May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Hyperbolic Butterfly

Last week in our New Theological Work class, we were deep in conversation about consumer culture, and the new book Hooked, regarding Buddhist thoughts on consumer culture. During our conversation, somehow the topic of this piece of art I drew around 1995 came up. I thought I'd share it and briefly describe my thoughts.

First, when I drew it, I wasn't looking at a butterfly or anything like it. So its not trying to be a butterfly, just trying to be what it is. The basic underlying theme I was going for was one of scarcity. In modern homes with plumbing, if you turn on the faucet water streams out because its under pressure. Now imagine if you had to suck the water out as when using a straw or a pump because the pressure within is less than the pressure on the outside.

That is our economy, one of scarcity. I assert that it doesn't have to be this way. We can have an economy where we have abundance, if only: 1) We prioritize our production efforts toward things that truly matter, and away from wasteful, inefficient, or destructive products and technologies; 2) We practice distributive justice, so that there are not a small group of people at the spigot collecting and hoarding all the products and services they desire, and leaving scraps for the masses via what was euphemistically referred to by Ronald Reagan as "trickle-down theory" (I'm still waiting for "bubble-up theory" to get a turn); and 3) We practice mindful stewardship and conservation of our resources.

In the state of affairs in the United States, and in other countries who practice free market capitalism, the spirituality of generosity is looked on as the quality of a fool. "Oh, you're giving that away for free? What's in it for you? Why would you do that?" If one gives away their goods and services for free, it requires also that others give that person the things *they* need for free as well. Otherwise, that generosity is pretty darn hard to sustain without things returning full circle.

lyrics: "I coulda sworn I said I was a rooster in love." -Lullaby Baxter Trio

colors: red, hyperbolic, butterfly

mood: sleepy, and need to read

chant/prayer/mantra: spread it* around.

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

*the love, the life, the money, the goodwill. now is the time to spread it generously.

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Hello Sir/Madam,

I am here, as a representative of Choles Floral, to deliver unto you this $65 bouquet of Product. Yes, it is winter, and these roses were shipped from Chile last night by air freight (and probably are coated with DDT), but nothing expresses love like Product.

Sigh. Can we revise the economy and priority system now, please?
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