Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Questioning K'Naan

Thanks for this eloquent first-person account.

To paraphrase Michael Franti & Spearhead, we can machine the world to pieces, but we can't machine it into peace. And Pres. Morales of Bolivia said, what say you?

PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Thank you very much for the invitation and for this kind interview. I’m very pleased, as always, to talk with you and share our proposals on behalf of life.

I’ve come at the invitation of the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations. I was, as a union—to share experiences on climate change, first as a peasant union leader and second as a president.

Unfortunately, the so-called developing countries are the hardest hit by natural phenomena. These natural phenomena are a result of the unbridled industrialization of the Western countries. I think that the countries of the West are under an obligation to see how they can pay the environmental debt to reduce harm to the planet earth. The planet earth has suffered a death warrant [sic, poss. "wound"] and must be saved, and that means saving planet earth is to save life and to save humankind.

But there are other factors that are leading to the inflation in prices for some agricultural goods, ... And it’s not possible to understand in this new millennium how there are governments, presidents, institutions that are more interested in a heap of metal than in life. They’re more interested in fueling luxury cars than in feeding human beings.

That’s where we raise a question. First, land is to be for life and not land for scrap metal or a heap of metal. And while some presidents and some international organizations want to implement measures of this sort, well, I believe very much in the social movements. ... and we need to wake up some presidents and international organizations before this problem of hunger that’s suffered by families and hectares of land being earmarked to cars rather than people goes any further. [End quote.] Pres. Morales on Democracy Now! 24 April 08

Our world is fatally overmechanized. When the tsunami struck, the sea puked up the poisons dumped by the real pirates here, sickening your people, stealing their livelihoods. And now, more white men in more metal machines are on the way to escalate another bogus war.

Why is it that perpetual bogus "holy" war is the only way we know of being in the world? It's the mythology!

The myth of the cosmos as Newtonian mechanism needs to die now. We are organic beings who conceive of our selves and our ultimate Source as machines, that's our problem. And we help the Machine Men defeat us when we champion the same damn myths that oppress us.

As a fellow poet, K'naan, I'm curious: what do you think of Morales's rejection of mechanism as a way of life?

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