10 03 2013

I have been writing this blog and doing this radio show now for nearly eight years.  I have devoted about a quarter of my time to it every month, and many things around our homestead have not happened because I have been keeping faith with this blog, my radio program, and the Green Party of Tennessee.

More on the Green Party in a little bit.  My blog has had, according to WordPress, nearly 47,000 visitors in these eight years, but, on the other hand, my spam protector tells me that it has protected me from 36,000 spam posts, meaning, as I understand it, that only about a quarter of my readers are actually on site to read, with the balance–that’s fifteen out of an average of twenty a day–only here to peddle fake Viagra, knockoff watches and handbags, and other detritus of our consumer-driven culture.  I don’t understand where the payoff for these people comes from.  Nobody I know takes them seriously.  It would certainly save a lot of human and electric energy, not to mention bandwidth, if such nonsense could be eliminated.   But I digress, as I so often do.  One thought leads to another, in an endless stream.

Here’s the point.  I have spent about as much time as I can trying to wake people and point out to them that the building is burning, and they/we need to either fight the fire or get out of the building, or both.  It’s time for me to quit talking about taking action, and actually take action myself.  Not to follow my instincts on this would be co-dependent, I think.  I have been there, and done that, and don’t care to dwell there any more.

So, I am looking for someone else in the Nashville area who would like to do this show–I’ve had a few nibbles, but no firm bites yet.  John and Beth can’t do it all themselves, and would like to cut back on their involvement as well.  If nobody wants to take it from our hands, “The Green Hour” will slip into the dustbin of radio history.  I am thinking that I may repurpose the “Deep Green Perspective” blog as an autobiography, since I think my whole life has been lived, in effect, from a “deep green perspective,” and I’d like to tell my story while I still remember most of it.  Anyway, if you’d like to play radio host, get in touch.

I originally thought of taking leave of the radio show and current events blog as, hopefully, a sabbatical, something I might return to in a year or so with renewed energy and a sense of accomplishment from a productive year of grounding myself on the land where I live.  Without a new host who will pass it back to me, that will not be the case, but, judging from my readership and what I can tell about radio listeners (generally no more than two or three people listening to the show via internet), I will not be much missed.   It seems I have not been so much a commentator and columnist as I have been someone who entertained the conceit that he was a Green Paul Harvey, and I am probably better off without that conceit.

I have decided to take a sabbatical from formal Green Party activism, as well as radio and blogging, and there, too, the question has arisen of whether that door will swing open again once it swings shut.  I have been serving as the co-chair of the state Green Party for several years, and before that was a member of the coordinating committee of the state party for–I honestly don’t remember, sometime back in the misty dawn of history when dinosaurs stalked the land and Ralph Nader ran for President.  While not so time-consuming as the radio show, it has taken a certain amount of my attention, and it seemed reasonable to pull my energy out of that for a year, as well.

But, lo and behold, there is a sort of “harmonic divergence” happening in the leadership of the Green Party of Tennessee.  Nearly every one of those of us who have been pushing the party along for the last ten years or so has come up with his or her own reason for no longer being able to be of service.  Family, health, job pressure–different causes, but the same  result–everybody needs a break, and, so far, there has been no rush of new faces to take our places.  At this point it is possible that not only I, but the whole Green Party of Tennessee, will be on hiatus for at least a year.

What this means for tonight’s show is that, since I had shiitake logs that had to be inoculated this week, I gave that priority over this radio show, and, for the first time, I am giving the limelight to a “guest writer.”  With his permission, the other major commentary in this radio show will be from the pen, so to speak, of Derrick Jensen, who writes regularly for Orion Magazine.  If you think you will miss what I have contributed to your life, then I strongly recommend that you subscribe to Orion and start buying and reading Mr. Jensen’s books.  I promise you it will be money well spent, and you won’t much miss my amateur ramblings.

Well, that’s what’s not happening.  Let’s take a music break and then I’ll tell you about a few things that are definitely happening.

Music:  Henry Kaiser, “Brokedown Palace

Okay, three local events coming up that deserve your attention.

