I’m now the Number One Google Return for plastic cups alternative. I’m not heartless. I really feel for No Impact Man, he ought to have the honor. I mean that! I do! We all know that No Impact Man and I have our differences but as far as environmental info (and links to) goes, my blog isn’t exactly the place to be. We’re interested here, but in this household we’re also a tragic mix of displaced Irish, displaced Scots-Irish, displaced Cherokee and Ioway and French. So our attitudes are kind of, “Hell may come, yes it will. We hope not but, shit, look at the history of scumbag governments.” We like to do our part while at the same time resigned that those who have the passion to gain control over lots of people and money are usually crazy individuals with a heavy duty EYES AND TIME FOR ONLY ME AND WHAT’S GONNA BEST BUILD THE PERSONAL FUTURE I WANT WHICH IS DEDICATEDLY OH SO FAR BEYOND YOUR SORRY PATHETIC REALITY complex.

What also does Google Casino give me today? I put up this nice little (no, very long) post a little while back on Antonioni’s Blow Up and because of it this search array lands on my blog: picture of an arm blowing up.

Who in the hell needs to see a picture of an arm blowing up? I don’t wanna know. But given the nature of the Internet I doubt it was for purposes of scare-em-senseless education as in, “Look, children, this is what may happen when you play with fireworks or sign up for an indefinite tour in Iraq!”

I had a great-grandfather with a glass eye, by the way. From a childhood incident with fireworks. I read that a way to really annoy people is to tap your glass eye while talking to them. I wonder if he ever did that? I know he used to like to take it out and entertain the kids with it.


Three cheers for the internet as a last great bastion of democracy in America. And doesn’t it feel good to know you’re a part of it?

From the interview with Elliot Cohen, The Last Days Of American Democracy? up at AlterNet:

The Internet is really a great bastion of democracy. If we didn’t have the Internet we wouldn’t even know about the Downing Street Memos, for example. Because the mainstream didn’t cover it. And so what we’re up against is, if we can hold on to the Internet, then we still have a source of a democratic press. But the problem is, it’s being encroached upon just like mainstream media and it’s in danger of becoming really an arm of these large corporations who are now dominating the Internet. And this started in 2000, well, well before. But in 2005 there was the landmark decision by the Supreme Court, which was the Brand X decision, where the court essentially turned over the pipes that send the information down the Internet to these large corporations.

…the Supreme Court said that that is no longer the case with the Internet. The Net’s not going to be seen as a telecommunications system but rather it’s going to be conceived as an information system just like CNN or Fox cable. And what that does is open up the door effectively for various modes of control, and one of the ways in which these large corporations like Comcast are trying to control the Internet right now is through setting up these tollbooths where they are instituting, or want to institute — and there’s a lot of powerful lobbies in Congress to try to do this — they are trying to set up these tollbooths which will regulate how much, what kind of bandwidth different Internet sites can have, depending upon how much they are wiling to pay. So we have a pay-for-play system where the bandwidth will determine how quickly you connect then, and whether or not you end up spinning out in cyberspace versus reaching lots of people. And obviously those corporations with the deepest pockets are going to be able to have the best connectivity. What that means is money is going to control truth.

Kubrick’s 2001 comes to mind, the astronaut spinning off into space, all flailing arms and legs.

This past weekend, AT&T censored a Pearl Jam concert lest America be alarmed by the lyrics,

“George Bush, leave this world alone”


“George Bush find yourself another home.”

Will the corporations and govt win yet again, or is there a possibility that netizens can Save the Internet.

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The news Friday is that Gen. David Patraeus is saying we’ll be in Iraq for, well, around another decade:

Gen. David Petraeus told a congressional delegation visiting the Middle East that success in Iraq will require a U.S. military presence there for about a decade, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said Friday.

The commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, who will deliver a highly anticipated progress report next month, said the U.S. “will be in Iraq in some way for 9 or 10 years,” according to Schakowsky. The general also highlighted progress in Anbar province, where former Sunni insurgents have turned against Al Qaeda extremists in recent months.

Source: The Hill

What I want to know is what’s the big f***ing surprise about this? And don’t tell me, “It’s not where the real war on terror is, that’s why the surprise,” because everyone SHOULD HAVE PAID ATTENTION TO WHAT BUSH SAID ON SEPT 20 2001, which forecast exactly what he was going to do and scared the hell out of me as I stood listening to his address to the “Joint Session of Congress and the American People”.

