What are we living for? TTC Interview with Chiara Rose D’Angelo

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Hey friends,

It’s about time for a new blog post interview. This one, long in coming, is with Chiara Rose D’Angelo, a youth activist I admire greatly. But before we get into it, you should know that we’ve scheduled our yearly Teen Talking Circle Facilitator’s Training. Check out the dates. Would love you to be there. The more circles we have going, the more youth will unlock their voices… And we need them unlocked!!! Youth activism comes from the discovery that we need not be diminished by our fears or issues, we are not alone, and we can empower each other to take action for what we care about. Upcoming TTC Training

I’ve always considered myself an activist. And an optimist. When faced with the shocking statistics, horrors, and dire consequences of our collective greed, lack of spiritual connection, global unconsciousness and self-centered aims I’m stricken, but my basic instinct is to be positive, imagine solutions, create something, and believe that we’re smart enough to figure this thing out. It’s people like Boyan Slat and Chiara Rose, two youth activists, who keep my spirits up.

Both Boyan and Chiara are great examples of what Joanna Macy, calls “The Great Turning.” The Great Turning is the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization. Joanna says the Great Turning is happening right now in three dimensions: Holding Actions, Analysis, and a Shift in Consciousness. Check out The Great Turning

If you look back at previous TTC interviews, you’ll read about photographer/filmmaker, Chris Jordan’s documentation of the albatrosses on Midway Island, dying en mass due to plastic consumption. Yes, the mothers feed the babies plastic. Boyan is a Dutch student who has come up with a brilliant concept as to how to clean up those garbage patches of plastic in the ocean and it seems it is working…

What I believe: YES, WE ARE ONE INTERCONNECTED LIFE FORCE FLOWING THROUGH EVERY LIVING BEING ON A LIVING PLANET  IN A LIVING SOLAR SYSTEM IN A LIVING MULTIVERSE

About Chiara Rose D’Angelo

Last summer, on May 22, 2015,  Chiara Rose D’Angelo attached herself to the chain of the anchor of the Arctic Challenger as it moored north of Seattle. The ship was among those that Royal Dutch Shell intended to use as they drilled for oil in the in the remote and dangerous Chukchi Sea, the Arctic Ocean, off northwestern Alaska. Chiara stayed up on the chain for 66 hours contributing to a wide-scale protest heard around the world, $hell No, a massive activist effort to call attention to the insanity of drilling for oil in the Arctic Reserve and produce actions to stop any vessels from getting up to Alaska. Thousands of kyactivists took to their kayaks to block Shell’s rigs from moving up the waterways. The idea was that if the vessels were detained Shell would lose the critical time (weather) window they needed to have the rigs in place before winter.

Chiara Rose, a 20-year-old student at Western Washington University, set out from Bellingham, Washington, in the dark of night. She paddled through choppy waves until she reached the anchor, and then jumped onto the chain. She fitted a hook through the links, dangled a harness down, and pulled herself up. “I thought to myself, ‘Oh my god, I actually did it!’” Rose said. “I’m actually on the chain!”

The guts it takes to do something like this is inspired and inspiring. It is a flagrant, empowered action that screams in the face of the powers that be, “NO, not in our names” – and a powerful, positive force that can only be spurred on by life affirming values.

In an interview with Yes Magazine Chiara described the physical effects of being strapped in a harness for three days and nights as, “Unbearable.” She said there were moments that helped push her through, like seeing her friends boating up with supplies for her or a school of fish underneath her feet. “I was on Lummi historic fishing grounds,” referring to a local Native American tribe. “Being on a toxic site that used to be such a thriving site, knowing that it would happen to the Arctic, helped me push through.”

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This was not the first mind-blowing act of heroism I’d seen Chiara do. A year earlier, in the pre-dawn hours of August 18th, 2014, she climbed 70 feet up to a platform, clandestinely built by friends of hers, and began a tree sit in protest to a controversial shopping development that would eliminate 800 trees in a forested area on her native Bainbridge Island. The aim of her tree sit was to create more time for the community to move into action and voice their opposition to the project. As more and more island residents learned of her action, a vigil formed at the base of the tree where one by one community members voiced reasoned arguments or simply anger and sadness at the idea of another shopping center on an island where there were already too many local vacant storefronts and no need for another pharmacy, let alone the proposed Walmarts.

Chiara eventually was convinced that she had accomplished her goal and descended two days later. The minute she came down armed officers hired by the developer, Visconti, cordoned off the site and began to bring in the bulldozers. In the months that followed, the shopping center was constructed and is finished now. One afternoon, just as the construction was coming to an end I noticed a captive deer running back and forth confused as to how to get out of the fence blocking off the construction site. Clearly, this animal’s habitat had been the forest that was no longer there.

My first interview with Chiara was directly after she came down from the tree sit in 2014. Let’s start there.

August 20, 2014:

L: Chiara, why did you climb that tree?

C: I wanted to create a platform for our community voices to be heard. I wanted to reawaken people’s sense that their own truth was more important than the truth that’s given to them to follow. I did the tree sit so that people could recognize that we are not the circumstances we are given, we are the vision we create.

L: You mean we are disempowered by the truth fed to us but empowered by having strong voices and speaking our own truth. I agree with that. How did it feel to be up in that tree and seeing everyone congregating below it? I was there in the morning but by afternoon it was a pretty big crowd. People taking the microphone and with each person speaking out it gave courage to others to come forward and express themselves.

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C: All sorts of emotions came forward for me. It’s pretty incredible to be with those kind of trees that are slightly degraded in the sense that they have lots of invasive species at their trunks, but they’re still there, still vibrant, and have so much energy. And it was really great to see so many people on the ground coming and speaking and using the opportunity I created to let their voices be heard.

L: How does it feel to see those trees being cut down right now in front of you, just 3 days after you were sitting in one?

C: When I came back here and I first saw the trees being cut I started balling. It was really painful, and now it’s just another day. I think part of the reason I didn’t want to come back is because I’ve gotten numb to it. When things happen over and over again, it’s no longer painful. When you go to war, and you kill someone it’s probably traumatizing the first few times, but it begins to get more and more normalized. That’s what cutting trees is; it’s normalized for us. It’s really exhausting to think that’s the human condition — that’s what we’re up against — thinking all the things around us are so normal, when they’re not. This isn’t normal. This is pushing our lived environment to its max.

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L: What prompted you to become a youth activist in the way that you are? What was the turning point?

