Photo credit: B. Bartel/USFWS
We know that most of our readers on this platform, and most guests we serve at the various properties we have developed and managed over the years, care deeply about primary forests and the ecosystems they support. Here is a chance to vocalize together with one of the influential organizers of vocalization:
They’re about to start their chainsaws. Timber companies are trying to clearcut one of the most primeval wild places — and this is our last chance to stop them.
Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is nothing short of magical: it contains centuries-old trees and one-of-a-kind wilderness, home to animals like Alexander Archipelago wolves and bald eagles. Your voice is needed to pressure Congress to bring an end to old growth logging and save the Tongass for our children and grandchildren.
Take action today to save the Tongass National Forest.
The true élite of modern societies is composed of engineers, mechanics, and artisans—masters of reality, not big thinkers. Illustration by Leigh Guldig
One of our favorite essayists (for exemplary reasons, see here, and here, and here) makes a compelling case for our taking a good look at the foundation of our assumptions, in this age of model mad.
His several essays in the months preceding and following the 2016 Brexit referendum and the USA election were impassioned, but this one in the form of a triple-book-review hits the mark the best, reminding us of the basic premises of the Enlightenment and how that matters now more than ever:
Of all the prejudices of pundits, presentism is the strongest. It is the assumption that what is happening now is going to keep on happening, without anything happening to stop it. If the West has broken down the Berlin Wall and McDonald’s opens in St. Petersburg, then history is over and Thomas Friedman is content. If, by a margin so small that in a voice vote you would have no idea who won, Brexit happens; or if, by a trick of an antique electoral system designed to give country people more power than city people, a Donald Trump is elected, then pluralist constitutional democracy is finished. The liberal millennium was upon us as the year 2000 dawned; fifteen years later, the autocratic apocalypse is at hand. Thomas Friedman is concerned. Continue reading
Timbers specializes in offbeat revisionist fantasies about historical figures.Photograph by Pari Dukovic for The New Yorker
Our goal, linking out to stories like this, is not to politicize this platform; it is to showcase creative problem-solving, akin to our fascination with and commitment to entrepreneurial conservation. That is what we mean by model mad. We are wary, and weary of the name of the polarizing figure, but resolutely curious to read about how others are dealing with it. Even with a title like A PROTEST MUSICAL FOR THE TRUMP ERA we know it will deliver on the creative side rather than the political. Thanks to Rebecca Mead for a well-focused message:
Five actors gathered in a room on Lafayette Street, in downtown Manhattan, to start rehearsing a new work for the Public Theatre, “Joan of Arc: Into the Fire.” Written by David Byrne, formerly of the Talking Heads, the show recast the enduring, improbable story of Joan—a teen-age girl in medieval France who experienced divine visions, led an army to defeat an occupying power, and was burned at the stake for heresy—as a rock musical that spoke to the current political moment. Continue reading
This banner was displayed during the last 12 hours across more than one of the news websites we monitor daily, perhaps showing up on our browsers because of our featuring a reference to Patagonia’s activism here. We had also recently noted their action on Bears Ears. Regardless of why this banner ad reached us, we are happy to extend its reach. Click above if you are in a position to explore and take action on this particular campaign.
[Update: this post was originally published 48 hours ago but it definitely needs further attention so please do listen to Marcus]
This book came out late last year, and ever since I started sharing links to this man’s wonders a of couple years ago, I keep watching for more reasons to do so; he always moves me. Today, again. Below is a link to a podcast he recently recorded to promote the book above. The conversation is artful. Powerful.
