Sunday, August 28, 2005


That is the truth. Radio, television, the Internet, all exist to sell widgets. If your show doesn't sell enough widgets you must go! It doesn't matter if you are Oprah or if you are that book guy on the PBS station way down at the end of the dial. You must sell widgets. And widget selling and buying is where most of our time and energy go.

The thing is, money doesn't really exist... I know, "try living without it," which, actually, I mostly do. The truth is that only in a really wealthy country like this could I live on so little. Because, even the most meagre of circumstances here in this country is unbelievable wealth and luxury in so many others.

(A small example: this is the only country in the world, including Canada, where ice cubes are so readily available... and straws. One day the planet will be covered in used plastic straws and plastic grocery bags... at that point there will be no clean water left and it will be literally as hot as hell, and if there are any humans they will be living the SOYLENT GREEN lifestyle.)

Here is a photo that accurately describes what I am trying to say:

But what I mean when I say money is imaginary is that, well, humans invented it. It's really just a symbol of what we value. It's a way to exchange appreciation, energy, and to make sure that the exchanges are fair... well, ideally fair. In our society possessions are actually more important than money. Widgets. If money were really important Americans wouldn't be in debt. We wouldn't own so much stuff. But we have a lot of free time. We don't really have to work. (How many of us could raise and prepare an entire meal? 100 years ago 60% of American families lived on farms and did just that, everyday, three or four times a day. Nobody had the time to buy so many widgets!)

In a world where there is no clean water, money will not buy it. If there is a uncurable plague, it will not buy your health. If all cows are contaminated with "mad-cow", all chickens with "avian flu" and all fish with mercury poisoning, money will not buy you safe meat. Money cannot buy more rain-forests. It cannot buy another coral reef, or sustainable farm land where the land has been stripped. The things that we should value we don't seem to.

In a country where wealth is so abundant, where we consume more than the rest of the world combined, people often appear to be lamenting that they don't have enough. Enough what??? What is enough? What is it that everyone wants so much of? Does anyone have enough serenity? How about health? How about simplicity? I want to live in a world that isn't so greedy, grasping, impatient and insatiable. Does anyone have enough patience? Enough happiness? Would those people that do have it even if their world were downscaled? And if they would, please share the secret with the rest of us!

I didn't have a family-- something I really regret now-- but I still worry about kids in the U.S. Why are we so violent? Why are there so many school shootings and racial incidents? Why are there so many predators coming out the woodwork these days? All these horrible crimes both child against child, and sexual predators abducting children? In the richest country in the world, why are our children so overloaded, overweight or anorexic, ADD'ed, and bored?

I understand that many of the people who I think are making the world worse-- that is, the neo-cons who want us to teach creationism, pray to Jesus only in school, outlaw homosexuals, etc-- actually think they are saving the world. (I know that there are some really zealous, hateful, greedy people who are using religion to spread hate and destruction, and I don't just mean Christian, Muslim, and Jewish extremists.) But I don't think that even the Conservative Right in this country is mainly composed of evil people. I think everyone is scared. It's hard not to freak out and start pointing fingers. The world is going mad. It is a testament that in London, who has dealt with IRA bombings (and the Welsh blowing up the water supply, etc) for many years, the police--who never used to carry guns at all!-- shot down an innocent man in the subway and there has been almost no media coverage or investigations.

No matter how hard we try, we can only change ourselves. It's hard to reconcile that when you want to change the world...

I'd like to live in a world where people had backyard and/or community vegetable gardens. (Yeah, I know, I only have those four lame tomato plants this year, and once again, all the grass I planted has died.) A world where people walked and rode bikes more. Where differences in religion and culture were respected and tolerated, at the least. I'd like to live in a world where everyone took a siesta or prayer or meditation break everyday, and there was a "Sacred" hour. No television or radio or videos or text messaging other people. It belonged to you and you alone, and you got the chance to check in with yourself and see where you were at. I'd like to live in a world where everyone felt that they were going to get a fair shot without having to stomp on someone else to get it.

