Grounded Futures is a platform for youth, women, and gender nonconforming folks voices to talk about every day thriving amid the ongoing disasters we’re collectively facing. Their podcast, Silver Threads: Still Walking, Still Waking, is hosted by carla bergman and Eleanor Goldfield. They interview long term organizers and radicals about their watershed moments, what they have learned along the way, and how they maintain their hope on this path; dreaming and building emergent worlds for a present and future that is anchored in justice and freedom for all. Below is the recording and transcript of Episode 25 with Antonio Buehler, republished here with their kind permission. Enjoy.
“We’re not trying to hack the system in our unschooling – we’re trying to burn it down.”
Antonio founded Abrome to support the liberation of children and fundamentally change the way people think about education. He joins ST to discuss his military past that gave way to a militant present, the difference between emancipation and liberation, daring to respect kids, and more!
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Hello and welcome to Silver Threads where we are still walking, still waking. I’m carla
And I’m Eleanor. And this is the show where we trace our present path through the people and stories of the past. As we ourselves long term radicals learn about each other from each other and can continue to walk continue to wake. This week we are talking with Antonio Buehler, who founded Abrome to support the liberation of children and fundamentally change the way people think about education. He wants Learners to have full autonomy over their bodies, minds, and time so they can lead meaningful and purposeful lives, positively impact society, and improve the human condition. Abrome is aligned with Antonio’s desire to challenge, undermine, and create alternatives to oppressive systems so we can move toward a freer, healthier world. He also founded the Peaceful Streets Project which was one of the most active copwatch organizations in the country from 2012-2017.
Hi Antonio, thanks for being here. It’s such a delight to meet you. Ithink for listeners who pay attention to my work, Antonio is here because he’s friends with Eleanor and when Eleanoore invited him I was so thrilled because I watch your work, I spy on you.. Because I appreciate everything you do for youth and children. So thank you. Yeah, so we’ll just get to our questions. Our first question is an invitation for you to take us on a little historical walk through your life and maybe share a couple watershed moments where your thinking was profoundly shifted. Or, you joined a collective? Yeah,
Sure. So, I think just like most people, I’m mostly shaped by the experiences that I had. And, for me, that was very much being raised in eastern Pennsylvania, part of a conservative family. My mom left when I was really young. So I was raised by a working dad, who was a laborer and just growing up in a very patriotic town where in order to succeed, you had to leave either through the military, or through college. And, I went to West Point, because it was free college and military all wrapped up into one. And, so that’s just the path that I went down. And I went into the military right after West Point, as is the obligation, did some pretty interesting training, like Ranger School, and then I went to Iraq, for my last year in the military, and I was definitely not very political at the time. I know I didn’t want to go to Iraq, but I wasn’t fully understanding why it was such a bad idea. Or like even I didn’t even have a critique of the military other than I really disliked it. But, in the military, I certainly came to understand how much I really disliked and hated actually authority, people who had power over me. And there were certainly seeds of rebellion in my time in the military, I got into trouble a lot. For insubordination, mostly, I sang take this job and shove it once to my Colonel at a big event called hail and farewell. And as I was leaving, I set up a karaoke box in the hall and sang that song to him in front of the entire battalion. So yeah, I was definitely always pushing the envelope but, nothing that I would say was political. And when I got out of the military right after Iraq, right, as soon as my sort of commitment ended, I went to Stanford for Business School. And I just I went right into investment banking and all this stuff that you don’t expect to hear from anyone who gets involved in political activism. I went into finance in New York and I was looking for companies to buy and in that process, just trying to find a good investment. I started looking at education companies because I really wanted to, I figured that the best way to help kids, something that I’ve always done outside of work, you know, through coaching or mentoring or volunteering, I was always working with kids. And I figured the best thing to do is to buy a company that that helps kids. And of course, we all know that school helps kids, right, that that’s, that’s what we that’s what we’re told. And through that process, I stumbled upon homeschooling. And I was looking at curriculum providers. And I went to my first homeschooling conference and two things really stood out to me. One was that all the kids that talked to me that day, looked me in the eyes generally and talk to me like a human being, as opposed to feeling like they weren’t allowed to be an equal to me. And that really surprised me. And the other thing that surprised me was that all the kids were really affectionate and loving of their siblings, and of their parents. There wasn’t this sense of, I joke, no one said, Mom, I hate you just leave me alone. And I left that conference just blown away. And I said, Wow, if, if homeschooling has anywhere near the same academic outcomes as regular schooling, then why wouldn’t everyone homeschool, this is back when I thought academic outcomes mattered. And, so I left that and I really started to dive into homeschooling. And then I then I stumbled into unschooling because there’s these weird families that they’re homeschooling, but they don’t do any schooling at home. And I picked up, you know, john Holt for the first time and, I started reading other people who had unschooling experiences. And I came to the, this is about 2009 2010, I came to the belief that any form of business that made money off of schooling kids, whether it’s through conventional schooling, which are public and private, or through homeschooling, where you bring the school into the home, was going to do more harm than good. And so I was in this situation where I’m trying to make money by buying a company that will do this. And then I had to come to terms with I’m going to make money by hurting kids. So I returned the money to investors. And then I went on sabbatical, overseas, and then I came back, and I moved to Austin, sight unseen, with just the only goal of trying to help kids leave school. That was my goal. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have any money. And then I got here. And I started talking to people and just trying to I was talking to parents, I was talking to kids, I was talking to educators just trying to make the case that we should, we should really try to just let kids be free. And, and I got two forms of pushback. One was, have you ever taught? The answer is no. And do you have an education degree? And the answer was no. And so they said, Well, you never done either, you really have no standing to say anything. And so I decided to go ahead and teach and I started at this startup progressive school in Austin. And even though I was a fan of unschooling, progressive schools seemed like the best thing that you can get when it comes to schools. And so I worked there for two years, just gain that experience, making a lot of mistakes, and learning what it meant to really try to be in relationship with kids and trying to deal with the whole power dynamics of being an adult over kids. And that was really where I was focused on from a scheduling perspective. I was also very involved in, I was trying to be very involved in political activism in various ways. And, I was doing a lot of stuff going to a lot of events. Some events that you know, I wish I hadn’t gone to, quite frankly, but I was just trying to be engaged with other people. And then completely unrelated, on New Year’s Day 2012, I was a designated driver for a friend and we were coming home from a New Year’s Eve party, and we pulled over into a gas station in downtown Austin to refill because it was