Saturday 25 May 2013

This little light of mine.

or: The answer is 42 (or possibly 70).                   Flower Moon                 Up, Down.                      Towel Day 

 ¿por qué estamos indignados? 
Don't panic!Contents:
        Tim DeChristopher: [Bidder 70, Quotes, k-k-Canada?:[Joe & The Boys?
                    Harper?  Justin?  Counterforce?], More Quotes],

        Other (sort'a related) stuff: [NYT Nonsense, Brazil/Bolivia Border, Uphill,
                    An Enigma, Light for a Troll, Tiny Story] ...

Tim DeChristopher in Utah after judgement, March 2010.Tim DeChristopher in Utah after judgement, March 2010.Tim DeChristopher in Utah after judgement, March 2010.
Bidder 70, Tim DeChristopher:   Here's the trailer; and the Bidder 70 film website. You can purchase a copy for $25 plus $10 (US$) shipping here. You can get to know Tim DeChristopher a bit better watching his speech at Power Shift in 2011, and by digging and delving into the Peaceful Uprising website. He has figured here often enough to get his own tag.

Why is this film important?   Even unwilling actors such as Sierra Club US are finally coming around to the reality that peaceful civil disobedience is necessary, now. Tim's action is an exemplar, an epitome. This kind of thing is not easy; neither in the execution nor in bearing the consequences, so it is a very good idea to have a close look beforehand - and this film permits such a close look. There are important lessons to be learned here.

For me three aspects are key: 1) the manner of it - peaceful and firm, spur-of-the-moment yet prepared for; 2) the thoughtful integrity of it - which also has to do with firmness; and, 3) the fearlessness of it - I almost say 'righteousness' but that has religious connotations I would not subscribe to; but sure, say 'humble & selfless righteousness'. 
Bidder 70.And there are some necessary conditions:   One bears special attention - support. In this action (as in Theresa Spence's fast on Victoria Island) the evidence is everywhere of the importance of support. At one point in the film he says, "The support ... has really been the only thing keeping me going through this. I definitely would have cracked and gone crazy if it weren't for them. Those people are carrying some of that emotional burden for me."
[46:20] Got that right.

A bit earlier he says, "It's kinda where I'm at with the larger climate movement. I know that we're probably fucked. ... It's probably far too late to defend anything close to a liveable future. The value in what we've done is that we're building this network of people willing to fight for a better world despite the odds and when things fall apart that's the kind of people we're gonna need. And that's what we've got."
[43:40] This is where groups like Transition Town pick up with 'building resilience' (which is very very good, I am not denigrating it). Except that it starts in on adaptation before we have properly tried abatement - as if there were no hope at all; accepting second (more like 3rd or 4th) best without having travelled all of the first mile.

Watch this movie, think about it.

Judge Dee Benson.Judge Dee Benson.Judge Dee Benson.Utah District Court Judge Dee Vance Benson only appears here because I think his profile should be raised in the same way that Invisible Children want to raise the profile of Joseph Kony - he and his minions must be driven out from under their rocks - and there were no images of him in the film, must'a bin a deference thing. 
Meanwhile back at the ranch the cabinet is all wanking in public:
Joe Oliver & (piece of) Kent in Europe, and Stephen Harper in New York.

The closest I see to anything approximating commentary is Jeff Simpson in the Globe: Bitumen needed statesmen, not salesmen. Beside a NYT article of about the same vintage (Foes Suggest a Tradeoff if Pipeline Is Approved) it looks ... sort'a good ... but they are all lame-as-fuck-useless jizz artists.

Joe Oliver - deer in the headlights.The politicians are doing their jobs as they see them, with a gold plated pension waiting at the end of the rainbow. I guess there is a pension in it for Jeff Simpson & John Broder too then. Play it out for whatever it's worth boys!

Although Joe Oliver does look a bit like a deer in the headlights sometimes, stretched; a cross between a deer and a sheep maybe. When he quits and takes a fat job somewhere like Jim Prentice did, everyone will say what a well-respected man he is, well liked, personable.

