Monday, December 31, 2007

we are (by default and quite stupidly) ceding a strategic battle in the culture war to the crazies



I love Iorek Byrnison. He's the bear on this poster. In the story, he is the exiled sacred king of an arctic civilization. For his archetype's sake and the love of existence, please support the Golden Compass.

We Nowists won the Harry Potter round- the movies have all been succesful, and they have spread their good magic memes far and wide. However, we haven't stood by Phillip Pullman as he is attacked for killing a deified version of Authority, and now the movie has largely failed and there will be no sequels. People have trash-talked this film and we should stick up for it. I'm guilty for not hyping it or seeing it yet, I have read His Dark Materials though! The stories indicate the mind of a practicing, faithful person. Evidence?

Institutionalized religion is charicatured by accentuating its flaws but exhaulted for its possibilities. Catholics today admit, psycho powermongers have spattered the religion with blood of bygone innocents. Seeing this on a big screen with a big CGI budget and Hollywood stagecrafters really touches nerve in some people. Humiliating, embarassing, but since we can't actually change the past we certainly won't do better now by falsifying reality in our own minds to delude ourselves- the way forward would totally be blocked by willful inner darkness.

For those who haven't read or seen the material, it's a good versus evil trilogy in which the good guys dimension-hop, time travel and ride as fast as they can on all sourts of imaginatively portrayed mounts to form "The Republic of Heaven". Presumably if you're trying to build "Heaven on Earth", you're doing God's will, correct? I think so. There's one thing the Fundies can't seem to get over, though, so... SPOILER ALERT:


Near the climax of the story, our protagonists kill a decrepit old being who had usurped the multiniverse way back in the day; their parents kill the great tyrant's successor. This is not an attack of a Catholic creator god, or a pair of Gnostic creator gods; it's not promoting a rebellious Lucifer, either. The message is that our reality has been hijacked by fascists (origins unaddressed), and that our task is to figure this whole thing out, get free and all be in loving communion. To me, Christianity is all about figuring out the Mystery of righteous, wonderful living and transcending the illusions that a biological existence limits our perceptions to, so where's the argument? Through masterful story telling, Phillip Pullman is inviting a shakedown of Christian faith. America's human denizens act blindly as tools for whatever started this boycott, and many other, more nefarious projects. If we can use this flick to erode their blinders, the Noble Savages's social environment would be that much more free to enjoy. Go support the Golden Compass, y'all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

krow

The shackles lay at my feet, broken.

Krow came to visit in a dream. He smiled his crazy grin and outstretched his inky wings. “Climb aboard,” he said, “and I’ll take you to Paradise.” I doubted his destination but climbed aboard his wings made of garbage and human hope. We soared high above tall buildings, above miles of pavement. We flew higher until the sun became the moon. We dropped to the ground early or late in time, the special dreamtime where nothing exists and everything is to be realized.

I saw what Krow saw—Paradise. Food and shelter everywhere, human love spinning a web to catch me if I took the chance to jump.

“I don’t understand,” I told Krow. “Where is this magic place?”

Krow grinned, “It’s everywhere. Look through the night behind the devil’s horns. Paradise surrounds you. You’ve been looking at what’s not Paradise. Open your eyes wider and you will see Paradise everywhere.”

I awoke from my dream and walked outside. Krow’s reality became my own. I awoke to my golden city aflame. I joined every Adam and Eve. We ate the fruits of Paradise. We no longer toiled in the fields. And god—Krow—was with us til the end of our days.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

secession and independence

Some parts of some Lakota tribes have written a legal document withdrawing from its treaties with the United States, which it signed as a sovereign nation. They have declared their status as a sovereign nation, and are seeking legal recognition as such. If the U.S. does not enter into immediate negotiations, the Lakota have threatened to reclaim the territory illegally homesteaded by United States citizens, which spreads across five states.

Links to the whole story can be found at:
http://www.commondreams.org/news2007/1220-02.htm
http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2007/12/21/news/local/doc476a99630633e335271152.txt
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317548,00.html (yes, even Fox news!)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071220/lf_afp/usindigenoustreatywithdraw
http://www.lakotafreedom.com/ (love the dude cutting up his i.d. card!)

I'm thinking this is going to be interesting! Doing this via legal means may have a different outcome than past confrontations, especially if the Lakota can get the support of the international community especially in a court of law. Legal recognition isn't the end of it, of course. The whole notion of a legal country is an interesting one. When the U.S. declared its independence, Morocco was one of the first countries to recognize it. There are countries that we recognize the leadership even if they're not physically in the country, nor in control of it--Vichy France and the monarchy of Iran come to mind. Does the United States control Iraq, is Kurdistan as valid a nation as Israel, and since we used to recognize the Lakota as a sovereign country, do we still have to? These lines and legal definitions and regulations are totally imaginary, consensus reality.

I like the part about how the Lakota say that anyone who is currently living in their nation is welcome to stay, so long as they give up their U.S. citizenship. They state that anyone is welcome to live there, tax free, and enjoy freedom and a community-based structure of decision-making. Ah, sounds good to me! I am up for some homesteading. It would be an honor and a privilege to help heal land and people (self included).

Thoughts from y'all?

sharqi

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

does Christmas piss off god?

The Christian god, commonly known as Jehovah, doesn't say a whole lot about Christmas. But he does say this through his prophet Jeremiah (chapter 10):

1. Hear what the LORD says to you, O house of Israel.
2. This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them.
3. For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.
5. Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good."

----------
I wonder what crazy religion that was, that cut down trees in the forests, fixed them so they won't totter, and decorated them. Sure did piss off God, although He was pretty damn mad through most of that book, according to Jeremiah. Made W sound like a pussy cat comparatively. I think they should edit all that R-rated stuff out of the Bible. Like Lot's daughters getting him drunk so they could sleep with him. Ewww.

Christianity is a weeeeiiiird religion.

sharqi

Sunday, December 16, 2007

VFD livin' la vida vino veritas

It the holiday season, when people take time to reconnect with old friends. At parties and wherenot, people have been asking me what my plan is doing. I usually mumble something about Corsica and Santa Claus being a mushroom shaman. If people inquire further, I explain that I want to plant native fruit and nut trees on Cincinnati's overgrown hillsides, so that when the economy tanks, we'll have persimmon-fattened deer to eat. That's not really what I want to say, though. I would like to respond: "La vida vino veritas- et in Arcadia ego". That's a working version of my personal motto. Translates as "The life of wine truth- I am also in Arcadia."

"In vino veritas" usually refers to things you said while you were drunk that otherwise wouldn't have gotten said, cuz of social niceties. To get drunk and say what needs to be said is a good thing! Whether drinking our homebrewed hooch and doing an expose on the sillier habbits of our pets, or getting drunk on God like Rumi and speaking Truth to Power, like MLK jr. "La vida vino veritas" is also my shorthand for the Tao of fermented foods alchemy.

When you say that you're somewhere else also, it's code for your constant awareness of physcial mortality. Saying that the other place you're at is Arcadia, the mountainous Greek home of legendarily happy earth-conscious nomads, means you think that's the best place in a civilized imagination to be. I thinks so- they made bread with acorns instead of wheat (maybe because their land was inclined against sensible grain production?), and it's that steep topography that successfully hosted the Greek Revolution in which the Ottoman Empire got handed its ass. Also, in American pop culture, the Arcadians appeared in the movie "300", and they were good people who gave their lives for freedom without being obsessed with war like the Spartans were. Cincinnati, having more square acres of greenspace than any other major US city, could host a lot of trees that would make the ecosystems suitable for an Arcadian revival movement.

Part of what's bringing this batch of thoughts together is Robert Hart's Forest Garden (of Peace). It has been extremely amusing- inspiring, enlightening, makes my thoughts race and my head spin, my heart glow and my belly jiggle with giggles as I spin around in circles at Noon under the Solstice sun. The UK Plants For A Future crew reported their experience there in the Garden 10 years ago, and their story is SO COOL as to make me act the fool x9. So I quote:

"The summer had been a difficult one, it had been rather dry, and there had been a lot of damaging winds recently. However, the garden looked in excellent condition. Whilst the surrounding fields looked dry and barren, the garden was green and lush and, as we soon found out, it was literally dripping with fruit."

With spreading desserts, famine and growing amounts of governmental terrorism at our doorsteps, I find comfort in this image of abundant fertility.

"Narrow pathways lead you amongst fruit and nut trees, growing into them you will find climbing plants such as grapes and kiwi fruits. Growing under them are various fruiting shrubs such as blackcurrants and
gooseberries and also many herbs and salad plants that will succeed in the woodland shade. On the sunnier edges of the garden a number of more conventional vegetables are grown."