C: At a young age I heard a story about a tribal nation in the Midwest that chains themselves to trees and that if their prayers are virtu

ous then they are released, and if they are not they are held forever. I realized that most of my prayers are virtuous; I just don’t ever actualize them. And at that point in time I was like, ‘alright, I’m going to go to school and be an oceanographer because my dream is to save the Puget Sound.’ I got two years into that plan and I realized I haven’t done anything, nothing; I’ve only contributed to harming something that I love so deeply. Eventually, it just clicked, and I started taking action. I really, really encourage people to think about what is that wish that you have, that one wish you could wish for that is not about yourself, but is about something you can see and feel and empathize with. What is that? Find it, and do something about it. Activate. That’s really where we need to go. That’s the path.

L: Do you ever feel hopeless?

C: Rarely. I’m not a big person on hope. Hope is too often something people proclaim and then not do anything about. But rarely do I feel hopeless. I have a lot of love. I used to feel hopeless, before I did things. But as a full-time activist it’s hard to feel hopeless these days. There are so many wins these days. A coal terminal in Boardman, Oregon just got shut down. Oregon is now coal terminal free. We have two left here in the Lummi Nation. Up in Bellingham, where I’m going to school right now, the Lummi say they are opposed to it, they are a sovereign nation, this has happened too many times, they’ve had their watershed destroyed too many times, and it is not happening. The chairman of the Lummi Nation just declared that. I am blessed to see so many wins. There is so much happening all the time. I am honored to be a part of these movements, because that is where the hope is. If people feel hopeless, it’s time to do something. Doing something is not a hopeless feeling – it’s the most hopeful feeling you’ll ever have.

L: What do you want young people to know?

C: What I want young people to know is the right now you have the most energy and power you’ll ever have, as far as being able to wake people up. You’ll never be able to touch peoples’ hearts as deeply as when you’re young. The wrong people might make fun of you, but the right people will have to open up and have to open their eyes. And if you start talking about your future and what you want in your future, there is something there that people can’t ignore anymore. It’s time that we all started speaking our truths, because we won’t be silenced anymore.

OK TURN UP YOUR SPEAKERS!!!

The next interview with Chiara took place a few months after her $hell No action. And it should be noted that Shell Oil pulled out of drilling in the Arctic – news we were all beyond relieved to hear! The official reason for pulling out was that Shell did not find enough oil once they put their drills down to assess to make the project viable.

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L : You went through such an intense experience on that anchor? What was it like?

Chiara : Physically unbearable. It’s crazy because I’m telling it now as a story, but I still have the body memory of the unbearable fatigue and I can feel the stress points still where the harness was hitting me. The inability to move a muscle up there felt like I simply stuck in my body. But, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, I was clear, full, and felt this infinite energy. So much was happening in the moment; everyone wanting to talk to me – the Coast Guard, reporters, family… What was amazing was how clear my words were and how in even all of that pain and stress and intensity, I was able to speak so clearly.

The first two nights another protester came up and sleep underneath me. He was in a much more uncomfortable situation than I was in. His presence was so helpful in calming me. I had someone to talk to. But I didn’t sleep. There was no sense of night; the Coast Guard had their lights shining on us all night long and the chain felt so cold and sterile. Spiritually, I could feel everybody’s support, as if they were right there saying, “Go Chiara!” So, I didn’t feel so alone. Then, there was these floods of moments where people boated out to me, to drop off gear, food and water.

During the day I could see my friend’s sailboat on the horizon with a banner saying, “75% chance of spill, WTF?!”, and that was just like this beaming light of truth which I could hold onto. Every time I spoke with my mom and she told me that everyone was supporting me, I felt so blessed.

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Right: Debra D’Angelo (Chiara’s mom)

L : So, Miss Chiara, what’s life like now?

Chiara : Interesting…. It’s a mix between my desire to find community and normalize and keep working to protect waterways. I started my activism at sixteen; I was eighteen at the tree sit. When I was in high school, I thought I could either wait to start being active; go through college and then get a job doing something good, or just start now. I decided to start in high school. The more I did, the more I realized that the youth voice has this different kind of power — this potent truth. When you’re really young and you know what you believe in, people listen.

L : So, now what?

Chiara : I’m going be down to Evergreen College to study about women’s indigenous work and the untold stories of indigenous women fighting for justice. I’m going to be immersed in a very serious and rigorous classroom program, which is what I’m looking for, with people that take it seriously. Then I’m heading back to Fairhaven College. I feel set and on path. I’m going to spend the summer advocating for the Salish Sea Marine Sanctuary, which would designate the Salish Sea as a protected zone. This would create an agreement between Washington, British Columbia, and the 200 plus coastal Salish tribes to bring animal populations back up to 50% of historic levels and restore the ecosystem so that it actually functions.

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L : As an activist you have to learn facts and face so many tragic realities. What do you do with your grief?

Chiara : I feel it.

L : Do you ever get just despondent – feel things are just futile?

Chiara : I get angry, but I’m getting pretty skillful at making action happen out of grief and going through the process. Joanna Macy has this really beautiful thing she calls The Spiral. (http://www.joannamacy.net/theworkthatreconnects/the-wtr-spiral.html) It is about four successive stages or movements that feed into each other — opening to gratitude, owning our pain for the world, seeing with new eyes, and just going forth. I have my own spiral, my own process. It hits me in a big wave. I feel the pain for the earth and I hold it and I know it, I don’t run away from it. I feel the grief in my body and then go and connect to what is beautiful about the earth and allow it to inspire me. Once I feel inspired, visions of what I can do come and once I have a vision I jump into it. I like to joke, when I go for swims in the Salish sea, I know it’s toxic, but I swim in it knowing it’s toxic. I feel the grief about that but my process brings me back to action.

Chiara: I have a question for you, Linda. How do you hold space so sacred? When I’m with you I just feel the good vibrations. How do you hold that?

L : I don’t know. I don’t try to do anything more than be authentic and be as kind as possible. I do my best to listen to my intuition and follow her lead! I am still learning to set boundaries and strike a balance for myself in every way. I’m very sensitive to vibrations around me. I play life by ear and think musically.

Chiara : How do you go about setting those boundaries?

