Potpourri 2.0

Compost for Spring?

SOME WEEKS, it just feels like everything is turning to shit. Which is, after all, part of the natural cycle. Turn to shit, turn to compost, return to earth, die into winter, then resurrect in spring, renewed and refreshed.

In spring. But not today. Can’t be happy all the time.

For those who watched my Couch Concert 3.0 live, I thank you for your support and TLC. It will be my last. It’s insane, being my own producer, director, set designer, lighting director, audio engineer, videographer, technical director and, oh yeah, performer—live, in real time, singing into the void.* Not fun.

Instead, I’m returning to my neglected commitment of recording a “Song of the Month” every month. I’ve got enough material to keep me busy through the next year and beyond, so if you find enjoyment and meaning in my songs, I’ll keep them coming for you. If not, then they’re more easily ignored in this format. Either way, I think I’ve found the perfect price point for every budget.

 

Confronting a Climate of Complacency?

MAKING incremental progress with Climateers: Our little group is gathering youth on Instagram, where they live, working to inspire them into climate action—in the world and, at home, in their families.

Based on my own, scientifically unsound, anecdotal peer review, I’ve come to the conclusion that most Boomers, Gen-Xers, and older Millennials are aware they/we are currently losing our life or death battle with the unforgiving physics of climate change, but aren’t willing to endure any significant loss of comfort or convenience to retard its advance. Apparently, that’s just too much to ask.

So I’m planning on encouraging their children to question their complacency. If reasoning, educated adults won’t face reality on their own, act on the evidence that is unfolding all around them, or even be slightly roused from their trance of consumption by the guilt of destroying their host planet, maybe they will respond when their children and grandchildren ask why they continue this relentless indulgence, destroying all semblance of hope for them, their own flesh and blood, in the foreseeable future—and essentially, forever.

Then, recording their responses and posting them online for all to see.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

Ending on a Happy Note.

WE HAVE our first feathered tenant. A Downy Woodpecker has taken possession of one of our early spring birdhouses; curiously, the one designed, built and placed for, of all things, a Downy Woodpecker! How did it know? Will wonders ever cease!?

So, life goes on. And might even keep going on…

It’s up to me. And it’s up to you…

 


*  I didn’t post the video. The sound was unexpectedly hot and harsh; the performance, too meandering; and, overall, the entire production fell far short of expectations. So it goes.

Potpourri

A Little of This, a Little of That.

YOU MAY have noticed I didn’t post anything last week. Although the chaos of our times continues to accelerate, and opportunities for discussion and engagement abound, sometimes a blog just does not want to be written.

But that was last week…

C O M I N G   A T T R A C T I O N S

1) Climateers Update.

I JUST completed our first Climateers Pod Squad video prototype. The storyline is about dog food, specifically the remarkably indestructible and non-recyclable plastic bag it came in—a typical, mundane, daily annoyance for anyone paying attention to the avalanche of plastic that flows through our lives and into the trash. This particular single-use sack was so incredibly indestructible I decided to write a polite complaint and mail it along with the bag to the manufacturer’s CEO—something I’ve never done before.

Then I realized this action could also be a good demonstration project of our Climateers concept of documented and shared individual creative activism. So I photographed the process, added an upbeat music track and ended up with a surprisingly compelling result.

This 1-minute, animated slideshow has not yet been posted because that is currently beyond my level of Instagram competency, but it will be soon. In the meantime, you can have a sneak preview HERE.

2) Bodhi Bill is Back on the Couch.

IN THESE dark Covid times, death is all around. This may present an opportune time to share the experiences that motivated me to work with the dying. Or it may not. Your call.

3) Third Crime is the Charm.

AMID AMERICA’S criminally mismanaged Covid pandemic response and resulting economic free fall—neither of which had to be catastrophic but now are irrevocably so—the climate crisis continues to accelerate past our feeble attempts, so far, to contain it. This year is on track to be the hottest year in human existence. Yet silent complacency remains the fashionable response.

Offered once again is my fight song for those willing to engage in more than despair or denial. Turns out, it’s fun to fight back. Who knew!?

Stay safe. Stay strong. And stay engaged.

 

 

Serendipity

Changing Climate Change.

LAST YEAR, about this time, I began a fool’s errand. Having just returned to Reno, horrified by its explosive growth—doubling in just 12 years—and struggling to find any local climate action groups, I designed a poster and some fliers and began “Fasting for the Future” by the Truckee River on Saturdays. It appeared to make no difference, but one person happened to hear about it and also began fasting one day a week, on Fridays. We met up, made signs and stood out by City Hall and over time a few more joined in until we became a dedicated group of five elders, more or less acting as Reno’s placeholders for the international, youth-led Fridays For Future activists. And yet, still not making much of an impact.

Then Covid hit. We abandoned the sidewalk and continued to meet on Zoom, trying to figure out what to do next. Regrettably, the criminally negligent federal response guaranteed Covid would expand its death march through the country, unabated, for the indefinite future; we were not going to be returning to the sidewalk any time soon, whatever that might be worth.

Then we got lucky. An activist high school student along with a newly-minted Climate Studies PhD and UNR instructor joined in, taking us into a new direction online via Instagram. We fused ideas and inspirations to launch a new vision and Instagram account: Climateers.

The idea is to inspire “pod” groups of 2 to 5 “Climateers” to gather and create actions that can be done virtually or in small, safe settings, then upload their videos to our Instagram site. We’re starting with our UNR instructor’s summer class and will see how it goes. There’s not much there yet; we’ve just begun.

Two critical issues we are addressing: 1) Although Covid’s relentless toll is dominating the news, the climate crisis continues to worsen, irreversibly threatening everyone’s comfort, convenience and even survival; and, 2) Covid is forcing everyone to act virtually.

So maybe we’ll inspire people to create pods, sharing their results and inspiring others to do the same. And maybe not. Hard to predict. But we do have a dedicated group of seven to try and make it happen. That’s a good start. And maybe you can help spread the word or even create your own pod.

It’s up to me and it’s up to you…

 

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…