If you lived in the Garden, you could be molecularly one with your surrounding environment, on a very sensual level, by eating the fruits of the plants and ammending the soil around their roots with your composted humanure. You are experiencing a physical body that FEELS that it's part of everything else, you can see your feeling be played out in the ecology of the garden. It's so beautiful it speaks to your soul, and suddenly your whole perception is one of soma, being one with it all like you're on mushrooms and talking to the Green Man. Of course a Buddha or Anthropop might kindly point out that you don't need anything outside of yourself (tobacco, umeboshi plums or chocolate) to connect with Godhead. You can do it yourself, with or without help. I'm not deaf enough to argue against that, for to do so is self-defeating. However, since we CAN create an earthy, earthl paradise, (and that's not an issue of contention is it, for Robert Hart has already done it) we can outmode suffering. Noble Savagery is upon us, and it looks like deluxe raw, vegan food and humans being flabbergasted with delight. It also looks like people getting crunked on fermented drink, back to that in a minute. If we follow Mr. Hart's model, we in the Eastern Forest Biome can grow all the food and drugs we could possibly want. Valiant people, as gardening Foresters we could live the ultimate Debauchery! Hakim Bey as entheogen propagandist recounted an ancient Celtic story, one which illustrates our ancestors getting drunk from the fruits of a forest garden. In his enthusiasm for Aminita muscaria, the storyteller has overlooked an exciting possibility for today. Take a few deep breaths as you read this next quote here, it took my breath away.

"They were now a long time tossed about on the great billows, when at length they came in view of an island with many trees on it. These trees were somewhat like hazels, and they were laden with a kind of fruit which the voyagers had not seen before, extremely large, and not very different in appearance from apples, except that they had a rough, berry-like rind. After the crew had plucked all the fruit off one small tree, they cast lots who should try them, and the lot fell on Maildun. So he took some of them, and, squeezing the juice into a vessel, drank it. It threw him into a sleep of intoxication so deep that he seemed to be in a trance rather than in a natural slumber, without breath or motion, and with the red foam on his lips. And from that hour till the same hour next day, no one could tell whether he was living or dead. When he awoke next day, he bade his people to gather as much of the fruit as they could bring away with them; for the world, as he told them, never produced anything of such surpassing goodness. They pressed out the juice of the fruit till they had filled all their vessels; and so powerful was it to produce intoxication and sleep, that, before drinking it, they had to mix a large quantity of water with it to moderate its strength."

Could there actually be a plant like this, that's gets us easily drunk with its low-hanging fruit? Of course there *could* be, but do we have any candidtates? I've found one, w/o falling back on Cannabis (the Tree of Life Everlasting), or Psylocibin (the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil). It's on the mountainous isle of Corsica, which already has some prestige as a former permaculture paradise*.

Meet the the "Strawberry Tree" (Arbutos unido). Its fruit ferments on the ground into tastey alcoholic globules; birds around one specimen that my teacher Simurgh grew up with would get intoxicated, and you could watch them flying around lazily in no particular direction. The PFAF crew lists it at #5 on their list of 20 top (most favorite) plants. Why? Read their article for more general information, but these particular details jumped out into this. Júlio Reis tells us that "In Portugal, they make an alcoholic beverage called "medronheira" from the fruit of this tree, which would translate as "strawberry tree firewater". It's very alcoholic but very aromatic, can be used in cakes, or it can be sipped in (preferably) small quantities, like port. The fruit itself is delicious, at least to my palate." Hallelujah that sounds good. Sean said "I've just returned from Corsica where I have eaten some extremely nice Arbous jam made from this plant and also bought a bottle of Arbous liqueur which was one of the nicest I have ever tasted."

Finally, Ana Margarida Martins said "Hello!!! About the toxicity of this fruit: in Portugal we do make jam and liqueur (aguardente de Medronho) with it. I have personally eaten many of these fruits and I can tell you they're very sweet and tasty. But in Portugal the cultural say about Arbous is that you shouldn't eat too many, or you risk beeing drunk. That's probably because the fruit ripens very quickly and ferments. That's why you feel sick and dizzy... because you're slightly drunk... But nothing serious... Enjoy the fruits everybody!!!"

Food for more than body or thought, tree crops as soma even w/o the transcendental abundance of their ecology. I want to give this kind of soma to Cincinnati, a paradise now that's so good people give up on Millenialsim to start enjoying where they're at.

*In "Tree Crops: A Permenant Agriculture" there's a great description of Corsican agriculture. There was a series of villages, spaced along a hillside band of forest gardened European Chestnut (Castanea sativa). These sloped communities based their whole economy on the nutmeat of C. sativa- they ate it with gusto directly, reared livestock on 'em, and exported some of the surplus. The ancestors of those farmers who appeared in the book 56 years ago had been living symbiotically with their chestnut groves for literally centuries, with some of the oldest trees being more than 300 years of age. All of these had been carefully propagated, superior cultivars grafted onto rootstock, the humans planting them out to fill gaps in the canopy as they naturally occurred. The chestnut blight destroyed this. Conspiracy buffs who say the UN seeded HIV in Africa under the cover of vaccination programs to check human population growth by killing off the poorest of the poor might begin to suspect that the chestnut was deliberately destroyed by the bad guys; I prefer to ignore that possibility, as it would negatively impact my quality of life and discourage me from the work that needs to get done so that these Arcadian landscapes may inherit our Wastelands.

Friday, December 14, 2007

community, pool hall style

Working at the pool hall rocked. I really enjoyed this waitressing gig. In the five months I worked there, I never once encountered an angry, rude, or impatient customer, even if waiting time was involved. I was the only waitress for the nine-table diner, and if we were full, there was waiting. But everyone understood, and it was never a problem.

But this story isn't about me, it's about the customers, the great people who inhabit this wee rural stick-a-fork-in-it town of 800, who don't even know how special they are. Specifically, I want to tell you about Mike. His kids are grown, and he often comes to the pool hall to hang out with the other folks who have nothing better to do than to drink cheap cheap coffee. Mike has sparkling dark blue eyes, and a deep baritone voice that sounds like Johnny Cash singing straight into your heart. Mike is in a wheelchair. He was once an able-bodied man, but one day when he was out cutting wood, he felled a tree on the spot where his dog was standing. He tried to save his dog, and now he has no use of his legs. He has a fine spirit, though, and his useless legs never stopped him from doing anything, including getting into the pool hall.

The pool hall is on the main street in town, maintaining its vigor among falling down buildings and empty shells of what used to be the life of this town. The railroad stopped going through town decades ago, and the highway went around it about the same time, and it has taken a long time for this town's pulse to become strong again.

The pool hall has only one step up from the sidewalk, but for anyone in a wheelchair, that might as well be a ladder. Mike was not deterred. The call came in from Tiny, who despite his name, is actually a tiny little guy. Mike needs some assistance (not help). Eyes glanced from coffee cups to others crowded around the table: two other guys in motorized wheelchairs who used the back door (with no step), an emphysemic elderly woman, and Wayne, who was tethered to an oxygen tank. I realized I was probably the best option for getting Mike through the door, but I wasn't sure I could, as Mike is a big guy. He's not obese by any means, but dude was a tall big man back in the day, and he is still big. I hesitated too long, though, and Wayne rose from the table.

"Help me, Tiny," Wayne said. They went out the door. A minute later, Mike popped through the door (I held it, the least I could do), lifted through by Wayne, followed shortly by Tiny, who carried Wayne's large oxygen tank for him. Indeed, there's nothing that can't be done if you set your mind to it. Nothing that can't be done with help--assistance if you will. To these good old boys, it was nothing, but to me who had spent some time in the Big City, it was nothing short of a miracle. This is what community looked like at some point in the past, and I was more determined than ever to discover it again.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

invitation to that MI event

come share a free meal and scheme with good dreams

WHAT: merry making time for scheming our revolution. Deliciously prepared local
conversation and food to be served.

HOW: format is "by mutual information" to keep babbling extroverts like maself from
dominating the conversation. "In Mutual Invitation, the facilitator speaks first. Upon
finishing, the facilitator invites the next person to speak. That person has the opportunity
to speak or to pass or to pass for the moment. Whatever the person chooses, she has the
opportunity to invite the next person to speak. The process continues until everyone has
had a chance to speak." Particularly useful in dealing with folks of other social priviledge
levels; patterns of inheritted, alienation-isms deserve conscious attention to phase out.

WHO: people who RSVP, aka you and the person or 2 you might bring along and as-yet-
unidentified co-conspirators. Hosted by Nancy Sullivan and Badger Johnson.

WHEN: this Saturday, food serving, mumbling and mingling starting at 11am (a bit before
the sun reaches its zenith), with the structured conversation beginning @ 11:30ish.

WHERE: 534 Enright Ave., Cincy OH 45205. Specifically on Price Hill, situated Occidentally
above the mouth of the Mackateewa River.

