FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Tea Party, Thinking a Revolutionary Vision

Before Linda Oblack, Chris Kupersmith, and Jeanne Leimkuhler could proceed with plans for a “journal of revolutionary thought,” they had to decide just what the phrase means. Their conclusion was necessarily simple and powerful.

“Our mission is revolutionary,” Oblack writes in the introduction to the premier issue of Tea Party: A Journal of Revolutionary Thought. “Our mission is to make people think.”

Published twice a year by the Center for Sustainable Living and financed by contributions from area businesses and individuals, Tea Party is a collection of essays, poems, and musings from some of Southern Indiana’s most thoughtful and revolutionary writers, thinkers, poets, and political activists. The premier issue – September 2002 ? is indeed a revolutionary document, as envisioned by Oblack, Kupersmith, and Leimkuhler.

Think about these words from “Give me liberty or give me debt” by James Alexander Thom: “He who is in debt is not free. He who is not in debt is free. He who fears the loss of his stuff is not free. He who has no such fear is free.”

Or these from “Funny Money, Anyone?” by Jen Weiss: “So how did it go so terribly wrong? How did we end up with a culture that is absolutely obsessed with acquiring money and material possessions? Is there any way out?”

Or these from “Can Our Community Make Sound Environmental Decisions?” by Lynton K. Caldwell: “The challenge to this community, and others like it, is to discover the route to a sustainable future of desired quality and equity. This task requires an interchange of information and ideas, and an unbiased assessment of the most reliable evidence available.”

***

Over Cuban black bean soup, salad, bread, and wine at Oblack’s cozy near Northwest side home, the trio that evolved from a larger group of like-minded activists as the driving forces behind Tea Party says the goal is broader than just to make people think. It’s to make them think in new ways.

“This is information that they wouldn’t normally get,” says Oblack. “They’re not going to get this through the traditional media.”

As the concept for Tea Party developed and the initial group shrunk through attrition, IU Press editor Oblack, Center for Sustainable Living board member Kupersmith, and graphic designer Leimkuhler discovered they had similar visions and worked well together. They formed the core that produced the first issue and is now planning a second for March 2003, which will feature perspectives on sustainability from the writers under 30.

They discussed at length the question of whether to publish hard copies, online, or both, decided on both, and set out to raise the money for printing and distribution. At the same time, they sought writers, and had no problem finding cash or scribes. Letters and personal visits to potential contributors easily raised the $1,500 or so needed to pay for printing. “Even Wendell Berry said he would contribute,” Oblack says.

The first issue was published in September, with Oblack offering readers insight and advice on the pieces that appear: “Herewith are some thoughts written by people like you. Read their thoughts and see if you like them; agree with them; have further thoughts; or if they make you want to write your own thoughts down.”

***

Putting the “Eco” Back in to Economics Karyn Moskowitz

“Coming to grips with economics is the key to understanding the forces behind the destruction of our planet. A small but significant group of progressive economists are beginning to put the ‘eco’ back into economics, and utilize it to protect the planet.”

“It is imperative that all people interested in the protection of our planet try to grasp some of these progressive economic concepts. Below we will see some examples of economic concepts that are often ignored by conventional economists ? quality of life, ecosystem services, and a revision of economic geography.”

Night Pains Julia Dadds

“Our children wake gasping, choking on air clogged with the debris of ambition.”

“By the Curious Standard of the GDP ” Sustainability and Our National Accounts Christine Glaser

“Currently the USA and most other countries in the world use national accounting systems that tell us we are doing better, when in reality we might be using up our wealth, creating liabilities for the future, or staying incredibly busy just mitigating the side-effects of our so-called prosperity.”

Decay is the undeniable right of all sentient beings The Trouble Collective

“The eternal life of decay waits constantly to be realized. Death has never existed and never will.”

Think about this Paul Martens

“Local environmentalists believe that commercial logging in State Forests has many detrimental effects, such as erosion, destruction of wildlife habitat, and pollution to an area that should be protected and allowed to remain wild.”

Unword Yourself Milton Figen

“‘One doeth not own property,’ He did say, ‘but property owneth one.’ Such an unWestern deity.”

Endangered Species Thomas Tokarski

I walk home in silence. The pond will be quiet tonight. My sleep will be disturbed by the coming apart of assumed order, the reforming of truth into strange shapes with strange needs driven by forces that we the people conceived but do not control.

Give me liberty or give me debt James Alexander Thom:

“We are not properly taught that there is something more precious than stuff, or that we have to trade off that precious something to get the stuff. That precious something is one of the most important kinds of liberty: economic freedom.”

Funny Money, Anyone? Jen Weiss

“What we really need is a brand new purple dollar bill with Alice Walker and ‘In Goddess We Trust’ on it. Seriously, if the U.S. Treasury would authorize something like that, we would up the pace of human evolution to warp speed.”

“Examining what you believe about money is a powerful act. Most people would rather not think about it. Money is a highly charged, button pushing, trigger pulling subject that’s bound to bring up some mixed emotions no matter who you are.”

Can Our Community Make Sound Environmental Decisions? Lynton K. Caldwell

“The course of wisdom now is to ascertain as best we may from the most reliable evidence available, the probable destination of the course toward which we are in fact headed and to project the most probable route toward a destination optimal for the preservation of life in our community, in our county, and on the Earth.”

Tea Party: A Journal of Revolutionary Thought is available online at http://teaparty.indstate.edu is provided free to members of the Center for Sustainable Living, and is for sale for $2 per copy through a variety of local venues.

STEVEN HIGGS is the editor of the Bloomington Alternative. He can be reached at: editor@BloomingtonAlternative.com

 

More articles by:

Steven Higgs is an environmental journalist and photographer living in Bloomington, Ind. He owns and operates Natural Bloomington: Ecotours and More. His new book A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana is scheduled for release by Indiana University Press on April 20, 2016.

Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail