Fred Gillen Jr.

Fuel for the Revolution

This is my blog. I started it back in 1998 when the term "blog" was new and I'd certainly never heard of it. At the time I didn't know I was blogging, I just wanted to post some non- edited pieces I'd written in my notebooks. I do not revise or censor this material in any way. Please feel free to email me through the "contact" page on this site if you have anything to say about what you read here.

Price of Progress

I just crossed the road I live on. It has smooth, black pavement with a double yellow line up the middle and white lines down the margins. There are lights overhead. About a quarter of a mile up the road there is a traffic light at a very busy intersection. I just returned from a trip to Nepal. I saw one road with lines on it there, maybe two. I think one of these may have been at the airport in Kathmandu. I don't think we saw a traffic light in our extensive travels around the country. We had electricity 24 hours a day. I'm told this is a new development, since the monarchy ended eleven years ago. The last night our group was in Nepal we were invited to Udit Bhatta's house for dinner. Udit was really the reason we were in the country. We were there in support of his project "Tie The Trash." At the dinner, while his mom and sisters were in the kitchen making a wonderful meal, we had one of those conversations which happen when you know you don't have much time. Where you dig right in and talk about what is in your heart and on your mind. What is on Udit's mind is the question of whether it is possible for his country to develop into a fully modern nation without the people losing their religious and family values and connections. Nepal has always been a subsistence culture. People there value family and religion and there is a general sense of gratitude for what they have. Is it possible to develop without losing these basic, beautiful traits of Nepali life? The work Udit is doing with Tie The Trash and with Vajra Academy is really an attempt to help make this dream happen. The teachers at Vajra are teaching kids respect for the land and environment, on a daily basis, and the kids are responding by taking on the task of clean, green, sustainable development. These kids are the future of Nepal but they are also the future of the world. We are in the midst of the sixth great extinction on planet Earth. Most signs point to homo sapiens being a part of that extinction. If the developing world does not become green and sustainable then what we do here in the U.S.A. is not really going to matter. Nepal gets most of its electricity from hydro-electric plants. Its main natural resources are its rivers. Rivers which are polluted and toxic. These school kids are trying to clean up the rivers and the land. They believe strongly in what they are doing. The air in Kathmandu is thick with smog and post-earthquake dust. These kids envision clean air and rivers not choked with garbage and pollution. They are committed to this. I can't help thinking that there is a direct connection between their family/ religious/ cultural values and their commitment to clean up the country. Maybe in the U.S.A. we lost our family and spiritual values as we developed wrongly. Maybe our own re-development as a green nation is and will be directly connected to a return to basic values. On the airplane home I watched the John Ford movie of the John Steinbeck book The Grapes of Wrath and watching the Joads hang onto their family for dear life really seemed appropriate as I reflected on my time in Nepal. Maybe the only way to develop as a nation rightly and cleanly with justice for all is by clinging to the family and the religions and culture. Maybe we have a chance, as a society, to clean up our act. That is my great hope because I'd love to live in an America as happy and full of gratitude as Nepal is. If we have to give up some things to get there, then that's fine. Let's get to work!!!

Friday, December 1st 2017

==>12/1/2017     Price of Progress
 01/28/2017     Prayer for America
 05/27/2014     "Free" music
 12/30/2013     Happy New Year
 09/26/2013     Ignorant Bliss
 11/29/2012     Gillen & Turk 2008 Opening for Todd Rungren
 08/27/2012     Shallow Money Trench
 06/22/2012     Crazy Horse
 05/9/2012     Talk
 01/19/2012     Freedom
 12/31/2011     Happy New Year
 12/13/2011     Men of Business
 11/19/2011     WAR
 11/18/2011     Earth And Spirit
 10/10/2011     Occupy Wall Street
 10/6/2011     Independence
 09/20/2011     Anger and Love
 09/6/2011     You Can't Have Everything
 09/1/2011     The Instruments
 08/30/2011     Fathers
 08/2/2011     On Being An Artist
 05/11/2011     Speaking The Truth
 04/25/2011     Tuning the lead vocal
 03/17/2011     Instilling Values
 01/14/2011     The Current Music Business
 11/5/2010     Even The Air
 10/19/2010     Rednecks, Racism, This-ism, that-ism
 09/8/2010     9/11
 07/18/2010     Being Ecumenical
 07/6/2010     Dust
 06/30/2010     Gay Rights/ Marriage
 03/11/2010     The heart
 03/11/2010     Culture
 01/5/2010     Coats
 12/11/2009     Pete Seeger
 12/2/2009     Environmental Protest Songs
 10/5/2009     Adam & Eve
 06/18/2009     The World Rolls Along
 06/11/2009     Clearwater
 06/10/2009     The World Rolls Along
 06/10/2009     War Machine
 06/9/2009     alternative media
 06/9/2009     alternative media
 05/14/2008     God
 02/24/2008     broke
 02/11/2008     HOPE MACHINE
 01/6/2008     Dennis Kucinich
 12/27/2007     NYPD
 10/4/2007     Mitakuye Oyasin
 05/21/2007     The Past
 04/15/2007     Kurt Vonnegut, Indian Point
 10/8/2006     God
 06/26/2006     From the Pe Sla -the heart of the heart of Lakota sacred land -the Black Hills of South Dakota
 06/5/2006     Mowing The Lawn
 03/24/2006     Gone Gone Gone
 02/25/2006     grace
 09/26/2005     Sky To Mountain
 09/22/2005     Love
 09/14/2005     Look Down
 04/19/2005     April 2005
 01/27/2005     Poverty
 01/11/2005     Grace
 12/3/2004     Standing Up 2
 12/1/2004     Tired
 11/29/2004     Standing Up
 11/29/2004     Mercy
 09/18/2004     Beaten
 08/7/2004     Half Full
 07/16/2004     Hallelujia!
 07/16/2004     Battered Feathers
 03/14/2004     gifts
 03/1/2004     Ancestors
 03/1/2004     A Prayer
 12/24/2003     "The Bomb"
 05/16/2003     Safe
 05/16/2003     Satan
 05/5/2003     Faith, Hope, Love
 03/10/2003     Tatoo
 02/11/2003     Folk Music is alive and well!
 01/13/2003     Revolution
 01/2/2003     January 2003
 11/17/2002     FEAR
 11/9/2002     Election Day
 10/30/2002     Election Day
 10/14/2002     Checkpoint Charlie
 06/17/2002     Revolution
 06/3/2002     Gold
 06/3/2002     WAGE LOVE!
 06/3/2002     Mercy
 06/3/2002     New World Order?
 04/4/2002     Real?
 04/4/2002     Billboards
 04/4/2002     Faith
 03/22/2002     Living into the 21st century
 03/22/2002     Comfort
 03/22/2002     Barren Ground
 03/22/2002     Dreams
 03/14/2002     March 11, 2002
 02/25/2002     Germany
 12/14/2001     NOW
 09/19/2001     September 11, 2001
 08/6/2001     #5 Taking Responsibility
 07/12/2001     Television
 06/11/2001     #3: Sprawl
 05/16/2001     #2
 05/16/2001     #1


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