I kept a vacation eye on the news while I was in the US. Which meant I was extremely well informed about local issues, American politics, and not much else. Floods in the UK? Didn’t hear about them until I landed in Europe. Earthquake at a nuclear power plant in Japan? It got a couple lines in the international section of the local paper. There were a few pictures of the 7–7-07 concert and nothing of substance about the issue it was dedicated to. My general impression: xenophobia is on the rise, with Bush and the media contributing equally to a bunker mentality that doesn’t seem to comprehend a world beyond the US would have anything to offer that could possibly be superior to American made.
But there were signs of intelligent life scattered around town:
Blogged with Flock
Last night, all of us involved in the Green my Apple campaign had a victory
dinner feast at the lovely Zeina’s house. Zeina is Lebanese, and put together an outstanding culinary adventure for us. There was baked Feta with chili pepper — my mouth waters as I type those words — tabouli on lettuce leaves, fava beans in lemon, cauliflower with sesame, savory vegetables rolled in a flat bread: outrageous, scrumptious, delicious.The company was as good as the food. Take eight story tellers and put them around a table and throw out a question like “What was your most embarassing moment” and you know you’re going to get good stuff.
Giona suggested I blog mine, a tale of pride taking a fall, from my first days as a Greenpeace activist.
In those days, if you were a door to door canvasser, as I was, you went out into your turf every night dreaming of being a campaigner. In these dreams, you were not in a mini-van heading into a suburban neighborhood with a clipboard. No, you were an eco-warrior in a survival suit, gunning the engine of your zodiac to cross the wake of a whaling ship. To make that dream happen in those days, you pretty much had to distinguish yourself as a volunteer.
Through a series of home-grown direct actions in Boston, I’d done that locally — and with one, a banner hanging off the roof of the Canadian Embassy in protest of the harp seal hunt, I’d managed to generate an image that got carried nationwide on Reuters. That caught the eye of Peter Dykstra and Mark Roberts at our national headquarters in Washington, who asked me to come down to DC to talk about a secret mission. Holy Hotcakes, Batman, a secret mission! My daydreams of heroism shot up, as did my cachet with the other canvassers.
The mission was this: