Sunday 10 July 2011

So ... wanna come to Washington and get arrested?

aka Whether to wuther. or Maybe to myther.
Up, Down, Appendices, Postscript.

¡Ya basta!Well, there began to be a moment when I wondered if this Washington 'Tar Sands Action' might be a hoax (?) ... It's not. The organizers have now posted a few answers to FAQs here.

I am thinking it is time to abandon the green ... Marina Silva's colour scheme is reportedly shifting towards blue, and in matters of taste I am happy to take her lead.

There are Greyhound buses: ~$100 one-way from Toronto, ~17 hours, leaving at least a couple of times a day. And there are Amtrak trains: transfer in New York, ~$150 one way, ~22 hours, with no possibility of a roomette anymore, one-a-day from Toronto at ~8:00 AM. Passport will take ~20 days (with no hitches) and ~$100 if you don't have one. Not sure if you need one.

Probably prudent to consult a lawyer too - a project for the coming week.
If WTF is What the Fuck? then is WeTF Whatever the Fuck? Anyway, that's what I have to say about the so-called 'alternative press' here in k-k-Canada, and the so-called 'activists' and the so-called 'Green' party. Not that I am well-connected enough with any of them to merit an opinion y'unnerstan'.

WTF do I know? A simple 'passing on the letter' at posted on June 24 - and not a single comment or reaction since. Nothing whatsoever in Georgia Strait or Tyee - are there others? I can't find any mention - if you can, please tell me. And of my (so-called) 'network', a dozen or so people I figgure(d) might give a fuck, exactly three have responded at all, and none positively. No notice from either, par for them.

Luckily (or unluckily, whatever) my sails are filled with a crazy ad hoc wind governed largely by gout (and an occasional loving word from Brasil).

Marina Silva.Marina Silva.On Thursday Marina Silva officially quit the Partido Verde/Green Party. Everyone knew weeks and months in advance - I wasn't watching. Here is the letter of resignation.

Her speech was not quite a barn-burner, she seemed hunched and frail - I worry a bit about her health, you can see a haemorrhage in her eye in this interview from a week or so ago ... she mentions it in her Nova Política speech on Thursday as well. Unfortunately the only video I can find is incomplete, and the transcription (on her own website yet!) is incomplete as well. This may change in the coming days, if it does I will change this post.

Ipê-roxo.I have been thinking about Ipê-roxo wood lately - when I had the canoe shop a friend showed up one day with a lump of it scored at a BC Ferries dock renovation, he called it 'ickey wood' but the same stuff I think, dulled all my tools just making a bit of keystone trim for the deck plates. Altino Machado has been thinking about it too apparently; but he has nothing to say about Marina yet.

She does seem to take Dilma's veto of the new Codigo Florestal as a serious possibility.

I can understand about half of what's going on, the speech itself, and so on. Given her successive resignations I thought this latest development might be wingy - it's not. Not a barn-burner this speech; but passionate, sincere, humourous, thought about, firm. One thing that comes through (an echo of what I thought was silly in Brigette Depape's statements) is a connection with events in Cairo's Tahrir Square and with Los Indignados in Spain and elsewhere, and if Marina thinks so ... then I will so consider it again. We all know time is running out. It is obvious that we are sipping drinks in the Last Chance Saloon ... ok then: Pitter patter, let's get at 'er.

In the process I found a few photographs taken at the Nova Política event:
Marina Silva.Marina Silva.Marina Silva.Marina Silva.Marina Silva.Marina Silva.Marina Silva.

And some others I had not seen before, included in this time-line:
Marina Silva, 1970's.Marina Silva, 1981.Marina Silva, 1981.Marina Silva, 1984.Marina Silva & Chico Mendes, 1986.Marina Silva, 1989.Marina Silva, 1990.Marina Silva & family, 1993.Marina Silva, 1994.Marina Silva & Lula, 1998.Marina Silva & Henrique Cardoso, 1999.Marina Silva & Lula, 2003.Marina Silva, 2003.Marina Silva & Dilma Rousseff, 2003.Marina Silva & Dilma Rousseff, 2003.Marina Silva, 2008.Marina Silva, 2009 Copenhagen.Marina Silva & Gilberto Gil, 2010.Marina Silva & Fabio Vaz de Lima, 2010.Marina Silva & Fabio Vaz de Lima, 2011.Marina Silva, 2011.