almost on empty, and we observed a police stop in action. And while we were there -just some things really seemed off – one was even though it was a clearly a DWI stop and the person who is driving was behind the vehicle getting a field sobriety test. There was a ton of focus on the passenger. They were both women and the passengers was being watched over by this police officer, the police officer was giving her instructions telling her to get off her phone or where she was going to, you know, face consequences, etc. And all of a sudden, the police officer just grabbed her and yanked her out of the vehicle, because she wouldn’t get off her phone. And I didn’t know much about the law, but I didn’t know that you’re allowed to be on your cell phone if you’re not like being arrested. She was only in the passenger. And as they yanked her out, she started screaming. And I yelled at the police officers. She said, Please film this. And so I took out my phone and tried to take pictures. And that led to the police coming after me, throwing me against the vehicle wrestling me down. They eventually arrested me. And I didn’t know I was getting arrested for I thought I was getting arrested for like disorderly conduct for yelling at the police officers. I got to a point where they were collecting all the people they arrested that night. And they made me do a blow into a breathalyzer. I was like this is really weird, because I wasn’t pulled over for driving drunk or anything. And, that’s like, where things just started getting weird. I thought that they were going to try to get me on DUI, I obviously blue a zero, which really confused the technician. I went to went to jail that night. It was only later that night that I found out that I was being charged with a felony of spitting in police officer face, which carries a two to 10 year prison sentence. And so you talk about watershed moments that was a watershed moment for me. I got out the next day. And I went to social media because I was terrified, you know what’s going to happen if I get convicted of a felony and go to prison, I clearly can’t work with kids anymore. Who knows what I can do. And so I went out and tried to find if there were any witnesses posted on social media. And interestingly, people were actually looking and we had a couple witnesses step forward one who actually took a little bit of video of it with their cell phone. And so then it caught fire locally in the Austin market, where that video got out a bunch of news interviews. And because of some of the activists work that I was doing, in addition to that a lot of people rallied behind me, a ton of people rally behind me, which was quite nice. And I thought that I was in the clear, don’t have to worry about anything, because we have video we have witnesses, the cops were clearly the criminals here. And once they realize this, those cops will get fired, the city will apologize, everything’s going to be great. Well, that didn’t happen, the police really doubled down. They came after me harder. They painted me in the media as like a mentally disturbed person who was a great risk to the police. And, and in that process. I thought I was in the clear, I was getting attacked by the police. And then all these other people started coming forward telling me their personal stories of abuse, to include things that were way worse than what happened to me, right, like, you know, friends and family being assaulted, sexually assaulted, killed, stuff like that. And it was extremely emotional, for sure. hearing all these stories, and I just said, I have all this support, I’m clearly going to be okay, let’s leverage this and do something with it. So we created the peaceful streets project. And we ended up doing a lot of cop watching over the years, a lot of Know Your Rights trainings. I’m just trying to push back. And I thought that if we just increased awareness, we could fix this thing. What’s certainly not the case. And yeah, and I got arrested five more times. I had great, great legal representation. So I was never convicted of anything because one, they were unjust arrest. But people who get unjustly arrested, get convicted all time anyway. So I was lucky in that we usually had video evidence as well. And this really happened over a period of years. But I really wanted to get back to kids. And I really need to get away from the Austin police. So I took another sabbatical, very expensive. When I went to Harvard, I got my Ed degree, and then I came back. And then I was still dealing with the police but a lot less so. And then I started Abrome, with the idea that what we need is we need to create experiments that can inspire people to do similar things in their communities, and show that it’s actually possible to liberate kids, and you know, still have them, you know, come out great, like in terms of good human beings who are able to contribute to the world in their communities, you know, without having to do the harm that schooling does to them. So, since I’ve been back in Austin, I got back after like a one year break in 2014. I’ve been doing Abrome ever since I’ve been doing a lot less work with the police in recent years, driven in large part by the pandemic. But yeah, now I’m just spending most of my time focusing on education. So that’s kind of my historical journey, the police and education were probably the two biggest watershed moments for me.
Yeah, that’s really powerful. And I also think it’s interesting that you said like, it’s might be odd that, you know, you were in the military and that you went that path. But I actually find that for a lot of radicals, I know like, that’s a similar path. Because, you know, in the US if, if you want to get out of a situation that you’re in the military is a hell of a meal ticket. And it wakes people up from what I’ve heard in a very jarring way, just because you were part of like part of the system in a totally different way. I’m gonna kind of go off script here for a second, because I’m kind of curious. You said that, like, the people asked you those two questions like, Well, do you work in education, do you have an education degree? And then you basically, were able to shove it in their face and be like, well, now I do. And he went of all places, you know, to Harvard to get that degree. I’m curious, that sounds like it would have been incredibly frustrating, particularly if your goal is to create, like, kind of the antithesis of that. Like, can you talk a little bit about how that juxtaposition also shaped what you’re doing now?
Do you mean, do you mean specifically, like being in the Harvard Ed School, which is pretty opposed to what I believe? Is that what you’re getting at? Yeah, so I went to I went to Harvard with no intention of actually learning Education, right. And the only reason I went to Harvard. Well, I mean, one of the reasons I went to Harvard was, I had this brand, right, and I didn’t want to dilute my brand, very, very problematic, but I’ve had a problematic history. And so I’ve had to unlearn a lot of things, or Deschool in a lot of ways I should say. So yeah, I went to Harvard, because one, it was Harvard. And I was like, I’m not going to dilute my Stanford brand, which I reject now. But that’s where I was at that point to was they had a one year program called special studies, which allowed me to get a master’s in education, which had zero prerequisites. And so I could take any courses that I want, in fact, I only had to take half of my courses at the ED school. And I ended up taking less than half my courses at the ED school because I took a bunch of additional courses outside the ED school. So I took, I think four out of like, 11 classes at the ED school. And so part of it was just the freedom to study what I wanted to and that was big. And then when I got to Harvard, I probably talked to most members of my class at some point, asking them if they wanted to join forces to help try to undermine the schooling system, of which I got some horrible responses. So and so it was fine. It was a very privilege, a very relaxed, sort of experience. People, a lot of people there just didn’t take it seriously. And after dealing with the police, it’s not like I wasn’t having the same types of, you know, high consequence, type of fights. So it just really wasn’t that big a deal. I laugh at it. I laugh at it even more now, knowing what a tremendous waste of money it was. But in a lot of ways I see it as I saw it as a sabbatical, it was really a way for me to get away from the Austin police for a bit. And just think outside of class.
