NY's Bendy Tree

10694304_10152262565005974_1931593600681700371_o.jpgThis morning Laurie from the Stop Shopping Choir put up signs on the Bendy Tree in Thompkins Sq Park. They read, "Wait for community review. DO NOT CUT" This is the horizontal angled tree (135 years old) slated for the chainsaw by city officials. 

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New York's Bendy Tree

10698490_10152259317900974_1012462189204317653_n.jpgBENDY TREE from Thompkins Sq in NYC's E Village, threatened by well-meaning chain saws. Called old/dangerous, the tree that bends horizontally is set for destruction. Bendy Tree symbolizes the independent thinking of the E Village. In the tradition of the New York cops, the only way to take down this living thing is to kill it. But a community of creative and compassionate people could make an area for the tree to fall, if it must. 

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Cook Organic, Not The Planet

10689768_672409636189158_3464018689146061378_n.jpgWe've been touring the farmers markets of New York, working with the Organic Consumers Assocation, old friends and among the first to forcefully oppose GMO factory farms, pesticides and of course they shout HoneyBeeLujah! We will perform at the Bee-In at Bowling Green on Saturday the 20th, with many beekeepers and such joining in. The choir and I will hold forth at 4 PM Saturday and its family friendly. Meanwhile, yes, COOK ORGANIC NOT THE PLANET.

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What's Up With The March?

A week off. A thousand orgs & ads everywhere. Orange t-shirted volunteers with sign up sheets. "The Biggest Climate Change Parade." "Change the World! Sign up Now!" As one friend said, "We have to support this. What if a million people showed up?" And so the elusive Woodstock Moment is dreamed of. That means that we are ready to try again, after the experience of Feb 15, 2003, when millions DID show up, in 700 cities, opposing the War in Iraq, and we were labeled a "focus group" by the uber consumerist Geo Bush. 

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Home From The Banker's Jail

1236453_10151579247785974_956649361_n.jpgNehemiah and I spent the afternoon in the cage. They came down into the subway and snatched us. Got out after nightfall. They took half of our toad-heads as souvenirs, or "arrest evidence," but then let us go. Very grateful not to be in the Tombs today. Brooklyn seems like a beautiful dream. I'm not getting better at jail as I get older. It's awful. But it does feel like the right way to begin The Church of Stop Shopping fall campaign. The cruel illogic of defending the earth-killers while rushing to neutralize and hand-cuff a group of nonviolent activists... Extinct amphibians handing out information about Chase Bank investments and shouting and dancing a bit... this warrants the charge of "Riot?" Our arresting officer read the charges to us in the cruiser on the way to the station. He said, "Disorderly Conduct and Conspiracy to Riot." What? Did we do that when said "Let's hop like ancient toads around the bankers..." It feels like the right place to start because we must personally feel how tortured and rigged this is. We walked into that reverse gravity and got swept up. Start with that. The earth-killers proceed, the bankers direct the police. The propertied oppose the living. The conformed confront the misfits. We know where we stand. Trying to survive is conspiring to riot. Earthalujah!

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The Era of Lost Language

10603893_10152254246665974_2358123289302262715_o.jpgIt seems as if Syria and Washington are mirror images of one another: impossible partisanship, corruption, lack of fear of war in fact acceptance of bloodshed and acceptance of slaughtered children at the hands of long-distance missiles and drones... 

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Stepping Back And Taking A Good Long Look

10626673_10152250648865974_2524532814663575932_n.jpgLife passages like birth, good fortune, love, a friend's death - invite us to step back and take that panoramic view of our lives. Something from the terrible summer of murderous cops and beheadings and the Earth's ongoing disasters has run straight into the good things, like receiving such gifts from you our electronic congregation (as well as physical neighbors on Sherman Street in Brooklyn) so that now we can go to Ferguson and sing and go to Monsanto's headquarters and have an organic and very public Thanksgiving meal. So, despair and radical change, the past and the future are dueting, like our emotions during a life event. 

