Rebranding culture jamming


Actual photograph from March 2012 performance. I was younger then.

I’ve had this blog for almost six years now. I launched it not long after a video of my play HOW TO STOP THE EMPIRE WHILE KEEPING YOUR DAY JOB made a big splash. I had performed the play as part of a theater project for the Occupy Movement titled OCCUPY THE EMPTY SPACE held at historic Judson Memorial Church in New York City. I didn’t know the video had been taken, and I was confused and then flabbergasted that I suddenly had 300+ friend requests on Facebook. And after that, I thought I might want to share some of the work I do theatrically to call out our current system. I follow the admonition/quote from novelist/activist Edward Abbey: A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

The Occupy movement is no longer around in any mass protest way. There are still offshoots such as Occu-Evolve, but they don’t draw big protests the way Occupy was able to in 2011-2012. Other groups, such as Black Lives Matter, have been righteously stirring the pot over police (and non-police–Hello, George Zimmerman) shooting people of color for no especially good reason. The ‘street protest’ around Trump (exemplified by the Women’s march in January 2017 and 2018) is not sufficient to change American politics. 

So… why support a movement that no longer exists in any real sense? Isn’t there a real problem bearing down on us like an out of control train?

Since 2014, I have been following the issue of climate and especially the threat of Near Term Human extinction, usually abbreviated to NTHE. I doubt we will survive past 2026 owing to the acceleration of global warming driven by greenhouse gases and the accelerating use of fossil fuels. You can search my blog for any article with the phrase NTHE in it. I’ve also written extensively about Guy McPherson, a scientist who has made the case that we’re accelerating toward doom because of the rate of heating and the many feedback loops being done. I’ve got all my links to his work and my commentary about it here.

McPherson and a growing number of his colleagues believe we’re far too late to fix things and our best hope is to commit what’s left of our lives to pursuit of excellence. I’m 98% convinced he’s right. But… I also think that whatever chance there is to change this involves throwing ourselves into the gears of the machine, as called for by Mario Savio over 50 years ago. It involves ‘culture jamming’, as laid out in Adbusters. It means changing the dominant paradigms that run the Global North. If we fail (spoiler–we’re almost certainly going to fail), we will be able to tell ourselves in our last moments that at least we tried. We’ll try to be the heroes we waited for.

So in coming weeks I’ll be changing the website a bit. The last time I checked, I had over 700 posts, all put up in the last six years. I’ll be doing a bit less of direct posting and more sharing of the great work being  done by bloggers I respect. 

In the meantime, I share with you this symbol of our planet, created by an anonymous artist. The circle is the earth, the hourglass figure in the center is our time run out. If you want to put this on a local building, I won’t stop you. I think it is self explanatory, but inserting “NATURE BATS LAST” (Dr. McPherson’s useful explanation of our predicament) might help people to catch on.  


the symbol for near-term extinction. Put online by an acquaintance.


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