Rick Salutin has some thoughts in this general zone: Death of the salesmen - From Willy Loman to Joe Oliver.
"I'm for hiya, please don't call me a liya."
He and his idiot compañeros trash Jim Hansen, Al Gore; impugn the IPCC; stonewall the Canadian scientists who call them on their nonsense - it's all bullshit bluster but their constituency either does not understand or doesn't care - they seem to thrive on vegepap. (False) anger is a cover for guilt too I guess. I still assume that these guys are smart enough to know better. Who knows? Maybe that's it. Maybe they aren't. Maybe you can be smart enough to win an election and still not be able to read the writing on the wall. Hard to imagine. 
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dustheads, 1982.Jean-Michel Basquiat, Philistines, 1982.Jean-Michel Basquiat, Philistines, 1982.
Except that ... Stephen Harper may be a Philistine, almost certainly is, but he doesn't look like a dusthead in this Q&A session at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City recently (action starts at minute 13 and goes for just over an hour); sourced at CFR. Twisted lies & dissembling sure, but competently delivered (and more), unless the questions were scripted (but it doesn't look that way to me). Something to think about.

Brigette DePape is at it again. What a good girl she is! Here's her plea for coinage (which worked on me): on the Shit Harper Did campaign page, and on YouTube.

Canadian government tar sand ad in US papers.Canadian government tar sand ad in US papers.Anxious & insecure Canadian governments are running full-page ads in the Washington papers they figgure are read inside the Beltway at $5-10 grand a day per page. The papers tell (A, B, C) but don't show.

Where's the counterforce?
Justin Trudeau & Patrick Brazeau.Justin Trudeau & piece of Kent.Could it be our k-k-Captain Canada?
Is it ... Justin Trudeau?

YES! He defeats Patrick Brazeau even before the good Senator is proven a scallywag. YES! He properly names Peter Kent - lookin' all the while like the anonymous star of V for Vendetta. YES! He rides smoothly over Stephen Harper's scurrilous girly-boy attack ads.

YES! He's a fricken HERO!                         Sensible substance? Not so much ...
Justin Trudeau on Keystone.Justin Trudeau on CNOOC.Justin Trudeau on FIPA.Justin Trudeau on Growth.
You can read a more-or-less even-handed critique: Why Justin Trudeau May Be More Dangerous than Harper; or you can read his own words: CNOOC-Nexen deal is good for Canada. Only thing we agree on is that it would be better to fix the Senate than scrap it. But who really cares about the Senate?

[In case you don't feel like Bing'ing it: FIPA is the Canada/China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement; and CNOOC is China National Offshore Oil Corporation. A-and Damien Gillis is so polite in his critique ... Justin had a father, but he has a mother too, and she was a Sinclair before she was a Trudeau, eh?]

Oh, and Justin, there's not going to be a 'next wave of growth for the middle class'. We had one of those already and it is not clear yet that civilization or humanity or the planetary ecosystem will survive it. 
Is it with the public intellectuals?   Two letters from Mark Jaccard and a growing list of knowledgeable & respected people. In February it was six: a letter with John Abraham, John Stone, Danny Harvey, Bill McKibben, & Tzeporah Berman; now it is a dozen: another letter with Jim Bruce, James Byrne, Simon Donner, James Drummond, David Keith (a surprise?), Damon Matthews, Gordon McBean, David Sauchyn, John Smol, John Stone, & Kirsten Zickfeld. Ostensibly heavyweights.

OK ... so I sent them all an email, a message telling it as well as I am able to:
Friends, (I say 'friends' though I do not know you; for what are I hope obvious reasons.)

            I read your recent letters with Mark Jaccard with interest and applause (here and here). Clearly you all understand the profound crisis facing not just Canada but the planet; however, with great respect, I do not believe this kind of effort is enough to bring about the changes we all know are necessary.
            This morning I am thinking of the example of Tim DeChristopher. I watched a film of his story over the weekend, 'Bidder 70' (available here - they were quite quick in sending me a copy - or if you give me a mailing address I will send one, I do not really think he will object to this small breach of copyright).
            Look at what he accomplished with the sacrifice of two years of his life. Not a small sacrifice. Not a small accomplishment.
            What actions might be undertaken in Canada at this scale and this level of creativity? I do not have your kind of position or authority; and indeed, looking down the barrels of this particular shotgun for as long as I have has largely unnerved me so I am ... about half-crazy (as you can see from my writings here); but I still do believe there is time to stop the madness if enough like Tim with imagination and savvy commitment, will step up and act.
            If you are willing to consider this question (or even if you are not but have any thought at all on what I have said here) then I would gladly think about it with you; and will appreciate any reply.
Have to wait now and see what comes of it.   
[See 'Dénouement' below.
... and some days I do wish hope would die.] 

