A wild pioneer of inner space, Timothy Leary, memorably captured in a series of portraits by Dean Chamberlain. View his amazing images at http://www.deanchamberlain.com/index.htm
Journal of a Futurist - 8 july 2004
THE POLITICS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Slap! Scratch! Can you believe it? A mid winter Sydney midnight and the mosquitoes are biting. On TV, yet another coalition of scientists warns: Climate change has the potential to threaten millions of lives. Thanks boffins, but feral futurists have been saying that for 20 years. A news team is rushed to Bondi to catch the reactions of European tourists as they tan on the sand in low slung bikinis. The climate changes, but not the media. I shoved a gang of moping teens off to the multiplex for the final session of The Day After Tomorrow. They loathed the schmaltz, loved the FX and asked whether the weather is getting hotter or colder. Both.
As with the White house, the John Howard government is building its energy policy on a fossil fuel bedrock. Forget renewables. Well run tomorrow on coal and channel the fumes deep inside Earth. Okay? Brilliant. Its an underground version of star wars. Mad, deadly, lotsa crap jobs.
It reminds me of the line, And God called down, gave up, made a microwave dinner and cried his way to sleep, (Gabe Crane, Youth Speaks). And I wont even mention the terror wars. Most of what you need to know is in the Hotlinks panel on your right. (Despite sovereignty, the Americans keep trying to kill their latest bogeyman by bombing crowded households in Falluja. No pilot will be charged with murder.) Our quagmire is complete environmental, military, moral.
TURN ON, TUNE IN, VOTE GREEN
The core of Timothy Learys message, for all its mad packaging and erotic rigmarole, is truer today than ever before. Only a mind-shift can rescue the future.
Instead, we are stuck with a mind freeze. Technology evolves at the speed of light, as the consciousness of our leaders retreats. What to do? Take drugs? Nope. Were already taking too many. In the majority of cases, anti-depressants are best described as truth-blockers.
Another truth blocker is corporate media. Despite the intelligence and impartiality of some contributors, the name of the info game is to maximise shareholder returns. Its a business. Events that are good for business are good for the media. Like invading Iraq, The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy Rupert Murdoch told the Sydney Daily Telegraph, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country. Its odd that Rupert mentions tax cuts, seeing that News Corp pays the criminal rate of 9 cents in the dollar.
We can crow that Saddams in chains, but who has the right to decide this is worth the death of 13,000 Iraqi civilians? Its not Murdochs children who are being bombed and mutilated his media doesnt even commemorate their passing. You have to visit Al Jazeera to see the rows of dead babies.
Which is probably why the marines bombed its Baghdad office and killed their reporter. (As documented in Control Room, now showing in Sydney).
Not one editor of a Murdoch-owned paper, according to Corpwatch.org, was allowed to oppose the invasion of Iraq. That's 175 editors worldwide and 40 million papers a week. The mainstream media virus goes deeper than tax dodging, war mongering and editorial bias. The ethos of no God higher than profit, means its overall message is tied to the promotion of non stop consumption, the more excessive the better. By allowing television to be programmed primarily for commercial success, writes Duane Elgin (www.ourmediavoice.org) we are simultaneously programming the mindset of entire civilisations for evolutionary stagnation and ecological failure. Elgin calls for a new politics of consciousness that holds the mass media accountable for being a fair witness and mature partner in our collective awakening. Dream on Duane. No, I didnt say that. Its a dream I shared when some of us launched the 1987 TV series, Extra Dimensions and let it to be rushed to air prematurely, before we knew how to stay true to our vision, no matter what.
THE CANCER NO-ONE MENTIONS
Today, the politics of consciousness is re-kindling on the fringe, attracting an ever widening audience, blurring party loyalties. If we survive these dark times, we could one day enter a post material age; where values, stories, spirituality, insight, sharing and sustainability are transformed from empty words into a graceful way of being.
The pursuit of personal wealth without limit is a cancer, not an exemplary lifestyle. For some victims, like Sydneys sensitive, disgraced stockbroker, Rene Rivkin, the disease eats away at sanity and soul. In crasser types, the cancer is turned outwards on the unsuspecting world, whether on man, beast, forest, river or Iraqi child. At the dawn of the new millennium, the barbarians are not at the gate; they run the show.
