Sunday, March 22, 2015

Shoures soote. A (vernal) toss-up.

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Joel Pett: Songbird extinction trend.
tOad: John Tory on Toronto City Hall.Who knew that French cartoonist tOad had visited Toronto since John Tory was elected mayor? (Image right.)

Dreading the coming of spring all winter. Then there's some mild weather and the grackles arrive squabbling outside the window one morning in early March (coming in like a lamb). Back to sleep and wake with 'Masters of War' playing on the inside radio.

A short step to "April is the cruellest month," but morning coffee and a smoke comes back, counters with "Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote," and it's a (vernal) toss-up.

'Soote' is still in the OED. Imagine!

I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon.
I'll follow your casket
On that pale afternoon.
I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your death bed
And I'll stand over your grave
Till I'm sure that you're dead.

Sipress: Let's change 'brink of chaos' to 'Everything is wonderful.'
Wiley Miller: death.Then herself sings 'She Moved Through the Fair' and it all shifts into a minor key where it has stuck these several weeks. And no aides memoire to be had from Sinéad O'Connor nor Loreena McKennitt and their fuckin' echo machines.

And it's not even April yet.

tOad: François Hollande with Marion Cotillard & Mélanie Laurent in the Philippines.

The chief boo hoo mucky-muck over at The Guardian is retiring and, concerned about his legacy has begun (what I think he might call) a 'serious series'.

One can at least applaud the forthright transparency of his faulty far-too-late rationale.

Antony Gormley, 'Exposure': Taking a dump by the riverside.

Intro. Alan Rusbridger March 6;
1. Naomi Klein March 6;
2. Naomi Klein March 8;
3. Bill McKibben March 9;
4. George Monbiot March 10.

Bill McKibben still claims he wrote the "first book," or he cares who wrote the first book or some fuckin' thing. I have yet to read anything by this man in which he does not mention this lie but it is just as untrue (and irrelevant) as it ever was. Oh, and he presents yet another positive spin-cycle, raised in a laundromat perhaps, or reading too much Paul Hawken.

If wishes were horses beggars would ride.

Whatever is driving Alan Rusbridger seems to run its course and lose headway, drift off into an eddy. He shifts gears and promises another series - podcasts this time.
tOad: Sommet de la dernière chance / Last chance saloon. The whole presentation is strangely disorganized, unfocussed; as if he's literally winging it. Very odd. The links in the emails don't seem to work properly.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt - perhaps he sees what's called for - massive civil disobedience mobilization, call it CD+ - and just hasn't got the balls to say it; perhaps he's retiring because he's ill. Who knows? He's been head Guardian goombah for two decades - most likely he's feeling guilty for having warmed the chair for so long.

And so are we all if we're honest.

He didn't do it when he had anything to lose though. I believe people who behave like that are known as dilettantes by the educated, and fuckin' booge-was wankers by arseholes like me.

George Monbiot talks about "intelligent, educated, well-paid and elegantly-dressed people wasting their lives." I know I will never be forgiven for wondering if this editor and these writers and associated stoop&fetchits are doing the same.

Oh sure, another welfare-case nutbar, another crazed angry old man best ignored.

Years ago (it seems) I chase the United Church on fossil fuel divestment and get nowhere. Their justice focus at the time is all about Sid Ryan and boycotting Israel. It's so ridiculous. I meet Desmond Parsons. Who can bear talking with these people? Their moderator flies to Durban in 2011 and comes away praising Peter Kent (see here). Doh!

Clay Bennett: Tipping Point.Then last summer Trinity St. Paul's (TSP) United Church achieves some kind of divestment success (see here). I go along to the local church and get turned off, turned away, something like that. I email the guy at TSP but he mistakes me for a person of my name who edits the UC Observer and when I clear that up he lets the conversation drop. I mean to find out more, visit the church, but never get around to it.

Now, despite initial skepticism, the Guardian initiative is looking more-and-more real: they (we?) are taking on Bill Gates and the billionaires; Ed Davey looks like he's on board; 100,000 petition signers within just a few days. Wowzers! It comes to me that divestment could be exactly the movement-building tactic that's needed, simply because there are possible, small, intermediate victories. Positive feedback! It could even (could it?) grow so quickly in the few months remaining as to overcome. Holy Shit!

