Monday, June 20, 2005

Smoking Pumpkins

I've been trying to decide whether to join the swarm of journalists now in Bolivia or go to Alaska and chill with my friend Tanya from high school. Probably I will do both.

But Alaska first.

I have been promising Tanya for centuries that I will come and visit her and her land in the wilderness.

Tanya and I used to sneak into the bathroom at Sehome High School in Bellingham Washington and smoke cigarettes. Like just about everyone else. Only we went to the boys' bathroom, blowing smoke blithely into the air while these poor males would come in, go 'huh' and leave, figuring they were in the wrong bathroom. Her with her round shy face and her big Alaskan pumpkin-colored jacket and me in some kind of LA coordinated green miniskirt thing that allowed me to freeze my ass off in the snowpacked Bellingham winter.

We spent most of that year staging strange and random events like this, eating bad food in the cafeteria while we spoke in invented languages no one else understood, sitting under the school desks instead of "at" them, leading demonstrations of six of our friends against high school functions that seemed perfectly acceptable to everyone else. I guess we thought these were revolutionary acts.

Later that year I got kicked out of school for spending all my time organizing events and never going to class and Tanya went to a foster home.

A psychic told her she and I would be friends for life, that we would be old ladies together.

Well honey, I said last night on the phone, we have to admit that we're getting there. Maybe I better move my butt up to Alaska to visit you while I can still move it.

We had a lot to talk about last night. Downing Street memos. Torture. Despair. Why isn’t Bush impeached yet. Why are Americans so numb. How can we take all these layers of numbness off.

You eventually got rid of your big pumpkin jacket, I said, maybe there’s a way.

Yeah right, she laughed, but you never learned that you can’t wear miniskirts in the snow.

My cell phone cut off right about then, because I had exhausted the long distance minutes I had paid for. So I put some more money into my account and then when I called back discovered that I had eighteen dollars more than I had put in.

Money appears from nowhere when you really need it. Like rain, old friends, small and spontaneous revolutionary acts.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I Guess It's Time to Say Something

Here I was just fooling around amusing myself last night with this idea of creating a blog and already someone has posted a comment!

I'm wondering how Janinsanfran even FOUND my blog, with the amount of blogs being created on a daily basis, ricocheting out there into cyberspace.

Truly, we are becoming beehive cells in one giant mind ...

So, Jan, you've forced me to actually START blogging, when here I thought I could get away with just posting a few links and mumbling incoherently to myself as part of my efforts at managing this one little beehive cell.

Tonight I went to a showing of the film about Argentina, Hope in Hard Times, which was playing in the basement of a Methodist Church in San Rafael. This is a film my friends Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young (www.movingimages.org) made when I was living and working as a journalist and teacher during the Argentine uprising and social movements of 2001-2003. Because I introduced them to some of my Argentine activist friends and offered some creative feedback on the film while they were making it, they were kind enough to list me as associate producer. So I spoke a bit after the film about the Argentina I had lived in two years ago, and Andres Conteris, another filmmaker and
director of Nonviolencia Internacional spoke about what's happening in Uruguay with the election of the Frente Amplio and a lot of former revolutionaries,ex Tupamaros, to the government.

It is a good thing, we all agreed, that George W Bush has been so preocupied with Iraq, leaving South America much more to its own devices than the US is usually capable of doing. As Conteris said, if not for Saddam, Chavez would have been out of Venezuela. Forget about attempted coups. He would have been outta there.

Meanwhile in Bolivia the bees are busy uniting their
powerful beehive cells into one giant Aymara mind, cascading down from El Alto and the hills and filling the streets of several different cities,waving the multi-colored Wiphala flag, and calling out Basta!

The bees are tired of the honey being sucked dry by multinationals while the bees themselves don't get any. In this case, it's Bolivian natural gas. In Uruguay, they have declared water a "constitutional right" in their referendum. They have learned from the Argentines who lost most of their natural resources to privatization in the 90's, and from the South Africanswho sometimes have not been able to afford their own drinking water.

The Mapuche in Chile and Argentina, whose water had been poisoned by oil drilling when I visited them in 2003, now have their own newspaper. The written word, as they say in their online newspaper,
is another tool, another weapon.

I guess it's time to say something.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Watch This Spot

Watch this spot for soon to be written words.

In the meantime, check out some words already written in the links on the left.