Let’s make sure we can keep on keeping on …
Let’s make sure we can keep on keeping on …
“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful – in a word, more alive.” Alice Waters, chef, author, food activist, and founder and owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California
The header to this post is our new banner for the 2019 The BeZine 100,000 Poets and Others for Change. It was designed by Team Member Corina Ravenscraft (Dragon Dreams). I appreciate the color and the flowers, which to me imply hope. So onward we go.
We use the banner as a header for our discussion page on Facebook (a gathering place of sorts) which you are encouraged to join. Our goal there is not about sharing poetry or regurgitating the news. It’s largely about “best practices.”
2018/2019 NEWS & GUIDELINES FOR POSTING ON THE DISCUSSION PAGE: We’re especially interested in filling a gap by collecting info on practical initiatives – ideas for taking action – from anywhere in the world, “best practices” so to speak that foster peace, sustainability and social justice, especially those that might be picked up and implemented elsewhere. Examples from the past include the churches that open their parking lots at night to the homeless, the barber who uses his days off to give homeless people haircuts or the group that put out clothing for people to take if needed.
FOR WRITE-UPS ON SPIRITUAL PRACTICE for Beguine Again, sister site to the Zine, message Terri Stewart on Facebook. We also have a FB page – The Bardo Group Beguines -where we provide Zine info, inspiration, notice of spiritual events of interest to seekers and links to work posted on beguineagain.com founded and managed by Terri.
PLEASE DO NOT POST POETRY ON THE DISCUSSION PAGE. There are plenty of poetry groups on FB. We’re unique and doing something different but we do offer other opportunities to share your poetry and creative work.
SUBMISSIONS to The BeZine of poetry, essays, short stories, creative nonfiction, music videos, and artwork for The BeZine – journal or blog – are considered via email only: email@example.com.
The BeZine is published quarterly. Here are the schedule, themes, submission deadlines and publication dates for the rest of this year and 2019.
December 2018 issue, Deadline November 10th, Theme: A Life of the Spirit
March 2019 issue, Deadline February 10th. Theme: Peace.
June 2019 issue, Deadline May 10th. Theme: Sustainability
September 2019 issue, Deadline August 10th, Theme: Human Rights/Social Justice
December 2019 issue: Deadline November 10th. Theme: A Life of the Spirit
Facebook message me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have poetry news or essays on poetry to be considered for The Poet by Day. For submissions (poetry and short fiction or creative nonfiction) for consideration by Michael Dickel for Meta/Phor(e)/Play you can message Michael on Facebook or contact him through his blog.
The Bardo Group Begines is a twelve-member core team of poets and writers, artists and musicians, philosophers and clerics providing comfort, inspiration and information via thebezine.com and beguineagain.com.
The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort and a peace and justice mission.
For those who are interested, our freshly updated submission guidelines are HERE.
– Jamie Dedes, Managing Editor
One hundred thousand
Poets for change,
so many voices and
carefully chosen words,
at times decay into a void
of the anechoic chamber.
Earthly Fathers praying
for the Establishment,
that sets our stage,
and casts our values
in concrete, steel,
plastic … and carbon.
Leaders of the World,
whose balance sheets and
logical, numerate intellect
measure only a notion
of success. What is that?
Temper your ambition.
For aren’t we just that,
a wealth of rich and
maybe the only hope
for our universe
to understand itself?
Heavenly Mothers ask us
why digitise and monetise
and worship at the alter
of the great god, Thworg,
when we are in the face of
richness beyond measure.
Escape to the stars, if you will,
but answers will be found not
in the vanity of space-time travel,
but here, with this unaided vision
they lie in the green and blue,
right before your disbelieving eyes.
Permit your heart to rule
even if only one day a week, when
the visceral, and the common sense
will sit above logic and intellect, and
that subliminal noise in our head
will slowly rise to the conscious.
Maybe, one day we’ll be
Seven Thousand Million
Poets for Change!
Our time will come. Atonement beckons.
It’s in the wind, this beating heart,
a movement beyond the gaze of mortals …
© 2017 John Anstie, All rights reserved. You can visit John at My Poetry Library.
This is John’s tribute to the 100,000 Poets for Change – 100TPC 2017 – movement, which had its annual celebration on 30th September.
Well, the Zine’s virtual “live” 100TPC Master of Ceremonies, Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play), is doing the event from the Midwestern U.S. this year, not Israel, and I’m here in Northern California as back-up.
We have just a few hours to go before we begin The BeZine 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change, 2017 (100TPC), our biggest event of The BeZine year. Do join us and bring your reading glasses and your work suggestive of peace, sustainability and social justice. Michael will get us started and I’ll be on hand to help put a wrap on things. We’ll run at least 24 hours to make it convenient for you to participate no matter where in the world you live.
You may have missed some of these posts that will clarify what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and how you can participate. Here are two posts that you’ll find helpful:
See you later at The BeZine blog!
Managing Editor, The BeZine
on behalf of Michael and The Bardo Group Beguines
Waging the Peace, driving productive conversation and connection: Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of 100,000 Poets for Change, just sent us the link to The BeZine’s page on the official 100TPC site. Our thanks to Michael, for doing this and for all that he and Co-Founder Terri Carrion are doing. They both rock big time!
