Adam Flynn wrote “Solarpunk: Notes towards a manifesto” three years ago. How far we have come! The article became a rallying cry for Solarpunksters everywhere, and Adam has been an important hub in the movement ever since (I’m not sure how he will like being called the “Godfather of Solarpunk” – but the title seems to suit him just fine in terms of symbolism!). Continue reading The Godfather of Solarpunk interviewed: Adam Flynn
Rob Brezsny is a writer, musician, astrologist and “culture hero”, who has added priceless amounts of beautiful soul, mind and <3 food to the world since the eighties.
My housemate, friend and fellow writer Michelle Karen has followed his quirky-creative-hilarious-beautiful-uplifting (and usually spot-on) zodiac predictions for years. She leant me his book “Pronoia”, which is like an intriguing Solarpunk bible that I open at a random spot when I feel down and then don’t want to put down. Pronoia kickstarts our gratitude mode and inspires us to improve ourself, our lives, our relationships – and through all that, the world around us. In baby steps, in giant leaps, through dreaming, screaming or chilling the f*%# out – pretty sure Free Will Astrology will float your boat in various ways, just like the whole culture and genre of Solarpunk really 🙂
Some praise from Rob’s website:
“Like a mutant love-child of Jack Kerouac and Anais Nin, Rob Brezsny writes with devilish humor, spiritual audacity, and erotic intensity. The Televisionary Oracle is a kick-ass gnostic tale. Prepare to be astonished.”
—Jay Kinney (author, Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions
In one of Sacred Uproar’s signature performance art pieces, Brezsny offers revelers the chance to get married to themselves. “Let’s all just admit,” he says early on in the wedding ceremony, “that none of us is ever likely to find our perfect partner or create the juicy romance we deserve until we first master the art of loving ourselves with great ingenuity.”
Get sucked into Rob’s book, “The Televisionary Oracle“, with the first few chapters available to read online:
Welcome to the Televisionary Oracle
Coming to you on location from your repressed memory of paradise
Reminding you that you can have anything you want if you’ll just ask for it in an unselfish tone of voice
Programmed to prevent the global genocide of the imagination
Hi, beauty and truth fans, and welcome to The Most Secret Spectacle on Earth, brought to you by the Menstrual Temple of the Funky Grail, Beauty and Truth, Inc., and Twenty-Two Minutes of World Orgasm.
We’re your hosts with the Holy Ghost grins, and we’re proud to announce that this is a perfect moment. This is a perfect moment because you, my beloved friends and teachers, have taken the first step in a ritual which could lead to the end of your amnesia.
At this perfect moment you have somehow managed, by fabulous accident or blind luck or ingenious tricks, to tune in to the Televisionary Oracle — proving that you’re ready to recover your repressed memories of your sublime origins, and know again the Thirteen Perfect Secrets from Before the Beginning of Time.
Welcome to the end of your nightmares! The world is young, your soul is free, and a naked celebrity is dying to talk to you about your most intimate secrets right now!
Just kidding. In actuality, the world is young, your soul is free, and at any moment you’ll begin to feel horny for salamanders, clouds, toasters, oak trees — and even the ocean itself!
Whoever you think you are, whatever friendly monsters you’ve tried to make into your gods and goddesses, whatever media viruses you might have invited into your most private sanctuaries-you can decide right now that your turning point has arrived. You can decide that you’re ready to change your lives … and change your signs … and change your changing. Because when you tuned in the Televisionary Oracle, you tuned into your own purified, glorified, unified, and mystifying self.
We’re your hosts for it all, beauty and truth fans. Your MCs for the Televisionary Oracle. Your listeners and your protectors and the sacred janitors we hope you’ve always wanted.
Does it matter what we call ourselves? You can refer to us any way you want. Your Sweet Fairy Godparents. Your Spirit Guides or Extraterrestrial Midwives or Personal Diplomatic Representatives to the Queen of Heaven.
There are several awesome things about OBSOLETE! Press – especially, obviously, that their latest issue from February 2017 is on Solarpunk.
I immensely enjoyed their About page, so I’ll just go ahead an quote a couple of t why the name OBSOLETE!?
In post-post-post-modern society even the term “obsolete” is becoming obsolete- products are obsolete before they hit the market-place, technology is only good as long as its replacement is in beta-testing.
And this beautiful explanation of why a zine in print form was created in the information age of digital everything, where knowledge does not equal wisdom and cultural rigidity is indeed more ripe than we like to admit.
