Sunday 9 January 2011

¡Ya basta!

Up, Down.

¡YA BASTA!¡Ya Basta!Some people translate ¡Ya basta! as 'Enough is enough' which seems unnecessarily tautological to me.

I have posted this kid's picture a few times before. I like it. And I like the spiral drawn onto the palm of a hand - I can imagine someone reading someone's palm, poignant & ... delicious.

I found Tim Jackson's Deakins lecture last summer, and then his book Prosperity Without Growth; read it, twice, recommended it around, got no takers & found no discussion ... and it slipped away out of my mind. (Previous posts here & here).

Then, last week, I was looking at the blogs that I look at regularly and found this on Alan Burke's Climate Insight: Enough Is Enough.

There are three videos from mid-summer of last year which are worth watching (the first is an hour or so, the two others are about 15 minutes each):
          Prosperity Without Growth, Deakins lecture, June 9 2010.
          Investment, Productivity and Ownership at the CASSE conference, June 19 2010.
          Economic Reality Check at TED, July 2010.

Tim JacksonTim JacksonTim Jackson 2007Tim Jackson 2009This fellow is worth going on about because he has identified a way forward out of the Slough of Despond (and some other sloughs) that 'the movement' seems (to me) to be languishing in.

He brings together and integrates so many threads and resonances that I have found true; from Rachel Carson's Silent Spring on through EF Schumacher's Small is Beautiful, the strident warnings of Jim Hansen's Storms of my Grandchildren, Clive Hamilton's Requiem for a Species ... Gwynne Dyer, Lester Brown, Andrew Weaver, David Suzuki ... and many more ... even wazizname's Eaarth. He avoids ideological pitfalls of one kind and another (especially the false & phoney new-age 'think positive' nonsense); and he arrives at a clear vision (with a smile, to be sure).

Tim Jackson at TED 2010Tim Jackson at TED 2010Tim Jackson at TED 2010Tim Jackson at TED 2010Tim Jackson at TED 2010You can buy it at the UK publisher, Earthscan: Prosperity without Growth, Economics for a Finite Planet by Tim Jackson; or in Canada from UBC Press.

There are many good thoughts coming from this guy; a central one for me is the etymology of prosperity: pro-sper-ity from the latin sperare 'to hope' & spes 'hope'. Keeping in mind that the same root is in 'despair'.

If that ain't a harmonic convergence then I don't know WHAT is. :-)A-and if that ain't a harmonic convergence then I don't know WHAT is.

That's it really. If anyone wanting a copy, and with some reason (good or otherwise) for not buying one of their own or getting one from their library, sent me an email I might send them one. I don't go any farther these days ... on anything.

Here are some links I have found that may be useful:
CASSE Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

A review of Prosperity Without Growth at Make Wealth History.

His profile & coordinates at The University of Surrey: Tim Jackson.

A very badly mashed up interview with Margaret Throsby on ABC radio (Australia) in July 2010: site, or direct to mp3 file.
I wish he had told us who the 'african philosopher' was who connected it to Ubuntu for him; Chinua Achebe maybe?

Here's a little story of misinformation & disconnects:

Tim Jackson is coming to Canada this month and will participate in a debate at the University of Ottawa. The only notice seems to be on the CBC/Ideas schedule. If you scroll down, way down, to February 2 you find this:

Wednesday, February 2 - NO GROWTH VS. GREEN GROWTH
We face serious environmental problems. People are looking for answers in a green economic future. But what would it look like? IDEAS host Paul Kennedy moderates a debate at the University of Ottawa on the resolution: Be it resolved that building an environmentally sustainable society will require an end to economic growth. Participants include Peter Victor, author of Managing Without Growth: Slower By Design, Not Disaster, Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet; Richard Lipsey, one of Canada's pre-eminent economists, and Paul Ekins, author of Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: The Prospects for Green Growth.

No place, no time, no contact information; nothing anywhere else on the web (as of today, Tuesday the 11th) that I can find.

Paul KennedySarah Van StiphoutStewart ElgieSo, a bit of digging finds Peter Victor at York, and his email address, and he answers promptly that the event is not on February 2 at all, but January 20, and that the 'organizer' is Stewart Elgie at UofO, who in turn, when contacted by email, reveals that 'reservations' will eventually be available from Sarah Van Stiphout (this link doesn't work very well - she is on the 'Staff' tab) an executive assistant at an outfit called Sustainable Prosperity. It isn't clear if Sustainable Prosperity offers event services or if this woman is another 'organizer', in the case of this debate my guess is the former.

Numerous emails are exchanged, days go by; and detailed information about this debate is still out there somewhere in the aether. No doubt it seems petty to be going on about it. So it is. Crabby old curmudgeon nutbar assholes are like that.

How many disconnects are there in this story? Count 'em yourself. All these and more! Just consider the equivalence (or lack therof) between "NO GROWTH VS. GREEN GROWTH" & "Be it resolved that building an environmentally sustainable society will require an end to economic growth."