Here’s a refresher. He said…

Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war? We will direct every resource at our command — every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war — to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.

This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.

When Bush said that it would be a lengthy campaign “unlike any other we have ever seen” I took him at his word. That he was going to launch us into an unwinnable, go-where-he-or-whomever-wants, VERY long war. I heard something down the order of at least 15 years in my brain. I was thinking, “Hell, he’s talking sci fi epic war! He’s talking sci fi epic war where from now on everything radiates from 9/11 with it as the excuse for anything and everything, where 20 years from now our children will be living 9/11 like it was their birth date and certainly their house, because it’s going to replace every wall, floor and ceiling we know with an intelligence gathering network, and everything inside and outside the US is going to be the enemy. In the name of the People and 9/11, they will make every single one of us the enemy.”

Now, General Lute is saying that reinstating the draft is on the table, but that Bush doesn’t want it. And Americablog (link above) is saying, “Just because Bush says publicly the draft isn’t necessary doesn’t mean anything. Bush lies.”

Well, in a way I hope he’s lying. Because as far as I can tell, reinstating the draft is perhaps the only thing that’s going to get us out of this mess. Why? Because I seriously believe there’s no way in hell that America’s kids will go along with it. A reinstating of the draft will get kids and their families in the streets protesting, as in the 70s, “Hell, no, we won’t go!” The government could deploy all the remaining National Guard here against the protesters and they’d still be out in the streets because they’re not going to want to come home from the desert in a body bag. And the National Guard having been treated as roughly as it has been, I wonder just how many of the National Guard deployed against protesters would join arms with them instead.

Listening to that speech on Sept 20, 2001, I literally went dizzy. I was standing in the living room of the place we were renting in Decatur, and I literally went dizzy contemplating and foreseeing everything that would happen…as it has happened since then. I thought, “Hell, and the American people are going to go for it because they’re all, even people I thought were sane, out buying flags and putting them up everywhere. They’re not listening. I don’t know why but they’re not going to be listening to what this man is saying. Lengthy war against whomever, wherever, and all of us rooming in the house that Information Gathering Jack Built. And because they’re not listening, several years from now the American People are going to be asking when is the war going to end?”

In the meanwhile, the coffers raped, we’ve got individuals responding to today’s NY searches of vehicles for dirty bombs with…

“This is fine. In fact, it’s great…They’re protecting us from all the bad things that could happen…I have no problem with it. It’s keeping us safe.”

Right. Protecting us from all the bad things that could happen. Keeping us safe. The economy is for shit for the 90 something percent of us who aren’t members of the super rich getting richer, America’s infrastructure is collapsing and no effort is being made to address the catastrophe of global warming.

A draft? Sure. As Bush says, “Bring it on!” How many kids do you know who will show up at boot camp?


Over at the Republic of Dogs the other day, Res Publica posted a sample of an Oklahoma license plate showing an eagle in front of the Twin Towers. The pissed looking eagle sports a red band at the base of its throat touting 9-11, to ensure we know what it’s mad about, and to the side there is the statement GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM. Did I mention the twin towers are blue? And the bald eagle’s head is, of course, white. So there we have something of a new flag in the making.

Inspired, I rushed to see what the red state of Georgia was offering its motorists.

There are no samples available yet but Georgia seems to be suggesting we are warring against terrorism and Iraqi freedom with its new GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM & IRAQI FREEDOM plate. Also offered is a GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM & OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM plate.

Hey, but wait. Also NEW! (in bold red letters with an exclamation mark) is a plate for Gold Star Families of individuals killed in action.

It just seemed so wrong, that bright red NEW! Like you’d get on a site selling novelty t-shirts. NEW! All cheery and welcoming. Come take this car for a spin.

The same day a friend had an upsetting encounter with a military recruiter who was insisting that her daughter had requested information. You can read about it at her blog, but I’ll note here that it seems her daughter, when in high school, had taken the ASVAB, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

In addition, the federal No Child Left Behind Act requires schools that receive federal funding to provide military recruiters with students’ names, addresses and phone numbers unless parents have opted out. Schools also must allow recruiters to have the same access to campuses that colleges have.

The military’s vocational aptitude test is not part of the No Child Left Behind requirement, and the test’s “career explorations” Web site says students who agree to take the test aren’t making any obligations.

