Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Los Angeles

 "In some cases non-violence requires more militancy than violence." - Cesar Chavez
 Signs placed on freeways around Los Angeles.
 "A society surviving on the creation of artificial needs and the manufacturing of unnecessary products will not be able to face the challenges resulting from the destruction of our environment." ~Pierre Joliot
 "I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it." - Mitch Hedberg

 "Life would be tragic if it weren't funny." - Stephen Hawking

 Signs Posted - 6,913
Arrests - 0

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

We Are The Walrus

 Granted, not everybody's going to get this. Maybe one in ten. For the rest, I figure it just makes their day slightly more surreal. The story about the walrus stranding in Alaska hit me harder than I expected: probably because I see it as a harbinger of worse things to come. The thought that my kids are going to live in a world where all the animals are dying - that kind of gets to me.
On the other hand, since I'm a liberal, I can allow for the possibility that I'm entirely wrong. Christ I hope so.

 Speaking of Christ, it seems odd that our fundamentalist Christian friends are sitting this one out. I remember when everything from supermarket scanners to Madonna videos was considered a sign of the end times. Now the whole top of the planet's melting with hardly a whisper from the holy rollers.
The deeply religious probably aren't going to be much help anyway: after all, if God wants a better planet He'll just make one. I'm afraid this task is going to be left up to the atheists... they're the only ones who really know the stakes.

 As for the deniers - screw em. It's not like any genius solutions are gonna come from out of their ranks anyway. As far as I'm concerned all they're good for now is entertainment. In the future they'll probably be used for fuel.
 Of course freeway signs, comprehensible or not, are hardly a solution. It's not like someone's going to see a sign that says Save the Arctic and then go out and do it. On the other hand it seems criminal to let things go this far with so little mention on the landscape. So I consider this as a sort of moral beautification project.
If nothing else, Freewayblogging gives me a sense that I'm doing the best I can with what I've got. And that at least I'm doing something. If something more useful occurs to me then I'll do that instead, and I'm pretty sure my kids will do the same. Yeah, growing up on a planet where all the animals are dying is gonna be depressing, but so was growing up on a planet bristling with nukes. ("When I was growing up we were all gonna die any second in a nuclear war just because some senile actor with a great smile hated commies. You kids don't know how good you've got it...")
Every generation shares this though: we're all born into a world where nobody really knows what's going to happen, and as far as I'm concerned that's the best part of it. Maybe the walruses will pull through somehow. Maybe we will too. In terms of dealing with it in the meantime, I think Edward Abbey said it best:

"Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."

Signs Posted - 6,902
Arrests - 0

Monday, September 29, 2014

Orange County, CA

 "There is an immeasurable distance between late and too late." - Og Mandino
 Signs placed on the 5, 55 and 405 freeways in Orange County, California.
 "A modern society cannot survive if it rejects science." - Senator Bernie Sanders

 "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam
 "We're rapidly approaching a world comprised entirely of jail and shopping." - Douglas Coupland

Signs Posted - 6,895
Arrests - 0

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

People's Climate March: LA Freeway Edition

 "Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth." - Albert Schweitzer
 Signs placed over and alongside Los Angeles Freeways over the weekend.
 "What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" - Henry David Thoreau

"Choose only one master - Nature."
 - Rembrandt 
"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Castaneda

 Signs Posted, 6,865
Arrests - 0

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Homo Suicidus

 This picture came in the mail and was posted by someone in Los Angeles. While I've been tempted to do messages like this I've held back... out of sheer optimism I guess. If I thought we were actually doomed as a species I probably wouldn't bother with signposting, or much of anything I suppose except having a good time.

As more and more unanticipated feedback loops kick in - drowning forests, Siberian methane blasts, arctic wildfires - the more optimistic I become that at least our scientific community will get serious about finding a fix to all this, whether through geo-engineering, plankton blooms, CO2 sequestration or whatever ideas are out there yet to be discovered and implemented.

I do believe, however, that so long as we keep filling the gas chamber we call an atmosphere with poisons, the term "Sapiens" (Latin for "intelligent" or "wise") is no longer appropriate and should be replaced with "Suicidus" (which should be self-explanatory.) 

What I find fascinating about our situation is, despite our sophistication and knowledge, the simplicity of our failing, which boils down to an apparent inability to sacrifice at all now for the benefit of generations yet to come. I don't remember much from bible studies, but I do remember the phrase "not for ourselves or for our children, but for our children's children..." popping up now and again. And while it's altogether possible our ancestors were just as selfish as we are, at least they were willing to pay lip-service to the generations yet to come. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Signs on LA Overpasses

 "If you can't annoy someone, there's little point in writing." - Kingsley Amis
 Signs placed on overpasses around Los Angeles.
 "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
 "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." - Albert Camus
 "If there was an observer on Mars, they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long." - Noam Chomsky

 "We are all in a post-hypnotic trance induced in early infancy." - R.D. Laing
 "The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules."  - Banksy
"Man tends to increase at a greater rate than the means of his subsistence." - Charles Darwin
Signs Posted - 6,855
Arrests - 0

Thursday, August 28, 2014

San Francisco/East Bay

 "You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes." - Alan Watts
 Signs placed on the 80, 101 and 580 freeways in San Francisco, Berkeley and Richmond.
 "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." - Henry David Thoreau
"Nobody can hurt me without my permission."
-Mahatma Gandhi

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." -Denis Diderot

 "The great end of life is not knowledge but action." -Thomas Huxley

 "Die of nothing but a rage to live." - Alexander Pope
Signs Posted - 6,845
Arrests - 0