I whinge, I whine, I rage, I choke - two years in Toronto now, going out week after week on the streetcar to events staged by 'the movement' and always finding fundamental organizational incompetence. Something to do with boomer sensibilities no doubt. (For the record I have also put in a shift or two, given them whatever they ask for, and more ...) Ai ai ai! Fucking hopeless numbys & muggles!

I often think of Patrick White's novel The Solid Mandala ... What I remember best is Arthur's dance - I was married once to a woman who danced like that. But I know I am now turned towards Waldo's bitter end ... these days I can hardly get myself out the door.

If I ever find out when and where and at what price this debate will be presented I will post the information here.

It went up on the 11th: Green Growth or No Growth: Charting a sustainable economic future.

Rembrandt The Good SamaritanRembrandt The Good SamaritanRembrandt The Good SamaritanPeople say, "You'll get over it, and a while later they say, "Time enough for you to have gotten over it by now." And then it comes to be, "Get over it!" A-and it goes on downhill until one day they just tell you to "Fuck Off!" Or maybe you tell them ... whatever.

Rembrandt The Good SamaritanNot everyone does this all of the time. The clue that led me to Rembrandt's The Good Samaritan came from one of Tim Jackson's lectures - he associates the Good Samaritan with altruism.

Rembrandt The Good SamaritanI wish someone would explain to me why Rembrandt's sketches seem (to me) to deal with the meat of the matter; and yet the 'big piece' that he did on the subject takes place at the inn. (?)

Rembrandt The Good SamaritanIt was Rembrandt who inserted the defecating dog into the later etching - the transfer executed by himself apparently. Polite burgher critics say this introduces an element of 'everyday reality'; maybe so. Who knows what Rembrandt's taste in humour ran to?

GargantuaIt is a hungry dog by the look of its ribs; and I would say it is a Christian dog. I might make up a story; weaving Ivan Illich's take on the Good Samaritan story with Weber & Tawney's notions of protestant capitalist dogs.

Rembrandt (1606-1669) missed Voltaire (1694-1778) by a century and more, too bad; but François Rabelais (1494-1553) had come and gone already; so maybe then, the dog is a Gargantuan element? ... Shittard, Squirtard, Crackard, Turdous, Thy bung, Hath flung, Some dung, On us ... and the subsequent eloquent roundelay describing Christians & Africans (Rabelais' text here).

I remember driving around the Lagoa in Rio in a taxi one day on my way to Ipanema, and there, hanging from a balcony at the top of one of the apartment buildings at the eastern end was a large sign in red letters on a white background: BASTA!

I always meant to come back on foot and take a picture of it ... I passed there regularly in those days and it became a landmark for me, a familiar sight, a welcome sight; and then one day it was gone.

Tough boots to fill.We have a new Environment Minister - Peter Kent. Coordinates:
          Kent.P(AT) & kentp(AT)
          MP for Thornhill.
          Conservative Party website.
          Personal website.
          Environment Canada.

Peter KentPeter KentPeter KentPeter KentPeter KentPeter KentHe's the fifth in five years: Rona Ambrose, John Baird, Jim Prentice, John Baird. I know everyone thinks Prentice is such a sterling & likeable fellow. I think he's a self-serving scallawag opportunist. Peter Kent is more of the same; and worse by the looks of what he says on CBC. Watch the interview with Evan Solomon (which includes a 1984 clip of Kent reading the news on Climate Change). He says:

"It is ethical, it's not 'may'. It's absolutely ethical ... Canadian oil is ethical in every sense of the word."

A shit-head shill; a Tar Sands barker; stammering, stuttering, uncertain but still supercilious; a used-to-be handsome hunk; a numbskull news-reader. Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck ...

There's a potted bio on Wikipedia ...

Peter Kent w CillaPeter Kent w CillaPeter Kent w CillaCilla KentHis wife Cilla was a journalist too, with The Argus Group in South Africa; now she does Kiwanis (hob nobbing with the likes of John Joseph Mastandrea) & some ESL tutoring by the look of it. One child married off already.

Peter Kent by JenkinsThere was an infinitesimally tiny possibility that he would take a principled stand on the environmment and speak out. It was an extreme long shot; but it was all agreed and scripted beforehand obviously. Harper says "stay the course" during the announcement; the pundits all leap to interpret Kent as nothing more than a PR guy in an ongoing battle to do nothing to upset the oil barons (see Gargantua above); and the pundits are simply ... right.

... oh fuck, oh fuck ...

Ricardo SeitenfusYou have to laugh sometimes ... I found this photo of our Peter Kent with an interesting looking guy ... who turns out to be Ricardo Seitenfus, the Brasilian OAS representative in Haiti who told the truth and got his pee-pee whacked for it. The other guy is José Miguel Insulza - the OAS mucky-muck pooh-bah.
Two Canadian reports I came across:

A critic of western policy in Haiti loses his OAS job, Rabble/Kevin Edmonds, January 6 2011.

