Monday, May 31, 2010

The Great Awakening

The Great Awakening

by e b bortz

We need to really think outside the bounds of mainstream U.S. culture and media to find the great awakening...which is most definitely in progress.

By the time you read this, Antanas Mockus, Green Party candidate for President of Colombia will be heading into the runoff round. And no, the specific issues of the Mockus campaign is not really the issue...ideological dogmatists: heads up! What is important to see is that the Green Party program and constituency represents a historic and fundamental surge towards grassroots democracy, against repression, an end to corruption, the beginning steps for economic justice, peace, and ecological wisdom...yes, the beginning of a new Colombia. Antanas Mockus and the Green Party have put together a coalition capable of electing the planet's first Green Party head of state. What is most significant about this is not the "how and when", but in the fact that millions of voters believe in the possibility.

After years of Green Party representation in every major European parliament, a breakthrough was finally realized in the United Kingdom. A rising environmental consciousness and a well organized grassroots new politics propelled the charismatic Caroline Lucas to victory as the first Green MP in the UK Parliament. Something is indeed afoot.

A collapsing economy in Greece, and previously in Iceland, might in fact be a harbinger of the future. How and to what extent the Greens and their allies prepare programmatically for these kinds of crises (more national collapses are possible), could very well determine how successful they'll be in future elections. Millions of people losing their jobs or having their wages and benefits slashed, will have little patience for political leaders "going slow" or treading about with 'solutions' that don't address their immediate and long-term pain and sacrifices. A creative and sustainable green economics, uncoupled from the dictates and volatility of global financial markets, is no longer a futuristic pipedream...the future may be upon us sooner than we think.

At this time, the British Petroleum oil gusher is still spreading it's poison in the Gulf of Mexico. Added to this has been a U.S. government sanctioned reckless deployment of chemical dispersing toxins against the encroaching oil mass. This ecological catastrophe is the direct result of decades of corporate political rule in Washington and in state capitals across the country. By buying their favorite Democrat and/or Republican legislators and the deregulation terms of their endearment, corporations via their de facto representatives have bought the elections by dominating the media, the agenda, and in many cases directly limiting the voter's choices. Today, we are all paying the price for corporate politics. Recent mainstream polls have indicated that only 30% of the U.S. electorate are in support of political incumbents...the voters are obviously fed-up and may be open to new ideas...let this be the beginning of our own awakening.

The wars of empire grind on...the loss in human lives and maimed lives is morally indefensible. Yet, it might be a faltering (bankrupt) economy and an outraged public that actually brings millions back into the streets. Continuing the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq will never bring us closer to a secure or sustainable future...only more pain and financial ruin. We leave behind a battlefield of unexploded cluster bombs and other munitions along with depleted uranium contamination. This will guarantee more generations of resentment both at home and throughout the world. A Green foreign policy based on nonviolent constructive engagement with the rest of the world is a positive new way forward. It's time to put away all of our weapons of mass destruction and extend the hand of true friendship to all who will take it.

The tide of rising expectations might just be the catalyst for real change in the United States, even within the seemingly all-powerful corporate political state. It wouldn't be the first time outdated political parties were shattered under the weight of their own irrelevance and replaced with new political forces: younger, bolder, visionary yet practical. Our watchword should be: stay active...the manifestations of "a change is gonna come" have yet to be written, much less realized.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

no explanation needed

a poet's tools can't be sharpened
unless the skin is in decay

even a gasp
can mark a turning point

direction zero
is the best roadmap

when you lift
bend your knees

wear your pen
like a revolver

listen for the agony
& leave clarity for mathematicians

travel light
on multiple planes

don't worry if you're wrong
you'll have the last word

--- e b bortz

Thursday, May 06, 2010

earth note 139

a couple of alberta spruce
giving a hand on the hillside
are joined today
by two hetzi column junipers
dark green & dense
looking toward eighteen feet
standing against the slide
civil disobedience of a sort

when the cones fall
they'll be painted
in the tradition
of a famous painter
arranged around a circle
a circle we have yet to understand
celebrate nonetheless
& carry on

--- e b bortz

(published in Three Rivers Bioneers, Oct 2010)