The Story of NOLA

As the evening became morning here in the Netherlands, I spoke with my dear Ms Thingk last night. One of my most favorite people in the world, who around this time last year, I met here at the fishtank, where I work. Now dwelling in the people’s republic of brooklyn, Ms. T asked me about A-Ren… said she hadn’t seen any photos of him lately. And that got me thinking…

Years from now.. say 10… my wonderful nephew will sit with me and ask about what happenned in New Orleans, and the entire gulf coast, at the end of Summer 2005. It will be one of those “where were you when” questions, like people do for JFK and 9/11. And I’ll sadly tell him all about it; the reports, the neglect, the suffering… you know the drill.

But what about that world where my nephew will live. That era.. the 2030’s when he’s closer to my age now… will the major media be just as irresponsible as it is today? Will the public still have no stomach for the horryfing state of the world? Will he switch away from the news when he see’s the suffering still going on in Zimbabwe or downtown Detroit?

I say he won’t. But I can’t say the same for the world around him. The way this disfunctional society works is a long and established system. It repeats itself over and over. Tragedy-Recovery-Resolve-Repeat… slight variations on the same theme. In some cases we’ve seen signs of potential. But as a student (in the school of life) of history.. its hard to not be a cynic. I’ll have to find some way to give my nephew hope, for him to help create a better world in his way. Sort of like his lazy uncle does.

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Tsunami Update…

The way mass media chew up and spit out news, you don’t tend to get much in terms of history or updates for different issues and events. So today I’ve been combing the internets for info about the Tsunami recovery. Bet you hadn’t thought about THAT for awhile. 150,000 + died, yet it terms of news value – it couldn’t hold a candle to 9-11. Ponderous.

My search was for updates. How the recovery effort was going, across the region; how crops have been effected, how populations are coping, and if there’s any good news.

So far what Ive been able to find is that some people see a silver lining. That rice crops survived fairly well in places like Indonesia. But on the other hand, still lots of bad news, including that many people are still living in constant fear of another such disaster. Forever traumatized. To further add to the bad news about recovery list, is that in some places, like Yemen; the international community and agencies pretty much failed to notice how bad the effects were.

For all those named Katrina, such as one beautifully crazy friend of mine, you gotta love the headlines today. Including my recent favorite, cause I know she’d be proud:

Katrina may cost insurers $30 billion

Most Importantly today — go and listen to me discussing the world with Madge, a Woman of Luna, on Yeast Radio.

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The Orgins

I figure since the blog felt dead for 24 hours… I would tell about the circumstances in which this communique of mine was born:

The year was around 2000 and I was busy playing horn for OCG, working on my bachelors, and plotting a move to France for a semester or so. I’d been an internaut since the early nineties, so it only made sense that I have some kind of website that Geocities provided, where I would throw up some photos I scanned in the WPU art department computer lab, and then I’d rant about world news for a few paragraphs. When I did this, I was thinking of myself as a sort-of columnist for my own little newspaper. I tried to write in a very “i know everything” manner, because when it came to world affairs, I probably believed I knew everything.

So I’d update my little website every week or so, and put up a new, what I called, Communiqué for my readership of 5 or so. Many of those original 5 still come here daily! (I do love you for your courage and dedication!)

Eventually this wasn’t good enough. It was just after Sept.11th and I had moved to Lisbon; Chavez was overthrown for 24 hours, Israel was shooting up churches in Bethlehem, and fascist patriotism had taken over the United States. I needed a better outlet for my rants, and I felt like newspapers had too many gatekeepers who wouldn’t accept my work. But I hadn’t heard about blogs, so I kept on writing articles for my site, more and more.

And then I moved to Amsterdam right around this date in 2002, and I discovered blogger, and I purchased bicyclemark.org, because I had often been called that name, and I wanted to express my dedication to people and progress by making it a .org instead of a .com .

The rest is history, especially in 2004 when this thing began to really bloom. And I made tons of fellow blog friends as well as reader friends. Many of them are still going today, like brian, tony, and the wonderful bronwyn. So as my blog birthday approaches, I just wanted to share and remember how and when it all started. Thanks for reading, and you can bet- I’ve only just begun.

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No Relief

You might think this is a repeat of my report about the raging fires in Portugal, earlier this month, but it’s not. The situation has actually gotten worse, if that could be possible. Some 400 incidents reported over the weekend, the country is in terrible shape.

For some reason, only now has the country appealed to the European Union under some civil defence clause, that allows them to receive help for combatting the fires that are completely out of control across the nation. Germany is sending helicopters, France is sending water-dropping-planes. Even Spain, who has had some bad fires this summer as well, is sending those famous Canadair firefighting planes.

I found myself fascinated by the pathetic nature of politicians who habitually act as if they know what’s going on in times of crises, as I watched the Prime Minister sit with Portuguese firefighting commanders as they examined maps and talked strategy. As if the man has anything useful to add to the meeting. Its just like when GWBush went down to 9/11 to hang out with firefighters, its not like he had ever fought a fire in his life. Yet that’s part of their job. Career politicians, who go around pretending they know about the environment, world history, science, economics.. you know, all the subjects they probably slept through during their days at university.

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