So, I’m in the neighbourhood I grew up in, and surrounded by brand-new McMansions going up all around us. Couple this with some (re)reading I’ve been doing lately, Chomsky, Vidal, Chris DeRose, an actor turned animal activist and, lastly but not least, a book called Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic.
It’s easy for me to be repelled, saddened, and self-righteous when I hear comments like how people have to have everything brand-spanking-new–that they don’t want anything old, vintage, recycled, hand-me-downed, or anything else that contributes to the destruction of the environment and to this mad, runaway train we are riding of consumption. Or people buying up these ugly McMansions going up here, replete with pool, despite the fact there’s a public pool at the park within in a short walk. You don’t even have to DRIVE to get to it. But, I guess that would mean these richie wannabes would have to mingle with the riff-raff, and we can’t have that.
But, I took a trip to Barnes and Noble with a family member recently, and there I was, mindlessly lusting after the new Star Wars figurines and a whole bunch of other unnecessary crap that has no purpose and which I don’t really need, and can’t even remotely afford, even as I’m in the midst of one of my biggest attempts to downsize. There’s so much stuff that feeds my nerd side that I want. Comic books, new books, figurines, collectibles, fantasy art, modern furniture and accessories, steampunk/gothic clothing–the list would be huge if I sat down to make one. And I can’t live without my own washing machine, or so I think to myself.
I have always prided myself that I save money and live more thrifty than most, but even I’m struggling financially in this economy, and am having a hard time saving money.
So, I’m really gearing up to focusing on ways I, and a collective bunch of like-minded others (are you out there?), can make a difference on a national, and even global scale, from a grassroots perspective. I have entertained all kinds of great ideas that I haven’t been able to get off the ground–trying to get/raise awareness in local groups like Sarasota Audubon and the local extension service, and maybe even get them interested in joining my fight in banning/fighting the use of Roundup in natural areas and bird/wildlife areas, so I’m not a voice alone, and therefore easily dismissed and ignored by the City/County of Sarasota. Their spokespeople not only both said no to me, but actually even spoke out/wrote back in defense of the use of Roundup.
I even tried to sound out one of my friends, from a parental perspective, on organizing a grassroots movement to challenge the abysmal public school system here, but they weren’t interested, and a couple of other attempts (writing letters to local paper/reporters, etc) failed, as well. Again, I let myself be defeated by that “voice of one” situation.
I did write a letter to the CEO of my local bank, which promotes itself as being environmentally friendly and green-minded about why they persist in using Roundup and other toxic materials in their landscaping, and am waiting to see if I get a response. We’ll see if it’s just them trying to green wash their business, or if they are really sincere in matters of environmental responsibility.
So, in this day and age, do you think environmental and grassroots social change needs a group of dedicated individuals (who set their egos aside) who organize against the powers-that-be are the way to effect powerful change, or can small gestures by disparate individuals with similar beliefs but limited funds, enough to change the future and the state of things on this planet?
I even started thinking randomly about an online grassroots pledge movement/tracking database, where people could make a promise to enact change in their local communities (food gardens, not-for-profit educational-based mentoring programs for quality education, debt relief, community service programs, environmental cleanup and movements to reduce/ban pesticides in local communities—even organizing class-action lawsuits/movements that will help overturn the stranglehold corporations have on every aspect of our lives, and the natural environment) and maybe even have an updates/track progress feature that maybe also has an analytics feature to it to keep track of the success of the movement, or even when/why it hits setbacks.
I don’t know–this blog drifted from being about thrift and nerd/geek-based collecting to grassroots activism, but hopefully I said what I meant to say. Still just feeling tired and lacking on the communication front.
Any ideas? Anybody want to join others/form a nationalised/globalised collective (“Resistance is Futile” *laugh*) out there that are already fighting back, grassroots-style, on issues important to preserving ALL life on this planet, not just protecting the rich/artificial financial constructs and corporations, by any means possible?
Did I even make sense, today? Or is my heart getting in the way of clear communication? *laugh*