Marcus is an immigrant to the USA, so his reflections on recent policy shifts in the ultimate country of immigrants are worth a listen even if you are not a foodie. If those observations do not move you, all I can say is wow. It fits the “model mad” theme we have been linking to in recent weeks–people and organizations speaking out and creatively resisting when something is wrong; and doing so at risk of significant loss. Continue reading
A new anthology of the work of Harry Belafonte, pictured here in the nineteen-forties or fifties, reiterates his standing in American music. PHOTOGRAPH BY BETTMANN / GETTY
There was an editorial a few days ago that alerted us to the birthdays of two buddies, each on icon in his own right, who have 70 years of solidarity in the tough times, and best of times too. It also alerted us to the time since our last post with the model mad theme, so here is one more:
By Amanda Petrusich
Sixty-one years ago, in 1956, Harry Belafonte recorded a version of the Jamaican folk song “Day-O,” for his third studio album, “Calypso.” It opens with a distant and eager rumbling—as if something dark and hulking were approaching from a remote horizon. Belafonte—who was born in Harlem in 1927, but lived with his grandmother in a wooden house on stilts in Aboukir, a mountain village in Jamaica, for a good chunk of his childhood—bellows the title in a clipped island pitch. The instrumentation is spare and creeping. His voice bounces and echoes as it moves closer. It sounds like a call to prayer. Continue reading
In the face of Trump, many artists report feelings of paralysis. Should they carry on as before, nobly defying the ruination of public discourse? Or seize on a new mission, abandoning the illusion of aesthetic autonomy? PHOTOGRAPH BY ERICH AUERBACH/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY
Alex Ross asks the right question, in our view of the importance of finding a new model of behavior to reflect mad, with his opening question and the whole first paragraph prepares you for a worthy read:
What is the point of making beautiful things, or of cherishing the beauty of the past, when ugliness runs rampant? Those who work in the realm of the arts have been asking themselves that question in recent weeks. Continue reading
Golden State point guard Stephen Curry is one of Under Armour’s highest-paid endorsers. Credit Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via Reuters.
Still no shortage of model mad stories two weeks in to this series. Are we all ready to “jump off” like this man, who put a good portion of his livelihood on the line to speak his mind:
Stephen Curry became the latest athlete to weigh in on President Trump when he took issue with comments made about the president by the chief executive of his primary sponsor, Under Armour.
In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Under Armour’s Kevin Plank described Trump as “a real asset” to the country.
In an interview on Wednesday with The San Jose Mercury News, Curry responded, Continue reading
The Cold War–era writings of the Czech writer Václav Havel offer ideas on how dissidents can resist “the irrational momentum of anonymous, impersonal, and inhuman power.”PHOTOGRAPH BY MIROSLAV ZAJIC / CORBIS VIA GETTY
This post by Pankaj Mishra fits the bill for the theme we have been following, as the excerpted several paragraphs below will illustrate:
…Born in 1936, Havel came of age in Czechoslovakia, whose Communist rulers repeatedly imprisoned and continuously surveilled him while suppressing many of his writings. Defiant right until 1989, when he engineered the fall of the Communist regime, Havel came to be celebrated in the West as a “dissident,” a word commonly used to describe many in Communist countries who valiantly struggled against a pitiless despotism. Continue reading
Mother Jones staffers celebrate after winning the 2017 Magazine of the Year award.
We are not normally watching awards shows, but this story catches our attention because of some notable winners in the world of magazines, some of which we monitor regularly for stories relevant to our purpose. And in particular at this moment, when we have been monitoring the news for examples of creative protest, we realize that we had neglected or avoided some of these publications because of their partisan positioning (there is enough of that without our joining in). But this magazine today joins our list of regularly monitored sources because they have been relentlessly pursuing important stories, for a long time: Continue reading
“K+L+32+H+4. Mon père et moi (My Father and I)” right, by Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times
When the two words model mad first occurred to us, it was simply to thank one of our favorite people for continuing to resist wrongness in new, clever manner, without losing his cool and thereby keeping it effective. Since then we have found a story almost every day that illustrates the fertile ground of protest created in recent times. And today, thanks to the New York Times, we see another one:
President Trump’s executive order banning travel and rescinding visas for citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations does not lack for opponents in New York — from Kennedy Airport, where striking taxi drivers joined thousands of demonstrators, to the United Nations, whose new secretary general, António Guterres, said the measures “violate our basic principles.”
