Sunday, November 30, 2014

Laugh so not to cry. / Rir pra não chorar.

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This cartoon was going to be at the end of the post, but here it is up front. A hopeful message from an artist I admire on at least several levels. Have a look at this (English) Wikipedia entry: Laerte Coutinho.

Eles não param. Nem nós. / They're not stopping. Neither are we:
Laerte: Eles não param. Nem nós. / They're not stopping. Neither are we.
Strange monkeys. Very funky.
There are two of them there on that hillside. Apprisvoiser comes to mind. It takes two to tango eh?

Or maybe not.

Somewhere in 'Ecodefense' Dave Foreman says "Some very experienced [people] argue for doing everything alone." He/they may be right. If so, they are far better people than I am. In 2010 I spent half a day handing out 350 buttons alone-by-myself and it just about destroyed me; I don't think I ever recovered. Boo hoo. :-)

The mid-term American elections ...
Michael Leunig: Peanut or Pistachio.
Joanik: The American people have spoken.Tom Janssen: Yes We Can.
Matt Wuerker: The People Have Spoken.

... blow my mind: (James Inhofe likely to lead Senate environment committee ???)

Let's see: 2,022,456 registered voters in Oklahoma, Inhofe gets 557,537 - less than a third of them (though 68% of those who vote), and more than double his Democrat rival who gets 233,932.
tOad: Another GEIC / IPCC report.James Inhofe victory speech in Oklahoma City 14-11-04.James Inhofe victory speech in Oklahoma City 14-11-04.
Tom Toles: This isn't happening.Joep Bertrams: Fundamentalism.

Along with Tell-Tale-Tit: (cultural artefacts & revelations)
Michael Leunig: Terrorism of the Privileged and Powerful.
Michael Leunig: One day son all of this will all be yours.
Clay Bennett: The Centers for Deceit Control.

An approximately annual event: (refudiation of UNFCCC by Poland & friends)

2013: Poland, Wedded to Coal, Spurns Europe on Clean Energy Targets; and,
2014: Poland rejects IPCC target of zero emissions by 2100

Poland: Minister of Environment Maciej Grabowski.Czech Republic: Minister of Environment Richard Brabec.Bulgaria: Minister of Environment and Water Ivelina Vasileva.Bulgaria: Minister of Environment and Water Ivelina Vasileva.Latvia: Minister of Environmental Protection Kaspars Gerhards.

Poland: President Bronisław Komorowski, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, Minister of Environment Maciej Grabowski;

Czech Republic: President Miloš Zeman; Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka; Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec;

Bulgaria: President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Minister of Environment and Water Ivelina Vasileva; and,

Latvia: President Andris Bērziņš, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Kaspars Gerhards.

[It was a natural mistake for a know-nothing North American. Poland in a group of four - must be the Visegrád Group. Doh! Buddit's not.]

What's the point?   None really. I don't know enough about any of this (obviously). It looks like short-term priorities will trump ultimate survival, again. I wonder if Polish Catholicism has anything to do with it?

Well educated, well fed, successful as individuals, well paid ... bourgeois twits.

Not lookin' too good for COP 21 in Paris eh?

The Toronto Public Library and Canada Trust/TD Greenwash:
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Bollocks!

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation?!

Some whitespace, room for pause, for a close look look at the bookmark advertisement to see how (and why?) this series is simply nothing at all like what it proffers, presents, purports, pretends to be. Read and reflect.

I went to the one in the Beaches in September. I'd met her once before at wazizname ... Mishka Lysack's Oikos conference in 2010; Alanna Mitchell, a book selling exercise, very professional patter, practiced. Twenty people or so turned out including her publisher. Write your MP!
(Understatement (is) at its finest in Toronto the Good.)

Aida Muluneh: Ethiopia.Aida Muluneh: Spirit of Sisterhood.Jean Depara: Showgirls, Les danseuses et de Gaulle, 1960.
Malick Sidibe: Nuit de Noel Happy-Club, 1963.The New York Times ran a pictorial on Bill Cosby's art collection and some of these images were shown there. You may see how the first three hang together; but Malick Sidibe's 'Nuit de Noel Happy-Club' (left) may seem not to fit. If you take a closer look at 'Les danseuses et de Gaulle' and study the expressions on the girls' faces perhaps you'll begin to get it.