In the early part of the 20th century, Harold Innis, a Canadian media theorist and predecessor of Marshall McCluhan, postulated that great civilizations were those that balanced “time-binding” media (which retain ideas and history), and “space-binding” media (which allows ideas to travel rapidly). He felt, back in the 50’s, that western society was relying too much on space-binding media like radio and television, and that the over-exposure was leading to a culture where “…The emphasis on change is the only permanent characteristic.” He felt that this trend would kill shared experience and local identity and create and atmosphere of paranoia and rigid political militarization. No one knows what Innis would have thought of the internet, but despite all of the great gifts of modern technology, some of Innis’ warnings seem to be coming true. Despite the gushing flow of “free” information, cultural rigidity appears to be setting in.
And lastly, spoken by true Solarpunks:
The books we publish reflect our love for the physical world and the DIY aesthetic.
I’ll add here that digital versions are also available as the good OBSOLETE! peops recognises the digital media!
Peace yo, and keep up the good work!
Still not many reposts on this blog, even though it is such a convenient (7/11!) way of adding relevant content and spreading ideas.
So here is a repost of an article (called: Utopia now: why there’s never been a more urgent time to dream of a better world) by all-around rad power woman Laurie Penny about our need for more Solarpunk (well, she calls it utopia, but we’ll forgive her that oversight considering how magically underground Solarpunk still is, and gather motivation and determination to nurture Solarpunk into a force for good to be reckoned with).
It’s so worth a read, but if you are strapped for time, here are some standout quotes:
Utopias require that we do the difficult, necessary work of
envisioning a better world. This is why imagination is the first,
best weapon of radicals and progressives.
Fredric Jameson observed, “It is easier to imagine the end of
the world than the end of capitalism” – and the reason for that
is not that capitalism is the inevitable destiny of humankind
but that we have spent our lives being told that even thinking
about any other future makes us ridiculous.
Right now, the future seems dark and frightening and it is
precisely now that we must continue to imagine other worlds
and then plot ways to get there. In the midst of multiple global
crises, the only truly ridiculous proposition is that things are
going to stay exactly the same.
**Image from https://www.facebook.com/utopianowband/
There is plenty of art out there that could be “classified” as Solarpunk, but the genre is still so underground that not many identify with it (yet).
So I will introduce some artists who I would love to label as Solarpunks, even though labels don’t usually sit well with me…more on that in future posts. In the context of Solarpunk though, I am more than happy to label and be labelled, and hopefully so will these wonderfully inspiring individuals that presently form the centre of my artivism focus!
Molly Crabapple is not just an amazing visual artist, but also a gutsy journalist, activist and excellent writer. Strength of character, honesty and a healthy sense of humour make her stand out from the pack. Her memoir is a page turner with many meaningful quotes and gorgeous illustrations. Her art is unique, at once beautiful, disturbing, and insightful. She is the example for artivism (activism+art); reviews calling her “a brilliant and principled artist – can’t get much more Solarpunk than that!
In my wildest dreams Molly draws the future by illustrating my novel…
Images credit to Molly Crabapple @ https://mollycrabapple.com/
Just arrived back in Brisbane town this afternoon – whoosh – 2 months gone!
But what a beautiful, intense time it’s been! About 5 weeks ago I decided to focus on the most important part of my trip- spending precious time with loved ones. That is why it has – yet again – been so quiet on the Solarpunkcity blog.
If I’m not careful these 2 months end up just being summarised in a measly 6 words: I visited my family in Germany. Now that would be a shame!
However, I filled 120 A4 pages with a mixture of notes, observations, dot points, rants and personal journal, capturing what I saw, heard and experienced while it was still fresh in my mind.
While most of these scribbles have not made it into the laptop, I have high hopes that I will yet develop a stronger streak of discipline in order to get some words out there on the state of things in Europe. I realise that I do have a slight problem with authority, even my own, making it tough for this solarpunk in the old productivity department…
And now for diving into the wonderful world of sleepless jetlagged nights with plenty of time for reading, reflecting, writing and of course some crazy dreams…
Big Love and Peace
The holiday is already 12 days old today! (And terrible internet mixed with a hint of laziness has prevented me from posting this earlier!)