Now the Museum of Modern Art — which in past decades has cultivated a templelike detachment — is making its voice heard as well. In one of the strongest protests yet by a major cultural institution, the museum has reconfigured its fifth-floor permanent-collection galleries — interrupting its narrative of Western Modernism, from Cézanne through World War II — to showcase contemporary art from Iran, Iraq and Sudan, whose citizens are subject to the ban. A Picasso came down. Matisse, down. Ensor, Boccioni, Picabia, Burri: They made way for artists who, if they are alive and abroad, cannot see their work in the museum’s most august galleries. (A work from a Syrian artist has been added to the film program. The other affected countries are Somalia, Yemen and Libya.) Continue reading
Thanks to the New Yorker website for this one. No image required. These two paragraphs say plenty about a model mad governor of one state of the union that is resisting the dark clouds of the new political climate, but do read the whole post:
…“At my age, I can go pretty solidly for twelve hours,” Brown, who is fifty-six years old, said. “So, if you have a nine-to-five job, that gives you a couple of hours to be at your local airport to protest the immigration order. Continue reading
Travis Kalanick wrote in an email to Uber staff on Thursday that he stepped down after he spoke with Trump about his immigration executive order ‘and its issues for our community’. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
We appreciate the Guardian’s continued attention to stories that illustrate model mad
actions, wherever or however they might happen. The fertility of the soil, the richness of the ecosystem in which people are expressing themselves in novel model mad manner, is helping us imagine we will see through the dark cloud sooner rather than later:
Utah’s congressional delegation has vigorously fought to open Ute tribal land, currently partially protected by the Bears Ears National Monument, above, to drilling. Photograph: Francisco Kjolseth/AP
Thanks to the Guardian for first bringing this to our attention, another example of model mad, and a pretty big deal too:
A women’s march in Fairbanks, Alaska, last month. The movement inspired a group of scientists to organize their own demonstration in Washington. Credit Robin Wood/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, via Associated Press
We have not had a shortage of model mad stories, which may be the silver lining to the cloud, so thanks to the Science section of the New York Times for this contribution:
Within a week of its creation, the March for Science campaign had attracted more than 1.3 million supporters across Facebook and Twitter, cementing itself as a voice for people who are concerned about the future of science under President Trump.
Now, hoping to transform that viral success into something approaching the significance of the women’s march last month, the campaign has scheduled its demonstration in Washington for Earth Day, April 22. Continue reading
Multiple Twitter accounts claiming to be run by members of the National Park Service and other U.S. agencies have appeared since the Trump administration’s apparent gag order. The account owners are choosing to remain anonymous. David Calvert/Getty Images
Thanks to Wynne Davis at National Public Radio (USA) for It’s Not Just The Park Service: ‘Rogue’ Federal Twitter Accounts Multiply, another example of model mad:
“Rogue” accounts that have the look of those by real federal agencies are spreading like wildfire on Twitter.
The AltUSNatParkService Twitter account has gained more than 1 million followers and inspired the creation of many more “unofficial resistance” accounts for specific national parks and other entities, including accounts like Rogue NASA and AltUSForestService. Continue reading
Thanks to EcoWatch for identifying these companies for speaking out, as is their right and responsibility as much as their self-interest–a good self-interest in conservation–and providing another example of model mad, corporate style:
The most anticipated outdoor recreation event of the year just finished in Salt Lake City, Utah, where hundreds of outdoor brands from small business outfitters to industry pioneers like Patagonia and Black Diamond Equipment gathered to witness the cutting-edge in outdoor gear. Continue reading
The website itself is not exactly scintillating, but click the banner above to read the mission statement. Better yet, read Ed Yong’s scintillating explanation of how and why this organization came to be, and what it is doing:
For American science, the next four years look to be challenging. The newly inaugurated President Trump, and many of his Cabinet picks, have repeatedly cast doubt upon the reality of human-made climate change, questioned the repeatedly proven safety of vaccines. Since the inauguration, the administration has already frozen grants and contracts by the Environmental Protection Agency and gagged researchers at the US Department of Agriculture. Many scientists are asking themselves: What can I do? Continue reading
Redwood national park in California. Photograph: Jeffrey Schwartz/Alamy
We like what we see of the madly determined folks risking their professional careers in the interest of the environment and social justice:
PHOTOGRAPH BY DOUG MILLS / THE NEW YORK TIMES / REDUX
Bill McKibben is the founder of 350.org and we have posted on him so many times in the past for his environmental and other forms of activism we sometimes forget that he also has a day job, as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College. Today he posted in a manner that captures well what we meant when we used the word mad, and qualified our intent to remain madly determined:
…There’s not the slightest evidence that Americans want laxer environmental laws. A poll released last week showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans would prefer that the E.P.A.’s powers be preserved or strengthened. Solar power, meanwhile, polls somewhere in the neighborhood of ice cream among Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike. Continue reading