L : I just energetically do my best to honor myself and my space. I’m an only child and most likely that helps and hinders me at the same time. When I was young, I didn’t listen enough to myself and learned from very uncomfortable feelings that I did not enjoy going along with things if I didn’t jibe with them…I also experienced early the rewards of being an activist and standing up for what matters to me. It helped that I was part of a strong 1960s movement as an activist. Strength in numbers so to speak. So, I’ve developed a strong response mechanism that reminds me to follow my feelings. If I don’t feel it, I excuse myself, or I speak my mind and usually that ends the conversation. Boundaries can be achieved gracefully – they also can be created with an energetic that causes broken relationships – so one has to choose the consequences one can imagine.

Chiara : How do you hold that? I come from a long line of women that were mistreated, so there’s this sense that just historically that’s the energy that I come from.

L : If you mean that you have patterns stemming from your family constellation, I know what you mean. That’s also a big part of my work to be more empowered. I felt “less-than” (others) when I was a teenager. Less pretty, less popular, less important, less liked… it stemmed from being different, feeling different, not being able to go along with the statis quo. I was very angry with the world of adults. They were in the dark ages and I was bursting at the seams. It was the beginning of a groundswell of change. When I discovered other people who felt like I did it was such a relief. Knowing I was not alone gave me the fuel to come out more and more – and of course, it was happening for a lot of people back then… it was the beginning of the realization of a generation gap, which was more like a generation paradigm shift. We were leaving the 1950s behind. LSD blew the lid off. Music also blew the lid off. Protest blew the lid off. With LSD people used to say it was like forcing the pedals of the flower to open rather than with meditation allow them to open organically and naturally. LSD and meditation were coupled for a good while, and yoga became popular in the West. It was almost like transform or die! I think my generation is the ageless generation in so many ways. I think what happened in the 1960s in terms of my solidifying my values and what I fight for, believe in, stand up for is the same now as then.

Today, the way I continue my personal transformation process is much gentler and slower and more basic. To encourage myself not to revert back to unkind ways of treating myself, I have a morning ritual. It’s very simple: I go to the sink in the bathroom, turn on the hot water and put a washcloth in the sink. Then I look up at myself and talk to myself as if I was just meeting a friend who had spent the night. I smile at myself and say with authentic loving feelings, “Good morning, Linda. I love you.“ If my monkey mind starts saying, “My God, you’re looking so old and wrinkled?” I push the thought away and smile at myself and say something like, “Linda, you are so beautiful. You are so talented. You’re doing great. Keep going, I’m with you all the way.” I want to speak to myself in the morning the same way I would speak to a child I was greeting first thing in the morning. I wouldn’t do it thinking judgmental thoughts, thus sending out downer vibes! I’d do it with love and positive regard. So, I give that to myself. It helps me start the day off knowing it is about uplifting my soul and spirit and hopefully, I remember to keep that attitude throughout the day. It is the only way I can contribute my best to the world and the only way I can trust I’ll treat others with the same love and respect. Doesn’t always work. I can fall into self-denigrating thoughts that stem from my family constellation, or get frustrated, tired, at the end of my rope and lose it –but essentially, I really do love life and people –and as long as I don’t allow myself to buy into any of the very misguided messages that we older women are over the hill, I’m fine. In fact, we older women are changing the world! And younger women, and feminists and activists and educators and spiritual guides… we are simply NOT alone!!!

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Thank you Chiara, for your generosity and your deep love of life. Thank you for putting yourself on the line and for your strength and conviction. I love having you in my life!

February 15, 2016. Addendum:

Chiara is currently in school and will graduate this Spring with a degree in Ethno-Ecological Justice and is working on preparing for her hearing for her $20,000 dollars in fines she received from the US Coast Guard.

 

 

Freedom ; Love ; Belonging ; Trusting ; Knowing …

We have a great discounted TTC Facilitator’s Training coming up this Fall! Check the link.

I CHOOSE LIFE

I CHOOSE LIFE

Choose Life! I leaned recently the this symbol ; means a lot more than I ever thought. It means continuity; it means there is more to be said; more to learn and know and do – it means ongoing! Isn’t that what we all want from all our relationships — an ongoing quality that realizes the meaning and power of process? A period means full stop. No fun in that!, Especially when you’ve loved someone.

So, how do we love ourselves enough to keep going; keep loving; keep staying present in the process of living life; in the process of relationships?

How do we connect with our greatest self which exists in infinite space, connected to the infinite spirit of life blossoming  anew every millisecond?

And how do we connect with that great self in another?  Because surely, then the flow of our mutual lives remains unbroken.

Teen Talking Circles is not about one single circle on Bainbridge Island. It is about a philosophy and way of being that reaches across the planet and unites us in compassion and love, in acceptance, belonging, agency, and courage.

Teen Talking Circles are not just for teenagers. But to begin doing them at 12 years old makes an enormous difference in one’s life. To do them with kids on the street, in schools, in neighborhoods, everywhere is a great gift to give young people.

Homeless youth in Seattle

Homeless youth in Seattle

Teen Talking Circles are not panaceas – they don’t clear up all issues and problems we face, but they give us a strong opportunity to become responsible for our lives —  to tell the truth, to figure out our lives in healthy and conscious ways, and that surely frees us to find our ways in this world of so much pain and delight.

So, we have an offer for you  — we have been given a special gift of scholarship money in order to gift our next TTC Facilitator Training at cost. We have 9 spaces out of 11 to fill. Would you love to join us and experience TTC?

We’d love to have you come be with us for this positive experience.

Check out the registration page for more information. Love, linda

June Millington – A legend in her own time – November 2013

November newsletter 2014

Dear Friends,

Yes, it’s December — we missed November’s newsletter, so this is a Dec double dose!

This month, we are honored to share with you our interview with  June Millington. For y’all working with teen girls in any capacity, June’s story as an artist, a musician, songwriter, and the organization she founded with her partner, Ann, the Institute for Musical the Arts in Goshen, MA. is something you really want to know about. Their girls Rock and Roll camps are off the charts! I’m sure today there are many teen girls who are just as inspired by June as I was when I was a teen. Check out IMA. They have a fully equip recording studio in their barn! Watch their Ted Talks, videos, and send your girls their way!

Image June Millington in 1969, at Fanny Hill,  and 2010 at IMA

June Millington was twenty-one years old in ’69, the year I met her. I was 19. I had taken a job a few months earlier as a secretary at Warner Brothers Records. Fanny, the band she founded with her sister, Jean and Alice deBuhr, was just to become the first all-girl rock band to be signed to make an LP for a major record label, Reprise, a subsidiary of WB and the girls were coming in for a meeting. I  was asked to welcome them when they arrived. To say I was gob-smacked when they sauntered into the office, in their jeans and t-shirts, no make-up, long hair down their backs, is mild. I was stunned. Here, they were, girls just like me — but girls who played their own music and were going to be rock stars —  not just some guy musician’s old lady, sitting around watching him play… You have to remember, or at least imagine if you are young now —  1969 was not a bonanza year for girl musicians, let alone all girl bands, let alone girls playing rock and roll.

