Soon after starting The Plan, I realized how tiresome it would become and how complicated it was to answer the question, “So, what do you do for a living?” As a shorthand response, I’ve started to say that I’m a “full-time activist,” even though that doesn’t really do The Plan justice. What it does do is weed out those who are so incurious that they will simply move on to another topic of conversation without seeking elaboration. The remaining few who venture to ask a follow-up question or two are given a more in-depth explanation of what it means to live according to The Plan.
As I described in my last article, The Plan at its core is a partnership. I depend on my spouse, Jacquie, for support (financial, moral, intellectual, emotional, etc.) and she depends on me to convert her resources into a variety of activist projects, thus mitigating the guilt that comes from working for a government-funded, non-radical, non-profit organization.
My workdays consist of four main activities: activism, volunteering, self-education and promotion of The Plan.
Activism includes everything from letter-writing to good old-fashioned protests such as the one last week castigating the University of Winnipeg’s decision to grant moustachioed federal cabinet minister Vic Toews an honorary doctorate of laws. In order to pull it off as successfully as we did, many hours were spent making the signs, coordinating with interested groups, promoting it via radio, television and newspaper interviews, and drafting letters and press releases.
I grant that the event wouldn’t have received nearly as much attention if it wasn’t for the brave stand taken by valedictorian and future prime minister of Canada, Erin Larson, but the hard work that Jacquie and I put in at the ground level (with a little help from our friends) certainly didn’t hurt. Fuck all those who demand that people like Ms. Larson be “polite” and keep their mouths shut when given the opportunity to speak out against hate.
As for volunteer work, the endeavour that I’m most excited about right now is teaching literacy skills to inmates at the Winnipeg Remand Centre. I know in my heart of hearts that helping one marginalized person won’t solve the problems inherent in the “justice” system, the state or capitalism (and in fact serves to buttress those failed institutions), but for one hour a week I get to make someone’s life slightly less miserable, and that feels pretty good.
Self-education isn’t a very sexy topic, but it’s absolutely integral to the success of The Plan. I need to constantly refine my political positions so that I am able to defend them against naysayers and use them to inform my activism. If you want a place to start your own radical education, I would highly recommend picking up the book Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change by Cynthia Kaufman. It’s available at the library and for free on Google Books.
Promotion of The Plan is done through the column that you’re reading right now, my blog and face-to-face conversation with friends, family, acquaintances and strangers. The idea isn’t to get everyone else to adopt The Plan model exactly, although that would be amazing, but simply to spread the concepts and notions that are the constituent political parts of The Plan: gender role subversion, veganism, atheism, anti-statism, anti-capitalism and the simple but powerful idea that you don’t have to live like everyone else does.
Each month, on the first Saturday after her period, Jacquie and I have a meeting to discuss The Plan. We recap the important goings-on since the last meeting, talk about what’s working and what’s not, propose solutions and brainstorm about future projects. Our purpose for following a menstrual cycle calendar is threefold. First, it makes the meetings easy to remember. Second, it’s a playful dig at the third-wave feminists who, although they are our allies, tend to be a tad silly. Third, it guarantees we can engage in a little tension-dissolving cardiovascular activity post-meeting if things get acrimonious. I’m not saying that things often get acrimonious, but anything can and does happen when your raison d’etre as a romantic unit is the destruction of capitalism and when the members of that romantic unit are fiercely opinionated and independent-minded.
As I alluded to in the last article, Jacquie and I did get married last May. Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely despise marriage culture, think that endless love is an absurd goal and believe that getting the state involved in one’s love life is completely perverse. However, it’s the only way that I could get dental and optical insurance while doing The Plan, and with my rapidly deteriorating visual acuity and my habit of nocturnal teeth grinding, that coverage is essential to remaining financially solvent.
We kept the ceremony small and simple. Only a few of our closest friends were invited to attend. We held it at an abandoned gopher-themed amusement park. I wore a tasteful $25, second-hand, white-lace wedding dress and Jacquie reused her Rob Halford costume from last Halloween. The harpist was dressed up like Waldo of Where’s Waldo fame, the ring-bearer was a giant banana and the officiant wore a burgundy Snuggie™.
Rob McGregor is very intolerant of misogynistic homophobic racists who attempt to impose their warped sense of morality on others. Check out the blog for a transcript of the wedding ceremony.