Evolving Peace

A site that is progressing for the goal of everlasting peace within ourselves, our family, our friends, our country and our planet !

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

IBM: Tax Cut and Run


Once again another multi national corporation puts the screws into the community they are supposedly supporting. News headlines in Vermont broadcasted that IBM is to lay off workers in some of their facilities throughout the country. Vermont’s Essex location is to bear their share with ninety employees forced out and onto the unemployment lines. What is so ironic is that Vermont politicians have been coddling IBM in order to prevent such measures. While IBM (International Business Machines) further exports American jobs to China and other countries, politicos like our own Governor Jim Douglass, Republican and “conservative” Democrats grovel over how to concede to them.

Just recently, a claim from opponents of the Global Warming Bill had used IBM as a reason why they could not support a tax on Vermont Yankee as it would send a wrong message to the business community. Well there goes that message; instead IBM has just sent its employees and the community a message that it just does not give a hoot about Vermont. Ironically, the potential savings from the Global Warming bill could have provided IBM would have offset any cost measures and would have virtually let them retain employees. Extra revenue offsets are as well about to come from reassessment of their facilities in Essex, it seems while every residential property’s values have gone up, big business’s assessments have gone down, thus lower taxes for an extremely profitable corporation.

Additionally, while our governor was out gallivanting around China to search out lucrative trade opportunities for Vermont companies, IBM seemed to have other intentions. It appears that IBM’s plans are just to process computer chips in Vermont and then ship them around the globe to be installed in one of their other facilities. I guess that is what is mean by exporting. A lot of talk has been made by the Governor of the opportunities for trade; however a simple fact that IBM is responsible for eighty percent of Vermont’s foreign trade is a scary statistic since that it is an unfinished product that quite possibly could be completed here in Vermont; however the greener pastures of lower wages and less environmental regulations have tempted IBM to displace Vermont and American jobs.

While, American and Vermont workers struggle to pay their bills, pay for healthcare or educate their children America’s glorious corporations bypass America for their needs of enriching their executives and stock holders. Neither America nor Vermont should cow toe to these mammoth international conglomerations because it is quite evident that the community they do business in is just another tool for them to exploit. And for that matter the politicians who advocate the corporate line, have to go…

Peace
Robb Kidd

“You name the large multinational corporation, many of which make substantial campaign contributions to both political parties, and they're on the Export-Import welfare line. Needless to say, many of these same companies receiving taxpayer support pay exorbitant salaries and benefits to their CEOs. IBM, for example, gave their former CEO Lou Gerstner over $260 million in stock options while they were lining up for their Export-Import handouts.” Senator Bernard Sanders while a Congressman.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Earth First, Not Later

How many Environmentalists does it take to change a light bulb?

Ten: One to write the light bulb a letter requesting that it change. Four to circulate online petitions. One to file a lawsuit demanding it change. One to send the light bulb loving kindness, knowing that this is the only way real change occurs. One to accept the light bulb precisely the way it is; clear in the knowledge that not to accept another is to great harm to oneself. One to write a book about how and why the light bulb needs to change. And finally, one to smash the fucking light bulb because we all know it’s never going to change.

This joke although harsh, express quite truthfully the status of the environmentally movement today. I borrowed this joke from Derrick Jensen's book, endgame Volume 1, The Problem of Civilization. The concerns of the environment are showing a bleak future for the existence of humanity and that the ecological balance is not to be taken as lightly as displayed by modern life. It is wonderful that we have countless individuals standing up to the ways of modernity but frankly there is a prevalent need for more radical approaches.

As witnessed throughout the globe, dramatic changes in climate patterns are already happening and countless ecological calamities are becoming the norm. The world is facing food shortages, water shortages and soon to be energy shortages. While certain politicians and special interests groups (i.e. corporations) hide behind denial and economic uncertainty the fate of civilization becomes gloomier. While I ponder actions that may subvert the impending calamities I fear that too many people are lost in an oblivious world. I and countless others can write, protest, speak and alter our lives; however this may not be effective unless mass universal change consumes the human consciousness.

I consider myself an environmentalist, some may say a radical environmentalist, but to answer that charge, I am just a man with visions. Radical is not speaking out what is truth, nor is it radical to speak out what needs to be done. Point one; man has significantly altered the ecology of the planet by its incessant desires of consuming more goods. Point two, oil and water resources are finite and continuation of filling those needs is going to result in chaos. Point three, unless drastic changes are made in lifestyles in the industrial world as well as modeling it to the “developing” world the dire predicament we are facing will get worse.