Source: Common Dreams

It seems that not everyone is getting the news that you don’t have to take this test. In our state of Georgia, some students who refused to take it, well, they had to take it anyway.

…about half of the school’s juniors refused to even leave their regular classes to report to the testing site in the school’s cafeteria. Some of the teachers, apparently learning about this at the last minute like most everyone else, and confused as to the nature of the proceedings, insisted that their students at least go to the cafeteria even if they did not mean to cooperate with the military. Once they were there, the kids were informed that anyone who showed up in the cafeteria would be made to take the test.

Source: Antiwar.com

Yes. Once at the cafeteria, they HAD to take the test. And the soldiers told the students that if they destroyed the tests, then they would throw out the tests also of those students who had wanted to take it. The coercion worked.

But that is a separate incident from what happened with my friend’s daughter.

What happened to my friend’s daughter? After completing the test, she was given a form to sign. She refused to sign the form. She was then later visited by a uniformed recruiter who intimidated her into signing the form. And she had no idea what was even on the form she was being bullied into signing. Perhaps it was something like this?

Principals in (district) shall protect students’ privacy by implementing “ASVAB Option 8” (keeping the test results from recruiters), informing the military before the test is given. If a school chooses this option, students who want their scores to go to the military can still permit them to go to recruiters on an individual basis. (The military provides a special permission form for such requests.) However, it doesn’t work the other way around. If a school chooses to release information to recruiters, this information will be handed over for all students, removing choice from some students.

Source: Washington Truth in Recruiting

Her daughter has been getting recruitment calls since then.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Well, she signed the form. Why didn’t she read it first?”

My friend’s daughter isn’t dumb. Nor is she not used to taking a stand. This same girl, when she was in middle school, following 9/11, the school began holding patriotic rallies on designated days. The students were informed that if they wore red, white and blue then they would receive extra grade points. She refused to wear the colors and thus did not receive the extra grade points. She also refused to sign a patriotic petition posted by a teacher.

I look on it as her being in an authoritarian double bind. It sounds like she wasn’t made aware of her rights in this situation. She was at school. When she refused to sign the form, the military pursued her. In uniform, they intimidated her into signing.

How many students have been thus intimidated not only into releasing their information, but eventually joining the military?

Do Army/Navy/Marine recruiters get bonuses for each person they get to enlist? I don’t know. But the National Guard does.

The Army National Guard, which has suffered a severe three-year recruiting slump, has begun to reel in soldiers in record numbers, aided in part by a new initiative that pays Guard members $2,000 for each person they enlist.

Source: Washington Post

An enlightening read on the heavy emphasis being placed on reaping high school kids and how to do it is found in the military’s School Recruiting Program Handbook at nodraftnoway.org. One of the more interesting portions is section 2-4 on using student influences.

Some influential students such as the student president or the captain of the football team may not enlist, however, they can and will provide you with referrals who will enlist.

A number of helpful hints on gaining the co-operation of administrators and teachers and winning the confidence of students.

As professionalism is stressed, I guess the high school and college recruiters don’t consider coercive and intimidating tactics to be outside of bounds of creating fodder for Gold Star Family license plates…all in the interest of our war against terrorism and Operation Enduring Freedom.

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Why is the cicada the symbol of Provence?

Why is the cicada the symbol of Provence? And why do I always spell it cicadia? Why do I pronounce it cicadia? I may switch to le cigale because I’ll be able to remember that.

Anyway, I’m interested in this. The why. Please someone leave a detailed history, with footnotes, or a link to. No, “Well, it sounds pretty, that’s why,” kind of explanations will be accepted.

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Some comments on a photo by Eman59


Originally uploaded by eman59

Eman59 posted a beautiful photo at Flickr (here shown) that I mentioned in the comments reminded me of the Dionysian/Christian story of the release from the prison. He’s unfamiliar with the story and asked me to blog it.

