Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Prepping the soil and planting seeds: a to do list for 2012

I've been compiling a list of things to do. Most I won't accomplish. Hopefully I can track my progress here. But only if I can get past number one.

1. Write more and write better. I read a lot, but writing is so much more socially productive. Since I've basically decided to procrastinate my thesis until next winter, I endeavor to tackle some of the more interesting projects in my mind and on various scraps of paper scattered around my house. As for writing better, I need to tone down the habituated academic prose. I am aware that what I write sounds pretentious. And I can only blame myself for subduing the rational and empirical to the emotional and creative. Indeed, emotions are very human, and very powerful when channeled properly. 

2. Get religious. Or perhaps, spiritual. Robert Jensen's All My Bones Shake has transformed my disdain for religion into a flame of hope. I always prodded my mother to connect stewardship of the environment to Christian doctrine. Disappointed in her failure to engage in anything remotely progressive, I must do it myself. I get a little added benefit of spiritual and intellectual growth in the process. Given the current state of global affairs, this can only be a good thing.

3. Engage the church: Related to number two, I need to compile a comprehensible message--as I advocate elsewhere--to reach the broadest audience possible. My crippling skepticism that the  ignorant huddled in their subdivisions will ever turn an ear to the Great Struggle must begin in the common thread that even the secular can't avoid. Whether we like it or not, whether we agree or not, Christianity is at the center of of our popular imagination. Perhaps only second (or third) to the illusion of the individual and narratives of progress. The Church, in the letters that comprise most of the new testament, is everyone. So if you can't reach the people through religious framing than the corporate media has already won.

4. Plant the seed: Both figuratively and literally. I suppose the madman isn't mad, but actually sane in a sea of insanity. All of the above is just soil conditioning to prepare for this goal. To get the hands dirty, gardening and tending to plants is the surest way to build a sustainable society of equally invested members, a community. Of course, I'll plant my own, but I plan to solicit faith and community based organizations and test the waters. If one or two bite, the seeds are planted. Also, some folks from Occupy Dover are down to reclaim a downtown plot as our own. The length to which we carry this highly symbolic act of disobedience is yet to be discussed. Still, consider this. If progress is our narrative, then guerrilla gardening isn't even disobedient, but the continuation of a long tradition of expropriating land from those who choose squalor for otherwise productive land. Further, the slow--or not so slow--decline of the fossil fuel era will only hasten the need for local food production. Lastly, downtown Dover is a food desert, and for the fiscal conservative kicking the inside of my chest, good food reduces health costs, improves educational potential and alleviates budget pressures from fixed income and poor residents. As an added bonus, community gardens provide little islands of public space in a wasteland of privatization, supports decentralization and self-sufficiency, and essentially tells the government to fuck off. The last of which is critical if we are ever to transition to a peaceful, people-powered, egalitarian--and I would never refrain from saying--anarchist society. 

It's winter. But I have a lot of work to do. And sitting here for a half hour shows I care to invest a little energy in the project.

Peace through love,

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