WHY: We are scheming with headlines of agroforestry, networks of mutual aid, edible
landscaping, progressive/radical/libertarian/egalitarian/green/anarchist affinity, forest
gardening,mycology, get the drift? Let's break bread and gobble manna together.

love,

BBJ

mutual invitation

We're about to use the Mutual Invitation model for a scheming session with local, self-selected people of green and black affinity. A strength of this model is that it protects the unpressured freedom of everyone, and so they may speak or keep silent as they fully choose. When you're a facilitator/host with a lot they want to say but want to hear even more, it seems like a good fit.

People say things to me like "Don't talk about religion or politics with strangers, eventaully you'll inevitably end up snarling to defend the convictions that supposed to make you smile." And then I say

THANK you.

Snarling and smiling are both fun when viewed from a position of equipoise. When I agree to be generous with my attention, the stories that people give mostly just make my eyes get big.

A commitment to generosity might appear wearisome to folks who are used to a greed-based societal praxis. If feels like it sort of fits with your outlook than I have this to say: feeling nobly savage, I know an idealic gift economy that's nourishing and life giving and I want to thank you for participating. So,

Thank you!

Wanderers of the wilds know that on the other side of civilization's boundary walls, you don't need to enshrine generosity because it's already in the air. Inside its bounds, many of us participants in generous cultures feel miraculously given what we need by an almost unimaginably huge network of friends. It appears that chain of "mutual aid" extends unbroken through the wall, though this may be an illusion.

Thank YOU!

A description of the mutual invitation process.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

sufis aren't afraid of anything, even bicycle riding werecatfish

The sky is wet as a sloppy-kiss, and breeze plays down the hillside. Red's gift of a bicycle gets me around. Farther South, this long, warm rain would empower Clarias batrachus to leave trench-bound pals and head for higher puddles. No Rube Goldberg, this bike, it's a spiritual machine, righteous as to make Aladin's carpet tip the hat, blinking LED's warding off gas-guzzlers and the taught bow of the body commanding respect by the saltiness of its runoff. To live up to the golden rule, he gives an obligatory bird to a road rager and for future reference, that's invitation to call me on my shit.

After the Sun sets on the hut construction site, Shadowcrrew opens up and drinks in the people-jammed city, acting as any sensible walking catfish would, hitting the town like waves on a beach and surfing the Tao like a surfboard. Tonight, the search was for poetry and a secretive enclave of Sufis. Got a lead on the Murshid, and a group of sensually provacative showed up in the viewfinder. Werebrock rattled off this ditty:

"We Are!
Gods if we choose to be
Regardless what you call us
Just to be, we are already free

Weeds growin' from cracks in da walk
They know. They Are!
Dey already Gods. Just go

All juh gotta do is ask. That's no
tiny task, but bare with. Be
widdem where dey at. Layin' on the
rock sidewalk
flat

Breath in their out
yours they incorporate
however you like
you are theirs & so they give
enlightenment"

Last night, a 23 frame view through some Ghetto trees (Lonicera maackii) illustrates the giant, glowing obelisk of the Queen City building. It's high rise apartments with a garlicky white table cloth restaurant at the bottom, and glowing blue neon emitting jubilant electrons around the crown. It guides Werebrock up the hill. So mote it be, and everything glistens with moisture, everything glows with beauty beyond the sheen of refelected street lights. Life is ≥ double entendre.. Werebrock's mind is swept away by legs pumping him up Warsaw Avenue, which currently acts as a straight and narrow path to realizing our delightful position between Heaven and Earth.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


to you, Hugo Chavez. Bush hasn't even bothered with exploding cigars, you're so lame. Please stop selling to the oil junkies, lay off the ego and leave the jungle-covered petroleum where it belongs.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm living in the house and working on the hut..

It was cold today, so we started a fire in an iron wheel barrel. That was a neat trick.

George Hardebeck may be posting on this site soon. Yesterday we walked around in the woods and he introduced me to a bunch of different tree species. Before, I had been blind to them. Let's see if I remember something from what he said.

Okay, so he cajoled me into seeing some of the reasons behind tree placement. Red oaks, for instance, don't need much water, and we saw old (read: successful at stayin' alive) individuals on the edges of steep slopes, where the water table leaves a high and dry spot that few other tree species effectively colonized.

boo yah. see George, i was listening.

Monday, November 26, 2007

i am alone in my mother's house. The cries of a wailing cat sound to be coming through my ear canals. Or maybe it's the psycho killer, who hides on your Cincinnati porch & plays a recording of a crying baby as bait. Methinks it the former. Consider the SPCA statistic of aproximately 1,500,000 stray cats in the metro region. The problem of an infant-imitating homocider could be solved by a well placed karate chop, and as far as these creeps go, i understand that most are out-to-lunch cowards and they would pick on someone who seems more vulnerable than I. The cats are, to be honest, more of a problem, & mostly to themselves & groundnesting birds.

What do you do to feral cats? I leave 'em alone. My stepmom catches them, pays a pet surgeon to destroy their genitalia, & then trys to redomesticate. In the hopeful, relocalized, post-something eco-village scheme currently brewing on Enright, perhaps we will catch "stray" cats for use as alligator food.
the Werebrock to shadowcrrew name change reflects my emerging writing technique of incorporating differentiated slivers of my ego into the writing. together, i call the slivers my shadowcrrew, the two "r"'s simply because such things are meant to be differently spelled, and also i like to roll my rrrrrs.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

life in the slow crash

Well, here we are. Between natural disasters (tornado & ice storms) and exploding power plants, life is never dull here in podunkia. We can watch our city twiddle while it burns--no violins here. We never lost power, surprisingly. However, this is all small potatoes of What Could Possibly Happen and Most Likely Will.

After all, the dollar is at the top of that incredibly slippery slope--falling fast!--and since the world hates us for being power-hungry egomaniacs, they ain't doing us any favors. For some stupid reason, we (our country, so maybe I should call it We)--We sold all off all of our natural resources in the 50's and 60's. Too bad, because gas could be had for dimes when We sold it off.

(An aside: I have an encyclopedia set from the 60's. It's most wonderful because it contains the added benefit of the hindsight you acquire being 40 years from reality of that time. It says in those books that here's the estimated oil reserves we have and here is what demand is, and it'll be years before We run out! I did the math, and came out to 1999. I guess someday came for us.)

Back to the dollar. Earlier this year, I read that our rumored Vice-President was found to have traded the dollars in his investment accounts for euros. Of course, that had nothing to do with anything that was about to happen! For a month straight I was reading in foreign online news that the dollar was at an all-time record low against the euro. Yesterday I was told that the American dollar is worth only 90 cents in Canadian dollars. What?! Does that mean we can expect rich Canadians to buy up all the nice properties?

China is considering dumping the dollar. We owe them $1.4 trillion, or at least they owe that much of our debt. Yes, that's right! Good thing it is a big capital W kind of We. Oh wait, that We is all of us that make our livings in dollars. That's only $4600 per person, just half the yearly income of the biggest chunk of Americans (most of us earn around $10,000, not that they publish that in the evening news). Not only is the dollar going to seriously decline if they dump our currency, they are also importing tons (literally) of our used steel. I bet we're really going to miss that in the future. They just give us lead and cheap plastic for our landfills. I think we're getting the sorry end of this deal, but billions of Wal-Mart shoppers can't be wrong.

You can't exchange your federal reserve note for gold anymore, or even silver. Ever wonder why that is? Used to be you could take your notes to the bank and get an equal amount of gold if you wanted it. I think We gave all that gold to the Federal Reserve, a private corporation that graciously manages our economy for us.

What can we expect with a dollar that is worth less? It takes more dollars to buy what it did a few years ago, and you can expect to see it in your consumables rising--food, gas, fossil fuels, etc. Loans are easier to pay off if your money is worth less, because the value of what you borrowed is worth less. That's good news for anyone enslaved in indentured servitude. After much thinking, I decided it will be easy for the rich to remain rich, and easy for the poor to remain poor, but it will be a lot harder for anything resembling the middle-class to stay where it is.

I read an interesting blurb about the negative interest rate, where money is worth less each year on purpose, and how that actually stimulated an economy, because it discourages accumulation of wealth. It encourages money to flow, because it is only worth less in time, and there is no point in saving it up. I like the idea of a cashless economy, and I'd even call it a gift economy. It's a beautiful thing, creating wealth by helping each other and caring about each other. It's enough to make you cry at times.

Oh, the economy. Some parts of me think it is just a silly superstition, and I get a chuckle watching grown men in business suits get flustered and worried and consumed and start praying to the god of the arrow that points up. It's as though they are possessed. I've got no money, especially none in the stock market, so to me it's good news the economy is tanking. That means we can go back to planting forests instead of digging up the earth and selling it to each other!

