Sunday, October 25, 2009

Derrick Jensen in Orion

I first learned about this article by Jensen in an Utne recap, and was surprised enough by its drift to want to read the whole thing, so was happy to find that Orion has published it in its entirety on line. Jensen's point is essentially this--people alarmed by the environmental crisis the world faces have wandered down a false alley in thinking that their personal consumer choices actually matter significantly as political statements. The reason is that individual human consumption is dwarfed by the consumption of industry, government, agribusiness, the military and so on.

Jensen has nothing against people simplifying their life, but he's saying it is inadequate to the bigger picture. He also thinks it leads people into the false impression that a human being can only be a harmful presence and never a helpful one.

Anyway, what are you waiting for? Check it out.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nanowrimo 2009

Well, October has hit and the question is upon us: Nanowrimo--am I in or out.

Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month for those who don't want to be bothered to click on the link (who are you?) is a one month extravaganza of suffering, perversely fun, in which anyone who chooses to participate attempts to write a 50,000 word novel--okay, novella--for no reason except for the pleasure/agony of the thing itself. You can do it all alone, you can reach out to online pals for support, you can even connect up with people in your very own region and sweat it out together.

I have participated in this oddly exhilerating month three times and have just about made my mind up to a fourth. I highly recommend it to a few groups of people: the essentially lazy (that would be me), those who have always wanted to tackle a larger project but keep coming up with some excuse about time or whatever, and those who basically feel terrified--but intrigued--by the whole idea would be on the short list.

The animating force behind this whole enterprise is Chris Baty, and it's worth the price of the ticket (though it's actually free, unless you want to be generous and donate something) to get his pep talks once a week and be boosted by his characteristic humility and 'we can do it!' attitude.

Come on--at least take a look at the website. If you're wondering if this is for you, well, it is.