Encore?

Like a Bad Penny…

BACK BY (virtually no discernible) popular demand, I will be returning to social media in two weeks for another shelter in place Couch Concert of original songs—these based on people I’ve known or known about.

Due to Facebook’s irksome roadblocks erected against anyone not firmly embedded in its digital vice grip, I will be moving the venue to my YouTube channel. Streaming instructions to come next week (after I’ve figured them out).

Concert details:

  • BODHI BILL COUCH CONCERT 2.0
  • Friday, June 26, 2020
  • 7 pm PDT start

See you online.

 


P O S T S C R I P T

ALTHOUGH the novelty of dealing with Covid-19 has worn off for many, Covid doesn’t care. Its spread is not declining, has not “leveled off,” and in fact cases and deaths are continuing to increase—most dramatically in those states cavalier enough to rush to reopen. You and I may be done with Covid, but it is not done with us. Please remain vigilant, careful and safe.

 

The Spell is Breaking

Now What?

I MISSED posting last week. For me, everything seemed in the middle of trying to go somewhere from the middle of nowhere. There was nothing to say, which is usually the best time to say nothing.

Now that is changing. The world is changing.

The arc of all tyrants is predictable. They rise; they assume godlike stature through intimidation, retribution and violence; they appear utterly invincible; and then, the spell breaks and they fall. The arc is certain, the timing is not. Until it happens.

Trump is falling. It’s bound to be messy; but it is unstoppable. The question is, “Now what?”

Even in Reno, notable for being passive progressive, thousands turn out for a Black Lives Matter protest Sunday.

And what a time to ask that question.

Covid cases and deaths continue to increase as the economy reopens too early after closing down too late, a deadly national leadership fiasco that almost makes a mockery of our shared sacrifice.

The casual public execution of George Floyd by police has set off an unprecedented worldwide outrage and protest, demanding justice and fairness in a deeply rooted, systemically unjust and unfair system.

And meanwhile, almost unnoticed, the climate crisis has not abated; even with the drastic cut in fossil fuel consumption from the worldwide coronavirus shutdown, 2020 will be the hottest year in human history. Whether we notice or not, the door to a sustainable future is irreversibly closing. It will not reopen.

Yet, we Americans have proven ourselves capable of enduring a shutdown. We have proven ourselves capable of rising together against injustice. We have proven ourselves able to stand up to an invincible tyrant and set his demise into action. Can we also rise up in time for the most threatening—yet most abstract—crisis ever faced by humanity?

Obviously, the answer is:  we can if we choose to.

 

Wading into the Live Stream

Panic. Pandemonium. Performance.

THE PERFORMANCE part was fun. Really fun. The hour before, not so much. Facebook streaming is not FaceTime; it takes two, independently-produced, non-intuitive programs running together in synch to work. The entire hour before launch, right up to showtime, they would neither synch nor work. It was panic times pandemonium squared, but somehow they revealed their secrets just before the metaphorical curtain rose. WHEW!

For those who were able to tune in, thanks for joining me! For those who couldn’t—or those who might like to see it again—the live stream video is posted on my Bodhi Bill Facebook page. Since I listed it for the public viewing, I don’t think you need an account, but can’t say for sure; you never know with Facebook. Give it a try:

Bill’s Couch Concert Video

I hope that works! If so, and you like it, please share it…

 

Back to Life

Renewed and Reengaged.

BACK AGAIN and almost as good as new. Time to celebrate! This Friday, I’m going to attempt to stream a live seven song set of originals specifically selected for these shut-in, shut-down, self-isolating times.

It’s my first time Facebook streaming, so I’ll run a few tests beforehand, and with the blessings of the Electro-Gods, we’ll put on a show.

Tune in. Tell your friends. See you online…

Bodhi Bill’s Facebook LINK

 

 

 

Coping with COVID-19

“re: Centering” Knocked Off Center.

WOW! That was fast.

And with a gaslighting, vainglorious president and his science-phobic, creationist VP in charge, everything destined to be bad based on optimal contagion mapping will now, regrettably, become far more catastrophic—both in velocity and saturation. Whatever public health guardrails were in place had already been recklessly removed by this team; and predictably but tragically, truth was the first coronavirus casualty in America. We are basically on our own to survive the onslaught.

While the blue wave is optimal, in my clinical experience as a hospital chaplain, the graph’s capacity threshold is optimistic. As it is, ICU beds are rarely unoccupied and new respirators cannot be ordered in bulk. Rational, fact-based personal prevention actions are our best hope. — Graph courtesy FlattenTheCurve.com

Panic won’t help (it never does), so be sensible. Don’t hoard. Be kind. It appears most of us will get this at some point; but the slower the spread, the better. Meanwhile, be mindful of your own health and emotional balance.

