Jimmy Jazz ~~ Captain’s Blog 60

This salad is one of our favorite dishes. (Clipped from the OB People’s Coop newsletter.)

Golden Beet and Kale Salad

1 kale, sliced thin

3/4 cup golden beets,  peel & shred

2 carrots, shred

1/4  bunch green onion

1/4 cup crunchy hempseeds

1/2 bell pepper, sliced

1/3 cup olive oil

4 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp tahini

2 or 3 minced  garlics

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp basil

Put vegies in a bowl. Mix other  stuff in a blender til smooth. Pour, toss, serve.

 

kale salad

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 wrote in my Book of Books that “one book leads to another” though I cannot explain why I picked up Gustave Flaubert’s Sentimental Education (1869) after Capote’s  Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958). Especially 25 years after reading Madame Bovaryin college. I have to say I’m loving it. The grand river of detail Flaubert provides seems to be stimulating my neurons like water coursing the rocks of a narrow rapid. Though I don’t agree with this character’s sentiment about the mob (Standing against top-down decision making with Rouseeau who said The populace is never corrupted, but often tricked, and only then does it appear to want what is bad) I find the speech illustrative of my own exaltation.

 

I don’t want any of your hiedeous realty! What do you mean by reality, anyway? Some see black, some see blue, and the mob see wrong. There’s nothing less natural than Michaelangelo, and nothing more powerful. The cult of external truth reveals the vulgarity of our times; and if things go on this way, art is going to become a sort of bad joke inferior to religion in poetry and inferior to politics in interest. You’ll never attain the purpose of art – yes, its purpose! – which is to give us an impersonal sense of exaltaion, with petty works, however carefully they’re produced. Sentimental Education 53

 

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I haven’t felt like writing the blog for the past few days? Could it be a week? Is that allowed? Can a blogger not blog? Can you write a blog about not blogging? Since Angela got back from visiting her cousins in the Ozarks she has helped me to reset my brain chemicals. They might have been thrown off by eating too many peanutbutter sandwiches. I wouldn’t say I had the “mean reds” as Holly Golightly might say (where you’re afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of) or even the blues (the blues are because you are getting fat or maybe its been raining too long). Just bad brain chemicals. You can’t fix bad brain chemicals by adjusting your coffee/wine ratio. I know that much. One of the symptoms is that you can’t finish anything. So I picked up Truman Capote’s book, which I bought for Angela a few years back, primarily because it was short. I finsihed it as the rain came down this afternoon, and felt a little better.

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On Saturday, THe Global Day of Rage, Angela and I decided to occupy Morley Field with a group of radical 2-4 yr olds.

Our Demands: 1) More cake. 2) Sustainable toys. 3) A statue of Dora on the national mall. 4) Shared decision-making. 5) Face painting, a klown, and a piñata!

We will add that the working class in the United States, because of its high standard of living, does not clearly see the contradictions existing in US society. To the US working class, these contradictions, which are blunted, appear incomprehensible and they cannot gain clear consciousness of their own exploitation as long as they continue to get the crumbs that US imperialism tosses to them from the feast – Ernesto Che Guevara

 

ariel view of child's birthday party

It’s such an interesting problem. My desire to give my kids everything they deserve versus the desire to live in a more just and equitable world. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Kids don’t really need much. Love. Intellectual stimulation (fun). Attention. I’m sure if they could articulate it they would appreciate wholesome food and appropriate shelter. And if they had a sense of history they would be happy not to have to work in the mill. The children’s birthday party might be a good metaphor for the system. You can’t show up at these things without a gift. The culture demands it! The economy depends on you and I to buy things we don’t need. The economy demands that people waste their time doing meaningless work. The parents who throw the party are going to feed you and you want to show that you like their kid so you go to a store and buy something. We almost got the little girl here a Mr. Potato Head. And then we wondered what happened to our Mr. Potato Heads? They have probably already floated up out of the landfill, migrated into the ocean where some poor dolphin choked on the spare funny nose. The world just doesn’t need any more plastic crap. We ended up getting a cloth Dora-the-Explora doll, thinking, at the very least, it would biodegrade. We didn’t check to see if it was made by a less-fortunate kid in a sweatshop in Mexico. We should have. There’s no excuse. How can we change our rituals? How can we change the system? How can we preserve what’s good about children’s birthday parties – enjoying a beautiful day in the park, sharing delicious food, community bonding, watching kids laugh – without screwing up this two-year old’s environment, or forcing some kid half way around the world into slavery? tChe Guevara didn’t have faith that we could change as long as our kids were living the good life. He claimed that we couldn’t see what was going on in Africa, say, as long as we were so well fed. Apparently, we can’t see what’s going on in Detroit or Los Angeles or New York. The people occupying streets and public squares around the country are starting to see. Circumstances are forcing them to see. They seem to have come to the realization that the system has to change. They don’t know how to do it. No one does. They are ordinary people. But a more just world can only be built by ordinary people. We don’t need leaders or scientists or politicians to tell us what is good about a children’s birthday party.

