Saturday, October 23, 2010
Meet the Canary
In all of the hub bub and commotion of my life of late I have fallen behind in my reading; both on-line and off. So it was that I began trying to catch up with some of my favorite writers on contemporary thought this weekend. That is how I found this interesting blog post by David Byrne who consistently maintains an enlightening perspective .
I want to post the link to this post because it reminded me to continue my thoughts from my own post regarding a war based economy, the subsequent fallout and, correspondingly, the unique opportunity we have at this time as a community to rebuild a productive and compassion based economy. The pictures Byrne posts of his bike ride around Detroit are absolutely alarming . They knocked ME out! I had no idea that the economy had essentially done as much damage to Detroit as the breaching of the levies in New Orleans! He also offers a comprehensive history of the city's reaction to the rise and fall of the automotive industry. It is a great read.
I was stunned and I wonder if this is not proverbial canary in the coal mine that I refer to in the title of this post. One of the most outstanding revelations for me in contemplating this is realizing that the combustible engine and its corresponding machinery manufacturing has deteriorated to the point of completely gutting once vibrant communities. Will his kind of decay permeate all communities that do not step up responsibly? Once vibrant cities built entirely outside of an understanding of the word that has become so much a part of our vocabulary these days: sustainability.
Manufacturing sustainable goods and a renewed focus on personal responsibility of consummation of goods (what we buy and how it is packaged) is not a revelation in thought. It has been growing since it was seeded in our minds in the 60s. It has always been a sort of delineating fashion statement, however, prior to the collapse of this current state of the economy. Now, when I see these pictures, I realize it is a matter of survival to bring ourselves up to speed and pony up to taking some responsibility. I also see a unique opportunity to heal through renewed perception and enthusiastic enterprise.
Perhaps it will take more than images like Byrne has posted and the unspoken heartache that is behind them to bring us all up to speed. Perhaps one day we will be required to follow our trash can from it's old deposit at the curb, all the way to it's struggle to not decompose before we understand that an oil based economy and all of it's by-products (including war) are and have created more suffering that we can comprehend or humanly endure. The alternatives are all available and ready for us to start but for our willingness to recognize and utilize them.
The choices are ours and we make them every day. It is more expensive up front, it is uncomfortable and rousts us from our comfort zones... and it is the correct thing to do. The correct thing to do always brings with it the hope of prosperity, happiness and personal satisfaction even in its difficultly. The fight to maintain the status quo will leave us to sit in our own dirt. It will take as long as it takes; devil take the hindmost.
Don't give up hope, please vote for policies that challenge the status quo and give an alternative economy a chance to take root and grow.
Thank you to Dennis Nyback for the photo of the Grand Riviera Parking Garage and the protest picture via Randy Fullerton by, Mike Rankert