It was just my luck, karma, fate (you name it) that I got to spend a few precious minutes alone with the girls, that day, because it changed the trajectory of my life 180 degrees. We all hit it off immediately, so much so that June invited me to come on over to their house. The band needed a keyboard player and I told them I could play piano. June said, well, let’s try you out.  I went by that very night, and moved in a week later.

The band lived in a Spanish style mansion they christened “Fanny Hill” up at the top of Marmont Lane, up from the Chateau Marmont, an infamous hotel at the time,  overlooking the Sunset Strip. The house was rented for them by Warner Brothers. The “girls” were given just enough cash to scrounge by doing their own laundry at the coin operated joint down on Sunset, and eating frugally, but they had all the time time they needed to write, rehearse 24/7, jam, and come up with the songs for their first album. Richard hung around some, listening in to practices, and lots of other musicians would drop by, like Lowell (George) from Little Feat, to jam. Over the time I lived at Fanny Hill, there were many who dropped by to see this oddity, girls who could really play! Folks like Bernie Taupin, Tret Fure, Zakir Hussain, Dave Mason, Chris Williamson…

56570013Lowell & RichieLowell George and Richie Hayward 1970

I couldn’t play piano well enough, but I had experience as a photographer.  June has always had a love of photography and had put in a make-shift darkroom behind the rehearsal room, so I took it over her dad’s old Leica M3 and become the documentary member of Fanny Hill.

What I learned during those years has influenced the rest of my life as an artist, and as a woman, and the direction I’ve traveled in my life have their roots deeply planted in what followed. At Fanny Hill, I developed a strength and kind of audacity that gave me the confidence as a young woman to stand up for myself and dare to do things that busted out of the traditional way girls behaved or life choices most girls were headed towards. Witnessing the level of focus, intention, discipline and practice that it took to be musicians taught me more than anything, but it was the trust in me and reflection I got from June, Jean and Alice that nurtured me more than anything. We were young, inspired, creative and stepping out on edges and stages in front of people — I learned I could forget what others thought about me or projected onto me as I took my place on the stage to take photos. I felt I belonged, and was part of a group that was being uplifted — Fanny had financial backing and opportunities that most young bands never get and they were happening and I was on the bus with them!

Linda after Tour1Linda Wolf 1970, at Jessi Ed Davis’s house, photo taken by Sandy Konikoff

airplaneJoe Cocker, Jim Gordon, Kay Poorboy descending the Cocker Power plane 1970

The following year, I left Fanny Hill. I’d joined a thrown together tour as one of the two women photographers — one of 38 crazy people –musicians, 3 kids, their nanny, a pregnant dog named Cannina,  plus  a crew of roadies, sound men,and a documentary 5-man film crew, and on the road I went  with Joe Cocker Mad Dogs and Englishmen. After nearly 2 months, I came back to LA  for a spell and lived again at Fanny Hill before leaving for France for five years, to study.  That year Fanny took off …

billboardSunset Strip, across from the Whiskey, 1970

For the next number of years, the girls toured the world, recorded at the Beatles Apple Studios, and had hit records. They hung out with the Beatles, the Stones, tons of fabulous musicians, and jammed with amazing folks along the way.

As for the girls and me, we have always stayed sisters of the heart and my friendship with Jean, June and Alice deBuhr continues to this day.

And now, our interview with June Millington.

ImageJune & Jean Millington

Linda Wolf: How old were you when you first started playing, June?

June Millington: I played piano when I was about five or six. But I was such a tomboy and preferred to play in the trees. M mom just got so mad; she was like “Well all right, fine, don’t play!” We played ukulele pretty early on in the Philippines…But since switching to electric guitar in 1965 that’s been my consuming passion. I just love guitar. It connects me to the world, the universe, and it informs me. It’s my antenna. It’s my antenna and my connection.

L: As a young women in those years, a girl when you started to play out with your sister, plus being Amerasian  how did you experience both sexism and racism and the pressures to conform to what women/girls were supposed to be like?

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J: I think I was born with passion and an awful lot of will. That burning energy has certainly sustained me. Also, I think it’s a lot of luck, too.  But, I have to say that the racism I’ve experienced in my life has trumped everything in terms of what hurt me the most, probably because it came first. Sexism I didn’t even really notice that much when we started to play out as girls. People would go, “Oh wow, you’re really good! Not bad for chicks”—that kind of thing – compliments. So, I think my fire combined with the first racist feedback that we got, that was so hurtful, caused us to go into rock and roll because in rock you can create your own persona, especially at the time because nothing like us had existed before. It became dangerous later on when actually I didn’t need that persona anymore, but it was still there. That’s part of the unpeeling of life. Today, my life, my work with IMA, and writing my autobiography combine to my wanting to be of service. It comes from an integration of the early pain, the ongoing pain, the understanding of pain. In Buddhism, I learned that I am not my thoughts. Playing rock and roll and being part of women’s music and Buddhism has been my way through it all. It’s a very potent intersection, and I’m just lucky that I’m living it.

I’m also lucky is that I stumbled into women’s music, which basically is a melding of music in its purest sense, with spirituality and woman’s energy in it, with a sense of learning, and a sense of politics and empathy and humanity. You have to be a humanitarian to be a feminist. So I began to study that which had happened to women, and it was really shocking.

L: I know you did a YouTube movie that takes the viewer through the years. You honored me to allow me to sing in it! I’m going to stick it here so folks can get a broader picture of your trajectory. Take a minute and check out this video folks. Here’s the URL: http://tinyurl.com/mcoqbun

L. What’s your daily life like now, June?

J: I think basically I’m in service no matter what I’m doing. I am a Buddhist. If I go to a rock conference, I’m just present for what arises. And if I’m teaching at our rock and roll girls’ camps I’m doing the same thing — being present for what arises and staying mindful of my intentions. What else I’ve been doing is writing an autobiography, taping the autobiography. Plus, I’m helping the girls who come through IMA, the younger generation, trying to be a bridge, taking them along with us,  the older generation,  and of course, I have been doing music for the past 50 years.

L: Tell us about IMA.

