so here is a story that I was told today about Casa Zimbabwe, aka, the drug den…..
long, long ago (last fall) the residents of CZ were divided up into two sects. the democratic-y sect, and the anarchists. the anarchists would sit on the smokers balcony hating life and being hardcore and organizing parties for the house. the other group would go about things pretty much regularly, partying here, going to uni, getting drunk there. All in a days work.
Each group had its affiliates; the people who would vote for its policies at council meetings, support it in house decisions, hang out with it at parties. Much like a mucked up situation in Australia that I know of, there were those independent parties, free rangers, one might call them, who swung from group to group, never realizing their affect on the politics of the co-operative drug den.
Then came a new group decision. the anarchists put forth the motion that CZars should be able to break bottles and glass in the common living space. If any member wanted, they should be able to smash a bottle, and create mess. or chaos. which is what the anarchists believed in. Free autonomy. The ability to do whatever one pleases, as members of a free society and democratic house.
However, there was conflict. the liberal co-opers did not agree with the obvious, nay, necessary notion of broken glass shards all over the floors of their kitchen. They put forward arguments that people could get hurt, that glass is indeed, rather sharp, and that smashing and breaking things promoted violence in the house. These opposing views had house members at odds with each other for months. Bottles went unbroken, floors remained suspiciously clean, but workshifts too, were done slackly by the anarchists, who felt crushed by a higher authority who did not care for their needs.
eventually, the co-opers of yore (last fall) came to the mutually beneficial agreement to reserve an area of the courtyard specifically for the smashing of bottles. Many co-opers will go there daily to get their smash on. It is a much beloved facility that Casa Zimbabwe has to offer. And those who do not partake in activities involving broken glass do not have to be involved, which keeps a light an cheery atmosphere for all!
isn’t that wonderful?
This is how things work in the house I have moved into. Co-opers put forward motions, about aspects of life they feel need changing, for the good of all. Eventually, we come to group decisions about them. As well as cooking and cleaning co-operatively, people try to live co-operatively, and that involves some serious politics. better than anything I think I could learn in a political science class 🙂
Joking aside, though, this is a wonderful place. I shit you not that that story is 100% true (with my dramatic embellishments, of course), but this is a colourful, loud, awesome place to be. Right across from campus. And the community feel and culture of the place is unlike anything i’ve ever experienced before. It’s run by students, therefore noone here is older than, say, 26. very different from kibbutz, with many a responsible adult deciding what is right, and what should go. The system here is constantly changing, and adjusting as people move in and out. First council meeting is tonight, and then I am signing up for IKC, intensive kitchen clean, my first shift.
p.s. congratulations to all my lovely AUSTRALIAN JITTERBUG CHAMPIONS! you rock my socks. especially one particularly awesome SHOWCASE event. 😀 😀 😀 😀 :D!