People if you want to organize a gathering it’s not too late to register at 100TPC. You can do something as simple as having a small intimate group around you kitchen table, share your poetry, art and music and plan for a larger more visible event next year. As Michael Dickel says, “May peace prevail.”
Don’t forget Terri Stewart’s gathering, 100,000 Peacemakers for Change, at her church in the Seattle area. Notable: I think thanks to Terri this may be the first church to officially take up the banner. Hooray!
In the spirit of peace, love and community and
on behalf of The Bardo Group Bequines,
The BeZine is currently open for submissions for the September 15 issue (September 10, submission deadline) that will focus on Environmental Justice, which is also the theme of our 100 Thousand Poets (and friends*) for Change virtual event on September 24. In order to propel the discussion into deeper focus from the outset, we invite and encourage contributing authors to ponder a few things about their perspective and their voice on this topic.
When we talk about Justice, it is sometimes assumed that people will agree on what is ‘the right thing to do’. However, as with anything else, our decision-making about Justice is influenced by our values, by the things that we deem ‘special’, ‘important’, or ‘sacred’. I propose that there are (at least) three categories of valued environments, or ‘Holy Ground’: Nature, Place and Community. Think about these three different arenas and how you see Justice being applied to them.
For example, if Community is your value, you may feel that Environmental Justice has to do with how people are impacted and how human activity creates change. If Place is your value, then questions about Justice probably will involve a particular area with borders of a physical or conceptual nature. It may be that feelings of injustice are felt in terms of ‘This, not That’ or ‘Us, not Them’ or in a desire to see a Place resist change. If Nature is your value, then you may see Justice in more fluid terms as the balance of resources between producers/consumers and prey/predator is in a state of constant flux with perhaps no ultimate goal.
So, as you sit down to write about Environmental Justice in your unique voice, identify your values. Perhaps use the lenses of Nature, Place and Community to focus. What is important to you? Why? How does it affect your decision-making? What factors impact this ‘sacred’ ground? How do different cultural models or systems impact your cherished home? What feelings arise in you – what empathy for Living Things or Living Habitats? What fears?
Thank you for spending time with these concepts and these questions. Your presence, your life energy, and your embodiment of love is a gift that we are privileged and honored to receive. Please, share your thoughts, your words and pictures with us!
© 2016, prompt text and photograph, Priscilla Galasso and Steve Wiencek, All rights reserved.
Here today is an invitation/reminder to join us – The Bardo Group Bequines – at The BeZine for 100,000 Poets (and other artists and friends) for Change (100TPC): on September 15th for the Zine and on September 24th for the 100TPC virtual event, which is celebrated from our blog. The themes for both are Environment and Environmental Justice.
Priscilla Galasso is the lead for the Zine in September.
Michael Dickel is the Master of Ceremonies for our 100TPC virtual event.
These are worthy efforts to:
Please do participate. All work will be archived on site and at Stanford University.
Zine submissions should be sent to email@example.com. Please read submission guidelines first. The deadline is September 10th.
Reader participation on the 24th for the virtual event is by way of the comments section or Mister Linkey. Michael will provide direction in his blog-post that day.
Also of note, Michael Rothenberg, cofounder of the 100TPC global initiative, reminds everyone today that it is not too late to register as an organizer of an event. While ours is a virtual event, people all over the world in 120 countries to date are sponsoring events in homes, schools, places of worship, cafés and restaurants, parks, community centers and other sites where people gather. Link HERE to register.
By way of warm-up, this Wednesday and next, I’ll post prompts on The Poet by Day related to the themes.
In the Spirit of Peace, Love and Community
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
© photograph, Jamie Dedes
You can listen to the two-hour podcast HERE. Recommended! This post is meant as an alert and also to share my two cents.
As I write, it’s just a few hours after listening to Just My Thoughts with Graffiti Bleu on BlogTalk Radio. The show started with an exploration of What does the revolution look like? with Graffiti Blue, Michael Rothenberg, and the show’s panel and callers comprised of poets involved in 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC).
Harkening back to Gil Scott-Heron and his poem, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, part of the discussion was on technology and social networking and their roles in fostering peace, social justice and sustainability. When Heron wrote his poem in 1971, the means to formulate and distribute information and opinion were dominated by mainstream media and corporate interest, which were not in sympathy with the revolution Heron envisioned. Those interests are still dominant and still lack sympathy, but there’s something of a balance occurring – however imperfect – now that we plain folk have access to the tools of technology and social networking. Without social networking, we wouldn’t have 100TPC, which can happily be said to have gone viral since Michael Rothenberg put out a call on Facebook for poets to join in a global peace effort back in 2010. While each of us in the “100,000” has a relatively small “audience” together we touch many, many minds and hearts. We do have an agenda, but it doesn’t foment strife. We’re not in anyone’s pocket. That’s clean power. It’s power to …
On a personal level, one benefit of technology is that people who are homebound – as I sometimes am – can take part in change-making initiatives more actively than simply writing letters-to-the-editor or to our legislators, which is not to say we should give that up. I started a virtual 100TPC via The BeZine and with The Bardo Group Beguines so that disabled people and people who do not live near a 100TPC event would have the opportunity to have their say, to lend their support. Our 2015 commemorative page is HERE.
