Wednesday, July 27, 2011

War is a Racket

A couple of weeks ago I heard about how it was costing us 20 billion dollars to aircondition Afghanistan.

That's cool.

But now I'm hearing that the wars there and in Iraq may cost as much as 5 trillion dollars.

And I'm thinking that's way too much given that we defeated the enemies in both about 8 years ago.

So why are we still fighting there? Why are our soldiers still filling those red, white, and blue coffins? And how many coffins will 5 trillion dollars buy?

Read this essay by Amy Goodman called "War is a Racket."

Here's the link: War is a Racket

One of the things that people always ask me is "What can we do in the face of so much war?"

Kurt Vonnegut said that trying to stop a war was like trying to stop a glacier. He said that and then he wrote a book that tried to stop a glacier, Slaughterhouse-Five.

It didn't stop the glacier of war, but he tried nevertheless.

It's what we all have to do.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Call of The Wild: Call for Submissions

My friends at Editions Bibliotekos are putting together an anthology of short fiction about our relationship to nature and they are looking for submissions. Here's there call. You can also visit their website by clicking here:

We are ready to work on another anthology, which would be our fourth. The theme is “nature’s world.” (The book’s main title will be Human / Nature). The full Call and additional Guidelines can be found by clicking on the Guidelines button at the top of this page: if you are interested in submitting, please refer to the Guidelines and Call.

The so-called nature’s world anthology will be our most challenging: there have been many such anthologies – how do we make ours different? As in the past, we rely on the creative ingenuity of our contributors: we are not looking to duplicate what has already been done regarding the natural world; we are not looking for science fiction writing; we are not looking for apocalyptic writing. As with our first three anthologies, we are concerned with the human factor. So with this anthology, what does it mean to be a human being, individually and socially, in the natural world? How does the natural world affect us – how do we shape the natural world – what are the connections and consequences? We are alive in a natural world and cannot deny that fact, and simultaneously the natural world cannot escape our touch.

As we say in the Call: There is a fine line to be drawn here: we do not need Emerson or Thoreau redux. We are not interested in so-called nature writing per se – that has been done and re-done. We are primarily interested in stories that deal with the changing climate in terms of how these changes affect people, families, communities (environmentally, ecologically, politically, historically, socially). We can imagine a story about a farmer: in Nebraska, in Vermont, in China, in South Africa. What’s happening to that farmer who sees her sheep starving, dying of thirst, or suffering from interminable illnesses? Climate is as much a metaphor as a social condition: what is the temperature in the atmosphere of our natural humanity? Some current terms that might set off ideas: Deep ecology; Evolution; Waste; Biosphere; Sustainability. We are looking for writing that goes beyond pollution reports, beyond news-writing about the ravages of mining – focus on the changing character of humankind (internally and externally) in relation to the environment.

The deadline (subject to change) is 1 September 2011, and of course, whether or not we complete an anthology on this theme depends on the quality of the material we receive. To complicate matters more: we want fiction only. Query us first: - a few lines about you and your idea, and if we are interested, then we will ask you to send in the story.