02018 | The Long Now | Bloom | Stickiness: Killing Our Attention Span #NEVERAGAIN

The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common.

The Clock and Library Projects

Below is an essay by a founding board member Stewart Brand on the need for, and the mechanism by which, The Long Now Foundation is attempting to encourage long-term thinking:

Civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span.  The trend might be coming from the acceleration of technology, the short-horizon perspective of market-driven economics, the next-election perspective of democracies, or the distractions of personal multi-tasking. All are on the increase. Some sort of balancing corrective to the short-sightedness is needed – some mechanism or myth which encourages the long view and the taking of long-term responsibility, where ‘long-term’ is measured at least in centuries. Long Now proposes both a mechanism and a myth.

It began with an observation and idea by visionary computer scientist W. Daniel Hillis : “When I was a child, people used to talk about what would happen by the year 02000. For the next thirty years they kept talking about what would happen by the year 02000, and now no one mentions a future date at all. The future has been shrinking by one year per year for my entire life. I think it is time for us to start a long-term project that gets people thinking past the mental barrier of an ever-shortening future. I would like to propose a large (think Stonehenge) mechanical clock, powered by seasonal temperature changes. It ticks once a year, bongs once a century, and the cuckoo comes out every millennium.”

Such a clock, if sufficiently impressive and well-engineered, would embody deep time for people. It should be charismatic to visit, interesting to think about, and famous enough to become iconic in the public discourse. Ideally, it would do for thinking about time what the photographs of Earth from space have done for thinking about the environment. Such icons reframe the way people think.

Hillis, who developed the “massive parallel” architecture of the current generation of supercomputers, devised the mechanical design of the Clock and is now building the monument scale version of the Clock in the Sierra Diablo range of West Texas near the town of Van Horn.  The first Clock prototype is currently on display at the London Science Museum and others are at the headquarters of Long Now in San Francisco.  The Clock’s works consist of a specially designed gear system that has precision equal to one day in 20,000 years, and it self-corrects by “phase-locking” to the noon Sun.

Long Now added a “Library” dimension with the realization of the need for content to go along with the long-term context provided by the Clock – a library of the deep future, for the deep future.  In a sense every library is part of the 10,000-year Library, so Long Now is developing tools (such as the Rosetta Disk, The Long Viewer and the Long Server ) that may provide inspiration and utility to the whole community of librarians and archivists. The Long Bets Project – whose purpose is improving the quality of long-term thinking by making predictions accountable – is also Library-related.  The point is to explore whatever may be helpful for thinking, understanding, and acting responsibly over long periods of time.  –  Stewart Brand

check out: About – The Long Now


Another generative work called Bloom, created with Peter Chilvers, is available as an app.

Part instrument, part composition and part artwork, Bloom’s innovative controls allow anyone to create elaborate patterns and unique melodies by simply tapping the screen. A generative music player takes over when Bloom is left idle, creating an infinite selection of compositions and their accompanying visualisations. — Generativemusic.com

Out of Eno’s involvement with the establishment of The Long Now Foundation emerged in his essay “The Big Here and Long Now”, which describes his experiences with small-scale perspectives and the need for larger ones, as well as the artist’s role in social change.

land-art-11-638This imaginative process can be seeded and nurtured by artists and designers, for, since the beginning of the 20th century, artists have been moving away from an idea of art as something finished, perfect, definitive and unchanging towards a view of artworks as processes or the seeds for processes — things that exist and change in time, things that are never finished.  Sometimes this is quite explicit — as in the late Walter de Maria’s “Lightning Field,” (above) a huge grid of metal poles designed to attract lightning.  Many musical compositions don’t have one form, but change unrepeatingly over time — many of my own pieces and Jem Finer’s Artangel installation “LongPlayer” are like this.  Artworks in general are increasingly regarded as seeds — seeds for processes that need a viewer’s (or a whole culture’s) active mind in which to develop.  Increasingly working with time, culture-makers see themselves as people who start things, not finish them.

And what is possible in art becomes thinkable in life. We become our new selves first in simulacrum, through style and fashion and art, our deliberate immersions in virtual worlds. Through them we sense what it would be like to be another kind of person with other kinds of values. We rehearse new feelings and sensitivities. We imagine other ways of thinking about our world and its future. keep reading


02018 – it’s amazing how adding the 0 works on my brain!

You and I are a WORK IN PROGRESS and a SEED!

I hope we can reframe how we look at the future with inspired hope and less stickiness! For me music has always been vibration and transforming.  I was a musician long before doodling as a writer.

In solidarity with #NEVER AGAIN

Lara Trace in 02018

MASS SHOOTERS | How Fear Sells Guns | Crisis Actors? | Land of the Blacks +


Hey everyone! I joined the board of directors of Greenfield Artspace this past week and coming up is the annual Pottery Sale, the big fundraiser of the year. I am so happy to be working locally and to help grow their music and arts programs for kids.  Hearing a small child play a violin – so good – such a great feeling!

Which leads me to this: I know the news has impacted all of us.  Our precious children, our teenagers, and the families and community in Florida are living the aftermath of yet another mass shooting.  Yes, the shooter is an adoptee, which is not as much an issue for me as the entire gun safety issue and his mental illness. He is deranged. The shooter was ready to explode and no one did anything to stop him but his friends tried, calling police TIPS lines and the FBI.  Crazy people don’t know they are crazy, but friends do notice.  The Florida shooter’s friends made numerous calls to the police. Now 17 people are dead.

In the aftermath, don’t feed the shooter’s deranged sick ego demands. You might remember this advice DON’T NAME THEM.

The Intercept has an excellent article about the student movement. READ HEREFor years, gun manufacturers and industry-supported associations have focused their energy on transforming young Americans into the next generation of shooters.

Fear sells weapons, obviously, since people rush out to buy a gun after every mass shooting at the mere mention of losing the constitutional right to buy an AR15. It’s expected gun sales will surge following this shooting and any future mass murder event.  Last year, gun sales were down.

Deadliest U.S. mass shootings, 1984-2017 – Timelines

So what do we do with broken systems and broken people? We let the survivors tell us. And we listen. And then we act.

In the News

‘CRISIS ACTOR’ Isn’t a New Smear. The Idea Goes Back to the Civil War Era.

