Atlanta-based comic Noah Gardenswartz and Brooklyn-based comic Joyelle Johnson join Summer Commune for a night of laughs.
This Saturday night at 9pm!
Summer Commune is still on for one more month! It’s not too late to list your apartment on Air B&B, it’s not too late to find a place to rent for a week or two in Moscow.
We’ve been busy — camping at Moose Creek, swimming in a blue lagoon, speaking at PechaKucha, jamming at the Moose Lodge, reading at Book People and on the radio — and we’ve got the next month to camp, hike, thrift, and swim, potluck, party, and meet more people. Which we can do if you come to these upcoming events!
WEEKLY OPEN MEETING
The Garden (Main Street) - Tuesday, JULY 24, 7 PM
Drinks are cheap & the AC is on high! Have an event you want to plan? Come tell us about it. [ RSVP /Invite Your Friends ]
SUPER SUMMER COMMUNE COMEDY HOUR GIGANTE!
Wanderers’ Tavern (Washington & 2nd) - Saturday, JULY 28, 9 PM
Atlanta-based comic Noah Gardenswartz and Brooklyn-based comic Joyelle Johnson join Summer Commune for a night of laughs. [ RSVP/Invite Your Friends ]
SUMMER COMMUNE READING #2 - POSTPONED UNTIL AUGUST 8
The first reading of the Summer Commune Reading Series was a big success. We’d like to do a second on August 8. The reading series, hosted by Book People, features work by both local Communers and those visiting. Each reading will feature a mixture of styles and genres. We’re particularly interested in literary voices that will reflect the spirit of Summer Commune — youthful, daring, innovative, irreverent, passionate, entertaining. Or, you know, some combo of those things. If you’d like to read on August 8 at 7 pm, please send a writing sample to email@example.com by August 31.
See you around town,
Children of the corn #summercommune by sofyay http://instagr.am/p/NFZgZyzYUp/
Summer Commune Facebook stats as an infographic
So you’re coming out to Summer Commune with your magic show/reptiles seminar/dance party and don’t exactly know how to make it happen? We can help you with that. We can help you find a place, a date, and any other resources you need to make a successful event go down.
Send us an email with the following information you need, and we can help you set it up.
- EVENT NAME
- WHEN DO YOU WANT IT?
- WHAT KIND OF SPACE DO YOU NEED?
- WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU NEED?
- HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE YOU EXPECTING?
- DOES THIS EVENT RECUR?
Sixty-five miles from Moscow, and the orange light came on. Why hadn’t I gotten gas on the Interstate? I’d acted blasé about it. I’d traveled 1300 miles and taken for granted that I’d always find somewhere to refuel. I panicked because I hadn’t renewed my AAA card in two years. But that wouldn’t matter anyway, I’d run out of juice on my cellphone. No way to contact the outside world. I imagined myself awkwardly walking down the road to a single wide trailer surrounded by signs that said KEEP OUT! (and in this imaginary scenario I noticed they’d used an upside down ‘i’ as an exclamation point). But as I was rolling on fumes I thought, “Nobody just has a full gas can lying around their trailer.” Plus this baby takes 87, and you can only get 85 in these parts—-Then out of nowhere, an empty gas pump appeared in front of a gigantic propane tank. I pulled off the road and filled my tank. I would not spend my first night inadvertently camping on the Palouse.
At the Idaho state border, I took Instagram photos. I don’t really like taking photos, but I thought it important to document the moment where an idea of what something looks like becomes a reality. Border pictures seems like a popular pastime, because it was the only place on the highway with a turn off: “Free Parking for People who like Geographic Points of Interest, and Who May Be Starting a Temporary Intentional Community.”
After unpacking I went to the grocery store to buy staples: beans, bread, beer. I went to pay at the cashier, and glanced down at the newspaper. We were on the cover. I knew I’d given an interview, but I was surprised to see the paper in the flesh (paper is a kind of recycled tree flesh) right next to the section about high school sports wins. It said my name and called me a travel writer. This was the first time I’d ever arrived anywhere with this warm of a welcome. (I mean, once someone wrote a Facebook status that said they were excited to have me visit.)
I spent my first nights in Moscow sleeping in a tent in the living room. (Cuz I thought that would be fun.) I figured I’d be most comfortable in the room closest to the Anytime Fitness where I steal the internet from. It’s important to have that life line to your virtual life in case of emergency, or if you wake up in the middle of the night with a joke to tweet. (A constant internet connection is also good to be able to immediately erase that last joke.)
Everyone in town has been so friendly. Some new friends took me to a Co-op party where I let a goose bite my skin and realized that it was not as scary as I thought it was when I was a kid. At a bar I met scientists who thought it was funny that I still couldn’t get over the cheap drink prices. ($2.75 mixed drinks. $3.25 for “32 oz tubs” of beer.) I met with a Buddhist scholar who provided me with some good Summer Commune advice: “Instead of asking what you can do for Moscow, ask what Moscow can do for you.” People told me about how various cafes on different sides of Main Street are also on different sides of America’s “culture wars. Liberals get their espressos at One World, conservatives get cappuccinos at Bucer’s. This college town is a mirror of our larger society. The perfect destination for our Summer Commune.