In Euripides’ “The Bacchae” (about 410 BCE) we have:

Servant: We are come, Pentheus, having hunted down this prey (note: meaning Dionysus), for which thou didst send us forth; not in vain hath been our quest. We found our quarry tame; he did not fly from us, but yielded himself without a struggle; his cheek ne’er blanched, nor did his ruddy colour change, but with a smile he bade me bind and lead him away, and he waited, making my task an easy one. For very shame I said to him, “Against my will, sir stranger, do I lead thee hence, but Pentheus ordered it, who sent me hither.” As for his votaries whom thou thyself didst check, seizing and binding them hand and foot in the public gaol, all these have loosed their bonds and fled into the meadows where they now are sporting, calling aloud on the Bromian god. Their chains fell off their feet of their own accord, and doors flew open without man’s hand to help. Many a marvel hath this stranger brought with him to our city of Thebes; what yet remains must be thy care.

The Christian presentation is found in the story of Paul in the Acts of the Apostles.

Acts 16 23-33

And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto ELOHIYM: and the prisoners heard them.

And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

And they said, Believe on the ADONAY YAHSHUA MASHIYACH, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

And they spake unto him the word of YHVH, and to all that were in his house.

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

As it turns out I’d remembered this incorrectly, I’d believed there was an accompanying radiance with the bursting of the bonds.

The reason I associate these passages with a supernatural illumination is because of the associated story, in Acts 9, of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, where he is blinded by a great light, and which also has a parallel in Euripides.

Acts 9

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And he said, Who art thou, ADOWN? And the ADONAY said, I am YAHSHUA whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

In Euripides’ “The Bacchae” we have:

DIONYSUS: Still obdurate, O Pentheus, after hearing my words! In spite of all the evil treatment I am enduring from thee, still I warn thee of the sin of bearing arms against a god, and bid thee cease; for Bromius will not endure thy driving his votaries from the mountains where they revel.

PENTHEUS: A truce to thy preaching to me! thou hast escaped thy bonds, preserve thy liberty; else will I renew thy punishment.

DIONYSUS: I would rather do him sacrifice than in a fury kick against the pricks; thou a mortal, he a god.

Streamlined down, the slipping of the prison had to do with gnostic revelation bringing freedom, or the preparation of the soul through purifications for release from the bodily prison. The Orphic and Dionysian mysteries were concerned with this and may be observed, as shown, in Paul’s illumination on the road to Damascus and the breaking of the bonds.

A number of Eman59’s photos have people in scenes in which they are passing through or accompanied by a radiance that transcends the mundane. When I saw this photo, the rays of light moving into the negative/positive space of the bars, and the individual to the front bathed in that light while innocently reading, it did remind me of the story of that breaking of the bonds and the slipping of the prison. As if this individual is caught in the moment just prior illumination, or as yet unaware of what is transpiring perhaps to the rear of him and that the inmates have escaped their prison already.

They have slumber parties??

I’d no idea that the Marines have slumber parties for potential recruits.

Settling a highly publicized case in which two military recruiters were accused of rape, the U.S. Marine Corps has agreed to pay two young women $200,000 and change its recruiting practices in Northern California. The assaults allegedly occurred in 2004, when the two women were 17-year-old high school students…one was told she had to have sex if she wanted to join the Marines…

The agreement also requires that female recruiters be available for young women, and that female supervisors must be present at any Marine-sanctioned slumber parties that include female recruits or applicants.

Maybe they pop popcorn, eat S’mores, play computer games and tell potential recruits this is just a small taste of how Service will be like a fun extended-stay summer camp away from the scrutiny of your parents.

Oh, and toss in a little rape as a recruitment incentive. “You can only come play on the battlefield if I get to rape you first!”

Do you think the Marines are still scratching their heads over how that failed to be much of a success?

P.S. I still think if you’re not old enough to drink, you’re not old enough to have a job where people try to kill you and you try to kill them.

The better-than-thou of reusable cups

I have to write a post today before getting to my own writing. I don’t know why. I just have to. So I guess I’ll write about something that melted my brain this morning. No Impact Man’s nugget-of-5th-avenue-wisdom post today showing off his jolly reuseable cup!

I got all confused looking at NIM’s mason jar. I got confused because I was thinking what’s wrong with multitasking the old portable coffee thermal tumbler? Doesn’t NIM have one of those from his pre-experiment days? Not that I would ever use my tumbler for anything other than coffee as I could probably sandblast it and any water I put in there would probably taste of the residue of holding brew for twelve years. Still, I got confused because I was thinking y’mean NIM doesn’t have from pre-experiment days a plain old handy dandy portable not-just-for-sports water bottle and isn’t it a positive environmental no-impact kind of thing to use that?