Niraj Chokshi, Feb. 24, 2018, The New York Times

After any major attack, you are likely to find in some dark corner of the internet conspiracy theories that the survivors or victims made it all up or were part of a troupe of paid “crisis actors.” Such theories emerged after the massacres in Las Vegas in October; at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in 2016; and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

It happened again this month, after 17 people were killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Those conspiracy theories have been amplified in the internet age, but they are a part of a long, troubled history of dismissing the voices of those seeking change. “This theme that anyone agitating for change must be either an outside agitator or must have been paid or put up to it is one that runs throughout American history,” Kevin M. Kruse, a history professor at Princeton University, said in a phone interview. Conspiracies of this kind quickly circulated about the Florida shooting, with one top-trending YouTube video suggesting, falsely, that one of the survivors was a hired actor. The video’s caption tapped into the idea that student protesters were paid to advocate gun control, and Mr. Kruse pointed his followers on Twitter to a decades-old analog: In 1957, civil rights supporters had to dispel rumors that nine black children seeking to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., were being paid for their activism. continue…

A New York Walking Tour Uncovers Hidden Histories of Slavery and Struggle
Elena Goukassian, February 21, 2018, Hyperallergic
Just a block from the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan, you’ll find an unassuming storefront surrounded by a sea of high-end restaurants and retail. The Black Gotham Experience’s home base may look out-of-place, but it’s actually exactly where it belongs. Black people first arrived via ships docking in the area, were sold on the Wall Street Slave Market a few blocks away, and worked on the ships and built Broadway, Trinity Church, and the original City Hall on Wall Street, among other public works. (What’s now Washington Square was once known as Land of the Blacks.)  


Database documents Albany’s slave owners
Paul Grondahl, February 21, 2018, The Times-Union


In the public imagination, slavery was long considered a scourge of the South, perpetuated by white slave owners who ran vast cotton and tobacco plantations that exploited shackled Africans bought and sold as property.

In reality, as a new publicly searchable database reveals, wealthy Dutch merchants in Albany routinely owned slaves that they used for domestic chores and to run their farming operations outside the city. There were 3,722 slaves of African descent listed in the 1790 census in Albany County, for instance, the most of any county in the state at the time.
Many can be tracked in the first-ever New York Slavery Records Index, which was released last week by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. It is the most detailed demographic portrait yet of slavery across the state. Its release coincided with the beginning of February’s Black History Month.

More than 35,000 records were compiled and they are searchable by the names of slave owners, individual enslaved people, manifests of slave ships arriving at the port of New York and as fugitives who sought freedom in the state along the Underground Railroad. The database begins in 1525 and continues through the end of the Civil War in 1865.

“These records are an extremely important contribution to our understanding of slavery in New York. They will help us tell the history of enslaved people in a more complete and compelling way,” said Heidi Hill, site manager at the state-run Schuyler Mansion in Albany, home of Revolutionary War Gen. Philip Schuyler, who was the father-in-law of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. The database shows that Schuyler owned 13 slaves at his South End mansion in 1790 and another four slaves worked on his farm in Saratoga County.

 Savannah museums: Interpreting slavery a path to ending inequality

Andria Segedy, February 24, 2018, Savannah Morning News

The Owens-Thomas House and the Davenport House museums continue to build on reinterpretation of what they have been sharing about the residents — the free and the enslaved — of those houses during their early years. Finding their documented history remains a challenge.

“Our tours, as you have observed, have transitioned to being focused on the lives of the free and enslaved who have lived in the home,” according to Shannon Browning-Mullis, curator of history and  decorative arts for Telfair Museums, which includes the Owens-Thomas House.

“White descendants are much easier to find because of the records that were kept,” Browning-Mullis said. Richardson was a slave trader, shipping slaves out of the Port of Savannah to the Port of New Orleans. It was an interesting conversation, she said.

“Part of what we are doing, to think about the fact we are telling these stories not of abstract fictional characters but of real people who lived and worked in the house,” she said. “Their descendants on both sides are probably still in this community.”

“A major part of the responsibility as historic site stewards in this community is a deep consideration of how we talk about the institution of slavery and the experiences of people who were enslaved,” according to Telfair Museums.

A panel of experts will discuss this during a free public forum March 8 at the Jepson Center. “A Conversation about Interpreting Slavery in a Historic City” will include Browning-Mullis along with other panelists: Jamal Toure, board member of George Liele Visions Inc. (nonprofit of First African Baptist Church); Jamie Credle, director of the Davenport House Museum; and Shawn Halifax, cultural history interpretation coordinator of Charleston (S.C.) County Parks. It will be moderated by Porchia Moore, inclusion catalyst for the Columbia Art Museum in Columbia, S.C.


I have a post scheduled in a few days on more interesting stuff I’m reading… besides reading your blogs, of course. See you at the Pottery Sale March 2-3 if you are in western MA. xoxoxoxox

The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families | #WeCanSolveThis

Happy Holidays 2017!

By Lara Trace Hentz

I want to share an Op-ED (opinion editorial) I wrote WAY back in 2001. Yup, that sure was a long time ago.  I was an editor of a tribal newspaper in Connecticut…But the amazing thing is:  THIS is still relevant.

Maybe more so in 2017… take a read…

Rebuilding our families

In October (2001), Dr. Mary Pipher, a noted psychologist and nationally renowned author, spoke to a large audience at the Garde Arts Center in New London about the importance of rebuilding our families. Her presentation was timely, considering the events of 9-11 and its effects on citizens of this country.

Pipher related that Americans are the hardest working people in the world and consequently, some 45 million adults are on some kind of drug for nerves. America’s stressed-out adult population is adversely affecting our families. Less than one third of families have regular meals together. Parents are overwhelmed. Children develop behavior problems. We are not happy people.

“We must be the change we wish to see in this world,” Pipher said. “We must talk about values and teach our children to value the right things.”

According to this expert, we are missing social skills. We interrupt, act rude and use inappropriate behavior. Television teaches us to buy things. There are some 3,000 ads a day, which is having a cumulative effect on all of us. How many computers and televisions do we need? Do houses really need to be castle-size? We are isolated in big houses. We are becoming dissatisfied and narcissistic, self-obsessed.

In this ever-evolving world, technology is determining how we interact in society. And the way it’s going now, we’re not getting emotionally stronger but more isolated, dejected.

However, Pipher offered some solid solutions to our general unhappiness. Reacquaint your children to large family celebrations. Children need their relatives, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Little ones learn to negotiate and navigate best with family members around the house regularly.

Pipher says the antidote to despair is being helpful. Take an interest in other people’s children. Parent other people’s children, not just your own. Teach children to find pleasure in being helpful. Spend time outdoors. Connect children to useful work. Redefine the meaning of wealth. Teach children to be responsible.

Pipher believes in teaching family history. Tell stories about the ancestors and where they came from. Have a family ritual every night that might include reading poetry, family memories or stories of hope and heroic behavior. If adults behave well in difficult times, children will, too.

Make good conscious choices in two areas: protect from what is harmful and connect to what is beautiful.

