Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Occupation of Belo Monte de novo.

See previous post on May 2 occupation.                                                                             Up, Down. 

Philip Glass Metamorphosis.Philip Glass Metamorphosis.Philip Glass Metamorphosis.
The news is posted on Ocupação Belo Monte first, with English translation of important documents. More English coverage at Huff Post.The works were re-occupied on the 27th. The government threatened force after a 24 hour grace period which has expired with no indications yet that they have carried out the threat.
Meanwhile the suits at the International Hydropower Association, bankers and developers (Scheisskopfs & Minderbinders) have wrapped up their UN conference in Sarawak, stating, "... energy is the only proven path to growth ..." There will be no more growth so flapping your fat lips over prosperity, sustainability and flourishing coupled with growth is utter nonsense and you know it.
[ See Psalms 12:3, 17:10, & 31:18.]
Esteja bem companheiros e companheiras.

 ¿por qué estamos indignados? 
"This is not an ideological revolution. It is driven by an authentic desire to get what you need."

Saturday, 25 May 2013

This little light of mine.

or: The answer is 42 (or possibly 70).                   Flower Moon                 Up, Down.                      Towel Day 

 ¿por qué estamos indignados? 
Don't panic!Contents:
        Tim DeChristopher: [Bidder 70, Quotes, k-k-Canada?:[Joe & The Boys?
                    Harper?  Justin?  Counterforce?], More Quotes],

        Other (sort'a related) stuff: [NYT Nonsense, Brazil/Bolivia Border, Uphill,
                    An Enigma, Light for a Troll, Tiny Story] ...

Tim DeChristopher in Utah after judgement, March 2010.Tim DeChristopher in Utah after judgement, March 2010.Tim DeChristopher in Utah after judgement, March 2010.
Bidder 70, Tim DeChristopher:   Here's the trailer; and the Bidder 70 film website. You can purchase a copy for $25 plus $10 (US$) shipping here. You can get to know Tim DeChristopher a bit better watching his speech at Power Shift in 2011, and by digging and delving into the Peaceful Uprising website. He has figured here often enough to get his own tag.

Why is this film important?   Even unwilling actors such as Sierra Club US are finally coming around to the reality that peaceful civil disobedience is necessary, now. Tim's action is an exemplar, an epitome. This kind of thing is not easy; neither in the execution nor in bearing the consequences, so it is a very good idea to have a close look beforehand - and this film permits such a close look. There are important lessons to be learned here.

For me three aspects are key: 1) the manner of it - peaceful and firm, spur-of-the-moment yet prepared for; 2) the thoughtful integrity of it - which also has to do with firmness; and, 3) the fearlessness of it - I almost say 'righteousness' but that has religious connotations I would not subscribe to; but sure, say 'humble & selfless righteousness'. 
Bidder 70.And there are some necessary conditions:   One bears special attention - support. In this action (as in Theresa Spence's fast on Victoria Island) the evidence is everywhere of the importance of support. At one point in the film he says, "The support ... has really been the only thing keeping me going through this. I definitely would have cracked and gone crazy if it weren't for them. Those people are carrying some of that emotional burden for me."
[46:20] Got that right.

A bit earlier he says, "It's kinda where I'm at with the larger climate movement. I know that we're probably fucked. ... It's probably far too late to defend anything close to a liveable future. The value in what we've done is that we're building this network of people willing to fight for a better world despite the odds and when things fall apart that's the kind of people we're gonna need. And that's what we've got."
[43:40] This is where groups like Transition Town pick up with 'building resilience' (which is very very good, I am not denigrating it). Except that it starts in on adaptation before we have properly tried abatement - as if there were no hope at all; accepting second (more like 3rd or 4th) best without having travelled all of the first mile.

Watch this movie, think about it.

Judge Dee Benson.Judge Dee Benson.Judge Dee Benson.Utah District Court Judge Dee Vance Benson only appears here because I think his profile should be raised in the same way that Invisible Children want to raise the profile of Joseph Kony - he and his minions must be driven out from under their rocks - and there were no images of him in the film, must'a bin a deference thing. 
Meanwhile back at the ranch the cabinet is all wanking in public:
Joe Oliver & (piece of) Kent in Europe, and Stephen Harper in New York.

The closest I see to anything approximating commentary is Jeff Simpson in the Globe: Bitumen needed statesmen, not salesmen. Beside a NYT article of about the same vintage (Foes Suggest a Tradeoff if Pipeline Is Approved) it looks ... sort'a good ... but they are all lame-as-fuck-useless jizz artists.

Joe Oliver - deer in the headlights.The politicians are doing their jobs as they see them, with a gold plated pension waiting at the end of the rainbow. I guess there is a pension in it for Jeff Simpson & John Broder too then. Play it out for whatever it's worth boys!

Although Joe Oliver does look a bit like a deer in the headlights sometimes, stretched; a cross between a deer and a sheep maybe. When he quits and takes a fat job somewhere like Jim Prentice did, everyone will say what a well-respected man he is, well liked, personable.

Rick Salutin has some thoughts in this general zone: Death of the salesmen - From Willy Loman to Joe Oliver.
"I'm for hiya, please don't call me a liya."
He and his idiot compañeros trash Jim Hansen, Al Gore; impugn the IPCC; stonewall the Canadian scientists who call them on their nonsense - it's all bullshit bluster but their constituency either does not understand or doesn't care - they seem to thrive on vegepap. (False) anger is a cover for guilt too I guess. I still assume that these guys are smart enough to know better. Who knows? Maybe that's it. Maybe they aren't. Maybe you can be smart enough to win an election and still not be able to read the writing on the wall. Hard to imagine. 
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dustheads, 1982.Jean-Michel Basquiat, Philistines, 1982.Jean-Michel Basquiat, Philistines, 1982.
Except that ... Stephen Harper may be a Philistine, almost certainly is, but he doesn't look like a dusthead in this Q&A session at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City recently (action starts at minute 13 and goes for just over an hour); sourced at CFR. Twisted lies & dissembling sure, but competently delivered (and more), unless the questions were scripted (but it doesn't look that way to me). Something to think about.

Brigette DePape is at it again. What a good girl she is! Here's her plea for coinage (which worked on me): on the Shit Harper Did campaign page, and on YouTube.

Canadian government tar sand ad in US papers.Canadian government tar sand ad in US papers.Anxious & insecure Canadian governments are running full-page ads in the Washington papers they figgure are read inside the Beltway at $5-10 grand a day per page. The papers tell (A, B, C) but don't show.

Where's the counterforce?
Justin Trudeau & Patrick Brazeau.Justin Trudeau & piece of Kent.Could it be our k-k-Captain Canada?
Is it ... Justin Trudeau?

YES! He defeats Patrick Brazeau even before the good Senator is proven a scallywag. YES! He properly names Peter Kent - lookin' all the while like the anonymous star of V for Vendetta. YES! He rides smoothly over Stephen Harper's scurrilous girly-boy attack ads.

YES! He's a fricken HERO!                         Sensible substance? Not so much ...
Justin Trudeau on Keystone.Justin Trudeau on CNOOC.Justin Trudeau on FIPA.Justin Trudeau on Growth.
You can read a more-or-less even-handed critique: Why Justin Trudeau May Be More Dangerous than Harper; or you can read his own words: CNOOC-Nexen deal is good for Canada. Only thing we agree on is that it would be better to fix the Senate than scrap it. But who really cares about the Senate?

[In case you don't feel like Bing'ing it: FIPA is the Canada/China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement; and CNOOC is China National Offshore Oil Corporation. A-and Damien Gillis is so polite in his critique ... Justin had a father, but he has a mother too, and she was a Sinclair before she was a Trudeau, eh?]

Oh, and Justin, there's not going to be a 'next wave of growth for the middle class'. We had one of those already and it is not clear yet that civilization or humanity or the planetary ecosystem will survive it. 
Is it with the public intellectuals?   Two letters from Mark Jaccard and a growing list of knowledgeable & respected people. In February it was six: a letter with John Abraham, John Stone, Danny Harvey, Bill McKibben, & Tzeporah Berman; now it is a dozen: another letter with Jim Bruce, James Byrne, Simon Donner, James Drummond, David Keith (a surprise?), Damon Matthews, Gordon McBean, David Sauchyn, John Smol, John Stone, & Kirsten Zickfeld. Ostensibly heavyweights.

OK ... so I sent them all an email, a message telling it as well as I am able to:
Friends, (I say 'friends' though I do not know you; for what are I hope obvious reasons.)

            I read your recent letters with Mark Jaccard with interest and applause (here and here). Clearly you all understand the profound crisis facing not just Canada but the planet; however, with great respect, I do not believe this kind of effort is enough to bring about the changes we all know are necessary.
            This morning I am thinking of the example of Tim DeChristopher. I watched a film of his story over the weekend, 'Bidder 70' (available here - they were quite quick in sending me a copy - or if you give me a mailing address I will send one, I do not really think he will object to this small breach of copyright).
            Look at what he accomplished with the sacrifice of two years of his life. Not a small sacrifice. Not a small accomplishment.
            What actions might be undertaken in Canada at this scale and this level of creativity? I do not have your kind of position or authority; and indeed, looking down the barrels of this particular shotgun for as long as I have has largely unnerved me so I am ... about half-crazy (as you can see from my writings here); but I still do believe there is time to stop the madness if enough like Tim with imagination and savvy commitment, will step up and act.
            If you are willing to consider this question (or even if you are not but have any thought at all on what I have said here) then I would gladly think about it with you; and will appreciate any reply.
Have to wait now and see what comes of it.   
[See 'Dénouement' below.
... and some days I do wish hope would die.] 

