Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose

Heather Squire reads Hard Bones at home. 15 chapters/videos. Just under 3 hours total play time.

The country is on fire and I am nominating myself to do something about it. Not because I am special or want to be a leader, but because I think that everybody who can should find the courage to stand up – I’d be a hypocrite “shoulding” other people if I wasn’t prepared to make some sacrifices myself. And not the courage to use guns or throw hands, but the courage to let go of dreams of a high-status job or getting a new phone every year in order to give time and money to build a movement. We cannot wait for the perfect organization or politician to come to our rescue – they don’t exist and nobody actually thinks that liberation will come from the Ford Foundation anyway. The first purpose of Hard Bones is to make enough money for me to survive for the next few months (I make $5 for every e-book I sell). With my basic needs covered, I can devote myself fully to incubating Permanently Embarrassed Billionaires.

Permanently Embarrassed Billionaires is an anti-capitalist organizing startup whose mission is to bring disaffected millennials into what can broadly be described as the movement for a democratic society and economy. Zoomers are the clear leaders of this movement, however, there are still plenty of things that millennials can contribute. By focusing on mental illness, meritocratic ideology, and masculinity, PEB will attempt to reach depressed, downwardly mobile, and lonely millennials where they are at. Obviously #NotAllMillennials are depressed, downwardly mobile, and lonely, but there are an awful lot of us. The second purpose of Hard Bones is to meet people where they are at through my own vulnerability. I have literally nothing else to give. I would have set up an OnlyFans account or a GoFundMe page or a makeup pyramid scheme, but they are just not my style (but they may be possibilities for you to start raising money!).

The third purpose of Hard Bones and (Permanently Embarrassed Billionaires) is to build solidarity between the pro-democracy social movements in the US and Thailand, as well as other countries in the future. I’m primarily focusing on the pro-democracy movement in Thailand right now because of my personal connection to the country through Muay Thai and friendship. I am also very impressed and inspired by the movement technologies employed by the Thai protesters – ideas and actions that foster connection, joy, and safety. $2 from every Hard Bones e-book sold will go to support the Thai movement.

Hard Bones is imperfect, as we all are. All I have ever wanted from life – besides love/food/water/shelter – is to give myself over fully to the work of making another world possible (just ask Father Phil Florio SJ – I once considered becoming a nun*). If you don’t know that about me, it just means we haven’t had a deep conversation – yet. I have included a lot of citations to make the more journalistic/essay portions of Hard Bones as accurate as possible, but I recognize that there are likely to still be mistakes. I only ask that you look at Hard Bones in the context of my life and other writing, assume good faith, and let me know where I messed up so that I can make it better for the next edition. We have a long battle ahead that will be scary at times – our lifetimes will be marked by intensifying climate disasters that our government leaders won’t be able to face or mitigate until we vote the Boomer dinosaurs out of office. Biden is going to force austerity down our throats while corporations get bailed out. We can’t just sit around and do nothing. 

*it really should be woman religious, but nun sounded better in the little clause

If you would like to read Hard Bones but cannot afford the $9.99 or you don’t have an e-reader, I can send you a PDF for free. Just email contact[at]heathersquire.com to request it. If I get a lot of requests, I will just post the file to social media. If you would like to make a donation to my work, here is my info: Venmo (@heather-squire), PayPal (PayPal.me/Hsquire), or Cahsapp ($squireheather).

One last thing. You will find the pacing and prose of Hard Bones choppy in some places. This is somewhat intentional. I tried to keep my editing as minimal as possible after my first draft because I wanted to capture a raw sense of how it feels inside my brain – the layers of meaning and consciousness that dance around any one particular thought. Not that I think my thought process is special. I think we all think in this way. But I do think I am skilled at describing that in a way that people can relate to and feel in their guts. That’s part of the entertainment value I am giving you with this book. Thank you again ❤️🖤✊🏼

Wait! Two more things. 1. I have a lot of strong opinions in the book. I recognize that some of them might make some people think I am an asshole. I just want to say that I accept that and I also don’t profess to be 100% correct. I’m not a guru or someone with political aspirations. 2. I write about my spiritual and mental health journey to share my story and offer that there may be some therapy or treatment out there that could help you get some relief. I am not saying my path is a path to follow – AT ALL. I just want to validate passionately that putting a lot of effort into calming your mind or seeking deeper truths is a 100% valid and human thing to do, even if it doesn’t make you rich.

