Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lights Out, Enlightenment In

This Saturday, 8-9pm, is Earth Hour 2008. Pretty simple: turn your lights out. Save energy, burn less coal, save an Appalachian mountain-top, kill fewer animals. I’ll be in that evening, so I guess the risotto will be eaten by candle-light. (The Risotto Challenge is on Wednesday at Loki Lounge at 8 and I’m working on my prototype). OHS hates my compact fluorescents anyway. Most of human history has been lived without electric lights, but in case you’ve forgotten, you can always ask a teenager what to get up to in the dark. While you’re at it, isn’t it time to kill your television? What good does it do you? This looks like an excellent way to spend your free time. Hell, the LOA will keep you busy for a hundred years.

Do you know about the bat die-off upstate? They are calling it white nose syndrome, although the bacteria is being considered a consequence not a cause of whatever is. Like the devastation of colony collapse disorder, its causes are unknown. Thanks to GGP for the tip. But it is a sad way to learn a new word: hibernaculum, (pl. hibernacula), from the Latin for winter residence (see the Hibernians, or Irish, barbarians of the north), place of hibernation for animals, and part of plants in stasis through the long cold.

Speaking of the Irish, b(l)ack before they were written into the concept of “whiteness,” I’ve been reading Linebaugh & Rediker, The Many Headed Hydra, about the “revolutionary Atlantic” of the 17th & 18th centuries: exiled revolutionaries and nonconformists (Ranters, Levellers, Diggers, Anabaptists, antinomians, etc.) met the disposed of the enclosure thefts against the commons met the disposed of Ireland met the enslaved of Africa and forged multiethnic nodes of resistance, the "many-headed hydra" as the would-be Hercules of the elites called it. Here are the indentured servants, the slaves who replaced them, the escapees into maroon communities on land, and the pirate ships at sea; here are the muscle of the capitalist system, the ship crews, striking their sails in protest. It was a “motley crew” indeed that fought the beast in its early incarnation as slave power, and paid dearly (wholesale hangings, whippings, burning at the stake, etc.). The earliest acts of rebellion against the Crown were in American port cities when sailors rioted against impressment. Sure, lawyers and other masters of property quickly co-opted the American Revolution, and the concept of race was used to rend “white” from “black,” but the struggle (for the franchise, for civil/human rights) begun anew, nourished in the memory of rebellion for dignity and liberty. That's the point of a hydra: cut off one head, more grow back.

1 comment:

knithound bkln said...

Another sign of an Apocalypse? Like the Bee die off mystery last year?