Also turned up that Sandra Werneck is working on a film: Marina - A Vida Por Uma Causa from a book of the same name by Marília de Camargo César, a journalist. All I know about Werneck is a film she made about Cazuza which I saw and which I thought was entirely fluffy. I doubt Marina Silva is particularly flattered - but you never know - later on the day of her Nova Política speech she appeared with some air-head, Marcelo Adnet, on a dip-shit TV show (here) giggling like a school-girl ... so ... no telling.

A-and then there is Derrick Jensen ... the loutish rape victim, and his two-volume, 900+ page, magnum opus: Endgame, 2006. Here he is on Wikipedia, and here on his own website (where you can buy books with PayPal to your heart's content).

Derrick Jensen.Derrick Jensen.I set out on the wrong foot by watching Franklin López' END:CIV - Resist or Die first, and got distracted by the transparent but annoying propaganda techniques. I over-compensated for the astounding entrée of Derrick weeping among the forest, and got turned around. So when I came to looking at Derrick himself, well, I took him seriously.

A note or two on style:
[sic] from Latin sic meaning 'so' or 'in such a manner', I thought it meant 'quoted as in the original where it was spelled incorrectly', Wikipedia & the OED give 'intentionally so written'.

Premise/premiss I will leave to you to sort out. There is running room in ambiguous usage - it could simply mean a proposition.

Use (and overuse) of these words indicates (to me) a pretentious implication of a certain deep philosophical angst - but actually showing up lack of substance and deep insecurity.

The proof-reading is not up to scratch either, though that is the standard at Seven Stories Press. A-and how much can they be saving with gray ink instead of black?
So, a longish list of contentious & sketchy propositions masquerading as some kind of philosophy followed by a thorough bashing of anything that sticks its head up: by exaggeration, by over-simplification, arguing from taste & style, innuendo - an extended and semi-structured rant. A veritable Sarah Palin of the left.

The up side:
is that our Derrick is forthright and revealing. As I quoted Robert Crumb recently: "I just hope that revealing that truth about myself is somehow helpful." And it is helpful - but in this case as an object lesson in how not to proceed.

Another positive is that by going ahead in the manner of a farmer raking hay so it will dry, he throws up many objective correlatives which open inlets, vistas, into the murk of the general malaise - this is helpful too.

And another ... his notion of personal responsibility - (for example) that if we use toilet paper we are responsible to see that the forest flourishes - personally responsible. And that it flourishes in a wholistic independent way - not in monoculture plantations.

There are more.
The show-stopper is that it is window dressing, he is neither on the front-lines nor intending to go there, he is just urging others forward (or sideways or backwards as the case may be). He tells us that he himself has no capability, or not enough skills, whatever ... to go and do his own blowing up. A repeated rhetorical flourish at the end of lurid bits of indisputable evil is, "What are you going to do about it?" The danger is that the story he writes is approximately compelling and overwhelming - some one some where some when could take it up undigested and go off blowing up cell-phone towers and hydroelectric dams.

This attack on hope is interesting. Seeming to be sort-of-almost, quasi, well maybe-almost ... Buddhist. Read it and judge for yourself.

We are not so different - he was abused by his father, me by my mother (as far as it went - my father put a stop to it). One of the levels upon which Derrick connects powerfully is exactly this commonalty - of louts who were not well brought up, not well enough educated ... and so on. My friend Keith once said of me, in the preface to an anthology of poetry I edited, "Things that love night, love not such nigh()s as these." There it is.

Because Derrick Jensen is close.

Yee Hawwww!We are so fucked. The economy must stop growing. This civilization must end sooner rather than later if there is even to be a remnant.

You could say that he is asking the right questions and getting the wrong answers, but that would be too easy. Because he is getting answers, rather in spite of the pretentious half-baked philosophy revealed in these books than through it. And the answers are (almost) good ones. Twenty years from now maybe he has turned over the mental compost heap often enough to write a little book with substance. Twenty years from now will be too late.

The issues are too numerous for today, and I have not yet seen Volume 2 ... so this list of notes is in lieu of memory, lame I know:

Noam Chomsky 1: public intellectuals who stand aside at the door to let you pass through, Judas goats, Judas priests, decoys. Maybe it's a necessary ruse - can't say.

Noam Chomsky 2: if you opt for resistance inevitably involving some degee of violence you must make a very strong case - and this ain't it.