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose

History of the Thai pro-democracy movement

Despite attempts by Thailand’s elites to cast ordinary Thais as docile, obedient, and uninterested in politics, evidence of resistance to exploitation and domination in the region pre-dates the formation of the Thai state. The popular uprising that spread across Thailand starting in July 2020 traces its lineage back to the Red Shirt political movement that emerged in 2006, resistance to the 1991 military coup, the coordinated student, labor, and peasant struggles of the 1970s, and the Siamese Revolution of 1932 before that. While Thailand was never formally colonized, it was still economically dominated by the British imperial system since being pried opened to British foreign trade with the signing of the Bowring Treaty of 1855.  The organizers of the Siamese Revolution ended the absolute monarchy and put Thailand on a path towards economic nationalism and modernization; the political ideology of the organizers was not monolithic, however, and the party would eventually split into civilian and military factions. The military faction along with its royalist supporters would ultimately win the dispute, excising any mention of a welfare state or land reform from the new constitution and ushering in fifteen years of authoritarian rule that outlawed communism. Post-World War II prosperity brought with it a more liberal mood and Marxist ideas gained traction in urban Thai society. Progressive political parties, trade unions, literary movements, and the publication of original Thai socialist ideas – as well as translations of Marxist works in other languages – multiplied from 1946 to 1957. These once-banned ideas inspired a generation of student activists, many of whom would go on to organize protests right up until they were banned yet again by another military coup in 1958.

Continue reading “History of the Thai pro-democracy movement”
History of the Thai pro-democracy movement

Read This Book!

First round of feedback is in! Making structural changes and building out some of the intimacy that I only hinted at in the first draft. Check back for updates!

Solidarity / ความสามัคคี
MobFest #ม็อบ14พฤศจิกา #นักเรียนเลว #คณะราษฎร2563 #defeattrump #antifa #blm
democracy #millionMAGAmarch #MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavor
Read This Book!

What it feels like to flatten the curve

Thailand had a very different strategy from the US for managing Covid-19, as well as a spectacularly different outcome. I lived in Northern Thailand from mid-March of this year until late-September, watching the country of my birth and the home of my closest connections mortally fumble as life in my adopted country started to get back to normal. I want the American reader to observe how Thailand responded to Covid-19 and what it was like to live through such measures – not to critique the Trump Administration so much as to dispense with the fiction that hundreds of thousands of deaths were inevitable no matter who was leading the country. Indeed, Thailand is a “democratic dictatorship” with its own dubiously-elected conservative strongman at the helm, but even he yielded to the scientists and public health officers when it came to managing a pandemic. Did these strict – yet ultimately triumphant – measures hurt the Thai economy? Absolutely. But in the context of a *global* pandemic, there isn’t an economy that remains unimpacted. Now a third wave of Covid washes over the US, provoking a discordant patchwork of just-in-time lockdown measures that can only slow the bleeding while delivering blow after blow to the economy, from the micro to the macro. What would it have been like if the US had a plan before Covid even reached our doorstep? If the border-neutral fields of epidemiology and public health had not been drawn into the morass of partisan politics – both through funding cuts and a cynical rejection of science’s apparent “liberal bias”? If we all decided to take this one for the team back in March – knowing that some would have to make greater sacrifices, but that no person would be forced onto the street by eviction or foreclosure or medical bills. What would it have been like if American culture valued all human lives, and not just the unborn or those considered to be economically productive? We cannot know for sure, but it is my hope that by looking at Thailand’s response in parallel to the US response, the reader will be able to think critically about these questions. Continue reading “What it feels like to flatten the curve”

What it feels like to flatten the curve