We need to do more than “talk.” Agreed. And I think that one of things 100TPC gives us is hope … huge hope from seeing that there are people in every nook-and-cranny of the world who share our values and priorities. This helps us to keep on keeping on with our local grassroots initiatives as well as our broader advocacy. This serves to sustain our faith and commitment.
Ultimately for me, 100TPC is about breaking down barriers, crossing boarders. It leads the way in our evolutionary journey toward a sustainable peace. In the documentary film Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama, the Dalai Lama says “we need more festivals.” In other words, if we get to know people, if we break bread with them or share a bowl of rice, we are less likely to think of them as “other.” It will be more difficult to turn around the next day and do harm. 100TPC is our festival. Once we’ve shared hearts, souls and stories through poetry, how can we marginalize anyone? How can we abandon or abuse?
Can the revolution be bloodless? The question is really “will it be?” I don’t think so. I don’t think revolutions are by their very nature “bloodless.” The psychopaths will always be with us and until we stop marginalizing people and leaving them desperate and vulnerable to tyrants, we’ll never have bloodless reform. We’ll never achieve a sustainable peace. Peace is a state that takes awareness and awareness takes growth, which is an evolutionary process. That doesn’t mean we should give up. It means that as poets we should continue to bear witness, to touch hearts, to raise consciousness and to nurture the process of growth. As poet Michael Dickel said in an interview on this site HERE: “. . . it may not be ours to see the work completed, but that does not free us from the responsibility to do the work.”
– Jamie Dedes
© 2016, words, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day), All rights reserved; photograph courtesy of Graffiti Bleu and Michael Rothenberg.
Editorial Note: With this piece by Terri Stewart (Cloaked Monk) we announce our focus for 100,000 Poets (and others) for Change 2016, environment and environmental justice. We continue our Facebook group discussion page. Let us know if you would like to be included in that.
Terri is also the lead for the upcoming November issue of The BeZine. The theme for that zine issue, which will publish on the 15th of November, is at-risk youth.
Caring for all that is can be an overwhelming job! If I think of the things within my control and trying to do the best I can, maybe I can do it in bite-size chunks. After all, I will never be able to invent some magical thing that converts pollution to life-giving energy. But I can compost!
Call on the animals to teach you; the birds that sail through the air are not afraid to tell you the truth. Engage the earth in conversation; it’s happy to share what it knows. Even the fish of the sea are wise enough to explain it to you. In fact, which part of creation isn’t aware, which doesn’t know the Eternal’s hand has done this? His hand cradles the life of every creature on the face of the earth; His breath fills the nostrils of humans everywhere. Job 12:7-10, The Voice-A Storyteller’s Bible
Climate-care, earth-care, creation-care, creature-care, caring is a deeply spiritual practice. How we approach the other starts with our interior orientation. If we practice expansive spirituality, we will be filled with gratitude, mindfulness, and joy. If not, we will be led to a diminished experience.
I wonder how we could reconnect, simply, through ritual, to creation? Perhaps a mini-ritual?
1. Set your sacred space
What are you trying to connect to? Earth? Cosmos? Stars? Bunnies? Create an easy environment where you can let your gaze gently rest on a photo, object, or even the real thing!
2. Set your intention
What do you need at this moment? For example, “I am here to connect to the earth in a way that honors the createdness of us all.”
3. The body of the ritual
Combining your intention with a ritualized act. For example, if you were sitting outside on a lawn chair, offering honor to the cosmos during the day, you could gradually look around honoring each creation you see. “Blades of grass, I honor you. Cedar trees, I honor you. Beloved cat, I honor you!”
4. Closing ritual
A signifier that it is finished. Perhaps, if you were outside in the grass, you could bring a handful of grass seeds to add to the growth. Then you could sprinkle the grass seeds in all directions, offering life.
Be creative! This framework for ritual was created by my friend, Deborah Globus. Her avatar is LaPadre. She’s awesome!
Shalom and Amen!
© 2014, words and illustration, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (1890-1969)
34TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
In office 1953 -1961
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed … “ Dwight D. Eisenhower
Note: I wrote this piece on December 13, 2011 after I learned of the first 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC). Seemed appropriate to pull it out, dust it off and share it once again since our theme for this year for 100TPC is “poverty.”
The quote above is from Eisenhower’s speech, A Chance for Peace, delivered in 1953 three months after he took office and on the occasion of the death of Joseph Stalin, Premier of the Soviet Union (1941 to 1953). The “just peace” that the world hoped for in 1945 at the end of World War II had not materialized. While the Korean War was coming to a close, the Cold War-era military conflicts in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) were slowly escalating. The United States would have advisory troops in Vietnam in 1954. The armed conflict in that region of the world would continue long past Eisenhower’s administration with U.S. involvement escalating in the 1960s and continuing until the Fall of Saigon in 1975.