“WHY the Mason jar with lid?” I kept thinking. Not that there’s anything wrong with a Mason jar with lid, except it’s kind of clumsy to port around in a bag when you’re out walking, isn’t it?

The only reason I could think of for the Mason jar, in specific, was the cooler-than-thou retro aesthetic touted in the post. Nothing more. Just a matter of coolness aesthetics.

Are there people who will pass over the reusable vessels they already have at home and run out to buy a Mason jar with a sparkling clean lid?

Y’know what I get giddy thinking about? I get giddy imagining people, at home, transferring water from their Fiji (or whatever) water bottles to their ultra cool mason jars and heading out on the town. “Yes, yes, isn’t that just like a human,” I think. You know it’s happening somewhere.

So just what branch are they under?

Via Think Progress

Bush claims he’s not part of the executive branch.

Vice President Cheney has exempted his office from a presidential executive order designed to safeguard classified national security information by claiming that the Office of the Vice President is not an “entity within the executive branch.” Today the LA Times reveals that the President has also exempted himself…

Well, I’m glad they got that cleared up before H.o.p. and I got into Civics, because I’ve lived all these many years falsely believing that the Offices of the President and Vice President were part of the Executive Branch, and I would have erroneously passed along the same info to H.o.p.

Can someone tell me what branch they are under? I’m serious here. I would really like to know.

Owwwwwww! Cognitive Dissonance!

Owww! Cognitive Dissonance. Where’s the Wayback Machine, Mr. Peabody?!

My RSS feed reader showed that quietly, on Sunday, did No Impact Man revisit two of his posts that gave links to where donations could be made to him, and parenthetically added that he had rethunk the notion of donations, but thank you anyway. Was a post on this decision forthcoming?

Come forth it did. A post without much meat on its bones in which NIM states:

Before we get to the body of today’s post, I wanted to let you know that I’ve decided to remove the appeal for contributions to the running of the blog. My reasons for trying it were best summed up by a commenter calling herself Tiny Inkling who wrote: “I like to imagine he’s using [the contributions] to free himself from projects that don’t completely support his values so that he can reach larger groups of people with the “you can do it!” message.”

Nevertheless, this blog is all about the exchange of ideas and enough of you didn’t like the contributions thing that I’m nixing it. I really appreciate the well thought out responses on all sides of the discussion. Those of you who find yourself tempted to be—shall we say—“forceful” in your arguments, may I remind you please to read the guidelines for discussion on this blog, the underlying principles of which are courtesy and respect.

Which brings me to an apology I would like to make to Sharon of Casaubon’s Book and Liz of Pocket Farm. Last week, I responded to their comments in a way that I intended to be lighthearted and joking but which came across as rude and unkind. It wasn’t my intention at all. I really apologize to both of them. Now, onward…

Let’s briefly revisit those lighthearted, joking comments

OK. Now that we have revisited NIM’s comment on how he hadn’t time to “putter around” like Liz of Pocket Farm, and had to earn a living, thus the call for donations…

Let’s look at this comment made on June 15th, after Colin’s lighthearted remarks to Sharon of Casaubon’s Book and Liz of Pocket Farm…

Didn’t there used to be a link to Casaubon’s Book (Sharon Astyk) on the NIM website? I could have sworn I had seen one over on the left-hand side under the blogroll.

Posted by: Margarita | June 15, 2007 at 07:08 PM

When Margarita mentioned it, I checked the blogroll and indeed Casaubon’s Book was no longer there. Or so my eyes thought! Maybe Margarita is just a marvelous magician and she hypnotized me into thinking the link to Casaubon’s Book was no longer on Colin’s blogroll, which had been there up until Colin made his lighthearted retort to Sharon and Liz.

But a couple of other people noticed the removal of the link as well, and commented on it (including Liz of Pocket Farm):

…Also, it’s a shame you took down Sharon’s link. She is one of the few spokeswomen for the Peak Oil movement, and not only is her work serious and important, but she also lives in accordance with her values (and when she doesn’t she lays it out there… red popsicles for her son come to mind). It’s not easy being green (as you may be discovering) and it’s important to hold each other up to a form of “peer review”: checking our inconsistencies so that we may better our messages…

Posted by: Liz | June 16, 2007 at 07:41 AM
…I too am sad to see Casaubon’s Book, which I first found here, mysteriously deleted. Wouldn’t it be great if someone created a blog clearinghouse that included all of these people and nonprofits in an unedited way that wasn’t driven by self-promotion?