I love that sorry. I think it’s, it’s that whole, like getting your toolkit together so you can do more, do more harm, slash good. Particularly when you’re, I mean, that’s one of the roles as an adult in creating alternatives to school is to leverage the capital or whether it’s social or educational capital to ward off the state from causing problems. I mean, as you know, part of the issue is that some people aren’t allowed to unschool based on their skin color or their class background. So it’s just really important to, to trouble that from a place of privilege. So, I love that story. Also, the education department, particularly a Masters and PhD often does have space for these conversations in my experience, at least they invite me in to talk and use my work. So I think that ,I think it’s one of the places to intervene. I know Matt Herrn often went and did that, because of, because it’s training teachers. So you kind of want to go in there and cause some trouble. So yeah, I’m sorry, I could, we could turn this into a radical education, youth oppression, stop youth oppression conversation, I’m going to shift. Thinking about your past and going from like, you know, really authority to thinking about anti authority in a real deep way like that, taking down the biggest social border that’s enacted in our society, which is adults against children. I’m curious, like, in the context of where you live, and where you come from, like, What does radicalism or militancy mean to you with regards to that relationship with children, but also just for yourself?
Yeah, so radical. I think both words are really fascinating. Um, and, and I certainly don’t present myself as any sort of expert. You know, by the way. When I hear militancy, I do think of your book joyful militancy, which I have a copy of an Eleanor, I have a copy of yours, which I bought at Monkey Wrench books when you came to Austin. So I think it is the first time I’ve ever done an interview where I’ve had, you know, the books from the people interviewing. So, but radicalism of militancy, I think those are really interesting words. Anything can be radical that’s outside of the norm. Right. And so a lot of people think that homeschooling is radical. A lot of people think that that defunding the police, you know by 10%, is radical. And so, when it comes to education, and policing, it seems that so many people get pegged as radical when they’re when they’re quite conservative, right? They’re like, Oh, you want to do vouchers? Like, that’s radical? It’s like, no, that’s super conservative. You’re changing nothing, you know? So yeah, radicalism is an interesting word. And I think that I used to embrace the notion of being a radical, and but then it seemed to be very much, I came to realize that as soon as you get pegged the radical, it’s an easy way for people to dismiss you. And so that’s, that’s pretty difficult. Militancy is also another charge where because, you know, militancy is, you know, resisting, you know, challenging, daring to, to try to undermine, you know, what’s happening. And a lot of people think that it has to entail, you know, actually, like, you know, fighting the state with arms type stuff, which is obviously not true. Um, but, but when it comes to kids, it’s just like, you know, just daring to respect them in public spaces. There’s just this one episode, where I was with kids at the state capitol, and, and the people who were working there at the state capitol demanded that the kids needed to have chaperones with them, like they couldn’t be by themselves. And me, just challenging them on that, in the moment just seem like, they were shocked. They’re shocked that I was gonna just challenge them on something that simple. But, um, but yeah, I don’t really know how to answer your question. I just think that both words are really interesting, and that both words can be spun inn some of the worst ways. I think that it’s too easy for people to take on the banner of being a radical, or being a militant, and I often see it in ways in which they’re basically doing it online, like building a following. And so they’re risking nothing. Or, in a worst case scenario. They’re benefiting from it tremendously as an individual, and they’re encouraging other people to put themselves at risk, but they’re never, they’re not on the ground organizing, they’re not on the ground facing arrest. They’re not even taking a break from their lives to engage in something. And, like one example, and I know that you had scott crow on your call, and scott crow, obviously knows Brandon Darby extraordinarily personally. Brandon Darby and others people associated with the state, um, you know, back in, I think it was the 2008 election. I think it was the RNC you know, Some kids, little kids got set up by Brandon Darby and the FBI, you know, said that they were making Molotov cocktails, and they ended up getting thrown in prison on terrorism charges. And, and it’s difficult because I’ve seen it before, where you have people with power or influence, and they were, they’re just so reckless with it, wherein instead of them you know, being on the ground and supporting people and putting themselves at risk. You know, they are encouraging other people put themselves at risk at great expense to people who are are just trying to be supportive and following. So I know this is a big tangent, I think from your question, but i think that i think that both are are interesting terms that just bring up a lot of feelings in me. Sorry, that was rambling.
Not at all. I mean, I think kind of like the, the, the antithesis of typical schooling, there’s not like a one answer or, you know, a specific answer. And kind of in line with that. I’m curious, like you mentioned, like you corrected yourself when you said unlearn. And so I’m kind of curious how that ties into one of our questions, which is, like, a part of your past that you look back on, and you’re like, Oh, that’s that was bad, that you kind of shutter or, you know, do a smiling face palm like, I worked on John Edwards campaign when I was 16.
I’m way worse. I got way worse than that.
Oh, I don’t know that. That’s my worst. I just, you probably have to get some wine in me, for me to share the worst. But I’m curious, like, you know, on your political path, at what point did you realize that you needed to grow? And how does that like feeling of growth? How does that contrast to the concept of like unlearning something or trying to like, erase it?
