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.

April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail