March 22, 2010

A Mountain for Remembering

A Mountain for Remembering
Consumerism – the mind bath that makes us buy… The thousands of advertising exposures make us forget what isn’t on the market and we remember what IS on the market. This has been going on for so long we can’t remember entire mountains. We do recall the fake warmth of dirty coal.

We remember what to buy and we forget mountains. I tried to remember what to say yesterday in front of the Chase bank in the East Village, but afterwards I swoon with all the things I forgot to say. I remembered the mountain, though, this time. We all did.

I forgot to say that here in our city Chase finances empty buildings at a time of such homelessness. I wanted to show that urban poverty and rural poverty should not be separated, not if the same bank “warehouses” our city buildings and also finances strip-mining over valleys of small towns of defenseless citizens. But none of this is on the market, and its invisibility attacks activists as much anyone else.

We remembered to ask people to boycott Chase, although we don’t have a good rhyming rhythmic chant for it yet. We forgot to honor the decades of victims and heroes who live in the valleys below the leveled mountains, although we remembered to tell passersby that the little mountain of dirt and rocks and roots that we built in the Chase lobby was from Coal River Mountain in West Virginia. Did we describe the majesty of those peaks, now pulverized by Massey Energy?

Did we have a moment of silence for the mountains? And a moment to remember the towering oaks and the bobcats and broad-winged hawks and salamanders and yellow leaf-cups and tall bell-flowers and the children that won’t get to run up into that glory on a spring day?

Will we remember all the wild seeing and dreaming and living things that have been bombed by the money of JP Morgan Chase? I do remember calling what is left over after the removal a “moonscape,” and then I got a strange look from the singers and I apologized to the moon.