The Moon Candy Rebellion

I was invit­ed by sto­ry­teller Simon Hodges to share a sto­ry tonight at his extra­or­di­nary every-4-weeks gath­er­ing in Ams­ter­dam. There were some won­der­ful tales, mag­i­cal myths, and fab­u­lous yarns. I read The Moon Can­dy Rebel­lion for the first time to an audi­ence that wasn’t a room­ful of activists, and I couldn’t have asked for a warmer crowd and set­ting. Simon’s cre­at­ed a glo­ri­ous sto­ry­telling space, sur­round­ed by art and full of odd, beau­ti­ful­ly diverse seat­ing from antiques to the sur­re­al sto­ry teller’s chair to bean bags and blan­kets on the floor. It’s an event worth catch­ing if your in Ams­ter­dam for the next one on the 15th of Decem­ber. Actu­al­ly, it’s an event worth trav­el­ling to Ams­ter­dam for. Have a lis­ten to a tiny por­tion of Simon’s epic ren­der­ing of the Welsh tale of Lleu and Blodeuwedd.

As for me, this is the tale I told.

Every night, for many many years, I made up a bed­time sto­ry for my boys, Doon and Dylan. 

I pop­u­lat­ed those sto­ries with some very odd heroes — kind of enlight­ened trou­ble­mak­ers who would act up and be very very naughty, though often for a very good rea­son. And one day it occurred to me: I won­der if this has any­thing to do with my pro­fes­sion?

I worked as an activist with Green­peace for 35 years. I went to sea to save whales, I went to jail for stop­ping a nuclear weapons test. I was sur­round­ed by enlight­ened trou­ble­mak­ers. And it occurred to me that I might be mak­ing up for a lack of sto­ries about those kind of peo­ple and the val­ues they cham­pi­oned.

I was always jeal­ous of par­ents who could pull a book down from the shelf about a teacher, or a fire­fight­er, or a police offi­cer, and point to it and say “That’s what I do. That’s what my friends do.” Because it can be real­ly hard to tell a five year old that “when Dad­dy and his friends do a good job, some­times they go to jail.”

Where were the bed­time sto­ries that cel­e­brat­ed what Steve Jobs called “The Crazy Ones” — the ones crazy enough to think they could change the world? Not just the artists and inven­tors and entre­pre­neurs, but the activists? How many children’s books have you read that cel­e­brate civil dis­obe­di­ence, or ques­tion­ing author­i­ty, or chal­leng­ing the sta­tus quo when it’s unkind, or unjust, or dan­ger­ous? When it tells lit­tle girls that they’re weak and can’t do all the things boys do?

There’s the Lorax, and the But­ter Bat­tle Book, and my great love, Pip­pi Long­stock­ings. A few oth­ers, but not many choic­es for par­ents who want pos­i­tive role mod­els of boat-rock­ers. Of kids who meet con­for­mi­ty with cre­ativ­i­ty. Who con­jure up beau­ti­ful dis­rup­tions to cre­ate a bet­ter world. 

So I took the thrilling advice of Toni Mor­rison, and thought about the bed­time sto­ry I most want­ed to read to my kids, and wrote it. 

Now I promise this is a sto­ry not a lec­ture. So imag­ine you’re five. You’ve got your paja­mas on. The pil­lows are plumped up behind you and you pull the duvet up to your chin. Are we sit­ting com­fort­ably? Then we’ll begin…

Here’s a record­ing of the read­ing. But if you were there, skip down to the one below to see Iris Maerten’s awe­some illus­tra­tions.

We want to release this sto­ry in a big way — cre­ative com­mons, open source, skip­ping over the pub­lish­ing indus­try, going peo­ple-pow­er direct and using that mag­i­cal art of ask­ing for help.

We’ll be releas­ing an ear­ly reader/beta ver­sion of The Moon Can­dy Rebel­lion as an ePub short­ly, and we’d love to have you in on the hijinks we’re hop­ing to get up to. We’ve just set up a Face­book page, a twit­ter feed, and a web­page where you can sign up as a Moon Can­dy Rebel to get a copy in exchange for your feed­back, sug­ges­tions, and input into ideas for how we get our lit­tle book into as many lit­tle hands as pos­si­ble through some beau­ti­ful dis­rup­tion, and how we can use crowd-sourced, #new­pow­er tools to turn it into a real book you can hold in your hands and read to your child. Or your­self. It’s all about how we make courage more con­ta­gious, and raise up a gen­er­a­tion equipped to resist despo­tism and cre­ate the more beau­ti­ful world of joy­ful abun­dance we all know is pos­si­ble.



6 thoughts on “The Moon Candy Rebellion”

  1. Real­ly hap­py I came across your blog, I was look­ing for the Pyn­chon quote from IV about oil com­pa­nies to cut and paste as I was too lazy to copy it from the book and it was serendip­i­tous, what you’re doing is real­ly, real­ly inter­est­ing. Thanks!

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