The housing market is grand, isn't it? We have a very cheap mortgage, $250 a month, for a small house on 1/4 acre in the city. It's like that all over our part of town. On our block alone, since we bought our house seven years ago, six houses have been torn down (some from being offered dirt cheap with no takers, others through neglect). There is one business that is apparently still running, although they have no identification markers on their building. It makes me wonder what they're doing. Half of the houses on our block are currently for rent or for sale, vacant. Of the half that are left, three are owned and four are rented. That is some crazy kind of neighborhood when you're looking for a place to settle into. If you're looking for decent land (we have the best soil on Earth!) and low prices, and don't mind parentless kids and racist cops, have we got a deal for you. Well, it's Eden to me.

The power plant exploding was the loudest explosion I think I've ever heard. We are about two miles away. Terrorism? Oops, no just our own ineptitude again, or maybe just our infrastructure collapsing, or just random accident. The fire chief told people not to worry; it was just coal dust that was floating through the air (thank od for the northwest wind blowing steadily that night--it blew the coal smoke to those beautiful expensive homes with their central heat/air on with hepa filters). The fire department had no foam to put on a fire fueled by oil in a transformer, and had to request some from the national guard unit on the opposite side of the city. No one from the power company elite showed up until a good half an hour after the explosion. The fire department didn't even know exactly what was on fire. The city didn't know and/or tell what was happening, so we were left in the dark (but not literally, thanks to the national grid). When questioned about this decision, the mayor said, "Tough."

Well, oops happens. It is still happening for people who live in parts of what used to be New Orleans. And Detroit and East St. Louis--all disasters, or maybe Disasters. It's the disaster of every day life that fuels the encyclopedias of 100 years from now. I wonder what they will say about us, and what hindsight they will acquire by then? I wonder if they'll still be angry with us. I sure would be. Nothing like making a big mess and not cleaning it up. Buncha spoiled babies we are here in the U.S. Well, no time to grow up like the present! Time to feel big feelings, take responsibilities, and pitch in to do what we can. Somebody has to remake America. It might as well be us.

(edited for line breaks and apologies for the lengthy venting--just letting off some steam like the old coal-fired fossil fueled citizen-owned (ha) megapoly!)

Monday, November 12, 2007

today i cried. it's not often this one gets so worked up. my brother was singing in his school choir at the library, for dis annual veteran's day honoring ceremony.

first everybody had to stand for a rendition national anthem. i did, too, cuz there were bagpipers indoors and i wanted to see them. it was so odd, the pipe band's drummer had a sheriff's department logo on it. of all the fucked up places, gahrrr. but then there was a second rending of the star spangled banner, with my bro singing and all. i didn't really like that, but whatever. he's not particularly statist or violent, and the song probly wasn't gonna make him more so. i stood up for the end so's he wouldn't get embarassed with his choirmates.

but then they got crackin' on america the beautiful. there's this great line in der, it goes like

America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!

and since that's not what seems to be happening these days, i couldn't help it. tears started trickling down my face, and my bottom lip started to tremble. fortunately maigan and john f. were there to comfort me. i got up and left after a former POW told us how good the Nazis treated them towards the end of the war.

then i came back to my Momma's place and hauled rubble and gravel for 5 hours, to fill the French Drain on the strawbale hut we're building. now that's done. should i go down the street and talk to my biodynamic farmer neighbors about contacts for getting my fruit nut tree propagation going? or should i go up the street to find the basement shaman and trade a few rustica seeds for his hawaiian baby woodrose seeds? a morning glory trip, but you only need one flower's worth. when i put it like that, i need to drink something and stretch. peace out

Saturday, November 10, 2007

excitement in Springfield

We heard a loud-ass boom earlier this evening, followed by many smaller (but still big) sounds--like someone banging on an empty dumpster with a hammer--accompanied by emergency vehicle sirens heading toward Springfield's very own coal-fired power plant. And a constant loud sound like a jet engine that wasn't going anywhere.

Here's the story so far from the State Urinal-Register:

CWLP fire under control, but damage appears severe

Last Updated 11/10/2007 9:28:33 PM

By JAYETTE BOLINSKI
and CHRIS WETTERICH


An explosion in part of City Water, Light and Power's Dallman generating station this evening caused major damage to the city's power generating complex.

The explosion occurred about 6:50 p.m. No one was injured.

The city's biggest single electrical generator, the Dallman 3 plant, was still operating, and the city was obtaining power from the national electric grid. As a result, aside from brief and isolated power outages early in the evening, officials do not expect customers to experience any further power interruptions.

Springfield Fire Department spokesman Bob Reside said the explosion -- apparently one large explosion, followed by a series of about a dozen smaller ones -- took place in the power plant complex's main building, a four-story structure off Stevenson Drive near Dirksen Parkway and Interstate 55-72.

A large section of an exterior brick wall on the building's fourth floor collapsed into the interior of the building during the fire, Reside said.

"This just shows how dangerous this has gotten because of damage to the structure," Reside said. "We have to expect further collapse."

The fire was fueled by oil leaking from damaged and blazing power transformers and boosted by a steady wind. However, firefighters were reporting about 9:30 p.m. that the oil flow was being cut off and the situation was gradually being brought under control.

Foam was being used to battle the oil fires, not only because water is ineffective against an oil fire but also to avoid polluting nearby Lake Springfield with oil, Reside said.

The cause of the explosion was still undetermined as of 9:30 p.m., with the main suspects apparently being a transformer malfunction or an explosion of flammable coal dust. In any case, at least two transformers caught fire.

"Transformers contain oil and it is burning and has spilled out of the transformers," Reside said about 8:30 p.m.

An unknown number of employees were inside the plant when the explosions occurred, but all evacuated safely.

There was no danger to the public from chemical fumes, and the fire posed no threat to nearby businesses or residences, Reside said. Firefighters kept an eye on several nearby hydrogen tanks, however.

"We have nozzles fixed on them so they don't explode," he said.

Witnesses reported one large explosion, followed by 10 to 15 smaller ones.

Micki Dickerson, who was at Capital City Shopping Center, said the first explosion "sounded like the loudest thunder you ever heard, it shook the windows and the building.

"The first explosion was real loud and the second almost as loud. We went outside, and then it sounded like gunfire --- boom, boom, boom. Then it stopped for a second and started right back up."

The explosion was followed by a steam release from the power plant.

“Now, it sounds like you're standing too close to a jet," she said shortly after the blast. "It's still going on. You can't hear the sirens for the sounds of the power plant."

A resident of South 13th Street e-mailed The State Journal-Register to say "the entire back half of my house vibrated at ten till 7. It felt like something hit the house.

"Then I heard a long series of what sounded like gun shots. At least a minute or so in length. I thought a house in my neighborhood was on fire or had been damaged."

She likewise reported a sound like "an airplane engine" as steam was released from the plant.

Several suburban fire departments, including Rochester and Sherman, were called to staff Springfield fire stations while city firefighters respond to the CWLP incident. Sherman also sent an aerial truck to the power plant after a city truck experienced mechanical problems.

Police detoured motorists away from the area of Dirksen Parkway, Taylor Avenue and Stevenson Drive, and interstate off-ramps were closed near CWLP. However, streets started to be reopened before about 8 p.m.

headlines


People always give the Germans of the Third Riech a hard time. Since they're not much different from us, (genocidal along faux racial lines) as a society, then please, if you feel your hackles rising at their mere mention and you must bitch, go somewhere else cuz we got now to deal with, and plus i'm too buisy geeking at the results of this Nazi experiment: the form and hardiness of extinct wild horse got bred back into existence from genetically "impure" domesticated horses. I hate the idea of genetic purity, if it silently quacks like a duck and waggles its ass like a beaver I'm callin' it a platypus, regarless of what it's hidden genotypes may be. Could we selectively breed chestnuts to retake little-used, biologically impoverished land all over the US? Maybe we can breed dragons out of crocodiles and sick them on Blackwater. Can I get a Hallelujah? Okay maybe not, I'm tired and it's time to go to bed.

The Basement Shaman has a lot of good seeds, equipment and literature. Most of it is kinda pricey, but if you got dough and no connections it would be THE place to go. On their blog this month: Illinois to ban Salvia divinorum. Sorry guys.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

life at the end of empire

So, does the title of this essay evoke depression or excitement from you? I watched a movie called What a Way To Go, Life at the End of Empire the other day. The information of the ecological nightmare currently going on is presented in an interesting way, although if you've been paying attention at all, there's not much that is News.