I like the symmetries of Jensen's 'toxic mimic' cf Frye's 'daemonic parody'.

Fifteen books since 1995, two and sometimes three a year, is this a mission or a living?

There must be some connection with the ELF - so much talk of Spokane (have I got this wrong?) and all ...

How to Boil a Frog.

It is always a conundrum to be cutting at the branch you are sitting on, the prisoner's dilemma and so on, with the overlaid jeopardy of agents of security sniffing e-mails and such, knitting names into inevitable lists - a parody of Madame Defarge this time ...

Idealization of First Nations' relation to nature, and idealization of feminist clap-trap.

Action or paralysis?

It all seems to lead to no more than the standard negative view of anarchy: to brutal violence & chaos, governed by correctitude.

Here's a couple of cute videos around exponential growth to clear the palate & cheer you up: David Suzuki (if you can ignore the annoying NFB surround) & Jon Cooksey from his film How to Boil a Frog.

Zhu Gongshan.Zhu Gongshan.Zhu Gongshan.This is Zhu Gongshan, a Chinese billionaire, who made his fortune in the energy business and is now at the centre of photovoltaic manufacturing. He is the man, the person, who did not develop in America's fertile commercial environment. Of westerners he says, "Of course they are envious. I have done in few years what took them much longer." Took? I am not sure there is any western equivalent yet - and there may never be. (Source: BBC.)

That's it.

July 10.July 9.July 3.June 23rd.May 5.April 15.April 2.March 24.It still does not feel as if the sumac seelings are thriving - photographic evidence notwithstanding. The (Chinese) jasmine on the other hand, is taking over the yard! With the glare from the window I can't get a photograph that shows it very well - but it is all over the place.

The barber told me that people come to collect the hair he cuts off for garden compost, and that using this compost keeps away pesky varmints like racoons. Imagine! So I have started mixing in the clippings from my shaver - maybe that's why things seem to be taking off.

Marina ends her speech with, "Não é hora de ser pragmático, é hora de ser sonhático e de agir pelos nossos sonhos." / This is not the time to be pragmatic, it is the time to be dream-atic and to act out of our dreams. Flaky stuff you might say. But then ... Maybe it is not flaky at all.

Marc Roberts, Cantankerous Frank.Thanks to Marc Roberts for 'myther' (not in the cartoon but in the e-mail that it came in) which is in the OED (along with 'wuther').

Be well gentle reader - may you flourish.


Rebekah Brooks.Rupert Murdoch & Rebekah Brooks.Rupert Murdoch & Rebekah Brooks.Rupert Murdoch & Rebekah Brooks by Steve Bell.Rebekah Brooks.À propos of nothing - so I am sticking it in here anyway - too much time on my hands obviously, and curious is all ... What to say about it? Except, Heads up Rebekah! Ho hum. But it is interesting to peek into the bedrooms of the rich ...

Rupert Murdoch & Wendi Deng.Rupert Murdoch & Wendi Deng.Rupert Murdoch & Wendi Deng.Rupert Murdoch & Wendi Deng.Rupert Murdoch & Wendi Deng.Rupert Murdoch & Wendi Deng.... so closely coupled as they are with the poor; as Cohen sang, "The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor." Such a smug look on 'im eh?

So, Rebekah Brooks (aka 'the slapper'), Rupert Murdoch Wendi Deng ... interesting stories.

Oh well ... OK, one word of editorial comment, here's Gwynne Dyer's take on it.

The weasels & stoats are gathering, marshalling their forces (on the deck of the Titanic): To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties.

It might work. I sometimes wish it would - deus ex machina. But beware! If you force these people (including myself) from their computer hidey-holes they may blink a bit in the light of day ... and then begin to work new and different mischief out on the street.

Not to mention lost revenue from (exhorbitant) downloading surcharges, in Canada at least.

One thing I have noticed is that spam volumes are way down - I am now actually recieving more e-mail than spam some days. Imagine that!


1. To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties, Ben Sisario, July 7 2011.

To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties, Ben Sisario, July 7 2011.

Americans who illegally download songs and movies may soon be in for a surprise: They will be warned to stop, and if they don’t, they could find their Internet access slowing to a crawl.

After years of negotiations with Hollywood and the music industry, the nation’s top Internet providers have agreed to a systematic approach to identifying customers suspected of digital copyright infringement and then alerting them via e-mail or other means.

