Not Another Meme//Writing Matters Again

In the 70's, Joan Didion had a realization that overwhelmed her. She was motoring in Los Angeles at the time, working on a movie, and it dawned on her that "narrative doesn't matter anymore" in American culture. She had to pull off the road. I'm an American in Scotland, on my first morning after the flight from New York, and I'm having a double-take in the opposite direction. 

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Save Our Library From...A Nuclear Winter?

10506574_10152188374235974_3346736622778186836_o.jpgDragonfly, Sarah and Monica - in a moment of terror, a moment that activists know well. 

Arrest and detention is imminent because the information about where the protest is taking place is wrong. We thought we were singing outside of a warehouse in New Jersey, on the outskirts of Princeton University, where the trustees of the New York Public Library (investment bankers, slumlords and socialites) had secretly shipped over 2,000,000 books from the 42nd Street Library. And the books ARE there, but something monstrous is there with them...

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Iraq War Supporters Now Excuse the Palestinian Slaughter

It was harrowing to hear David Brooks of the NY Times ho-hum the bombing of schools and refugee camps on American national radio (NPR) last Friday. Ten years ago, he gave the thumbs up to an Iraqi War that would inevitably take a heavy civilian toll, with the human cost so obvious from the first moments of "Shock and Awe." Brooks and war-fever buddy Tom Friedman are opinion-makers who brought many traditional liberals to accept their gruesome idea of necessary violence.

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How Do You Do Citizenship Anymore?

10553578_10152174197990974_2525559668105628804_n.jpgLast winter our New York Public Library trustees, 1%ers all, investment bankers and realtors, trucked at least 2,000,000 books from the 42nd Street Library to a storage facility in New Jersey under cover of darkness. The famous "stacks" below the Rose Reading Room were suddenly emptied of physical books. 

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Do We Have a New App for the Injured and Dying Children of Gaza?

aaaGazaGirl.jpgOur last remaining bit of shame is being dot-commed, with a young girl's pixilated eyes looking back at us from her murder.

I'm watching this atrocity with up to date technology, as I sit here typing. I remember a time when some techno-utopians thought that the global village would tilt us toward peace, as the violence became so vividly fore-grounded, the bleeding too painfully bright red, the searching for loved ones too real, and the eyes. Her eyes are more piercing than ever.

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Official Murder vs. Mother and Widow

safe_image-6.jpgMr. Garner's murder leaves us fearful in New York that we never left the police tradition of five terms of Republican mayors, 20 years of constant murders of unarmed men of color, by the city's unrepentant police. 

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We Really Have To Touch

10474687_10152161630505974_5399955636876333441_n.jpgIF WE WANT REAL CHANGE WE HAVE TO REALLY TOUCH. I know that I need to touch and be touched, for lots of personal reasons, including my sanity; I know that I have to touch and be touched to take my activism across the line, to preach and sing in the Stop Shopping performances, and to keep me telling the truth. 

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Cook Organic, Not The Planet

1977114_10152159540225974_4249932231239645120_n.jpgOrganic farmers hear recipes from the Earth every time they put their fingers in the soil and come up with ten thousand beyond-the-naked-eye animals on their callouses. It's also true that there are secret nature mystics everywhere, from janitors to life coaches. You don't have to be on speaking terms with Druids or the Hopi or Gaia scientists. Lots of folks have their own nature thing figured out, even on painful 3rd Avenue in New York City.

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Dramatic Artists Available for the Earth Movement

10502090_10152158000160974_3334141587066427303_n.jpgWe can bring a tragic Andalusian song to the trucker who loads up the pesticides. We can funky chicken around the limo of the lobbyist as he tries to park. We have very distracting circus arts for the supervisors who vote for the frackers. We also deliver climate research by way of Mongolian throat-singing, although we're only beginning to learn... but already we sense that this will be good for interrupting fossil fuel investors at JPMorgan Chase. We have still-fresh operettas from Zuccotti park to calm the souls of cops. 

The same performance arts that are useless products in the museums and Broadway and rock festivals, can be effective in saving the Earth. Only thing is - you have to let the Earth sponsor you instead of a corporation, which is a very different feeling.

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Blessing the Bees in Troy, NY

10445526_10152148890535974_4902229336611365488_n.jpgThese Honey Bee before us, in their hive, surround their queen, and are to move to another garden. They swarmed earlier, breaking from their larger hive, swarming in such a way that they signaled that they want to move, their beekeepers believe, and so as the darkness descends upon us – Azore and Christian will drive the hive to another garden while the bees sleep.

So we are here to pray to the supreme bee-ing for the safe passage of these sleeping buzzy souls. Although we know that we are an imperfect messenger, with our predation on this animal over the years, nearly half gone now in our poisons, still we wish them a good move. In doing so we make a promise that we will struggle to clean up the air and water and soil, to re-wild the farms and invite the Earth back into the lives of both bees and humans.

After all, we bees and humans are an ecosystem of two, partnering these 40,000 years. Tonight, the Stop Shopping Choir put its ears gently on the wall of your hive and we heard your low hum. Tens of thousands of you in this elegant box, restless in your sleep. Do you know you are moving? We know that we also have a restless sleep now, as we face what we have done. What will future Earth give us after what we have forced on the present? If we save the bees we save ourselves. If we manage to save ourselves it is because the bees saved us. We are a good wildness together.

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