Depressing? Hell, yes. Isn't it depressing to know all the particular facts observed by science that seem to show that our civilized cancer is metastasizing the planet? To know that we are creating a species void that will take hundreds of millions of years to revitalize, messing with weather stability, and that we may leave our children's children with more garbage than anyone could ever deal with? That we are cutting down the forests of our planet--its lungs--at a rapid pace? That our whole system of living in developed countries is based on a finite source, petroleum? And that petroleum production has already peaked? It's all downhill from here, the same slopes whether you're talking about grain production (currently stagnated), oil production, or the value of American dollars.

On the other hand, isn't it exciting that we have the power to change some of this? It may already be too late to stop climate change, but at least we can stop ourselves from chopping down every last tree. The filmmaker stresses that we (as a culture) knew all this was going to happen, and is happening, but IGNORED IT, and now we have, well, look around you. It's kind of depressing, isn't it?

I think about how different things could have, would have been if the world had figured out a new way to live when I was a baby, thirty-some years ago. Maybe we wouldn't be driving species to extinction at a rate of 2000 each day. And then I think of my own child, and I set my jaw and vow, I won't let this happen to my children. I draw the line. I throw in the towel with civilization, with the one-right-way of thinking and doing, with the spoils going to those who are the most ruthless and short-sighted. I can't look into another baby's eyes and continue to go to work like nothing is happening. I can't pretend that I'm not in an abusive relationship--not with my husband, but with my worldview. I am. And I want out.

Then I find myself in the black iron prison. Here is the trick--how to break out of prison when there is no not-prison anymore. How do you get rid of a paradigm of domination, when the only way of getting rid of it--conquering it--transforms you into it? How do you remember what it is like to be a human when all you've known since birth is how to be a robot? How do you bring up your children in a new sort of way, one that fully enables them to see What's Next--how do you do this, when you have no clear idea yourself?

Well, I still find it exciting times. To think that next week, all of America, all of every where that oil flows through our veins, we just take some time and think. We think about what kind of world we'd like to live in, what kind of world we would like to give to our children and grandchildren. We think about what kind of world we are giving to them now, and how our every action supports this global sum that is greater than the parts. We think about how nice it is to talk to people, spend time in the sunshine, touch dirt, eat living food that is not made from petroleum, laugh, relax, sleep. Once upon a time, we were human BEings. It's been so long, but I think if we dream enough, we may remember. We can make it real.

And so, we think. Then we do. We act, true to our selves. We think about our situation clearly and without immature attachments to selfish wants and needs. We forego our comfort for a living breathing planet for our children's children to enjoy. We plant, food of thanksgiving, ambrosia--to nourish our bodies and souls and minds and children. We walk away from the pyramid, and find ourselves in the garden, rejoicing.

If we are quick enough about it, we may never know who could have won the next election.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

the beauty

The beauty is tremendous. Walking to work today, through the park, I stopped where the road crossed the stream. The ducks were paddling around, quietly quacking to each other. And just where the creek goes around the bend, a deer was drinking. This park is miles inside town, and yet here was a deer, going about its morning, oblivious to me, quietly crunching leaves on my way to my indentured servitude (which is up in 9 days!).

The water flowed, the birds twittered, the bugs chirped, the breeze rippled. The sun shone through electric yellow maple leaves. The frosty grass and weeds crunched under my worn-out shoes. I was overcome by the tremendous beauty.

It's all there waiting for us as we end our lives as pavement and landfill machines, and begin anew.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

even in the green house

Myra Eddy loved green things–plants in particular. She thought she would enjoy her new job working in a greenhouse, but upon actually spending time with the plants, she could feel their pain and alienation. They weren’t plants; they were commodified civilized accessories. They didn’t even know they were alive. Indeed, they barely were. They were in pots too small, rootbound, roots girdled, crowded and sprayed, kept alive by toxic petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides, chlorinated water, and an artificial greenhouse environment. All summer, the fans roared to cool off the greenhouse. It hurt Myra’s ears. The plants were overloaded, stunted and stunned.

All that changed one August evening. Myra was at home asleep. It was the night the Oil Peaked. In Tokyo, the price of oil went through the roof, shutting down their commodities exchange. The same thing happened in Moscow, Cairo, Berlin, Reykavik. By the time everyone in America woke up, the whole world had changed. Gasoline which the day before had cost a mere $4.50 per gallon was now $25 per gallon. It didn’t make a bit of difference to Myra, who had no car to fuel, only her body, but it did make a difference to millions of commuting Americans, especially those who neglected to fuel their gas tanks the night before.

With only expensive petroleum to fuel the economy, well, it didn’t last long. People simply could not afford to drive 50 miles to work and back for more than a couple of days, long enough to pick up their last paychecks. To make matters worse, a ferocious summer storm swept through central Illinois, dropping softball-sized hail and massive straight-line winds. People had a lot more on their minds than expensive petroleum and missing days in their cubicles.

The plants in the greenhouse were confused. They always received daily attention, but they weren’t watered for several days in the beginning of the Time of Crises. Many of the weakest plants withered to nothing in the August heat and humidity. Then the hail came and the winds blew. The hail crashed through the glass roof. Crash! Crash! The plants were shocked as shards of glass came hurtling down, with their slicing pain. But then, the rain came. It was cool and refreshing, drenching. The plants had never felt actual rain before, and they imagined this must be what it is like to be born. The sun shone the next day, and they stretched to the sky, and they realized they were alive.

Many tropical plants did not survive the first open winter, although it was mild. The big conifer stretched its boughs wide to shelter as many as it could. Just when the plants thought the end was near, the spring winds started to blow and the warm rain kissed their needles and bare branches once again. They grew. Their roots stretched forth and broke open the plastic pots which thought to contain them. Even the cacao tree, up on concrete blocks, reached down its roots to the concrete floor, littered with leaves and bird poop. It was manna to chocolate.

When Myra stopped in, years later, to see what had happened of the plants in the greenhouse, she was amazed to see that they were flourishing. The concrete floor was not discernable. Even the walls were barely standing. What with the changing climate, even the tropical plants were doing well. The lime tree was profuse in sweet blossoms. And Myra remembered the dismay she had felt when she worked there as a caretaker, and of the good thoughts her fellow zomban Badger had told her–even potted plants have the ability to break free and rewild themselves. She was glad at last it had been realized.

[I'm not sure what props are, but many of them go out to Badger, who inspired this vision in my summer of working in a 115 degree greenhouse. Thanks, bro.]

Sunday, October 28, 2007

one of these days your head's gonna catch on fire and noone's gonna be there to put it out


From observation, it’s obvious to me that under normal circumstances, a human’s body, consciousness and spirit (or however you do or don’t want to break it down for ease of understanding what the hell we’re talking about), they’re bound tightly together. So, to help get myself happier and more enlightened, I puzzle over my human body/temple’s architecture and feng shui and make it work for me. To this end, and as long-time followers of this blog may remember, I’ve tested out several systems of physical conditioning- da kung fu, American bootcamp stylee, parkour, all good shit. For what I want, though, this newest routine is hard ta beat. It’s easy as can be, it makes me vigorous, and people have been sayin’ I should make money on the side as a model because I’m lookin’ so fine, which of course puts me in a good headspace. The story starts a couple months ago.

“Have you a physical routine, to go with your Jesus as yogi schpiel?” Werebrock had given his ear to an Indo-European guru of “Ascension”. The guru’s words rang beautifully, but whispy-like as the man’s childish body; Werebrock felt the lesson needed something fleshier to gain traction in his brain. Did the man’s herald of Jesus incorporating yogic gnosis into his teachings seem far-fetched? Try a little Gospel of Thomas and judge for yourself:

“3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.”
If you interpret the “Father” in this saying as a transcendental “Christ consciousness” that gives you access to paradise now (as you breath), it’s right in line with the enlightenment you’d see at a Krishna Temple. So far the reason for his zany zeal could not responsibly be rejected out of hand.

A quick side rant, because I spent so long typing up Fredy Perlman’s work. I’m asking myself, “What if Moses and his wandering ex-workers collective realized that, if there were ever gonna be a promised land, it was wherever the heaven they happened to be, on whatever uncounted day of manna gobbling, wilderness wandering they were? So footloose and fancy free, the Sons of Levi could not reasonably be expected to have murdered their ecstatic, fertility worshipping family. Those infamous wanderers might have sung “This Land is Our Land” with the Canaanites, instead of killing them and despoiling the land they’d cared for. They could have thrown roof parties on olde-timey cob houses, danced out in wild olive and carob groves together, sipped henbane mead and toasted their cousins’ different styles of freedom.

Anyway, the guru was smiling after Werebrock’s practical question. “Have you seen the 5 Tibetan Rites?” Werebrock flashed back smiling and confessed his ignorance. It always comes back to Tibet with New Agers, and this idea pinged around as a whinny in the back of his throat, and then the other guy giggled and they laughed together. “Heuh, lait mhe show you.” The child-like swami said this with a satirical tone, affecting the accent of a Hindustani Kwikee Mart operator.