[Or you may view them as fantasies in the mind of a rapist. Then you may wonder if the author of this blog is also a rapist - in some transcendental way. Oh my! Lookout! It may be catching!]

I've been revisiting Ich-Du (which if you remember is confused with Sylvia Plath's Daddy in this silly brain of mine) - finding muddles everywhere I turn. And somehow it's all mixed up with guilt and shame; which Buber also had something useful to say about.

The distinction I remember is Thou/You instead of Thou/It (another flaw in the filing system) ... and I never noticed the link to dialogue, to the possibility of an authentic 'We' - or I noticed it and then ... forgot. And I don't know if Buber filed Golem in the Ich-Es folder or not.

Voulez-vous me tu toyer?
Laerte: Eles não param. Nem nós. / They're not stopping. Neither are we.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A card so high and wild.

(A red herring.)
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Asking the WRONG question:   Nuclear fusion? Too good to be true?

Shamil Zhumatov: Birds perch in treetops at full moon in Kostanay, Kazakhstan.

Thomas McGuire.The timing is prompted by the publication of this in mid-October:
        Aviation Week: Skunk Works Reveals Compact Fusion Reactor Details;
Closely followed by an echo in The Guardian (from a news-wire, but hey):
        Lockheed announces breakthrough on nuclear fusion energy;
And a week later by this:
        Gwynne Dyer: Hello fusion power, good-bye fossil fuels?

[I'm thinking, "If Gwynne Dyer is taking this seriously then maybe there's something to it."]

(And one I missed first time through:
        Audit: Has Lockheed Martin really made a breakthrough?)

Two 'interesting' videos (both quite short):
        by Thomas McGuire, principal investigator of the Lockheed Martin nuclear fusion experiment;
Michel Laberge.        and by Michel Laberge, plasma physicist & founder of General Fusion.

[A certain charming boyish arrogance on the part of Michel Laberge gives me pause.]

Gwynne Dyer identifies some of the players:
        General Fusion (Canadian);
        EMC2 Development Company, Inc. &
                EMC2 Fusion Development Corp. (website 'under development');
        Helion Energy; and, Tri-Alpha Energy.

If anyone knows anything it may be indicated by investment (I think). Most on Dyer's list are private companies; I can only find stock prices for Lockheed-Martin:
Lockheed Martin stock price to November 6.
a graph of which is ... inconclusive.
A few additional news reports:
        Forbes: Lockheed Martin Claims Fusion Breakthrough Could Change World Forever; and,
        Washington Post: Nuclear fusion energy in a decade?.

A quick review of some of the science at Wikipedia:
        Thermonuclear fusion & Thermonuclear weapon;
        Nuclear fusion; and, Fusion power; and
A book from the library, the only one in the list and with curiously un-described authors:
        Fusion : the energy of the universe, G.M. McCracken & Peter Stott, 2013.

And I consult an old colleague who graduated in quantum chemistry. He offers nothing substantive, not interested, lets it drop.

[It's a lucky move to spend a few days fossicking about because the penny drops through the molasses and ... eventually the lights begin to come on."]

It may have been back then, reading Amory Lovins' 'Soft Energy Paths' - maybe he mentions fusion somewhere in there (but ... no Index so the only way to see is reading the whole thing again, not today) - or maybe someone talked to me about it at the time; anyway, late 70's, halcyon Architecture School days - and ...

A notion of the sun as a fusion reactor. There it sits, a safe distance away, emitting high-energy rays which we already have all the necessary technology to catch and use. Why develop reactors here on earth then?

Unless it is to stroke human arrogance, get plasma physicists laid et cetera.

It's not an original notion - it's in one of David Brower's books too.

Oh sure, some people just refuse to see a technological 'solution' to the environmental holocaust; defiant nitwits partaking in the ideology of denying the existence or efficacy of silver bullets as they brandish Enoch's solar hammer.

 :-)That's funny. Let this end with a smile.

Be well.

Jim Morin: New Energy Resources.

Afterword: (with a smile then, AND a positive recommendation)
Louie's Garden Party / Occupation Apple Tree.

Here you go. I'll see your nuclear fusion and raise ya': Occupation Apple Tree.

A-and a few more high & wild cards come on the scene:
Ode to a Nightingale   John Keats (1795–1821).

