Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hands across the water. Hands across the sea.

or: Chagrin, shaggreen, whatever.
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Be with Chief Beau Dick breaking the coppers on the steps of parliament in Ottawa,
Sunday July 27 2014.

Follow the journey from B.C. at   Occupation Apple Tree.
Graeme MacKay: Abbott & Tarfellow.Moudakis: Canada's Environmental Action Plan.
Leona Aglukkaq & Stephen Harper.The Queen.
Leona Aglukkaq.Liz Truss.
Leona Aglukkaq.Liz Truss.
Women of a certain age ... Leona is 47, Liz is 39 (birthday is today); numerically inconclusive, but both make evident & liberal use of hair colour. A-and then there's the symmetry equation:
Leona Aglukkaq / Peter Kent = Liz Truss / Owen Paterson
and interesting (but idle) speculations falling out of that.

Just to take the ridiculous into the sublime consider Nigel Lawson / Owen Paterson (since Lords always like to be on top). See: Owen Paterson to give lecture to Nigel Lawson's climate-sceptic thinktank. Or even ... a threesome with a Roman Catholic Cardinal George Pell (now the Pope's chief economic advisor) in the middle.

Keeping in mind that with the exception of George Pell all of these people were duly elected by some legitimate constituency (so simply going out and shooting 'em won't do any good).

And also considering that what the Pope means by 'economy' is more like household accounting (in the proper etymological way), possibly even 'hussyfskap', and the appointment may simply be aimed at getting our large Georgie Boy off the main stage and out of the spotlight.
Galileo & The Pope in 1611 by Chris Madden.George Pell performing as King Canute for Nigel Lawson in 2011.
On the other hand - it took them 400 years to get with Galileo's program and ... well ... it's sad and unfortunate but we don't have 400 years to wait this time.
George Pell & Benedict.George Pell & Francis.
George Pell.George Pell.George Pell.George Pell.
And just as one is ready to write off the whole lot - all the Popes and Cardinals and the rest - as old women ... along comes an Irishman, John Michael McDonagh, with a film called 'Calvary' depicting a 'good priest. Go figgure.
Binn Ghulbain from Streedagh beach, Sligo.Binn Ghulbain from Streedagh beach, Sligo.

Chagrin: (Randle Cotgrave, A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues 1611) carke (burden), melancholie, care, thought; perplexitie, heauinesse, anxietie, pensiuenesse, vexation, or anguish of mind; also a disease or maladie: especially, such a one as comes by melancholie.

Shaggreen: (OED) shark skin (used as sandpaper), rough green leather and imitation rough green leather.

Plaisir d'amour ne dure q'un instant;
Chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie.

Falling in love with love is falling for make believe.

Greenwash cf. femwash; and ... The Commonwealth stands united! ... and ... Dérèglement rules!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Ubiquitous complicity.

It's Chickenman, "He's everywhere! He's everywhere!"
Today Is World Buy Nothing Day.
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NEXT SUNDAY:   Be with Chief Beau Dick breaking the coppers on the steps of parliament in Ottawa, Sunday July 27 2014.
Follow the journey from B.C. at   Occupation Apple Tree.
Two articles tweak some deep subconscious streak:

One in the New York Times, A Baffling Contradiction:
The first quarter of this year was the worst for the United States economy since the depths of the Great Recession in early 2009. During the same period, employers hired more people than in any quarter over the last six years, signaling gathering strength in the economy. It is hard to imagine how both of those statements could be true, but they are what government statistics indicate.
Adam Zyglis: EPA vs. The Economy.Must be some kinn'a analog vs. digital thing eh? Consider a barometer, which measures the height of the column of air over your head more-or-less directly, and compare it with any one of a gazillion economic models, which are computer programs embodying someone's assumptions about how things work based upon statistical numbers which you provide.

GDP (f'rinstance) seems simple enough until you realize that the effects of a superstorm (or even a natural calamity) increase it. Maybe Adam Zyglis' cartoon makes a bit more sense in light of that eh?

And another in The Guardian on the latest revelations around Neonicotinoids (original research described here and here):
Water pollution levels of just 20 nanograms of neonicotinoid per litre led to a 30% fall in bird numbers over 10 years, but some water had contamination levels 50 times higher.
Makes sense that if you kill off the insects the population of birds will fall, with or without a causal connection as there was with DDT - but the phrase that sticks is "20 nanograms of neonicotinoid per litre."

What's that in ppm or ppb (I wonder)? Twenty billionths of a gram in 1,000 grams would make it ... 20 ppt - that's Parts Per (fricken') TRILLION! Keep in mind, 1 ppm is a second in two weeks, 1 ppb is a second in 30 years, so 1 ppt is a second in 30,000 years.

And the greed-head scumbags at Syngenta and Bayer and Monsanto and the rest of them are pouring out tons and tens of thousands of tons of this shit.

See also: George Monbiot in The Guardian and Another Silent Spring?.

The Swallow

                He has two hearts instead of one.
                She cried, "Young man, what have ye done?"

tOad: Narcissus.tOad: Social dialog.

Pope Francis begging forgiveness, July 7 2014.

Daniel Pudles: Christian Church.Tom Toles: What do you call somebody who drags his feet on identifying and punishing abusers?

Galhardo, Daiquiri: free massage.
Lili, I'm going to give you a massage to lift your spirits.
                                                You just want to take advantage of me when I'm vulnerable.
                                                ME!? Me take advantage?
The massage is free!
Angeli, Chiclete Com Banana: We are all already dead.
We live in dark times.        Politics sucks. (?)         Happiness is an illusion.   We are all already dead.

Who laughs last laughs longest: (though laughter may need to be qualified)
Lula, Dirceu, Rousseff (possibly photoshopped).
February 2014: Judge Barbosa revokes Dirceu's work priviliges.
July 2014: Dirceu's first day of work - "Suck me Barbosa!"
Dirceu's first day of work.Dirceu's first day of work.

Worst of all is to find out that our soccer is fake [too]:
Mario & Betty: Shhhhh.Genildo.

Ubiquitous: present or appearing everywhere; omnipresent. (From the OED.)

So ... hold that pension cheque (or dividend or Savings Bond coupon - or paycheque for that matter) lightly in your fingers and ponder where the money in it comes from; what the money in it represents. And then tell me again about the evil perfidy of the 1%.

Not a pleasant meditation.    Unless, that is ... you have a Danish pension. :-)
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Chief Beau Dick - Breaking the Coppers.

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Be with Chief Beau Dick breaking the coppers on the steps of parliament in Ottawa, Sunday July 27 2014.
Follow the journey from B.C. at   Occupation Apple Tree.
An old friend of mine is among the group coming across the country with the coppers (which is how I hear of it) but I have never heard of Beau Dick before nor of 'breaking coppers' and so troll around on the Internet trying to gain some understanding.

I watch and listen carefully to these videos which begin to explain what is going on:
        Journey Of The Copper From This Point On. (30 minutes); and,
        The Copper's Journey to Ottawa Begins (1½ minutes).
(Thanks to David Shebib.)
On Beau Dick's Wikipedia page he says, "The copper is a symbol of justice, truth and balance, and to break one is a threat, a challenge and can be an insult. If you break copper on someone and shame them, there should be an apology."

Putting this together with what's in the videos I begin to see it all as a way of forcing the powers that be to publicly explain themselves. This is certainly a step in the right direction.

Chief Beau Dick in Victoria 2013.Chief Beau Dick in Victoria 2013.Chief Beau Dick in Victoria 2013.
Chief Beau Dick & Alexandra Morton.Chief Beau Dick & Alexandra Morton.Chief Beau Dick setting out 2014.

Beau Dick is from Alert Bay. For a moment I confuse this with Hartley Bay (near Gil Island where they sank the Queen of the North, whose courageous residents came out into the dark and stormy night to save strangers, in the channel where Enbridge tells us that the oil tankers will never never never shipwreck) but Alert Bay is 100 miles or so south of Gil Island and Hartley Bay.

