Tokyo to Detroit

A stream of consciousness.

I’m sitting in Vancouver airport about to head off to join my mom and sister in Japan. My grandpa invited us and urged us to come as soon as possible. Given that this is the first time in close to 8 years that he’s officially invited us and since he’s 88 and we don’t know how much longer he may have, we scrambled and got flights to go see him. Thankfully, I’ve organized a few meetings to go to while I’m there, including meeting up with the Japanese digital rights group, MIAU, and hopefully can even meet a professor there who’s been super vocal about how the TPP impacts digital rights, named Fukui Kensaku, who I’ve been admiring from afar.

After that, I’ll finally get to go to Detroit for the Allied Media Conference, a big collaboratively-designed, alternative media, grassroots activism extravaganza. I’ve been somewhat obsessed with Detroit for a while. I’ve seen a couple documentaries about its rise and fall through the 20th century, and have heard about how it’s become a petri dish for artists, educators, and small businesses. It seems like a sort of ground-zero for the U.S. economy…a city that blew up with the rise of the automobile and had ever since become a place vulnerable to the whims and volatility of the consumer market. From what I’ve heard, there’s been a resurgent movement to build up the city again, this time towards making a strong, proud community invested in creating its own unique identity.

Anyway, I can’t wait to be there. I’ll be leading session called “Language for Effective Online Advocacy” for activists to workshop their writin’ skillz. It’s gonna be a ton of fun.

Gotta jump on my plane. See you on the other side.