Every day has held so much life, love, and presence. It feels so good, so right, to be centered nowadays (most of the time anyway), to cultivate and nurture this presence, to fully live, enjoy and appreciate every moment…
Apart from that, I have definitely hit a slight low point today. It is the day after the main night at the Sommerhausen wine fest where we drank and danced with a wild variety of people. So I am feeling a little worn out. We still made ourselves a gorgeous day, with a late breakfast and then a very chilled out mini road trip to some of the gorgeous small towns around the Frankenland and along the river Main in Northern Bavaria.
Then I had a few hours to myself – precious time to have a nap and a yoga sesh, write diary and take stock of me and the now. It took a while to slot back into “me-time” – I have spent so much time with other people in the last year, and then with my family since I flew into Hamburg last week, being alone I had trouble deciding what to do first. What little routine I had is completely out (that’s holidays!) – I have not been jogging since Monday, and since Thursday no yoga or proper meditation, no journalling, no blogging, shaky internet (oh how irritating to have unreliable internet!), no reading and on top of that a lot of food I do not normally eat…
However, I have sorted some paperwork which annoyingly could not get done before I left Australia, driven a bit of Autobahn on the 500km trip from North to South (my top speed: 145km/h), had endless great conversations with my parents (as usual), gone hiking, seen a lot of natural and human-made beauty and taken a lot of photos, talked to some interesting people and finished editing a friend’s short story (I started on the plane over).
All this means that I have tons of material for blogs, but rather little time to make them into real posts…! So I concluded that I should just post what is going on – open, honest, reflecting. Like a blog should be!
There is my sister and my little nephew who I met for the first time this week, and how they raise the bar when it comes to going nappy-free right from the start…
There is the BHW, a community of people who restore old buildings from the northern German region and hold cultural events, keeping history alive…
There is Thorsten, the soulful, interesting chef from Sommerhausen’s Ristorante No.12 who opened a restaurant catering for people with food allergies in 1990 (before it became a thing), and who ensured that we had the best wine fest food ever with vegan Flammkuchen, Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries with Avocado dip…
Then there is the pioneering nun from the Vogelburg who began to grow organic grapes for wine making 60 years ago, after she got really sick from using insecticides…
There are the ‘Radwanderer’ who explore Europe by bike, riding over 100km on a good day…
But for now, there is now, and the stories can wait, as today’s much-needed rain invites us to be still and just chill…
…no, not those ‘giants’! Right now, the bikes I ride are actually gigantic – they weigh little less than half my own body weight and are about as long as a car with a turning circle rivalling that of a council bus. Nonetheless, these gentle giants gather speed quickly, like a draft horse, and float along the pavement steadily. The pedal brake feels rather unfamiliar yet my spine is straight, my neck relaxed and my hair flowing in the Northern Sea breeze as Germany is no nanny state and helmet-wearing not law…we do have designated bike paths on most (busy) roads which are separated with a curb thought – while Germany might be no nanny state, cyclist safety is paramount, most likely why and also because there are so may of them.
So as I get on this Gentle step-through Giant and start riding down the road I can’t help but laugh with joy and slight giddiness. It’s impossible (in my books) to be unhappy while riding a bike. Bike riding is balm for the soul. And after riding a mountain bike on and off-road for the last six years, it’s pure joy to be back on a ‘Hollandrad’.
I get to the Chinese Restaurant way too quickly and then have to wait – I should have just cruised an extra round around the block. But so I have a few minutes to kill by meditating and watching the plentiful goldfish tank. A young boy, about 2 or 3 years old, joins me and my observations. Minutes pass, with no words exchanged. Every now and then he looks at me and I look back and smile before turning back to the tank. He does not return the smile, but stays standing there, watching the fish. Once he looks my up and down, in that curious, non-judgmental way kids stare at you. I’m in colourful hippy pants, a hoodie and Birkenstox and wonder if this experience will shape him somehow?
On the way home I turn a corner when Father Sun makes my breath stop. Hanging just above the horizon, his fiery orange brilliance mixes with my base happy giddiness and out comes gratitude once more. What a treat! Thank you, Universum – Danke, Merci und Gracias!
It’s the next day and I am hunting for food once more, but this time at the supermarket. As you can see, transporting 30 Euros worth of food by bike becomes a breeze with Mr Giant and his two baskets. Also the lunch time beers with my fave cuzzie sis have made me feel ready for some adventure…
I walk towards my gate (well, my flight’s gate) to make sure it exists. There it is, but there is a bunch of finely featured, ebony-skinned people sitting there who do not much look like they are off to Vienna. Not that I make assumptions easily, but it turns out that this is a flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The next gate is full of sun-burned Europeans waiting for their flight to Frankfurt and I reflect how the boarding gates act as filters for the cultural currents flowing through the airport.