He has broken coppers once before - last year on the steps of the BC legislature in Victoria after walking 500 km from Alert Bay - and then, it was in the company of Alexandra Morton. I have followed Alexandra Morton for some years in her efforts to have the negative effects of salmon farming exposed.

So. Substantial people on an important mission.

I read about Trinity St. Paul's United Church (in Toronto) unanimously vowing divestment of their funds from fossil fuel related companies in the UC Observer. (Also available on Christine's blog.)

Let's hear it for the congregation of Trinity St. Paul's. Good on 'em!
There are some excellent resources at the Trinity St. Paul's website including:
        Climate Justice overview; a Primer (pdf); and, a Pamphlet (pdf).

So ... I went along to church on Sunday at Beach United (which is a short walk from where I live) and heard directly from the minister, Abigail Johnson, that Beach United is doing nothing of the kind and haven't thought about it. It was obvious that the question on divestments did not please her. Her sermon was (in part) on mustard seeds. I can only hope that one will sprout.

Next Sunday I think I will ride the streetcar up to Trinity St. Paul's and see for myself what is going on there.

United Church of Canada.UC Observer: Divestment strategy.

There were other, baffling elements in Abigail's sermon. More on this later perhaps.

Today is Alton Lee Wilson's birthday - he would be 112 years old. He was a good man, and a smart one - and he liked to read the comics in the newspaper:
1910 David James & Alton (possibly).1931 Alton & Anetta.1977 Lynn & David & Anetta & Alton & Elizabeth.1978 Alton.

It so happens to be Northrop Frye's birthday too (who would be 102).

Postscript:   My sweet girl sends an email wanting a photo so I ask a kid going by to snap one and get this. Her new baby will likely be born by the time this appears. Ah!
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Environmental Apocalypse Greatest Hits.

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Special Announcement:   Be with Chief Beau Dick breaking the coppers on the steps of parliament in Ottawa, Sunday July 27 2014.
Follow the journey from B.C. at   Occupation Apple Tree.
"Not until we have a plan to heal the planet that also heals our broken selves and our broken communities do we have a hope." 
OK, here's a plan: What 'the movement' needs is CELEBRATION!
Fat old guy among the moon & stars (from Laerte: D. Ruth e o Novo Mundo #8 14-04-02).It is perverse to be constantly presented with doom foretold even when it's scientifically factual & actual. Guilt & gloom just don't motivate. Joy motivates; especially shared joy.

So ... if there's nothing to celebrate except the unfolding environmental apocalypse then ... let's celebrate that! (but properly). Let us (as they say) grasp the nettle firmly in both hands ... and smile, laugh, dance ... and maybe find the jam to get this movement Movin'.

A cross-Canada never-ending road trip in a yellow school bus (in the dead of winter?) hitting community halls and church basements and passing the hat for gas money.

Crazy, huh.
This post was going to be called 'Good News' and focus on recent positive indications but the notion hasn't washed (see below).

And 'apocalypse' may be too subtle, meaning as it does 'discover', as in dis-cover - take the cover off. 'Catastrophe' might be better, more towards the secular end of the scale; but, focussing as we should be on those who probably don't know the etymology of apocalypse, it works in that realm. So 'Environmental Apocalypse Greatest Hits' it is.

Anyway ...
I had this epiphany! ... Er, well ... not exactly an epiphany - more like an idea sooo crazy that I can't not follow it up (just call me Horse Badorties). Can 'epiphany' ever be properly used in the past tense? It's a bit of a long story but wtf, here's how it unfolds ...

Let this part of the story begin (and maybe it does) with learning 'Brazilian' in the early oughts and finding cracks of light coming through where English & Portuguese don't quite correspond. And, you know, once light starts getting in through cracks, or gets in anyhow, there's no telling what may happen. The first translation exercise I take on is 'Terra' by Caetano Veloso - a fortunate choice.

