I'm a little late with this. Didn't think to put it on the blog at the beginning of the week, then let it slip until after Earth Day. Sometimes life gets in the way.
Before we get to the major thrust of this entry, I'd like to share this bit of email I received today:
Dear DAVID BRUCE COLLINS,
Yippee! I'm pending! I'm in electoral purgatory until the filing fee lawsuit against the Secretary of State gets resolved!
XR Earth Week Activities
Extinction Rebellion is urging environmentally conscious folks to spread the word, hassle politicians, and express their grave disappointment with Big Capital. They recommend ten different actions that you can take, and each weekday of this Earth Week gets a different focus.
Planet of the Humans
Executive-produced by Michael Moore; written, directed, partly filmed, and narrated by Jeff Gibbs (who is new to me, I must confess). I can't 100% recommend this flick: Josh (Gasland) Fox took to Twitter after watching it on YouTube, where Moore dropped it on Earth Day, to gripe about how Gibbs cherry-picks the most confirmation-biased bits to prove his point that big renewable energy projects are a scam and not as environmentally friendly as they're painted.
All that said, I believe Gibbs's film makes some worthy points about how (a) biomass plants do not deserve the "green energy" designation and how Big Capital has co-opted environmental advocacy groups. He clearly has no love for Bill McKibben and less than none for Al Gore. But the way he paints McKibben as a villain uses the same tricks that Moore has used for 30 years. The portrayal doesn't pass the sniff test, even though McKibben is by no means perfect: He takes a lot of heat within Deep Ecology circles for his silence on the carbon footprint of animal agriculture.
As a longtime Green and Green New Deal supporter, experience tells me that we cannot magic our way out of our current mess and expect to maintain our current consumption habits. Thinking that we can is naïve at best. We need to start curbing our planetary appetite, the sooner the better, preferably immediately. The sooner we can, the less we'll have to rely on totalitarian measures that force an ever grimmer austerity on us all. Despite Gibbs's sincere environmentalism, he has edited his interview clips in such a way that it nakedly gives ammunition to anti-environmentalists, which to me is the film's most dangerous peccadillo.
It's no longer a secret that Extinction Rebellion now has a presence in Houston. What kind of presence, we won't know for a bit, at least not until 20 September. Even if I knew, I would not say.
I can tell you that some people who showed up at last night's XR HTX organization meeting will appear at the Climate Strike rally outside Houston's City Hall on that Friday afternoon, but I can't tell you who will show up or what (if anything) they will do there.
I'm happy to report that Houston will soon have an active chapter of Extinction Rebellion. The organizing meeting happens at 6:30 next Wednesday evening, 4 September, at the AFL-CIO Hall on Sutherland Street. The hall is off the Gulf Freeway, near the intersection of Telephone Road and Wayside Drive. It's also on the Activist Calendar on this site.
XR HTX is not yet on Facebook, but there is a Twitter account that one can follow.
Herein is the first of two summer vacation slideshows that I thought I might be able to post last week. However, I have been a busy unemployee lately. It isn't that I haven't had enough time, but that I haven't had enough time in one continuous chunk. Part of my busy-ness was making sure that the US Women's National Team won that World Cup thing to justify all that swagger.
This first gallery comprises photos from the Fremont Solstice Parade, held almost three weeks ago on a chilly Saturday in "Junuary." It contains no photos of the procession in which I participated, the nearly one thousand paint-clad cyclists and skaters who rolled down the parade route before the parade itself began. If you're curious, you can search on Flickr for Fremont Solstice Cyclists to find photos of nekkid humans on bikes and skateboards.
You'll find the other gallery here.
I present to you these 60 photos with minimal context or explanation. You can look at the pictures and form your own conclusions on what it all means. The context I will provide is that the Fremont Arts Council in its various incarnations has for 30 years staged these deliciously trippy parades through this artsy district just west of the University of Washington.
The FAC takes pains to remind the public that the Solstice Cyclists are a separate entity, and that the wheeled procession is not part of the parade. The organizers of the Cyclist group maintain friendly relations with the FAC mostly by following the FAC's rules and dictates, which purportedly exist for reasons of logistics and safety. This leads inevitably to some grumbling among the cyclist participants, along the lines of Why must we do A this year? Why can't we do B? We've done B for years, and it's never caused any problems. The two entities usually negotiate a satisfactory compromise.
The rules for entries in the parade are fairly simple, per the website:
☼ No printed words or logos: Please do not wear your team jersey or a t-shirt with words printed on it. We ask that you do not carry signage identifying your crew during the parade. Also, please do not pass out handbills or flyers to the crowds during the parade. Your group will be identified in our publications, website, and will be announced to the crowds as you pass by in parade.
In no particular order, my favorite parade entries in this, the third Solstice Parade I've attended, are:
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.