Since the end of the Second World War and the Korean War, violent conflict continues unabated with thirteen wars (defined as 1,000 or more deaths per year) currently, including the War in Afghanistan and the Yemeni and Syrian uprisings of 2011. Smaller scale conflicts resulting in fewer than 1,000 deaths per year have been rife and in 2011 include the Sudan-SPLM-N conflict, the Yemeni al-Qaeda crackdown, and the 2011 clashes in Southern Sudan. (And now in 2015, we have to add among the world’s many current conflicts the war in Syria, which is displacing more people than any war since WWII. According to an recent and comprehensive article, How Syrians Are Dying (worth your attention) in The New York Times, 200,000 have been killed over the past four-and-a-half years.)
Genocides didn’t end either. We’ve had eight genocides since the Holocaust of WWII, including that which is ongoing in Palestine. The number of rebel groups is now over one-hundred, which probably errs on the light side. Conflicts rise from economic and social instability and what amounts to vigilante “justice,” most of which could be addressed if our governments invested in butter, not guns; if they included rather than marginalized; if they listened and responded rather than disenfranchised.
Even in 1953, Eisenhower pointed out that war isn’t sustainable:
This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.
We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
If governments don’t recognize that Earth and her people cannot be sustained by war, many of their citizens do. One modern peaceful protest for a sustainable world is of interest to all of us who read, write, and love both poetry and peace. It is 100 Thousand Poets for Change, which held its first world-wide rally on September 24, 2011 with 700 events in 550 cities representing 95 participating countries united to support peaceful environmental, social, and political change.
Poets, writers, artists, musicians, and photographers the world over demonstrated in solidarity. The next global event is scheduled for September 29, 2012. Throughout the year small, local events are delivered at a various venues. By invitation, 100 Thousand Poets for Change was at the Sharjah (an Arab Emirate) International Book Fair, which ran through November 27. Mujeeb Jaihoon reports,
“From time immemorial, poetry has built better bridges between people than those with bricks and stones. And these bridges do not get old or obsolete…” (Change Is Born in the Womb of Poetry)
In A Chance for Peace Eisenhower pointed out,
“No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be an enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice.”
We do hunger, individually and collectively. Perhaps our chance for peace starts with you and me. Poem on …
… and join us this year at The BeZine blog on 26 September 2015 and add your voice to ours for our (yours and mine) 100TPC, poets and friends virtual event for a peaceful, sustainable and just world.
© 2011, essay, Jamie Dedes All rights reserved; The photograph of Eisenhower is in the public domain.
Editor’s Note: Priscilla Galasso (scillagrace, try to live gracefully) wrote this last year just before the 2014 event. (We’ve adapted it here with current links and dates.) It seemed a good piece to share with you today to welcome and encourage you to join with us this year on 26 September for 100TPC, which is not just for poets but includes artists, photographers, musicians and friends of the arts. 100TPC is about Peace, Sustainability and Justice. We chose “poverty” for our theme this year and have devoted the entire September issue of “The BeZine” to that subject.
On the 26th, a blog post will go up on this site with instructions on how you can share your work and view that of others. We look forward to your participation and to your works. J.D.
– Priscilla Galasso
© 2014, notes and poem, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved
Editorial Note: The September issue of The BeZine will be out on the 15th and we’re all set for the big event on the 26th. Meanwhile …
– Jamie Dedes
These are busy days for Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion who founded 100,000 Poets for Change. Michael announced yesterday that 500 events are now scheduled for September 26, 2015, the fifth anniversary of this global initiative for change; that is, for peace and sustainability.
For those who are just catching up with us, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, or 100TPC, is an international grassroots educational organization focusing on the arts, especially poetry, music, and the literary arts. It was founded in 2011 by Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion and is centered on a world-wide event each September. This past June the first World Conference on 100TPC was held in Salerno, Italy.
There are also several offshoots cropping up: 100,000 Photographers for Change, 100,000 Drummers for Change … and so on. A little searching on Facebook and you’ll find them, though the umbrella for all, 100TPC, does include a range of artistic specialties and friends of the arts and is not limited to poets and poetry.
We – that is The Bardo Group and Beguine Again, publishers of The BeZine are hosting a virtual event and you are all invited to attend and add links to your own relevent work. The links will be collected and published in a Page on The BeZine site and also archived at 100TPC. Michael Dickel (Fragments of Michael Dickel) of The Bardo Group is the lead for this event. Michael is also the organizer of an event scheduled in Israel this October. You can contact him via his blog or message him on Facebook if you have an interest in participating there.
Meanwhile, here is an introduction to the visionary founders of 100TPC, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion:
MICHAEL ROTHENBERG was born in Miami Beach, Florida in 1951, and has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 37 years. Currently Michael is living and creating among the redwoods.
Michael is co-founder of Shelldance Orchid Gardens in Pacifica, which is dedicated to the cultivation of orchids and bromeliads. He is a poet, painter, songwriter, and editor of Big Bridge Press and Big Bridge, a webzine of poetry and everything else.