"I think in the next couple of years the climate movement is either gonna succeed or it's gonna end because it'll be too late." [19:00]

"My job as I see it is to keep you out of jail. To me you would be much more effective in doing what you've been doing during the last two years of being an activist, speaking out, getting other people to join." (Patrick Shea)
"I don't feel like that's been very effective and it's part of that lack of results that drives me to use this opportunity with the trial for as much as I can get out of it."

A foreshadowing of, "The democratic party, liberals are clearly choosing to be the party of cowardly chickenshits that are afraid to fight for their values."
[42:20] perhaps. See if you can find Parick Shea in the photograph below.

"The way the environmental movement has been for the past thirty years ... it's not working. Our team is getting slaughtered. The refs have been paid off. And the other side is playing with dirty tricks. And so it's no longer acceptable for us to stay in the stands. It's time to rush the field and it's time to stop the game."
Tim DeChristopher salute.Tim DeChristopher salute.Tim DeChristopher salute.[Yup.] 

A not-quite-random selection of NYT articles:

        1) Massacre in Nigeria Spurs Outcry Over Military Tactics;
        2) Cop killer is first woman on FBI most wanted terrorist list;
        3) Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S.;
        4) U.S. Spending Cuts Seen as Key in Slowing Growth; and,
        5) Who Can Take Republicans Seriously? and they allowed my comment.

A better question might be "Who can take Democrats seciously?"
                It was Obama & Salazar who charged Tim DeChristopher remember, not W.
Or, "Who can take The New York Times seriously?"
Or, "Who can take any part of America seriously?" Or ... "Who can take k-k-Canada seriously?" Or ... or ... ANYTHING!

There is an ELEPHANT in the room folks. Yes there is. You can dither and dally as much as you like over whatever pissant & picayune fancies appeal to your sensibilities. Fill your boots. Makes no nevermind.
        niever monde.

                    be naieve in night nigh wor(l)ds             (o hum)
                    an perhappenings the whirld's end
                    with a sigh               tuuuuuuuuus             that breath  
        outlet with all my ploysuns in again

From Umwelt Preface, Keith Ecclestone 1969.
(You can't say yes and you can't say no but you'll be right there when the whistle blows.) 
NASA: Brazil/Bolivia border along Madeira River.Expanded view of Pando Department of Bolivia from GoogleEarth.Expanded view of Pando Department of Bolivia from GoogleEarth.
Brazil cf Bolivia:   Once a month or so The Guardian publishes a collection of satellite photographs. This month one of them caught my eye: # 15, with the caption, "The river-delineated border between western Brazil's Acre province (upper left), and northwestern Bolivia's Pando department (lower right), demarcates a remarkable difference in land use."

The photograph is NASA #PIA16991. It was taken in 2008. Who knows why it is published now? Or why the description does not name the rivers that feature so prominently? Google Maps doesn't help to identify the rivers, but Wikipedia does: between the (northern) Madeira and (southern) Madre dos Dios rivers is a relatively undeveloped zone - most of the Pando department of Bolivia.

[And a beard in her ear that tickled and said: "Have some madeira, m'dear."]

An accident of history rather than any policy of the Bolivian government or Evo Morales, that's my guess - but still, a nice symmetry showing up there there don't you think?
[I did try Raisg (as promised) and got nowhere - some kind of technical glitch I think. Oh well.] 

An uphill struggle, standing watch and constantly on guard:   Call it trying to sweep water or herd cats - both internally & externally, exhausting in either landscape. It's like ... hoping against hope for a substantive positive sign ... and the silly concupiscent BC voters opt for economic growth instead; and it begins to looks as if the outrageous lies of Harper and his cabinet may be paying off.    UNBELIEVABLE!

My anima signals ¡Ya basta!"And I wanna let go and I can't let go no more." (Mis-quoted perhaps, but it don't look like very Solid Rock to me anyway.) Dig deep, unwrap the heavy-duty spells: Dylan's Solid Rock, This Little Light of Mine; aces from Tyrone Slothrop and John Goodman. The Stones, All Down the Line & Last Time. Spells that work as well as they do.   Cheer up, things could be worse - so he cheers up and sure enough, things get worse.

Lightweights like Jørgen Randers in his '2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years' tell us: "don’t teach your children to love the wilderness ... better to rear a new generation that find peace in the megacity." George Monbiot embraces (closely I hope) nuclear energy. Mark Lynas goes for GMO & nuclear. Al Gore indulges (what I have to imagine is) an extended and purposely over-complexified & opaque defence reaction in 'The Future: Six Drivers ...'.    VEGEPAP!   
[But not Gwynne Dyer & Jim Hansen, see below.]

Who can blame them? It is all straight uphill once you take the blinkers off, and it is tough, very tough. No surprise if people just wear out - they deserve compassion.