Best part of a decade later I want special music for my daughter's wedding. Bob Marley's 'One Love' is on the go with Playing For Change in those days and I try to get some musician friends to put it on for me, for money even, but there are no takers. It doesn't occur to me to make a DVD to bring along (the wheels are still turning, but more-and-more slowly y'unnerstan') and I try to sing it myself. That's funny; the lyrics all vanish from my mind except part of the chorus ...

Let's get together and feel alright:
Anonymous drummer.Sinamuva, Umlazi, South Africa.William Aura, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Thando olu-lodwa masi-be-sonke ah masi-hlan-gan-eni-sonke sibe-mun-ye.
(Thanks to Bhekani Memela for the Zulu lyric.)
Tim DeChristopher, July 2011, Salt Lake City, Utah.Tim DeChristopher at Powershift 2011.Tim DeChristopher enters the story twice. First, when he acknowledges what I already know, viz. that 'the movement' ain't movin' (in this speech at Powershift in 2011). And again when the film 'Bidder 70' comes out last year.

There is a tune in that movie which grabs me waaaay down among the short hairs of my Sunday-school roots: 'This Little Light Of Mine'.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova: Anybody can be Pussy Riot.Pussy Riot figures in it too. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova says, "Anyone can become a member of Pussy Riot, including any one of you. The only thing you have to do is be passionate about politics, make up a song, record that song, find a place, put on a mask and perform," and I think she means it.

Hank Snow.Hank Snow begins the second (or third, depending how you count) inning when his tune 'Ninety miles an hour down a dead end street' comes to me, and suddenly ... it's about the doomed planetary trajectory.

I think, "Hmmm, a pattern seems to be emerging; this feels like a hit parade!" But the musician friend I bounce it off doesn't respond.

Jane Siberry.Then I hear Jane Siberry calling all angels (at the end of 'Pay it Forward') and am transported into a realm where healing for this horrid despair might be possible: "... and we don't know how it goes."

Loudon Wainwright III.A few days after that I wake up in the morning singing 'There's a Dead Skunk in the middle of the road' and it's about ... the Koch brothers and their cronies and the smell of their money and the smell of their thinking.

The dead skunk morphs into a live seagull (who flies once around the bay and shits upon the Dew Drop Inn) ... and when I find that Pied Pumpkin now keep a website ... I think ... ... ... Oh!

[Properly it's 'Pied Pumkin' and always has been but that's not how I remember it.]

Pied Pumkin: sometime in years gone by.Pied Pumkin: more recently.

We are all standing in the field in front of the stage (that I helped to build) at Simon Charlie's Festival of the Sun - in the rain - waiting for Pied Pumkin to begin their show. They come on stage, look out at us and up at the sky ... ... ... and the rain stops and the sun comes out.

Yep. That's just the way it happens. The rain soon starts again but for a few minutes, half an hour, it's there and so are we.

I wind up with a copy of the album. It migrates (by a commodius vicus of flotsam & jetsam) to my parent's home in Toronto where I listen to it once or twice on visits. When mom goes into Whitby with the Alz' and dad dies, the album goes to a cottage in Muskoka, on a shelf with Barber's adiago (also from mom & dad's collection), where I find it and listen again.

Some things stick.

I put this out there with these coordinates. To Pied Pumkin. And Jane Sibbery too. And Naomi Klein - maybe she will want to come along. And my children. And to anyone at all who comes by and sees.

So far the Lucky Top Seven of the Environmental Apocalypse Greatest Hits list looks like this:

            Caetano Veloso - Terra,
            Bob Marley - One Love (Playing For Change) & alternate,

            This Little Light of Mine,

            Hank Snow - Dead End Street,
            Jane Siberry - Calling All Angels,
            Loudon Wainwright III - Dead Skunk, and,

            Pied Pumkin - Mister Mulvangel.

