Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour by the light of the Dark Side of the Moon

Vote Earth! Switch Off Your Lights For Earth Hour - poster by Shepard Fairey. Oh boy! That was soooo cool!

With about half an hour to go before Earth Hour I realised I needed candles, so I spent a frantic few minutes scraping old bits of wax out of my 24-tea-light candle holder and putting in new tea lights. Got it all done just in time, and went racing round the house switching everything off, and then lit the 24 candles with great ceremony. Pretty!

The first 10 or 15 minutes of Earth Hour was spent wax-proofing everything around the candle holder - covering the bench seat, window sill, storage area and carpet with newspaper because the tea lights kept overflowing with hot wax which would then cascade down through the sculpture and onto the floor/window sill/bench seat. Doh! Bit of a breeze going on round there I think!

At one point I went out for a cigarette but in the dark I'd rolled the paper the wrong way round so it came unstuck and I was too nervous about those crazy candles to leave them alone for any length of time, so I gave up and sat in front of the window instead, watching the flickering candle flames in a kind of a trance. It was quite nice actually.

I tried to figure out if any of my neighbours across the valley were taking part - at first I didn't think anyone was, because there seemed to be a whole heaps of houses with all lights blazing away merrily (boo!) - but of course it's much easier to see houses where there are lights on than houses where the lights are off, so I wasn't really sure. I reckon, by the number of lights that came back on again after it was all over, maybe a quarter to a third of the homes I could see were taking part. Not bad. Could have been better, though.

Anyway - once I had calmed down with the whole candle/hot splashing wax/ohnoit'sgoingtosetmyhouseonfire thing I decided that Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon would be a fitting accompaniment to my musings about the perilous state of the planet, so I allowed myself to switch on one electrical item - my stereo - plugged in my ipod, turned up the volume, and away we went.

Oh wow - talk about awesome - it was perfect!

How about this:

(Mason, Waters, Wright, Gilmour) 7:06

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.

Or maybe this:

(Waters) 6:32

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you're okay.
Money, it's a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I'll buy me a football team.

Money, get back.
I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, it's a hit.
Don't give me that do goody good bullshit.
I'm in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet.

Money, it's a crime.
Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're
giving none away.

Or perhaps this one:

Us and Them
(Waters, Wright) 7:40

Us, and them
And after all we're only ordinary men.
Me, and you.
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do.
Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died.
And the general sat and the lines on the map
moved from side to side.
Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who.
Up and down.
But in the end it's only round and round.
Haven't you heard it's a battle of words
The poster bearer cried.
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside.

Down and out
It can't be helped but there's a lot of it about.
With, without.
And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?
Out of the way, it's a busy day
I've got things on my mind.
For the want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died.

...and finally this one:

For Brain Damage I flung open the french doors and stood outside on the deck, watching the stars with the music pouring out into the night. Awesome.

Brain Damage
(Waters) 3:50

The lunatic is on the grass.
The lunatic is on the grass.
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
Got to keep the loonies on the path.

The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more.

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

The lunatic is in my head.
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane.
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me.

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

"I can't think of anything to say except...
I think it's marvelous! HaHaHa!"

(Waters) 2:04

All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All you feel.
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All you save.
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy,
beg, borrow or steal.
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say.
All that you eat
And everyone you meet
All that you slight
And everyone you fight.
All that is now
All that is gone
All that's to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

"There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark."


I think it's pretty cool that these lyrics still have such a powerful message all these years after they were first written - but God what a crazy world we live in. Here we are on the edge of an environmental disaster, and in the midst of an economic meltdown - and we still can't seem to agree on anything at all.

In my more pessimistic moments I believe it's either already too late, or that mankind won't get off its collective ass to actually do anything meaningful about climate change until it's too late.

When I'm feeling more optimistic about things, I believe there's still time and we still have the opportunity to turn things around and save our beautiful world.

Whether or not we choose to do so, is up to each and every one of us.

This evening has given me a chance to think, and it's reawakened my passion for environmental issues.

I've been worrying about losing my job and having no work and blahblah what if I lose my house - when what I also need to be thinking about and doing something about is losing my planet.

It's a little more important in the grand scheme of things.

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