Under the new process, which was announced Thursday, several warnings would be issued, with progressively harsher consequences if the initial cautions were ignored.

The companies took pains to say that the agreement did not oblige Internet providers to shut down a repeat offender’s account, and that the system of alerts was meant to be “educational.” But they noted that carriers would retain their right to cut off any user who violated their terms of service.

In bringing together the media companies and Internet carriers, the deal demonstrates how the once-clear line separating those two businesses has been blurred. Eight years ago, the Recording Industry Association of America had to sue Verizon to try to uncover the identity of a customer who was sharing music online. This year, Comcast completed its merger with NBC, bringing an owner of digital content and a conduit for it under the same roof.

Now the Internet providers are hoping to profit as they pipe music and video of the nonpirated variety to their customers.

“The I.S.P.’s want to cooperate with Hollywood because the carriers recognize that their own growth depends in part on bundled content strategies,” said Eric Garland of BigChampagne, which tracks online media traffic. “They don’t want to be just utilities providing Internet access, but premium content distributors as well.”

The system announced on Thursday involves a series of six warnings that an Internet provider can send to a customer whom the media companies have identified as a possible copyright infringer.

The warnings escalate from simple e-mail notifications to, at levels 5 and 6, a set of “mitigation measures,” like reduced connection speeds or a block on Web browsing. As the alerts progress, a customer must acknowledge that he understands the notice. Customers will also have the opportunity to contest the complaint.

The effect on consumers, the companies hope, will be more of a deterrent-by-annoyance — rather than the random lightning bolt of litigation that was once the preferred method of enforcement by the recording industry association, one of the parties to the agreement.

The media companies were also represented by the Motion Picture Association of America and groups acting on behalf of independent record companies and filmmakers. The Internet carriers involved in the deal include AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable.

The music and movie companies, which estimate that digital piracy costs the United States economy $16 billion in lost revenue each year, have been eager for an efficient way to deal with the problem.

As illegal downloading has become ingrained as a cultural habit, especially among young people, expensive litigation has become less effective, and the lawsuits against individuals were something of a public relations disaster for the music companies. The new deal, the companies say, offers plenty of chances for even the most recalcitrant pirates to reform.

“This is a sensible approach to the problem of online content theft and, importantly, one that respects the privacy and rights of our subscribers,” Randal S. Milch, executive vice president and general counsel for Verizon, said in a statement.

The agreement has an unlikely origin: it came about as a result of an effort to crack down on child pornography that was led by Andrew M. Cuomo while he was the New York attorney general.

In 2008, Mr. Cuomo, who is now the governor, brokered a deal in which several major Internet providers agreed to block access to online sources of child pornography. Seeing this, the recording industry association approached Mr. Cuomo for help with music piracy, said Cary H. Sherman, the association’s president.

“We pointed out to him that there are overlaps between the child porn problem and piracy,” Mr. Sherman said, because all kinds of files, legal and otherwise, are traded on peer-to-peer networks.

Mr. Cuomo led the early talks between the Internet carriers and entertainment companies, and on Thursday he issued a statement praising the deal.

The agreement, he said, “provides a rational and thoughtful solution — a solution that respects the rights of copyright holders as well as I.S.P.’s and their customers — to a problem that has plagued the Internet.”

Under the agreement, the content owners will deliver evidence of illegal file-sharing to the Internet providers, which are then responsible for sending alerts and meting out penalties. The Internet providers will not disclose the identity of the offending customer to the media companies.

Many media and arts groups applauded the deal, saying that it would more effectively reduce piracy and therefore benefit the creators of music and movies, whose fortunes have eroded over the last decade.

Others, including Public Knowledge, an Internet rights group, and the Center for Democracy and Technology expressed concerns that consumers might be punished “based on allegations that have not been tested in court.”

Many Internet music experts expressed doubt that the alert system would succeed in stamping out piracy. The new system largely aims for peer-to-peer file-sharing tools like BitTorrent. But plenty of other technologies exist for enterprising pirates, many of which might allow them to evade easy detection.

“The challenge is that consumers will continue to do whatever they wish on the Internet, and find clever ways to not attract the attention of the content companies or I.S.P.’s,” said Mr. Garland of BigChampagne, whose company has long traced the proliferation of file-sharing. “It will never end.”


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