Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Saturday, July 30, 2005

OREGON TRAILS

Hotter than hell here in Oregon. Took me 13 hours to get here, flying via Atlanta. Not the most direct route. Got to bed after 2:00 am Friday morning and had to wake up early for a radio interview with Thom Hartman who has a show on a local Portland station. Did three radio interviews yesterday promoting the trip. Spoke last night at the Unitarian church in Portland.

Today I head south to Corvallis for a lunch talk and then out to the coast for a talk this evening in Florence. My books arrived in Brunswick on Friday and some will be overnighted to me so I can have them for the rest of the trip. People were disappointed last night after the talk wanting to buy a copy but I had none to offer - just an order form.

The thing going through my mind this morning is the dispair and hope message. People feel very down right now as they look at the world and the question is what is my role in helping to bring hope to them? Having to talk about the plans for space control and domination, the enormous cost, the resulting global instability of a new arms race are not hopeful themes.

I end my talks by talking about a transformative vision being needed. I paint a visual picture of what economic conversion would look like and appeal to folks to help us create the momentum and political demand to make it a reality. I suggest we have to move from addiction to militarism and war to a collective transformation as a people.

I try to tell the truth and give some hope through a positive vision for the future. I keep in mind those who came before us and who have struggled to make life better. I try to honor their memories. I also pray before each talk that I will be able to remember our relatives: the things that swim, the things that fly, and the things that crawl. I try to remember my connection to all that is sacred.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruce, you frequently refer to "economic conversion", and here you also make reference to a "transformative vision" and "collective transformation".

When you get the time, would you mind posting some more detail about what you mean by those terms? I'm sure you cover it in your speaking appearances, but it would help those of us unable to attend your tour if you made that info available here too.

7/30/05, 10:42 AM  
Blogger CarlC said...

Hotter than hell here in Oregon.

Really? Fire and brimstone, huh? Wait a second. Help me out here, Bruce...

I just went to weather.com and checked the temperature in Portland Oregon. At 3 PM local time it was only 86 degrees F, far short of the 240 degrees F (the melting point of sulfur) that I expected to see. I figure there had to be a mistake, but then I realized that one of those global warming-induced megastorms must have raced in and temporarily cooled things off. But it's sunny and the winds are calm. So confusing!

Or maybe it's just hyperbole. And if you repeat something enough times and it becomes true, huh?

No. It's late July, Bruce: the middle of summer and typically the hottest time of the year. Through yesterday, the average daily July high in Portland was 80.4 degrees F, just barely above the 79.9 degree historical average for July, and nowhere near the 107 degree daily record. Contrast that with last month, with an average daily high of 69.8 degrees, versus a historical average of 74 degrees F for June.

Look it up yourself:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/weather/longterm/historical/data/portland_ore.htm

7/30/05, 5:39 PM  

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