Bill had spent months awaiting a response from them, then negotiating the right to use their format & part-way was joined by some younger guys in Wellington who had had the same idea. Bill had enlisted his young sidekick in Sea Shepherd, Matt, to write the software but they kicked the project down to Wellington when it turned out progress would happen faster there. We remained on the advisory board to ensure the design was successful. Originally we had decided to call it Stand Up! a la Bob Marley (symmetry with the Oz name) but turned out there was a young union group called Stand Up & others got paranoid at the similarity.
A fake poll was conducted by the young woman hired to manage project development, so Bill & I decided to leave in disgust at the unethical conduct. Last I heard it was going to be called Action Stations & be up & running a year ago – but no sign of life as yet, huh? Spiritual contamination is ever a trap for young players...
You're either part of the solution or part of the problem. True, you can always spot those who are clearly both simultaneously. Anyone not living in a dualist world can identify them. Not easily the tricky buggers who are doing it deliberately, of course! Is the reader smart enough to have figured out why the others in this small category are doing it unconsciously? If not, your homework is to read “The Madness of Adam & Eve”. This excellent book promotes a novel and ingenious genetic theory of schizoprenia; which is that it is not only natural, it has driven the evolutionary trajectory of the human race. Clue: people always remarked how genius & insanity would often coincide within one individual.
Then Bill & I checked out the Occupy movement. I was concerned they would try to reinvent the wheel & end up making the same mistakes my generation did 40 years ago. So it transpired. Their tribal methodology threw up a new sign language & a measure of solidarity was exhibited globally - which proved ephemeral. Occupy Auckland then degenerated into a braindead conformism, which subsequently morphed into anarchy. In between these two stages a list of grievances was agreed and issued to the media. Documentary proof that protestors are incapable of anything more constructive than complaining? Alarmed, I suggested to Bill that we redraft it into a positive plan instead, and test consensus just like I did for the Greens 20 years back.
Once each negative clause was transformed into a positive declaration of intent, I polished up the language and Bill circulated it asking Occupy supporters to agree to their name being added to ours at the bottom to demonstrate consensus. When we got 17 people listed identifying themselves as agreeing that the document provided a positive alternative to the status quo, I took a bunch of copies down & gave one to each likely-looking person I encountered at the occupation, explaining the purpose of the document and advising them to get the group to adopt this positive translation of their grievances.
I pointed out that the 99% needed a positive alternative to business as usual, so the protest movement is more likely to obtain solidarity with the 99% by providing it. The interim consensus of 17 supporters was sufficient to demonstrate that widespread agreement with the positive version of their grievance document was likely. All recipients agreed to advise the group to accept it. Didn't happen! Why? Protestors think they are incapable of doing anything other than protesting. Never mind that some protest movements have achieved social transformation by signalling a better way forward for all. You have to be aware of such outcomes as precedents. How many protestors know of them?? How many learn from history?
Emotionally retarded, stuck in grievance mode, these aging adolescents unable to mature seem destined for permanent irrelevance. Their pretence that they represent the 99% is clearly a sham when they make no attempt to lead the 99% to a better future. Once protest movements were the leading edge of progress – now all protestors do is whine. The people are inclined to view such pathetic performance with apathy - or disgust and contempt. We await the real thing instead.
I was concurrently oldest in my class of a couple of dozen doing the Auckland Permaculture Workshop design certificate, one day per month throughout 2012. Excellent content! When you're apprehensive that you know everything already it's a huge relief to encounter a couple of tutors providing an exemplary demonstration that it ain't so! The year got even busier when Tim Lynch interviewed me for his radio show, Greenplanet FM, and then invited me to co-host with him & Lisa Er in the latter part of the year. So I did a series of shows that are still available as podcasts – you can listen to them at the GreenplanetFM website.
Then I watched as the dominos fell in Europe – would 2012 bring the long-awaited final collapse of the capitalist debt-slavery system? No, as it turned out. For about the 5th time in the past 30 or so years the system lurched thro crisis like a battered ship through a storm, sails shredded, a few spars blown away, sailors not as drunken as 2008 however. The natural resilience of the system once again proven, courtesy of everyone being too stupid to go for a better option. Would the outcome have been different if the left had disengaged from its traditional collusion with the right and not propped the system up? Better the devil they know, eh?
Summer I prioritised a more extensive vegetable garden this year, incorporating permaculture strategies and tactics. Autumn I prioritised maintenance & repair projects, some long-deferred. This winter I'm writing again – recently an essay on mythistory, framed to fill the gap in Wikipedia where the mythistory page is missing still. I've put the prototype onsite there, but lack the programming expertise to format it – alas, their prescription is too minimalist by far, the most profound dimensions of the subject will likely be gutted, preliminary advice suggests. I now await hopefully a kind editor! Meantime, if you are intrigued, you can inform yourself about mythistory here... http://www.alternativeaotearoa.org/mythistory.html