[Clear-thinking friends keep our hope alive. et]

Message from Mystery to Vigilers

October 23, 2001

Hey guys,

How's it going down in DC? Are you still keeping vigil for longer than anyone else? You should hold a vigil within a vigil, or shanghai new recruits, or just threaten the other members of your party with the nukes you have in your back pocket. Or just sit and bask in the karma...something like that, anyway.

What do you think of this mess we're in with Afghanistan? Predictable, ey? I wish people would stop focusing on terrorism and instead reflect on the gas mileage of their cars and their unconscious reliance on millions of electronic tweaker toys like hair dryers and toaster ovens. (Is it unAmerican for me to decry toasters? I guess I'm headed straight for hell.) I heard that if we increased the mpg of SUVs in this country by THREE (yes, THREE MILES PER GALLON!) it would conserve more petroleum than we could produce drilling the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge. Maybe 10 mpg could make the difference in the decision to build the Afghani Pipeline. I wonder if Dubya is even considering mentioning such things to the nation. He says the war is going to last at least two years...how can he make a statement like that and still claim that this conflict is not manufactured? I mean, yeah, we were attacked and people died and it sucked, but we've been doing the exact same thing to the Middle East for the last 50 years. Sanctions on Iraq (including things like chlorine to sterilize their bacteria-infested water supply) have killed a Western-estimated 500,000 people. And we've been dropping explosives on Afghanistan since 1998.

Enough of the informational tirade; I'm sure you already know this stuff. I'm just frustrated because I'm stuck getting a college education while people are suffering and dying all over the world and there is NOTHING I can do to stop it. I can't reach into the underbelly of consciousness, twist a few things, and make people satisfied with themselves. But school is the only way I know to succeed in changing a part of the world at least, so I stay here. And Santa Cruz is beautiful, even in wartime. There's a true peace movement here, one that focuses on more than simply stopping the bombs. I've met others who realize that the system itself has to change, not those in power. We need to take care of Mother Earth and each other and worry about amassing love, not wealth or fame or the power to push a button and destroy the world as we know it. Maybe I should just give up and practice zen, but I'd feel guilty reaching enlightenment and not bringing the world with me.

I'll be back sometime in December & will stop by Prop 1 (are you still allowed on Pennsylvania Ave.? No way, right?) to say hi & stuff. Sorry I didn't write all summer; chaos overtook me & spit me out, saner than I can ever remember being before. I hope you are well & tell the squirrels and everyone else I know that I send my love.