I sit here hypnotized & enervated by one of the heads of the very snake: a troll - turned to stone beneath the bridge, not by sunlight this time but by some other thing, whatever you call the light that comes from an LCD screen, ghost light.    BAD JUJU! 
Long Harbour Newfoundland.There is sporadic activity on a blog I follow, Sandy Pond Alliance:
In March came: Tailings Pond Regulations Draw a Wave of Protest (from Resource Investing News).

And in April (belatedly since the letter was published on March 26) came: Full Speed Ahead pointing out a Letter to the Editor - pdf & on the Telegram's website.
I know Long Harbour, I've been there. It's not just in tar sand country that there are tailings ponds eh? The good people of Long Harbour were glad to see Vale comin' - new roads, new Fire Hall, jobs - just like the folks in B.C.'s recent election. Vale has gone ahead of whatever the court's decision may be and 'prepared' the pond to receive their local donation so it's 9/10ths fucked already. This tends to take the wind out of the sails of the protestors, understandable. The touted 'wave of protest' has not reached me - but then, nothing does.

Most reports are exaggerated, dramatic, wishful, uninformed - the struggle goes on there too, trying to sort wheat from chaff, constant, unrelenting.

Of course Gwynne Dyer supports GMO & nuclear too - but he talks such sense otherwise ... see Looming carbon bubble means both financial and physical meltdown. And Jim Hansen stamps his approval on nuclear in 'Storms of my Grandchildren' but knows (I think) that the financial side does not compute in the time available.

If there's nothing left in here but ...     Defiance! & ¡Ya basta!
... that's just how it goes. 

Sure, I follow the 'Stats' tab on the Blogger dashboard. It doesn't give details of specific visits like Site Meter (which I removed following a discussion with my son) but gives an indication of where visitors are coming from in general terms and what they may be looking at (its the titties!).

Then suddenly a few weeks ago there are hundreds and hundreds of hits from a URL called, which turns out to be a FOX/CNN wannabe recently acquired by Al Jazeera ... (?); that traffic disappears after a while but then it's the same story from, the Russian version of Orkut ... (?) Seems to stop but soon returns: now it's, ... the list goes on (now that I am paying attention) all redirecting & funnelling into, some weight-loss shill. (?)

Can't help but wonder wtf is going on? I can't see a benefit? For anyone? Overall visits to this blog are ~200 per day and haven't changed much for years (by far most wanting t&a like this).

Wassup? No idea. None. Mist-e-fied.

[How many L's in 'funnelling'? OED search gives four for 2 and one for 1; Google gives 400k for 2 and 1¾ million for 1. Wikipedia looks like it settles for 1. Call it a draw then.] 

It's OK for a woman of 80 to be more-or-less in this state; look here, in May 1st's Globe: I'm a sexually liberated woman, finally - at age 80. Well ... I'm not 80 but there have been some hard miles eh? She gets approbation, gets to be 'lovely' and I get to be a dirty old Internet troll - it's not fair!

Fannie Lou Hamer.Fannie Lou Hamer.Fannie Lou Hamer.If it's crazy madness for me to think there is some kind of grace in this logorrhœic blogging nonsense; something useful even, some inkling provided for someone I know nothing about somewhere somewhen, so be it; and if it's not grace, that's OK too.

All of which makes very small potatoes beside the likes of Fannie Lou Hamer; for a man who lived through the times and never heard of her until today (while looking into the tune below).

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

                      (A version by The Lower Lights.)

The artist who sang it in the film is Elizabeth
which she recorded on a Folkways/
Smithsonian Album, Sunny Day.
"Architects are people who eat light."
        (Glen Milne)

I have watched Bidder 70 five or six times already (and may watch it several more times if I am successful in bringing it to Toronto) with no slackening of interest. This is (to me) solid proof of its merit.
Old Lady:    He is supposed to be in the creche minding the babies but they are asleep and there are others there to watch over them. He slips in to listen to the sermon, under the balcony at the back, behind the pews.

An old black lady is sitting in the last pew; not alone - the church is nearly full that Sunday - but not quite beside anyone either. Her shoulders are shaking so stealthily that at first he cannot make it out. There are few blacks in this congregation so he recognizes her but does not know her name - an old lady in a flowery dress and hat with her purse on her knees.

And she is sitting in the very last pew, silently weeping.

And he thinks, "If I just put my hand out now onto her shoulder she will be comforted and it will make all the difference," but he is afraid.


And another joke my father used to tell:

A little boy at the breakfast table is about to eat a stack of pancakes. He says to his father, "Pass the 'lasses, please." His mother corrects him, "Don't you mean molasses son?" To which the boy replies, "How can I have mo'lasses, when I ain't had no lasses yit!" 
Dénouement:   A long wait; a dozen days (which explains the more than usually over-worked punctuation & HTML). I soon realized there'd be nothing. Mark Jaccard published my comment on the second letter and that was it. Not one reply. (Can't say yes and you can't say no.) So then ... Short answer: There is no counterforce.

