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Writing for the future...Your Tarot or mine?

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
November 5, 1998


I swear the earth shall be complete to him or her who shall be complete, The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and broken. — Walt Whitman

As I write this the November 1998 elections are a mere four days away, and my crystal ball is completely out of whack. Perhaps this has to due with a bias that permeates my treehugging soul, or it could be in direct correlation to the fact that greed and convenience has a way of eclipsing common sense. All I know is that once again San Diego's Coastal North County has weathered yet another season of ugly accusation and misguided priorities.

Isn't it ironic that the last weekend before the election is Halloween. The only thing scarier than little kids dressed up like Barney and the Teletubbies, are the political ads running on every station, and in every newspaper. I don't know about you, but I am sure this is not what our founding fathers had in mind when they came up with the concept of freedom of speech.

And then there is the whole sign thing. Not only does it turn adults into spiteful children, the signs only serve to clutter our communities, only to end up being thrashed and trashed. If you ask me, political signs are a waste of money, and more importantly a waste of trees.

Does it occur to anyone that these signs are are placed as away for the issues to be ignored why the candidates and there supporters squabble over who stole who's signs. Personally I would rather have them talking about the best way to encourage environmental restoration within the region.

Halloween is a time of new beginnings, I can only hope that there are no tricks this season, only treats. The treats I am looking forward to have nothing to do with candy and cavities, in fact the only thing I will ask for when I go door to door on the morning of October 31st is that voters cast ballots based on a sense of what is truly important. I just pray that voters avoid the razor blades hidden in the apples of over-development.

Being a pagan who considers himself an urban druid, I look forward to this night. All Hallows Eve is a high holiday which could be compared to New Years Eve complete with the rituals of funny hats and over consumption. Isn't it a shame this holiday has to be marred by sticks and stones and a national witch-hunt. Skeletons in the closet and monsters under the bed are no longer taboo, in fact they have become fodder in some made up anthropocentric game of tug-o-war.

For the election this year I am suggesting that everyone come as an environmentalist. There are all sorts of ways to dress up. If you are into hiking and biking you can attire yourself in the manner of John Muir, centrist and practical. Or you could wear the costume of an eco-terrorist, all you really need to pull that off you wrap yourself in the truth, and carry a monkey wrench. I would also suggest red around the eyes to represent pepper spray burns.

The only green that should be considered is the kind that comes gently into this world, not the stuff you shove in your wallet at every opportunity. The first sustains us, the latter is unsustainable. Green forest and fields once covered this continent, only to be replaced by a red, white, and blue sense of entitlement. I just hope the masks are removed before ballots are cast, we'll see.

It is difficult not knowing what will have happened by the time you are reading this. What am I writing into? How have we decided, as a region, the fate of the back country? Have we have elected representatives to our city councils that will work towards a quality of life that includes native plants and animals, open space, mass transit, and coastal restoration that goes beyond trucking in sand.

The political tone has been set for the next two-years.

So here I sit writing this column, about to prepare the costume I will wear to the 2nd Annual Monster Meltdown. At first I considered going as Charlie Manson or the Unabomber, but why dwell in the past. Instead I am going as Cernunnos, Horned God of the Forest. Man living in balance with nature is along way off, so until then I will dress the part and hope that the tricks were confined to the weekend.

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