Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Value of People: Voices of Struggle and Creation in Western Canada

Crystal Lameman - Conference 2013 from Public Interest Alberta on Vimeo.

"Enbridge is so poor all they have is money." Wet'suwet'en hereditary Chief Na'Moks of the Tsayu (Beaver) Clan

"Living in an impacted community, in the frontlines of the Tar Sands, we get so caught up in our own issues that we forget about human beings, Indigenous people on a global level." Crystal Lameman of Beaver Lake Cree Nation on Treaty 6

The crowd cheered to the tune of ejecting the filthy rich from Calgary proper, the"most unequal city in the country" according to the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute. Well over a hundred people crowded into a sold out hall at Parkdale United Church on a favorably tepid spring night. The beginning of the 11th Annual Public Interest Alberta Conference, “Fighting For Our Future: People Power versus Corporate Control” opened with investigative journalist Linda McQuaig, author of The Trouble with Billionaires. In a bygone era, the audience would have grabbed pitchforks on their way to Mount Royal Village.

McQuaig began by invoking the economic history of Canada. 1940-1980, also known as The Golden Age of Capitalism, when economic growth was widely shared, crystallized in the “social contract” to curb classist polarization through high taxes for social programs. “That’s the period of greatest economic growth in North America that we’ve ever had before or since,” said McQuaig. “Average income was doubling every twenty years.” The result was a society looking forward to increased leisure time.

Before tax cuts for the rich became an institutionalized affair, public wealth was palpable. “There was no trickle down,” McQuaig said referring to the propaganda of the 1% in favor of neoconservative economics. “In fact, there was a gushing upwards. All the income gains since 1980 have gone to the top ten percent, and particularly, of course, the top 1% and the top .01%.” Factoring in the inflation, the median income in Canada is lower than it was thirty years ago.

Where did leisure time go? The Conservative government of Canada has set the retirement age back two years. “That economic dividend went entirely to the top 10% and the top 1%, that’s where you’re leisure time has gone,” McQuaig pointed out assuredly. “Economic equality, the progress has been stopped dead in its tracks.” One solution is a wealth tax, especially in Alberta where the Heritage Fund is $16 billion in comparison to Norway’s at $700 billion. Federally, Canada saves exactly zero dollars for a rainy day.

Research on a “millionaires tax” by The Globe and Mail illustrated how a one percent wealth tax imposed in Canada by 2020 would cover all federal and provincial deficits. The Deloitte Centre for Financial Services projected the number of millionaires in Canada to rise to 2.5 million by 2020. Yet, in contrast to Linda McQuaig’s warning to Albertans that the rich will leave if a wealth tax is implemented effectively, what she did not warn is a far more sobering possibility. “But it’s easier to defer taxable income than to move,” Neil Reynolds wrote on October of 2011 in The Globe and Mail. “When you levy disproportionate taxes on the rich, you serve eviction notices on the poor.”

Referring to the income of the American sub-prime mortgage beneficiary John Paulson, “In what moral universe is that hedge fund manager worth 82,000 nurses, in what moral universe is he worth even one nurse?” McQuaig exclaimed to a bright wave of laughter and applause. “Today’s corporate elite and wealthy elite, has not only the power to wreak havoc on our lives, but to actually destroy the planet, because of the modern technology and the human capacity now for destruction.”

READ MORE (4580 words) @  Public Interest AlbertaThe Media Co-op, IndyMedia & Readers Supported News

LEARN MORE @ Tar Sands Healing Walk
“What’s that smell?” I could see his thoughts writhe like a cold snake. My bedded flesh, wrapped in fallen hair besmirching the unwashed blanket coiled around my nude body. Eyes went crooked. Noses were covered. I stepped barefoot over the austere, carpeted floor, civilly, in line. The teller remained a smile, famously in keeping with the workaday service kitsch of probable positive personality. My own face with mirrored emptiness. “Next.” I bloomed overfull, with gold coins. Prosperity is a mark of weight and valor.

Earthbound by Evelyn De Morgan
“Be stilled.” The Earth shrank under dim folds of burly disgust. The masculine prowess burrowed in the vainglorious poverty of inhuman disguise. Artifice and loss, nature spun with fire and bones fleshed with greed. Concrete paralysis, the wading gush of darkness floods this garden of hate. Alone, I scan the tramcar, brushing past the ire of misbegotten wards, floundering hands warmed in the blue flame of intimate ruin. Silence grounds, but for the rumbling dirge of the railway, clattering like a mad skeleton, of deadly fear. A ghastly presence, my reflection, I turn.

 Casella Rail Stuttgarter Platz by Otto Schmidt
Of large girth, unknown terror unseen, unheard, the unassuming weight of an unreal body: HER. A heavy-set African woman of eyes, sitting, a rock entrenched in my spectral pallor. Looking through staring eyes, the mutual end of oceanic reflection. Hitting through to rock bottom, as the ocean-floor seethes with the volcanic murder of all that rests atop the ground of life, I saw through to a fear; unknowing. There is a fear beyond the nerve, beyond the knock of bones, and the bristle of hair. I have seen her, and vanished before a breath.

The album, "Evocations: Exotic Settlers" is an evocative musing on the sound language nestled deep within the poetic substance of orated selections from a collection of works under the same title. In continuity with the theme of "exotic settlers", the album is an experimental narrative-sound art exploration into the imagination of a journey of settlement, both archaic and modern.

Here, voice soundings are mixed with one instrument at a time, to convey a sense of the traveler, whose light pack is ideal for the road ahead, and whose voice traverses the simple grandeur of sonic revelry from a single instrumental accompaniment.

Themes of travel are juxtaposed with settlement, both in the settlement of tradition and ecology, and the inner and outer journey to that destination. To settle on one instrument at a time is a metaphor for the inward/outward experience of settlement for the migrant, who eventually becomes an "exotic settler".

Exotic Settlers charts the journey of experiencing the naturally transformative process of ending a period of transitional residence, and beginning to live in one place exclusively. Questions of home, travel and what is foreign are approached creatively through a lens adjusted through self-reflection on these themes, which led to my own "settlement" within. As I have become more permanently resident in a specific place, I have realized that earthly geography flows with the transient impermanence of nature itself, and that the only true settlement is in one's heart.

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