The yogi’s demo was simple. First he spun around like whirling dervish; then he did some leg lifts, bent backwards, did the table and then a version of downward dog. Seemingly pretty mundane, like the secular yoga Werebrock had practiced at the Y as a kid. But there was something different about these poses. If I had taken still photographs to show you, and then you saw Werebrock doing the poses, you’d be right to charge us with prestidigitation. Werebrock was kind of impressed! The guru said the “Rites” got a body’s chakras glowing in unison, and that a British explorer had brought them back from Tibet early last century. Werebrock had been reading some Celtic neo-pagan lit that suggests a connection between ancient Celt spirituality and chakras, and this excited Werebrock to the extent that some direct quoting is justified:

“It is very possible that the Celts, from their exposure to Eastern cultures (they used to be one), knew about the light centers, what the Hindus call charkas. Hints are given about this in legends and tales, such as Taliesin’s “shining brow” and the “power spot” on Diarmuid’s forehead. When Cu Chulainn was filled with power, he is described as having fire around his head, an obvious reference to the crown center being open. There are few references beyond these in Celtic literature. However, there are enough other spiritual practices among the Celts that are similar to those in the East to realize that both cultures knew many of the same principles.” (“The Light Centers”, D.J. Conway’s By Oak, Ash and Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism, pg. 68)

“3 Places Upon a Bard where Blood may be Drawn:

FROM HIS FOREHEAD
FROM HIS BREAST
FROM HIS GROIN

[Author’s note: There is a section in the Book of Pheryllt, which mentions these exact same three body-points as being the 3 energy vortices (“sources of Awen”) of the body, similar in theory to the seven Eastern chakara meridians. The Pheryllt equated the ‘Groin’ center with darker/feminine/earth energies/3 darker colors of the spectrum (e.g. violet, indigo & blue); the ‘Breast’ being the green/balancing/androgenous center; the ‘Forehead’ emanating the lighter/masculine/celestial energies/3 lighter colors (e.g. yellow, orange & red)].” (Prologue of Douglas Monroe’s The 21 Lessons of Merlyn: A Study in Druid Magic & Lore)


Fuck YEAH I want my head to burst open and erupt in holy fire! Where do you sign up? Maybe this is how to go about doing so- Werebrock adopted the 5 Tibetan Rites as praxis. In case you didn’t make that non-teleological jump with me, consider that Werebrock had been on a frustrating hunt for mistletoe to use in neo-Druidic ritual. After eventually learning that Mountain Gardens is too high an ecosystem for it to grow, he mostly/temporarily gave up the search. As he was letting go, a yogi teaching supposedly ancient globalized spirituality shows up. His connection between Palestine, India and Christianity reminded Werebrock of the Indoeuropean origin that connects many Vedic believers and us Celts’ ancestors. So connection there. Then the guru shares a process for getting the chakras in sync and keeping in good health, which must be prerequisite for the Kundalini awakening that sets your head on fire in New Age thought.

Hot dawg! Did you ever notice that dawg spelled backwards doesn’t spell gawd?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blue Secret of the Picts


Got an "Ah HA!" moment to share. Twas reading this old National Geographic, October 1985, and in it der's a great article called "Arabia's Frankincense Trail". There was lots in there for one to be diggin' on- tree crops, the history of the mysterious obelisk at the center of Mecca, beautiful unisexual clothing- but this paragraph from page 492 really fr-geeked me out:

"Until a few decades ago dark blue indigo loincloths were prefeered by the tribes of "blue men," the Bedouin of southern Arabia. Even during the chilly highland winters, they claimed, a mixture of indigo and sesame oil rubbed on their naked chests and legs kepth them warm. On small farms around Bayhan the indigo bushes (Indigofera tinctoria) still grow."

"Why is this interesting?", ya might be asking. Don't know, but here's why I took note. This painting yourself blue brings to mind my "Pictish" ancestors. Who knows what they called themselves, but according to their Wikipedia entry, "The Greek word Πικτοί (Latin Picti) first appears in a panegyric written by Eumenius in AD 297 and is taken to mean 'painted or tattooed people' (Latin pingere 'paint')."

This thread continues into the entry for the plant woad (Isatis tinctoria). Check this out:

"Julius Caesar tells us (in de Bello Gallico) that the Britanni used to mark their bodies with vitrum; this has often been assumed to mean that they painted or tattooed themselves with woad. However vitrum does not translate to "woad", but probably more likely refers to a type of blue-green glass which was common at the time. The Picts may have gotten their name... from their practice of going into battle naked except for body paint or tattoos."

Kym ní Dhoireann has undergone inconclusive and painful experiments, trying to dye themselves blue with woad. Props to their sore ass for trying, and sorry for the dissapointment. But maybe when the dude thinks they're pointing out problems with a woad as skin application idea, they've missed the point. I'll need to look into it further to think it with authority, and that may be impossibe given the kinds of record that Leviathan takes. Ask yourself, though: where would Ceasar and his Legionaires have encountered "Pictish" folk? Consider that those bellicose bastards didn't make many friends- Roman contact with foreigners would have been restricted to times of active bullying. Traders headed South into Roman colonies might have taken the famous advice "When in Rome, do as a Roman", and left their indigenous skin pigment behind. As their red-plumed helmet gets cleaved in two, maybe the Roman foot soldiers did not positively identify their enemy's pigment source. Latifundians wouldn't necessarily allow their captured enemies to continue a complicated, misplaced form of vernacular skin adornment. If you line up the "maybes" we've gone through so far, there is no assurity in the assumption that Julius Ceasar knew much about the Pict's blue-looking skin.

Here's my Ah HA! hypothesis: maybe the Picts wore a woad-based balm for fending off the cold. What's extracted for dye from Indigofera tinctoria and Isatis tinctoria is the same thing, though there's less in the woad. The Bedouins wore an indigo concoction as an adaptation to a harsh highland climate similar to that of Northern Scotland. Now go read about Irish Soma.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Government won't disclose air safety survey

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is withholding results from an unprecedented national survey of pilots that found safety problems like near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than the government previously recognized. AP story on Yahoo News.

Not only that, but they've "ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers."

A senior NASA official, associate administrator Thomas S. Luedtke, said revealing the findings could damage the public's confidence in airlines and affect airline profits. Luedtke acknowledged that the survey results "present a comprehensive picture of certain aspects of the U.S. commercial aviation industry."

The AP sought to obtain the survey data over 14 months under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

"Release of the requested data, which are sensitive and safety-related, could materially affect the public confidence in, and the commercial welfare of, the air carriers and general aviation companies whose pilots participated in the survey," Luedtke wrote in a final denial letter to the AP.
There's more in the article. So much for a free market! LOL.

Friday, October 12, 2007

pictures

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Werebrock blowing you a kiss.

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Human culture and wilderness should always be so complimentary.

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The beloved Nicotiana rustica v. Cherokee.

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The morning glories have landed!

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Wild Root Brew, bubbling under barrels of bird peppers and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera).

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The Dr. Seuss plant in profile.

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This swimming hole deserves a famous haiku.


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A little bozo faerie.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

next post from Werebrock out soon. in the meantime, check out the blurb of this new book

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fuck-Ultimate-Spiritual-Way/dp/1905633041/ref=sr_1_1/026-4117470-1776438?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192138796&sr=8-1

Product Description
'I believe (Fuck It) is a major contribution to the human race' says the Barefoot Doctor in the Foreword. Like a magical modern mantra, just starting to say Fuck It can transform your life. Saying Fuck It feels good. To stop struggling and finally do what you fancy; to ignore what everyone's telling you and go your own way feels just great. In this inspiring and humorous book, John C. Parkin suggests that saying Fuck It doesn t just make us feel good, it is a spiritual act. Indeed, the highest spiritual act. Fuck It is the perfect western expression of the eastern spiritual ideas of letting go, giving up and finding real freedom by realising that things don't matter so much (if at all). But also has the added balls that most of us westerners need to lead us away from our stressed out, uptight, meaning-full lives. Plus, it doesn't require chanting, meditating, wearing sandals or eating beans. So find out how to say Fuck It to all your problems and concerns. Say Fuck It to all the 'shoulds' in your life and finally do what you want (no matter what people think).

Friday, September 14, 2007

you should be drinking "4 things soup"- look it up

The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids has an excellent talk on the history of the neo-pagan horned God. I got a lot out of it, so I mention that you may find it nestled in the middle of this 45 minute podcast. There's also happy Celtic pagan music and poetry in there.