We also need to protect our children from the media, from too much television, too much news and even adult conversation. Their developing minds cannot rationalize or discern between daddy’s or mommy’s upcoming business trip and the plane crash on television. Protect the children from violence on television. Teach your children by your own behavior; stress calmness and safety.

Pipher said create quiet time, family time.  These tools will rebuild our family in times like these.

Happy holidays everyone.  [Trace A. DeMeyer,  Editor of the Pequot Times (2001)]

TOP PHOTO: Mary Pipher, and her website: HERE

Left, book cover:   The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families
In The Shelter of Each Other, Mary Pipher does for the American family what she did for adolescent girls and their parents in her bestselling book Reviving Ophelia: she opens our eyes wide to the desperate realities we are facing and shows us a way out. Drawing on the fascinating stories of families rich and poor, angry and despairing, religious and skeptical, and probing deep into her own family memories and experiences, Pipher clears a path to the strength and energy at the core of family life. Wise, compassionate, and impassioned, The Shelter of Each Other challenges each of us to face the truth about ourselves and to find the courage to protect, nurture, and revivify the families we cherish.

BONUS:  Louise Erdrich’s Storytelling Addiction


The writer Louise Erdrich’s storytelling addiction “really began when my other addictions failed,” she tells David Remnick. Since the early nineteen-eighties, her work has primarily chronicled Native American life, and, in that regard, Erdrich’s latest book is no different: “Future Home of the Living God” follows the lives of a group of Ojibwe Indians living in rural Minnesota. But, where her previous novels have remained largely grounded in realism, this book is a work of speculative fiction, with a touch of science fiction. It imagines a kind of reverse-evolution slowly taking hold of the globe, and bringing with it a political catastrophe of dystopian dimensions. Erdrich says that she was inspired by Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and by P. D. James’s “Children of Men”—works that put literature in the service of imagining the worst.


WATCH Indigenous Protectors 

One of the most effective ways to save forests is by empowering the people who have been protecting them for generations. We have to support the land rights of indigenous peoples. #WeCanSolveThis

Eliminating the Human | The amazing Laura Grace Weldon

A View from David Byrne

I have a theory that much recent tech development and innovation over the last decade or so has had an unspoken overarching agenda—it has been about facilitating the need for LESS human interaction. It’s not a bug—it’s a feature. We might think Amazon was about selling us books we couldn’t find locally—and it was and what a brilliant idea—but maybe it was also just as much about eliminating human interaction. I see a pattern emerging in the innovative technology that has gotten the most attention, gets the bucks and often, no surprise, ends up getting developed and implemented. What much of this technology seems to have in common is that it removes the need to deal with humans directly. The tech doesn’t claim or acknowledge this as its primary goal, but it seems to often be the consequence. I’m sort of thinking maybe it is the primary goal. There are so many ways imagination can be manifested in the technical sphere. Many are wonderful and seem like social goods, but allow me a little conspiracy mongering here—an awful lot of them have the consequence of lessening human interaction.

I suspect that we almost don’t notice this pattern because it’s hard to imagine what an alternative focus of tech development might be. Most of the news we get barraged with is about algorithms, AI, robots and self driving cars, all of which fit this pattern, though there are indeed many technological innovations underway that have nothing to do with eliminating human interaction from our lives. CRISPR-cas9 in genetics, new films that can efficiently and cheaply cool houses and quantum computing to name a few, but what we read about most and what touches us daily is the trajectory towards less human involvement.

Note: I don’t consider chat rooms and product reviews as “human interaction”; they’re mediated and filtered by a screen.

We are beset by—and immersed in—apps and devices that are quietly reducing the amount of meaningful interaction we have with each other.

the downside of technology

Social networks are also a source of unhappiness. A study earlier this year by two social scientists, Holly Shakya at UC San Diego and Nicholas ­Christakis at Yale, showed that the more people use Facebook, the worse they feel about their lives.  While these technologies claim to connect us, then, the surely unintended effect is that they also drive us apart and make us sad and envious.

David Byrne is a musician and artist who lives in New York City. His most recent book is called How Music Works. A version of this piece originally appeared on his website, davidbyrne.com.

A MUST READ: Eliminating the Human – MIT Technology Review

***From L/T…

I do not spend hours on Twitter or Facebook like I used to.  Teaching about social media and blogging, I’m not doing that anymore.  In my own research/work at the moment… I can tell you that some of the greatest minds in the world are sharing generously with us… on blogs… on twitter… and on other social media.  Like David Byrne (read his thoughts above)… Just like so many of you amaze me each week on your blogs.

My online friend, the author LAURA GRACE WELDON has some of the MOST amazing Tweets!  Last week I tried to pick a few you might like 🙂  (One of the nice things about Twitter is you can go back and read all the tweets – and even go back months!)  Please follow her if you are on Twitter.

This is her:   Writer, editor, farm wench, wonder junkie, awkward empath, aspiring hermit.

 Laura has built a treasure on her website and in her poetry and in her books.  (top photo)  Please do this for you and go visit her website this winter.  She’s been such a gift to me.

There were so many great tweets, it was hard to pick!   See you all next week.

The BeZINE: Poverty Hunger and Working-Class Slave Labor

THE BeZINE for November is published – In the four-year history of “The BeZine,” this is the most significant edition. All of our concerns – peace, environmental sustainability, human rights, freedom of expression – depend on a more equal distribution of wealth, on making sure no one goes hungry and on breaking-down barriers to employment, healthcare, education and racial and gender equity. –
LINK – https://wp.me/p1gLT0-6×3

I would ask contributors to please post the link to the entire edition of the Zine as well as to your own work. This Zine is about more than literarture and art. It’s about a social justice mission. …

Thanks to John Anstie, Corina Ravenscraft, Phillip T. Stephens, Trace Lara Hentz, Sue Dreamwalker, Joe Hesch, Renee Espriu, Evelyn Augusto, bogpan, Paul Brookes, Rob Cullen, R.S. Chappell, Denise Fletcher, Mark Heathcote, Irene Immanuel, Charlie Martin, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Michele Riedele and Michael Odiah for stunning work. Well done. Thanks also for constant support from team members not featured in this issue: Terri Stewart, Michael Dickel, Lana Phillips, Ruth Jewell, Liliana Negoi, Michael Watson Lcmhc, Chrysty Darby Hendrick, Naomi Baltuck, James R. Cowles and Priscilla Galasso.

Again, here’s the link to this issue: HERE


It is a true honor to be included in this online magazine. LT

Dongria Kondh – Royal descendants of the mountain God

‘We are born of this earth, and this earth is ours. Niyamgiri belongs to us.’— Laksa Majhi

Royal descendants of the mountain God

The Niyamgiri hill range in Odisha state, eastern India, is home to the Dongria Kondh tribe. Niyamgiri is an area of densely forested hills, deep gorges and cascading streams. To be a Dongria Kondh is to farm the hills’ fertile slopes, harvest their produce, and worship the mountain god Niyam Raja and the hills he presides over, including the 4,000 metre Mountain of the Law, Niyam Dongar.

Yet for a decade, the 8,000-plus Dongria Kondh lived under the threat of mining by Vedanta Resources, which hoped to extract the estimated $2billion-worth of bauxite that lies under the surface of the hills.

The company planned to create an open-cast mine that would have violated Niyam Dongar, disrupted its rivers and spelt the end of the Dongria Kondh as a distinct people.

‘We’ll lose our soul. Niyamgiri is our soul.’

The Dongria Kondh of India’s Niyamgiri Hills have won a heroic victory against mining giant Vedanta Resources to save their sacred hills. The Supreme Court told Vedanta in 2013 that the Dongria must decide whether to allow mining on the Mountain of the Law. The Dongria answered with an unequivocal ‘No’.


Bonkers for BUNKERS: Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich | Paraguay Compounds?

The swimming pool at Larry Hall’s Survival Condo Project. These days, when North Korea tests a bomb, Hall can expect an uptick in phone inquiries about space in the complex.

(New Yorker excerpt) …On a cool evening in early November, I rented a car in Wichita, Kansas, and drove north from the city through slanting sunlight, across the suburbs and out beyond the last shopping center, where the horizon settles into farmland. After a couple of hours, just before the town of Concordia, I headed west, down a dirt track flanked by corn and soybean fields, winding through darkness until my lights settled on a large steel gate. A guard, dressed in camouflage, held a semiautomatic rifle.

He ushered me through, and, in the darkness, I could see the outline of a vast concrete dome, with a metal blast door partly ajar. I was greeted by Larry Hall, the C.E.O. of the Survival Condo Project, a fifteen-story luxury apartment complex built in an underground Atlas missile silo. The facility housed a nuclear warhead from 1961 to 1965, when it was decommissioned. At a site conceived for the Soviet nuclear threat, Hall has erected a defense against the fears of a new era. “It’s true relaxation for the ultra-wealthy,” he said. “They can come out here, they know there are armed guards outside. The kids can run around.”

We stopped in a condo. Nine-foot ceilings, Wolf range, gas fireplace. “This guy wanted to have a fireplace from his home state”—Connecticut—“so he shipped me the granite,” Hall said. Another owner, with a home in Bermuda, ordered the walls of his bunker-condo painted in island pastels—orange, green, yellow—but, in close quarters, he found it oppressive. His decorator had to come fix it.

That night, I slept in a guest room appointed with a wet bar and handsome wood cabinets, but no video windows. It was eerily silent, and felt like sleeping in a well-furnished submarine.

A dental chair in the Survival Condo Project’s “medical wing,” which also contains a hospital bed and a procedure table. Among the residents, Hall said, “we’ve got two doctors and a dentist.”
An armed guard stands at the entrance of the Survival Condo Project, a former missile silo north of Wichita, Kansas, that has been converted into luxury apartments for people worried about the crackup of civilization.

In the first seven days after Donald Trump’s election, 13,401 Americans registered with New Zealand’s immigration authorities, the first official step toward seeking residency—more than seventeen times the usual rate.  The New Zealand Herald reported the surge beneath the headline “Trump Apocalypse.”

YOU MUST READ: Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich – The New Yorker

Texas’s Trident Lakes is the latest entry in a booming market for luxury bunkers.

Source: The Luxury Doomsday Bunkers of Texas’s Trident Lakes – The Atlantic

































“…We are clearly living in dangerous and changing times that the uninformed will never understand until the threats are evident.  We cannot predict, but we can prepare,’ the company said in a statement to MailOnline. The biggest facility is in Germany – Europa One – and is ‘one of the most fortified and massive underground survival shelters on Earth, deep below a limestone mountain’ and ‘safely secured from the general public, behind sealed and secured walls, gates and blast doors’.

…Journalist Lynn Parramore visited the facility in Indiana, US – and reported the gigantic bunker was like walking into a hotel, describing it as the ‘Ritz Carlton of doomsday shelters’. The cheapest of the bunkers will set you back $35,000, while the most delux costs up to $3 million.  The state of the art facilities also include a hospital, and armed guards on duty to keep the 99 percent from breaking into the hideaway.  To avoid a Lord of the Flies scenario, the designers have also implemented a handbook that outlines by laws for the bunkered community….” (Top photo of Europa)

READ: World’s super-rich are buying luxury underground bunkers to avoid natural disasters | Daily Mail Online

Freedom anywhere in the World? Check out Turkey File: Alan’s brilliant blog


I have been wanting to post about bunkers a long time.  My good blog buddy Dan who blogs at TUBULARSOCK (see my interview) has his own virtual bunker tour.  It got me thinking.

I want to let you all know I’m NOT going bonkers for bunkers. Yet it haunts my sleep. I would not be any good in one… Claustrophobic? That would be me.

But a compound might work! Above-ground would be good, right?!

Many years ago, my aunt in Aurora Illinois told me she’d heard that the BUSH dynasty had a ranch aka compound in Paraguay, next door to the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon (former Head of the Moonies). I’d heard the southern hemisphere would be best to relocate on the globe if our planet took a big revolving turn.

Why Paraguay?  Here’s some fun facts about Paraguay.

Then it’s reported everywhere but here in America:

Bush Family Buy Up Guarani Aquifer | Watching America

Jun 18, 2015 – In 2005 and 2006, during the dynastic presidency of George W. Bush, the Bush family acquired a total of 121,407 hectares in Chaco, Paraguay, …

Former President George H.W. Bush’s Family Bought 300,000 Acres on South America’s and World’s Largest Aquifer, Acuifero Guaraní

… astonishingly large land purchases (298,840 acres, to be exact) by the Bush family in 2005 and 2006.  In 2006, while on a trip to Paraguay for the United Nation’s children’s group UNICEF, Jenna Bush (daughter of former President George W. Bush and granddaughter of former President George H.W. Bush) reportedly bought 98,840 acres of land in Chaco, Paraguay, near the Triple Frontier (Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay). This land is said to be near the 200,000 acres purchased by her grandfather, George H.W. Bush, in 2005.

So the Bush people want their compound to be above “WATER” which some might call the new “gold.” What? Are they planning to sell water to Texas or to the world?

WAIT! Didn’t the Nazis relocate to South America?… “…Paraguay…where Simon Weisenthal famously hunted down Nazi fugitives?  The story gets wierder….”

