For this Earth Day, we wanted to share with you some of the movies, music, and books that have inspired us to joyfully engage in our environmental activism.
Mindwalk. This movie is a favorite of Ian’s. It is based on the book Turning Point by physicist Fritjof Capra. Capra is best know for his book, The Tao of Physics which removes the artificial barriers between religious understanding and scientific understanding. The book, The Turning Point, presented the movie maker’s problem of how to turn a book about the complexity of our ecological problems into a narrative. The solution was to set it in a beautiful place, Mont. St. Michael, France. And set in motion a discussion between a physicist (Liv Ullmann) and poet (John Heard), and a former presidential candidate (Sam Waterston) as they walk through Mont. St. Michael. The narrative form also provided a solution to a lesser problem. There was already a very famous ballet movie called Turning Point, so the Capra’s movie was named Mindwalk to avoid confusion and reflect the new form.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMZ9xwfmNvs] Continue reading Dance, Recite, and Converse for Earth Day!
Green Politics Is Eutopian by Paul Gilk is the Royal Book of the Week for Monday, August, 29, 2011. Duke August was recently reading an article about how environmentalist strategies are trapped within the paradigm of a capitalist system. These environmentalist needed to be handed this collection of Gilk’s essays. Did the Duke say “capitalist”? No, the Duke is not peddling a re-tread of the Communist Manifesto, so there is no need to reach for a copy of the oft-misquoted Wealth of Nations.
Gilk finds that capitalism and communism are two faces of the same utopian, patriarchal, urban, mechanistic civilization. He calls for a eutopian society as the antidote to this destructive path. The term eutopian, as used in the title of the book (At least it did for the Duke.) Gilk defines eutopian is defined in comparison. While Utopian means ‘no place’, Eutopian means the ‘good place.’
Despite the confusing contradictions in the respective titles, we can take two late-nineteenth-century novels as clear examples of the “no-place”/”good place” division: Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward and William Morris’s News from Nowhere. the contradiction is clarified by Bellamy’s “ideal” story is set entirely in a city, while Morris’s “real” tale is situated in the countryside. Bellamy’s story is of an authoritatian, if also benevolent, urban nierarchy that directs a city-as-machine, while Morris’s tale is of robust community-oriented physical life in a classless and unspoiled countryside.
Continue reading Royal Book of the Week: Monday, August 29, 2011