posted by: gasparin
Mayans may INSIST 2012 isn't the end of the world, but millions of bored neurotic New Agers, conspiracy theorists, and hucksters from the world's post-industrial societies will inevitably refuse to take notice of the opinion of a bunch of silly Mayans... "Mayans? Aren't they extinct??"
This Associated Press article doesn't get too involved in trying to explain the differences between linear and cyclic views of time, or any of the other vast differences between the cosmovisions of the indigenous inhabitants of the New World and the cosmovisions of the Old World conquerors/settlers/occupiers. Still, it's worthy of reading, especially for anyone who has ever had any curiosity about the whole '2012 Mayan prophecy' issue... and ESPECIALLY for anyone who thinks the Earth's magnetic poles are gonna shift and civilization is gonna end and we should all be burying gold bars and canned food.
The article doesn't mention this (for obvious reasons), but Mayans are far more concerned with transgenic corn from Monsanto contaminating the epicenter of biodiversity for the originally domesticated Zea mays, and any of us should be as well. Millenarianism regarding the year 2012 is just one more distraction among many in our global consumer culture. We all need to stay focused on the real structural problems of the real world... so that if a real apocalypse ever does occur then it will be an opportunity for creation of a better world, instead of just a chance to start making the same mistakes. Anyway, enough polemicizing, (dinner is ready, hehe), just click on through to read the article.... (continued...)
posted by: gasparin
I wanted to keep bees on a suburban lot in South Carolina, but it was "illegal" under the regulations of the homeowners' association -- which had all actually been written by the developer and turned over to the 'association' as a de facto constitution. I was already involved in a fight with the same developer about his desire to build two houses on a area of isolated wetlands that were preserved as a 'conservation easement', precisely because of his initial development -- but they had been preserved by the Army Corps of Engineers (ironically) in their (often misguided or malicious) efforts to manage the nation's waterways and this federal power to protect 'isolated wetlands' in such a way had been promptly repealed by the Bush administration... leading to a sort of development boom in the South Carolina Lowcountry, since much of the previously protected wetlands were now governed only by state regulations (and most states had no such regulations since the activity had been in the domain of the Corps of Engineers).
Anyway, it seemed a more important fight; to save that small boggy & impenetrable patch of swamp magnolias, pines, gums, and even invasive species (Bradford Pears, and Tree of Heaven especially, but also lots of lawn grass and garden plants), since neighbors used one corner (which had been "accidentally" razed) as a dumping area for yard waste. And so I saved the little "less than an acre", from the developer who wanted to sell two more homes in a neighborhood where we already lived on lots the size of postage stamps. And also saved it from the crowd in the homeowners association meetings who wanted a "pool and/or clubhouse" on the forested land. I saved it, and so I still heard birds singing, and woodpeckers pecking. And, I had lots of bees, birds, butterflies, lizards, and snakes, and worms, and mice, and moles, etc. (because they still had a bit of the wild from whence to come) and I received plenty of fines and threats for my suburban permaculture experiment (one "neighbor" actually climbed on his roof to see what was in the jungle behind my fence, instead of merely asking and enjoying the tour that I loved to give to anyone who would let me), that was quite a spectacle... but as for the honey, someone else was reaping that reward. And I felt I didn't have the energy for the hives, much less the fight that would ensue once the hives were discovered. The thought of hives gave me hives, heh, pun fun. Yet the idea came to me again, when considering an 'urban ecovillage' in Buenos Aires, and the prospects for hives in urban areas. It seemed to me that the tree-lined streets and gardens full of flowers and citruses would provide a comfortable habitat, and the bees would be as integral and natural addition as they were in my suburban garden. However, when my own (usually entirely supportive) wife looked at me as if concerned for my mental health after I suggested the idea of intentionally bringing entire hives of bees into an urban apartment tower, I knew that it would likely be as difficult of a battle here as anywhere. (Especially considering that she's a "mental health" advocate, who has done a great deal of work to get people OUT of mental institutions.)
Yet, a small collective of underground apiculturists in New York City are teaming up and forming a powerful lobby that has already succeeded in introducing legislation to overturn the city's ban on bee-keeping. They're showing that the idea is not only viable, but that it enriches the local environment (and economy) in more ways than most people seemed to anticipate. It's hardly just for the honey. Click on through to read this very interesting article that has everything from direct action anarchist apiculture to ecopsychology... (continued...)
posted by: gasparin
Sometimes I think of the enormity of darkness which our world contains, and find the tragedies involved simply too crushing. How small we are! How seemingly powerless! So many people spend their time preparing for 'the revolution', even agitating for it... and without some historical perspective they have no firm grasp of what it is they are actually agitating for. They seem to feel the urgent need to move, but don't know where to go or how to proceed. And I find myself in need of hopeful words -- words that succinctly explain how the revolution is NOW. Not something that we have to wait for, or organize for, or agitate for... it's something that can begin in the ways which we live our lives; the foods we choose to eat, the ways we bring our children into this world and raise them to adulthood, and the stories that we tell about our histories and our day-to-day existence.
I found such a succinct explanation, today, in the conclusion to Howard Zinn’s 1994 book You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times. Actually, the words were a truncated version of what follows and (believe it or not) they came from the mouth of Matt Damon, in his narration of a documentary about the life of Howard Zinn with the same title as Zinn's book. If you feel you’re invested in bringing good to your world, by whatever means, perhaps you’ll find these words encouraging. (continued...)
posted by: gasparin
Due to an attack of pernicious and prolific spambots -- who either just now found the site or else just now developed the means to overcome our defense mechanisms -- I have had to disallow unregistered users from being able to post comments without approval. I do want to apologize for any inconvenience this causes; I know I personally prefer being able to post to a site without registering AND without waiting for my comments to appear... And, as time permits, I will be actively working on a technical fix that will allow this degree of functionality to be returned to this site. (continued...)
posted by: gasparin
This, in my opinion, is likely THE definitive anarcho-primitivist essay, and certainly something that any would-be critics of that ideology should read before launching into many of the oft-repeated condemnations of anarcho-primitivism or its proponents.
John Moore was not only a preeminent anarcho-primitivist, but a genuine philosopher... also a poet, a professor, and much much more. In his short life -- mostly through succinct self-published texts -- he contributed more to this most recent 'school' of anarchist politics than many of the self-professed 'anarcho-primitivists' who are still attempting to advocate this ideology today as professional primitivist polemicists. (continued...)