The first is an anti-fracking rally at noon this coming Friday, March 15, on Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville.  There will be a press conference at one PM, and the event that has sparked this rally, a hearing on the University of Tennessee’s plan to frack 8500 acres of public land in order to “study” fracking, will be the subject of a hearing at 2PM in Room 12 of the legislature’s office building.  The hearing was going to be held in room 30, which only holds 30 people, but  room 12 is larger, with a 154 person capacity.  Sounds like the state thinks we can turn out a crowd!  I plan to be there, at least for the rally.  This is important to me because fracking is not yet widespread in Tennessee and there is still a chance it can be slowed down or stopped.  I covered the dangers of fracking in December, so I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about why it’s a bad idea now, except to say that it has a high potential for creating an environmental mess that we could not clean up, between its demands on water resources, its impact on rural communities, and the amount of methane and carbon dioxide that this practice, and the continued use of fossil fuels in general, will vomit into the atmosphere, at no cost (but great profit) to those who exploit the planet for it.

The very next day, Saturday, March 16, the Nashville Peace and Justice Center is throwing a “Spring Gathering.”  Technically, March 16th is still winter, and, traditionally, Cumberland Green River Bioregional Council “Spring Gatherings” were held out in the country somewhere, but this one is going to be entirely indoors, at Belmont United Methodist Church, at 21st Avenue and Acklen Avenue in Hillsboro Village.  Here’s a quote from the event’s web page:

The Nashville Peace and Justice Center, dozens of other organizations, and many individual activists invite you to a day-long gathering to share information and create a common vision for shared action on peace, sustainability, social and economic justice, and other issues.

We hope to learn about each other’s issues, discover how they all fit into the bigger picture, plan how to collaborate on larger campaigns, and begin envisioning the new society want to build. Unanimity is not expected, but open-minded communication is considered paramount. We will encourage a positive orientation — not just what we are against, but what we are working towards.

The weather forecast for the day is “cloudy, 65 degrees.”  It sounds like a great day to be outside, and I may well choose to stay home and work on one of the many projects I’ve neglected through the years, such as cutting firewood, working on our new greenhouse, or geting ready to plaster the interior of the structure I’m building, rather than spend the day indoors talking the same tired talk with the usual suspects.  But that’s my take on the event, and, while I’ve been right many times before, I’ve also been wrong many times, so I’m not recommending that you, or anybody else, not show up for this.  My wife, Cindy, will be there to help give a presentation on Transition Nashville, and Howard and Katey, as well as other Green Party members, will be both on the program and tabling for the ol’ GP.  This event is free, and open to the public; Martha Stamps will provide a mid-day meal, for which an $11 donation would be greatly appreciated.

The third event doesn’t happen until the end of the month, and the asking price is $45, but it’s something I am likely to attend. It’s entitled “Do the Work That Reconnects,” and it’s based on the teaching of Joanna Macy, a Buddhist/environmentalist.  Here’s what the organizers say about it:

Rebecca Selove, Lj Ratliff, and Susan Shann are happy to offer a one-day experiential workshop based on Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects (http://workthatreconnects.org/). The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2013, at Harmony Landing in Pegram. The workshop is designed to help people who are concerned about how human beings are relating to each other and the environment.  We will identify sources of deep strength and inspiration for helping to change the world, and support each other in clarifying steps we each can take toward the future we want to see.

Here’s a little more about “The work that connects,” from a website dedicated to the process:

Drawing from deep ecology, systems theory and spiritual traditions, the Work That Reconnects builds motivation, creativity, courage and solidarity for the transition to a sustainable human culture. First emerging in 1978, this pioneering, open-source body of work has its roots in the teachings and experiential methods of Joanna Macy.

So, those are three possibilities for local activists, ranging from the rowdy to the contemplative, that I hope succeed beyond the planners’ wildest dreams, whether I’m there to be part of the success or not.  After this musical break, I’ll bring you the wit and wisdom of Derrick Jensen.

music:  Bob Dylan, “Bob Dylan’s Dream

John Fahey:  “How Green Was My Valley

Suzanne Vega “Story of Isaac

Peter Gabriel, “14 Black Paintings



2 responses

10 03 2013
Caston Countz

Brother Martin…I for one will miss your weekly blogs. Am usually not around my computer to hear you actually speak these words, but they have impacted me over the last couple of years since switching my voting affiliation to the Greens two years ago. Thank you for your faithfulness over the last 8 years. May peace and blessing continue with you on your journey.

11 03 2013

Thank you!

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