Personally, although I don’t feel a connection or commonality with Colin, I do with many people who respond. That is why I return to this blog, which is basically one long infomercial for Colin’s book and film. I like the blog connections that Colin has posted and unfortunately deleted. Remember the Gawker links he deleted? They were so funny! Anyway, of all the amazing people’s blogs (linked on this one), I haven’t seen one panhandling. I’m just saying….

Posted by: critic-naysayer | June 16, 2007 at 10:07 AM

I can’t find a Google cache of Colin’s blog from the time when the link was removed. But I can show you a Google cache of that particular Begin with Kant Then Move To Soliciting Donations posting before Sharon of Casaubon’s Book asked why the call for donations, and before Colin’s “light-hearted” response.

And I can show you, below, side by side, Sharon’s before position on Colin’s blogroll compared with how it is placed today, which does indicate it had indeed been removed and was reintroduced.

You’re probably asking, “Why go to this trouble, Idyllopus??!!”

The thing is that Colin had his chance to admit, “Hey, I was a real jerk about this!” But instead he pleads he was just joking and that we don’t get his sense of humor! Bad us, good Colin!

But, if Colin was just joking, why then did he remove the link to Casaubon’s Book?

“Yes, Idyllopus, but why the interest in the cognitive dissonance foisted upon us all by Colin?”

Because…and this isn’t promo, I’m just explaining…I spent years writing “Unending Wonders”, which has several plots running in it, one of those being what happens when Low Impact Chance is virtually kidnapped by ex-friend Faith into participating in a several month long spending spree with money that was perhaps not legitimately gotten. A big point of that plot line was taking a look at consumerism and showing the collision of the value systems of High and Low Impact. I didn’t do it in a way in which one is painted wholly negative and the other painted wholly positive, because both characters needed their views aired, and as far as Faith was concerned her way of living was gobs of spectacular. So I needed to air her views on why WAY MORE STUFF THAN YOU NEED is giddy, gorgeous fun, and the crisis of Chance’s temptation, which was as much a crisis as it was (and, no, not her only crisis, she had others ongoing) because the way Faith operated was really all about creating cognitive dissonance.

Because I had spent years writing a book covering some of the same philosophical territory as No Impact Man, thus my interest–but not because of what he was doing. Instead, I was interested in how he was presenting what he was doing. Had he come online and said, “I’m doing this and hope to sell this, and this is fabulous promo and a great publicity stunt, but I’m also interested in seeing how we make it through the year” that would have been one thing. Fine and good. And I would have looked forward to what I hoped would be a fun read with fairly equal doses of comedy, good information and points to learning more. But from the outset No Impact Man created cognitive dissonance by way of what he said he was doing as opposed to what he was actually doing but not saying about it, and what he actually hoped to gain, creating cognitive dissonance with everything he glossed over or refused to answer. Or so I felt he was doing, and it got under my skin. Especially when he started asking for freebies, like a freebie personal assistant. Because he didn’t have money to spend. Then said he did have money to spend because living green means money in the bank (tell that to the Lesser Impact People Who Are Not Haves). Then said he didn’t have money to spend and needed donations.

Now, you want to know something that may sound odd? I don’t exactly enjoy harping about Colin. Not at all, really. I would much prefer to trust a “No Impact Man” who admits to a publicity stunt and career motivations and thus absolves conflict by laying out all his cards. I would much prefer to have read Colin’s blog under those circumstances, rather than being drawn back to it repeatedly because of my curiosity over the cognitive dissonance of it glossed with the finest of best intentions.

If Colin addresses the removal of Casaubon’s Book from his blog roll, which I doubt he will do, considering his history, he will perhaps say that it was with the finest of best intentions he thought it prudent to remove Casaubon’s Book if she seemed critical of his work, out of deference to his believing she may no longer have wanted him to link to her, despite the fact his seemingly rude comment was only a lighthearted banter made with the best intentions. This may seem a very minor point, but to me it’s significant because her removal is instead a signal that Colin is flat-out lying when he insists his comments to Sharon and Liz were made in a joking manner. Which is no laughing matter.

As for me. I’m officially flat-out disgusted.

I’m an insomniac and was painting anyway

No Impact Man today endorses himself with philosophers from “Locke to Sartre”, and, specifically, Aristotle, Confucius and Aquinas.

