The most poetical experiences of my life have been those moments of conceptual comprehension of a few of the extraordinary generalized principles and their complex interactions that are apparently employed in the governance of universal evolution.

-R. Buckminster Fuller, I Seem To Be a Verb (1970)

“The custodian is unable to comply with this request because the custodian is not in possession of any documents responsive to this request.”

 

“We will be led, unless we build popular resistance movements and carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience, toward collective self-annihilation by dimwitted pied pipers and fools.” (Christie just removed NJ from the greenhouse gas reduction programs)
 

“The Earth has already begun to react to our hubris. Freak weather unleashed deadly tornados in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. It has triggered wildfires that have engulfed large tracts in California, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. It has brought severe droughts to the Southwest, parts of China and the Amazon. It has caused massive flooding along the Mississippi as well as in Australia, New Zealand, China and Pakistan. It is killing off the fish stocks in the oceans and obliterating the polar ice caps. Steadily rising sea levels will eventually submerge coastal cities, islands and some countries. These disturbing weather patterns presage a world where it will be harder and harder to sustain human life. Massive human migrations, which have already begun, will create chaos and violence. India is building a4,000-kilometer fencealong its border with Bangladesh to, in part, hold back the refugees who will flee if Bangladesh is submerged. There are mounting food shortages and sharp price increases in basic staples such as wheat as weather patterns disrupt crop production. The failed grain harvests in Russia, China and Australia, along with the death of the winter wheat crop in Texas, have, as McKibben points out, been exacerbated by the inability of Midwestern farmers to plant corn in water-logged fields.”

The Sky Really Is Falling, Tuesday 31 May 2011 by: Chris Hedges

Amelia wanted to write a glowing report of how she commented about a storm drain, and it was fixed the very same afternoon. She thinks that is downright swell. The power of a well placed bulldozer.

Amelia wanted to tell the story of how she had to follow a town committee member outside town hall, for him to smoke, in order to speak her request. He hopped right in his truck after she spoke, and came to survey the need. Amelia does not expect, nor does she deserve, that level of service. Again, swell, thanks! (Although she paid for it, after all!) Instead, there is another, more important story to tell.

While the town committee man/supervisor of public works and Amelia walked the roadway, she said, “I am so sorry for whatever I do to make it appear that I am public enemy number one. I really do not want the conflict. I want to feel comfortable to ask questions and not be called a ‘negative effect on my town,’ not to be insulted with conjecture and theories of what I am doing and why and for whose gain. Really, this should just be about asking questions and getting answers. This should be about a citizen having an opinion and representatives hearing it and responding professionally to it.

Silence, head still turned away from me. No comment.

Amelia goes on:

And if I ask questions that make people mad and uncomfortable, then what am I supposed to do with that?  Stop asking questions, I know.  You want me to stop asking questions. I get that message loud and clear. As long as I am asking questions, you are going to bully me at town meetings, in my private life, and in cyberspace.

You think that I will go away because I am intimidated. Ha! I sure do understand who is willing to have a conversation and who will not speak with me about politics. Who is creating a culture of fear, a community of haters, and who is making every student in the school a journal so they can start journaling their words and making art to decorate their words and inner landscape. Who is threatening their citizen with guns, and who is asking simple questions of transparency.

You want me to submit to you. You want me to submit to your slander and harassment and your 5-minute, untimed, not uniform-ably applied, policy reign? I will not.

The public works/committee man kept his head turned away from me while I said all this.

Then the committee member answered, head still turned away from me, “I don’t want to talk about politics with you.”

I said, “Really?”

Amelia keeps spouting, or spewing, or verbally adjusting “I think dialogue can be good. Please, you, really? You really cannot talk to me? Really? Nothing- about politics?”

“Nothing” he said. Head still turned away from me.

Amelia couldn’t help but reference the line used by this individual who refused to participate in a public Q & A at election time, “Anyone can talk to me about anything whenever they want.” (As long as it is not on the record.)

Except Amelia.

So I learned an important lesson. I have representation on the road crew, but not for my town’s government.

Amelia will move underground. It becomes imperative to survival; if you want to read my writing wait for the book/TV series (in discussion with Directors of Malcolm in the Middle now). And while my line of civility has been crossed by the turquoise man yet again, you can be assured that I will continue to be involved in local politics and suppress the desire to never be in the same room with the mayor whose person is shrouded in a black aura that no amount of turquoise can camouflage. Your strategy of intimidation, harassment, and threats will backfire.

In closing, it makes the most sense to quote my dear sweet remarkable dead father. A man of great principle and moral code who headed the State Attorney Ethics Review Board for years. He would play a game with us around the dinner table (when I was barely a teen) which he called “Ethics in America;” in this game, he would give us a hypothetical situation and we had to unpack the right decision in the appropriate pros and cons. Here is the line my father would have said in this exit situation, for he spoke frequently without giving his opinion:

 “Time will tell.”

At the town meeting tonight I was speaking. I said “I can speak.” The Mayor said, “No you can’t. There is a police officer (state police man) behind you and he has a gun.” I said “What? Are you threatening me with a gun for speaking?” And he said “Its a joke.” and I said “It depends on what side of the table you are sitting on as to whether that comment is a joke or not.”

I am a political dissident now. I have been threatened with a gun by the Mayor. Political dissident: broadly defined as a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When dissidents unite for a common cause they often effect a change. I refuse to accept the 5 minute, untimed, ununiformably applied policy. I think it is a control device that was not administrated well on the first go. It was so upsetting.

