Israel is often broken. "Nahag, shtayim Akhora", Driver, two back, said the woman who passed money to the shuttle van driver, a sentence that makes no grammatical sense, while passing to the driver twelve Shekels, six Shekels for each passenger who sat in the back. Languages have lives of their own, and so the Biblical Hebrew had to fit somehow into the shuttle van, the street and the checkpoint. Hebrew and Arabic make love for over a century, a passionate, forbidden affair. Bad words here and legal terms there, like semen and eggs.
Some things you just can’t translate; the puns, the context, the sense and the non-sense of a culture, they're often untranslatable. But I’m writing this in English, I can’t express it that way in Hebrew, not anymore. “It’s scary,” told me an Israeli writer, a wife of, who suddenly found herself in New York. “And what if I won’t have any language?”
The air got thicker, another war started, it’s only a matter of time. The temple is broken, the heart still functions.
I gathered my childhood memories in a small, portable container. Kissed my mom goodbye and went over to the Duty Free store to get a popular book, The History of Tomorrow. I never thought I’d leave. Was never too excited to travel, always happy to come back. Maybe it was the war, or the pregnancy, or New York. Anyway, I’m here now.
During my army service I had a certain lip balm that had a very specific taste. Even many years later, when I come across a similar semi-strawberry flavor I right away feel like I'm a soldier again, with everything that this feeling arouses in me. I have a similar, or rather an opposite reaction, to the voice of Arik Einstein. When I hear his voice I feel comforted, I feel at home.
Einstein is credited as the first one to create Rock music in Hebrew but he wasn't a great philosopher, poet or activist. I love him not like an idol but more like a friend, a mentor. His voice often accompanies me with me with an advice, a feeling or a story that are usually very meaningful, simple and often wise.
"sitting in San Francisco on the water (...)
It's so beautiful in San Francisco on the water
It's too bad you're not here with me to see,
you'd say you'll never come back..
Suddenly I want home (...)
Give me a piece of the Tabor mountain,
A piece of the sea of Galilee
I love to fall in love with the small land of Israel
Hot and wonderful"
Lyrics : Einstein, Music : Shalom Chanoch
Homesickness. Israel, the sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on the water and mount Tabor, I still remember how in love I was when we hiked there together (she wasn't that much into me). We had tea on the way down, met some Bedouins who hiked there as well. It was many years ago.
Like Einstein, I also love to fall in love with places. I even managed to fall in love with a small town in upstate New York. I love the mountain here and I love the river and I really love the people here. If I live elsewhere I'll miss all of those, I might even write some songs about them.
The exiled Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish said that homeland is like a suitcase. I guess for some it is a suitcase, for some it's the melodies and for some, like me, there is no clear definition of what homeland is. For Einstein, who was born in 1939, homeland was what he called good old Israel, pre-skyscrapers Tel-Aviv, idealism, and some innocent sense that he had as a child and maybe Israel had too. Besides being an incredible performer, that might be what made him so popular among so many Israelis who yearned to similar things.
Israelis don't talk a lot about where they came from. Zionism, the Jewish national movement that was born at the end of the 19th century and eventually established Israel in 1948, intended to bring Jews from different cultures from all over the world and unite them in Israel under the new national umbrella that was inspired by the ancient Jewish state at Biblical times. The Zionist greatest myth, the "Sabra", is the Israeli Ashkenazi native Hebrew speaking male who was born in Israel and is actively building the country from vacuum while structuring the perfect society that will occupy it. The new Jew that would finally have a homeland of his own and would be the mirror image of the Jew from the diaspora.
During the attempt to bring this dream to life languages disappeared, people didn't find their place and some communities are still looking for their common identity. The Sabra wasn't supposed to look back much, like a famous saying of Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister - “From Tanakh to Palmakh” - From the Bible to the Jewish combat units. As if nothing happened in between. As much as I know how destructive this myth was for so many people, when I hear Einstein's voice I believe it, like a child listening to a story. A good story, where we are the good guys and we go through lots of trouble until the happy end.