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Angela has been trying to get ready to travel with her mom to visit her family in Ozark, MO.Spending 10 days with your family can be a traumatic experience for someone following a vegan diet. When Angela expressed this concern to her mother, she said ‘Just eat what they eat.’  Then you have to ask what they eat. Besides meat and dairy they eat a lot of processed foods with weird chemical preservatives, colors and sweetweners that we have chosen to avoid. Travelling to the middle of the country presents two distinct challenges. One, acquiring food that doesn’t contain animal products and two resisting temptation of all the sweet and fat laden foods that people typically bring to family parties. If we were at home, Angela would just bake her own deliciously tempting desert using some sort of egg replacer (flax, NRG…) and soy milk. But in Ozark this ain’t happening. Angela’s cousin who lives out there said they could stop at Mama Jean’s in Springfield, Mo which is only 60 minutes from Ozark. One problem solved.

When we started our vegan diet five years ago, the first thing we said was ‘It’s not a religion. We don’t have to feel guilty if we mess up.’ Of course, whenever Angela has a few glasses of wine and someone walks by with a pizza Angela goes ‘freegan.’ It’s not so much the guilt, as the fact that she may be lactos intolerant that haunts her the next day. I have been more militant. I have a few glasses of wine, and have no desire to reach for the pizza. It just doesn’t interest me, because the food we’ve been eating since simply tastes better to me. Since I’m not traveling to Ozark with her she thought she should watch a series of propaganda films to bolster her resolve. Netflix offers many choices: Food Inc, Ingredients, What’s On Your Plate, Fed Up!, The Future of Food, Deconstructing Supper, Food Matters, Radically Simple, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and Forks Over Knives.

I sometimes avoid these kinds of movies because I think I know this stuff already. It’s funny to me when people question my vegan diet as not providing proper nutrition. ‘You don’t get enough protein’ is the most common refrain. Most of the vegans I know think about getting a balanced diet all the time. Most Americans, in contrast, with their fast food and tv dinners, never stop to ask if they are getting proper nutrition. Forks Over Knives, shows how the American obsession with protein has lead to a pandemic of heart diesease. There was one interesting anecdote about how the nazis confiscated all the cattle in Holland during WWII leaving the Dutch people to survive on a plant-based diet. Statistics for heart disease fell dramatically. After the war, as people started eating meat and cheese again, rates of heart disease started to go up.

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Climbed Cowles [kölz] Mnt. with a bunch of guys ’round midnight using the lamp of the full moon. The moonlight illuminates the well-trod trail enough so you don’t need a flashlight. Per wikipedia you climb 956 feet or so in a mile and half. You can see the sprawling lights of the whole Tijuana-San Diego metropolitan area in a 360° panorama from the summit which clocks in at 1593′– the highest point in the city. When we got to the top ‘stupid and sweating like animals’ as Nietzsche would say, there was one guy who was a little bit higher, out on a boulder, bare-chested, yelling WE ARE HUMANS! He seemed to be addressing the Starman that David Bowie sang about, or the denizens of Santee down below. He acknowledged our presence with a yelled request to share any marijuana we had toted up the hill. Ha. The motley band of usual suspects pictured below was called together by my friend David Klowden, using a facebook event. It’s really a great organizational tool, although a few people who rsvp’d “attending” squelched on the deal, as well as everyone who marked ‘maybe.’ The amazing photograph, taken by Sean, there with the ghosted image, used a long exposure and he sort of painted our faces with light to capture the image. We tried to figure out where the north star was and pointed out various landmarks– the span of the Coronado Bridge, Mt Soledad, the beautiful dark leviathan of the Miramar landfill. I liked the idea that I didn’t necessarily know my fellow hikers. Of course, I’d seen some of them on stage in bands I liked. And they all seemed to come with interesting facts about the proper pronunciation of ‘Cowles,’ or how ships get a magnetic signature when they are built, or about the musical promise of Kate Bush’s 19-year old cousin.  We sat and talked while Sean took some photographs of the city at night and were up there more than an hour before heading down around 2 am. We left a few fellow humans still howling in the dark and actually passed two guys with a dog on their way up.

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Angela and I rode bikes along the boardwalk in PB this morning. I couldn’t help think of my story ‘The Bums Are at the Beach’ that appeared in a book by City Works Press called Sunshine Noir. Here it is a nearly perfect day at the beach, and we (Angela, myself, one bikini-clad student reading, a handful of surfers and a bunch of crusty bums) had the whole thing to ourselves. If you were at work, you might ask yourself how much money you really need? Could you cut down on some of the plastic crap you seem to be addicted to, cut back on expenses and spend some time at the beach? Maybe you could share your job with someone who doesnt have one. We won the eight-hour work day in 1916 after a long hard fight. They didnt give it to us. Perhaps, it’s time to start thinking about THE eight hour work day again, for our fellow humans laboring jin swaetshops around the world.