So as you may attest, I am not radical for I speak my truth, what is radical is the continual denial of action. In this case it is far more dangerous to not speak and for that I call as being radical. A definition according to Merriam Websters is as follows:

a: marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional : extreme b: tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions c: of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change d: advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs.

While yes, I am advocating a different measure of the so called norm, however in reality what has been instituted for the last century has been a considerable departure from the “usual or traditional” and that is how we have gotten in this predicament. Man had lived in peaceful coexistence with nature for thousands of years and it was not until the “Industrial Revolution” had full scale environmental degradation began. Industrial agriculture, pollution from fossil fuels and wide scale eroding of the natural landscape are the repercussions of modern life. In the not to distant past humans practiced conservation, sustainable farming and lived a life without the needs of plastics and cable television. The manufactured reality of Madison Avenue and Wall Street is the true radicalism of today and that is what is destroying the planet.

The referenced joke stated “one to smash the fucking light bulb because we all know it’s never going to change” is the harsh reality of modern life. We are in desperate need of reverting back to the more traditional ways of living in harmony with nature. If man fails to see the looming catastrophes ahead then those who advocate extreme measures may be justified. I am not suggesting that blowing up dams, spiking of trees, or arson of animal laborites are needed, it is just that when circumstances reach a certain level there will be those who see drastic actions like those as being the only recourse to confront the insanity of modernity. (Note: those actions above are considered to be eco-terrorism and there have been more people arrested and placed under surveillance by the authorities under the guise of Homeland security than foreign born terrorists.) Man is at the pinnacle of environmental destruction and a serious return to a life of sustainability is the path that needs to be taken, else wise we are doomed.

Peace
Robb Kidd

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” Edward Abbey

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Market of Farmers, For Health


In my more recent history, I have succumbed to a fondness of obtaining fresh produce at the local farmers market. What is surprising to me is that it has only become a newer resolve into my shopping habits for basic provisions. For years I had not visited farmers markets for multiple reasons. But as my new found awakening has arrived I realize the great importance of the local farmers market to the community.

First off, as a youth I was raised with parents who extensively gardened throughout the summer season. Their affinity to gardening was not for a desire to grow fresh nutritious produce but as a weapon of economic frugality. A summer diet for me consisted of every recipe under the sun that included broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers and yellow squash. Of course as a kid, I blew that off in disgust and wanted a juicy hamburger instead. Now, in my latter years, I wish I could pick up that genetic propensity to garden however I do not have a green thumb for I have even killed a chi-a-pet in my past. So, with my quest for more natural foods, the farmers market has been a great supplement to my dietary needs.

Here in Montpelier, the farmers market has been running strong for thirty years. Quite impressive for this country since we have virtually replaced a strong rooted agrarian culture with the modern day processed food industry. (The above picture is from the Halifax, Nova Scotia’s farmer market, the oldest farmers market in North America.) The majority of foods produced in the American diet are concoctions of either the highly subsidized corn or soy industry. Cheap foods have flourished with the excess production of corn. One look at food ingredients will show most times that high-fructose corn syrup or some other corn derivative is the number one ingredient. Some claim that this shows the great ingenuity of America, however if it were not for the 3 billion dollar subsidy to corn production we would not have access to that much corn. What that means is that without cheap subsidies Americans would not be able to get cheap Coca-Cola or cheap Chicken McNuggets.

American’s are waking up today and realizing that America’s food supply is faulty. We are either inundated with poly-saturated fats or corn sugars that are linked to diabetes and other food related health problems. Even worse, it seems like at least once a week were are informed of another product recall, whether it be Skippy Peanut Butter, Spinach from a factory farm or the health food Veggie Booty. The American food system is not safe and the return to small local farmers markets is the best opportunity to correct that. As a consumer, I like to know the farmer and where the produce was grow. For the farmers, they are given an opportunity to sell the products directly to consumers without being side-swiped by a commodity driven market and therefore given a fair price for their labor.

I just returned from the farmers markets and I am thrilled to know that the fresh produce I bought will help sustain the multiple farms within my community. My purchase instead of enriching the executive of the Shaw’s supermarket or the ledger sheet of Archer Daniels Midland(ADM) is helping maintain the economic viability of the surrounding landscape while at same time enhancing my quality of life. Eat healthy and support your local farmers.