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,
That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delvèd earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South!
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stainèd mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs;
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmèd darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain —
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that ofttimes hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music: — do I wake or sleep?


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Thursday, November 20, 2014


Nothing says "I don't care," like silence.
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"The bastards! Don't they care at all about their CO2 footprint?!!"
This offering of tOad's hits a number of issues in the news (It's polysemous!); I'm guessing intentionally.

Responsibility, guilt, and shame, fall on a number line (it seems to me). Responsibility - be it concern (ethical or otherwise) for children and grandchildren or simply abhorrence of waste - can be acted on. Guilt can be accepted, apologized for and ultimately made right (what's the word? atoned?). Shame is the worst - nothing to be done without someone willing to help, a healer. Martin Buber says he is talking about guilt with, "lay his hand in the wound of the other" but to me he is talking more about shame.

Nevermind Tom Toles. It is NOT too late, and our goose is NOT cooked - not quite. Close mind you, very close, proximal even - but no cigar just yet.

These two groups of ideas are intertwined, interrelated; a nexus of despair if you will. Popping them simultaneously into the neural-net ... brings me back around to the various notions of talking to each other that have appeared on these pages repeatedly.

What needs to happen is clear as a bell. Large numbers of people need to get up off the couch.
Tom Toles: It's too late.Tom Toles: Your goose is cooked.
She arrives at the crux of the problem.
Jerry Van Amerongen, Ballard Street: She arrives at the crux of the problem.Jerry Van Amerongen, Ballard Street: It was the last thing he needed.
It was the last thing he needed.

Michael Leunig: Depressed?

ISIS is NOT the problem; ISIS is a SYMPTOM:
Mike Peters: Isis.
Bill Day: ISIS the Scorpion.Michael Leunig: Amazing.
Cam: Step One - Degrade.Bill Day (with apologies for edits): So if it's not ISIS, what is it?

So if it's not ISIS, then what is it?

Is it God playing Almighty Holy Asshole again? Is it divine narcissism working itself out in pathological Old Testament rage? Did God's mummy not give him enough tit in the early stages? (As Gabor Maté opines? Overweening narcissism yet! It's good that our Gabor got enough quality face time with Jian so quickly that he could figgure this out for us categorically.) Do we need a fireproof Ark this time?

Is it H. sapiens? Do innate qualities of human beings and/or nature itself (itself not herself mind you) make ecological collapse inevitable?

Is it ideology? Is it institutions (including governments) taking on virtual flesh and becoming corporations? Assuming personal form with concomitant responsibilities not fitted to their isness?

Is it systems logic? Necessary & sufficient organizational failure? All those algorithmic excuses not to think? Is it scale?


Whatever ... we can still kick the low-hanging fruit (in the balls if possible!):
Tony Abbott & Stephen 'the Sleveen' Harper in Ottawa, June 9 2014.
Sitt Sitlakone.Anon: Toxic Shite Should Always Be Properly Labelled.
Michael Leunig: If you see Tony.Brian Gable: New counterterrorism powers.
Steve Nease: Neil Young.

Big paycheques aren't supposed to further forth the commonwealth: (not designed for that)
Malcolm Mayes: When will it end?Rob Rogers: The REAL threat.
Roque Sponholz: Saco Cheio.Tom Toles: Amazon dot politics.
['Saco Cheio' merits some explanation. Literally 'a full bag' or a 'good haul'; but 'saco' also means 'scrotum' (in the vernacular) nicely bringing in 'fed up,' 'pissed off' & 'frustrated' as well.]

The musical tastes of Arnaldo Angeli Filho:
Angeli: Wood & Stock & Miss Piggy & himself on Abbey Road.
Angeli: Dylan, Zappa ... and Grand Funk?!
The Beatles are no surprise - everyone in Brasil seems to love the Beatles (which I do not); but finding 'Highway 61 Revisited' and 'Hot Rats' - two of the greatest albums EVER! - side-by-each and combined with ... Grand Funk?! Say wha?

Shows ta go ya. No idea what.

Muses and Animas looking askance:
Channi Anand: Garbage picker in Jammu, India.Brazilian model, Malana de Freitas.Anonymous woman.Anonymous Nubian women.

I keep asking, "What would it take to stop this environmental holocaust?" but no one answers; so ... . I ask people, "Are you aware that Cuba already ran the experiment on what happens when you suddenly turn off the fossil fuels?" and one or two say, "Yeah," and "Yeah," and "So what?"

But ... the wheels are still turning, albeit slowly, and hypotheses fall out now and then. As time goes by they are harsher and harsher. More and more they are silly things that cannot be achieved, or only through ... miracles and divine Intervention - all good, but no God or Gods seem to be forthcoming.

   • Turn off fossil fuels with a carbon tax so HUGE that it just stops the machinery.


   • Collapse the economy. This will happen as a matter of course eventually - but too late to do any good.


   • Fire every single last politician, government bureaucrat, and consultant, starting with the UN.


   • Crash the population ... by ... half. This will also happen 'naturally' and it will likely be well more than half, and again - too late to do any good. A bonus corollary: All information systems including libraries and books will be long gone so if there's a remnant it may begin to feel like the Garden of Eden to them after a short while.


   • Turn the earth 90° on its axis. Magnetic north becomes magnetic east or west and maybe the ionosphere is so screwed up that computers and telecommunications stop working (also see Ken Kesey 'Sailor Song').


   • Nuclear fusion? Is it too good to be true? Almost certainly but ... you know ... there is this conveniently located fusion reactor just a few million miles away emitting perfectly useful (and relatively safe) radiation which we have already got all of the necessary technology to capture. Seems like a no-brainer to me.


Like I said at the top: 5% (for starters) need to get off their arses one by one and hit the streets and highways and block the insane traffic; trusting that someone'll come up with a meal at the end of the day. Occupy the earth is what it is I guess. It means leaving almost all the toys behind. Maybe Dr. King's 5% is enough. I don't happen to think so but it would be a better start (seems to me) than this Obama/Pooh-Bear arrangement.

Nothing says "I don't care," like silence. Not true of course - consciously doing things to exacerbate all aspects also says "I don't care." These would be the catatonic and narcissistic ends of the spectrum d'you think?

Time is the true human coin (they say). That and giving a shit. Without interest and concern time can become ... too long. It does no good to say these things (I know). Time you can only give away and then only if someone wants it. Interest and concern can't be faked, won't be faked; as our Van Morrison reaches without grasping (below).

Martin Buber.Martin Buber.Martin Buber.
[For anyone piqued to interest, Martin Buber's 1957 (67?) essay 'Guilt and Guilt Feelings' is published in 'Martin Buber on Psychology and Psychotherapy: Essays, Letters, and Dialogue' Syracuse University Press (1999). Bits of this can be viewed at Google Books (rather useless bits because of the silly format dictated by silly fops wielding silly legal & copyright 'considerations' - the man himself is safely dead). I have scanned the thirty or so pages and may get around to posting them somewhere. Don't hold your breath. I think the book is still in print.

So many photographs of Buber show him with his head tilted pertly wearing the seraphic & saccharine smile of a gu-ru. A scholar might be able to tell us if this was organized by himself or ... later purveyors.

Ah. Here he is: Martin Buber, Guilt and Guilt Feelings.

Let's have a recessional hymn by Van Morrison ... 'Domino':

        If you never hear from him, that just means he didn't call;
        Or vice versa, that depends on wherever you're at;
        And if you never hear from me, that just means I would rather not.

(That last 'just means' in there sometimes sounds like 'doesn't mean that' to me.)

Be well gentle reader.

[Postscript: Continuous calm very light snow 15th, 16th, 17th ... but odd, a strange first fall, or maybe everything feels strange these days. More on the 18th & 19th with wind, now seeming normal. I see a new word flash by in the newspaper, coined for new climate times I'm guessing - all 50 American states sub-zero - but fail to register it. Long stationary waves of arctic air.


(If I can find the word I'll stick it in here later on.)

OK, here it is: it's an 'Omega Block'. A hitch in the jetstream gitalong resembling the Greek letter Omega. The jetstream jammed:
Omega Block.Omega Block.
Something in it for everyone: The 'OMG' block for illiterate Internet muggles; The Second Coming block for all those wee kiddies addicted to 'I am the Alpha and Omega' kind of millenarian nonsense; A-and ... didn't Père Pierre (Teilhard de Chardin) call his consciousness changeover 'The Omega Point'? Opa! Can't remember.
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