 

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My friend Tamara just sent me a link to a book I would like to read about a guy who lived for a whole year without spending any money. Of course, I’m still reading the last book she recommended Debt: the First 5000 Years by David Graeber. I first came across author Graeber five years ago when I saw him interviewed by Charlie Rose after he helped to organize protests of the IMF and World Bank. The IMF and World Bank loan money at interest to poor countries so they can buy stuff from rich countries. It’s often stuff they don’t need like big dams that displace people from their family homes and destroy the environment. About half way through the interview Graeber gave Mr. Rose a clear definition of direct action. ‘A village doesn’t have a well, you dig one and dare them to stop you.’

The people (the 99%) camping on Wall Street are engaging in civil disobedience, which is not the same as direct action. Protests, when they become really big like this one, are great propaganda tools. They are designed to draw attention to a cause. In this case, it’s fairly simple. 1% of the population controls most of the wealth in the country, and the 99% who do most of the work split what’s left. This is not a new thing. This country was founded on these same principles. George Washington and Tom Jefferson were landed elites who convinced people to fight off their bosses (King George) so they could become bosses. Notice people will only stand up when things become really desperate. That was true in 1776 as it is today. In this case the unbridled greed of corporations backed by the government (Graeber might say they are 2 sides of the same coin) caused a financial collapse that has forced someone you know to lose his job, her house etc. It’s almost funny because it’s what we have been doing to the rest of the world for the past 100 years, treating them like serfs or peons for our leisure.

Cops beating people up at occupy wall street

Videos of police beating people with clubs can be ignored because the police are doing their job right? And the corporations were simply following the first law of capitalism (maximize profits) when they sent your job offshore (to a country where unions are repressed with absolute violence.) You cannot end police brutality unless you think of a way to end the need for police. You cannot end corporate greed unless you think of a way to provide goods and services without them. Although, it’s a good start, redistributing wealth by taxing the rich, will not affect the changes people desperately need. The 1% will still be the 1% after all. One thing, I’m trying to do is educate myself about the way money works. My friend Tamara Johnson has been doing the same thing. For me, at least, a true friend is a person who recommends books that become your favorite. I have a long history of reading books that Tamara has recommended such as Debt: the First 5000 Years and The Many-headed Hydra by Peter Linebaugh, which we loved because we learned so much from it. It goes into a lot of detail about how corporations and governments have worked together since before the founding of the country. Graeber tries to trace the history of debt and money back to the origins of civil society, so it was refreshing to get his perspective on the Occupation of Wall Street in New York

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I just got back from riding my bike to Trader Joe’s. I loaded the basket with olive oil, a sack of potatoes, crimini mushrooms, 2 cans of coconut milk, 2 green bell peppers, some bread and Bolivian Fair Trade coffee before pedaling home. Coffee drives me out of the house. But it wasn’t just the coffee that motivated me to try to beat the rain this morning. It’s a fairly easy seven mile round trip, easier still to take the car. But yesterday, my pal Cecil turned me on to a lecture atVelo Cult— our local bike shop. Angela and I walked there last night (I know we should have ridden bikes, but we walked okay.) The lecture was given by Laura Crawford and Russ Roca who sold their cars and most of their possessions to travel across the US on bikes. They showed slides and video from their adventures and answered questions about bike touring. They went 10,000 miles on their first year-and-a-half trip carrying up to 170 pounds when they started. They are doing this tour on these small Brompton folding bikes and they’ve scaled way down on their packs. The irony of their minimalism, Russ said, was that they really rely on the few things they decided to pack. Their mission is to inspire ordinary people to set out on the bikes and even to establish better bike tourism routes through America’s rural towns. You can follow their adventures on-

http://pathlesspedaled.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pathlesspedale

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Critical Mass rode by our apartment Friday night. It was really cool, a wave of bikes lasting about 20 minutes. I fully support any activity that makes bike riding more visible. Yesterday, for example, Angela and I met Cecil over at the “Tour de Fat” — a beer festival that promotes the use of bikes. Obviously they were promoting their brand – Fat Tire Ale – but at the same time they raised something like $18,000 for a bicycle oriented charity. It started with a bike parade through our neighborhood. I would say more than 500 bikes (and one roller blader dressed as a hockey player) participated. They had some music and comedy acts on a big solar powered stage and lots of fun toys to play with. But the main thing was drinking beer. Angela and I drank two pints of Ranger IPA and were ready to leave when Cecil bought another round. He was dressed as “Black Flag the Pirate” with a jolly roger waving behind his new Brompton bicycle. We saw a few people we knew there, which is the fringe benefit of these public spectacles. We ran into this cat Fernie we hadn’t seen since the last time Royal Crown Review played at Bodies and our friends Genevieve and James Zzyzyx (yes that’s their real last name). When Angela and I were riding home an old guy coasted up to the corner with us. When I say old I mean gray hair, probably in his 60s. We’re getting old too, but this guy could qualify for a senior discount. He promptly fell in a drunken heap with his bike. We got off our bikes and helped him up. He had peed himself. There was a wet spot in the crotch of his jeans. I don’t know if he drank too much at the festival, or what, but we could not convince him to sit on the bench* and mellow out. He got back on his bike and pedaled off. A few people at the festival were talking about a bike rider who had been killed here in San Diego the day before. He got doored (meaning a car opened a door on him.) The news accounts all mentioned that he wasnt wearing a helmet.