"I think in the next couple of years the climate movement is either gonna succeed or it's gonna end because it'll be too late." [19:00]

"My job as I see it is to keep you out of jail. To me you would be much more effective in doing what you've been doing during the last two years of being an activist, speaking out, getting other people to join." (Patrick Shea)
"I don't feel like that's been very effective and it's part of that lack of results that drives me to use this opportunity with the trial for as much as I can get out of it."

A foreshadowing of, "The democratic party, liberals are clearly choosing to be the party of cowardly chickenshits that are afraid to fight for their values."
[42:20] perhaps. See if you can find Parick Shea in the photograph below.

"The way the environmental movement has been for the past thirty years ... it's not working. Our team is getting slaughtered. The refs have been paid off. And the other side is playing with dirty tricks. And so it's no longer acceptable for us to stay in the stands. It's time to rush the field and it's time to stop the game."
Tim DeChristopher salute.Tim DeChristopher salute.Tim DeChristopher salute.[Yup.] 

A not-quite-random selection of NYT articles:

        1) Massacre in Nigeria Spurs Outcry Over Military Tactics;
        2) Cop killer is first woman on FBI most wanted terrorist list;
        3) Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S.;
        4) U.S. Spending Cuts Seen as Key in Slowing Growth; and,
        5) Who Can Take Republicans Seriously? and they allowed my comment.

A better question might be "Who can take Democrats seciously?"
                It was Obama & Salazar who charged Tim DeChristopher remember, not W.
Or, "Who can take The New York Times seriously?"
Or, "Who can take any part of America seriously?" Or ... "Who can take k-k-Canada seriously?" Or ... or ... ANYTHING!

There is an ELEPHANT in the room folks. Yes there is. You can dither and dally as much as you like over whatever pissant & picayune fancies appeal to your sensibilities. Fill your boots. Makes no nevermind.
        niever monde.

                    be naieve in night nigh wor(l)ds             (o hum)
                    an perhappenings the whirld's end
                    with a sigh               tuuuuuuuuus             that breath  
        outlet with all my ploysuns in again

From Umwelt Preface, Keith Ecclestone 1969.
(You can't say yes and you can't say no but you'll be right there when the whistle blows.) 
NASA: Brazil/Bolivia border along Madeira River.Expanded view of Pando Department of Bolivia from GoogleEarth.Expanded view of Pando Department of Bolivia from GoogleEarth.
Brazil cf Bolivia:   Once a month or so The Guardian publishes a collection of satellite photographs. This month one of them caught my eye: # 15, with the caption, "The river-delineated border between western Brazil's Acre province (upper left), and northwestern Bolivia's Pando department (lower right), demarcates a remarkable difference in land use."

The photograph is NASA #PIA16991. It was taken in 2008. Who knows why it is published now? Or why the description does not name the rivers that feature so prominently? Google Maps doesn't help to identify the rivers, but Wikipedia does: between the (northern) Madeira and (southern) Madre dos Dios rivers is a relatively undeveloped zone - most of the Pando department of Bolivia.

[And a beard in her ear that tickled and said: "Have some madeira, m'dear."]

An accident of history rather than any policy of the Bolivian government or Evo Morales, that's my guess - but still, a nice symmetry showing up there there don't you think?
[I did try Raisg (as promised) and got nowhere - some kind of technical glitch I think. Oh well.] 

An uphill struggle, standing watch and constantly on guard:   Call it trying to sweep water or herd cats - both internally & externally, exhausting in either landscape. It's like ... hoping against hope for a substantive positive sign ... and the silly concupiscent BC voters opt for economic growth instead; and it begins to looks as if the outrageous lies of Harper and his cabinet may be paying off.    UNBELIEVABLE!

My anima signals ¡Ya basta!"And I wanna let go and I can't let go no more." (Mis-quoted perhaps, but it don't look like very Solid Rock to me anyway.) Dig deep, unwrap the heavy-duty spells: Dylan's Solid Rock, This Little Light of Mine; aces from Tyrone Slothrop and John Goodman. The Stones, All Down the Line & Last Time. Spells that work as well as they do.   Cheer up, things could be worse - so he cheers up and sure enough, things get worse.

Lightweights like Jørgen Randers in his '2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years' tell us: "don’t teach your children to love the wilderness ... better to rear a new generation that find peace in the megacity." George Monbiot embraces (closely I hope) nuclear energy. Mark Lynas goes for GMO & nuclear. Al Gore indulges (what I have to imagine is) an extended and purposely over-complexified & opaque defence reaction in 'The Future: Six Drivers ...'.    VEGEPAP!   
[But not Gwynne Dyer & Jim Hansen, see below.]

Who can blame them? It is all straight uphill once you take the blinkers off, and it is tough, very tough. No surprise if people just wear out - they deserve compassion.

I sit here hypnotized & enervated by one of the heads of the very snake: a troll - turned to stone beneath the bridge, not by sunlight this time but by some other thing, whatever you call the light that comes from an LCD screen, ghost light.    BAD JUJU! 
Long Harbour Newfoundland.There is sporadic activity on a blog I follow, Sandy Pond Alliance:
In March came: Tailings Pond Regulations Draw a Wave of Protest (from Resource Investing News).

And in April (belatedly since the letter was published on March 26) came: Full Speed Ahead pointing out a Letter to the Editor - pdf & on the Telegram's website.
I know Long Harbour, I've been there. It's not just in tar sand country that there are tailings ponds eh? The good people of Long Harbour were glad to see Vale comin' - new roads, new Fire Hall, jobs - just like the folks in B.C.'s recent election. Vale has gone ahead of whatever the court's decision may be and 'prepared' the pond to receive their local donation so it's 9/10ths fucked already. This tends to take the wind out of the sails of the protestors, understandable. The touted 'wave of protest' has not reached me - but then, nothing does.

Most reports are exaggerated, dramatic, wishful, uninformed - the struggle goes on there too, trying to sort wheat from chaff, constant, unrelenting.

Of course Gwynne Dyer supports GMO & nuclear too - but he talks such sense otherwise ... see Looming carbon bubble means both financial and physical meltdown. And Jim Hansen stamps his approval on nuclear in 'Storms of my Grandchildren' but knows (I think) that the financial side does not compute in the time available.

If there's nothing left in here but ...     Defiance! & ¡Ya basta!
... that's just how it goes. 

Sure, I follow the 'Stats' tab on the Blogger dashboard. It doesn't give details of specific visits like Site Meter (which I removed following a discussion with my son) but gives an indication of where visitors are coming from in general terms and what they may be looking at (its the titties!).

Then suddenly a few weeks ago there are hundreds and hundreds of hits from a URL called, which turns out to be a FOX/CNN wannabe recently acquired by Al Jazeera ... (?); that traffic disappears after a while but then it's the same story from, the Russian version of Orkut ... (?) Seems to stop but soon returns: now it's, ... the list goes on (now that I am paying attention) all redirecting & funnelling into, some weight-loss shill. (?)

Can't help but wonder wtf is going on? I can't see a benefit? For anyone? Overall visits to this blog are ~200 per day and haven't changed much for years (by far most wanting t&a like this).

Wassup? No idea. None. Mist-e-fied.

[How many L's in 'funnelling'? OED search gives four for 2 and one for 1; Google gives 400k for 2 and 1¾ million for 1. Wikipedia looks like it settles for 1. Call it a draw then.] 

It's OK for a woman of 80 to be more-or-less in this state; look here, in May 1st's Globe: I'm a sexually liberated woman, finally - at age 80. Well ... I'm not 80 but there have been some hard miles eh? She gets approbation, gets to be 'lovely' and I get to be a dirty old Internet troll - it's not fair!