So we’ve got panic in the rich who are relocating to Paraguay and New Zealand or buying bunkers in Kansas, Texas and Indiana plus the chaos that it’s getting even weirder with Trump at the helm.  Some guy has his helicopter gassed, ready to evacuate?

… the elite are prepping and have been for years.

Last month Eric Trump took a business trip to Uruguay (costing us taxpayers almost $100,000. The US State Dept. paid for the hotel bills.)

What do they know that we don’t?

Blogging in the Trump years


Wow, 2017 and 6 years since I started this blog.  I became a journalist in 1996.

In those 20 years, many of us watched journalism change, but not for the better.  (Think about the embedded journalists in Iraq during the Bush years.  Shock-and-awe to have journalists told and shown what they report?  That war cost us billions.)  This loss of fair and honest reporting cost us more than money, as citizens, and as voters.  We do not get impartial reporting in the US.  We’re told so many lies, it’s hard to gauge/guess/judge who is more guilty – the press or the politician.  We know politicians lie but it’s totally out-of-control when media is broadcasting them day and night. (That news cycle 24/7 has made us so weary, apathy and exhaustion sets in fast.)  In the past year, many major news outlets and TV news were not doing their job as investigators, not even admitting their errors.  A democracy demands freedom of the press.  The press serves us, its citizens, its voters, its readers. What happened to the press?

We are heading into unchartered waters with this new Trump administration and the truth gets murkier by the hour. It’s obvious Trump watches a lot of TV, since he’s still a reality TV producer.  Trump’s becoming Leader-in-Tweet. [Those Twitter people should seriously yank his account.] He has a tweet for everything, it seems.


I had a good cry last night when actress Meryl Streep said, “Take your broken heart and make it into art.” She was quoting her late friend, Carrie Fisher.  Streep took on Trump then a tweet storm exploded.

I’d been seriously wondering if now is a good time to give up blogging, but I quickly reconsidered.  Now is not the time to stop.  NOW is the time to consider and reconsider what we read, write, and how we act/react. 

Our energy is not to be wasted on fluff or gimmicks or shtick.  If Big Media/Social Media is failing us, then blogs will offer a new freedom, free and uncensored in the next four years.  But our quest is to read the BEST blogs and hear the BEST podcasts.  (I am following over 250 blogs now and plan to scale way way back.  Like you, I want to be informed, educated, enlightened, and of course, amused.)

I am thankful to blogs like fivethirtyeight.com who are reporting on Trump’s many conflicts of interest here.  Painter is concerned about Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and said laws should incorporate what we know from science. “There needs to be more effort to address underlying psychological biases,” he said.

I am thankful to Native News Online for constant updates from Standing Rock, like this.

Thanks to my dear friend Carol Hand for her thoughtful amazing blog and this article about our changing climate and effects on trees.  And to Dr. Stuart Bramhall for her

The Most Revolutionary Act.

from Twitter
from Twitter

Big thanks to Hyperallergic for a burgeoning artist movement that is gearing up for the next four years of Trump: Required Reading …good things that happened in 2016, like this Twitter photo on populism in Trumplandia, and more.] Sign up for their emails like  I did.

Looking back, we had a standoff of US military EQUIPPED to wage war against unarmed water protectors in North Dakota, and Big Media barely show up?

How will BIG MEDIA ever earn back our trust? (Like when Fox News was nicknamed Bush Propaganda News.)  Since when did journalists care so much about their own fame and fortune and clicks?  Can’t they see past their paychecks? Does greed poison everything?

We journalists do have a hard job to do, covering politics at a safe distance, building reliable good sources, counting on the integrity of publishers and editors who don’t take bribes or succumb to threats.

Where did their integrity go?  Did it do a nosedive when journalism joined up with social media, and became about who gets the most clicks and hits on their websites.  Is marketing and selling and ratings priority? Social Media has become a perversion, an invasion, a monitor, sanctioned by tyrants like Trump who can dominate an entire news cycle with a single tweet.

As citizens, we need accountability of the press and the politician.  I am sure that Trump Presidency will start a whole new wave of citizen journalism and blogging.

I will be writing here on this blog weekly, and sharing what I find worthy of your time and my own.


Thanks to all of you who blog/create/write so generously and read this blog.

I hope people, including bloggers, begin to speak up when shit really starts hitting the fan.  Trump will affect nearly all aspects of our daily lives, and at some point I don’t think it’s going to be possible to just pretend it’s not happening.

Architects Float Plan to Block Trump Tower Chicago Sign with Golden Pigs

An architecture firm visualizes four gilded pigs floating in the air to conceal Trump Tower Chicago’s 20-foot-tall TRUMP sign as a way to “provide visual relief to the citizens of Chicago.”

Source: Architects Float Plan to Block Trump Tower Chicago Sign with Golden Pigs



Abolitionists were not popular at first or everywhere, but were willing to risk injury or death for what was right.  They challenged an “inevitable” norm with a coherent moral vision that challenged slavery, capitalism, sexism, racism, war, and all variety of injustice.  They foresaw a better world, not just the current world with one change.  They marked victories and moved on, just as those nations that have abolished their militaries could be used today as models for the rest.  They made partial demands but painted them as steps toward full abolition.  They used the arts and entertainment. They created their own media.  They experimented (such as with emigration to Africa) but when their experiments failed, they never ever gave up. – David Swanson

Reprinted with permission: SOURCE (See the Mix for more on this author)

Trillions, White Pines and Banded Rudderfish

By Lara Trace (a fisherman’s  wife)

Wrap your brain around this:

In August 2016, the Defense Department’s inspector general affirmed once again (following on 2013 disclosures) that the agency has little knowledge of where its money goes — this time admitting that the Department of the Army had made $6.5 trillion in accounting “adjustments” that appeared simply to be made up out of thin air, just to get the books balanced for 2015. (In part, the problem was laid to 16,000 financial data files that simply disappeared with no trace.) “As a result,” reported Fortune magazine, “there has been no way to know how the Defense Department — far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’s annual budget — spends the public’s money.” [Fortune, 8-19-2016]

Wait, what?

I think the readers of this blog could think of a million (or trillion) things to do to benefit our world with $6.5 trillion. RIGHT? (End homelessness, feed everyone, give tribes their land back, build new bridges, just to name a few…)

Leave me a comment on how you would spend a million (or billion) to make the world better… I found that news Here at News of the Weird…

This story also on News of the Weird made me so happy.

