Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hope ...

... springs eternal (though one may come to hate it).
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Flood Bay Street!
Toxic Zombies at Bay & King Streets, Toronto Noon on Friday October 31, Halloween.

(Haunt Bay Street!)
What goes around comes around. That's what they say. As if we really live in the 'moral universe' Christians (wishfully) imagine; but it's just not so gentle reader. Good as it is, the Golden Rule is neither a lever nor a fulcrum. It's a hope. Somewhere I picked up that the Chinese ideogram for love-making is 'wind and cloud' - true or not it expresses this perfectly.

You can get half-way there if you turn it upside down: "What all schoolchildren learn, those to whom evil is done do evil in return."

[Whenever I remember and come there, Auden's poem moves me deeply. He says, "We must love one another or die." Got that right. For some reason it always comes back to me first as "What every schoolboy knows," and I (always) wonder if there's been a cleansing by correctitude somewhere along the line. But the rhyme goes with 'learn' so I am simply wrong, again, as usual.]

Christing Lagarde, IMF managing director.Martin Rowson: Garbage picker.Ralph Steadman: Di Dodo, Extinct Boids, 2011.

Three bits of text around 'The Great Economic Faltering':

1. NYT: A Global Economic Malaise, Editorial, October 9;
2. NYT: Sluggish Global Outlook Ripples in Markets, Nathaniel Popper, October 9; and,
3. Globe: At the open: TSX slides on persistent growth worries, Malcolm Morrison, October 10.

[In the event that they are no longer on-line at sources, the text has been archived here.]
The last good news from the Keeling Curve came after the 2008-2009 financial crisis when there was a brief downturn (or if not a downturn then a slackening in the slope) - the result (we imagine) of 'The Great Recession'. The best part of this news is how quickly it happened - an almost immediate respite.

Humanity's best hope now is total economic collapse. Sure, 'tough love' and all, but the alternative is extinction so, tough but not terminal ...

... and better be quick about it or even this extreme chemo-therapy will be too late and it will be time to bring on Armageddon, the Four Horsemen, Ragnarök, and the proverbial Fat Lady (finally) singing loud and clear.

Ben Sargent: Oh, Pshaw. When we hit bottom, we'll just adapt.
Tom Toles: Ebola vs. ISIS.
Signe Wilkinson: Terrifying Disease Ward.Brian Gable: Ebola vs. Isis.
Joep Bertrams: Bezorgd / Worried.
Bezorgd / Worried:   The good burgher's wife sees the image of an IS/ISIS mouse on her iPad and screams, leaping up onto a chair, high heels and all. She is properly horrified at public beheadings (as are we all).

[If Vince were still here we would say 'bezorgd' out loud a few times and chuckle over the superiority of the Dutch.]
Joep Bertrams: Geloofsbelijdenis / Creed.Joep Bertrams also gives us a near-perfect Isis daemonology - so well presented, this vision, that it is hard to look at without revulsion. The reality may be somewhere in between ... or somewhere else altogether.

Michael de Adder."If you go down in the woods today you're sure of a big surprise. If you go down in the woods today you'd better go in disguise. For every bear that ever there was will gather there for certain because today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic."

Is anyone really surprised that after all of the bloody hell ... after 'we' have again and again bombed Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan ... back to the stone age that the reaction is ... stone age? What goes around comes around, not as a magical rule of cause-&-effect, but through a fundamental application of human nature, twisted, crooked, and shitty as it is.

Two bits of text around our reactions to Isis:

1. The Guardian: How to talk to terrorists, Jonathan Powell, October 7; and,
2. Georgia Straight: Terrorism 101 - lessons in how to respond to ISIS, Gwynne Dyer, October 5.

[In the event that they are no longer on-line at sources, the text has been archived here.]
And I recommend a look at Robin Soans' 'Talking To Terrorists'.

[Either of the two texts using the phrase might have been better as 'Talking With Terrorists'. Thanks to Dave Stevenson, now gone, who many years ago taught me to distinguish 'to' and 'at' from 'with' (in a variety of contexts :-)   ]

Luo Jie: Ebola.
Brian Gable: Jetsetters, Ebola.Meme Generator: Sarah Palin - My heart goes out to the people of Ebola.

Two bits of text around Ebola:

1. The Guardian: 'In 1976 I discovered Ebola ...', Peter Piot interviewed, October 4; and,
2. Georgia Strait: Ebola's exponential growth, Gwynne Dyer, October 8.

[In the event that they are no longer on-line at sources, the text has been archived here.]
On the 'up' side - some of the complicit multitudes may begin to think twice before flying hither and thither; maybe some airlines will go bust and thus contribute more-or-less painlessly to The Great Economic Faltering we so badly need.

Marcelo Giugale, a World Bank director: “What makes all this very interesting is that the final economic toll of Ebola will not be driven by the direct costs of the disease itself — expensive drugs, sick employees and busy caregivers. It will be driven by how much those who are not infected trust their governments.”