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Wacky Brave Organic Seeds

1622165_10152242926685974_5710384923434671865_n-1.jpgThings are going so badly now in the world and in our country that our activism feels like we are laying down a marker for a future that we can barely see. But life beyond the corporate state will be made unimaginable by the corporation. Of course. That is marketing’s job. So now our imagination needs your imagination. We'll have to keep each other going for awhile, and it might feel like our feet are off the ground.

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When

10660276_10152236256175974_4252916063819486648_n-1.jpgWhen the oceans have rolled into the cities
And we cannot protect our children
We will all be activists.

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WAKING UP WITH THE FEELING I DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT IT WILL TAKE.

People say "I'll be dead anyway" to my face. We pretend our grandchildren will wear flotation devices and burn suits to pre-K? The migration of millions from the coasts we treat like a TV show in re-runs. We have adopted the purposed forgetting of the Hiroshima and Holocaust survivors, but now we do it in advance. 


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Consumption and Population

safe_image-4.jpgPushing the Earth into the wrong spin, and now the imbalance (or new arrangements that endanger our children) are accelerating. 

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Whipping up the gall and thrall

10486199_10204147892720195_5581579115980437104_n.jpgJust enough for the next activist transgression. Or as we say - "transformative trespass." I'm back in San Francisco this morning. about midway between the end of the last Joe's Pub show in New York's Public Theater and the return to that radical cabaret for the holiday run in November. 

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Bakersfield

10628382_10152220145775974_118392531280913405_n.jpgWhen I’m alone, and it’s late morning, and it’s Bakersfield, California and I'm sitting there with a coffee and a red, white and black crane truck pulls up across from me and big guys swearing at each other get out and start a job. And I'm alone in a peculiar way, noticing this aloneness quality, in the desolate town of Bakersfield – Oh! -- I realize that here is a moment. 
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Art of the Power Prayer for a Vanishing Bee

10612714_10152213867530974_6692441597255581804_n.jpgSavitri kneels before a flower in the Queen Bee gown with swirling hive as the crown, while Lena watches from deeper in the grass. Near the Giant's Causeway west of Belfast (the Irish Sea is just beyond the horizon of this picture) are the haunting sea-cliff meadows. the home of last of the Colette's Bee. These are not hive bees, but "solitary bees" that burrow down in the turf of this windy grass and flowers. This year a right wing rich Irish-American is buying the land and converting it to hotels and golf courses. 

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Can the bees start us singing again?

1948057_10152210323440974_3602532395757124733_n.jpgThere is something the Information Age cannot say. The crisis of the Earth is reported to us as numbers. A hurricane has a category number, a minimum and maximum wind speed, and a cost in number of dead and number of billions. This is classic for the dot com era, where public talk is abbreviated, snarky, and a wet cat doing chin-ups can go viral like the 9th Symphony used to. 

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Honeybees and Fracking Wells

10428445_10152206479080974_6141182547202206113_n.jpgIn each singing ritual on the tour of Scotland and Ireland, bees have descended on our shoulders, wild bees and honey bees. Today we travel to the last habitat of the Colette's Bee, an species endangered by golf courses and second home condos in Ireland's north.

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All Packed

We're all packed for Scotland. Lena is crying as Savi brushes her hair. Going out a week early to meet Edinburgh activists and try to find where Monsanto's CEO Hugh Grant lived when he was a boy. 

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In the Forest

Tomorrow Monday we perform in the City Centre, the old Corn Market, in Belfast, at 3 PM. It was a market of local produce, including honey and beer and all things Irish, which has now been killed by sweatshop retail financed by big banks. Our hosts in this venture are the Friends of the Earth of Northern Ireland. 

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Cops and Bankers

safe_image-5.jpgCOPS & BANKERS LOVE THEIR CHILDREN & WE GOTTA LOVE 'EM TOO. The Earth Movement won't move if cops & bankers don't move on their bosses & defend the lives of their loved ones. So ("COPS & BANKERS...) is the opening line from our new song! Talking with activists in Edinburgh last night.

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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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