Trees talk to each other and recognize their offspring, according to Australian ecology researcher Suzanne Simard (most recently lecturing on the influential video series TED Talks). Trees are not independent organisms but belong to arboreal “families” with characteristics identifying them to other family members. According to Dr. Simard, “mother” trees that ordinarily expand their roots wildly may hold back to give nearby “kinfolk” tree roots a chance to spread.  Using “isotope tracing,” she learned of trees passing healthful carbon, via fungi, to neighboring family seedlings, which she said renders the seedlings more resistant to future stress. [Treehugger, 7-29-2016] [Daily Telegraph (London), 9-11-2016]

Suzanne Simard: How trees talk to each other | TED Talk Subtitles

Right behind where I live, there is a white pine family beside a small creek – one younger white pine I am particularly fond of and I have encouraged it to grow big and tall…and it has grown each year since I moved here in 2004. It’s much taller than me now. Two of those pine trees have a bunch of orange needles now… Can anyone help me understand what that means and what I might do?

“Trees, in each of these very different places, helped me understand and adjust to the environment in which I lived…. We also look to trees for healing — not only in the medicinal sense, but for spiritual healing, comfort and solace.” – Ruth Wilson

10 Most Magnificent Trees in the World – Neatorama

In the Gordon/Wascott/Minong area, there were many white pine on Crystal Lake where my adoptive parents built a home and retired. The trees there were always big and tall and healthy and numerous… having them here in Massachusetts reminds me of northern Wisconsin and that life…

[Last year a beaver made the creek into something much larger and I was happy when a pair of geese called it home a short time but then the new beaver dam was taken down by some living here… I thought that was criminal but had no say in the process…]

OK: Here’s a mystery for us.  How did a fish from the Gulf of Mexico wind up swimming off Nantucket?  We fish the Atlantic Ocean and the boat captain claims this fish made it all the way in a gulf current.

Banded Rudderfish (caught on the Sea Queen a couple weeks ago)







I hope you all have a beautiful autumn season and harvest… we’re are just seeing the change of color here…


The leaf peepers will be all over New England now…


Movies: The Eagle Huntress | What Was Ours

courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Telluride Film Festival:

At the opening night Colorado Avenue feed (in September), director Werner Herzog checked out the Mongol father and daughter holding their trained eagles on their arms for a photo op (top photo). Sony Pictures Classics is pushing the movie for a documentary Oscar. Director Otto Bell told me his crew carried so much gear up into the Altai Mountains to shoot “The Eagle Huntress” (opening October 28), a powerful female empowerment doc about the first woman to compete with her eagle in her local village’s annual contest, that they had to leave some heavy pieces behind due to prohibitive weight overages.


Teenage ‘Eagle Huntress’ Overturns 2,000 Years Of Male Tradition  READ HERE

Aisholpan’s family members are nomadic Kazakh herders of the Altai mountains region who base their subsistence economy on herding cattle and goats. An essential supplement to the herders’ livelihood comes from the practice of training golden-eagle chicks to become their close partners in the hunting of foxes and other small mammals used for food and clothing.

This specialized hunting practice — woven into the fabric of everyday life and celebrated at regional competitions — has been an entirely male endeavor throughout its history, passed down in families from generation to generation.

Now, just as climate change threatens this way of life and as only 250 eagle hunters remain in Mongolia, Aisholpan is coming to the world’s attention as the first woman eagle huntress.


The Media Revolution: Seizing the Means of Story-Production!

…take a closer look at what really happened…
This is my post (reblog) for this week… have a great weekend!

Blog consolidation? Redesign coming

mysticsBy LT,  your blogging buddy

It’s time for a blog refresh so I plan to return this fall with more writing and will redesign this blog over the next few months (and combine my author site ARMY OF ONE posts and delete that site). It’s true I have more than one blog operating at one time (the mix, eyewitness, american indian adoptees, etc.). It’s my journalist-tendency (crazy addiction), of course it is that… but it’s much too much for this one human who has other business/busyness ahead…

I multi-task with the best of you all.  I can do better and now less is best. (Shorter posts, too…)

What I hope to convey with this blog is not too much bad stuff but eye-opening stuff, his-story vs. truth, American Indian news, films, books, interviews and good information.

See this space this fall…

love you all… (will be reading your blogs in the meantime)

It’s true – better to email me: larahentz@yahoo.com


One BIG Thing:

Watching journalists –> Roger Ailes, the ousted head of Fox News, apparently used Fox money to conduct surveillance operations against journalists and others who he considered his personal enemies. “Targets of the campaigns included journalists John Cook and Hamilton Nolan, who have aggressively covered Ailes for Gawker,” writes New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, who was also targeted. “According to one source, private detectives followed Cook around his Brooklyn neighborhood, and Fox operatives prepared a report on him with information they intended to leak to blogs. (According to the source, one proposed line of attack claimed that Cook — whose wife, Slate news director Allison Benedikt, is Jewish — was anti-Semitic.) ‘I’m honored to be among Roger Ailes’s enemies,’ Cook said.” [ we are not surprised ]


Want to do something magnificent for the oceans and end plastic? Visit: Gyre Cleanup Project at Gyrecleanup.org.










By J. Glenn Evans

Broker Jim is the first of three novels that I have written. Like many first novels a lot of it is biographical, somewhat like Jack London’s Martin Eden. My early ambition was to be a writer. Grazing about in my hometown library of Wewoka, Oklahoma when I was a junior in high school, I picked up a book and read that if you really want to accomplish something you have to drive the desire into a white hot passion. That struck me as important. So, at that early age I started writing page after page of “Great Rich Writer, Great Rich Writer” to build up my desire to a white heat.  It was some years later that I figured out that the title of that book was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Later, while a senior in high school, I was sitting on the front porch of my grandfather’s place with my rich uncle from Oregon. He was in the process of building a huge fortune in lumber, oil, real estate and banking. He asked me, like older folks often do, to make conversation with young folks, what I wanted to do with my life.

I said, “I want to be a great rich writer.”

He smiled and leaned his cane-bottom chair back up against the wall, and said, “If you want to get rich you go where the money is.”

“Where is that?” I asked.

He plopped back down on all fours, finding that leaning up against the wall dressed in a business suit and tie on a hot summer day uncomfortable. He said, “If I were a young fella starting out and wanted to get rich, I’d become a stockbroker.”

That was 1948 and I asked, “Stockbroker, what’s that? Aren’t they the fellows who jump off a buildings because they don’t want to be poor?”

He didn’t think that was funny from the expression on his face. Then, quite seriously, he said, “They deal with people who have money. They buy and sell interests in corporations, you know, stocks and bonds. In this business you learn how to make money on other people’s money.  You should give some serious thought to it.  When I get back to Oregon, I’ll send you some information.”