I walk a little ways as there are barely any seats here and as the gate is not yet open, I want to sit down to do some writing and capture. All the strands of language. All these different features in people.
And then I see him – the biggest mullet I have seen in a long time. It adorns an older man’s head and is long enough to throw a few waves down his neck. Impressive! His shirt is bright blue with some sort of cartoon character on it and I definitely judge him and his wife to be Aussies. But I don’t really feel like small (or deep or really any) talk right now and keep walking to an empty row of five seats.
I am also kind of hungry and not feeling as stuffed as usually after a nine-hour plane ride, so while writing down my airport musings, I savour my precious Vegan Superfood Bar (cacao and ginger nut). I had saved it for a special hungry occasion and judge it worth every one of the $5 I paid for it back in Brisbane (even made on the Gold Coast – nice!).
When I next look up, I see the mullet man again, on his own now, and looking kind of lost, standing there at the railing. Then I notice his blind man stick. He looks towards me and I look at him and I smile, acknowledge. He might not be completely blind, rather just vision impaired, and in any case his other senses will be much sharper than most people’s. After a minute he walks over and sits down near me, leaving two seats free between us. I say hello and he mumbles something back. He is shy! I like that. I still don’t really feel up to a conversation but my urge to connect, spread love, make him feel comfortable and shine some light into his life by way of my sunny nature, wins out this time.
‘Wow, an airport would be an interesting place when you can’t see well.’
‘Yes…’ he smiles now. Good. ‘Very confusing.’ he goes on after a moment, ‘And this place is so big.’
‘Yes, it is. And all these different languages you would pick up on the way…’
‘Yes!’ he nods.
The conversation is slow, a bit of work as he speaks so quietly, mumbly, but turns out his wife is from Northern Germany and they are visiting family near Hanover.
‘Oh great! I will chat more when she gets back. I want to get some more writing done.’
He smiles a “no worries” and we each get back to our bubbles.
Then an a-hole arrives.
The ‘Metronom‘ regional trains in Northern Germany are an enormous pleasure to catch. I get excited whenever I get to ride in one of them. Gliding through the landscape at up to 160 km/h they are comfortable, smooth, quiet, electric, efficient and boast an amazing double-decker design that makes them super spacious, rather unlike a plane. Oh, and they are usually pretty good with running on time, too.
I sway gently as I walk towards the bathroom, in unison with the lady walking towards me. On the way back I check out the downstairs bike carriage (Fahrradwagen). Germans use their bicycles a lot, as a rather efficient mode of transport, often even in snowy winter weather. There are a few roadie bikers who are catching the train one way, then ride 60km back to their home town. There are some Holland bikes and a few trekking bikes with big pannier bags as Germany is criss-crossed with many beautiful “Radwanderwege”, specific bike paths for touring the country.
A man comes up to survey me on pricing and usage of the Metronom trains. We have a little chat and turns out he toured Australia and New Zealand 25 years ago with his youth orchestra, and then got to go to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 through his table tennis club. He works crazy hours in this survey job and is up to over 230 hours for the month! Sometimes he does 24 hour days but at least it’s well-paid. He does look worn out and I’m glad to hear he is about to have three weeks off.
Then we get to Cuxhaven (rather too quickly I find, it’s such a pleasure being chauffeured by this piece of great technology while chilling out and writing…), my third home, my birth place, the place where we spent oh so many good times when I was little.
As I stop on the side of the platform to take some photos I realise how many people there actually were on the train! It is summer holiday time here, and Cuxhaven lies on the Northern Sea and has been a holiday and spa town for centuries.
I get to the bus stop with a bunch of others and we wait less than five minutes. It’s a hybrid bus, too, and if there had not been a dozen tourists needing to buy tickets I would have loved to ask the driver some professional questions about this beast…
Inside there is a screen showing the next five stops – amazing to me as this is still not a thing in Brisbane’s bus fleet. On top of that the stops are announced via PA system, which has been the case in German buses and trains since before I first caught them nearly 30 years ago. What the hell, Australia? Lagging, much? It takes away so much anxiety for passengers knowing when their stops come up…definitely time for some action on that when I get back to my second home!