In 2011 he and Terri Carrion co-founded the global poetry movement 100 Thousand Poets for Change. His songs have appeared in Hollywood Pictures’ Shadowhunter and Black Day, Blue Night, and most recently, TriStar Pictures’ Outside Ozona. Other songs have been recorded on CDs including: Bob Malone’s The Darkest Part of The Night (Caught Up in Christmas) and Bob Malone (Raydaddy’s Blues), Difficult Woman by Renee Geyer, Global Blues Deficit by Cody Palance, The Woodys by The Woodys, and Schell Game by Johnny Lee Schell.
Michael’s poetry books and broadsides are archived at the University of Francisco, and are held in the Special Collection libraries of Brown University, Claremont Colleges, University of Kansas, the New York Public Library, UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis, and UC-Santa Cruz.
His most recent collection of poems is Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story (Ekstasis Editions 2013) and Murder (Paper Press, 2013) My Youth As A Train published by Foothills Publishing in September 2010.
TERRI CARRION was conceived in Venezuela and born in New York to a Galician mother and Cuban father. She grew up in Los Angeles where she spent her youth skateboarding and slam-dancing.
Terri Carrion earned her MFA at Florida International University in Miami, where she taught Freshman English and Creative Writing, edited and designed the graduate literary magazine Gulfstream, taught poetry to High School docents at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and started a reading series at the local Luna Star Café. In her final semester at FIU, she was Program Director for the Study Abroad Program, Creative Writing in Dublin, Ireland.
Her poetry, fiction, non-fiction and photography has been published in many print magazines as well as online, including The Cream City Review, Hanging Loose, Pearl, Penumbra, Exquisite Corpse, Mangrove, Kick Ass Review, Jack, Mipoesia, Dead Drunk Dublin, and Physik Garden among others.
Her collaborative poem with Michael Rothenberg, Cartographic Anomaly was published in the anthology, Saints of Hysteria, A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry and her chapbook Lazy Tongue was published by D Press in the summer of 2007.
Terri’s most recent projects includes collaborating on a trilingual Galician Anthology, (from Galician to Spanish to English) and co-editing an online selection of the bi-lingual anthology of Venezuelan women writers, Profiles of Night, both to appear in late August, on BigBridge.org., for which she is assistant editor and art designer. Currently, she is learning how to play the accordion. Terri Carrion lives under the redwoods and above the Russian River in Guerneville, Ca. with her partner in crime Michael Rothenberg, and her dogs Chiqui and Ziggy.
Note: On our (The Bardo Group and Beguine Again, publishers of The BeZine) 2015 Facebook Page for 100,000 Poets for Change, we’ve been discussing poverty, which is our theme for September. I’m sharing some of the conversation there. If you’d like to join us on Facebook, please let us know. All are welcome. For the September 2015 issue of The BeZine, we’ll be exploring poverty and on September 26, we’ll hold our virtual event and we invite reader participation. Instructions will be in our blog that day. Links to everyone’s work will be collected and posted as a Page and also incorporated into a PDF that will be archived at 100,000 Poets (writers, artists, photographers, musicians and friends) for Change; i.e., peace and sustainability.
Thanks to Terri Stewart (Beguine Again) and Michael Dickel (Fragments of Michael Dickel) for encouraging thought and discussion around poverty and homelessness. How about exploring poverty and hunger, often referred to these days as “food insecurity?” (Better, I think, to call it by its true name.)
One question, for example: How do our consumption patterns contribute to hunger? We first started thinking about and taking action on this (those of us who have been around long enough) with the publication of Frances Moore Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet in 1971 in which she explored the roots of hunger, poverty and environmental crises.
Here is part of an overview of the UN’s 1998 report on inequity in consumption courtesy of Anup Shah of Global Issues :
“Today’s consumption is undermining the environmental resource base. It is exacerbating inequalities. And the dynamics of the consumption-poverty-inequality-environment nexus are accelerating. If the trends continue without change — not redistributing from high-income to low-income consumers, not shifting from polluting to cleaner goods and production technologies, not promoting goods that empower poor producers, not shifting priority from consumption for conspicuous display to meeting basic needs — today’s problems of consumption and human development will worsen.
… The real issue is not consumption itself but its patterns and effects.
… Inequalities in consumption are stark. Globally, the 20% of the world’s people in the highest-income countries account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures — the poorest 20% a minuscule 1.3%. More specifically, the richest fifth:
Consume 45% of all meat and fish, the poorest fifth 5%
Consume 58% of total energy, the poorest fifth less than 4%
Have 74% of all telephone lines, the poorest fifth 1.5%
Consume 84% of all paper, the poorest fifth 1.1%
Own 87% of the world’s vehicle fleet, the poorest fifth less than 1%
Runaway growth in consumption in the past 50 years is putting strains on the environment never before seen.”
— Human Development Report 1998 Overview, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) — Emphasis Added. Figures quoted use data from 1995
– Posted by me last night on The BeZine 100 100TPC 2015 Facebook Public Group Page
Here is some of the discussion that followed. Please add your own thoughts in the comments section below.
