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


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.


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.