J: We have Girls Rock and Roll Camps here at the IMA, which is a nonprofit 501(c)3 for women and girls in music. One of our mantras is, “Changing the world one girl at a time.” We don’t try to think too big at any moment. We teach workshops, record in our studio, and teach girls the business of music. We feel out what is actually needed by each girl in the moment, and we react to that, and try to bring whatever that is into reality.

Girls playing music and working together is not a luxury. We have to have music. Every culture floats and soars and rides on music. The past is taught through music. In many, many cultures that’s how they do it—they sing the story of the past. They sing the coming of being story.

June at IMAStudio at IMA 2010

One of the compelling thoughts I pass on to girls who come through IMA is that you do what you can when you can and you have to accept that you can’t do it all at once, and you have to forgive yourself when you fail. When girls walk into camp the first day of class I say, “You’re going to fail. For sure. You cannot learn all this like ordering fries at McDonald’s. You have to be really dedicated. And it’s always a journey. So one minute you’re playing scales, the next minute you’re creating something, thinking oh I didn’t know I could do that! You’re suffering because you’re practicing and then all of a sudden you’re in that creation mode. Discipline is just not quitting. Because it’s hard. It’s really hard.

L. I heard recently, the word discipline comes from the word disciple. When we’re disciplined we are being our own disciple.

J. Yes, and you have to expect you’re going to fail but the whole point is to go for the joy.  So you put the two together, discipline and joy, and it’s always interesting what comes up. It’s chaotic, it’s life, it’s incendiary, organic — and it’s what creation is all about. I tell the girls when they’re at camp they have to learn to trust the process and trust themselves, and to forgive themselves, and to be here, really be present.  I tell them to try not to text or make calls on their phones, or go to Facebook and all that kind of stuff, but to be here now — in the moment. I think kids need to hear that now. I think they need to know they have an option. They can be very busy, their mind flitting around from one thing to the next, but they can also let all that go, and just be in the moment and see what arises. That’s the essence of meditation.

L: I know when we were young, rock and roll was all about the boys. The screaming for Mick Jagger or the Beatles and before them, Elvis, was like 200 years of pent-up libido, I think… That male sex appeal and the audacity of their strutting around the stage, being rock stars was a major turn on! It was definitely something new to see you, a girl, wailing on the guitar like a guy in those days!  What do you tell the girls you work with in camp.

J: Fanny was essentially a funk band. We loved funk and we loved ballads. We loved the girl-group songs of the era—the Supremes, the Marvelettes, the Shirelles. But the frame that we had to mold ourselves into was to play like guys, because that was all society could understand back then-they needed to see girls who could play like guys. If we were going to be successful, we had to step into that frame; so we learned how to do rock and roll. For a long time, and still even now, people just want to identify me as “that chick rock guitar player.” I am a very inquisitive person, and I’m much broader than that. In 1975 I really started to get the Buddhist teachings. I left Hollywood. I prayed for teachers and they came, and the teachings came. And that’s been my journey ever since: Buddhism, women’s music, rock and roll, and now I’m also an educator and a writer.

june at IMAJune at IMA 2010

What I pass along to the girls who come to the camps or anyone who passes within my orbit or periphery is that you have to find that place in you  that’s true to who you are. I don’t think girls should try to ape the way guys do it. Guys do it from wherever their center is and girls should do it from their center. The only thing I can tell girls is to find that place in yourself that is true and authentic and go for that. We’re always learning from other people, other genres, other styles, of course, all the time, but you have to find that place inside you that is true to you. I ask girls to think about the question, why you were born into this world, why have you slipped into this dimension? When one gets an answer to that question, it’s not easy because now you have to take responsibility for your own existence. Learning the chords to “Johnny B. Goode” or pointing your guitar like it’s a phallus is easy, but being oneself – that’s another thing altogether! Times have changed.

L. Thank goodness, is all I can say. Here’s to women and girls finding their source of passion and fire and authenticity and making noise — whether that be in math, music or medicine. It’s time for us to find our true voices and let them resonate our bodies and vibrate into the world. You’ve been doing that a long time!

Thank you, June, for what you give so many of us and for being a role model, to me. I’m thankful my path led me to join yours back in 1969. I’ve so much gratitude to be your sister and friend.

ImageRehearsal Room at Fanny Hill 1969

Folks — Look up the women who are the foremothers of this era of music. Before the Go-Go’s, before The Indigo Girls, before the 390+ and growing list of girl bands on Wikipedia as of today, there was FANNY.

I didn’t know!!!!

Hi friends,

Well, I just discovered that we can’t send embedded videos in wordpress emails! oK – so ditch the last email you received from us, and click here: The first song is worth the time to sit with it all the way through — and then, sit back (BE PATIENT). If you let go, and read each paragraph after you listen to each song, you will have an experience very different than if you try to rush through them! I hope each will bring you back to your own life,  lift you up. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays, Welcoming Solstice and the turning of the year… 

http://teentalkingcircles.com

ENJOY! 

Love, linda

September 2013 TTC Interview with David Franklin, author of Radical Men, Simple Practices for Breaking the Myth of Masculinity and Embodying Your Authentic Self

Lilly Schneider: What motivated you to write your book?

ImageDavid Franklin: It’s complicated. I’ve been doing counseling, coaching, workshops and facilitation for years and have a strong desire to create a new paradigm around what being a man could look like. I’ve realized that so many of us share a similar struggle. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I thought that one day I’d write a book. The idea came up, and my partner was like “Just do it.” So I sat with it for a couple weeks, and then I just started writing it. I think I wrote it in three weeks.

Lilly: Wow, only three weeks? That’s awesome.

David: It just kind of came out. There really wasn’t much planning or forethought, but it’s a culmination of the work I’ve been doing for the past twenty years.

Lilly: Could you tell us a little about the work that you’ve been doing and the work you’re doing now?

David: I do individual coaching, and I also facilitate groups and workshops for men. In my work, I emphasize embodiment and presence. Rather than only talking about issues, my work focuses more on creating present moment change, in a way that men can then practice and take into the rest of their lives. Rather than a theoretical experience, it’s about providing practical tools men can use, to ultimately feel more connected to who they are, and discover more of their authentic self. My work combines numerous modalities and practices that I’ve studied over the years –from meditation to ecstatic dance, to music, to core energetic therapy, to various coaching styles all rolled into one.

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Lilly: So then does your book, as an extension of your work, provide exercises, and things people can do, with clear guidance?

