j u l i a n n e

personal/political - professional - table of contents

1 December 2000

Tonight I am turning several news items over in my head, trying to see beyond the surface froth of newsbulletins to the swelling waves of larger trends that Jacques Ellul always told us to look for. Join me?

  • After 1,000 years of quiet strength and two years of heroism the redwood tree "Luna" has been vandalized. It's in danger of falling, at last, in this winter's storms.

  • "Mad cow disease" is now in Europe. I stopped eating beef long before my pal/critic Joe Mayhew died of C-J, but did I stop in time? Can any of us? Those prions are darned near indestructible.

  • I just read news of a U.N. IPCC report suggesting that a rise in the Earth's sea levels of 7 to 13 metres is the most likely future scenario. Once our destabilized world climactic system tips over, the melting of the ice sheets will be "irreversible." Much of the world's most fertile farmland will be under water (as will many of the places on Earth that I love the most).

  • The most recent environmental summit just collapsed. What part of "under water" doesn't the U.S. public (which should never have let our politicians and negotiators off the hook) understand?
For years I have drenched myself in science fictional ideas and language. This moment feels science fictional to me. My favorite authors can telescope time, pinpointing the turning points when it all slipped out of the characters' control, after which it was too late for the protagonists to save themselves. But today we are the protagonists and I'm afraid our turning point has come. And it's not possible to close the too-scary book and put the kettle on...

I dream we can become an army of protagonists (Gonzalo Frasca's phrase). That each of us can find some action to take, and take it. Look at the nightlights of Earth and visualize the person beneath each one of those lights doing something to help our species evolve beyond its programming, which we must do in order to survive. Think neuroplasticity...

December 1st is also World AIDS Day, which would not be complete without greeting the spirits of Barry Sullivan, David Wells, Evan McCall (and his dad), and my favorite guru of bravura and overkill. Healing energy to everyone who is living with HIV, and everyone who is helping to fight it, especially in Africa.

Rant moved to this location 4 July 2001.
Original content copyright 2000 by Julianne Chatelain.
Design by Hippogryph Enterprises.