Moment of Clarity : What You’re Doing Right Now Might Not Matter At All

TRC contributor Lee Camp
What are you doing right now?  Does it matter?  Like really matter?  What would it be like if it did?  This video has the answer to all those questions as well as a killer recipe for a key lime pie.

OWS Week 5/23 – G8, Chicago NATO Summit, Tom Morello and more

All eyes turn towards Chicago, beginning May 17th, as 99 percenters rode solidarity bosses from New York City and other cities across the country to meet up with fellow patriots and protest against NATO.

NATO has killed many civilians in Afghanistan, bombed Libya into the Stone Age to plunder its oil.  This is while it ignores repressive regimes in Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt.

NATO forces, backed by the US, invaded Iraq and as a result Iraqi petroleum sources ended up in Western hands.  Cuts are being made to healthcare and students are being crushed by a trillion-dollar debt.

In a protest against NATO warmongering policies, veterans returned their medals. They protested the huge amounts of money being spent on wars at a time of austerity.

Occupying Fear and Loathing – A Foreword

by Gabrielle Price

This morning, a good friend of mine – one helluva Marine – sent me a link to check out.  He always sends me anything to do with Hunter S. Thompson as we are both fans [only one of us takes that a little far…though, I’ve read that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery].  I suppose it is a bit different for a woman to have such an affinity for a man known for womanizing, boozing and doping it up.

But Hunter was so much more than his carnal instincts – much more than most would perceive from a movie based on his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  He was a patriot, a serious lover of freedom and the constitution, and one of the best writers, and I believe commentators of a moment in time because of his higher instincts.  He was poised at the edge of a political world on the verge of losing it’s ever-loving mind.  He was passionate.  And sometimes that passion was mistaken for hatred, or anger – though, he had plenty of reasons to be angry – like the rest of us.  I think that’s why he always resonated with me.  He was able to say, without apology, how he felt about what he saw happening to this country…and he purged his disgust and anger in a way that made me feel relieved afterward.  He said it for me – I didn’t have to – and ladies don’t talk like that, dont’cha know?

I come from a family that has its roots in both Virginia and Kentucky [where HST hailed from]. Hunter’s colorful language and flair for humorous descriptions and people, made his writing feel as if I had just sat on the front porch with him and spun yarns over a few beers.  I’ve been told for years that when I am angry, a bit of a southern drawl creeps in and that my writing style can only be described as Gonzo.  I never really embraced that until after he was gone and I began writing during the “stolen term” of the Bush Administration.  9/11 was a very hard time for a lot of people and Hunter spoke a lot about this.  It was really hard for me to see him go in 2005…but there was no need for me to ‘go Gonzo’ when his work was there for all to read.  I thought, who the fuck was I to pick up that baton?  There are other journos out there telling it like it is – maybe even humorous Kentucky colonels covering politics?

Turned out, not so much…but I often imagined what he might say even though I lacked a few colors from his marvelous verbal palette.

Even in 2005, I was terribly naive about a lot of things that he wrote about [i.e. foreign policy, militarism] and I had some learning to do.  LOTS of research if I was going to have the audacity to put those hat and glasses on.

By 2008, when Bush was finally leaving – politics got more personal and just uglier than hell.  I understood more and more…but I didn’t write often about issues when I worked on my music project.  THEN the BP oil spill happened and I got fired up again.  Then I learned about peak oil and sat my ass right back down to study.  Nowadays, I see the political landscape from a safe distance [for my health and to maintain any friendships…agreeing to disagree doesn’t happen like it used to] and I wonder what Doc would have to say about this whole mess.

Then I figure he kinda already did say everything he wanted to say [or could say] about what he knew and saw and got the fuck out while the getting was good.  Wish he could have been here to see Occupy…

I’ve had days where I thought I was going to be done with writing altogether in these last few weeks…just ready to chuck it all in.  Trying to figure out how the hell to share peak oil information that would make grown men with muscle cars weep in a puddle of piss, and make Ikea shoppers go to addiction groups to deal with never being able to buy Swiss-modern petroleum based plastic everything from cups to shitty wall art.  Like Tyler Durden said, “Martha Stewart is polishing brass on the Titanic…it’s going down, man.”

I thought about this recent media trip, Occupy Fear and Loathing – which ended up nothing at all like what was intended; loss of footage, a camera, several missed interviews, didn’t get home for Christmas, a piece of shit truck with no stereo, a nightmare of a travel partner who couldn’t even pump gas who left me stranded in Phoenix…and who still has my documentary footage.