David: There are fifty practices in the book, and they probably comprise the majority of the book. The rest of the book is more talking about where I’m coming from, what I’m proposing, and then how to actually achieve it.

Lilly: Was there an intended audience for the book?

David: It’s really meant for everyone. I think to some degree, the men who are going to get into it more are men who have already started thinking about it a little bit, or might have some idea that there’s more to what it means to be a man than what everyone takes for granted. I think anyone could pick it up regardless of where they’re at, and really get what I’m talking about—and do the practices. I also was hoping that women would look at it as well, hopefully women who are moms, or who are involved in raising boys— it will give them greater awareness around the possibilities of what it can look like to be a man so that they can parent or work with boys differently. Or for that matter with their partners—although a lot of times I’ve found that for men, when their partners want them to do something, they’re even more resistant to doing it.

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Lilly: So how did you get on this path? How did you find that this was your work?

David: Since I was young I had a sense of wanting to create real change on the planet. I didn’t necessarily know what that would look like, but I knew that something else was possible beyond how things were, and I just felt a strong call to do something about it, to step into leadership and to take action to create change. As a teen I went to a lot of counseling, as a client, and in my very late teens started exploring more spiritual practice, spirituality. Through those things I began to become a lot more aware, and also a lot more self-aware. I was twenty or so when I first joined a men’s group. I’d heard about men’s groups from a friend who had joined one and at first I was like, “Huh, that sounds kind of weird, I don’t understand.” Then he explained his experience and I was like “Wow, that sounds awesome, I would love something like that.” From that point on I experienced a strong resonance with it, both because of my own struggles as well as connecting and seeing how it impacted so many men. How men are expected to be seemed like such a burden to so many men, and I just really felt called to do something about it.

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Lilly: What do you see in our society that concerns you, that motivates you to do your work?

David: Men, historically and in our culture, have more power. And I think that men with that power very often misuse it, in a lot of different ways, because they’re so disconnected from themselves and from other people. A lot of our political leaders are men. A lot of people in positions of power and who make decisions are men, a lot of people who have control over how things get done are men. Realizing that, if you look at our world and the things that are happening, a lot of those things come as the result of decisions that people in power (men) have made. I think women have more so than men been willing to look at themselves and become more aware, maybe challenge themselves and challenge a lot of norms around how things are in culture. Many men really haven’t gotten there yet, and are either ignorant or in denial or stubborn, or just really don’t want to give up their power. If things are going to change, men are really going to have to step up and take the initiative and not wait for women to tell them to change or do it in reaction to that, but because they feel, “Wow, this really isn’t working” and that they have the power to do something about it.

Lilly: I think most people in the Western world would say they’re aware of the gains of feminism, the women’s liberation movement, the women’s empowerment movement. But this could be a men’s liberation movement hat perhaps the average person isn’t aware of. Carol Gilligan says in a recent interview we did, “matriarchy is not the opposite of patriarchy, it’s democracy.” Democracy is power with, not power over.

ImageDavid: In the late seventies, early eighties, there was definitely some men’s movement stuff going on, but at the same time it was nothing like the women’s movement. Where it gets tricky is people say “Oh, what’s the need for a men’s movement? Men have all the power. They’ve got it easy, they’ve got it good, so what do they need to change anything for?” Unfortunately that’s what keeps everything in check. People assume that men don’t suffer from the patriarchal system. But if you look at a lot of things that are going on in the world, it’s because men have problems and they’re not really looking at them. That impacts everyone. It impacts men, it impacts women, it impacts children, it impacts the planet. Men have all these things going on that aren’t really being acknowledged. Sure, they do have the power, and at the same time, look how they’re using it. Or misusing it.

Lilly: What are the challenges that you see facing you in your work—and what are the challenges that men face?

depression David: In my work there’s the initial challenge of just getting men to acknowledge that there is a problem. Because most men don’t want to look at it. Getting men to be open to the possibility of something beyond what is, or getting them to really look at themselves, is really challenging. And a lot of time it takes something really drastic to force men to look at themselves. It takes a midlife crisis or some severe event before men are like “Whoa, I feel totally disconnected from myself, from my family, I don’t feel happy with my work, I don’t really feel intensive meaning or purpose in my life, I feel kind of empty.” But a lot of men just don’t want to admit that. And again there’s the catch-22, because men’s programming sort of enforces the “don’t look at those things” attitude. The programming focuses them on achievement,  being big and powerful and having a lot of money; all those things that ultimately empty — not really fulfilling. So just getting men to hear the message is probably the biggest challenge. And again, the challenge is getting past the conditioning men have, getting men to be willing to feel and express their emotions, and communicate more openly with other people, getting them to have accountability for themselves and for their lives; getting them to be more active parents, and more active partners, and to actually do work in the world that’s meaningful, and that means something to them, rather than just doing it for a paycheck, just because they think it’s something they’re supposed to do.

Lilly: Thank you for talking with me today, David. Your work is so important. Best wishes.

Radical Men can be purchased online at David Franklin’s website, or checked out at your local public library. For more info go to: www.davidfranklin.net

For more info on important work by men, check out TTC board of advisor mentor, Jackson Katz. http://www.jacksonkatz.com

August Jubilee!!!

ImageHello Friends

TTC is officially no longer a teenager! We are 20 years old. I can’t believe it, actually. First, how fast time flies and second, how we keep on keepin’ on! Seems TTC is just as important now as it was then, if not more so. The world is just as confusing and just as exciting and teens are just as full of hormones, feelings, struggles, excitement, hopes, dreams, and adventurous spirits. 

We wanted you to know what we’ve been up to this past year (June to June). Because it’s because of YOU we are still here to meet the many various and awesome requests we receive to give whatever we know to others. 