So on my path, I went from being in the military. And, and there’s a part of me that was similar to what I think that you brought up earlier, where the military is a ticket out of a lot of bad situations, particularly for people, you know, who don’t have a lot of resources. And, I was one of those people, like, if you looked at my socio economic situation, but I went to West Point. So, I wasn’t surrounded by people like that. And then, and then I was an officer in the military. So I left that and when I left the military, I was a big Republican, like I supported John MCain. I knocked on doors in Pennsylvania to try to get john mccain real. Get him elected. So that’s worse than Edwards. Right? And then, because I that was like, the first time I really invest in myself in a political campaign. When he lost I was devastated. And then I was watching all these Barack Obama videos. I’m like, Oh, my God, he’s inspiring. Yeah. John mccain was wrong. Barack Obama was right, we need to end these words. And then I became like, all anti war. And then Barack Obama did what all democratic politicians do – they kept the thing going. And then I became a Ron Paul libertarian. And so, and I went all in on it. And it was, I went all in I was going to pork fest. I was like, surrounding myself with, you know, voluntaryist and anarcho capitalists and I was very confused as to what what I was and the thing about libertarians are there’s a lot of really amazing libertarians like who fundamentally are anti authority and hierarchy. They’re just in the minority, big time and it’s almost like what are you fighting for within this term of libertarianism when what you believe in is not what most people who claim to be libertarian believe in right? But I tried to I tried to you know, fight within that space I thought that I had I thought that I had a lot of leverage in that space because I was anti war West pointers that people rallied around and then I got arrested and more people rallied around me. And so there was even some like poll where they said, Who’s your Liberty hero of the year and I want it I mean, it’s a small community so it’s not like it was a big award! But still, I want after like, I stood up to the police. And I was anti war. And, and I felt pretty good. I actually felt like I had a home there. And I felt like, you know, I had community, right? Like that was my tribe. And yeah, and there was a moment where I was called Mike Brown, Mike Brown murder right by Darren Wilson. And people who were completely anti police concerned about the police state. They recognize that policing was a violent institution that did great harm, and that we needed to do something about it. But then, as soon as we started, like, rallying for my Mike Brown, there’s a bunch of like, wait, well, he was no angel. Whoa, whoa, whoa, well, he was a he was a thug type thing. And I was like, you know, Darren Wilson was just defending himself. And it was, it was shocking. I’m just like, Whoa, I thought we were all on the same team here. I thought the problem is this thing. And it’s obviously much greater than this thing. But but to see so many people who are like, yes, we need to get rid of policing. And we need to do something about it. All of a sudden defending a police officer, in a case where they really had very little information. Soit’s okay to be skeptical. But it’s totally not okay to assume that Darren Wilson, like was right in killing Michael Brown. And so that experience really caused me to create a lot of struggle within me. And I ended up going after some of like, you may not know their names I wouldn’t expect you to but like in the libertarian movement there, there were people like Stefan Molyneux, who is now just like, doesn’t even claim to be libertarians, just outright white nationalists. I’m Tom woods, who’s a NEO Confederate libertarian historian, Christopher Cantwell, who made his name as the crime Nazi at Charlottesville. And like, so I went after these guys who had some sort of standing in this like, right libertarian world, because I thought that I could convince people that there’s a way to shift this movement away from what was quite clearly a white supremacist, like leaning or flavoring, I guess you could say. And so there’s this really great book, the book of learning and forgetting by by Frank Smith, that everyone Abrome reads all the facilitators read, and one of the things in that book that I really appreciate, is he makes the point, and I’m not sure if it’s his point, but he makes the point that you can’t actually unlearn anything, right? Like, it’s impossible to unlearn something, what you can do is you can learn new things, and you can grow. But once you learn something, you can’t unlearn it. And so, you know, I certainly haven’t unlearned anything, but I’ve tried to sort of make amends for, you know, support that I did that I think was harmful in the long run. I think it was with good intentions, but, but my big focus has been on, you know, continuing to learn, surrounding myself with good people and, and trying to live my life in a way which I think can, which I can feel proud of, and that I think serves as a model for you know, other people I think modeling is just so critical. Like it doesn’t matter what your influences if you only have one person who even knows you exist, I think the way that we live our lives is huge, because it has an influence on them. So yeah, I don’t I cannot learn anything, but we can certainly grow and and I’ve had those experiences where I’ve, I really regret some of the people I surrounded myself with, and some of the things that I’ve supported even sometimes when I didn’t even realize I was supporting it, but but I do feel like you know, it makes sense to have grace for oneself. Just as we would have grace for people we care about and love and allow them to grow and and that’s what I’ve tried to do for myself.
That’s a beautiful answer. I often rant about the unlearning thing. I think it’s like it’s a setup to keep us stuck in a loop. Because it’s almost like a negation. You know? not to pull in Nietzsche but it’s like we’re focusing on the negative only and when yeah, it’s because it’s impossible to track, and I should read that book... Because, I think for our teaser, I said exactly that. You can’t unlearn. You can’t unlearn anything you can only continue to learn and show up and yeah, so thank you. It’s nice to have someone else reflect that and I think It’s really important in the work you do, because, you know, again, you’ll just confue kids if you focus too much on, you just need to unlearn everything you’ve learned, what/huh? it just gets into this weird dynamic. And yeah, thinking about what you were just talking about ... I had a very small stint in libertarianism too because it seemed to be the only place where like freedom was existing in the everyday but, uh, you know, I quickly got out of there too, because it was also where individualism is deeply rooted. And I don’t know about you, but I see that in the alternative school movement particularly in the US. And it’s why we use the term alternative to school. And that TO just was everything for us. Because that was one of the things we were trying to push against. I’m getting somewhere. But I yeah, so sort of thinking about that dynamic of libertarianism, but more about individualism, like liberalism that’s so deeply rooted in the US right now, and has been in and in the Western world. whiteness, you could call it colonialism, but it’s individualism. I’m wondering how that, how that works in your praxis with working with children? It is definitely something that I think needs to be talked about more. And do you have any fear or uncertainty around it? And the work you do around that intersection of liberation for kids and entrenching individualism?