What is my next order of business? My next order of business is to request the audio file of the meeting so I can verbatim the conversation. But really, your should request your own copy so you can listen to the meeting. Then you can prove that I was threatened with a gun by the Mayor for talking.

WE ARE BIRTHERS

How did we get here, where we don’t belong?
We are birthers, racist against ourselves,
not wanting someone of our color
to be in charge of our lives.

We are showroom birthers. We are standing here
exposing ourselves in the public domain of our friends
and enemies, we go on campaigns
to discredit ourselves, to evade the
question of what we do,
and think of credentials, of paper work,
notary publics, the awards, degrees,
the clubs we’re born in and the clubs we join.
We look around and change our pose.
We are birthers.

We’re being watched and we feel our pulse.
We have claims to authenticity, and we refuse
to acknowledge them. No amount of proof
will demonstrate to us our own validity.
We cannot be accepted.
We are not natural born.

We go on the television in our minds,
and insinuate that we are ineligible to be who we are.
We start to move, and we break the glass.
We go into a club and there we start to dance.
We are birthers.

There is a mechanism, a network of misinformation
in ourselves. No matter what we put in our minds
this will not be put to rest.
We step out and take a walk through the city.

               –Drew Gardner

Amelia read this poem recently and asked the poet for permission to re-post; thanks Drew (who is one of the nation’s great Flarfists!). For Amelia, this poem expands old lines into new places; Amelia’s old borrowed lines are ‘there are those who are busy being born and those who are busy dying’ or ‘we are our own worst enemy’ and ‘evasion is desirable.’ This poem reminds Amelia that there are things we choose and things that are chosen for us- and she wonders in terms of Frelinghuysenfolly government how conscious the populous is about the line between the two?

‘We go on the television in our minds,
and insinuate that we are ineligible to be who we are.
We start to move, and we break the glass.’

I am just too annoyed to post.

The empty Frelinghuysen bulletin board in town pushes me over the edge.

Here they could be advertising the new “dump day” policy, reminding you to pick up your voucher… but instead silence. Lack of information certainly will cut costs.

I, for one, am deeply annoyed by the change in clean up day policy. I do not think saving money is always the reason to change things. And Amelia is sure that this policy is best served by those with trucks. All Frelinghuysenfolly elected officials have trucks, and some deal in garbage removal. So to them, taking a load to the dump is no big deal.

I applaud that there is trucking support for the handicapped, and for the elderly; 65 and older.

But what about support to those of us who have two kids, and a small car, and a full-time job, and a husband at a huge international festival, and if she loads up, and takes a load, she’ll remove about 1/5th of the crap to the dump that needs to go to the dump. I just can’t drive all the way to the county dump with the hatch open- the way I could when I went to town hall- just down the road; kids left at home for 10 minutes. What is she gonna do with all the stuff/junk she can’t dump?

What about all the stuff that got “exchanged” at Frelinghuysenfolly clean up days; things shared in the community instead of ending up in the dump? Like the kid who got the tractor, or the bike, or the music stand? Here, to me, there is a “clean up value”; a sharing and exchanging. In Amelia’s utopia “Clean Up Day” is also “exchange and share day” so I could leave an Italian-designed stroller for another family by the dumpster, or it gets tossed after a few days… I wish my elected officials would think about “Clean Up Day” as a good, necessary, real local service; and a job better suited for those with trucks, and containers.

Too bad there isn’t a service I can apply to at Frelinghuysenfolly town hall called  “Citizen without a truck and a husband out-of-town and a full time job and a pile of crap needing to go to the Dump Fund.”

My taxes go up, and my services decline.

Here’s an idea came in from Birk after the Harpies swooped in:

Move trash clean up day from May, to the primary election. Here is where we can all do our part to begin to clean up the town in the best way possible.  Vote out the incumbents! It won’t cost you a thing. Polls will be open to accommodate working individuals! Conveniently locate at town hall as in years past.

Final conundrum: The township authorities locked the building so that recreational exercise class participants can not use the bathroom. Now this, in my opinion, is uncalled for. We are not interested in your business; we are interested in our bodies business. Is this the case when movies are shown? Citizens are at meetings?

UNIFORM POLICY GENTLEMEN; no selective policies; uniform treatment for all citizens regardless of town hall activity or vehicle type.

There is no doubt in Amelia’s mind that if one is doing research about Utopia, and one likes film, then the following curatorial pairing should be considered. Watch Changling, featuring Angelena Joli (her lips are gorgeous!) and then watch The Invention of Lying. The drama, real life story Changling, needs to be followed by a comedy. There are very few films that I must get up in the middle of, and leave the room, because it is too much for me, but Changling made me do it twice. Once because of brutality to children, and once because of the electro shock therapy administered to women because they refused to lie to/for the authorities. There is a lot of crying in this real life story; how can one not weep about a single mother whose son is abducted, but the Police return a stand in, and have a press conference,  and deem her insane when she tells them “This is not my son.” How can one accept a culture or a community where anyone with authority lies about a citizen; it simply is not acceptable in any context. This film is truly weepy, and yet remarkably optomistic about how women, when they stay true to their instinct and judgement, can change power.

The Invention of Lying is so amazing brilliant when paired with the lying/non-truth in the Changling.  Its starting point is a science fiction reality, where everyone tells the complete and utter wholehearted truth all the time. And this, is, jarring. Then one man starts layering some non-truths into the culture. Wow. So funny.

In a world where no one fibs, and where fiction does not exist, people take each other at their literal word. Always. There is never a cover-up of “actual thoughts.” This is great, but then watch… while a fib is told, and a story is invented, and all the revolution that starts to happen when fiction emerges.