I wondered what the fuck point is there in writing about the trip or anything at all.  And just when I thought I couldn’t stand to read another link…

We come back to this morning’s message with this link that was shared with me.  A report from the Los Angeles Review of Books, called “Love, Boxing and Hunter S. Thompson.”  In the beginning of the report is a synopsis where one of the authors mentions two books – for my purposes, I will mention only the one – and thank the author and my friend from the bottom of my Gonzo heart.

Tom Lutz – “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas […] colossal failure of mission, spectacular performance of the art of being sidetracked, of being shanghaied by errant attention, or, perhaps, [a] perfect example of the way art is, at its best, a perversion, a turning away from more straightforward intentions.
Ho ho!  Res ipsa loquitur.  Let the good times roll.
Rest in peace, Doc.  I got this.

 

~~~~~~~~~~
“I shared a vagrant optimism that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top.  At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey.  It was the tension between these two poles — a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other — that kept me going.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson / The Rum Diary (1993)
500ed-americosmos
Occupy your fear.
Then let it go.

Social Network Revolution / A Cultural Shift

If you follow anyone on Facebook who posts data/headlines/blurbs that show up in your news feed when you’re probably trying to avoid news, I fit that description.  It is after all, a social network and not a news desk.  But for an information junkie, it’s a hive of activity during a very exciting shift in history that not one person, not even the press can now deny.
You might know someone like me from Facebook or you’ve seen something reposted by a news hound, politico or activist.  Personally, I have been bold enough to post a blog, random nuggets of information on walls or tag people like a ninja.  There is good information out there you won’t get on mainstream media.  I like to think of it as planting seeds.
Facebook has become a valuable research tool for me, personally and a great way to reach people if you have information to share.  But rather than consistently post/repost to 900+ people who may or may not have hidden stories – I am here to write and elaborate further on trending news…before things start to change too quickly on Facebook to keep up with them.  I am also finding people tend to take a headline at face value and may never read an article or post, (a symptom of political posturing and campaigning) so I began to add quotes from the stories above each post.  That worked quite well for awhile – then Facebook, in it’s ultimate wisdom – started to shorten the amount of space to quote. (And tag – it used to be you could add up to 6 tags per post, which was great for sharing news with activists groups during the BP disaster.) Then words began to get cut off, links missed and tags not delivered where they could do some good.
Now I’ve read about ads coming to a post near you.
I’ve utilized Twitter along with Facebook to post stories, music and news in the past for my music project and in many ways it has been the best network marketing education without the degree.  The bonus?  I got a free education in social media outreach.  If I  had paid for a degree, I’d likely be waiting tables to pay for it and never use the knowledge I gained…and well, I’d be missing out on history while everyone who is taking a class is probably checking Facebook anyway.
Major changes are occurring there now – like the option of secure browsing, using ‘pages’ as your Facebook user page, secret groups, the horrendous new photo viewing tool (infuriating for a photographer), not to mention the news that Goldman Sacs has invested some of ‘our’ money in Facebook, which to me, only spells bad news (as if anything about that company is good news).  Facebook has yet to become annoying the way Myspace did.  I visited it recently and it’s great for musicians and artists but with so many bells and whistles that it causes open windows to freeze, lock up and generally be a pain in the ass to bother waiting for one page to load (kind of like getting fed up with commercials on TV, you surf).  This was a bit disappointing for a geek like me who spent the better part of 5 years there, building a network with several artist pages and many friends there never made the exodus to Facebook.
Social networking is still a new cultural phenomenon. As fast as Friendster started sucking, Myspace was all the rage.  Now Facebook has had a movie made about it’s inception and subsequent success and has been credited with revolutionary change for people in the Middle East.  This will only spread as economies are flailing and dictatorships crumble, not to mention our own country’s infrastructure and the endless parade of media/political/empirical follies.  But now there are other options, Current.com becoming quite the buzz with Keith Olbermann’s refreshing move…hopefully their site will upgrade it’s programming to be relevant enough to compete for those without cable or a television, for that matter.  It’s become obsolete for many.
I’ve learned to use social networking as my news feed, research tool, meeting place and town hall…not to mention classroom.  The art of debate is alive and well, investigative journalism is alive and well, and thanks to cultural activists, librarians, professors, teachers, veterans, nurses, doctors, philanthropists, artists, authors, musicians, filmmakers, environmentalists, healers…and of course, whistleblowers…the truth is also alive and well among the people.  For now…
What the government really needs to do is catch up with ‘we the people’ instead of spying on them. They ought to know the piss is in the pool and no security company can clean it up.  If Egypt taught them anything, it should be that technical ingenuity should not be underestimated.  If there’s a kill switch – there are ways around it.  ‘People power’ cannot be silenced and it’s time for government to tune in before they become as obsolete as their 24 hour news cycle.

The Cold War is over.  REBOOT and welcome to 2011.