I'd like a new car and even a cell phone (but only for emergencies-- I still don't think we've seen the fallout on the radiation yet). I do like my BUFFY and XENA re-runs, and I love my PBS. I love Starbucks lattes and renting movies and air conditioning and Diet Coke. I don't need to expend hardly any effort to get most of those. (The car would take some effort-- but the fact that someone like me could get a new car should be yet another statement on the wealth of this country!) Compared to people even fifty years ago in this country, I live like royalty and I don't even have a job right now!

I could live without all of those things-- even BUFFY!--if needed. But there are other things I want too, that I cannot or do not want to live without. I want a healthy sustainable planet. I want to know that humans are going to continue building civilizations. I'd like to know that there will be a world that continues after I am gone-- if for no other reason than the hope that one day I will be "discovered" even if it's posthumously! I want my health and the health of my loved ones. I want to have relationships (work, love, friendship) where I am respected. I want friends I can trust. (In terms of friendships and people that care about me, I am already, truly one of the wealthiest people I know.) I want to know people are being honest with me without having to take a psychic "peek."

I want music and art that uplifts and challenges me. I want a culture that assumes I am an intelligent human being with an attention span that is longer than a five year old's. I want more from artists than a three note melody that will eventually be used to sell widgets. (I want Indie 103.1 to be commercial free and have a strong enough signal that I can always pick it up! I want Jonesy's Jukebox to be more popular than Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern and whoever else combined!)

I want to see beautiful scenery and travel to places like London and not have to worry about getting bombed. I would like to live in a world where war is absolutely the last resort! I cannot buy these things. Because you see, the only way to truly be safe and wealthy is for wealth to be available to everyone. Otherwise I spend all of my time trying to guard my widgets and my money... And hoping that the planet will continue to support the civilization of widgets.

Even if I had a 600 million dollars, I could not buy the love of the dog lying at my feet as I write this. I could not buy the friendship that people continue to extend to me despite the fact that I almost never leave the house or socialize. I could not buy readers who love my writing. I could buy a dog, a companion, and I could probably even buy readers, but it none of those things would have value without the accompaniment of the things I cannot buy: love, friendship, talent and acclaim.

Last year, when I got my "psychic upgrade" I started eating meat again after many years. (That, and living with Mr Meat and Potatoes.) I was going to quit after the holidays, but I keep getting those visions of the planet teetering on the brink of the SOYLENT GREEN world, with filthy contaminated water. I keep thinking about quitting coffee too, but we already know there will be a big shortage there in a few years anyhow. So what does one do? Gobble it all up before there is nothing left? Throw one's volunteer efforts into a worthy cause? Write a blog? Sit in the air conditioning and shop for CD's on-line? I don't know either.

Every year at April Fools' I try to encourage an ALL DREAMS DAY. (So far it has not caught on.) What world do you want to live in?

If you want to read more about our relationships to food, and also to learn about one the most amazing people on the planet, check out this interview with Vandana Shiva, my current hero and a woman who will save the world-- if anyone can:

Saturday, August 27, 2005


What finally encouraged me to get this blog together was my "i love jonesy's jukebox blog":

But I do need a place to record some of the random thoughts that go through my head... and I do wonder if even those close to me realise just how busy my mind is... It's like Grand Central Station at rush hour...

Check back frequently, and until next time,

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I have lived in Los Angeles for 20 years; originally from the Mid-west. ("Scottish" refers to my ancestry.) I am a writer. I have a "past." But lately I am almost a recluse. Because I am so out-going people are always surprised at how introverted I am. I am often told that I am "different" and "deep", but sweet. I can also be shocking, but usually unintentionally. Friends tell me that I am "hard to get at first." I am so direct that some people find me confrontational. What I am saying is what I am thinking. For this reason I have a foot shaped mouth. My sense of humour is so dry that often people (even Brits!) cannot tell that I am joking. However, I am almost never mean or sarcastic, or if I am, you can tell. "Subtle" is not a word that anyone would ever use to describe me. I am a Snake year Capricorn, Cancer ascendant, Sag moon, Venus in Aquarius. (“When you party, you don’t come home for three weeks.”) I don't have cable television or a cell phone. Many people find this shocking. The only other thing I can think to add is: I have certain endowments that people often want to know if they are "real". The answer is "yes". Everything about me is real.