Monday, November 19, 2007

a picture of the oil spill

Final project

For my final project in Media Production I initally was going to do something on the "greening" of death, being a more natural ritual around funerals and the rejection of the over priced manipulative funeral industry, and the use of formaldehyde and other chemicals that poison the earth everytime someone is burried. But I couldn't quite figure out how to make a video about this, either then showing up at someone's funeral that I don't know and asking to tape it...I think we can all see the drawbacks to that approach.
Then I was listening to Democracy Now and there was a story about the gigantic oil spill in the San Francisco Bay (which is about an hour and a half North of my hometown) and I started looking at pictures of the dying animals and started to cry. I again started to feel that gigantic hopelessness for the human race, and how little we seem to learn from our mistakes. But then I began to think about all the issues revolving around the sustainability that I have recently become aware of. I was thinking about how far I have come in the past year not only with my growing conciousness of the issues but with my ability to be active with them. I thought my video or radio project (I haven't decided yet) could capture the little things that we can all do to help SAVE THE WORLD (sorry that was a little melodramatic). I'm worried about it coming out like a PSA, like those ones that are poping up all over t.v right now, that feature a couple of semi-famous actors who tell you to recycle and spit out some random facts, not that those aren't valid. I'm a little lost at this point...

Friday, November 16, 2007

On Nov. 2, 2007, about 6,000 students (I think that was the final number) gathered in Washington D.C for Powershift. The first national youth summit to look at solutions for the climate crisis took place at the University of Maryland, and then later on Capitol Hill. For the first time since I became aware of the severity of global warming, I felt an actual possibility of saving the world.

The summit felt like what the beginning of the Civil Rights movement must have felt like. Here is this gigantic problem that can serve as the uniting power that this country has needed for so long. There were groups of evangelical Christians from Appalachia whose towns and lives are being destroyed by mountain top removal. There were inner city people of color who are watching their friends and families die from respiratory problems because low-income housing is always built near dirty factories and on the side of highways. And then there was the group that I am most closely associated with, the trusta-farians who come from a good amount of money and liberal schools, ripped jeans, dreaded hair, piercings, all clutching bags of trail mix from the local food co-op. It’s easy to see these as separate groups with little in common, in terms of economics, race and religion. But for the first time in a long time, the promise of these boundaries disappearing began to seem realistic. Van Jones and Majora Carter were two of the many people that spoke, and they were absolutely incredible. Google them and watch them on youtube!
At lunch today, I had a conversation with a friend of mine. She was talking about how she feels hopeless, angry, and scared about the overwhelming threats of global warming. We talked about how the media has latched onto the “green revolution,” turning it into some kind of bizarre fashion trend. How annoying it is to watch someone chain smoke and drink Starbucks one day and watch them protest Gap or Bank of America the next.

But isn’t that better then what the media has done in the past? Isn’t it better to glorify beach clean-ups and non-violent protests than to glorify the fact that 50 Cent has been shot however many times, that Lindsay is back in rehab, and that we need to buy this and that in order to be a good American, a woman, happy…

I’m at the point where I don’t care if I’m being exploited. I don’t care if I’m being taken advantage of. I just want some good to come from it. I look around and see so much unhappiness and I wonder who is benefiting from all this hurt?

I know that we look at these gigantic problems that riddle our communities and feel small and incredibly worthless. And I think this is where a lot of the destruction comes from. When the problems are so massive, who gives a fuck if I drive when I can probably walk, who cares if I eat strawberries from Venezuela in winter time? I agree that a lot of the problem is that we don’t want to change our life styles. But a large part of it is also not knowing how we can help.

I know now that I can’t do everything right, and that even if I did, my small effort could only make a dent. This is what my blog is about. Doing what I can, when I can and trying my best to remember why I do it. I want to use this blog as a way to examine the small changes in my lifestyle that I have started to make, as well as the frustration, the excitement, and the sadness that comes as a result. This is my struggle to become an aware and active individual. This is my struggle to understand what it means to be green from birth to death and everything in between.