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Spring is Glorious!

You regulars might be wondering where I’ve been… well, walking mostly! It’s a glorious spring here in SF, clear days, warm sun, sparkling good will and TONS of events to go to… Here’s a shot from the Potrero Hill Community Garden (one of my all-time favorite local spots) looking northwest across the city towards Mt. Tamalpais…

I’ve been out walking up and down the hills, taking in Talks, talking politics and life, and just feeling better than I’ve felt in a long time (must be something in the air!)…

Snapshots: Michael Pollan in conversation with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey at Zellerbach at UC Berkeley… annoying audience of earnest green liberals who have to clap at every self-serving brag made by Mackey, who insisted on giving a 45-minute ‘lecture’ prior to the conversation… As Pollan caustically noted afterwards, it was obvious that he had not had his presentation vetted by PR professionals (mostly because he showed a grisly 5-minute video of factory farmed animals in their horrifying conditions)… All in all a very collegial conversation though, as the food journalist and the corner-grocer-turned-billionaire agreed that their shared goal was transparency in food supplies, a worthy reform by all accounts. Mostly a long Whole Foods ad, but an audience of Berkeley foodies ate it up…

Green City Talk at CounterPULSE: could have heard most of it 15 years ago, but still, had its illuminating and inspiring moments, esp. from Peter Berg and Bonnie Sherk, both veterans of ecological and political transformation… I was frustrated by the elephant in the room that no one really addresses when talking about Green City transformation: Work! So much work to bring it about, both conceptual and practical… and yet most of the work people do now is contrary and counterproductive to these goals, not to mention stupidly useless or pernicious! Why do earnest ecologists have so much trouble directing an assault on the foundations of economic life itself? Does the comfy class status of so many enviros preclude a systematic critique of capitalism? Evidently…

Emergency RETORT gathering featuring Gustavo Esteva from Oaxaca, giving a heartfelt account of the “Oaxaca Commune,” the barricades thrown up across the city without any central planning or coordination, the vibrant democracy that emerged on those same barricades and among the citizenry across the region, the slow but steady emergence of the indigenous into the movement, the rise of the Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) and Esteva’s feeling that it defied typical political descriptions… this led to some critical exchange during and after the talk with Calamity who spent a couple of months on those same barricades in October and November, and sees APPO as an incipient statist organization, full of political hacks, and was quite frustrated that Esteva ommitted those facts from his account…

Meeting with Conscious Youth Media Crew folks who are organizing a Mission Archives of footage shot during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, some of which we’ll show at CounterPULSE in our new Spring Talks series on April 11. Awesome folks there doing a great project to give local youth access to video production training and resources, plus the development of an amazing archive of vital, mostly lost and “forgotten” history of the Mission and Latino youth…

Last night’s Talk, the last of the Fall-winter07 series, on the Future of Education… poorly attended, but maybe the best panel we’ve had. A homeschooler, a public school mom and columnist, a high school teacher who is also Dir. of Political Education in the Teachers Union, and a founder of a network of adult learning programs run by student-teacher groups in New Mexico… what’s more important than the shape of humans to come? Amazing how ghettoized and cut off the conversation about education is from people who don’t happen to have kids at the moment, or work in education… this will be on the air and online soon…

And to climax this wonderful time, I’m turning 50 on Sunday and we’re having a big party this Saturday night! Yee hah! a half century! Who’d a thunk it??

Another purty picture of how gorgeous it’s been lately, with the new giant condos near the Bay Bridge starting to appear on the skyline…

Here’s the biggest condo (so far) from Potrero Hill…

Whatever became of the anti-highrise movement? Guess they’re all living in condos now!

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3 Responses to “Spring is Glorious!”

  1. 1

    The winds are indeed blowing in the right direction…

    So, can anyone confirm if this is the Counterpunch article that was only for subscribers?

    The secret story of Mossad and the World Trade Center attack, by Jim Moore

  2. 2

    Indeed, there is a Spring in the walks and cycling around San Francisco these days!

  3. 3
    bill stender:

    >Why do earnest ecologists have so much trouble directing an assault on the foundations of economic life itself?
    >Does the comfy class status of so many enviros preclude a systematic critique of capitalism?

    inertia resists such an effort, staying comfy is always job #1. but also, a ‘systematic critique of capitalism’ is up there with climate research or political science, not as simple as you make it sound.