Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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20210902jamesgustavspeth

This was known in the Carter administration. There were a flurry of reports done by the Council of Environmental Quality, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. That pattern has persisted in every administration. Every administration has been presented with compelling evidence from its own agencies, its own agencies' contractors, other outside sources - every administration has been presented with compelling warnings about what is coming, what is causing it, and what to do about it. And largely ignored.

James Gustav Speth on five decades of US government knowledge of climate change and promotion of the fossil fuel industry, a legal challenge to power from children growing up in the shadow of catastrophe, and his book They Knew: The US Federal Government's Fifty-Year Role in Causing the Climate Crisis from MIT Press.

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I can’t save numbers of people in Jerusalem or Gaza, or even Tel Aviv, for that matter, with the skills I’ve, maybe foolishly, chosen to cultivate. I’m a writer. Sometimes even an artist. All I can do is process things, such as the current iteration of brutality by the Israeli Occupation against its unwilling Palestinian wards, its painted birds, and I’ve been doing so with the help, these days, of the words and overall attitude of Palestinian American poet and novelist, Naomi Shihab Nye. That processing will take some time. It’s going to be a collective effort. I hadn’t considered the collaborative nature of a poet. My thought has always been that some writing is solitary. But nothing human is ever truly solitary.

Longtime Chicago theater and music creator Beau O’Reilly was close friends with the recently- departed Michael Martin, who I talked about two weeks ago. Today, I’m talking about Beau. And by way of talking about Beau, I’m talking about collective endeavors.

Beau has a new record out. What can you say about a record by a man who is twelve centuries old in thunderstorm years but has a new girl baby, and includes a song, not about that girl baby, though her vocals are featured on it, but about the boy baby that was posited earlier on and received so many gifts in the mail he opened an imaginary emporium?

Maybe I just said it.

But probably not. The new record, Thrifty, by Beau O’Reilly, available from Uvulittle, is an expression of intentional community. It’s one of the things lately which, like hearing about the courtyard at Cary’s Lounge, or anything at all going on at Cary’s, makes me want to come back to Chicago. Beau wrote all the lyrics, except a few, and sent them out for different musician friends to write the music and turn them lyrics into songs. Then those and other friends came together/apart, in that covid way we’ve all resorted to and begun to polish, to record them. All during the 2020 plague year, that’s what happened.

Soil, earth, plant, and tree metaphors will be relied on heavily in this discussion. A few words about Beau’s words: his diction and expression arise organically from strata of influences layered over a bedrock of the imperative to create. There has never been any question to Beau – or at least I’ve never... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I’m a baby. I’m very immature. I lie around like a baby in a basinet. What is a basinet? It’s a small basin, I guess. If I had a large basin, I’d fill it with hot water and lie around in that. Maybe even mix in some lavender bubbling bath salts. I’m a housewife! A baby housewife! Calgon, take me away.

A baby housewife. Gross. That’s like being a Minotaur or Caliban or Alia Atreides. An abomination!

A baby housewife. A baby desperate housewife? Nope, that would take too much energy. A baby tranquil housewife. In the 1970s. With one of Satie’s Trois Gymnopedies on the stereo in the early afternoon, All My Children on the TV with the sound off. A glass of white zinfandel in my tranquil hand, even though that’s really an 80s wine. An 80s suburban housewife wine, to be more specific. So much so identified that it was also known as Cougar Juice.

What am I doing in a lavender-smelling bath at 1 in the afternoon in the 1970s, drinking anachronistic pink Cougar Juice out of stemware crystal? Whose ranch-style house is this, with all the shag carpeting and the sliding glass doorwall looking out on the backyard lawn? How am I middleclass? Must be some kind of Strange Magic. Or maybe I’m a murderer. Got the homeowners’ bodies wrapped in black garbage bags wound up tight with duct tape. In the kids’ room. Maybe I was desperate.

Now I’m tranquil.
Except for this Tweet I’m reading:

‘"Do you speak Chinese?" (un)intentionally erases the various forms of Chinese that Chinese people speak. It'd be cool if, "Do you speak Cantonese or Mandarin?" or "Do you speak any form of Chinese" were said instead.

‘Mandarin isn't *The* Chinese language, It's one of them. Thx ’

“(un)intentionally?” Do you really think that anyone who knows Mandarin and Cantonese are spoken among different populations in (and outside of) China would conceal that fact just for the purpose of micro-aggressing against you? That in fact they would refrain from pretentiously mentioning that fact in know-it-all fashion? How little you understand people. My suggestion is that you stay as far away from them as possible.

Why don’t we just refuse to talk to anyone who is in any way different from us until we can read their minds and avoid making any error that might offend them to the extent that... read more