That got me to thinking. I wanted to be a great rich writer. I had read about the long years of poverty that many writers have to go through. I thought, why not get rich as a stockbroker first. It would give me a chance to meet a lot of interesting people and good background for writing. So I started reading books and magazines on finance and newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal. I worked through lots of different jobs to survive and get a college education. Then I spent four long years at Boeing because no brokerage firm would hire me, being new to Seattle and having no book of clients.

I finally got a break and a local over-the-counter firm hired me as a beginning stockbroker. It was a hell of an uphill battle plus living through a bad marriage that gave me a good insight in what hell must be like. Then success slowly begin to come. I worked my way up through three different firms to vice president and finally started my own local securities business. In five years I built up to three offices and 40 brokers and was on top of the world. Then misfortune struck and brought me down. All this time my writing career was limited to writing and producing a monthly stockbroker newsletter.

It was then that I again set out to pursue a writing career with the same passion that I had chased bucks before. That was 1986, forty years after my original passion to be a writer. In my last year in the brokerage business, I made more money in a week than I ever have made in a year as a writer. But, I never have regretted that career move. We begin to get and just it’s amazing how it started out just as a simple hello my between you

My whole being went into writing Broker Jim. It is more than the usual get rich stockbroker story. In it you meet a medley of fascinating characters and recognize the drive and passion it takes to build a great company. You see you see the human foibles, the conflicts, struggles, setbacks and the frustrations of dealing with bureaucrats. There’s a lot of human passion and humanity in the story. I’ve had several people tell me that Broker Jim is a story that they would not have wanted to miss reading. One newspaper office manager describes Broker Jim as one of the funniest books that she has ever read. Regardless of what one’s own career has been, you will see similarities that will bring chuckles when they tweak your memories. For young folks there are many lessons in the book to be learned in pursuing their dream.

If I have whetted your curiosity, Broker Jim is available on Kindle at $5.95. An autographed print copy is available from SCW Publications for $15.95. Buy a print copy of Broker Jim and you will receive a free copy of Window in the Sky, my first poetry book that retails for $11.95 or if you prefer you can receive a free copy of my latest poetry book The Feast – Reflections On War that retails for $10. Broker Jim can also be ordered from our website, www.poetswest.com/books.htm where PayPal is available. The same deal applies on orders for Broker Jim, but I will inquire which specific gift you prefer after the order is received.

SCW Publications

606 Lilly Rd. NE., #514

Olympia, Washington 98509




To order a print copy of Broker Jim, send $15.95+1.8% for sales tax if you are in Washington State+$2.00 for S&H.(Be sure a choose your free gift of Window In the Sky or The Feast—Reflections On War)


J. Glenn Evans has captured the frustrations, hardships and humor that small brokerage houses have had to face—William Riddling, retired Lt. colonel & stockbroker-banker

The stories by Mark Twain, Joyce Cary and Kingsley Amis are full of comic goodwill with characters who wrestle with their own individual morals amid those of society. Broker Jim is a quintessential American story in which Jim Bradley, the protagonist, navigates the world of women, money and the stock market. The combination of dead-serious innocence and eccentric humor in the author’s unique voice makes this novel a hilarious romp that is unforgettableBevans, editor

We liked [Evans’s] work because of its delightful use of narrative, wit, warmth, and folksy quality. I have never read a book written from the point of view of a stockbroker. It was a new world for me—and that’s why I like to read—The Rock River Times, Christine Swanberg, author and poet

Everyone in Seattle has a not so happy story to tell about their recent adventures in the current bubble stock market — chasing coffee, genetics and software companies. The author of this book has something new to say, about an older Seattle growing up. You learn about some of the less known start-up businesses. You follow in the footsteps of a young man growing up in the most competitive of business worlds. This is an experience not to miss.Sheri Harper, poet

J. Glenn Evans’s Broker Jim is in the picaresque On the Road, or Huckleberry Finn tradition of American literature. It’s the story of a down-home boy who tries to make good as a stockbroker. Evans actually provides a cast list of characters in the front [of the book] and it’s a good thing, too. Jim’s journey is leavened by Evans’s humor, a good ear for dialogue, and laced with a colorful vernacular reminiscent of Mark Twain. His true entrepreneurial spirit puts him up against the humorless bean counters of the world and “Big Bellies.”—Michael Magee, poet, playwright and critic

One of the funniest books I have ever readOffice Manager of Wewoka Times

I confess stock brokering is not a favorite subject―but you kept me interested. It moved right along. I wonder if a stranger can hear YOUR voice telling it as clearly as I did. I couldn’t anticipate how the story ends. It’s a nice surpriseNancy Abercrombie, poet and author of The Way of the Phoenix

This is the first time I have written to a living author. I write it to you for Broker Jim. Because I earned my living in the market for about 12 years, your book is especially welcome to me, your use of metaphors grand.…Congratulations on a great book! Finegan Gross, writer

The power of Evans’s writing became self-evident to me because it compelled me to read (and learn about) the cut-throat world of brokering. It’s a rags to riches…story chock full of interesting characters drawn to the spell of the latest El Dorado, Seattle.Michael Yaeger, painter, novelist, author of Dahlia Connection

Broker Jim is a writer’s gem! A real jewel, a wonderful story well toldTravis Abbott, reader and physician

I greatly enjoyed reading [Broker Jim]. You have a wonderful way with your characters―they often made me laugh out loud. And the villains are equally enticing.―Ursula Zilinsky, novelist

…a good read!…good flow and rh ythm. The central character is attractive, sympathetic and remarkably consistent.…The minor characters are believable and just eccentric enough to keep the reader turning the pages to see what their destinies are, especially in the context of said own fortunes.…David A. Hecker, poet and writer

Copyleft 2016 J. Glenn Evans

(Feel free to copy and distribute as broadly as possible)

SCW Publications

606 Lilly Rd. NE., #514

Olympia, Washington 98509




To order a print copy of Broker Jim, send $15.95+1.8% for sales tax if you are in Washington State+$2.00 for S&H. (Be sure a choose your free gift of Window In the Sky or The Feast—Reflections On War)

Note from Trace: I have read The Feast—Reflections On War and it’s the best poetry I have read on this topic… please read all of J Glenn’s work…

the feast

The Power of John Trudell #BlueIndians

john trudell
James “Jimmy” Looks Twice in Thunderheart, played by John Trudell.


By Lara Trace (former editor of the Pequot Times 1999-2004)

It happened years ago… but I can still feel myself outside the Pequot Museum on a bench and the wind is really blowing and John is speaking about his album, and latest tour.

I knew I’d have to read what he said a few times after I listened to the tape I made.  John Trudell was deep, so deep, with level upon level of meaning in both his spoken words and lyrics.  I’d hear him, then I’d process more after a second or third listen… I can’t forget what he said about power and responsibility – you’ll read what he said in this interview.  With the next presidential election whirling around us, it’s hard not to feel powerless. But we are not powerless.

