Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Camaraderie: Dirty Martinis and Good Friends

by: Cybil S.

I RSVP’ed to Dirty Martinis for a Dirty Gulf because of a friend who I missed, Daniel. He introduced me to Jason and John. What I found at the cocktail party was the same illuminating factor that was so attractive in my dear friend who now lives abroad: conversation that is entertaining and at the same time therapeutic. It is clear why my friend holds this group close: they exude his same sparkle.

On a more universal note, the S Kitchen dinners not only bring friends and acquaintances together, the soirees add awareness to issues that demand attention from society. Even if no action is taken, simply allowing yourself the opportunity to consider what’s happening outside your individual bubble is critical.

The unique quality of Wednesday’s presentation was that the “guest-sperts” spoke from their own perspective, bringing an internal voice to their experiences with the organizations they represent. The result was a candid, honest conversation about the issue of oil in the gulf and activism at large. The first speaker, Ivy discussed the challenge of assisting young activists. She had to balance the goal of training them to be effective grassroots organizations while fulfilling their sensationalist thirst for carnage, meaning visible destruction to the environment. Fuel to fodder the cause. She is teaching the shapers of our future to recognize those who do not see damage to the gulf and help them understand the severity of the problem even when they can’t touch or smell it.

The second presenter, left an impression with a single word: justice. If we are to be held accountable for actions that endanger or even inconvenience others (i.e. moving violations and parking tickets), so should the corporate giants. The young activist from the East Coast addressed the challenge of organizing in the Bay Area: everybody and their brother has a cause to rally for. I’m all for grassroots, but feel irritated by the throngs of petitioners at Safeway.

She also talked about breaking the activist hymen and getting thrown in the pokey. Mobilization for Climate Justice West has two rallies coming up. The first is a teach-in on August 29th, preparing activists for a nonviolent march. The big event that may land our friend in jail is on Monday 30th. Incarceration isn’t so bad. Let ‘em have it. If it is just an overnight stint, jail time can be an interesting observation of the justice system.

Another guest From New Orleans shared her worry for her hometown, being dealt a double blow. The city isn’t fully recovered from the devastation of Katrina and now suffers from a crippled seafood industry. The government say’s it’s ok to eat the seafood with “acceptable” levels or petroleum. Hmm? I will likely avoid even Atlantic seafood. Paranoid? Watch the documentary “Food Inc.” Though I occasionally succumb to the drive-thru at Mickie D’s, I have to squelch the knowledge that I’m eating an ammonia burger from Cowshitz off I-5.

Interestingly enough, a friend of Daniel’s sent a link to a Youtube clip of George Carlin where he laughs at the silly human notion that we can impact the planet: the idea that humans who have inhabited the globe for a fraction of its existence will have a permanent affect on its survival. “Save the Earth” is an absurd idea, says Carlin. Sure, his sketch was based in comedy, however he plays a great devil’s advocate making a point in referencing the timeline that encompasses ice ages, tectonic shifting, tsunamis, earthquakes and any other national disasters. I’m just saying...

No comments:

Post a Comment