Ben Sargent: Extinct Creatures.Joe Oliver's response is ... perfect; you'd have to call it perfect - he's a fossil.

It's OK, waiting is good; fits into that Buddhist 8-fold path thing somewhere or other. What to do? ... Keep waiting. What else?

[Here, this might make you laugh: Bill Maher with Lost Cats & Condoms. And on the up side, Belo Sun is tanking (take the 'year' view) - a bad 'prefeasibility' study (whatever that is?) apparently.

And anyway, the important thing about the B.C. election was that the professional pollsters screwed the pooch; the very last bit of this Rick Salutin rant tells it: "Something's going on in the public mind that none of the experts expected or has an explanation for. I love it when that happens."]

Then again ... who knows? I do a tour of a few Toronto activist websites: Stop Line 9 & TCAN f'rinstance; an' there ain't much happ'nin' there ... maybe everyone has been utterly defeated & undone by despair and I just never heard about it - there's no there there - and I'm the last one standing (or sitting as the case may be).

Rir par não chorar. :-)How would I know? It would be hilarious if in the end it is forebearance that does us all in. Truth be told gentle reader: I'm just as happy this way; relieved let's say.

As pessoas costumam estar fora, e aprendam eventualmente a gostar o que costumam.
Esteja bem.
[That is if you credit a salutation from a dimwit who only learned today that Black Death is 'bubonic' plague not 'dubonic' (thanks to Gwynne Dyer & the OED for that).] 
Coke.Bill Koch.Charles Koch.David Koch.Julia Koch.Petcoke, Detroit.Koch Industries.
Coke, Koch, Koch, Koch, Pet, Petcoke, Koch.
André Dahmer/Malvados: buscar alegria em lugares tristes.André Dahmer/Malvados: buscar alegria em lugares tristes.André Dahmer/Malvados: buscar alegria em lugares tristes.
            I wasted another day sharing cute links on Facebook.
            And you think this is normal?
            People get used to looking for happiness in sad places.
 ¿por qué estamos indignados? 
"This is not an ideological revolution. It is driven by an authentic desire to get what you need."

Friday, 10 May 2013

Do the math.

or: Walk around THIS!                                                                                               Up, Down.                 Solar Eclipse 

350 founders.
350 founders.
Contents: Do the Math, Dumbass Criticism, Humility, Jokes, Joe Oliver, Solar Eclipse for Kiribati, Daniel Pudles, Hong Kong, The Shallows, Keith, Wayne.
In the same hour came forth fingers of a
man's hand, and wrote over against the
candlestick upon the plaister of the wall
of the king's palace: and the king saw the
part of the hand that wrote. Then the king's
countenance was changed, and his thoughts
troubled him, so that the joints of his loins
were loosed, and his knees smote one
against another.
                                                                       Daniel 5

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
                       Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
                       Omar Khayyám (1048–1131)
                       Edward FitzGerald (1809–1883)

The writing on the wall -
Come read it, come see what it say.
                                      Thunder on the Mountain
Going to and fro in the Internet (where one can cancel lines as one chooses) and walking up and down in it. Complicated I know, and misleading in so many ways - silly biblical fol-de-rol; but it takes this kind of stimulus these days to achieve a fugal state and get the wheels turning. (The Daniel story is about humility too eh?)

One more thread, from Closing Time: "There's a voice that sounds like God to me declaring ... that your body's really ... you." Keep in mind that Cohen can't quite be trusted on this. Handel was confused about bodies too; taking 'the dead shall be raised incorruptible' from First Corinthians without really ... knowing.    A thread too much to be sure. Oh well. Sorry.

For the love of God y'all take pity on yourselves.

Cheguei aí faminto, meio fechado meio durão, marrento. Elas me deram as mangas pra chupar e o coração virou mais jovens, se tornou quase novo; e sim, renovado e mole, mas esquisito. É assim que falam os velhos safados, gordos e fedorentos e feios; cada um, no final, em sua propria solidão. 

First, WATCH THIS FILM! - Do the Math, The Movie - a mere 45 minutes.
Do the Math.Do the Math.Do the Math.
I grabbed what seems to me to be the central image and added a few details - click on the image above to see it. These are difficult numbers to walk around. What I find even more difficult to walk around is:
Continuous human growth CAN NOT FIT upon a finite planet.
The very most important number is 350!
I had an optimistic message from Jim Hansen this morning by email (God bless 'im), he wrote, "So don't despair re the tar sands. There are sensible alternatives."
Euro 350 on the steps of the Bundestag, July 2009.Euro 350 on the steps of the Bundestag, July 2009.Euro 350 on the steps of the Bundestag, July 2009.
[This image is not in the film ... ho hum ... but thinking of '350' always brings it to mind.] 