For me, I’ll be doing more recording at home, focusing on some of my more uplifting songs. Can’t hurt! And I’m way behind the curve of a song a month anyway. In the meantime, most of my climate activism will be on hold, although I intend to keep my Fridays For Future fasting (ending with dinner, just to be sensible) and curbside gathering going as long as reasonably advised. Can’t stop now. Even when the sun is eclipsed by the moon, it’s still there. Same with the climate crisis.

We can only do our best. Be careful. Stay well.

It’s up to me and it’s up to you…

 

 

 

 

 

re: Centering


Stepping Back. Moving Forward.

SINCE RETURNING to Reno, I’ve been hyper-focused on helping to mitigate the climate crisis. That’s no secret. Friday fasts, speaking out, finding local groups, attending meetings, designing graphics, writing songs, making videos, standing on street corners waving signs—all the while cajoling all of you to become more active: that’s been my life. But, dire as the situation is, and science suggests it’s a great deal more dire than most people I know acknowledge—to me, anyway—there is still more to life than activism.

Ironically, since I initially started this website and blog to share my music, it’s those songs that have recently brought me back to that part of myself. The backstory is I’ve offered to do a few of them at the Unitarian Church this Sunday after the service to see if the few congregants that show up might like them enough to hear more in a more formal context. They may. They may not. But I’ve rediscovered them and am pleased to make their reacquaintance. To me, they feel more like cosmic gifts than THINGS I’VE CREATED and I’m honored to be their caretaker.

I doubt the world will ever take note of them, but that’s okay. They bring me back to parts of myself that are too easy overridden when the frenzy of busyness overwhelms. They grace me with a sense of balance in a profoundly unbalanced time.

And that’s what I have to share this week.

Meanwhile, the climate battles continue. Whether we prevail depends on whether we engage. We are the people we have been waiting for. Or not.

It’s up to me and it’s up to you…

 

Slow News Week

Eggs incubating. Not quite ready to count new chicks.

NOT MUCH to report this week. Most projects in gestation, not ready for hatching. I did design a set of (ironically, non-bio-degradable) headers for our CCL/Fridays For Future tabletop display to make our mission more clear to bystanders.

My Up to Me” music video is up to 210 hits, not exactly viral but at least a few more people have heard it, maybe been inspired. Our “Fridays For Future” gatherings average 6 to 7 participants each week and we are looking for a more impactful venue; Reno City Hall is a bit of a ghost town late Friday afternoons. And still no students, so trying to figure out how to reach them. I’m open to suggestion.

Meantime, while the Democratic debates are beginning to focus on catastrophic climate change, which is a relief, I’ve yet to hear anything on the actual costs of confronting it. Yes, there will be millions of new, well paying jobs, but there is also a profound level of change and sacrifice required that is not being addressed. Is it a failure of democracy that people cannot be asked to even consider sacrificing anything or the overwhelming power of the corporate media state that will not allow the consideration? Or, both and?

What with the oceans choked with plastic and landfills overflowing with non-degradable garbage, it should be obvious we cannot consume our way out of this crisis. It should be. Near as I can tell, it’s not.

The irony is that our environmentally destructive, throw-away consumer culture has not led to happiness. Instead, alienation, depression, addiction and apathy are the norm. The other irony is action inspires connection and connection inspires happiness. You want happiness, get involved.

It’s up to me and it’s up to you…

 

 

 

 

 

What a Short, Strange Trip…

My Six-month Turnaround

AS SOME may remember, it was just six months ago I started FASTING for our FUTURE by the river, alone with my sign and handouts (thank you Reno Type). It was an act of desperation following a precipitous fall into a  profound “walking depression” brought about by reentering Reno after 12 years and metaphorically colliding with its explosive growth in traffic, sprawl and frenetic intensity.

It was all madness. We were clearly doomed. There was no hope.

The fruits of that depression, the listeners out there may recall, was the writing and recording my dystopian Final Days of History last summer. That was then. That was me hitting bottom.

Then, I somehow shook off my lethargy, got into action and found my way into Reno’s fledgling community of climate activists. That led to my solo fasting becoming a weekly gathering, fasting optional, and my music taking a radical turn towards inspiration.

Up to Me, Up to You was released just over two weeks ago. So far, it’s achieved 186 views on YouTube and six likes and counting—for someone with an anti-social-media, online non-presence, that’s equivalent of going Platinum!  A couple of regional climate groups have committed to using it in their outreach efforts. Friends are including it in their social media posts. Things are moving.

And the Point Is…

THE POINT is NOT ABOUT ME. The point is that doing nothing but despairing is depressing. The point is that getting involved is energizing—and it energizes other people. The point is if I can do this, someone with the innate leadership ability of a lemming, then anyone can. The point is, YOU CAN DO THIS TOO.

The point is that taking on an apparently doomed task because it is what needs to be done is energizing, engaging, fun, positive and powerful. And change can happen quickly! For me, all this happened in just six months.

The point is YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!

If you’re concerned but not engaged, wake up, get involved. We have everything we need to succeed in abetting the most catastrophic climate change except the commitment as a people to stand up and force the systemic changes needed. Of course, positive change is happening. Solar, wind, electric cars are all coming online. But, the evidence is overwhelmingly clear, it is not happening fast enough. And it will not happen fast enough unless we make it. In which case, we are doomed.

There are multiple ways to engage. Here’s an annotated LIST of some of them. Just scroll down to find the one that speaks to you.

It’s up to me and it’s up to you…

 

 

Encouraging Signs

“Fridays for Future” core group in front of City Hall (background) next to the Truckee River.

Fasting for the Future > Fridays for Future.

WHAT BEGAN for me as solitary day-long fasts, perched by a popular pathway along the Truckee River last August has grown, moving downstream to downtown, transitioning from Saturdays to Fridays to align with Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future, and adding signs, displays, and most importantly, people.

Fasting has become optional, only Jeff Carlton (on left in photo) and I do, but attendance has increased. While I’d like to take all the credit for that, it’s really due to Jeff ‘s unwavering commitment to keep showing up that has allowed this to happen. Me, I would have stopped months ago, back when it was just Jeff, John Wankum (on far right) and me out there, week after week. Turns out, you just have to keep showing up.

If you’re in Reno and want to show up, we gather from 4 to 5pm every Friday at Virginia and First Streets, across from City Hall, a stone’s throw from the river. We’re the ones with all the signs (who are having all the fun).

Moral of the story: just keep showing up.

 


Record sets record.

GENERALLY, anything over 100 hits for a song of mine is viral. UP TO ME is up to 157 and counting. And five Likes. In just over a week. That’s an encouraging start. I still hope to move it farther out into the virtual media sphere—not many upbeat, happy-warrior climate crisis songs out there. I think we need all we can get.

So if you haven’t yet listened, please do. If you’ve listened and felt energized by it, please share. You can post the YouTube LINK or even DOWNLOAD and post the MP4 video file on any social media platform. It’s free. It’s easy. And it just might make a difference for somebody.

It’s up to me and it’s up to you…

 

(Tw)eating My Words

Embracing the Blue Bird of Happiness

I SWORE I was off social media. For good. And I was. Facebook anyway. And for good reason: based on compelling evidence, I became convinced its President for Life, Mark Zuckerberg, is a well-mannered sociopath. Entrusting him with a permanent record of my personal activities, thoughts and feelings was not going to turn out well for me. Or anybody.

But I digress. In my haste to disentangle myself from the tentacles of his vast digital octopus, I overstated my position and have come to realize as I enter the global climate crisis conversation, much of it IS happening on social media whether I like it or not: Twitter to be precise. So I have succumbed, and with a large sprinkling of powdered sugar, am eating a few of my more savory words. Turns out email, text messages and blogging—to say nothing of meeting face to face over coffee—just aren’t enough anymore. Our situation is too dire and our time too short.

Now on Twitter:  @BodhiBillMiller

If YOU Twitter and care to find me, I now have a handle: @BodhiBillMiller. And if you don’t Tweet, I’m okay with that too. I don’t think any of this voluntary digital entrapment is going to end well, but that’s the world we live in. Jefferson inspired a birth of freedom, equality and liberty around the world. And owned slaves, securely entrapped in perpetuity by systemic, barbaric cruelty. We all just do our best in the times we live in.

In these times, we need to do whatever we can to save our global ecosystem from an immanent, catastrophic collapse. To do so, we will have to forego some comforts, comforts Jefferson was unwilling to forego in his times. Will we? Who knows?

Meanwhile, you can find me on Twitter, out on a limb, learning to Tweet—if you’re into that sort of thing.


P O S T S C R I P T

THE FIFTIETH anniversary of Earth Day is coming up. Students are planning three days of action —Wednesday, April 22, through Friday, April 24.

You can support them by showing up. Or not…

 

It’s up to me and it’s up to you