Peace
Robb Kidd

“The fight to save family farms isn't just about farmers. It's about making sure that there is a safe and healthy food supply for all of us. It's about jobs, from Main Street to Wall Street. It's about a better America.” Willie Nelson

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No to LNG


As I settle back into my virtual and reality world of Montpelier, Vermont I contemplate the plethora of issues I can write about. Latest news in Vermont, still is brewing over the failure of the Vermont Legislature to override the governors veto of the Global Warming Bill/ Vermont Yankee tax and now the Democratic leadership’s has set forth an agenda to legalize marriage. However with those issues on the forefront I have decided to tackle another issue. In my previous post I wrote about our connections to our Canadian brethrens and therefore having spent some time visiting their land, I would like to reach out and help broadcast their message.

Along the Bay of Fundy, there is a quaint hamlet of a town called St. Andrews, not having traveled there before I am not that well informed of its history but of casual observance it is a nice vacation village that has not been disrupted from tourist commercialization. Scattered throughout the town there are signs saying no to LNG. Of course with my natural curiosity I had to look into their concerns and determine what it is all about. Well, it turns out there is plan to install Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG) terminals along the coastline and to many of the residents of the region there is deep concerns regarding the environmental impact of having supper tankers upsetting the natural environment and as well as the potentials for explosive catastrophes.

I am diametrically opposed to the large scale shipments of fossil fuel sources and to that matter I support those in opposition to development of these terminals. Alternative sources of energy are in high demand and instead of investing in alternate sources global international corporations are trying to exploit the natural environments to increase profits. As I see signs of angst against these plans I pontificate on what actions I can do to help support such a cause. While I am not a resident of St. Andrews nor do I have any plans for a future visit, I too do not want to see any future devastation to its scenic coastline.

So sitting here in my enclave within the Green Mountain State of Vermont, what can I do to help their cause? Yes, I do not use liquefied natural gas but for every effort I do to personal use an environmental sustainable fuel source maybe just by chance that will help decrease the demand for polluting energy sources. While liquefied natural gas may not be as pollutant as say coal or oil it still has a negative effect on our environment and the less I use of polluting fuels and the greater development of alternative energy sources there will not be a need to destroy harbors for the sake of shipping.

I am hundreds of miles away from St. Andrews, New Brunswick and while I sit home and contemplate my future, I await a future where each individual community/region will have safe, clean and renewable energy sources so that the natural environment no longer has to be compromised to fuel our obsessions of energy. The status of what goes on in St. Andrews may not affect you, but maybe it will affect you in Cape May, NJ or the Oregon Coast if you keep your eyes closed.

Peace
Robb Kidd

“The cause of violence is not ignorance. It is self-interest. Only reverance can restrain violence - reverance for human life and the environment.” William Sloan Coffin

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Canadian Exile-Holiday


I have returned from my self imposed exile to the great North Country (Canada) and have been out of touch with the political mustering of this country’s affairs. I must say it was a pleasure stepping back and removing myself from the chaotic and turbulent times of American politics; however I have gained a lot of respect for our Canadian brethrens. While we Americans ponder our ego-centric one-dimensional world view there is a whole another world pontificating just to the north of us and unlike Americans they seem to be more aware of the world around them than just their own little sphere.

I must admit I virtually do not know a thing about Canada politics, while of the Canadians I talked to in Canada many were quite astute to our happenings. One such conversation began with “I suppose your not to happy with President Bush” and then he began to inform me of their patsy Prime Minister Stephen Harper being in the pocket of Bush. Just to inform you up until today I kept referring him as being Tony Harper. I guess I relate him to being a stooge for Bush just like Tony Blair of the UK. Anyway upon further discussion and mentioning that I live in Vermont, it was even brought up that Vermont and the Atlantic Provinces all should succeed from their unions and form a whole different country, I was told that like Vermont the Atlantic Provinces were an anomaly

So anyway, although I am highly political I tended to keep my words under my hat while within my travels. Even to the point while crossing the border I removed my hat that has a button on it stating “The Patriot Act: Turning Citizens into suspects since 2001.” I did not want to see any over-zealous border agent or Canadian Royal Mounted Police crack down on me. We all now how much the Canadian government has played patsy to America’s “War of Terror.” I did make some exceptions such as signing a few guest books stating Americans for Impeachment and Earth First, and the relocation of “Support Your Troops” magnetic ribbons to their SUV’s gas tanks.) A short time ago I had joked upon moving to Vermont that at least I was one step closer to the freedom of Canada, but upon closer circumspection I realize that they are not to far off in their governments allegiance to oil as is with President Bush.

