Waking Dogs publish: GREENFUSE ( A mostly monthly newspaper, in Southern Humboldt County, California & distributed free through six North Coast counties since 2000- "Greenfuse bears witness to the love and enduring stubbornness of a small group of supportive, creative activist known as the: Waking Dog Collective (Unlike sleeping dogs, waking dogs never lie). This loose knit rural group includes an assortment of various beings, including some actual Dogs, Cats, Goats, Ravens in the air- and the memory of dead goldfish and humans." GREENFUSE, was originally the product of a very short-lived newspaper committee formed during a gathering of Green party enthusiasts in Garberville California during the build up towards the momentous 2000 presidential election. As during revolutionary periods of the past- to a room full of progressive activists, desperate to create political change, a newspaper was a natural step towards the goal of organizing that change. The appeal to create media through the consensus process of the local Green chapter was however a bit of window dressing. The torch of media publication was in fact a foregone conclusion for a few long time culturally creative activist at the helm. Preaching to the choir was always a risk with a project like this, but the hope was always that some turn of phrase, some historical precedent, heartfelt testimony, or inspiring action could temper and then strengthen the leading edge of progress towards a better world, perhaps teaching that tired, well rehearsed choir just a bit more about the intricacies of harmony, or intonation. With the dominance of this ubiquitous digital social media sphere, is there still a place for inky hard copy on newsprint? Why would there be, right? Well- Because independent thought and voices, that question authority, challenge assumptions, and provide the facts, insights, visions and testimony that inform decisions are a basic requirement of any social progress. Media literacy demands a level of awareness that recognizes that any for-profit corporate organization of news skews towards their financial interest- and the way it is delivered matters. There is a reason 'Freedom of the press' is specifically codified as a basic right that government may not infringe upon. Printing and sharing information, practicing and sharing freedom of thought, and the free trade of ideas is one of the few tools we have to model the future of civilization. As creativity becomes more elusive, so do options. But, what if our only option for change is to be creative? Even as we are going to the proverbial "Hell-in-a-hand basket"- That journey can be so much richer when we celebrate and encourage creative ideas, creative thoughts, and creative observation, and share them. Randomly acquired periodicals; zines, newspapers, journals, rags, acting like an anachronistic casting of a message-in-a-bottle,(or tarot card?) will always find a home and perhaps be cherished? among the curious, aware and literate. If you have ever been inspired by found words, are a seeker of truth, a peaceful warrior, and a giver of care- you are a member of The Waking Dog Collective- PASS IT ON.
John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel “The Grapes of Wrath” describes a similar moment during the Great Depression, when people starved even as orchards of fruit were burned to make the food that remained more profitable: “Men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. … There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. … In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”
And people stayed at home And read books And listened And they rested And did exercises And made art and played And learned new ways of being And stopped and listened More deeply Someone meditated, someone prayed Someone met their shadow And people began to think differently And people healed. And in the absence of people who Lived in ignorant ways Dangerous, meaningless and heartless, The earth also began to heal And when the danger ended and People found themselves They grieved for the dead And made new choices And dreamed of new visions And created new ways of living And completely healed the earth Just as they were healed. - written in 1869 by Kathleen O’Mara: Reprinted during Spanish flu Pandemic, 1919
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