The image shown here is part of a drawing I did a long time ago. It pictures a world teeming with humans and on fire with war and other earth-shattering events. I find it utterly mystifying that religious people wish for this to actually happen, convinced they will be spared the flames and the suffering. And with that cheery thought --
Here's my list of memorable events from the year of 2006.
Ray Davies' long awaited solo recording is released. Other People's Lives is a masterpiece! No kidding -- I'm not biased, just thrilled to have this new collection of songs to play over and over!
Storm Large dominated Rockstar: Supernova until they could no longer deal with her super talent and vote her off after her brilliant and tear-provoking rendition of Wish You Were Here. She's going into the studio in Jan/Feb to begin work on a new album. Whooo! After watching her on Rockstar, I loaded up on Storm Inc: The Calm Years, Storm and the Balls - Vasectomy and Hanging With the Balls.
Donovan in concert, Mansfield Ohio! Mesmerizing!
Bruce Springsteen's Pete Seeger tribute is fantastic and addictive listening. It's great for singing a long on long road trips.
Neil Young's brilliant Living With War Album was one of two major political-cultural events in 2006.
Stephan Colbert's show and his performance at the White House Correspendants' Dinner. The man is an amazing peformer. To keep that character going show after show with never a break and always spot on in the moment, ready to hit an improvised response right out of the ball park -- that is performance art, in its greatest manifestation yet! The White House dinner performance before the Emperor and his wife with all their Poobahs in attendence and Media Toads swarming and ultimately squirming. That performance marked a huge turnabout that ultimately lead to the 2006 fall election results. Great stuff available still for viewing here.
"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins (I'm just starting this one and it grabs the reader right away!)
"Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris (responding to religionists who objected to his book, The End of Faith.)
"Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" by Daniel Dennett
And the wonderful video documentary "The God Who Wasn't There."
"The Weather Makers" by Tim Flannery puts weather and climate into perspective with the latest scientific findings on planet earth's history of climate change.
"An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore. Whoever gets elected president will want to appoint Al to be Secretary of the Environment.
"The Omnivore's Delight" by Michael Pollan, reviewed here.
On the personal level, this anarchist decided to get political, in a revolutionary act of self-defense! Well, that's how I justify it. I'm still an anarchist at heart and would love nothing better than to be living and participating in an anarcho-syndicalist sustainable-pastoral cooperative. But instead, I'm living in Kenmore, Ohio on a teacher's salary trying to get by and do the right thing.
Having had my gut-wrenched and heart broken in the past over supporting the leftest of the left candidates such as Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern, I was utterly shocked that Sherrod Brown won in Ohio this past fall -- despite the fact that I worked as a volunteer on his campaign. Well the times must finally be a chainging! He's got a huge job ahead of him in 2007 and we will be watching and cheering him and his progressive agenda onward.
U$ troops out of Iraq. No surge, no escalation, no more macho posturing. Get some real diplomats on the job and keep Bush pre-occupied with a bunch of hearings on his administrative failures like Katrina and war bunglings.
Universal Health Care -- make it happen. Shaking fist at congress and senate -- get going!
A Public Call to Action on Global Warming. It's time to dig new Victory Gardens for the War on Global Warming. Stop using plastic bags. Avoid buying products in packaging that can't be recycled. Make a list and follow through on daily actions that can cut down carbon release into the atmostphere. Mindfullness is what is needed in the now or there will be no future.
More atheists standing up and calling it like it is. I agree with Sam Harris. It does us no good to pretend religion is harmless. Why waste time on delusional thinking? Don't forget God is for Suckers!
Continue Blogging. Blogging is not only the daily discipline of writing, it is also the act of reading many other blogs, responding with comments and absorbing new ideas. It is a way of breaking through the ant-heap mentality of life on this earth, reaching out to folks far and near, tuning in and making contact.
Once the thesis is done, I am going to return to my visual art roots and finish a bunch of art works that have accumulated over the years: Unfinished masks, drawings that require coloring, and some new sketches to be made.
Theatrically, I'm very keen on doing some work with Dario Fo and Franca Rame materials and still there is the long held goal of bringing Preservation to a stage in Akron.
So little time to reflect and so much to do! Wishing you all the best for your new year ahead. May you make good progress toward your dreams and deepest ambitions.