Here’s the skinny – 
• In the past year, our teen circles, programs, handbook, trainings, retreats, fundraisers, Youtube movies, radio interviews, magazine articles, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, TTC Blog, and conference presentations have reached thousands of people (Included on the list are a presentation of Full woman at the TEDx Elliott Bay Women Conference, interview on Women Rising Radio, feature in Lilipoh Magazine, presentations at the Deva Premal concert and the Ruins Fundrasier, our TTC Training and the Yelapa Women’s Retreat.)
• 31,700+ people from over 150 countries around the world, as of today, July 31st, 2013 have viewed and shared our Girl’s and Women’s Empowerment film, I Am A Full Woman (https://vimeo.com/35541100) and the comments they share are quite powerful. 
• We’ve provided 32 people from 24 organizations TTC Facilitator Trainings this year. (Included are people from Washington, DC Ethical Society, Tomales Bay Youth Center, Cliffside Malibu Rehabilitation Center, Oaks Christian School, Native American Community Academy, and Marin Indy High School)
• We reedited our TTC Handbook and had 2500 new copies printed of our 3rd Edition!
• We produced two fundrasiers, which 284 people attended.
• Our 2 Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have over 800+ people as friends.
• In an initial search 40+ partnering organizations and important people are presenting TTC on their websites (including, chomsky.info; bainbridgereview.com; seattlechildrens.org; ojaifoundation.org; womenintheworld.org)
• We have been invited to be consultants to 3 different programs, including my being present at the Generation Waking Up 4 day workshop, as an elder. 
• 13 people are on a list for a worldwide distance training (as soon as we can figure out how!)
• Countless youth and adults have benefitted from this past year’s ways we have continued to offer TTC into the world. We can’t even keep up with the many ways those who have been touched, trained, or involved with our work is unfurling in the world. We do know that there are currently 2 master theses and 1 PhD thesis that are using TTC as the central focus of their study.

Our exciting next project happens on September 14th. A Japanese film crew from the PBS station in Japan has hired TTC to run a circle of 10 youth on Bainbridge, which will be filmed for a segment in a series on cell biology. How cool is this! Our local girls group starts again this Fall, and believe or not I’m taking a 75% sabbatical after 20 years from September – April, 2014. Lilly will be in charge!

Thank you again for everything you do for TTC, me, and the world. With gratitude and love, Linda 

See http://www.teentalkingcircles.org for dates of our June 2014 training and April/May Women’s Retreat. 

Noam Chomsky Interview with Linda Wolf for TTC – April 9, 2013

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Linda: It’s so good to actually speak with you again, Noam, instead of emails. It’s been about thirteen years. The last time we spoke on the phone was for the book “Global Uprising.”

Noam: Yes, yes, I remember that.

Linda: First off, I just want to say how much I love you. Our correspondence over the years has been such an inspiration to me. BTW, how is your “pseudo grandson,” as you call him, Ernesto?

Noam: Oh thank you, that’s a nice way to start. He’s doing fine. I just saw him this weekend, coming up to his third birthday… It was pretty nice weather, so we went out for a walk in the woods. He had a ball climbing rocks. Lovely, little kid. It’s interesting with his mother, and his aunt. These are young women who grew up in villages in Guatemala; by the time they were four years old, they were adults, working in agriculture, climbing trees to pick avocados. As soon as we get out in the woods, they start acting like children, and climbing the trees, you know, climbing boulders, jumping around. Ernesto with them, of course. It was fun to watch.

Linda: Oh, nice! So you were all together?

Noam: …Yes, there are some nice pictures that one of them took; the girls on top of a big boulder and Ernesto on the boulder.

Linda:  Noam, there are so many things I want to ask you. For example, I have a friend, Christen Lien is her name, she’s a tremendous musician, and she’s just created an album called Elpis. Elpis is the last of the evils in Pandora’s box. The Greeks translated Elpis as hope.

ImageChristen Lien

Noam: What is it about?

Linda: In Pandora’s box Elpis was the last, heaviest, of the evils, according to the Greeks. Christen is doing a study of the concept of hope. Thirteen years ago, I ended our last interview with “Do you have hope, Noam?” Everything that you speak of, that we know of, about the ills of the world, which are so terrifying, in so many ways, especially to young people—

Noam: They should be.

Linda: And they are. You know, there’s this spirit that we need to have, which we call “hope.” But I’d like you to dwell on that for a minute with me. If the Greeks thought it was the heaviest evil in Pandora’s Box, how can we come to terms with this idea of hope? Do you have some thoughts on that?

Noam: Well, the easiest way to do it is kind of like what I just described. Go out in the woods with a lovely three-year old kid and his mother and his aunt, who escaped from hideous atrocities. These are refugees. They’re Mayan, so they’re refugees from the genocide in the highlands in the early eighties. Everything was destroyed; people are still fleeing. It was very courageous—the mother of this kid crossed the border, I think, seven times…She was picked up the last time, and she was pregnant the whole time. She finally made it through, in her seventh month of pregnancy. I don’t have to describe to you what a border crossing is like. Solidarity workers who have hope, wonderful people in Tucson, you may know some of them, who roam the desert, illegally in fact, because they try to pick up stragglers, or leave water bottles, and so on –they managed to get her, to find her. She had a sister here, in Boston, so they got her here, and when she moved in with her sister, the landlady kicked them both out, so they’ve been living with my daughter, and Ernesto was born here while they were living with my daughter. But anyway, when you watch these people, and you just think of the—I mean you look at this little kid, of course he’s happy, he doesn’t know what’s happening — but there’s a shadow hanging over him. I mean his mother could be picked up any minute and be sent back to Guatemala. He’d go with her and grow up in miserable poverty in Guatemala, or would never see her again. All of this is right over their heads, but they’re happy, and cheerful, and looking forward to the future. Many things like this, you can duplicate them all over the world, and they’re signs of hope. In fact, if you look at what—it’s kind of a remarkable situation now—but if you take a look at what indigenous people, tribal societies, first nations, what they’re doing all over the world, it’s pretty spectacular. I mean they’re the only ones who are making a serious effort to try to avert major catastrophes that are looming — like environmental catastrophes. They’re actually trying to do something about it. Now, we’re doing the opposite. So, you want to have hope, look at people who are struggling and achieving. You can always find them.

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Linda: It’s a beautiful definition of hope, this story. But do you honestly think there’s much hope for this world, as it is?

Noam: Honestly?

Linda: Yeah, honestly.

Noam: No, but you can’t give up. I mean, objectively speaking if I try to be completely objective, if I forget about caring about people and the world and so on, then we’re just racing towards disaster, eyes open, going as fast as we can. In fact it’s rather striking to compare the poorest, least developed, least educated, what are called the “primitive” societies of the world, and the richest, most powerful, most educated countries of the world, and at the poorer end, you have what I just described. Ecuador has a large indigenous population, enough to influence policy. And one of the policy efforts in Ecuador is to try to gain support from the wealthy countries to keep their oil in the ground. They’re a big oil exporter. Keep it in the ground, where it ought to be: that’s Ecuador. Indigenous population. You go up north, to Canada, and the United States, the richest countries, ever—they’re putting every effort into extracting every drop of hydrocarbons out of the ground and using it as fast as possible. And are lauding the possibility, are euphoric at the possibility, of a century of energy independence, while busy accelerating the destruction of the world. If ever a future historian is looking back at this moment, he or she would think the species is insane.

