Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Rolling Stone

Sunday night, we listened and swayed as Bob Dylan sang to at least 60 thousand of "his friends" in our park on the lake in the middle of town. The crowd sang with him as his aged, scratchy voice gave what it had to give.

How does it feel?
To be on your own,
with no direction home,
a complete unknown,
like a rolling stone."

We were up close to the stage and the moment was full.

Tears shot out of my eyes,

like water from a spring, after a foot of rain.

Earlier, I had mentioned that music, especially big music,

from giant corporate stages, is a double edged sword.

It can raise our consciousness, and bring us to higher

more refined, sublime levels of consciousness.

But, it can also distract us from the truth of things.

For as we listened to Dylan, there were others,

perhaps 100,000, who marched in Washington,

against an illegal and immoral War.

Over the weekend, a friend and reader from the left coast sent me a piece that captures how I suspect a lot of us are feeling these days.

"This week I began to feel that I was in a parallel reality; maybe on the prow of a ‘Titanic’ heading straight for an iceberg ‘full speed ahead.’ (edit) When I turned to shout the warning, everyone was drinking Martini’s at the party, which I had decided was less important than staying alive. (perhaps not)

The press release for the Arctic on September 10 was a continuation of very bad news with more ice lost in an already record season. But reading on, the bulletin discussed the appearance in the Arctic Ocean of warm water from both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; particularly along the Siberian Coast.

In a country that seems incapable of connecting the dots I found this terrifying. Siberia has major peat bogs that have enough methane to literally turn the planet into a raging inferno. These bogs have been sealed for over 11,000 years by permafrost, but the heat in the Arctic is melting that seal, and the warm water will only accelerate the process.

If the peat bogs follow the ice cap into a ‘feedback loop’ it is very difficult to imagine how anything living will survive on earth and Hansen’s fear of a run-away climate resulting in a ‘Venus’ end for Earth is a very high probability.

Then there was Hurricane Humberto! Read the text below:

“To put this development in perspective, no tropical cyclone in the historical record has ever reached this intensity at a faster rate near landfall,” said senior hurricane specialist James Franklin at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Meteorologists dismissed the idea that Humberto's rapid growth was the result of global warming.

Are these people mad, controlled, or just incompetent?

Let’s connect the dots: the Gulf Stream has slowed at least 30%; as a direct result less heat is being pulled out of the Gulf; the Gulf has been subjected to exceptionally warm weather, and it is hotter than it ever has been (this is a consequence of climate change); hurricanes strengthen over warm water and weaken over cold water; so why dismiss global warming?

Then, we have General David Petreaus and Ambassador Crocker testifying before congress. I am sure Petreaus is a decent man, in his own way, but please, when asked if his troop cuts matched the necessary draw down due to inadequate replacements and strain on the armed forces, he stated that he hadn’t asked about the availability of personnel.

In the same session he assured the nation, supported by Crocker, that twenty of the finest minds available had put his new plan together. Not one Senator asked the obvious question that the lowliest manager in the nation would have faced, “Are you telling us General that your team put a plan together without checking the status of the resources to accomplish that plan?”

Yes, its true, the lies, and the uncanny nature of things

just go on, and on, and on, and on.

Until they don't.

But mostly, I marvel at our collective ability to manage

the cognitive dissonance

between a real global war, and species threatening climate change

with a rock concert with AMD balloon balls bouncing on our heads.

In fairness, one concert goer didn't.

He took out his knife and punctured the bouncing black balloon

leaving it to an ignomonious deflated death on the littered turf.

How does it feel?

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People'd call, say "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal

How does it feel

How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?


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Blogger SB said...

There was a march on Saturday to coincide with the march in Washington. It wasn't particularly well advertised, I had to google around to find a notice, and it wasn't particularly well attended, a few hundred people.

As I drove from our parkside neighborhood to City Hall where the rally/march began, I passed hundreds of people walking -- a mile, two miles to get to the concert.

There was a website where you could listen to the ACL festival acts. Every time I went there I had to turn it off -- there is better music at the grocery store, or in almost any cafe in Austin, than on stage -- at least in the acts that were on the website. Last year there was a lot of world music, salsa, cultural mixes. Not so much of that this year.

I like Dylan.

We're not going to fix much until we take back the vote.

Or maybe everything will have to fall apart. Everything.


8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrific post.

You always bring things into perspective

I was behind you and to the left.

I too thought about the changing times as I listened.

I was surprised at the amount of litter.

Literally thousands of plastic cups and bottles.

Even the Kerrville folk festival requires you to buy your cup or bring your own.

8:35 AM  

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