A-and:   Anita Best - The Cliffs of Baccalieu / The Incredible String Band - Cousin Caterpillar / Linda Ronstadt - Willing / Bob Marley - Three Little Birds (Gilberto Gil) / Bruce Cockburn - Wondering Where the Lions Are / Bob Dylan - It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry / Bo Diddley - Who Do You Love / Woody Guthrie - When That Great Ship Went Down / Bob Dylan - Everything Is Broken & Tempest / Chaka Khan and Rufus - Tell Me Something Good / Bill Withers - Lean On Me / Three Dog Night - Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog / Joan Armatrading - Eating the Bear ...

Fat old guy among the moon & stars (from Laerte: D. Ruth e o Novo Mundo #8 14-04-02).I am in front of another stage another time in Ottawa and Stephen Gaskin (from the farm in Tennessee) is up there wearing a leather Grateful Dead cap. He takes it off and tells us about it, says, "When I'm wearing this I am flying my colours."

Well, these are my colours and I'm flyin' 'em to ya. Wadd'ya think of that!

Looking to find YouTube links to all of the tunes but ... I'm making a mix CD instead. If you want a copy, send a mailing address to dlw1 [at] hush [dot] com.
Be well.

PS:   It's in the NYT on the 2nd that Stephen Gaskin has died. In the light of that maybe this post looks like a eulogy. Not so. A coincidence then - I just happened to be thinking of him - but yeah, things do get stranger & stranger.

Once again this is feeling like the end of a blog and despite all my complaints about positive-thinking ideologies it may be 'appropriate' for the closing cadence to both resonate with 'Gospel' and include some recent high points:
Some of the Muckaty owners.
The photograph is by Dominic O'Brien. Traditional owners from Muckaty, near Tennant Creek, NT come to Melbourne for legal meetings about their federal court case against a nuclear waste dump on their country. Left to right, posing in front of a billboard in Northcote are: Gladys Brown, Mark Lane, Jeannie Sambo, Dianne Stokes and Doris Kelly.

The nuclear dump has now been kiboshed.     Good on 'em!

[The other 'high points' I had in mind turned out not to be so high on closer examination so there's just that one.]

A sample of partners with one of the few remaining and (almost) trusted purveyors of news:
The Guardian / Anglo American.
The Guardian / Fairtrade Foundation.
The Guardian / British Telecoms.
The Guardian / Unilever.
(Merely intended as a caution mind you.)
Object lesson - Years of Living Dangerously:

Nine hours of TV by James Cameron et al. weekly on Sunday, then Monday nights over April-June 2014. I guess it would be 1½ hours by the time you add in sponsors (and I wonder who they were?).

OF COURSE I downloaded and watched carefully; and was mostly unmoved. I expected ... more somehow.

Several good men have got their thumbs out:
Judge Richard Brooke Jackson.Judge Richard Brooke Jackson.Liz & Judge Richard Brooke Jackson.
"The intervenor defendants ['Arch Coal' & 'The Government'] are immediately enjoined from proceeding with the Exploration Plan in any manner that involves any construction, bulldozing or other on-the-ground, above-ground or below-ground disturbing activity in the subject area."
Judge Richard Brooke Jackson.
It's equivocal. A stop gap. Arch Coal is not backing down. But it's something. If you read the decision it is very clear whose side the government is on.

See: Coal Mine's Rejection on Global-Warming Grounds Has Major Implications;
        United States District Court Civil Action 13-cv-01723-RBJ Decision; and,
        Mining companies face lawsuits as US government rallies to their defence

Deputy Sheriff Hector Zertuche.Deputy Sheriff Hector Zertuche.
Deputy Sheriff Hector Zertuche, environmental crimes officer for Jim Wells County, Texas. Again, it's a stop gap. The job has fallen to him, he says, because the state's environmental agencies don't effectively police the disposal of the industry's waste. Hector is 70 years old. The Texas Railroad Commission, who should be doing the job but look like they are in someone's pocket, will end-run him, move the fracking waste to pits in other counties, wait for him to die.

See: One Man's Mission to Curb Illegal Dumping of Texas Frack Waste.

Mueller: Don't encourage him.

[A-and who knows how much of an end it will be? I've only called it wrong about a dozen times already.]
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