Fannie Lou Hamer.Fannie Lou Hamer.Fannie Lou Hamer.If it's crazy madness for me to think there is some kind of grace in this logorrhœic blogging nonsense; something useful even, some inkling provided for someone I know nothing about somewhere somewhen, so be it; and if it's not grace, that's OK too.

All of which makes very small potatoes beside the likes of Fannie Lou Hamer; for a man who lived through the times and never heard of her until today (while looking into the tune below).

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

                      (A version by The Lower Lights.)

The artist who sang it in the film is Elizabeth
which she recorded on a Folkways/
Smithsonian Album, Sunny Day.
"Architects are people who eat light."
        (Glen Milne)

I have watched Bidder 70 five or six times already (and may watch it several more times if I am successful in bringing it to Toronto) with no slackening of interest. This is (to me) solid proof of its merit.
Old Lady:    He is supposed to be in the creche minding the babies but they are asleep and there are others there to watch over them. He slips in to listen to the sermon, under the balcony at the back, behind the pews.

An old black lady is sitting in the last pew; not alone - the church is nearly full that Sunday - but not quite beside anyone either. Her shoulders are shaking so stealthily that at first he cannot make it out. There are few blacks in this congregation so he recognizes her but does not know her name - an old lady in a flowery dress and hat with her purse on her knees.

And she is sitting in the very last pew, silently weeping.

And he thinks, "If I just put my hand out now onto her shoulder she will be comforted and it will make all the difference," but he is afraid.


And another joke my father used to tell:

A little boy at the breakfast table is about to eat a stack of pancakes. He says to his father, "Pass the 'lasses, please." His mother corrects him, "Don't you mean molasses son?" To which the boy replies, "How can I have mo'lasses, when I ain't had no lasses yit!" 
Dénouement:   A long wait; a dozen days (which explains the more than usually over-worked punctuation & HTML). I soon realized there'd be nothing. Mark Jaccard published my comment on the second letter and that was it. Not one reply. (Can't say yes and you can't say no.) So then ... Short answer: There is no counterforce.

Ben Sargent: Extinct Creatures.Joe Oliver's response is ... perfect; you'd have to call it perfect - he's a fossil.

It's OK, waiting is good; fits into that Buddhist 8-fold path thing somewhere or other. What to do? ... Keep waiting. What else?

[Here, this might make you laugh: Bill Maher with Lost Cats & Condoms. And on the up side, Belo Sun is tanking (take the 'year' view) - a bad 'prefeasibility' study (whatever that is?) apparently.

And anyway, the important thing about the B.C. election was that the professional pollsters screwed the pooch; the very last bit of this Rick Salutin rant tells it: "Something's going on in the public mind that none of the experts expected or has an explanation for. I love it when that happens."]

Then again ... who knows? I do a tour of a few Toronto activist websites: Stop Line 9 & TCAN f'rinstance; an' there ain't much happ'nin' there ... maybe everyone has been utterly defeated & undone by despair and I just never heard about it - there's no there there - and I'm the last one standing (or sitting as the case may be).

Rir par não chorar. :-)How would I know? It would be hilarious if in the end it is forebearance that does us all in. Truth be told gentle reader: I'm just as happy this way; relieved let's say.

As pessoas costumam estar fora, e aprendam eventualmente a gostar o que costumam.
Esteja bem.
[That is if you credit a salutation from a dimwit who only learned today that Black Death is 'bubonic' plague not 'dubonic' (thanks to Gwynne Dyer & the OED for that).] 
Coke.Bill Koch.Charles Koch.David Koch.Julia Koch.Petcoke, Detroit.Koch Industries.
Coke, Koch, Koch, Koch, Pet, Petcoke, Koch.
André Dahmer/Malvados: buscar alegria em lugares tristes.André Dahmer/Malvados: buscar alegria em lugares tristes.André Dahmer/Malvados: buscar alegria em lugares tristes.
            I wasted another day sharing cute links on Facebook.
            And you think this is normal?
            People get used to looking for happiness in sad places.
 ¿por qué estamos indignados? 
"This is not an ideological revolution. It is driven by an authentic desire to get what you need."

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