~Comforting the Agitated and Agitating the Comfortable~

The (Un)Sustainability of Festival Culture
CYCLING The varieties of mobility options most cities provide are geared towards a transportation system that is both classist and exclusionary for large portions of the population. I chronicle here various do’s and don’t of city planning, from a cyclist’s perspective. FIRST WORLD CONFESSIONS Armando Davila and myself, in conjunction with Republic of Light women’s film-making collective have created First World Confessions–a meme platform reframing global capitalism and the fantasy of the American and First World Dream sold to billions of people all around the world. The ungraspable dream of First Worldness has never been a reality, except for a privileged few. Instead, it has functioned as a lure to secure the commitment of workers around the world to keep working on someone else’s project, to engage in life-denying work that destroys self, community and planet. The bottom line is that we can’t sustain social inequality and environmental exploitation. We call on our brothers and sisters in Developing Nations to not follow in our own footsteps, but instead to honor your own path. Our goal is to communicate the suffering of our First World model of relentless competition, that there will always be increasing numbers of “losers” in this zero-sum game. This model creates a two-tier society of the 1% and the 99%. This isn’t fostering community, and destroys our social fabric, requiring increasing state violence to uphold this massive inequality. Know that your culture and nature stewardship are invaluable assets that we First Worlders yearn for. As I have always said, after living many years in Europe and South America,

 “There are no such thing as First World Countries. There are only Third World Countries that hide it better.”

Look in the beautiful topiaries in Maria-Theresien-Platz between the Naturhistorisches and Kunsthistorisches Museums in Vienna, Austria, and you’ll find trash. I have pictures of this from April 2015. The temples of culture reveal the scum of a disposable culture if you just look behind the furniture and under the rug. Civilization has been said by some to be but a thin veneer behind all this terrible human nature stuff lies. But what if it were the other way around? What if community and cooperation and ritual to harmonize with each other and the earth actually are natural (and pragmatically necessary) ways that people get along to get on, as David Graeber has stated. What if instead, Thorstein Veblen’s description of conspicuous consumption and the rat race of the dangling carrot of success which never is reached, only forever chased, in fact is the disease. The grand delusion of progress, as Ronald Wright diagnoses it, is indeed a ponzi scheme designed to create 10,000 people vying for one job. Such enforced and artificially manufactured scarcity (such as world food prices, and the US government subsidizing farmers not to grow food to keep prices up) creates problems which disproportionally affect poor people.

The moment when we believe we have no power and leave the corrupted system to fester rather than roll up our sleeves and fix it, is the moment we have abdicated our responsibility as a powerful citizenry.

Collective Meditation August 21st

Dear friends,

In the interest of life and the cosmos, we invite you to join us at 6:30pm, Sunday August 21st, at the end of Dwight, to hike to a beautiful spot overlooking the bay, and engage in some collective meditation and prayer for life on this planet. This will be a partially guided experience, to help organize our collective intentions and harness our power as a group to share our beautiful visions for this planet.

This is a very special opportunity, and we hope you’ll join us. Some things you may want to bring, but are not necessary, are warm clothes, some water or tea, and perhaps a blanket to sit on. 

We look forward to creating a coherent field with you. 




meet at the bottom of Panorama Hill, 3081 Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA 94704