Things that came to my attention this past year (or before but still hold some interest) These are people and organizations that are working to make the world a better place in what ways they can. I am inspired by them.
Recently, the Lakota People have seceded from the US. They will be making their own passports and drivers' licenses. They've been engaged in some diplomacy with other nations around the world. I'm not sure what any of this means or how it will play out, but I find it an amazing exercise of the people.
ImaginePeace: Every new bit of footage I see of John Lennon, I am amazed by the omni-timeliness. The video up on the site is very powerful in the rip your heart out at the ugliness of war, sort of way. The video for the song itself (in the last third of the clip) comes from the same school as the idea that vietnam war images mobilized the people to stop it. This is truth not Hollywood. That being said, watch with care. The first section of John speaking is worth a look. "Everyone knows that the people have the power. All we have to do is awaken the power in the people." - John Lennon
This is a great short film made to educate about 'stuff' and consumption. It's clear and concise. The info about the creation of consumerism post World War II was pretty mind-blowing. I'd love to know more about this victor labeau chap.
The movement toward a pro bicycle culture is fantastic. Hilarious that Chanel is making designer bikes and everyone in fashion is talking about ms. dyne showing up to runway shows on bikes. The folks at Bikes Not Bombs have been not only pro bike for years but also finding ways to interest as well as train local youth in the art of bicycle maintenance. Recycling old bikes, even. The remaining concern is safety in urban planning. I'm glad people are starting to be interested.
David Byrne is making life better by not only keeping an intelligent blog on issues like bicycles and new artists and politics, but also curated an online radio station that always has music that is new to me. I am personally inspired by his life choices and view point. A role-model for how to live life as an artist.
My initial attraction to the archbishop of cantebury was through the planet earth bbc series. He has fantastic diction, and also is a voice for environmental stewardship in the christian realm. His christmas sermon addressed the issue of global warming. I find that encouraging.
Banksy was pretty awesome to begin with, using the public realm to get people thinking through art (I feel like I've heard people talk about trying to do that but this is the first take I've felt has begun to work. maybe it has something to do with the twinkle of illegalness.) His graphic realist style of stenciling is effective in that the figures are clear so that the surreal qualities and juxtapositions are even more potent. Then there's the christmas graffiti on the walls of Bethlehem.
Whiskerino's message of beard-growing is not so earth shattering on the surface. There may be the slightest healthy encouragement of men to be men, but the major impact is the community is creates, both by participants and fans. It also utilizes the contemporary impulse to self-document and makes a group of it. A competition that is won by community building. beautiful.
Learning to Love You More has been around for a few years. It was started by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher and a book has been made from it. Here we have another take on online community building, by storytelling, making activities and exploration and sharing of the human condition.
Vinegar is an all-purpose wonder fluid. It can handle oodles of your cleaning needs, many more than you can imagine. This book says there are 400 uses.
Baking Soda is another excellent overlooked cleaning agent. This one I've known a thing a or two about from my mom. But, here,
another book to teach up all the crap we don't need that we're told we do.
unlike the deadly mixture of bleach and ammonia,
these two ingredients together: table top volcano
so long mr. yuck
My mother Z. Zsido has been working on issues surrounding the Muddy River Restoration Project scheduled for Olmstead's Emerald Necklace in Boston Massachusetts. The concern being the impact of such a proposed dredging and laying down of herbicides may have far more consequences than expected. She has put her paper on the subject as well as further info online.
My sister Sarah Lyon Ph.D. is using her education in anthropology to investigate the effects of coffee economics on guatamalan women. She has taken a number of trips down to study and meet the people over the years and is publishing papers and soon books on the subject.
My friend BriAnna Olson has taken on a project of trying to create a human and artistic exchange between two nations who have some antagonism in the interest to spreading love and understanding rather than the alternative. She has built her own online presence and begun to generate motions toward that goal.
My housemate Brian Viglione (sadly no more as I've vacated Boston) wrote an essay for the Matthew Shepard foundation in connection with the the True Colors Tour the Dresden Dolls did this past year. He shares parts of himself and offers words of encouragement in hopes of easing the difficulties of growing up queer.
If you have anyone to add to the list, please comment and share. Let's get each other juiced to change things to how we'd like them to be.