There have been many such impassioned, rational, & coherent expressions on the Internet over the years. I made a short list a while ago here: from Severn Suzuki to Naderev Sano. Each one takes us a tiny step closer towards breaking the spell (as Michael Brune calls it) that has been spread over the smug & complacent multitudes. Watch it, think about it, and tell your friends about it. We have quite a way to go.

We had 40,000 recently on the Washington Mall. There were 100,000+ there in 1969 but it still took years to end the war in Vietnam. Time is short, it may be too short, but there is only one way to find out.

I wonder how metrics such as YouTube hits translate into action? Kony 2012 had a million hits in a few days last year - and then vanished like the morning dew when Jason flamed out. As I watch this film there are ~40,000 hits on it on YouTube - what does this mean? Hard to say.

Oops, I had it wrong: There were 250,000 with Martin Luther King in 1963 and legislation came in 1964 and 1968 (he had to die to achieve half-measures); the war in Vietnam had 200,000 & 600,000 in 1969 and the war ended in 1975 (how many died for that, two million?). You can check it out starting here. 
350:   We were training to get arrested in a church in Washington; lined up in rows and marching. I suggested a group Tim DeChristopher salute as I had seen in photographs of the previous days. Some woman (a certified 'trainer' of some kind, one of the leaders) said no, they wanted it respectful: suits and ties and no rude gestures. Rude? I didn't want to argue with her. We did it anyway in the event. Why does this memory stay with me?

The photograph (above) of the kids on the steps of the Bundestag is labelled (on the Flickr) as "sending the message, a little aggressively." Look at it. Look at them. Do they seem aggressive? WTF is that about? Is this a Christian sunday-school thing?

Why is Bill McKibben still claiming to have written 'the first book'? He didn't. Why is this film so much about him? One of my red-neck friends tells me the thing he really dislikes about leftards and tree huggers and Greenpeace enviro-nutbars is that it is always "All about me!" Unfair criticism, sure; untrue & unreasonable, sure; but understandable, yes.

I tried to have a conversation with them years ago - on their blog, via comments - and they ditched it, deleted it, gone. All good.

Someone said to me that my criticism of 350 is unjustified - that I ask for too much. She may be right, there was no room for conversation at the time so we didn't get through it. Nonetheless, I put out for them big-time and got no help in return: money, demos, arrest in Washington, anything I could do to help, anything. If I am now somewhat bitter it is no surprise, or at least not unreasonable ... or at least understandable. Isn't it?

[It is May month and I keep my windows open and the screens off because I like it that way - the may flies come in, sometimes (briefly) in numbers - but I do not put up the screens. It was the same in Rio when the flies might carry Dengue. Crazy stubborn motherfucking old curmudgeon. OK. All good.] 
[I need a dump truck mama to, unload my head.]

And if I often wonder what makes 350 less effective than it might be (than it HAS to be, MUST be) - this should be no surprise either - I do it because I care. Mostly it comes in uncomfortable memories and (possibly ugly & 'impertinent' and definitely) unanswered questions.

Man! The talking points are so good, SO GOOD! The film is generally so well constructed. Then why doesn't it equal Kony 2012? Not in terms of counting hits (which does seem to be something both Invisible Children and 350 obsess about - the numbers of hits, and the numbers of fricken 'Facebook Likes' and the numbers of email addresses on the mailing lists are simply neither true nor meaningful metrics; useful maybe in a minor way, but never the main game) but as a film artefact, as a communication.

Do the exercise, watch both films back-to-back (here: Kony 2012 & Do the Math), download 'em with KeepVid, take notes, analyse, consider, deconstruct if that's what it takes - look at them straight and figgure it out.

Towards the end of it Bill McKibben says, "I think we can win this fight. I think we can win it if we act as a community; if we do not do anything that would injure that community but instead build and knit that community together in a way that allows it to take powerful action." Why does he mention this I wonder? Is there a fifth column at work?

I have to imagine what he means by "if we do not do anything that would injure ..." We? Injure? Unless ... he is talking to the likes of me. I guess it depends on what you mean by 'knit that community together'. We could duke it out with duelling scriptures but it might end in a draw, equivocally; or ... Matthew 18, v15 ff might be an ace in the hole. The Amish knitted up a strong community based in part on that one I believe and I am here doing my part.

[All that said I would give the little that remains to me in a moment if they called.] 

True humility:   (As if I knew what that is.) But that's where my analysis of the two films fetches up. (Remember that Kony 2012 didn't work in the end - the actions largely evaporated - so this is not about good/better/best either.) Jason is humble but was unsupported; Bill is vain and unsupported; sure, it's more complicated than that.

Nevermind for a sec if I actually know how to distinguish degrees of humility: no one will deny there are such categories will they? However approximate and relative and qualified they may be?

