Complacent Nation vs. Revelations
Yesterday I received a stunning email from the Complacent Nation, a collective that produces "popular propaganda, political stunts and creative actions," as well as "events, parties and living out loud." They've summed up neatly a lot of what I'm hearing from various creative communities, and are offering paths of action out of the anger we all feel. Links to AlterNet's stories in the email, by the way, were a complete surprise and delight.
"An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of Revelation."
- William James
For the past eight days we have been living loud at the festival on fire that is Burning Man. Building a city of art and decadence with 30,000 like minds feels like the culmination of our counter culture community - a ritual for the self inspired - a pilgrimage - a Revelation.
But 2,485 miles away a true Revelation was rippling from the hell that is New Orleans underwater. The headlines are unreal. The destruction is catastrophic. The failure of the authorities is absolute and unforgivable.
Now, as the water recedes we realize these Revelations:
Revelation I : New Orleans is a homicide.
This catastrophe is beyond a simple twist of fate; this is a predicted and preventable cataclysm. Engineers, city managers and journalists had warned specifically of the dangers of not improving the levees of New Orleans. Instead of heading this warning the Bush administration diverted money and expertise to the wasted war in Iraq. The crime here is beyond negligence it is mass murder. Details: http://alternettest.wpengine.com/story/25114/
Revelation II : New Orleans is a harbinger.
This event stands with other recent preventable tragedies including September 11th, the genocide in Darfur and the Iraq War. Unless we impeach (and criminally prosecute) our failed leadership we will be at the mercy of known cataclysms to come (ie. another terrorist attack, the end of oil.) Details: http://alternettest.wpengine.com/story/25175/
Revelation III : New Orleans is a victim of war.
National Guard troops should have been evacuating New Orleans but instead are being slaughtered in Iraq. Federal funds that are needed for the remaking of our native city have been spent on unmaking a brutalized Baghdad. Now the design comes full circle as Halliburton "bids" again on rebuilding projects for a broken New Orleans. Details: http://alternettest.wpengine.com/story/25107/
Revelation IV : You deserve to be fucking furious.
Revelation V : The fix is up to us.
This government is offering us nothing but contempt. We must band together and marshall our own sweat blood and money to help save the victims of katrina.
This Saturday, we are flying from New York City to Houston, Texas to help with the relief effort on the ground. We will be sending further updates to this list with specific information on what is needed where and how best to alleviate the pain that has struck so many.
They go on to list a number of grassroots organizations that you can offer help to -- AlterNet's own list is here -- and details on a fundraising party in NYC tonight. Their final quote though, is what I'll leave you with:
"Revelations need not mean the end, it simply signifies profound change."