March 25, 2011

The Ancient Mariner & The Goose

Sometimes I feel like the Ancient Mariner or Chicken Little, even a modern day Cassandra trying to ring the alarm bell. I want to warn my friends to heed the impending storms.

The Ancient Mariner

For all our sakes, “Don’t kill the Albatross”! Share the story of the Mariner and the Albatross with those you love, the message transcends religion and goes to the heart of spiritual reverence for Nature.

It’s not my intention to spoil a lovely day or deprive you of  your own simple enjoyments of life. I’m reminded of Jackson Browne’s anti consumerism ballad. He apologizes for taking a tone of judgement in The Rebel Jesus and delivers a scathing blow to commercialism. The Jesus imagery is over the top for my personal preference and sensibilities, however, whomever selected the visuals to go along with Jackson’s words did a pretty good job.  I love it when artists and writers skilfully deliver wake up calls! This video connects a few more dots and ought to be a rallying call for all Heathens, and earth loving Pagans – heck you don’t have to fit into one of those categories… it’s a message for all citizens of this precious planet that free market advocates are turning into a giant shopping mall during the holidays and any other day you can get a “blue light special”.


I’m compelled to pass along information that comes across my proverbial radar screen. Just as the mariner wanders the Earth to tell his tale, I can’t remain silent in the face of what’s happening in the world. We all do our best to pay attention.

The Ancient Mariner with his kill

Messages come to us from across the centuries, delivered by inspired and passionate artists. It’s up to us to learn the lessons. Unlike the brutality of Old Mother Hubbard, the fable of Chicken Little actually brings me some hope, since there are many different scenarios to how that story ends – Let’s not be eaten by the Fox! The best scenario ends with Cocky Lockey reaching the King to warn him. The version I like is all about courage, and if ever there was a time in our history when our citizens need courage to speak truth to power, it’s now!  There is plenty of evidence the sky is falling all around us, although strong forces in the media, corporate apologists and the Tea Infused halls of Congress argue the clarion call to action is grossly exaggerated. They do their best to stop any and all progressive policies from being implemented. They are the Foxes in the hen house for certain.

Chicken Little, Cocky Lockey, Goosey Loosey and Foxy Loxy

Don’t you have an intuitive feeling that we’re systematically killing the Golden Goose at the same time we’re consuming all her eggs? Isn’t it about time we stopped our irreverent exploitation of Nature for profits? On Facebook, I received two disturbing posts on my wall – the first was a photograph of Sea Otters covered in oil and the second was a New York Times article about Corporations avoiding taxes. They both triggered my posting.  This is the least I can do to spread the word and strengthen our collective resolve to take action. The next thing I’m going to do is turn over a significant portion of my lawn (Kentucky Bluegrass is an outdated idea, if ever there was one) and prepare a garden bed.

My writing reflects a personal desire to stir up activism and search for others who share my concerns.  There is strength in numbers, and  I don’t want to be alone in this work to wake up. Who are we actually awakening besides ourselves? All the research suggests that we only need 20% of a given community to embrace a new idea or a new behavior and the whole community flips!

In order to avoid resignation and paralysis in the face of complex issues, research comes to our rescue again. It  tells us we only need three things:

  1. A concern that is substantive and measurable
  2. We must know that we are not alone in our shared, common concern
  3. Trust that any recommended solutions are credible and have a good chance of working!

Perhaps the best thing I can do today, in addition to reminding readers that it was 22 years ago that the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound. It was Good Friday, 1989.  Thanks to Anita for that reminder. She is another tireless activist who does her best to keep us all on our toes.  She challenges us to “do one thing out of the ordinary in our lives today that eliminates the use of oil and gas”! GO AHEAD, post what you’re going to do for the well being of our planet in the comment fields below!

I want to urge Elephant Journal readers to never forget how Exxon skillfully avoided paying damages and punitive rewards anywhere close to the harm they caused. It’s simple, if you still buy gas from Exxon – STOP! If you need more inspiration see BLACK WAVE, The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez

Sea Otters Drenched in Oil

It is also stunning that we are rapidly approaching the 1 year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf this April 20th! Be vigilant and keep an eye on BP!

So, here it is, the latest scam that came to my attention today!  Reported by the New York Times: Tax Attorneys and MBA’s protect the nation’s largest corporation from paying any taxes.  General Electric has 975 employees in their corporate tax department and those loyal employees filed a 24,000 page tax return. They claim their return complies with all the rules and regulations of the IRS – of course, over the years their corporate lobbyists and political action committees reversed  Ronald Reagan’s Tax Reform Act of 1986, originally designed to remove the most egregious corporate tax evasion strategies.  These slick corporate apologists, paid by G.E. and other companies, have managed to get their political puppets to expand tax loopholes and keep others open!

Thanks to Russell, my other friend and prodder provocateur extraordinaire. He brought this shameful corporate behavior into my awareness today.  Check out his Isle of View web site. It’s more cheerful than the dark tales of corporate mis-deeds and allows us all a moment of levity with a message!

Onward with Courage

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