We get so used to thinking of the likes of Martin Luther King and Mohandas Ghandi as great people (and Bill McKibben and Jason Russell) that we may lose sight of them as human people, with OEM supplied feet of clay. And it should also go without having to be stated that they did not start out as great as they ended; everyone makes mistakes, maybe the great learn more from them and more quickly.

Were King and Ghandi humble (nevermind truely or falsely)? Each of them had every reason not to be; but yes, I think so.
[My father was humble too - I am quite sure - but that's another story.]

350 founders: Jamie Henn, May Boeve, Jon Warnow, Will Bates / Jeremy Osborn, Bill McKibben, Phil Aroneanu.350 founders: Will Bates, Jeremy Osborn, Kelly Blynn, Jamie Henn, Phil Aroneanu, Jon Warnow, May Boeve.Trying to see where 350 came from I wanted to get to know the founders a little better. Somewhat easier said than done - except for Bill McKibben they seem almost not to want to be known. Eventually I found a video: What's Next for the Climate Movement? Part 1 & Part 2 in which each of them speaks (though generally without introduction); brief bios at 350: Our Team for all but Kelly Blynn; the two photographs at the top of the post and (approximate, tentative) names to the faces in them. They are: Jamie Henn, Will Bates, Phil Aroneanu, May Boeve, Jeremy Osborn, Jon Warnow, Bill McKibben, and Kelly Blynn. 
Jokes my father used to tell: (about the way he told them)

Two guys work together; one is French, the other black. Before starting work the French guy always runs his finger underneath his nose saying, “Ah, Fifi!” He does this every day until eventually the black guy asks why he does it. He explaines that Fifi is his wife and her smell reminds him of her. The next morning the French guy sniffs his finger as usual saying, “Ah, Fifi!” Then the black guy drags his whole arm under his nose and says, “Aaahhh! ... Sapphire!”

Two little black boys, Rastus & Remus, are playing near the railroad tracks. Rastus climbs up on the fence beside the tracks and is sitting there when they hear the whistle of a fast-approaching train. Remus says, "Rastus! You get down off'a that fence right now, you hear? That train gonna come 'long an' suck you right off!" To which Rastus replies, "C'mon train!"

Three little boys are discussing riches as they oogle a new Corvette and a new Thunderbird parked at the curb. One says, "I want to be covered all over with gold, and if I want that car, why, I'll scratch off a little gold and go buy it." The second says, "I'd rather be covered all over in diamonds and if I want that car, why, I'll scratch off one'a those diamonds and go buy it." The third says, "I wann'a be covered all over in hair." "What?!" say his friends. "Yes," he says, "My sister only has a patch of hair about this big (making a triangle with his thumbs and forefingers), and she owns both'a those cars.

A farmer is complaining about a new mule who will not pull the plow. His friend says he knows just what to do. "Ask him politely and he'll pull." The farmer does not believe this so they go for a demonstration. They come into the barnyard and his friend picks up a piece of two-by-four and whacks the mule over the head. Then he just says, "Giddap," and off they go with the plow. The farmer is taken aback: "Is that what you call politely?!" "Well," says his friend, "I ask him politely - but first I have to get his attention." 
Joe Oliver speaking at CSIS in Washington, April 24 2013.Speaking of jokes: Take Joe Oliver ... please!
[I got the news from The Guardian.]

Oliver spoke in Washington recently and tried to discredit Jim Hansen. (Doh!) A description of the event at CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies), a video of Oliver's remarks, and a short excerpt of what he actually said about Jim Hansen and the laughter that followed. (Which he interprets as praise of course. He wants to grow up and be John Diefenbaker I think - you can tell by the way he nods his head all the time.)

Needless to say the attempt backfired and discredited Oliver instead. This is a man willing to drink water from tar sand tailings ponds - maybe that will help make sense of it.

Later on he spoke with CBC's Evan Solomon (here is a screen-grab of that conversation). He sticks to his (guns?) but admits, "That's the point, he [James Hansen] does know his stuff ..." (?)

Oliver cites Andrew Weaver as his scientific authority, but Andrew Weaver demurs: Climate scientist hits back at Oliver for citing his study, saying “What Mr. Oliver has critically failed to grasp here is that although some scenarios are indeed much worse than others, these are all nightmare scenarios that we must not allow to happen. To prevent 2 degrees of warming, which is the stated goal of this government, we know that most of the world’s proven oil, coal, and gas reserves must be left in the ground.”

Another pre-eminent Canadian scientist, David Schindler, is reported saying, "By acting like this, he is actually jeopardizing Keystone, not promoting it, and making Canada look like a country full of jerks." 
Solar eclipse of May 10 2013:   Details from NASA, and more here.
Path of eclipse visibility over Kiribati.Path of eclipse visibility over Kiribati.Kiribati in Pacific context.Kiribati in Pacific context.
The green circle-thing on the left map indicates GE - Greatest Eclipse. The yellow lines are 10-minute intervals and the complete annular portion of the eclipse lasts just over 6 minutes so there won't be much to see from Tarawa. Still ... They get a front row seat for sea-level rise and almost a front row seat for the eclipse - some kind of symmetry in that.