Yours truly is happy, and would like to thank Hermes for the many occurrences of late that have contributed to my harmonious state of being. The garden is looking splendiferous, and as I learn more I appreciate it more. Did you know you can grow your own shamanic tobacco, Nicotiana rustica, and your own "southern ginseng", Gynostemma pentaphyllum, and they'll come back and love you year after year? Then there's the realization that happiness is free, and already just sitting there, somewhere deep in your thorax, and it takes about 20 seconds to fish a helping out if you concentrate. Also, some of this continent's much coveted rain has just fallen on us here, and a MIA friend and comrade has returned to MG. Bombs and Shields is blooming with tales of righteous resistance to Leviathan. On top of all that, I just found some excellent bike paniers for touring- check 'em out! Priced right, durable, water proof, easily removable, the right shape and size, and made of rescued plastic. Cheers to you, dear Tao.

-Werebrock

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Werebrock Institute for Spiritual Research, Bulletin No. 103/zzz

Author's Note:

This lunar month is the 50th year anniversary of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road". In honor of this grand wizard of hep cats, I give you the third and final chapter of the Water Saga in stream-of-consciousness form, as it was written in my berry-stained book of shadows. The trio of stories has been an experience to write home about, so I did. No idea who actually reads Noble Savagery, besides my family and a few friends; even so, it feels great putting them out there for everyone in the world who's paying attention.

I talk about my body as if it's not mine in this piece. What I'm trying to say, with this affectation, is that I feel like I've got this sensuous vessle on loan from the Big Whathaveyou.
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"The River is flowing,
rolling and moaning.
The River
is go-o-ing
down to the sea.

Ooo Mother, carry me,
Your child I will always be;
Ooo Mother carry me,
down to the Sea."

It has started to rain, Hallelujah! After securing my laundry, & sacrosanctly pooping, it dawned on me. After this long drought, during the fall of rain from the heavens, Now is the perfect time, period; and "ahem", this instant I should go down to the crick.

My pants came off and a towel wrapped itself around as the words to the Sarah/Kroka water song came flooding, no, welling, no, upsurging into my frontal cortex. I chanted them to the ground of the Gardens as I wended my way through the Phylostemnas & Colt's foot, down the driveway and across the lane.

Our tune changed as I honored the sky, the Father. Here were the words ushering from these lips:

"Humble myself 'fore
the Light of the Rain God. (bows head)
I gotta bend-a down low and
(Bend down low &
humble my self afore stuck left hand
the Light of the Rain God. out behind me)
I gotta know what you know and
weeeee (Made Pirate tube, with left hand,
will lift each other up. over 3rd Eye)
Higher and higher and weeeee (Thrust hand, palm up, high
Will lift each other up." as could be)

Had a happening, looking over the Garden of Roger. The sky is clearly visible because it's a clearing, and I could see rain streaking Earthwords, against the backdrop of towering oaks, whose tops waved with the wind. I waved in the wind, but not in imitation of them, but with them, for they are my progenitors & ancient elders.

There was an apple tree, in the middle of the Garden of Roger. It did not wave with the wind. It did not feel it. The Tree of Good and Evil does not know Change. "Huh," I think to my self, "those fruits would make a worthy gift, offtered to the Mountains on their highest peaks."

I stilled & walked towards the stream. You have to empty yourself to fill with the holy spirit. But is emptiness the same as stillness necessarily? Stepping past beds of glistening Gaylax & splashing through raindrops. Ducking under laurel branches, on and over the pile of smooth river stones. Finally, I catch site of her.



NTS: Restart, go through
and finish the Corpus
Hermeticum.

Fox-walked over stones of lustring gladness, for the rain was here. Now who is to say they were not?! Animism may be the reason I decide to keep the bulk of WISR bulletins secretted. Say you're an Animist, like the Brethren of the Free Spirit or the Kogis, & Mother Culture will surely try to dicksmack you.

Looked for a spot to lie. A bed of a boulder was beneath these feet. Here's an important part, dear non-determined readers. Snap your spine straight, take a deep breath that you exhale slowly, & focus your eyes on bestilled inner eyelids, cuz this is my first teaching.

Give yourself Over, to the Divine,
As the Free Spirit moves through,
the Path of Right Action will
unfold before you & you may stride down it without any
spiritual friction.

As that applies to the task at hand, I found that the towel layed down on the rock to form a perfect Mesa, which I loaded myself onto, naked of clothes as the day Badge Man was born. & I shut my eyes.

Then opened them. It was the rained-on stream & I, a trinity, that were to commune today; why should this not include casting ma gaze on the air-encircled water globs? It's them that make this time extra attractive, as they keep down most (I slap one) mosquitoes. Earlier in the Garden of Raja Roger, I had noticed that when I focused on one segment of the downpouring, it seemed at odds with other, self-cordoned-off segments. When i had relaxed & unwound these eyeballs, I saw all of the downpouring as one chaos harmony. Transcendentally, it was magnanimous to infinity. And now, laying on the mesa & looking up, I noticed another pro-fun ditty.

The water spaceships were coming towards my elevation RHYTHMICALLY. It was like the scene in Baraka, at a wide traffic intersection. You know, the scene in which camera speed is increasedly accelerated, and surges of pedestrians and motorcoaches wait their turn before crossing & absorbing into the plastic/metal border of your pixeled screen, followed by another surge, and another? Like that. These aerial rivulettes were taking turns, I swear it. Their rhythm gave me an idea for more.

I did a throated drum beat, a Pachamama cardio-pulse. This lasted a couple minutes, as my eyes & mind darted around to take their share of filler in.

Next, I realized that it was time to get personal with the stream. I did this by closing my eyes, mind & body relaxed by now. Waited but a hair, a hairlette of a hair, from the beard of Father Time, before she came. The Nyad of Moonshadow Valley.

I am laying naked, like this, on my back, & I feel the warmth of a kiss, below & to the right of these lips I have been entrusted with.




She came up out of the pool, in direction you'd see if you looked from this head, past the feet and a little to your right. She hugged me, & stroked this chest. Then I felt her, around my pubic area. I felt her as the drops which hit my consciousness in a more accutely noticed way, there. Then, she moved up to my grail, my tantien. Same feelings, these sensations she gave me. No erection. What she was giving me may be pondered more in depth later. Not to be cliche, though of course I can after saying that, but let's put down that she gave me liquid courage & charisma. (I'd asked an ex-girlfriend for these in dealing with another propsectful lady friend.) Moonshadow was my cosmic postwoman who delivered the package. I thanked her, and wondered what to give her. "A lock of your hair," she seemed to answer. "Get up and do it Now." She also suggested, at this time, that I offer apple(s) up on da Mountains.

I felt the back of my borrowed head, and there was a knot of hair under these finger tips that seemed the choice. Then it was the rock finding juncture- I need a tool to saw off my gift, right? The stone I found also happens to be part of the necklace that the Red Dragon gave to me, & therefor should expect & look for on this plane, some 8 or 11 months earlier. I kept the stone, & tossed the knot into a trickle-skeined rock face. The knot made its way into the lower pool, and then it was done & I came up here to write about it. That was a hundred and one minutes ago. Or maybe a hundred and three? But who's counting?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Glory Hole

Werebrock has pushed it to another level: hooray! O yeah, finding happiness and meaning in every second of every day, getting initiated in the new old Mystery. Sounds like a lot of hype, as I type it. You might be scoffing at the lack of seemingly-appropriate modesty. Surely it's not as boundlessly wonderful as all that? But Werebrock has taken to wearing a cape on his jogs through the countryside, and hype feels appropriate. Basically, he got turned on at the Gathering with E-Mack, and from there it just kept flowing into a wait and see.



This chapter starts a few months ago. It was Saturday morning, and Werebrock was setting out from the Gardens to find a hellbender. He put on his shoes, for this was to be an epic expedition; you can’t neglect your feet, however lofty or magnanimously low the destination. He took off at a run down the White Oak Creek, which came to meet the South Toe River two miles beyond. “The South Toe is filled with hellbenders.” Werebrock told himself matter of factly. “By comparison to the nightsoiled waters of my beloved Kentucky and Cincinnati rivers, it will be their bit of Paradise. Clear, cold, highly-oxygenated blood, pumping from the heart of the Blacks and Blue Ridge mountains. With the water level so low, what with the dryness of this season, those dinosaur-shaped gummy bears will have nowhere much to hide. If I don’t find one it will be because” That’s as far as his thought train went, for his qi was busy pumping through his legs.

To get to the point of this chapter, the author will brush with broad strokes over that most wonderful, watery day. Werebrock made it to the river without getting abducted by aliens or being hit by a car. He yukked it up with some trout fishermen as he steadied himself at their flowing edge. He got into character (method acting?) by floating down the river for a ways on his back, and after being tipped off by the Granny whose property he crawled out onto, he hitched a ride to the hellbender’s alleged favorite hangout. It was after a lack of success there, in a loch bordering the local Biodynamic farm, that he began to reassess the facts that had played under his earlier enthusiasm. “If my nose were harder and my eyeballs made of steel,” he rhymed tiredly to himself, “I would first have consulted experts, and seen what they’d revealed.” But wandering had been an unstated, secondary goal for the day. No reason to harumph hard.

