May 20, 2010: Coded

[The opposite of fear is love: this month’s theme.]

Noticed a new feature in this morning’s Boston Globe: “Coping with less.” A pretty lame article re the closing of rest stops in Massachusetts, this new feature nevertheless sorta/kinda acknowledges what’s really going on: Yes, things are bad. No, it’s not going to get better.

Over the past couple of  years, every Wednesday night, I have had the great privilege of hanging out with people of color whose interpretation of what’s said by the media is ALWAYS startling. What’s said, what’s left out, who’s telling the story, who’s got a stake in the story, who, because of their rarified, white viewpoint, doesn’t have a clue what’s really going on; I get to listen to such conversations.

So, guided by these conversations and knowing what I know about climate change, about a global economy based on cheap oil—and its inevitable collapse—and the HUGE impact these will have, I read my morning paper searching for the Truth.

Surprise! it’s NOT there in black and white. It’s in code. Like this new feature: “Coping with less.”

Coping. As if. As if we all just, you know, shrug our shoulders, take a Valium, whine to our friends, grit our teeth but cope. Deal. Man up.

Is The Globe shouting: “Listen up, everybody. We all have to use less. It’s our dying planet’s only hope.” ? Naw.

Another theme I hear from people of color: ” ‘They’ don’t. . .  ” ” ‘They’ always. . .” [fill in the blank], “they” meaning the white-dominated power structure. And sometimes I agree. Sometimes I hear paranoia/conspiracy theory  and disenfranchised people giving “us” way too much credit.

But on this coded, not telling it like it is thing? I definitely see a conspiracy of silence. Take the two devastating rain storms we had in Massachusetts in March. Was there a front page article in The Globe saying: Yikes! Climate change is happening, it’s here, let’s get ready! Naw.

So where’s the love in all this mess? In us. Who, in countless ways, are showing that we’re sensing some fundamental truths. Yeah, even those crazy Tea Party people. All that anger? If someone, ANYONE in power would just admit the truth, acknowledge that a major sea change is happening, the climate (get it) in this country would radically change.

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  1. But almost no one mentions doing with less, or that our gluttonous consumerism complicates the world, or that having over-peopled the planet has indeed increased needs. Everything can be accomplished with less…including less people working, which means more folks are left without jobs, unless they can entice someone with a product, forcing us back into consumerism. It seems as though to stay alive, to let our neighbor work, we’re going to sacrifice the planet. Even if we drive less. Even if we turn the thermostat down.
    Perhaps Captain Planet has the answer. I don’t. And I’ve earnestly set my mind to this for 25 years. How can we have created something which won’t break down, when all around our earth, we were only surrounded by things which already had a part in the earth’s harmony?
    We took this hole thing about multiplying and having dominion tooooo far.

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