This map puts you in the zone and shows Bonriki & Bairiki. They turn out to be parts of Tarawa which is Kiribati's capital & largest island city (50,000). Looks like Nauru the world's smallest republic (10,000) misses the eclipse altogether.
Kiribati, Tarawa.Kiribati, Tarawa.Kiribati, Tarawa.Kiribati, Tarawa.
Highest elevation in Kiribati (comprising some 30 islands) is 3 metres, ten feet, not very high; and there is population pressure there too. We all remember Ian Fry at Copenhagen in 2009 eh? Here he is speaking for Tuvalu (which is not far away). A-and some recent photographs of Kiribati from The Guardian to keep y'all entertained. 
Daniel Pudles - planet roast.Daniel Pudles - the horror.Daniel Pudles - keep it under your hat.Daniel Pudles - yee haa.
Daniel Pudles.Daniel Pudles must be doing alright - he keeps two websites: this & this; but neither shows his illustrations time-ordered so it's difficult to find the 'latest' without a bit of poking around. In the end this Google works (though not very well). Imaginative and eloquent. Well worth the effort to find 'em.
Daniel Pudles - captains of industry.Daniel Pudles - christian hypocrites.Daniel Pudles - progress.Daniel Pudles - the various savours of coffee.
[No way to get rid of this %$#@!!-ing line that I can find with this wretched HTML.

On the other hand, Blogger sometimes makes improvments that actually improve: images now load in order, and 'Preview' looks more-and-more like a post looks when it is 'Published'.] 

Michael Wolf: Hong Kong - 40 stories showing.Michael Wolf: Hong Kong - 53 stories showing.Michael Wolf:   These thumbnails look as if the digital copies are gibbled somehow, or maybe bar codes. At higher resolution they at first seem cobbled, possibly Photoshopped. (Can't be real!) Go to the website of Michael Wolf for a photographic vision of how the middle class lives in Hong Kong. Not fun as his portraits make very clear. Daemonic. 
Pearls Before Swine, May 23 2010.Pearls Before Swine, May 23 2010.BookOS seems to have gone for a long lunch ...

So here's a short but telling excerpt from Nicholas Carr's 'The Shallows': a digression on the writing of this book (pages 199-200). He ends with, "I'm not sure I could live without it." Profound.

Nicholas Carr.Nicholas Carr.You can visit a website calling it "a 'Silent Spring' for the literary mind"; or read his 2008 Atlantic essay, it's still online; and you can find all the links you need on Wikipedia. No cheap copies at Abe's yet. Won't be long, wait for it.

Nicholas Carr.The very last line (not counting the Epilogue) is "We are welcoming the frenziedness into our souls." Not far off Cohen's "The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and it's overturned the order of the soul."

Good on 'im - a place on the lecture circuit for a few years, hope he sells lots of books and makes a pant-full and treats his family well. 

                (writhes the reacher)


"Let's in" saith then that Fool.
                (the wreather wretches
                  the wrider wights

[From Umwelt Preface by Keith Ecclestone.] 

Wayne, Mr. Hollywood, is gone:   Not a word about him that I can find. I haven't seen him for a while so I ask the checkout lady at the supermarket and she tells me.

He was the very best person I met on this street, in this city for that matter since I came back. I liked him. He deserves a proper obituary. I don't know enough to write one; except that he had diabetes and numerous other ailments that kept him in and out of hospital. I guess he didn't fall through the cracks in the social safety net; but he told me he had a sister so maybe she was looking out for him, running interference.
Mister Hollywood, Wayne.
I will miss him and his cheerful song - he was always singing, making up the lyrics as he went along; or offering to marry every woman who came by - calling all of them 'Marilyn'; selling pens, taking donations. He called me 'Robert Redford' as he did all the men; said, "Hey Robert Redford, let's go to Hollywood!" Paul Quarrington wrote this song about him; a bit condescending but that's no matter now.

When he wanted something - when it was cold and he wanted a coffee - he would ask for it straight out, and you had to go and fetch it too, he didn't like to walk very much.

Important Update:   I met someone begging in Wayne's old spot who tells me that Wayne is still on the go - over close to the Toronto General somewhere according to the report. I will go over there and see if I can find him one of these days. Very pleased at this news if it is true, very pleased indeed.
Be well. 

Gilmar is back on-line:
Gilmar Barbosa.Gilmar Barbosa.Gilmar Barbosa.
So! Are you just going to sit there looking?    Take it easy.    /    I want to see which will come out on top - the finasteride or the viagra ...    [See finasteride, a chemical treatment for enlarged prostate.]