To celebrate, this post will be a rundown of the hippy causes, celebrations and events that I'm looking forward to this year.
I'm excited to report that Sharon is reviving the Riot for Austerity. Older readers will perhaps remember my posts with monthly updates on our family's austerity measures. (A search of the tag "Riot 4 Austerity" will bring them up if you're curious.) Here's Sharon on the start of the movement and a bit of the why behind it.
It's not yet up and running, there's talk of moving the group from the original Yahoo-group to something like a Facebook group. And of course, I'm still talking with my darling husband about how far we'd like to participate and what our personal goals will be. Watch for more updates, I'm excited!
Almost exactly four years ago, my friend Miranda Edel and I were discussing the recent IPCC report on Climate Change and George Monbiot's book _Heat_ and the reactions that we got when we talked about about the sheer depth of the reductions in climate emissions that would be needed to stabilize the climate. Whenever we began to discuss emissions reductions on the order of 80 or 90% the universal reaction we got was that it was impossible - impossible to imagine living in the developed world on so much less. So impossible there was no point in even discussing or imagining it.
Miranda and I disagreed. We felt that this critical inability to conceive of what was necessary was something that we had to - and have to - overcome. Both of us were aware of material limits on a renewable energy build out, and the time frame for such a transition, and we knew that the evidence at the time increasingly suggested that we had to make our changes sooner than we could possibly imagine such an energy transition. Moreover, both of us looked at this through the lens of energy and resource depletion as well as climate change, recognizing that there were forces driving us towards a life with less whether we like it or not.
Someone, we agreed, had to take the very first steps to conquering the underlying doubt that we can change. Someone had to do the basic work of establishing a vision of a life in the Global North that doesn't include conspicuous consumption of energy. More importantly even, as long as we felt that our response to climate change and energy depletion had to wait on policy measures - to wait for the high speed rail lines and superinsulated new homes, to wait for carbon credits or whatever, we would not act. We needed to find a way to show that you can act right now - and make not a little tiny difference by carrying your cloth bag, but a big and measurable one - a change that nobody else thought was possible.
We stole from George Monbiot the wonderful line "Nobody ever rioted for austerity!" He was right - no population in human history has marched and demonstrated to have less. We figured we'd be the first.Miranda and I set out to document our project and spend a year reducing our energy consumption by 90% over the average American's. What we didn't expect was that first dozens, then hundreds, and by the end, several thousand people joined us. We had expected to struggle. We hadn't expected to find community, and most of all, to have fun.
World Naked Gardening Day is once again happening. This is year 6! May 14th, 2011.
Why garden naked? First of all, it's fun! Second only to swimming, gardening is at the top of the list of family-friendly activities people are most ready to consider doing nude. Moreover, our culture needs to move toward a healthy sense of both body acceptance and our relation to the natural environment. Gardening naked is not only a simple joy, it reminds us--even if only for those few sunkissed minutes--that we can be honest with who we are as humans and as part of this planet.
I'll be participating, but sadly not in my own garden. My garden is in the front lawn, on a semi-busy corner quite close to a catholic church and school. :-D :-D So, I'm sure I'd get a visit from the sheriff if i tried. Very unfortunate, but there's reality for you. So, I'll be participating, while at one of my other favorite celebrations, Interfuse!
Interfuse will be happening from May 12-14th, with Dave and I volunteering to help with the setup before hand, making it a really loong weekend of burner fun. 800+ burners, hippies and circus folk. With principles such as Leave No Trace, Radical Inclusion, Radical Self-Reliance, Radical Self Expression, Decommodification and Gifting it is a welcome retreat for this hippy. Leave no trace means when we're gone we don't leave behind trash, cigarette butts, damage to the environment, etc. Radical inclusion and self reliance means everyone is welcome, no matter how weird, but all are responsible for their own happiness and well being. There is no party planner, the fun is what we make on our own. Which ties into the radical self expression; art, costumes, shows are all encouraged and are given free reign. Nudity, burnable art, dancing, music, food, you name it, you'll see it at Interfuse. Decommodification means no money exchanges hands during the event, instead gifting is practiced, true gifts that have no requirements for equal exchange, or reciprocation.
In many ways Interfuse, (and other burner events) are like the Riot in that they strive to be an example, to prove that there are alternatives to the consumerist patterns that we live every day in the global north. To prove that there are other ways to organize and live peacefully.
Ticket sales are closed for Interfuse this year, but all are welcome to join the group and next year will be here soon. There are also other regional burns, if you don't happen to live in the Midwest.
World wide marijuana marches take place this month too.
The Global Marijuana March is an annual rally held at different locations across the planet. It refers to cannabis legalization related events that occur on the first Saturday in May, or thereabouts, and may include marches, meetings, rallies, raves, concerts, festivals and information tables.A lot of them happened last Saturday, the 7th, but there are a few happening this weekend yet. As well as follow up events. Check it out!
This year will be another big push for the Friends of Iowa Midwives, we'll be trying once again to get legislation through the state legislature to certify midwives in our state. It's still too early to list events, but I'm looking forward to spending some time on it this year.
I'm excited to see how NW Iowa local foods expand this year. There seems to be a lot of energy bubbling around and I'm really hoping it coalesces into something meaningful. There's a school in the county north of us that's exploring local foods for kids lunches. And I'm still working (slowly) on getting a community garden in my own town. Expect to see updates on some of that.
Well, 200 posts seems like a small milestone, but I'm excited to share it with y'all.
Big shout out to my family, both near and far. And to my friends, I wouldn't be who I am without you guys. I love you all.
To my readers and followers, I don't know what to say. I hope you get as much pleasure and information from this blog as I do. I can't believe other people are willing to read my babbling, but I'm not going to stop, so hopefully it keeps on being interesting.