Big yellow taxi siren song

by Yule Heibel on July 14, 2003

Some recent developments in the arrest of Betty Krawczyk, Jen Bradley, and the Women in the Woods action in the Upper Walbran Forest on Vancouver Island: Stephen Bradley reports on Betty & Jen’s July 8 victory: Justice Pitfield “reworded the injunction and also the undertaking in such a way as to instruct [the authorities] to arrest under the criminal code if there are further civil disobedience actions. This is a major breakthrough. Persons engaging in civil disobedience will still be arrested, but under the criminal code and all the rules and protections it contains. (…) The whole injunction and contempt of court procedure [under which Betty & Jen were arrested the first time] was invented by the Norman Vikings in the 12th century in their corporate take-over of the British Isles. It has no place in the ‘justice’ system of a ‘democratic’ society.” Bradley adds a plea, interesting on several counts: “Let’s not demonize any of the players here. [He refers to the people in government, in forestry, in the corporations.] They may well be serving a corrupt system, but they are also human beings like us who want to go home at night and sleep with a reasonably good conscience. They are just very good at lying to themselves, as are we all. That is why Truth Speaking is such a disturbing Act of Magic. The old Class War scenario is still being acted out by the rulers, but the divergence of interests that fuelled it is no longer a reality. Our interests are all the same now. We will all suffer or thrive together. There is no safe place for the exploiters to build their castle.” I’m interested in this, first, in terms of blogging and trying to tell the truth, based on what we see and experience, vs. what we’re told to see and experience; and second, in terms of people who read & write on the internet, who are connecting, building virtual platforms, sharing interests and concerns. And, one hopes, acting on and working for change in the real world. Ingmar Lee posted pictures of the 4th largest Douglas Fir in British Columbia, which grows in the Walbran Forest: it’s called — what else? — Big Betty. Local magazine Focus on Women includes a feature article on Betty Krawczyk this month. On a related note: my friend Betsy writes in an email from Florence, Italy that her region is experiencing a huge drought, with talk now of having to choose between giving water to industry or to agriculture. There will probably be planned power cuts, and severe water rationing. In the north, about 70% of crops have already been lost. On that note, see also Amity Wilczek‘s July 14 post. Sigh. The feel-good pie-in-the-sky new-agey “cosmic” stuff makes me nervous, and Stephen Bradley’s hope for Truth Speaking as a disturbing Act of Magic ruffles my misanthropic pessimistic feathers a little bit. Even Jim Moore and Chris Lydon with his stuff (& nonsense) about Emerson as a god for bloggers sometimes make me twitch. But my simple misanthropy isn’t very useful anymore, because, damn, I’ve got kids, AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS: cut the crap, stop messing around, help around the house, figure things out! It means “don’t panic” even as you’re getting fed up to the teeth. We’re rowing past Scylla and Charybdis daily, and there is no guarantee that our Odysseus is going to make it home safe. None whatsoever. It’s time we asked the lot of them — Scylla, Charybdis, the Sirens, and all the other monsters — who the hell they’re working for, because it’s time they retired. Our poor Earth is getting founders’ syndrome.


Betsy Burke July 16, 2003 at 5:08 am

In regard to this smouldering planet, in my neighbourhood there used to be quite a few fireflies in the grasses along the river. This year I saw ONE!!! It’s dire.

Yule Heibel July 16, 2003 at 7:51 pm

The Toronto Star‘s Michelle Landsberg had a column last weekend about going to NYC with her two daughters & grandson during yet another heat wave. She writes that when she was younger, “a siege of weather like this would have been unusual enough to be newsworthy. There would have been headlines about frying eggs on sidewalks. Now, as half the continent steamed in rain forest heat and humidity, no one commented. There seemed nothing worth saying about it.” I think that’s it: that the very worst thing about our species — and it’s complete proof of evolution, if you ask me; those idiot creationists should ponder this — is the fact that we can get used to bloody just about anything. Ask de Sade, ask Nietzsche, ask Adorno & Horkheimer: it’s how we survive, and how we manage to destroy so much. It’s “unnatural,” but of course it isn’t at all (which is what de Sade et alia understood). It’s actually the cruel reality of nature: adapt or die. And maybe we’ve reached the point now where we need to prove our otherness from nature, our humanity, by saying “stop,” by refusing to put up with adapting to anything and everything. At least the ancients had an idea of just how inhospitable and cruel nature really is; we think it’s pretty and picturesque and infinitely malleable & exploitable. It ain’t. And it don’t care if we live or die. That’s our choice to make, but our leaders have their collective heads up their collective bums. The religious and the new agey meanwhile think that some cosmic force will save us, or worse: that our destruction is part of some master plan. They’re the worst. Destruction is destruction is destruction. Redemption only happens if you’re alive. Everything else is a cat in a bag. Meanwhile, the mice are eating all the cheese.

Sofia August 25, 2005 at 4:17 am

Thank you for the info.

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