Later in the week, friends from the internet passed through for a few nights en route to Glacier National Park. They’re filmmakers who said that this town would be a perfect place for a filmmaker to work on projects. If they had their own equipment, all they would need are actors. While they were here we recorded a rap song, a Summer Commune milestone. Stay tuned for the next Kid Sriracha + Boar$head + Sauerkraut In the Cabinet jam dropping soon.
This summer is full of endless potential, and it seems like we’ve picked a wonderful town to spend it. Excited for more communards to show up, so I can introduce them to the great people who already live here.
I’ve been burning to tell you this, with the hopes that you will hear your own story in what I say and then you’ll skip off into the sunshine puppy rainbow of love with me.
On paper, I am successful. I’m a graphic designer for a cool techy startup in Silicon Valley, I live in San Francisco, I regularly hang at NASA with really smart people. I have an iPhone and a pretty great vintage leather jacket, sometimes I play in a band.
But if you asked me, I’d have a totally different view. I am 30 years old, I have a job that doesn’t have any meaning or impact, I am in 6-figure debt for college and grad school, I have very poor parents, I own nothing, I worry about the future and I have no idea what I am doing with my life.
One day a few weeks ago, I was driving home from my boring job, and I was stressing out over making my grad school loan payments (they are 3 times my rent) and whether I could survive until my next check, and whether I would have time that evening to finish the moonlit freelance work I was doing to pay off the $1500 in taxes I owed…from being a freelancer. Heady shit! And then suddenly, somewhere in the back of my head a voice that seemed not quite like my own said
—and I physically felt all the stress leave my body, and I had this preternatural knowledge that everything was, in a very fundamental way, going to be okay. It wasn’t optimism that I’d find the money or that I’d find a job I could keep or that I’d buy my parents a house finally, because optimism is a coping mechanism for the stress that happens when your basic dreams and desires are on the line. This wasn’t optimism—it was peace. And the reason I experienced it (I was to figure this out later) was because at that moment I realized that the only peace I would ever know is the peace I made for myself.
I’ve been a restless spirit for a long time. I’ve had over 40 jobs in my 30 years here. Even in school, I’ve had 5 majors for only 2 degrees. I do new things and when I figure them out I get bored and look for a new challenge. Nothing can sustain me. I mean, I really wanted to be a ballerina as a kid, but then I stopped growing at 5’2” and the Boston Ballet wasn’t having it. It’s really been downhill ever since.
Anyway. If you have student debt, and a job you don’t like that kills you, and bills you can’t pay and a future that’s so fucking fuzzy and distant that it’s a bitter joke you share with your friends, then maybe I can help. I hear this same litany of misery from close friends and strangers so often that it feels like I must be listening for it. Like when you try not to think of your ex and then it’s all you can think about.
Well I want you to know that you are free, and that another world is possible.
The way I try to explain it is this: imagine that everything you know about the world—how to live and succeed in it, what its values are, what your worth is, how you are to treat others, the “system”, the “man” whatever you call it—all those things are a giant ROCK that everybody lives in. So, to make a change, we don’t need to destroy the rock; we just need to pitch a tent somewhere near it, make an awesome campfire, and maybe those who are stuck inside the rock, looking out for another way of life, will see our light and come over. From our metaphorical nature-y campfire party, we can watch the system destroy itself. It doesn’t need us to destroy it.
(In a more academic way, what I’m trying to say is that capitalist ideology does not posses the language [nor the imagination] to create a world outside of itself. Everything must reference its value system of productivity or profit, including ‘alternative lifestyles’—just think about that language! It implies “an alternative to X” where X can be any facet of capitalist society, therefore, still in the same framework. Does that makes sense? So what I’m proposing is not an alternative lifestyle per se, but a world that we must actively IMAGINE into existence outside of anything we were exposed to growing up. That’s hard! I believe it was best described as “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Dude. I know. Our models for self-sustaining communities are disappearing rapidly; perhaps even our children will never know anything outside of Western civilization, can you imagine that?)
This idea, it turns out, kind of pisses people off. The ones who have worked so hard, and who are working hard now, the ones who still buy into the system and hope it will work for them. Everybody tries to reason against the message that THEY ARE FREE. They’ve reasoned with me that it’s irresponsible, that I should change the system from the inside, that I am turning into a hippie (totally true, by the byyyyy) or they’re angry that I took out loans for school but refuse to be enslaved by them (that’s what you call paying back more than you can possibly afford to pay, for 25 years). Yet, the master plan we’ve been indoctrinated into leads many more people to misery and poverty and destruction than to prosperity. (It did so under the guise of communism for my parents, too, in case you’re about to cry liberal epithets.) I think that if we peer quietly behind our individual fear of “failure”, we’ve known all along that things aren’t right. Here’s the thing: YOU DON’T HAVE TO FIX IT. You can’t put a bandaid on a fire hydrant, y’all. All you can do, and all you have to do, is live lightly on the earth, in a community of similar values. That’s love guys, that’s the answer to capitalism. *dies a thousand treehugging deaths*
And what does this have to do with Summer Commune? I believe that Summer Commune expresses a new kind of consciousness that we can hardly articulate, that we barely dare to imagine. It’s just a small gesture of people trying something new. But it will create a fissure in what people believe is possible. For me, if I can convince even one person that giving this a shot is more important than worrying about bills, and that their life is more than the measure of their productive capacity, then I will know that anything is possible.