Haiti's Misery, Our Disgrace, Tyee/Crawford Kilian, January 4 2011.

Translations of two interviews with Ricardo Seitenfus:

OAS representative in Haiti sharply critical of foreign aid and occupation, translated December 20 interview.

Diplomat in Haiti to be dismissed for criticizing OAS, NGOs, translated December 29 interview (abridged).

Original Interviews:

«Haïti est la preuve de l’échec de l’aide internationale», Le Temps/Arnaud Robert, lundi 20 décembre 2010; and «Haïti est la preuve de l’échec de l’aide internationale», Arnaud Robert, mardi 21 décembre 2010, copy at AlterPresse since the Le Temps site is locked.

Afastado, representante da OEA critica ONGs e missão de paz no Haiti, BBC Brasil/Fabrícia Peixoto, 29 de dezembro 2010; and Afastado, representante da OEA critica ONGs e missão de paz no Haiti, BBC Brasil/Fabrícia Peixoto, 29 de dezembro 2010, copied at Folha (which happened to be the first thing I found).

Nothing in the North American mainstream press (of course).

I have been in the habit of copying articles and carrying them as Appendices (with appropriate links back to sources and so on). I do/did this because of the similarity between the Internet and bryophytes & lichens viz. reproduction & growth by 'death from behind'. I know that possibly my only regular reader was put off by this. Now my laziness has brought me back to the cusp. Dunno ...

Abdolreza Abbassian of the FAO - Prices now higher than during 2008 crisis:
Abdolreza Abbassian FAOFAO Commodity Price IndicesFAO Food Price Index
FAO World Food Situation, Food Outlook - Global Market Analysis (biannual),
FAO sees record food prices heading even higher, Reuters, Wednesday January 5, 2011.

The humble bumble-bee is declining dramatically:
Bombus frankliniBombus affinisSydney Cameron
Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees, Sydney Cameron (et al) in PNAS, January 4, 2011.
Cameron Lab at University of Illinois.
Bees in freefall as study shows sharp US decline, Guardian/Alok Jha, Monday 3 January 2011.

A-and stories of the corrupt honey-mongers: US indicts 11 executives for honey smuggling, BBC, September 2 2010, & Honey laundering: The sour side of nature’s golden sweetener, Jessica Leeder, January 5 2011. Alfred L. Wolff of Alfred L. Wolff GmbH (ALW) knew what he was up to long before - there is not a picture of him anywhere than I can find.

Properly disturbed I am now, so I'll slide on outa here with some properly disturbing music by Queen Nina:

So I run to the Lord
Please hide me Lord
Don't you see me prayin'?
Don't you see me down here prayin'?

But the Lord said
Go to the devil
The Lord said
Go to the devil
He said go to the devil
All on that day.

So I ran to the devil
He was waitin'
I ran to the devil
He was waitin'
Ran to the devil
He was waitin'
All on that day.

Photo opposite by Mario Algaze.

Nina Simone:
     Strange Fruit,
     Little Girl Blue.
 Nina Simone by Mario Algaze
Nina Simone by Mario Algaze
Nina Simone by Mario Algaze

A couple of the YouTube clips above (Stars & Little Girl Blue) come from the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival; there is a video of her complete performance, 'Nina Simone - Live at Montreux 1976' which you can still find copies of here and there. She was 43 then; ahhh, so vulnerable and ruined ... hard to separate the effect from the affect, but it's all there to see.

Nina SimoneShe seems to be singing to Kissinger (?) "I'm gonna leave. I'm gonna leave you with the blues." Sure enough.

This showed up in the news: "Things just keep getting better for a homeless man with a 'million-dollar voice'. After being offered a job by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Ted Williams is now the new voice of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese."

Good, we definitely need more Kraft macaroni & cheese! Resonating with the Brasilian expression, "vai acabar em pizza."

Nina SimoneThis is good: Statuesque, a short (8 minutes) film; a little fable by Neil Gaiman starring Bill Nighy.

A-and a few final lines from brother Bob:

... says he got a bad cough, wants to get it paid off.

Show me someone's not a parasite an' I'll go out an' say a prayer for him.

So now as I’m leavin’, I’m weary as hell. The confusion I’m feelin’ ain’t no tongue can tell. The words fill my head and, they fall to the floor.

Be well gentle reader.



Cilla Kent said...

I don't know who you are, but you certainly don't know me. I have never worked for Argus Group, though I was a journalist in South Africa, for other publications.
I have never worked "for" Kiwanis, and have no knowledge of the gentleman you accuse me of "hobnobbing" with. I did, however, under the auspices of Frontier College, for a few years help out in an after-school reading program at the Gerrard St Unit of The Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club.
You're not a great fact-checker, are you?
Cilla Kent

Anonymous said...

the paper she wrote for is owned by Argus, JJ is connected to that selfsame Gerrard Street Kiwanis so 'the likes of' ... whatever ... who knows who leaves these anonymous comments?