On Paddy's Day evening I go up to the East End Against Line 9 meeting (they've been praised here before) because I want to be sure they know. I get the bum's rush and stumble out and I'm not laughing. I walk most of the way home in a terrible state, awful, and when I wake in the night for a piss it's shin splints and I nearly pitch into the tub headforemost. It might be a near-death experience. This turns to good though. Just what the doctor ordered! Just the ticket! Now I'm laffin'.


I'm gonna leave Alan Rusbridger here for for a bit. He seems to've made a close alliance with Bill McKibben. This may be a mistake. Time will tell.

I think I can survive on food-bank & welfare through April so there's a month to play with. I'll go up to Sunday service at Trinity St. Paul's. Even the new-age wanks (still) shove in the odd Wesley hymn sometimes and they probably (still) offer coffee & cookies afterwards. See where it goes and if they need any help. I'll contact the woman at Beaches United again with a qualified apology, and then see if there can be a renewed conversation. See if the UofT divestment committee holds meetings. A three-point plan.   :-)   (Plus the search for the Green Party already underway.

The only thing I knew how to do was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew.

I'll leave what was already into this post where it is - for perspective - and, report back after a while, at the end of March.
Just listen (even if it chokes you) to Chris Hedges talking with Abby Martin and then show me how to realistically walk around what they're saying.

Gus Speth in the last chapter of 'The Bridge at the Edge of the World writes in 2007:
        It is easy to push these challenges out of one's mind. Life for many of us is comfortable, and dwelling on such disturbing material is painful. Indeed, one still hears with regularity that it is a mistake to stress these gloomy and doomy realities if one wants to motivate people. In The Death of Environmentalism Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus remind us, for example, that Martin Luther King, Jr., did not proclaim, "I have a nightmare." My reply to them was that he did not need to say it - his people were living a nightmare. They needed a dream. But we, I fear, are living a dream. We need to be reminded of the nightmare ahead. Here is the truth as I see it: we will never do the things that are needed unless we know the full extent of our predicament.
He is a lawyer and yet, as this last sentence is brief and unequivocal it merits repeated savouring:
Here is the truth as I see it: we will never do the things that are needed unless we know the full extent of our predicament.
Or, as the Christians like to say, "The truth shall set you free."

But he evidently thinks we have more time than we do; and he, like McKibben, thinks the 'transformative process' is slow and gradual - never having considered (apparently) how long it took the Cuban Special Period to kick off, or never having played crack-the-whip as a kid.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Two articles by Gwynne Dyer: How far will oil prices collapse—and for how long?, October 2014; and, How long will the oil stay cheap?, March 2015. He thinks (or wishes he thought) the drop-dead date is twenty-five years away and I think it's this year.

I've put this here because we agree that our eminently venal governments will do what it takes to keep the frackers fracking (and the pipe lines piping and the train bombs bombing).

Two books, both from the 70s really though one is published only in 1985: Ecotage! Sam Love and David Obst, 1972; and, Ecodefense - A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching, Dave Foreman & Bill Haywood (editors), 1985. No copies of Ecotage anywhere that I can see. Ecodefense you can still find on-line as of this posting. But really, you don't need 'em anyway. There's been enough articles and enough books and well more than enough.

I was there at the time but on the other side - setting chokers for MacMillan-Bloedel & the IWA. I was there and missed my chance (like Lord Jim on the Patna though out of concupiscence not fear). In the 70s, 80s, even the 90s, we might have turned it around that way. Now gentle reader I sincerely don't believe there are any more realistic chances. Now the Tragedy of the Commons becomes the tragedy of everything. The end.

Oh sure, I could be wrong.
Apaga la tele / Turn off the screen [and find something else to do, alone if necessary].
Ké-Huelga Radio.
Guardian podcast.
Fukushima four years later.
Araquém Alcântara: Onça Pintada.

Noght o word spak he more than was nede,
And that was seyd in forme and reverence,
And short and quik, and ful of hy sentence.
Souninge in moral vertu was his speche,
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche. 
The Tyger

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire in thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art?
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand, and what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb, make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

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