“There was a report by Oxfam, a couple of years ago I think, that produced even more extreme statistics regarding the very small percentage of those who own the vast majority of the world’s assets! I shall have to dig it out.” John Anstie
“interesting and arresting….but let’s not forget waste….have you ever seen what supermarkets throw away each day? It’s criminal.” Jacqueline Dick
“In a number of urban areas, groups collect “waste” from groceries and even restaurants to distribute to those in need. It should be done more widely. And, for the environment, what is beyond salvage should be composted, not tossed into landfills or incinerators.” Michael Dickel
“I wonder how many of us are vegan or willing to go go vegan because land used to feed and raise meat and poultry can be put to better use – and more environmentally sound use – to sufficiently feed the earth’s population on plants? Lappe first brought this to our attention in ’71 followed by many others including John Robbins and Will Tuttle*. There is sufficient body of study to support this, which along with animal cruelty and human health is driving the trend to plant-based food consumption.” Jamie Dedes
* If people don’t have enough to eat, don’t have clean water, and don’t have employment, their anger will foster hostilities. So, for those who feel disconnected from hunger issues because it’s not in front of them and they have enough to eat, I would submit that in the interest of self-preservation world hunger needs to be faced and addressed compassionately and pragmatically. I don’t know how many people outside the vegan community are familiar with Will Tuttle’s work. Dr. Tuttle is professional pianist and composer, he’s an eloquent spokesperson for the vegan imperative. I strongly recommend his book The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Harmony.
The reference to “Earthlings” in the video is about the movie, which I reviewed in 2011 and which I have scheduled to post here tomorrow.
May all sentient beings find peace.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to
the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.
– Metta (amity, good will) Prayer (Buddhist)
Photo credit: Jamie Dedes
On our 2015 Facebook Page for 100,000 Poets for Change, we’ve been discussing poverty and homelessness. I’m sharing some of the conversation there. If you’d like to join us on Facebook, please let us know. All are welcome. For the September 2015 issue of The BeZine, we’ll be exploring poverty and on September 26, we’ll hold our virtual event and we invite reader participation. Instructions will be in our blog that day. Links to everyone’s work will be collected and posted as a Page and also incorporated into a PDF that will be archived at 100,000 Poets (writers, artists, photographers, musicians and friends) for Change; i.e., peace and sustainability.
This conversation was started on our The BeZine 100TPC 2015 Facebook Group Page by Michael Dickel (Fragments of Michael Dickel):
It’s only a little more than a month until 100 Thousand Poets for Change—Fifth Anniversary—26 September! Time to start some provocations…
Just to get us thinking abou the Poverty Theme next month—this was posted in a FB group, “Philosophy,” a while back but just appeared in my timeline.
The question I have is, does the standing man reach into his pocket because of empathy? Does he see that the beggar could be him? Or is it narcissism, that he sees an extension of himself (rather than seeing the person himself as separate)? Is he only giving b/c it is another version of himself (white male)? Would he reach into his pocket if he saw the Other?
I don’t ask these questions to be cynical, but because I think the cartoon suggests all of this and possibly more. Who do we see when we see poverty? Who do we help? Who do we wonder why they are not “making something” of their lives (as one commenter on the posted photo said he would ask “himself”—the beggar self—in this situation)?
Jamie asked me to take the lead for the poverty-100TPC page, if I understood correctly, so consider this a first provocation. I hope to put out a couple of more in the next couple of weeks.
Are they prompts? Inspiration? Irritants? I like the idea of provoking thoughts, creativity, ideas. So I call them provocations. Mainly, just use what generates something for you, ignore the rest or all if you’ve got your own excitement rolling.
– Michael Dickel
Some of the discussion that resulted from Michael’s prompt follows:
“Would he reach into his pocket if he saw the Other?” Heartbreaking that we even have to ask. And we know the artist’s perspective, he is not seeing the other.” Terri Stewart (Beguine Again)
“I’d like to think in the spiritual sense he’s seeing himself but that is wishful thinking, eh? Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day)
“The ‘but for the grace of God, go I’ response. Maybe. I was more cynical…I was seeing the ego. Ego demands giving to look good. Ugh. I’ve been doing justice work too long.” Terri Stewart
“I think the cartoon suggest all of this—the empathy of “there but for the Grace of God” likely the intent of the artist. The ego the reflection in the mirror, and possibly also intent? Who knows, I guess about intent… and that sense of I will help those like me. And what about those not like me? Terri Stewart
The drawing is provocative. And privileged. And as such, regardless of intent, draws attention to our own privilege, those like me anyway, white male, sitting at my expensive computer writing on FaceBook, drinking good coffee, and not worrying about where my next meal will come from, just whether I can afford to install central AC.” Michael Dickel
What are YOUR thoughts? Please feel free to share them below.
The August issue of The BeZine will be published online on August 15. The theme for August is music.
On our 2015 Facebook Page for 100,000 Poets for Change, we’ve been discussing poverty and homelessness. I’m sharing some of the conversation here. If you’d like to join us on Facebook, please let us know. All are welcome. For the September 2015 issue of The BeZine, we’ll be exploring poverty and on September 26, we’ll hold our virtual event and we invite reader participation. Instructions will be in our blog that day. Links to everyone’s work will be collected and posted as a Page and also incorporated into a PDF that will be archived at 100,000 Poets (writers, artists, photographers, musicians and friends) for Change; i.e., peace and sustainability.