Unknown, to most Americans, Canada is the largest exporter of oil to the United States and that explains the close relationship with the President and his failed policies to Prime Minister Harper, however I have faith in the Canadian system of government and they shall soon remove the minority Conservative dogma from any position of power. So as I have learned that sometimes the grass may be greener on the other side of the hill, I too realize that we must unite with our Canadian brethren and stand up to the multinational corporate fascists and take back our planet.

Peace
Robb Kidd

“Canadians have an abiding interest in surprising those Americans who have historically made little effort to learn about their neighbour to the North.”
Peter Jennings

Friday, July 13, 2007

Impeach or Conceed


In the last few days I have been receiving a lot of slack from people who feel that as if I have been hanging my Congressional Representative out to dry. Just to give some credit where it is due, I am much happier with Congressman Peter Welch’s representation than I am of my former Representative Scott Garrett (NJ’s 5th district) where every response seemed to be mimeographed from the Republican Party playbook; however the fundamentally question is weather Congress is upholding the Constitution still has not been answered.

While it does seem to be step up from what I had previously experienced it still does not make it acceptable that Congressman Welch does not want to answer the call of duty and support articles of impeachment. Congressman Kucinich of Ohio has entered articles of impeachment against Vice-President Cheney and so far ten other Congressman have followed suit. In the State of Vermont, where numerous towns passed resolutions in support of impeachment and so has the VT Senate the lone Vermont Congressman still fails to follow suit. The claim that it would be a waste of time or that it does not matter since the US Senate or other members of the House do not support the measure sets a dangerous precedent that will allow future presidents to do as they fell fit.

So when I read statements from other elected officials declaring their dismay of the President I am dismayed that many others haven’t followed suit. The following are words from Senator Barbara Boxer of California and not of Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers or Russ Feingold.

I've always said that you need to keep it on the table, and you need to look at these things, because now people are dying because of this administration. That's the truth. And they won't change course. They are ignoring the Congress. They keep signing these signing statements which mean that he's decided not to enforce the law. This is as close as we've ever come to a dictatorship. When you have a situation where Congress is stepped on, that means the American people are stepped on. So I don't think you can take anything off the table. Because in fact the Constitution doesn't permit us to take these things off the table.

And compare that to the weak statements by Congressman Peter Welch in a recent email:

From last November's elections, to public opinion polls, to the comments I hear from Vermonters every single day, the voice of the American people is loud and it is clear: it is time to end this war. No, it is well past time to end this war. Since the President refuses to act, Congress must.

Since the President refuses, Congress must make it clear that the United States will not maintain permanent military bases in Iraq.

Since the President refuses, Congress must denounce the use of torture and must finally close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

And since the President refuses, Congress must bring our troops home and ensure that they receive the care they deserve when they return.

What Congressman Welch and other Democratic Party hacks fail to realize is that the Constitution gives powers to Congress to redress these gripes against the Executive branch and by failing to use that prerogative he is allowing for this to become asclose as we've ever come to a dictatorship.”

So when I read statements such as “Since the President refuses to act, Congress must,” I am perplexed with the message. We the folks who feel that the President has violated laws and our constitution feel that the President refuses to act, so then therefore Congress must follow with impeachment, anything else is unacceptable and to me any Congressperson who fails to is at fault of not protecting the Constitution.

Peace
Robb Kidd

“When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal” Richard M. Nixon, so if we want to follow that route go ahead and not support impeachment.

PS. I will be away for the next week so, I will be out of touch with this virtual reality we call the internet, enjoy and when I return I visualize a great sea of change.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Impeach Pelosi and Chicken Hawks


Out along the Left Coast an earthquake is about to emerge in the city by the bay. Now I do not wish for a real earthquake to happen in San Francisco; however Cindy Sheehan is about to make some seismic fault lines upon the weak Democratic machine of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi who self appointed her dictation to the rest of the Democratic Party and claimed that “impeachment is off the table,” is now about to see the power of democracy. While Cindy Sheehan is about to throw her hat in the ring and challenge the weak impotent Nancy Pelosi for her Congressional seat I encourage others across the land to follow suit. In Vermont, I nominate Dan Dewalt for that call.

