don’t be distracted by the shiny keys

Read this now.

It’s one of Chandelle’s best pieces of writing. If I had her talent and ability to articulate thoughts and feelings, I could have written something similar. But I don’t have her talent or skill, but I can link!!!!



8 responses to “don’t be distracted by the shiny keys

  1. Jessica May 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Passionate and intriguing, but leaves me wondering what exactly she means to motivate me to do. Her final question utilizes a violent metaphor and asks how we would respond to it. But I don’t live in violent metaphor, and darned if I can see how acting in violent metaphor would make things any better. Good writer, though!

  2. mfranti May 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm


    Chandelle, too, is a pacifist: A common thread running through Jensen’s work is the proposition that we create a culture of resistance and fight back — in a literal, physical sense, not by bringing our own coffee cup to Starbucks. And this is where he’s always lost me. I’ve long fancied myself a pacifist — which is not hard to do in a world where almost all violence is hierarchical in nature. I’d finish his books and wonder what exactly he means by “resisting” our abusers. Because I’d done everything, y’know? I thought myself a very dedicated environmentalist. What was left? Revolution? Violence? But hate never conquers, only love can do that, and we must be the change we want to see in the world, and so on and so forth.

    I don’t think she means to motivate people to violence or direct action. Everyone has their way of responding to the injustice they see. Your way is different than Derek Jensen’s and his way is different than mine.

    I can’t write nor can I build sophisticated grey water units ( technically, I could, but I’m not as ambitious as you)

    About all I can do is grow some food in the back of my SLC home and share it with others hoping to inspire them to reduce their reliance on industrial ag. (phew, what a mouthful).

    Though, there has been times when I’ve fantasized about taking direct action–of the non-violent variety. And perhaps, one of these days, I’ll get off my cushy sofa and do something.

  3. reader Rachel May 24, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Thank you for such a wonderfully written post. I recognize the futility of my small efforts at conservation, but I still feel compelled to try.

    I think I’m influenced by my deep love of Norse mythology and the idea of Ragnarok. Even though the gods knew that their world would end, that they would be destroyed, they still worked for it. Every choice they made, good or bad, played its part in the final battle. Knowing the end, they did not shirk their part, because they were fighting for the new world that would be made out of the ashes of the old.

    I’m not simply pessimistic; I’m a pessimistic fatalist. But part of my fate is to strive and work, and hope that some transformation or grace may be granted for that effort.

  4. Jessica May 24, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I’m more than a little disturbed by people who actively encourage the idea that our individual efforts don’t matter. It is possible to be aware that our individual efforts don’t matter much, but do still matter, and still persist in making them. (Motherhood comes to mind here, doesn’t it?) Maybe I’m just a naive little “It matters to this one stranded starfish” kind of girl (do we all remember that conference talk?), but unless we’re supposed to try blowing ourselves up at international trade conventions or corporate headquarters in order to make a really BIG impact, most of us are going to have to plug along with our little impacts and hope that, in the aggregate, it does more good than harm that we exist and make these choices. Not that we can’t all up our game and move from individual to collective action and political involvement. But I just can’t agree with a philosophy of essential helplessness. I’d slit my wrists thinking it was the only logical course of action if I went very far down that road.

  5. Nicole I May 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I vacillate between Chandelle and Jessica. Some days I feel optimistic… like collectively we really can change (or at least slow) the craziness we’ve created. And then some days – usually when I read some article with pretty indisputable modeling or see another enormous climate disaster, I feel like conservation efforts are just ‘window dressing’ for those of us aware that there is an issue.

    But, I’ve been swimming in the radical econ world for 15 years… I’m used to feeling helpless and fighting the good fight concurrently!

  6. nat kelly May 24, 2011 at 11:21 am

    augh, it won’t let me leave a comment on the site!

    as for the pacificism dicussion here, I wouldn’t say that I am 100% devoted to non-violence. I think it is great. But the Brits only negotiated with Gandhi because they knew that the other really powerful resistance group had bombs and wanted to abolish the caste system…..

  7. Brad May 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Non violent direct action =/= pacifism.

    This is a distinction which Jensen, particularly in his more recent work, chooses not to acknowledge, allowing him to demonstrate the pragmatic and moral inferiority of nonviolence to violent resistance with a certain entertaining dramatic flair. Gandhi preached that violent resistance was more effective, courageous, and moral than passive non-resistance. But that nonviolent resistance was more effective, courageous, and moral than violence. The existence of more radical and violent resistance movements was far from the only reason the British worked with Gandhi, though being outflanked by radicals was part of what have him greater legitimacy and negotiating leverage. But the zel Brits knew that the violent resistance movements posed significantly less threat to the legitimacy and workability of colonial rule than Gandhi did.

  8. Alliegator May 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I’m with Jessica. If the little things I am capable of doing don’t make any difference, then what’s the point.

    I’m sure there’s a bigger picture that my sleep deprived brain is just not getting here, but this post seems really depressing to me.

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