This portion of the discussion was begun by Terri Stewart (Beguine Again) with this video:
Among the responses:
Michael Dickel (Fragments of Michael Dickel):
“If you want change, let me throw it at you as hard as I can at your dirty face…”
Let me throw justice at you, let it hit your face
and wake us up. Let me throw opportunity at you,
let it hit your face and give us a chance.
Let me throw change at you, change in the world,
change creating justice and freedom,
change creating opportunity, real change
for all. Let me throw democracy at you, let it
hit us in the face so hard that it cracks open
and spills out into the land, everywhere, change—
real democracy, real hope, real opportunity.
Let me throw change and the stinking, rotten
carcass of consumer capitalism and greed at
those so privileged and shallow as to think white
teeth are more important than your humanity.
And then, god help me, let me find love
and compassion to throw as hard as I can
into our faces, into our lives, into the hearts
of us all, of us all standing here watching
in voyeuristic pleasures of despair.
– Michael Dickel
Corina Ravenscraft (Dragon’s Dreams):
“I want to shake all of those people who wrote those mean things and ask them what happened to their compassion? I want to ask them if their judgment makes them feel better about themselves and what they would do if they ever found themselves in such dire circumstances.”
John Anstie (My Poetry Library):
“Yes indeed, Corina, maybe no compassion, but where also is their insight?”
Please share YOUR thoughts below. Thank you!
The August issue of The BeZine will be published online on August 15. The theme for August is music.
Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of 100,000 Poets, Artists, Photographers, Musicians and Friends for Change [100TPC] – change being all that is peaceful and sustainable – reported yesterday that there are over 400 events scheduled in various places around the world to celebrate the fifth year of 100TPC.
“Don’t forget September 26 is the 5th Anniversary of 100 Thousand Poets for Change! So far over 400 events are confirmed for that day. If you believe that poetry, music, and all of the arts are capable of making a more peaceful and sustainable world then 100 Thousand Poets for Change is for you! Contact me with your name, city, country and email if you would like to organize an event in your town to celebrate this important day. I will sign you up!”
Meanwhile, we have over seventy people united with us on our Facebook discussion page, The BeZine 100TPC, 2015. You are encouraged to join with us. Leave me a message in the comments area below if you want to be included. The more the better … we welcome diverse participation. This year we are addressing “poverty.”
For Discussion Here:
I took this photo outside a church theater. It reminded me of Actress Audrey Hepburn’s service as a UNICEF ambassador. She traveled widely as she worked on behalf of the poor and the hungry. She said, “I don’t believe in collective guilt, but I do believe in collective responsibility.” Your thoughts????
The tentative plan: On the 15th of September we will publish The BeZine as usual. The theme is poverty. We are reviewing submissions now. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “poverty” in the subject line. Nothing over 1,000 words please and nothing that is unkind. Thank you!
On 26 September we will publish a blog post. Readers are invited to join with us by putting the links to their own relevant work in the comment section or to connect via Mr. Linky (directions will be provided). We encourage you to read everyone’s work and to comment. We will then collect everything into one Page and publish that on The Bardo Group site. Michael Rothenberg will include a PDF of the Page in 100TPC archives.
American-Israeli poet, writer and educator, Michael Dickel (War Surrounds Us) will take the lead for the September issue. Michael has hosted live 100TPC events in Israel for the past two years, has a third event scheduled for this October, and attended The First World Conference on the Future of 100TPC. You can read his article on that event: Salerno, il mio amore.
The next issue of The BeZine is scheduled for 15 August 2015. The theme is music. The July 2015 issue is up for your reading pleasure. The theme is imagination and the critical spirit. Link HERE.
POVERTY: Discussion on Bequine Again/The Bardo Group Facebook page (let me know in the comments section if you want to be included there) has made it evident that some definition – some framework – might be needed. As we stand in solidarity and share our art, essays, poetry, music and photography on Facebook and our blogs on September 26th, I think I can safely say on behalf of the leadership at 100TPC (stated core value: peace and sustainability) and Bequine Again/The Bardo Group, publishers of The Be Zine (stated core value: nonviolence), that we are not primarily focused on spiritual malaise, ennui, or existential angst, the kind of indulgences that might characterize those of us who don’t live with bombs dropping and who so fortunately have three meals a day, clean and plentiful water, housing, health care and education. We are not primarily concerned with the psychological/spiritual insecurity that results in the need to over accumulate. These are real, important and relevant issues that do have a place in discussion. However …
… our key objective is to shed a light on the often invisible MATERIAL POVERTY that results in the death of 22,000 children each day (UNICEF) and in the nearly one billion people who entered the 21st century with no education, no reading skills. We are talking about the ever-widening distance between the haves and the have-nots even within the developed countries, with the increasing numbers of homeless, “food insecure,” and the marginalized and disaffected.
We want to shed some light on the decreasing number of the world’s richest countries v the growing number of the world’s poorest countries. In 1820 the number of poor countries to wealthy was three-to-one. In 1992 it was seventy-two to one (1999 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme – see also the Center for Economic and Policy Research). What do you think are the implications for all of us in that?
