hiya love: first thoughts on care

6:57p.m. 12 December 2016

hiya love,

here's some first thoughts off the top of my head re care/de-constructing/fleshing out care:

- The ubiquity of 'care' in the crip, acces, sick, art world: who cares? take care. it's not love it's care. care is the answer. to care is the most anti-capitalist protest. *everybody care now..dum dum dum dum*. self-care. the ethics of care. care for the inevitable dependency relationships between 'unequals'. IT'S COOL TO CARE NOW (no more I'm too cool to care).

- Is it possible to add substance to the word care, flesh it out, fill it up whilst letting it be expansive or is it a word that just matters to us anyway, just cos, it just means something, makes us feel something? we don't need to zoom in on it, look at it, take care of it.

- It's ubiquity is getting a bit much for me, I'm scared it's on trend, I'm scared saying it will be enough, knowing it's cool to say it will be enough, hearing your cool friend say it will be enough.

- How do we know we know how to do it? Particularly considering it's generally accepted that we all grew up in a violently uncaring society. Did our parents/guardians/friends just happen to be the ones who are good at it, the anomalies, the exception to the capitalist rule, is that where we learnt it? Or do we have to look further, blue sky thinking and all that?

-Do we just have to ask each other what we need? What happens when we don't know, when we have no ideas and can't make choices? Or do we just have to be there with a soft hand, a warm cup?

- Maybe rather than written suggested definitions I'd like to do sketches or sounds, I'll have a think. Quick written, personal definitions, are: to prioritise, to stroke, to offer, to be there (virtually, physically), to know even when you don't, to hand over tissue after tissue rather than the whole box, to open the window and doors when you can't, to hold the ones around you who are giving all they have, to buy shit mags and sugar ridden crap for you, watch shit tv with you but catch you before you're sick, a chair in a pub that lets you have your feet on it, free range eggs from grass-fed chickens, a manicure (done by an immigrant on a shit wage in crap working conditions...?), how does it feel? do you need anything else? i'll ring the club and get them to put an armchair in the hall, thank you, you made me feel so much better.

*****

Sometime I think these articles, that piece together so well the problem of no care and then end with the answer being more care assume it's easy or something. 1. That we all know what care is (it's easy to know) and there's some universal 'chiming with the term' happening. 2. That we all know how to do it (at least for one other person, or a cat, or a plant, or to be one piece of it happening in activist circles). 3. That it's easy to do it - it just happens once you know it's good, know it's the answer. Once you know it's the most anti-capitalist thing and you're anti-capitalist it's just there waiting for you to pick it up and carry it around, spreading the protest and the 'decency' / 'friendship' (or something?).

This leads to lots of questions for me. Like for eg:

- What if you don't feel like u know what it is, in re to even just one friend, or your plant that's dying, or what if it doesn't feel easy, or you get excited like 'yes i know what the anti-capitalist thing is now' and then it isn't there waiting and it's not that simple. Or if you want care and don't know how to ask for it, even from yourself?

-What if you don't want to care for someone, even if you 'should', even just for one moment, or a day, or a lifetime. Who says who we should care for? And for how long or how much? Or what if you don't want care, you want to live alone? When we decide it's the thing are we in danger of it becoming a mantra, something to always return to and could that be entrapping or guilt inducing?

-What if you work in the 'care' sector and feel like your acting out capitalism everyday, offering products and individual choice?

-What about when capitalism does offer care, in the form of a product? Or when someone else missing out results in something that feels like care to you, like getting the last appointment with the best doctor. Or in other words how do we spread care? Does it have to be evenly? Can it involve conflict?

-What if someone neglected to care for you and you want revenge? What if that person is ill? Under care as the answer should you offer them that instead? And ofc, there's, what do we offer the oppressors? Or are we free to batter them?

Right o, I'll stop now! As you can see, alot of questions, not thought of responses yet really, we can chat it through though? Maybe I could focus on one thing and write something more total/succinct. But also I think I'd be happy publishing something in this form with a bit of editing.

Love you loads. I really hope you're finding space to rest and to see you soon. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

credit : KW


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