Yeah, individualism, I think is, yeah, it’s horrible. In, particular, well, in so many ways .It’s so weird, because when you talk about self directed education, or unschooling, it’s just so easy to talk about all the benefits that the kids get, right, as just sort of, like you’re freeing them up, you know, there’s this huge opportunity cost to them doing performing for other people, and now you’re freeing them up. So they can be the best humans they can be. So they can learn how to be in relationship and in community with other people. And, people very quickly, often take that to, oh, so this is how we can hack the system. Like, this is how I hack my kid into Harvard, this is how my kid is going to be a future tech billionaire. And, in the education space, I see that a lot. And, it’s very frustrating, because parents and guardians will sometimes come to me, and they’ll say, ‘Oh, so what you’re doing is the same as this, or Oh, have you heard about this person who seems to be saying the same thing.’ And I’m like, No, we’re doing the exact opposite thing, like this person is trying to have you pay them, so that they can position your kid to be a master of industry, or to be a leader of government type thing. And what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to tear that down, we’re trying to show people that it’s possible to have community and to have a space where everyone is valued, and everyone’s needs are taken care of. And people think that when we leave school, that all of a sudden, kids are free, and there’s a difference between emancipation and liberation. And I know that I’ve read this somewhere, and I don’t know where, but emancipation is, when you just get to escape something, right? And that’s important. And when kids are struggling, of course, like get them out of that situation, it’s vital to their well being. But that’s not liberation, it’s not liberation, if they’re just going to take their newfound freedom. And, use it to harm others, even if they’re doing it without their knowledge. But by focusing on climbing the rungs or getting to the top of of the, what I call the pyramid structure of society, um, you know, the, the idea of using unschooling or self directed education as a way to prove that you’re the best, and so therefore, you deserve that spot at Harvard, or so therefore, you get that venture capital funding for your business. It’s just something I want nothing to do with. And I’ve had a lot of conversations with people in the sort of SDE world behind the scenes where, where we’ve had these, you know, we’ve talked about like, this needs to come to a head, we need to make it clear to people that we’re not trying to create a bunch of tech entrepreneurs. We’re not trying to hack the system, so that these kids get into Harvard and Stanford, you know, just by opting out. So, I do think that there is a real risk of people confusing their sort of individual freedom with, with a sense of liberation for everyone, I think this is the problem with the libertarian movement in general. In the US, at least, I’m not sure what it is like in Canada, but probably very similar. Yeah, the libertarian movement, you know, they, they really focus on freedom. But it’s very often freedom for white men to benefit from having less state control, but without dealing with all of the advantages that they’ve gotten from the state, from capitalism from, you know, colonialism, right? Like, you know, that’s hundreds and hundreds of years of benefits that they benefit from. And now they just don’t want to be okay, we’re all free. But let me maintain my position. in society, I think it’s really, really hard and, and at Abrome. One thing that we just say, I mean, sometimes I think the kids probably get sick of it, we constantly say like, how do we center the needs of the people who are most impacted? Right, like, Who’s most impacted by the decision we’re going to make? Because sometimes what’s best for me individually, is actually really harmful. And so we need to recognize that it doesn’t mean that your wants don’t matter, they do. but we have to recognize like, how do my once impact other people,
You’re listening to Silver Threads, part of the Grounded Futures multimedia platform, for more information, and to donate to our totally ad free show, check out Grounded futures.com, you can reach out to us with thoughts and suggestions at Silver Threads show at protonmail.colm you can find out more about our host Eleanor via art killing apathy.com. And our host, carla via joyful threads productions.com. And now, back to the show. in particular, because you work so much with youth, I’m really intrigued to hear your response to this question, which we have gotten various responses to, which is do you have more or less hope for the future? And do you feel like a shift is happening, particularly recently with, you know, the sheen of capitalism being stripped off, thanks to COVID. So curious, your thoughts on hope? And you know, what kind of Hope you have if you do have it?
Yeah, that’s challenging. I’m optimistic and pessimistic at the same time, and I oscillate between the two, I feel like, you know, I do have hope. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be working with young people, right, like that is I don’t think that there’s any way to have more hope for the future, then being able to work with young people. One, is young people are awesome. Like, they’re so much better than us old people. if for no other reason than they just haven’t been conditioned into some of the worst aspects of society, , they’re young enough to believe that that the way things are don’t have to stay the same, you know, they’re young enough to believe that there’s something better and so I certainly have hope, but I think it’s bounded for sure. I don’t cop watch anymore, in part because of the pandemic. I don’t know if I’ll get back into it. But, I recognize there’s limitations in and my own energy and the resources I have that I can apply to it. And, I think that it’s been challenging, because over the past 10 years, you know, going, , just seeing so many cycles of something happens, let’s get mad, let’s organize against it. It’s very reaction based, but let’s get angry, let’s do something about it. And then to have that co opted by, you know, a political party or politician or nonprofit that takes all that energy and moves it towards something that actually just strengthens the system or reforms, like when we’re talking about criminal justice type stuff, they put that energy into reforms, which actually makes the system you know, stronger. You know, it’s been hard and getting arrested. Obviously, for anyone who’s been arrested, they know it’s just exhausting. It’s mentally taxing. It’s physically taxing. It’s a great way to marginalize people. Where you know, as soon as you’ve been arrested, you must have done something wrong. Having police trying to frame you for crimes that you didn’t commit, having them even going out of their way to try to frame anyone even if they did commit a crime is bad, right? But I think it’s very easy to lose hope. And, when I think about activists, you know, an activist is just a word too, right? but people who organize, to try to make their communities better. There is a challenge wherein there’s oftentimes a small number of people who are doing an incredible amount of work to hold groups together, movements together, they’re sacrificing so much of themselves and their time and their money. Like, because they’re not working, they’re just doing all this stuff, voluntarily, because they’re trying to improve the world. That it can be pretty depressing. The activist infighting, um, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of so called ‘leftists’ that, you know, they come together for a cause, and then there’s usually certain groups that will always turn on the other groups and try to grow their membership, or shift it in a different way, that’s, that’s super problematic, but they, attack each other, I’ve been a victim of that I’ve seen other people be a victim of that, it can be very depressing at times, I think. Um, and the COVID thing is fascinating, because I thought that COVID was going to, I thought everyone was gonna see the problem with schooling, once remote schooling was happening, parents and guardians were at home with their kids seeing what was happening in real time. And, there just wasn’t right, like, you haven’t seen a huge shift. There are people who have taken kids out of school and put them in homeschooling pods, or private schools, or they’re doing schooling at home. But there isn’t this huge, to my knowledge, there’s a huge movement towards unschooling, or self directed education. And so that is sad. And then just the most basic piece of actually caring for other human beings, right, like wearing a mask, and not being a jerk type thing, you know, not going out and just spreading the disease. You know, just seeing how many people actively worked against it, not just like, I don’t care, but like, I’m actively going to go out and challenge any sense of community care. You know, all of that’s been really, really depressing. But, I do believe, here’s where the positive aspect comes back. I do believe that the work that people have been doing for so long, the consistent work the the sort of the invisible organizers, the people who’ve been working the entire time, planting seeds, getting people to consider stuff. I feel like COVID wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, the uprising last summer, I thought was going to be it. And then, you know, the status quo is quite powerful, where they shifted it around again. But I do believe that the effort that people put in now and have been putting in for generations, is seeding. potential future wherein something will happen, that finally gets people to collectively come together and try to tear down these harmful institutions. There’s always going to be people push against that. And there’s always going to be people, though, be the people who just try to manage with it, because they think there’ll be fine, or they hope they’ll be fine, or they think that they can profit off of it. But I do think that there will be catalyzing events or moments that allow for, you know, massive upheaval. I just don’t know what that’s going to be. But I think that if people keep putting in the time and effort that will get there, I used to be of the opinion that I had to be the hero that did it. Right. Like I think a lot of especially male activists probably think like, I’m that guy, I’m gonna be the one that everyone rallies behind, and we’re gonna do this. And so I certainly don’t believe in that anymore. I really do think that it’s the the organizers who’ve been doing this forever, who do it in a way in which they’re not asking for attention or money or anything that have been playing those seeds that, you know, will allow people recognize that there’s real alternatives to to what’s happening, you know, there’s alternatives, alternative approaches that we can take, instead of just trying to manage within the system that we that we live in.
So that’s a great answer, and I feel like you, you did a beautiful job of talking about all the things again in the way of hope and scaling over and thank you and I again, I’m so glad you I mentioned that the disappointment in the outcome around education and schooling kids from the pandemic because I was just talking to a mentor in Mexico who’s worked in alternative to schooling for 60 years. And he kind of reflected the opposite, saying there’s this amazing moment where parents are realizing how terrible the curriculum is. And I was like, I don’t, I don’t think that’s what’s happening. I think people are not into having their kids on a screen all day. That’s real. But I don’t think they’re questioning the very education, the very curriculum overall. But yeah, so I really appreciate that. I think it’s, there’s all kinds of things that were feeling really, like the possibilities are so incredible, at the beginning of the pandemic, but I digress. But I think that you did get to something where that the ongoing work, the work before the pandemic, and the work through it, and the work now and ongoing onwards, is what we really need to keep focusing on and I’m curious what imagination means to you, and what you think its role is in continuing to create new worlds and build this autonomous future for us all
Yeah, in my imagination is something that I think is extremely important. It’s something that I’ve struggled with. I don’t feel very imaginative. And, I blame my school mindset for this, right. Even though I’ve always sort of gone against the grain to some degree. I’ve certainly managed, you know, within the, at least the education system, right, like I, I navigate through k 12. schooling went to West Point, did Stanford, did Harvard. Right. And so, you know, I’ve been sufficiently schooled, that instead of seeking out or imagining alternatives, I should say, I have, I’ve always sought out approved solutions, right, you know, what people would call best practices, right? Um, and it’s been very limiting, right? Especially because I was in the army. And then I was in investment banking. And, and, and higher education, where in many cases, what’s most important is not looking like you don’t know something, it’s not looking ignorant, or not, not having the wrong position. So the best thing you can do is find the safety of what everyone else already agrees with. Right? And that’s a huge problem, right? dominant culture is in very, is very much the problem. And so, I think imagination is super important, but it’s a skill that I need to work on. But yeah, I think it’s very important. imagination can help lead to creativity, I think creativity, imagination, plus action or plus discipline creates creativity, and it’s it’s that creative process that can create alternatives allow people see that there’s that there’s alternatives. So I think that that is super important. I’ve never read, I very rarely have read fiction. Right? And, and with the Agile Learning Center network, which is a collection of self directed education, communities, you know, we created this book group that we have been meeting now for a few years. And, and we started I think the very first book that we started with was parable of the sower by Octavia Butler. No, it was Emerging Strategy, but parallel story came soon thereafter. Right? And it was just, you know, it was I’ve never been a fan of science fiction, never I used to think it was silly. And it was just and then reading that and then reading what other people have had to say about Octavia Butler, and other sort of futurists sci fi type thinkers, like imagining what what the world can look like. I think it’s wonderful. And I think that when I’m doing with a broom we’re what we’re doing with Abrome, it’s just an experiment and we’re trying to show what’s possible but I also know that there’s so much more possible. In addition, I’m working with the Flying Squads I’m not sure if you Yeah, flying squad so it’s it’s a collection of also SDE oriented folks who try to let go of even a notion of of place in terms of an educational space and they go into the city and the goal is is to try to re occupy public spaces. You know, for youth having youth reoccupy public spaces when most of society thinks that they belong inside a school somewhere, and so, you know, like, that’s just another example of like, you know, everyone’s trying to find a better way to school, or create an alternative school and then flying squads is just like, no, we’re just going to go into the city and just, you know, be everything that you don’t want a school to be. And, we’re just gonna do it, we’re gonna do it in your face in a way that allows them to take up space. So I think imagination is vital.
I think it’s also funny that you say that you don’t have a lot of imagination when you’ve imagined these paths for yourself that were totally not in your schooling, like really the antithesis of your schooling. And yet you imagined and then you know, manifested them. So I think your imagination is just fine. Coming from, you know, clearly an expert on the subject. Um, so speaking of books, and things like that, and by the way, I was the same way I never really got into sci fi. And then I read god I’m so bad at names, but the book is called the city we became. And
Thank you. Thank you. I’d forget my own name if it wasn’t on my passport, um, yeah, and was just really appreciative of the future like this idea that, that they put forward and it actually like our most recent guests pointed out that the the, like, the futures that you see in Hollywood are always like mad max or some shit. That’s like, super dystopian. And it’s like, that’s not how humans are in crisis situations. There’s so much mutual aid and so much collaboration and community and so sci-fi gets a bad rap for that. But there are some incredible people working on the actual beautiful potential of the future. So that little rant aside, is there a book or a song or some other artistic medium that was a spark for you, and then a couple of books that you’d like to recommend to folks listening.
So like sci-fi wasn’t a big part of my life growing up. Music wasn’t either. I was just into, like, whatever was popular on MTV type situations. Um, so definitely not a spark. But since I was involved in dealing with policing, the policing issue, there was an album that came out by Wise Intelligent, called the blue Klux Klan, which just blew my mind. I mean, first off, just from an artistic perspective, for a non music person, oh, it was just amazing. But the great thing about the blue Klux Klan was that he used contemporary, you know, current, like events in all of his songs, and then for some of the interludes or whatever, between songs, he was using, like actual 911 calls, you know, or recordings from incidents with police. And it’s just a very powerful album. That I think that anyone who has been engaged with the issue of trying to deal with the police state, um, you know, I just feel like it’s, it’s great. And it’s great, because if you give it to other people, it can be good music, but it can open them up to be like, well, that actually happened, like this is act like this incident is and then give them the details behind it to blow their mind, because a lot of people think that policing is largely good or benign, you know, does, you know, does more good than harm, and they and they just don’t recognize that, that it does far more harm than good. So I just think that’s a great album. And then and then there was a song by an artist, I don’t even know if this is how you pronounce the name, but bambu, it’s called Routine. And again, this is from a policing perspective, but it’s just such a therapeutic song. It’s a song that allowed me to be okay with being angry and mad at the system. And, a lot of the work that I did early on in it, you know, I was doing a lot of like, the respectability type stuff like I was doing the right thing the whole time. Like, I didn’t break any laws. I’ve never been arrested before, I’m a veteran, right? It’s this notion of like, I’m the right type of victim. And therefore what happened to me is unjust. And then dealing with so many people who aren’t the right types of victims, but they’re humans, and they deserve as much humanity as anyone else. Um, you know, and then, but, but people attack me, and much more effectively attack other people, for not being the right type of victim. And it’s just like me for being angry. Like I’ve been called angry so many times, it’s just the notion of it’s okay to be angry. Um, that song was amazing. Um, so those are two., htat album and that song I’ve listened to a ton. But um, as far as books, yeah, I’ve been reading so many books lately. One of the benefits of getting kicked off of Facebook. But I’ve been reading so many books lately. And I pulled them I pulled a bunch of them actually, they’re just sitting here on on my desk but there’s this one book that’s just a refreshing book, a way of sort of resetting, which is super popular that a lot of you have probably heard of, but it’s Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin wall. kimmerer. I mean, the book is just beautiful. It’s just a great way to reimagine, like how we’re going through this experience. And she has in the book, she says something. And just this amazing quote, where she said, like the purpose of education, and we can debate the word education, but it’s to find the nature, the nature of your own gifts, and how you can contribute them to the world, there’s something to that effect, which I just think is one of the best definitions of education that I’ve ever come across. And I just sent that entire book – It’s a critique of capitalism and colonialism, but it’s also just a great way to imagine our place in the world. I love that book. We do this till we free us by Miriam Cava, which is been super popular lately, just all of a sudden abolition is being taken seriously by so many people. I love that. And then staying on the criminal justice type side of things. Usual Cruelty is just amazing book which really emphasizes the culpability of so many people who work within our profit off of what he calls the punishment bureaucracy instead of the criminal justice system. He calls it the punishment bureaucracy. So I think that’s great. And, then, as far as education goes, I’ve already mentioned the book of learning and forgetting by Frank Smith. It’s that book is all about, you know, what learning communities can be. It’s not what school can be. It’s just like, you know, how do we learn? And just talks about: we learn through clubs or collectives, or affinity groups, it’s, you know, when we’re surrounded by people who care about us, and who aren’t going to judge us as we try to grow. It’s great. Teaching and transgressed by bell hooks is always a necessary one for education community. Free to learn by Peter gray is great as an entry point for self directed education, if people need validation from a white academic, right, and, and it’s a it’s a, it’s a wonderful book, but there’s a lot of people who won’t consider other voices, and they need to know that, oh, here’s this professor, you know, Who supports this and then Raising Free People by Akilah Richards, which is really focused on how unschooling is,, you know, it’s a liberatory thing. It’s a liberation type of act. So those are all great books. But yeah, I was trying to think of books that have really impacted me and there’s just countless books.
Yeah, that’s a beautiful list. Thank you. Eleanor and I did a half an episode on books that influenced us, so we appreciate you whittling it down. And yeah, so kind of getting to the end here. We like to take a moment and amplify some other folks through your lens and fold time a bit. And wondering if you could name either an individual or collective or an action or movement that inspired you and early on, and then somebody who’s inspiring you or a group that’s inspiring you today that’s kind of new out there.
Yeah. So when I got involved in the policing issue, the things that the people I mean, I had so many people supporting me That it was pretty easy to just think it was all about me, quite frankly. But I wasn’t because I’m an Austin I was introduced to scott crow early on, and he gave me some really sage advice, which I really appreciate, I should probably tell him how much I appreciate that at some point. But there was also someone from Austin who was helped form the Brown Berets in Austin, his name is Paul Hernandez recently passed away in the past couple of years. Um, you know, I just chatted with him, you know, it was really helpful. And then the Black Panther Party. So Bobby Seale, we brought Bobby Seale in for a big summit that we organize in Austin, and he said, one of the founders of the of the Black Panther Party, and just looking at the stuff that they did, the ways in which they became such a threat to, to the government, basically, just by saying, Hey, we can support one another, right? Like, I mean, that they were very much what you would hope that you could create in the world, right, like people who just care about each other, right? And organizing to do that. And so I think that all of that they really helped me, helped inspire me as to like, what, what we could do. Um, and it’s really interesting, because when we look at what happened last summer with the uprising, I got so dejected to a point where I’m like, can we can we do this, and I came to the conclusion that this is a multigenerational fight, kind of like, like, slavery was not the same thing. But it’s sort of like, it’s not a one generation fight, like you’re not, we’re not just going to all of a sudden be opposed to it, and it’s going to go away, quickly. And then, you know, in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing, you know, and Briana Taylor, but like really in response to George Floyd killing Minneapolis when they burnt down a third precinct, just seeing the way that so many people shifted. And I don’t think it would have happened through protests, like so called peaceful protest, or, you know, marching down the street, it was the literal example of burning down the police precinct, in which one polls show that a majority of Americans at the moment felt that it was at least partially justified, like it was a justify act. And I was like, wow, this is the turning point. This is the turning point, like everything’s ready to shift. And then there was such a huge backlash, you know, people started reading all these books by black authors and saying that they wanted to deal with this. And then there was such a backlash. And now all of a sudden, the numbers have basically reverted. And so it’s super depressing at times. But, I think that those, those people who’ve been struggling for so long, and doing what they can in their own ways, to resist and to create alternatives, and to show that there are other ways. I think that we can look back to them to really inspire us to go forward. But as far as people who are doing work today, I really am just so appreciative of Mariame Kaaba, and all the people around her, almost all of whom are women, or, or trans Black activists who’ve just been doing this work for decades, it feels like and now. Now they’re finally getting the recognition. And there’s think pieces about him and whatnot. And all of a sudden abolition wherein when I talked about abolition, three years ago, people are just like you are, you know, out of it. And now all of a sudden, people are like, Oh, no, yeah, like, I’ve heard that, and I get it. So I think that’s just amazing. And it really does show the benefit of building community and building relationships and, and doing this over a long period of time, instead of thinking that we’re just going to all of a sudden organize people in and go out in March and have this big shift. So that’s where I think of in terms of activists, when it comes to police state issues. And then when it comes to education issues, I think of the folks at the Agile Learning Center network, like all those people that I benefit from so much and appreciate Abby Olton in particular from who does so much of the heavy lifting in that community. The Flying squads network, the Alliance for self directed education, Akilah Richards and all the advocacy advocacy she does for unschooling is liberation but but when it comes to like the people who aren’t noticed the people who are just going day to day like all these people who are unschooling and all these people who are, you know, doing mutual aid projects and whatnot, people who are doing Jail support people who are like going out and supporting houses encampments, like these people, y’all know their names, they’re not looking for it. But they’re just, they’re doing the hard work that will allow us when that catalyzing moment comes to really take advantage of it. So, yeah, but I have a lot of inspiration, I feel like I’m a lot less dour than I think I am sometimes.
Yeah, and thank you for naming the ones who aren’t named, I think that that’s, that’s really important. There was a training that our mutual aid group gave like last year, and it was after like, some of the uprisings and a lot of people were there because they, you know, thought it was sexy, or whatever. And they were like, if you’re here, because you’ve been envision yourself screaming into a microphone in front of 4000 people, please get the fuck out of here. Because that is not the point. Yeah, so the underground and the behind the scenes like that’s building power. And so finally, speaking of which, wondering if there’s a mutual aid group or a collective or a cause or a project that you’d like to shout out, and we’ll link to in terms of raising solidarity funds for
Yeah, so the Street Form in Austin to mutual aid group for on house Austinites. They’ve been doing great work, there’s a collection of groups that have really worked hard on behalf of the houseless in Austin, they’ve been, like in many other cities, they’ve been really attacked by the right by property owners, and whatnot. But Austin a few years ago, successfully, was able to finally lobby city council to decriminalize houselessness, we had a no sit, no lie ban, where he basically he get ticketed and arrested if you’re sitting or lying down in public, which is obviously only only used against houseless folks, and they were able to finally repeal that after many, many years of of organizing. And then there was a huge right wing backlash to it, and they ended up re criminalizing it recently, and, you know, with Trump with, you know, with all of the forces that have rallied behind sort of, you know, white nationalism in many ways, you know, they’re they’re just once again, being really targeted. And, Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas has also like, had a huge focus on houselessness in, in the worst sort of ways. And so St. Form TX is just one of many groups that has just been consistent. Very, they’re not out there looking for attention, right, like a lot of anarchistic or, I’m not saying they’re all anarchists, but like, you know, they don’t need you to know who they are. They just want you to get involved type of thing. So that’s great. I think mutual aid is just so challenging. I’m actually tried to create a mutual aid effort in my local community when the pandemic hit. And we had a couple people who are really gung ho about and got into it, but but it was just a couple of people, and it just sort of never materialized. And so it was, it was a great experience, but it was it was pretty big. In fact, carla, didn’t you create a spreadsheet that a lot of people copy?
I don’t Yeah, I think people did copy the one I did, probably if you knew me, but I think the original one might have came out of Portland... At first we were like, day two, or whatever. I was like, I’m used to getting together in person and feeding everybody and asking what to do. Google Doc Really? But it worked. And people. Yeah, a lot of people used it. Yeah.
Well, I’m one of the people I used it and it didn’t work out. And I think that a lot of that has to do with the fact that I didn’t know my neighbors, right. I’ve been living there but I just didn’t know my neighbors. And so, you know, I didn’t have that connection. And you know that. That’s a lesson learned. I did I remember way back in the day when I went to Ferguson, talking to one of the people out there, David Witte. Now one of the underground organizers who started the Canfield watchman, which was a cop watch group, and we were talking about the issue of crime, right crime, like the scary crime issue. And he acknowledged that like yeah, people in poverty, you know, people without options like yeah, and in those environments, there is going to be more “crime” right crimes of opportunity. It’s etcetera, basically, you know, one of the best things you can do to protect against crime is actually get to know your neighbors, like, go out and talk to your neighbors. When’s the last time you talked to your neighbor? And so, yeah, I think that that’s super powerful. And I think that if I would have done a better job of doing that, I think that my effort at mutual aid at the beginning of the pandemic would have helped, but anyways, total tangent, but Street Forum. Austin, mutual aid for unhoused austinites was really great, and is worth supporting.
Thank you. I feel like I could keep talking to you for, you know, like a couple of days, but I understand that people have other things to do than to talk to me. So is there anything else you want to add that we didn’t touch on or?
I mean, yeah, we can certainly talk longer and longer, for sure. There are like dynamics of, of, like, just burnout, which I’m sure that you’ve addressed with other people just sort of like, really dive in trying to be a part of something o part of the solution. And then just having to deal with one, the exhaustion, that that takes that it bears on you, two, is like the financial aspect of like, everyone else is working and earning money. And you’re sitting here just trying to fight, you know, these institutions and and it actually costs money to do that, right. And then three is just the, you know, just the vulnerability of knowing that when you bring a lot of people who are eager to fight systems, that oftentimes are just awesome, just eager to fight. And that leads to a lot of a lot of unfortunate infighting that is problematic. And, of course, you always have the techies who want to put you in a gulag.
Well, it comes back to the, it’s intergenerational and pass the baton. We’re in a marathon, or whatever you want to call it. Yeah, I think it’s the important part and a wonderful way to end to create solid relationships with your neighbors and pass the baton when you need a rest.
Silver Threads is recorded in different places across borders. carla is located in Canada on Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh lands. Eleanor is located here in there, usually either in Sweden or on piscataway land now known as Washington DC, and our guests join us from around the world. You can find out more about the show and our guests at Grounded futures.com. To learn more about Eleanor’s work visit art killing apathy.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at radicalEleanor. For carla, follow her on Twitter and Instagram at joyfulcarla. You can also reach out to us at Silver Threads email@example.com And lastly, if you want to support the making of the show, you can donate over at Grounded futures.com Thank you to the Grounded Futures team for supporting us with promotion. All of this snazzy graphics that you see are created by Jamie-Leigh Gonzales Grounded Futures is a multimedia platform and is produced by carla Bergman, Jamie-Leigh Gonzales and Melissa Roach. post production audio for our show was done by Eleanor Goldfield the intro and outro music for our show is a song called Floodlight by Eleanor’s former Band Rooftop revolutionaries. Thanks for listening and now let’s go rattle thrones and topple Empire.