In short, our concerns are primarily centered on those issues that could be mitigated and perhaps resolved by deflecting investment in war to investment in people, by responsible consumerism, responsible corporate ethic and policy, and responsible national and global human development policy. We are of the same mind as Simone Weil (The Need for Roots, 1949)when she wrote that feeding the hungry is the most basic of human obligations and that “human progress” is defined by “ a transition to a state of human society in which people will not suffer from hunger.”
– Jamie Dedes
100,000 Poets for Change [100TC): poets and other artists and activists in world-wide solidarity for peace and sustainability.
While the great global event is scheduled for September 26 in 2015, there are local events staged at varying venues and times throughout the world. From June 3-8 the first world conference was held in Salerno, Italy. The video below shares the delightful work of some musicians at that conference. (The music starts at 1:20.) At The BeZine (a publication of Beguine Again and The Bardo Group), poet Michael Dickel (War Surrounds Us/Is a Rose Press) will report on the conference in Italy in the July 15 issue.
The BeZine is hosting a virtual 100TCP event for those who do not have access to any local venue or are homebound for whatever reason. We hope you’ll join us. We have chosen to shed our light on poverty this year. More news on that to come here at The Poet by Day and on The BeZine blog.
We have a Facebook group going for our event. If you are on Facebook and would like to join us there, let me know in the comments below and I’ll add you to the The BeZine 100TPC 2015 Discussion Group. We do ask that you keep on topic and communicate about relevant issues and concerns. Thank you!
If you are looking for a local 100TPC event go to 100TPC blog and scroll down the blogroll to your right to see what’s happening in your area and to find a contact. If you want to organize an event yourself, go to the Home Page for information.
Heads-up everyone: For the fifth year on September 26, 2015, more than 100,000 Poets (and artists, musicians, and other creatives and activist) will meet in town squares, theaters, on beaches, in cafes and probably some backyards in solidarity for a peaceful and sustainable world.
At The Bardo Group/Bequine Again, we’re hosting a virtual event so that those who have no neighborhood events to go to or who are home bound can participate.
At this writing founder Michael Ronthenberg, poet and publisher, reports that 300 events are already registered. To see if there’s an event near you or to register an event in your neighborhood, go to the site.
The following is a message from the founders of 100TPC:
The first order of change is for poets, writers, musicians, artists, activists to get together to create and perform, educate and demonstrate, simultaneously, with other communities around the world. This changes how we see our local community and the global community. We have become incredibly alienated in recent years. We hardly know our neighbors down the street let alone our creative allies who live and share our concerns in other countries. We need to feel this kind of global solidarity. It is empowering . . .
… and there is trouble in the world. Wars, violation of human rights, ecocide, racism, genocide, gender inequality, homelessness, the lack of affordable medical care, police brutality, religious persecution, poverty, censorship, animal cruelty, and the list goes on and on.
Transformation towards peace and a more sustainable world are the major concerns and the global guiding principle for 100 TPC events. War is not sustainable. There is an increasing sense that we need to move forward and stop moving backwards. But we are trying not to be dogmatic. We hope that together we can develop our ideas of the “change/transformation” we are looking for as a global community , and that each local community group will decide their own specific area of focus for change for their particular event. All we ask is that local communities organize events about change within the guidelines of peace and sustainability.
100 Thousand Poets for Change will help organize and find individuals in each area who would like to organize their local event.
If you are an organizer for your community you will consider a location for the event and begin to contact people in your area who want to participate in the event. Participation means contacting the media, posting the event on the web, in calendars, newspapers, etc., reading poems, doing a concert, performing in general, supplying cupcakes and beer (it’s up to you), demonstrating, putting up an information table, inviting guest speakers, musicians, etc., organizing an art exhibit, and documenting the event (this is important, too), and cleaning up, of course.
Organizers and participants will create their own local event as an expression of who they are locally. Do they want a a concert or a jam session, candlelight vigil or a circus, a march or a dance, poetry reading in a cafe or on the subway, do they want absolute silence, a group meditation on a main street; it’s up to the local organization.
However, groups should try to hold some part of the event, if not all of it, outdoors, in public view (not required). The point is to be seen and heard, not just stay behind closed walls. It is also important that the event be documented. Photos, audio, videos, poems, journals, paintings! Documentation is crucial. The rest of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change want to hear what you have to say about change and enjoy your creativity too! The documentation will be shared through a blog/website that I will set up, a blog/website where groups can share and announce event information, as well as post photos, videos, poetry, art, and thoughts. But an event doesn’t have to involve tons of people. It can be just you (the organizer) and your pet, on a street corner, with a sign. Just let me know what you are planning!
Each local organization determines what it wants to focus on, something broad like, peace, sustainability, justice, equality, or more specific causes like Health Care, or Freedom of Speech, or local environmental or social concerns that need attention in your particular area right now, etc. Organizations will then come up with a mission statement/manifesto that describes who they are and what they think and care about. Mission statements form arround the world have been collected and worked together into a grand statement of 100 Thousand Poets for Change.
Thank you for joining us!
Best, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion