Hello, and welcome to another edition of The Eleven, my monthly e-newsletter. In this issue I'm going give a short personal update, share some of my thinking about the world, and reveal Eecole's great breakfast (or anytime) healthy and delicious smoothie
Let's see, personally,
I joined a band
- appeared on the OPB program Think Out Loud right after Copenhagen talking about the connection between climate change and population growth (hour long show, my part's mostly towards the beginning)
- went on public access TV to talk about population growth (hour long show, my part's throughout) check albertideation.com in a few days for a link to the show, and I'll put it in the next 11.
- moved into our new home on 13th and Hancock in Northeast Portland
- Continued to mentor a 7th grade boy at the Beaumont Middle School
- Put myself out there as a social networking guru for hire
- Continued to help Miss Direction promote Wileyware
- Started up my yoga practice again
Luckily, I'm part of a great ecstatic dance
community that provides me with connections, support, and a weekly chance to shake my booty and then go out to brunch with sweaty friends. All of this to say - life is somewhat normal, and though I've been sick this past month, I've still gotten to see people, read some good books, and stay connected.
I'm lucky - I feel healthy, have great friends, a sweet family, and live in a great place. Then, there's....
I've been thinking lately that things cannot remain the same. My sense is that we're quickly reaching a point
where things are going to shift rapidly and I don't really see our society being ready/prepared for what's coming.
Given that we're heating the planet, losing species at a rapid rate, continuing to experience large-scale disasters, going through an economic world depression, living in a country where 45 million people live without health care, living with 15 million people unemployed, fighting two wars half-way around the world, and having a body of our national government that is seriously stuck, I just wonder how much more stress our system can take.
The traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers, networks on-line) all point the finger of responsibility at one culprit or another, and none of them ever encourage you the viewer/listener/reader to take a single action beyond possibly changing a light bulb.
I read a lot of the left press. Whether it's Counterpunch
, YES! Magazine
, The Nation
or our local offering: Alternatives
, that's where I get most of my news besides the local paper. And the story you get from this corner of the media universe paints a radically different picture and provides much more coverage of people who refuse to wait for Obama, the US Senate, the FDA or some local governing body to make things right. Like Jon Stewart, the news from these sources is generally true, and worth paying attention to. I'm with them. If we wait for someone else to take charge to make things right, we'll continue to watch our street/neighborhood/city/county/state/country/continent/planet deteriorate until it's uninhabitable.
We've been fed a story by corporate media in recent years that urges us to make personal changes to save the planet - change a lightbulb, plant a tree, bring cloth bags to the grocery store. These are good actions to take, but they are not enough. My action wish for you to take this month is a big one. Here goes.
The next time you see or hear some media "voice" telling you to take personal action regarding your shopping habits to save the planet, I want you to think of industrial hog farms instead. I want you to think about the over $700 billion that we're spending on our military instead. I want you to think big and follow the money. The next time corporate America encourages you to think small (turn down your thermostat at night) - I want you to follow the money - and note that mountain tops are being blasted in West Virginia to provide us with "cheap" coal to provide your electricity. The next time you try to decide which fish to buy because some fish are being overfished more than others, think about all of the plastic being dumped in our oceans and killing fish and other wildlife by the millions - by corporations.
Then, take pen to paper, take fingers to keyboard, take voice to telephone and let someone know how you feel. Whether it's your local paper or your electeds, it's important to be talking about the big issues, the big numbers, the big effects of our communal, and generally corporate, actions. And, if that doesn't satisfy you, figure out if there's a group that's trying to change what you're concerned about, and join their ranks. If that group doesn't exist, create one. Feel free to get in touch with me for support and encouragement.
We've all been told repeatedly that we are too small to effect any change. It's not true. Yes, our current economic system is set up so that money talks and the environment has no voice. But we can change that. We have to change that. You want to remove ugly billboards from your roadways - you can do it! You want to save a species and its habitat? You can do it! I am reminded of the saying "if you're not pissed off, you're not paying attention". I think that's true. And, I can understand why people would rather watch the superbowel or do a thousand other mind-numbing things rather than raise their voices, raise our voices, in protest, but it's time, people.
And, if you need inspiring stories about people like you who are making a difference, try out one of the news sources above. My newest favorite is Counterpunch
Thanks for taking any action and working to try to save this place. It's not going to save itself.