The Greens understand this. It is the Greens who have an eye for the future and an inkling of the deeper impact of globalisation. (Also on the globe between your ears). In the forthcoming election, the Greens are fielding an unlikely candidate for the seat of Bennelong, a seat currently held by the Prime Minister, John Howard. Their candidate is a Bermuda jacket wearing former Lieutenant Colonel, Andrew Wilkie, who turns out to be a natural behind the lectern.
As a high ranking intelligence officer, Wilkie blew the whistle on government lies about Iraqs weapons capacity. When he left his job he found an audience. These days Wilkies door knocks and mall walks in Bennelong are warmly received. At last weeks campaign launch in the Epping Community hall, backed by the 19 piece swing band, Wilkie received a standing ovation. Waiting in the wings, ready to be summoned to the lectern, I thought, heres a spook who can spook the Prime Minister.
Intoxicated by the ambience of the night, my words got carried away:
Or else go round the bend
Tonight were here as one,
To seal the fate
of a head of state,
His head on a plate,
to the politics of hate
And so retrieve this sunburnt land
from the hand
of corporate tools
and fossil fools
who thumb Kyoto
and get satisfaction
from endless extraction
Never to feel the exaltation
of planetary restoration
Farewell, heartless Howard.
Tormentor of refugees,
On the high seas.
The scourge of gays
Whose wedding vows
A torturer of truth,
This dark prince of social malfunction,
A walking weapon of psychic destruction
A bully, a bore
A master of war
Eager to invade a country far away
Come what may
To hell with our guys in Guantanamo Bay
Lets go all the way
with the CIA
How many kids have been bombed today?
Let us pray
We are good
They are bad
wrap our conscience in a flag
Itd be funny
If it wasnt sad
Howard couldnt care if hes right or wrong,
smug and secure in Bennelong
Which is where Mr Wilkies war comes in
To knock the seat from under him
Oh what a wonderful war is this
A delightful way to take the piss
To rattle a man who knows no shame,
Who claims to speak in our good name
Who lies in his teeth with his pants aflame
A dirty player in a political game
Who loves Bob Dylan, or so he claims
Except for the lyrics, which he disdains
Who never says sorry, who never regrets,
Who has no vision, beyond a white picket fence
Secure and smug in Bennelong
Couldnt care less about right or wrong
Hush! Hush! whats that we hear?
Its Wild Card Wilkie creeping up from the rear
He blows his whistle into Howards deaf ear,
The whistle of truth, the whistle of freedom
A whistle barely heard since the days of Whitlam
The whistle of joy,
that rouses a nation,
from khaki death march
To wild celebration
Dancing in the street, everyones singing
Birds are chirping, the fish are grinning,
Buds are blooming, our heads are spinning
The end of Howard
is a new beginning
Renewable energy, sustainable growth
Shrinking clouds of toxic smoke
Revival of tolerance and civil rights
A collective urge to raise our sights
The corporate media flat on its face
Raging debates in cyberspace
The end of brass bands led by the blind
The birth of a patriotism for all human kind
A fair go future for the world as a whole
The total reinvention of a politicians role
# # #
In the years ahead well look back on this night
As the start of a journey to restore the light
The time we climbed from a moral black hole
The moment this nation reclaimed its soul
A tale oft told
in music and song
The triumph of the Greens
No more lies, No more shame,
Welcome back Australia, to your great good name.
Instead of uploading this journal last night, as planned, I made the mistake of watching Dateline on SBS, which unfolded the horrific tale of Mamdouh Habib, an Australian citizen swept up by US authorities in Pakistan on the eve of the terror wars. Habib was sent to Egypt to be tortured, a practice known as rendition, which is illegal, rife and routinely denied by the White House. (We do not condone torture). In fact, the CIA has torture pacts with a dozen countries, stretching from the Sudan to the Philippines. After 6 months of beatings, burnings, near drownings and electric shocks, Habib was transported to Guantanamo Bay, where, according to a former fellow prisoner, he has since served as a punching bag. No charge has yet been brought against Habib.
While John Howard boasts that our alliance with Uncle Sam grants plucky Australia the status of a privileged pet, it doesnt stop our citizens being treated like shit. Qatar's former justice minister Dr Najeeb Al-Nauimi has confirmed that Habib was tortured and badly beaten while in US custody in Egypt. "He was interrogated in a way in which a human cannot stand up." Last night Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, a very sick man, proclaimed his ignorance and implied he couldnt care less about the fate of Habib. This is not surprising from a man who, as minister of immigration, locked up hundreds of children of refugees. It is time to send these monsters from Canberra back to the Black Lagoon. The result of next election is the most important in our history.