Linda: Well we could be! This morning, I was ruminating about death and asking you what you think happens when we die. For me, spirituality is so deeply rooted in nature, and everything has its life, its lifetime. And I’m thinking, well maybe we’re just part of this, too. We Homo sapiens, we have a life span, and maybe that’s what we’re doing.

Noam: I wrote about this once. There’s a great biologist Ernst Mayr, died recently, about a hundred years old, he was a grand old man of American biology. He once wrote an article, in which he basically argued that intelligence is a kind of lethal mutation. He looked at it as biologist. You ask about the biological success of various species, and the ones who do very well are things like bacteria, which mutate very quickly and adapt to changing circumstances. Or beetles, which are all over the place, they have a fixed ecological niche, they can’t survive anywhere else. They stick to it, and they make out. But as you move up the scale of intelligence, to mammals, primates,  Homo sapiens, you find less and less biological success. That’s why there are very few apes around. Humans look like an exception, but that’s only in the last few thousand years. Go back to ninety-five percent of Homo sapiens’ history, we were scattered bands of hunter-gatherers. He points out just what you said, that the average life span of a species is about a hundred thousand years, and that’s roughly what homosapiens are approaching. So we may be following that unpleasant natural law which says we have achieved the capacity to destroy ourselves, so let’s go ahead and do it.

Linda: Wow. You spoke the word “no.” You said “No, really I don’t ultimately have any hope for us.”

Noam: But I do have hope, because you have to have hope. Otherwise you wouldn’t do anything, to try to carry things forward. And there’s always a chance, you know. You asked the question objectively, do I think there’s hope. Objectively probably not. But it doesn’t follow that we have to give up hope, we don’t know.

Linda: Are you afraid of dying?

Noam: I used to be when I was about ten years old but I got over it (laughs.)

Linda: If you could go back, if you were let’s say thirty, or twenty again, what would you invest your life energy in right now?

Noam: I don’t know about you, but when I was twenty, or even thirty, I didn’t really think about it much. I just did what I thought I oughta do.

Linda: Get married, and have children?

Noam: Not even that, just anything. Now first of all there’s an interesting fact about the male brain which is relevant. The male brain matures rather late.

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The female brain matures at maybe eighteen or so. The male brain doesn’t mature about until mid-twenties. In fact in some countries like Canada they’re thinking of treating young men in their early twenties as juveniles, because that’s basically what they are. But one of the aspects of that is that you just don’t think about risk. I mean I can remember it myself, and I can see it with my children and grandchildren. Just do anything, because you’re invulnerable, you don’t have to think about the future. I didn’t think about it much, I just did the things I wanted to do. In fact I already was married, by the time I was twenty, and I didn’t think much about planning for the future. In fact I had no academic prospects. I was working, and it’s kind of an accident that I’m in the academic world. I was working, developing an area that actually didn’t exist, there was no academic—but it never bothered me much, I figured I’ll do something or other. The same with the political activity. I was very active about doing things I felt oughta be done.

Linda: But if you were forty, let’s say, now—

Noam: By the time I was forty I was pretty well settled, had responsibilities. By the time I was forty, actually, I was facing a long jail sentence. By then, consciously, I was thinking of what I was doing, because of the involvement in resistance activities. I was in fact up for trial when the TET Offensive came along, and it convinced the government to drop the trials. [The TET Offensive in 1968 [the National Liberation Front’s surprise temporary takeover of virtually all of South Vietnam’s cities overnight –Ed.]

Linda: I heard you say something so important in an interview recently about the movie, “Manufacturing Consent.” You said you were skeptical about that movie because it sort of placed you in a position of stardom…

Noam: I like the guys who made the movie, they’re friends, but they were just following me around. If I got off an airplane, you know…like some kind of celebrity. I’m not a celebrity.

Linda: Right, I really appreciate that, because as you said, it’s those who are working together on the ground, shoulder to shoulder, that never maybe get any recognition—

Noam: Like these indigenous people in Ecuador, for example. They’re really doing something. Who knows who they are?

Linda: So with young people today, my question is, where would you put your energy now, in what arena? I mean would you go to Ecuador, would you work with the Ecuadorians—?

Noam: The most important place to be is the United States. For one thing I’d stay here because it’s where my attachments and everything else are, but just objectively it’s the most important place to be. Because what happens here is going to be much more influential in the whole world than what happens elsewhere. Very important things happen elsewhere, it’s not that the United States runs the world, but you look at the degree of influence and power, although U.S. power is declining, has been for a long time, it’s still incomparable and will be for a long time to come. For example, take almost anything that’s happening. There was an international conference recently, and they general assembly reached a small arms treaty. Well that’s kind of important, you know. Tens of thousands are being slaughtered all over the world from small arms exports. In Mexico alone, most of the deaths come from guns from the United States, which incidentally wouldn’t be affected by the treaty. But the small arms treaty is important. Will it have any effect? Not if the United States doesn’t sign it. And it’s very likely that the U.S. won’t sign it. That’s one example, but you can proliferate them enormously. So the most important thing that can be done right now are changes within the United States.

Linda: Did you vote?

Noam: Ah, sort of. I mean Massachusetts happens to be a safe state, it’s gonna go Democratic, so I voted for Jill Stein, Green candidate, nice person. But if I had been in a swing state, I would have held my nose and voted for Obama because the alternative was—you know I don’t like him and his associates, the alternative was much worse. These things make a difference. Given U.S. power, it makes a difference whether say, if Bush was in office or Gore.

Linda: Thank you so much for speaking with me today, Noam. We’ll talk again soon, I’m sure. Best wishes to everyone. I hope you and Ernesto liked the cookies.

Noam: Yes, Cookies don’t last long here in the office!

Addendum:

June 11, 2013

Just prior to posting this interview, The Obama administration is reportedly preparing to charge NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden with leaking classified information. I wrote Noam for his response:

Noam: “He should be admired for bravely meeting the responsibilities of citizenship: letting the public know what their government is doing to them. The claim that the massive government surveillance programs are necessary to secure the population from terror barely merits ridicule, coming from a government that has quite consciously been increasing the threat of terror to Americans as the predictable consequence, well-understood in high places, of the global drone assassination program, which is also by far the most extreme international terrorist campaign in the world.”