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The world is starting to flame. The economy is in the tank. “Nothing will ever be the same”. Say it, think it, feel it, express it all or not at all; okay, I get it. But why the negativity?

I’m getting so tired of the same old piss and moan. It flirts around the edges of every coffee-shop conversation these days, or boldly proclaims, and in every form still feels to me like the worst self-fulfilling prophesy of recent memory.
Lately I’ve been given to reminding people that it’s not as if “they” took all the money out of the vaults by the wheelbarrow and burnt it in the streets, or dumped the global gold supply into the sea… Okay, okay, they DID dump most of the above into China somehow, but it’s not like all the money/energy in the world is actually gone.
As far as I understand it, economies are not built upon having money/energy, but are built upon moving it. But get this: far far far too much of the global economy has so far been built not upon the movement of money, but upon the movement of debt. Money may be a portable, transferable medium for human energy, but debt, if anything, is the inverse.
Now, finally, there seems to be more debt than energy in the system, and it should be completely unsurprising that the economy is going to shit. Hell, it went to shit a long time ago, on that long-past day when somebody started to equate credit with cash.

But the piss and moan! The fucking piss and moan! We all get it! Now stop whining, get out there, and produce some energy! Then move it! And in the meantime, try to remember:
When the rent money is tight, that you’re still alive, that air, water, and sunshine are free.
When you’re actually brewing your own coffee, that you’re not a kid in Starbucks-less African warzone.
When you’re walking down the street not actually being maimed/raped/shot at, that at very, very least you’re not floating in the middle of the ocean on a crippled boat wondering what the fuck just happened.

Oh, does that last one bias me a little? Maybe, but please forgive me. It’s been a rough year. This spring I’ve already lost everything I own, lost all my savings, lost the product of 4 years of labour, and, oh yeah, watched my last great impossible-yet-just-barely-within-my-grasp dream bobbing off and away, broken and behind me, into the sea.
Don’t coyly cough and smirk into your coffee, pretend at cynicism, and try to hide your fears for this unrecognizable economic future behind a stuttered parody of hope. C’mon folks; it’s every bit as bad as “they” say -probably worse-, and yet simultaneously not that bad. I call out fear as the flipside of hope; let us now take a lovely deep breath of free air and cast out both.
I know you’re afraid, but there’s fear and then there’s The Fear. How can you tell the difference? I wouldn’t have known the difference myself before this year.
All I can tell you now is that fear is what you feel when you’re afraid; The Fear is what crawls up your spine when you try to remember how you felt before, that time you should have been afraid, but weren’t.

And now? Economic implosion? Fear? The Fear? Nuh-uh; I’m still breathing free air and movin’ my energy…


On my boat, i’ve taken to listening to the local NPR station quite alot. Now, over these last few weeks, i’ve been house-sitting a place on a weird little hollow of hillside with no radio reception. Furthermore, the utterly basic cable here consists of two New York broadcast tv stations.
Now, my personal politics lean towards the liberal. Still, i like my media as un-biased as i can get it. So many months of listening to NPR programming had left me feeling that it had a definate, if not substantial, left-wing bias.
But just a few viewings of “mainstream” American broadcast journalism has gotten me right back to loving NPR! When the broadcast news isn’t allowing itself to be an outright puppet of the right wing, it simply isn’t covering any issues of actual importance.
Of course, i really like the good ol’ CBC, excepting that in the last few years since i’ve been able to live and listen in Canada, it seems that the guts have really been knocked out Canadian radio.
The next best i’ve found is the BBC World Service, on cable… Which i don’t have on the boat! My cheap MW receiver can’t manage to pick up much either.
Say i manage to get a decent radio and decent antenna… Is there really any media out there worth the bother?

Heard some interesting Cooper Anderson comments, about the bodies in New Orleans. He talked about having been in war-torn foreign countries, especially Rwanda, and having seen the bodies of the dead out in the open, left to decay and disappear along roadways and other public places. He went on to say that he never ever expected to see such things in the US. Why is it that the typical first-world citizen is so shocked to discover that they’re subject to death and decay just the same as the rest of the (impoverished) world?
The implicit attitude seems not one of just “Our standard of living and wealth ought to keep us free of such things”, but more one of “That stuff simply doesn’t happen here”. It’s utterly elitist to assume that just because you live in the first world, you’re immune to death, and failing that, that your corpse will be immediatly cleaned up and “properly” disposed of. i find it weird that people are impacted less by death itself than by where it occurs.
Get over it, people! Death happens to all of us, high or low. Everything dies, decays, and dissolves into nothingness as part of the most obvious lifecycle. Not many folks i know of are still into mummification; no matter how much you respect the dead, and no matter what your spirutal beliefs or views regarding an afterlife, there’s no denying that bodies are just fertilizer in the end, and we’ll all go that way eventually.
Death and decay isn’t something that just happens to the impoverished or unfortunate. As my good friend Mose Malone (a great BVI elder) waxed one day, discussing racism with me; “You cut off you arm, and I cut off mine. We put out on de fence, and soon come they both stink just de same.”

truth crew

Watching the reports from New Orleans… thinking thoughts, then Kanye West opens his mouth and says, “Bush doesn’t care about black people…”. Great stuff. Yet again, i’m astounded by America. Just floored.
i have a great deal of compassion for those persons struck by this disaster, but certianly no more than i have for the millions of people worldwide who suffer, living under such conditions permanently. Only in America would you build a city below sea-level, between the shore and a large lake, laced with canals, in a known hurricane path, then during an active hurricane season, fail to take all possible precautions. When the worst happens, in the country with the second-largest (but arguably far better equipped) armed forces in the world, it becomes a struggle to bring government forces into play. i can’t help but imagine some Louisianan National Guardsman somewhere in the Middle East right now wondering why he isn’t somewhere in the world where his efforts might make some difference.
As for Bush, well, he’s a rich white Republican southerner. If he sees poor black southerners as anything more than votes, i’d be surprised (not that many of them voted for him anydangways). Now there’s his comment, where he describes the areas affected to be as large as all of Great Britain. Sure, and there’s areas of the world even larger, in even worse poverty and disaster. Okay, i’m aware that a country’s first responsibility is towards it’s own citizens, right? Uh, does that include US states like Afganistan or Iraq?
Globally speaking, the hurricane damage in New Orleans is just one more blip on the radar, yet here it gets all this coverage. That’s bullshit. Trying to raise awareness of poverty and calamity in the third world is still like pulling teeth. Katrina or 9/11 are disasters, yes, but no more so than others that occur all around the world, in less developed areas, every year. No more so than the continuing disasters of poverty, hunger, and disease that never let up.
Clearly, i still firmly believe that America, as the superpower of the world, has a grave responsibility to improve the lives of all people of the world. Where the argument is made that America must look firstly to Americans, then why is there a problem? Why wasn’t government aid brought in sooner? Before disaster struck? Unlike Kanye West’s critics, i believe that this is a political issue. When his comments were later censored, it just goes to show that the media is more than ever in the pockets of the man.

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