This morning as I was riding the subway into Manhattan, the classic 50 year old song “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke came up on my iPhone. This song was one of the most important songs of the civil rights era and continues to provide a gentle reminder that one day a change will come. Just like the change in the way white southern people thought about sharing a restaurant with a black person, thanks to the Freedom Riders, a group of civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States, change is possible even if it’s a bit too slow for my taste.
So who are today’s Freedom Riders? Greepeace activists are regularly arrested for their work and some university students recently got arrested in DC protesting the monstrosity that is the Keystone Pipeline. The NSA undoubtedly tracks what they call “eco-terrorists” and whistle-blowers under the auspice of tracking Muslims. What’s ironic is that 90% percent of terrorist attacks in America are conducted by non-Muslims. One of my all time favorite protests that resulted in an arrest was when farmers planted hemp on the DEA Headquarters’s lawn.
Unfortunately every year on Earth Day I try very hard not to be saddened by the continued destruction of the biosphere. Lately it’s more about the way people live their lives day to day with little or no connection to their environment. As I exited the subway this morning, I saw several people flick their cigarettes on the ground while I thought to myself, (to be honest my first thought was why in the hell to people still smoke cigarettes?) this person just by a very simple act clearly does not care for own body or her immediate environment, much less the planet. Or maybe she does, but just doesn’t see the connection? Fortunately artists like Sam Cooke are always there to remind us that we can change the way people think, feel and connect to the planet, but this kind of transformation is truly “a long time coming”.
Another author and artist that continues to provide much needed inspiration is José Argüelles, a leader in the movement that helped contribute to the first earth day concept in 1970 with a festival called Whole Earth Day. He is also a major influence in our new film, Time is Art. Via Wikipedia:
In Time and the Technosphere (2002), Argüelles devises and promotes a notion that he calls the “Law of Time”, in part framed by his interpretations of how Maya calendrical mathematics functioned. In this notional framework Argüelles claims to have identified a “fundamental law” involving two timing frequencies: one he calls “mechanised time” with a “12:60 frequency”, and the other “natural [time] codified by the Maya [that is] understood to be the frequency 13:20”. To Argüelles, “the irregular 12-month [Gregorian] calendar and artificial, mechanised 60-minute hour” is a construct that artificially regulates human affairs, and is out-of-step with the natural “synchronic order”. He proposes the universal abandonment of the Gregorian calendar and its replacement with a thirteen moon, 28 day calendar, in order to “get the human race back on course” by the adoption of this calendar of perfect harmony so the human race could straighten its mind out again.
We are not in touch with our immediate environment simply because of the way we understand time, especially in connection to the 9-5 work week. The person that threw her cigarette on the ground was probably rushing, stressed out and late to a job she more than likely hates. In many ways, our film, Time is Art, is a tribute to Argüelles’s ideas. He was clearly way ahead of his time. The important thing is to keep pushing humanity forward, little by little we can be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
After Hurricane Sandy we were inspired to write a song and create a music video that commemorates Sandy and helps to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and living sustainably.
Vote for our music video via Climate 4 Action and help help to raise awareness about climate change and learn what local communities or individual people are doing to promote action, offer new solutions, and inspire change.
Earth Day is everyday. Happy Day!