While Speaker Pelosi has dictated her will upon her faithful flock of chicken hawk Democrats the Bush/Cheney administration continues to ignore the rule of law and the will of the people. Let us remind the Democrats that we elected them to reverse course in America and as we sit on the sidelines more die in Iraq, individuals are still spied upon and secretly tortured and the detriment to our earth is further exasperated. It is nice to hear words from Democrats that they do not support the war nor the President and now we even a few token Republicans give lip service as well; however the truth of the matter is that until we remove the chief architects of this deceit America’s reputation will be permanently tarnished.

Here in Vermont, Peter Welch continually says his number one priority is to end the war, and says that impeachment would be a distraction from its resolve. I refute his claim and state that it is not his prerogative to follow Nancy Pelosi’s agenda but to follow the grassroots call of impeachment. For that reason, even though I tediously worked on his campaign and wrote numerous letters on behalf of his candidacy I am publicly declaring that I will not vote for Peter Welch unless he signs on to articles of impeachment. Likewise, since Peter appears not to listen to voice of the people I am recommending that we as a people vote for someone who truly understands Democracy and that is why I am recommending Dan Dewalt for Congress. A man who understands what freedom and democracy stands for.

Come on and take the Pledge.

I state your name so solemnly swear never to vote for a political candidate who 1. Refuses to uphold the Constitution and continues to allow an imperial President and Vice-President to do as they feel fit with our country or 2. Has supported the war directly or indirectly or. 3. Has supported other candidates who have voted for this war (including Obama, Clinton, and Edwards).

And therefore, I solemnly swear to only vote for candidates who have supported Articles of Impeachment for President Bush and Vice-President Cheney and those who clearly voted to defund the war immediately and have never once supported any measures of this illegal and immoral war.

Those who are failing to call for removal of the war’s architects are just as responsible as those who have orchestrated it. If you live in San Francisco say no to Nancy Pelosi and anywhere else in the country stand up and refuse to support the candidates of war and obstruction. Democracy calls for impeachment…

Peace
Robb Kidd

“Let's impeach the President for lyin'
And misleading our country into war
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And shipping all our money out the door
Who's the man who hired all the criminals?
The White House shadows who hide behind closed doors
They bend the facts to fit with their new story
Of why we had to send our men to war”- Neil Young..

Monday, July 09, 2007

Live Earth, Dead Culture...


For many years of my life I would have considered myself to be a cynical pessimist, but with the evolving of recent current events I have become a cynical optimist. Over the weekend we had seen a worldwide display of interest in solving the impending climate change crisis through Al Gore’s Live Earth Concert’s. I for one do believe that the consciousness of humanity is changing towards the better; however on the other hand I do believe that humanity has royally fucked things up, that dominating forces are still dictating policies that are destroying the planet and that the majority of the populace still just does not care.

Due to a birthday celebration for my godchild’s first birthday, I had removed myself from my eco-friendly compounds of the Green Mountain State and ventured into the suburban concrete jungles of New Jersey. New Jersey is home of the Meadowlands Sports Complex and Giants Stadium the venue for one of the Live Earth Concerts. Sounds nice The Meadowlands, but if you look closer it is mere irony that this “meadow land” had been plowed over to make room for a sports complex. The surrounding Hackensack River has been so polluted that I doubt if even a fish could survive its murky waters. Nestled along its banks are massive highways to shuttle herds of people to and from their jobs. Offices and industrial warehouses have too been plotted on this once natural environment but now just a haven for consumerism at its finest. A lovely place to hold a concert for the Earth and this is what the invite should have been...

Live Earth,

If you have a hundred and eighty dollars or more that you have earned working within the confines of your cubicle in some concrete asbestos laden office building selling stuff, you have the time to enjoy a summer day in a building made of materials harshly extracted from the lovely earth, you have an expensive fossil fuel burning vehicle to drive to the asphalt parking lots of what used to be meadows, and have the desire to consume beverages in disposable cups and eat unnatural chemically and genetically modified foods come hear your favorite millionaire entertainers perform live so you can show the world that you care about the earth.

Just a note, I thought about attending the concert but passed on it upon seeing the cynical irony of the situation. Amongst my visit I heard one redeeming quality of the event and that was “well at least it is getting people to talk about the issue.” I guess that is a step forward and that shows you my optimism.

On the other hand within thirty miles of that stadium are countless shopping malls, car dealerships and fast food joints and unfortunately while the tens of thousands were at this concert these “businesses” thrived and the consumer culture flourished. As well about thirty minutes from the stage of the Live Earth concert stands a Hummer Dealership. Passing by, it appears as if it is a model Fisher Price toy garage, except in this case it is for overgrown and irresponsible adults instead of children. To me it is offensive for it is at my birthplace of Mahwah, NJ and also coincidentally the hometown of the poet Joyce Kilmer, who wrote the poem Trees. The irony of American culture where a poem about the magnificence of Trees was written now stands a symbol of environmental degradation. In the age when humanity is supposedly caring about the earth, the Hummer stands out and shows the epitome of modern American culture and how humanity just does not give a hoot.

We can talk as much as we want about the issues but until each one of us stops believing the myth that economic production and consumption is man’s destiny our planet will continually be destroyed. It is not a debate of paper or plastic for your shopping bag, but merely how much consumption is enough. I as an individual have done many things to lessen my personal impact on the planet, however my own chooses may be futile unless each one of my friends, neighbors and complete strangers do more than just attend a concert for the earth.

Peace
Robb Kidd

Trees by
Joyce Kilmer

THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Virtual Independence


As I embark on my journey for the Independence Day Holiday, I mark the beginning of my personal declaration of independence from the age of computers for a few days. Modern society has become so subservient to computers that our individualized relations with people have become splintered from reality. The question to be raised is that with all the advancements of modern technology has man evolved or has it digressed?

I worry about the advent of modern technology that people have lost focus on their connections to the natural world and most importantly people. One could walk the streets of New York, a city composed of millions of people and not have a single conversation with a live human being. Instead of conversing with the coffee shop attendant, door man, or neighbor one could easily immerse themselves with conversation via cell-phone with someone thousands of miles away. Society has become misplaced by a sea of strangers gasping for connection and our technology has become an enormous vacuum sucking the life away from our interactions.

As a society, we have Email, Instant Message and Text Message, where as instead of plain conversation society is ghastly consumed with the latest fast paced technological craze. Although, I will still be using my cell phone on my upcoming journey I am going to remove myself from the virtual world of computers. I am going to remove myself from writing my blog, checking my email and reading the latest travesty we call news, for the real world of living and communicating in person will be right in front of me. The news will happen, other blogs will be written and of course my inbox will be filled like my real mailbox outside my house. The world will not stop if I am not wired, so therefore I am going unplugged for the next week. Happy Independence Day, and may you have the freedom to be who you are.

Peace
Robb Kidd

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Albert Einstein.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Times Are A Changin' ?


Most likely you’ll go your way and I’ll go mine was the lyric of the night for me at the Champlain Valley Expo where music icon Bob Dylan performed to an enthusiastic crowd. I have been hearing and seeing Bob Dylan perform since my early teenage years up to modern times and as always it was a pleasure to hear the master of words to music. The Times are a Changin’ echoed throughout the fair grounds and a familiar sound to many who witnessed the 1960’s cultural and almost political upheaval of America. I just hope and wonder ever time I hear that song that maybe one day the times will really be a changing.

Bob Dylan was once heralded as the voice of generation; however he never claimed that for himself and for now he can be summed up as still being a major voice in a chaotic and sometimes dark world. Dylan concerts now gather a crowd of people from all walks of life and age groups. The Montpelier senior center had operated a bus to the concert and intermixed within the crowd were not just my self in my late 30’s and my friend in his 40’s but speckles of fresh college and high school students. America has last its voice and Bob Dylan’s mastery of words carry a lot of weight to a population that is buried under the age of I-phones and news features of Paris Hilton.

The songs of Bob Dylan are stories relating to our culture, our times and our lives and if you do not fit the mold of Madison Avenue, Hollywood or Espn’ you are sometimes lost in an isolated world. There are so many problems amongst the world today whether it is the War in Iraq, Global Warming, the hypocrisy of the US Health Care System or the mere over-consummation within the American consumer culture and although Dylan never directly speaks of a particular issue you can decipher and determine what you choose from his words and act as you wish. I have visualized a world much different than what he has painted with his words, but with my power of free will I choose to go my way and most likely you’ll go your way.

Peace
Robb Kidd

“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate,” Bob Dylan All Along the Watchtower.