Road rushing

I got back from NYC on Tuesday. The round trip from Beulah to Brooklyn is 1800 miles. Each 900 mile leg is about 14 hours of driving. In contrast, 900 miles of leisurely sailing might take 2 months or 1440 hours, 100 times slower than driving. It’s an apples to oranges comparison – the car trip is about nullifying geography and the boat trip is about about connecting to it. If I sailed vigorously, Hello World might manage 100 miles a day. A 900 mile trip would then take 9 days or 216 hours – still 15 times slower than driving.

Both methods of travel are good for thinking. The hazy blur of rushing road and the sparkling wind river of Hello World convert to a steady flow of insight. The following are my notes from last Friday’s drive between Michigan and New York.

Can Tiller and Roeder both be terrorists?

On April 2nd the BBC reported about the sentencing of Scott Roeder for the shooting of Dr George Tiller. The lawyer for the Tiller family, Lee Thompson called the murder an act of domestic terrorism. According to the BBC, Roeder also invoked terrorism to describe Tiller. “We do not need to be hunting terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan. We have them in Kansas. Wichita is a far safer place for unborn babies without George Tiller.”

Can Tiller and Roeder both be terrorists? How do the terms terrorist or terrorism improve our understanding of a situation or the issues? Via an upgrade to ultimate epithet, terror variants have lost their meaning. The iconic 911 event was itself a cipher that triggered bizarre military operations and political obfuscation. Without a distinct definition, terror-isms will eventually loose their emotional charge. If so, then Terrorist Training Films may already be a bust. I sense that the BBC’s story contains some clue, a .jpg of the zeitgeist.


Another example of empty language was provided by NPR sponsor Monsanto, “sustainable agriculture”. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Around Lake Michigan is going to find Monsanto in the Search for Sustainable Civilizations. Patented seeds, Round Up and RICO ready operations aren’t artifacts of anything but the cult of suicide. Either I’ve got to make that word untenable for Monsanto or else change the movie’s working title. Are there any words which are inherently resistant to corporate acquisition? What about integrated, accordant, balanced or survivable civilizations? We understand what a civilization is, but perhaps modification isn’t effective. A custom concept might be a better approach, define a plausible sound.

Lake Michigan inspired sound

Speaking of sound, what about the soundtrack angle? Steve Elrick, Melonie Steffes, Jonathan, Luke and I talked about this weeks back, recruiting folks to contribute music to the project. I could find a place for the parlor guitar maybe. I (or someone) needs to reach out to the players and pitch the idea. Here’s the shortlist… Jamie and Kirk, Susan and Vince. Melonie and Shaun, Lucas, Gretchen, Jeff, the other Jeff, Todd and Laurie, Yvonne and on and on. After the calling card.

Add the wilds in

Colin Fletchers Walking the Green World reminds me to add the wilds in. It’s so obvious that like science fiction, I’ve tended to forget that it’s central. The Global Life Support System is functional wherever the wilds are intact. That’s why my personal mission is to expand global awareness to steward and expand the wilds. Terraforming is science fiction because we don’t yet understand terra, we don’t understand how this planet wide mechanism works, much less how to replicate it. All we know is that the wilds are part of it and industrial human presence not so much. So where we find wilds, we’ve got an opportunity to learn.

The most amazing thing is that the wilds are automatic. We don’t have to pay for or repair the wilds, we just have to leave them be. That’s why it’s called the global automatic control system. It’s big and it doesn’t need to be controlled or tinkered with. It just works. We get excited about new technology, yearning after gizmos and whatsits when we are surrounded by uber advanced technology, wilderness. Our own wondrous bodies run pretty well on leaves. The kingdom of heaven is spread upon the earth and man does not see it. Well, let’s see it already.

Asthma, diabetes and cancer are the result of environmental degradation. The cure for modern epidemics is to stop killing ourselves, eh? Burning books is symptomatic of ignorance. Wiping out wilderness is akin to dragging our families into the flames.

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