Werebrock wasn’t left hardly harrumphing for very long, for he ran into the Italian pirate farmer. Everybody loves this guy, you cannot fail to. That day his words were particularly welcome:


“O Yeah, Daddy Bareback is balls-out for hellbenders.” He inclined his head past his cows, and down the road. “He lives just a hop skip and a jump down that way. He has underwater cameras and goggles, and takes his family out to look for the beasts. Sounds like your man.”

Werebrock hopped skipped and jumped in the direction he was pointed. After crossing a small stream, he met the Bareback family in a veggie field, working as one groovy little nuclear unit. They are some cool motheruppers! O, how nice it must be to have your parents and siblings together, merrily cultivating your favorite food plants. Even Bjorn has nothing but kind words for them, and he usually likes to joke about disemboweling the hippies of Celo for their lameness. Turns out Doc Bareback has spent his last ten winters naturalisting on the Bay of Baja, or whatever we’re calling it now that Cortez’s name has been properly disgraced. Werebrock has vacationed in Baja, so besides talking hellbenders, they happily blew hot air about that faraway place, where desert meets the sea.

If Werebrock himself were writing this chapter, without the distance of a third person perspective, he would (he WOULD!) speculate further. The resonations that echoed from the meeting of Doc Bareback and Werebrock would be shown to have sympathetically reverberated into the Otherworlds, to a significant degree. Werebrock has spent some time explaining to his friends that such a fortuitous meeting could only have come to be by the grace of his Hellbender (water) guardian spirit. But if you speak in too much detail of such secrets, they lose their specialness.

Da Bareback’s invited Werebrock on a hellbender exploratory expedition. With eye-bulging jubilation, Werebrock accepted. Months later, after a long drought that brought the water table to record lows, after Werebrock had undergone the emotional healing mentioned in Kyanite Drive, the invitation was ready for fulfillment. What happened next was really what I’ve been wanting to tell y’all about.

Another Bard joins the storyline. On Expedition Day, the old geezer who told a Creation Story to the Permaculture Gathering met Werebrock, partway to the Barebacks, and gave him a ride. It was the pair's first real time together. This elder is approaching authentic maturity in his demeanor and message, and they spoke their observations on the forest scene around them as they sped past the Italian Pirate Farm. They met the Barebacks at their house, and kicked at the manure pile awhile. The call of the mission kept ‘em from dallying long; Werebrock was so excited he started chasing the family’s lone rooster.

To get to the secret spot, the submerged Tibetan convent/monastery where Appalachian hellbenders do yoga all day, the group drove over private roads and parked in a homesteader’s driveway. They unloaded snorkels, masks and bodies, and plummeted down a root-secured path to where the river, even during that period of drought, ran swift and fairly deep. It fell rapidly over huge, wavy sections of bedrock that the party was standing on to gear up. These waters and rocks have been lovers for aeons . You may have inferred that, from mention of the steep descent, but it goes beyond the standard elevation gradient. The rocks looked how agitated blobs of water would, should you observe them struggling through outer space: all smooth curves, sinkholes and shrugs. Werebrock practiced his leaping, and chased skinks. When a snorkel ‘came available, he tore into the water like horny pre-pubescent children into a 6th grade romance. You know, us American kids that drink a lot of hormone-laced factory milk and T.V. and kill each other for Nikes? It was intense.

Hellbenders are picky about where they live. They only settle for the most pristine of stretch marks on Momma Earth’s belly. Buoyant and ebullient is all you can be in such a place. Werebrock went to churning his body, like a den of sleepwalking rattlesnakes. His limbs twirled out, to catch onto ledges, and explore crannies; his spine, temporarily released from its sworn oath against gravity, reacquainted itself with a suppleness it had forgotten having. He searched the gummy floor of the river for sign.

There were broken eggsacks clinging to rocks, and a sinkhole with a peculiarly murky complexion. Maybe the quarry was nearby. There was no indication of it below the pitter pattering stream mouth, which one could photograph and use to defend Steiner’s flowforms as naturally sacred geometry. The completely aquatic amphibians may have been sharing space with a giant trout under its equally giant boulder, but there was not enough room for Werebrock to safely get in there and check. He moseyed far over the river bottom, about 8 feet down. The search yielded a smooth white stone that our hero had been on the look out for, all these past 8 months. No hellbenders, though! The discovery of a deep, watery tunnel was promising. Werebrock raised a masked eyebrow and poked his head in. There were no hellbenders in sight. He came up to exclaim the non-discovery to his friends on the bank, then dived for another look.

The waterway must have had abundant oxygen, but it was not readily available to Werebrock's smooth neck. Scary thought, getting trapped down there with no gills. I'm happy to write that that is what this chapter has been building to. Past the outwordly inaudible voice who proffered to him a plunging. "Got any danger around here?" Werebrock giggled inwardly as he went deeper. His feet dissapeared into the glory hole.

The sight was murky- there was light, mud and current in equal amounts. Werebrock lightly plodded over the river bottom, his feet not touching the ground, his hands groping and pulling him forward. And forward... to a dead end? No, towards the light. There was a sharp turn in the passage, upwards and to the left. Werebrock probed the twist with his body, and began to get stuck at the shoulders. "Bad scene, bad scene!" He thrashed and gnashed (his teeth), until he was free and backed out to resurface.

"Hey y'all. I'm scopin' out that tunnel Little Gwion found. For a minute I got afraid up in there, but it's alright."

"I'm gonna go back down there, and go through it. It seems kinda dangerous. I'll be swimming against the current, so the river can help bring me back if I decide to reverse course." Good luck, dude. The Barebacks and the Bard look a tad worried.


Back down there. It's murkier than Leviticus, yet the little bit of light guided Werebrock, down, back and across a threshold of no easy return. He knifed together his double jointed arm sockets, fingers pointing forward, and surged around the troublesome bend. And then, dang it, if his giant hips didn't get stuck than my name is Ferdinand Flagellum! No time for bemoaning the time-sensitive, impulsive decision; there's barely enough time to see if he can ride this wave to shore. "One, two! One, two! And through and through", out Yemaya's snicker snatch. Or you'll be dead, and your head

will never finish the poem.

His hip joints popped through, and the cause for alarm increased. For the river's current rushed over the rocky lip that Werebrock's body was thrust sideways upon. Heave. RAUGH! "You've been down here too long!" Whoever the fuck is talking to Werebrock at this point would better shut up, for the part of him that can hear is draining away. Pull through, pull through. His mind blinks out, and with a squirt of superhuman bendiness, his legs momentarily seem to lose rigidity at the thighs and Werebrock is patting weakly at the water, his feet slip out of the gulf. His head emerges into the thin atmosphere.


Every day since then has been more magical and crazy, more clearheadedly and fully taken on. Werebrock *knows* that was his real death and rebirth as a shaman, and as a fairly impartial observer I cannot but say that his appraisal is apparently accurate. The Hellbender galumphs about in his inner spring, which bubbles up in him like a hopeful spring on the parched savannah.
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Editor's Note:

Parts of this story were prematurely published under the title "hellbending pt. 2". That article has been pulled, for it was put out there with innapropriate haphazardness. I wistfully smile back upon it so you don't have to.

Monday, August 27, 2007

your choice of stories

grand juries are snatching freedoms like i can shit and pray- they're enjoying it and they do it every day

Tim Boucher is gonna show us how it's done if you don't beat him to it.

sky dragons?

ladies, do some Kegel Exercises, and you can squeeze your boy friends' penises with your pelvis. doing them will also tone and tonify your pelvis, more generally.

why do they always blame the anarchists when there are broken windows and @'s in the recruiter's office? they've got no proof, gawddamnit!

postcivilliesed poetry

Manifesto of the Kindred

Recreate the Garden of Eden,
here on Earth.
Isn't that impractical?

Once you begin to see what is possible,
it becomes impractical to do anything else!

Pray for salvation?
Petition for redress of grievances?

We are already saved,
and to worry about it
is to undo it.

Take it easy,
Leave IT easy.



In This Here Garden

In this here garden
I'm drunk on Sangamon strawberries
and pissing in the compost

In this here garden
I welcome the thriving weeds
and the predatory wasps
(but not the predatory W.A.S.P.s!)
I welcome the Japanese beetles
with their native copper shells
eating weeds
so the crops can ripen

In this here Garden
are enough signs of God
for a second Qur'an
no god except God
open-ended and
thriving