Is There Anyone Anywhere Out There Who Trusts Their Government?!

Not me, that's for sure.

Giugale's use of 'very interesting' may remind us of Rowan & Martin's Laugh In. It is also redolent of the soi distant nitwit know-nothing urban muggles mentioned a few posts ago. But even a stopped clock is right once or twice a day eh?

Tom Toles: Homeland Drought.
FAO Food Price Index to end of September.
Imagine! Needing a 'miscellaneous' category for current a-p-p-pocalyptic events!

Drought, Lyme Disease, Great Barrier Reef, coral reefs in general ... the list goes on and on and on.

Larer (?): Canadian Oil.The FAO bean counters MUST be dissembling as the Food Price Index continues to slide - going down for six straight months now. (?) Doesn't make sense to me.

The price of oil slides - mostly (at least partly) in relation to demand. This is understandable, comprehensible; but the Food Price Index?!

$85 oil will stop the pipelines and tar sands development faster than the 'movement' (even if the movement were movin').

Three bits of text (three days in a row) around oil prices:

1. Globe: In Alberta, anxiety grows over declining oil prices, October 15;
2. Globe: Jim Prentice says oil industry needs to ‘remain competitive’, October 16; and,
3. Globe: In the oil sands, this is not the time to panic, Andrew Leach, October 17.

[In the event that they are no longer on-line at sources, the text has been archived here.]
Keep in mind (in the foreground if you will) that The Globe and Mail is Stephen Harper's official Rah-Rah engine, AND, that Jim Prentice went to Copenhagen in 2009 as Canada's Minister of the Environment, AND, that Andrew Leach is a savvy self-serving little toad and baffle-gab expert known as the Enbridge Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Alberta.

I'll leave you to sift out the sub-text for yourselves - not rocket science.

Brian Gable: Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Stephen Harper and his brown nose 1% sleveens know that we share their pain. The up-side is that more investment money will flow towards renewables. Divestment motivation you could call it.

A few late-comers:
Brian Gable: I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you.Brian Gable: Stephen Harper facces his doom.

I seem to have pissed these people off so successfully that they will not speak to me ... Faaaakkk!

Ballard Street: Fly in the ointment.The notion of dumping sticky black paint (washable of course) throughout the intersection for the Barons and their minions to track into their lobbies and up their escalators and elevators onto the rugs in their plush offices & cubicles is met with complete silence! Not a single word, neither Yea nor Nay. When I try to tell them about the Berlin experience (pictured below) they turn their backs on me.

How have I pissed 'em off so bad? Why not tell me? Why not say something? In the end I'm wondering if my presence at their meetings may deter others from attending. So. ... What can I do? OK. I leave the room and limp away; limping for gout not shame, but feeling low and mean all the same. Anyway, maybe I didn't piss 'em off, maybe they just didn't notice. Maybe I talk too fast. Who knows? Who cares?

Rather than a powerful civil disobedience at King & Bay they opt for speakers in the safety and invisibility of the City Hall front yard followed by an orderly, well mannered & polite march/demonstration ending up at King & Bay ... eventually.

Ah! I get one more email - to let me know that they have cancelled. Here it is, read it and weep, from Dave Vasey to the Rise Up list (which list I am not on, I got a copy from one of the three or four people who still sometimes answer my emails):
WTF does 'relieving' mean in this context?
[hey all,   At the meeting last night, the smaller group of us who were there felt it would be best to post-pone the action for another time. There were several reasons:

1. The initial action was planned as a response to the line coming online - with the delay, there is not as much urgency (the 31st was selected because we thought it was coming online Nov. 1st).

2. Capacity low - many expressed that they were very busy (for many reasons) and that it would be possible, but difficult to pull something off in a short timeframe.

3. Some expressed it might make sense to focus on different priorities for now - ie. Forest Ethics lawsuit coming up, Chippewa of the Thames lawsuit, and several community organizations who have expressed that more educational and door-to-door work benefit communities.

It felt relieving and disappointing to walk away from the action on the 31st, but for those of us at the meeting, it felt like the right decision at this time. However, we did talk about being prepared for when the line does come online, and that we should be actively working towards building capacity for that moment, as we can do the work now, so that we don't get in a rush later.

Hope you have a good Friday.
  Balderdash!    Poppycock!  

Nevermind kids. We got all the time in the world.

Berlin, April 25, 2010.
Gary Larson, Far Side: Dance of the cockroaches.I have to admit, I don't get it, and I don't know where to go from here either.

I think it was during preparations for the Dow's Lake Renaissance Faire in Ottawa that Paul Kuitenbrouwer told me about the greenhouse effect and global warming. That was 1978. It didn't register. I said, "What's a degree or two?" He said, "Average man! Average! Don't you get it?"

I didn't.

Now it may very well be too late.

I often give that lame & ubiquitous refrain: "I did the best I could." It's true, I did, but it doesn't amount to very much.

I'm sorry.
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