Some readers have taken No Impact Man to task for calling for financial contributions to aid our Super Green No Impact Hero in his No Impact activities and to support his blog. They ask how his fortune-favored lifestyle (book deal, cleaning person, Fifth Avenue digs which he says are hovel small but into which until recently he had stuffed a 52 inch television) and his year-long quest to be No Impact for his book (oh, and to save the world, as per his blog header) fits with his request for donations, especially as he was saving money by not consuming.

No Impact Man, who said he needed to earn a living and didn’t have the leisure or money to “putter” around an attempt at self-sustaining farming like his querents, points out that Aquinas believed moderate self-restraint was the foundation of perfect love, whereas involuntary poverty was spiritually dangerous, compelling people to be bad to escape it.

Uhm. Thus for sake of love for you (I guess) does No Impact Man request your financial support.

Out of sake of perfect love, will you help him out or are you willing to chance being pick-pocketed by him one day outside his Fifth Avenue apartment building, thus damning your soul for having pushed him to depraved acts?

Your call!

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P.S. It works! I spoke to the Ozone and it’s phenomenal the love that’s come pouring in for “Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin”!

“Loved it!!! You are my favorite living author!” – Ken Kesey
“Wow! Great read! I’d ask for an autographed copy but it’s too late for that.” – Camus AND Ralph Ellison
“Put any words in my mouth that you want to, I’m dead and can’t do anything about it.” – Robert Altman
“I would have loved to have made this book into a movie!” – Robert Altman
“I’m really really dead and can’t do anything about any words you might put in my mouth, but I loved your book so don’t worry about fake quoting me.” – Homer

No Impact Man Leaps Tall Questions But Does Not Clear 5th Avenue Prewar, Elegant Apartment Building

There was a stampede at No Impact Man yesterday to discuss Kant and who is the preferred philosopher of No Impact Man’s Faithful. Yet there was one among his supportive readers who picked up on Colin’s plea for financial support, writing:

BTW, Colin, I’m curious – why are you looking for monetary support from your readers, other than buying your book? Michelle wrote about how satisfying it was to watch money piling up in your account – is this creating financial demands that are different than that, or is it just that so many people are dying to give you wads of cash ;-)? Curious.

And then another of his readers (but not among his “faithful”, which I’d originally and mistakenly presumed, her blog serving as testimony) said:

…an excellent question… if No Impact is all about not buying and reducing your needs, why are you accepting donations? Doesn’t quite seem in the spirit of No Impact to me (especially since one would think you received an advance to write your book).

No Impact Man’s response was typical for him. He tried to leapfrog all points:

There isn’t quite a stampede of donors, but maybe you could be the start of one. You know where the link is, right?

I would never begrudge a local farmer’s attempt to add revenue streams in order to self-support. I can only hope, in turn, that a local farmer would not begrudge the same of me.

I have an idea: while I help explain to the world why it is worth paying higher prices to keep small, local farmers in business, maybe you could help explain to the world why it is worth helping to keep me in business!

To the woman who said this was an excellent question, wondering about his book advance, he wrote:

If only you could give me 10 or so of your 50 beautiful acres of land in Maine…

Then I might have the resources to just putter around trying my hand at house renovations and spinning my own wool. 😉

Until then, I have to earn a living. I am, however, tremendously grateful that I have the privilege of being able to do so in a way that I love and that allows me to do a little bit of good along the way

The blog of the woman to whom he’s replying reveals that she and her husband left the rat race to live on a 50 acre farm in Maine where they raise their food, renovate their house, and spin wool etc.

Well, well, well, Colin thusly pissed off those two readers and if you go take a look you’ll see toward the bottom of the comments the responses of Sharon and Liz to Colin, and they’re full of good points.

Nooooooww, what will Colin do next, because yet a third reader has asked what is up with the donations request. Will Colin let fly another Koan? What will be his next dance move?

Anyway, Colin’s advice for today is the “green hipster” way of doing a PDA, which is using index cards instead, fastened by a clip.

“Clever solution!” says one reader. Another thanks him for always providing a new and useful tip. Another describes how she uses scrap paper as a PDA and dubs her own idea as “Brilliant!”

Colin followed today’s post with a reminder that if you like this post and would like to support my work, you can do so financially by clicking here…