2.26.2003

The Last American Man

A great book by Elizabeth Gilbert about a Thoreau-like, Davy-fucking Crockett man, Eustace Conway, whose dogma eats his karma...

A Conway quote from the book (from a presentation to high schoolers):

I live ... in nature, where everything is connected, circular. The seasons are circular.
The planet is circular, and so is its passage around the sun. The course of water over the
earth is circular, coming down from the sky and circulating through the world to spread life
and then evaporating up again. I live in a circular teepee and I build my fire in a circle,
and when my loved ones visit me, we sit in a circle and talk. The life cycles of plants and
animals are circular. I live outside where I can see this. The ancient people understood
that our world is a circle, but we modern people have lost sight of that. I don't live
inside buildings, because buildings are dead places where nothing grows, where water doesn't
flow, and where life stops. I don't want to live in a dead place. People say that I don't
live in the real world, but it's modern Americans who live in a fake world, because they have
stepped outside the natural circle of life...

...Do people live in circles today? No. They live in boxes. They wake up every morning in
the box of their bedroom because a box next to them started making beeping noises to tell them
it was time to get up. They eat their breakfast out of a box and then they throw that box
away into another box. Then they leave the box where they live and get inot a box with wheels
and drive to work, which is just another big box broken up into lots of little cubicle boxes
where a bunch of people spend their days sitting and staring at the computer boxes in front
of them. When the day is over, everyone gets into the box with wheels again and goes home to
their house boxes and spends the evening staring at their television boxes for entertainment.
They get their music from a box, they get their food from a box, and they keep their clothing
in a box, they live their lives in a box! Does that sound like anyone you know?..

[By now the kids are laughing and applauding.]

...Break out of the box! ...You don't have to live like this because people tell you it's the
only way. You're not handcuffed to your culture! This is
not the way humanity lived
for thousands and thousands of years and it is
not the only way you can live today!

More information on Conway from the Turtle Island web site.

2.25.2003

Robota Trailer

"Robota", kind of a "Night of the Living Dead" movie,
but with never-dead machines in place of the zombie folk...

Pesky bots.

Lost Labor

LOST LABOR: Images of Vanished American Workers 1900-1980 is a selection of 155 photographs
excerpted from a collection of more than 1100 company histories, pamphlets, and technical
brochures documenting America's business and corporate industrial history This collection
has been assembled over the last 20 years and many of the titles are rare and difficult to
find. Since the images document factories, machinery, and jobs that no longer exist, LOST
LABOR provides an unusual visual and historical record of work in 20th century America.
The term "lost labor" can derive from the effects of mechanization, computer automation,
technological advances, or through the consequences of corporate takeovers, downsizing and
globalization. In many cases, these meanings can and do overlap.

Found via the always amazing Wood_s_lot.

2.04.2003

Rage Against the De-Machinist

What is suprising about reviews of Nicol Fox's new book is the contempt it provokes in reviewers....