You all know John was an great actor. He was unforgettable in the movie THUNDERHEART.  (Top Photo.) I was lucky to interview him more than once.  (I spoke with him at the Honor the Earth powwow in 1999 in Wisconsin.)  John had a fiery spirit yet he was also fragile.  I felt good energy all around him; his strength was palpable.  After he lost his family, everyone wondered how he’d survive that, even years later. I don’t know how any human could survive intact after your entire family was killed by a house fire.  John did.  John mourned deeply and soared above loss.

From my notes, I was glad when Trudell explained how belief (as in religion belief) takes the place of thinking. I jotted in my notes, “Don’t believe – THINK.  We put a whole lot of energy into HOPE and BELIEF and that energy falls into a void and disappears…. You BELIEVE so you don’t have to think…… You HOPE so you don’t have to truly act – it’s a sedation (drug). Nothing changes, religion is brainwashing the consciousness of people desperate to believe…. this just puts the mind in a prison…

“Violence, terror and traumas has defeated tribal belief systems from tribal Europe thru today… and then the traumatized blame themselves….. and the beast continues to get bigger.  The answer is NON-COOPERATION and a clear thinking human being….”  Trudell didn’t waste any words.

The story I’d heard about Trudell (more than once) was he could walk into a group of angry white ranchers full of their prejudice about Indian people and they’d all walk out of the room with their arms over each others shoulders.  That was John.

Here’s what I wrote up back in 2000…


Trudell kicks off Pequot Museum concert series

Poet, activist, prophet, American Indian Movement (AIM) founder, actor and recording artist John Trudell (Santee), made a concert stop with his band Bad Dog, at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in May (2000).

Trudell uses words as medicine, so his political and poetic abilities created the new album Blue Indians, on Dangerous Discs records, released in 1999, his ninth album, produced by Jackson Browne.

“I called the album Blue Indians because there is a kind of spiritual and cultural genocide perpetrated on everyone that is poor in this country,” Trudell said. “The advance of technology has put all of us on a kind of reservation.  These are the people who can’t educate their children, or afford health care. They’ve been robbed of life, which is what happened to Native people, so in that context, we’re all Indians.”

The “spoken word” artist said he didn’t set out to be a poet or writer.  After an unspeakable tragedy took the lives of his wife, Tina, their three children and Tina’s mother, back in 1979, he started writing.  The fire that killed them was declared an accident by the FBI who declined to investigate.  This happened just 12 hours after a group marched to FBI headquarters in Wash. DC, where Trudell delivered an address on the FBI’s war against Native Americans.  He burned an American flag in protest of racism and class injustice.  To this day, Trudell believes government operatives set the blaze, “It was murder. They were murdered as an act of war.”  [READ MORE ABOUT TINA]

After 1971, Native men and women formed the national American Indian Movement, in response to the horrific conditions on reservations and the many unsolved murders.  Trudell served as National AIM Chairman from 1973-79.  During that time the FBI compiled a 17,000 page file (covering Trudell’s activities from 1969-80).

Of some 60 pages obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, describing Trudell as a major threat to national security, the memo said, “Extremely eloquent – therefore extremely dangerous.”

Writing has helped Trudell keep some sanity and continue to survive.  In 1981, he published a book of poetry “Living in Reality” and by 1982 combined music and poetry, with the help of his musician friends Jackson Browne and future collaborator Jesse Ed Davis, a Kiowa from Oklahoma.

When asked how he deals with anger, Trudell told one reviewer, “I look at it as healthy.  It’s like sadness.  There’s a reason we’re given certain feelings. I think anger is necessary to our survival and reality, but now we live in a technology reality where people are programmed not to accept their anger.  I think we can use it as fuel for clarity, focus and accomplishment.  Anger doesn’t have to be a distorting experience.”

In May, the band played songs from the album Blue Indians, while Trudell spoke his poetic lyrics.  About promoting the album, he said later, “We don’t tour like other bands.  We hit the road sometimes for a week, or several weeks.  It’s more practical for us.”

I met John at LCO in 1999
I met John at LCO in 1999 and he signed it!

In concert, Trudell referred to humans as being mined, like resources, such as minerals, and reminded us we are indeed composed of the earth’s materials.  After the concert, he explained the effects of mining humans, “The feeling of powerlessness that this society has, I think is a result of mining humans because the people do feel powerless.  I think no clear, coherent thinking people, would accept as normal the conditions that they have to accept.  So, the only reason I can see that people would accept the inequities, are because they feel powerless to deal with them.  The powerlessness may disguise itself as rage, or racial hatred, or sexism, it may disguise itself in many ways, but basically the common thread is a feeling of powerlessness among the people.

“That means all the aggressive attitudes basically get internalized.  I think that’s the obvious result of being mined as an individual.  If they are being real with themselves, no pretending, no justification or rationalization, how many people feel that they have any real power?

“How many people feel powerless to deal with situations put in their life?  It’s got to do with perceptional reality.  If you use our intelligence as clearly and coherently as we can, I think we’d understand that we are not necessarily powerless.  But we don’t know how to relate to power, or recognize it, therefore we don’t know how to exercise it.”

And, Trudell said we can’t accept this idea of being mined because we can’t recognize it or see it.

“We’re not taught about our personal relationship to power.  We’re not taught about our relationship to the Great Spirit.  Recognizing power is what you have to do.  When you recognize it, you exercise it.

“You can’t take back what they have already taken but you can stop the taking of your power, once you recognize it.”

On the importance of prayer, John said he prays for balance.  “Prayer is often a misused word.  There are people who pray for things to make them happy so I don’t know if they’re really praying.  Then there are people who pray for the welfare of others.  Some people don’t pray so much for their own individualized ego, but understand that prayer is a way of thinking in harmony with the Creator.  Praying is a way of participating with the Creator.

“Prayer that is based upon thought and feeling, then that prayer is participating.  Prayer that is based upon need and emotion, that prayer is not participating in a synchronized manner, because it’s based on the ego’s need and emotion.”

“Responsibility is the way to fulfillment, when one recognizes and exercises their responsibility, this is how one is to be free.  It’s a way of reconnecting with power for us as humans.”

On his own life, Trudell said, “I see as clearly as I can. The objective is for me to be as real to myself as I can possibly be.  The more real I can be to myself, the more real maybe I can be to other people.  It’s a challenge.”

(Published in the Pequot Times.)

trudell truth trudell_no sense


We lost John in 2015.

Indian Country Today on John Trudell Legacy

This entire post is relevant to this quote:

Clarke quote