Beamspun 2: 26th April 2020
Local sunrise / publish time: 0442 UTC
May Day is fast approaching on this edge of the sphere, although it feels like we fast-forwarded through April and woke up in June already. The world is a strange place, and even stranger the last few months. But the cycles turn and turn, and the ins and outs and ups and downs are what define us. The Green Man watches us. Celebrate the coming of change, and you will remember what it means to be alive.
Today's edition delves into trees a bit more, in celebration of the return of the leaves and the arrival of shoots. Just to refresh your memory, Beamspun is not a purely "solarpunk" thing - it's about investigating the web that exists around us, a result of living in a world that circles the sun.
- #archive: What do you mean you haven't seen Studio Ghibli's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind yet? It's from 1984, but you're not allowed to read any further until you've seen it. Go and find a copy, the words below will wait for you, patient like stone statues.
- #intros: Oops, how did I miss out this Imaginary Worlds podcast on solarpunk last time? I particularly like the line that "punk" is about what we're willing to give up.
- #greenman: Unraveling the Nature and Identity of the Green Man
- #trees: Art Young's tree silhouettes from the early 1900s:
- #days: Print sales of the the above also help the Arbor Day Foundation - timely, as Arbor Day was on Friday
- #days: And it was Earth Day this week too! I do love this time of year.
- #hacktech: Loving this $50 water turbine from recycled parts
- #archive: Low-tech magazine: How sustainable us a solar-powered website?
- #books: Wait, a tea monk and a robot? Sign me up for Becky Chambers' new book - due out in May 20201, though
- #gaia: Pick up Fiddler's Green issue 7 for Melissa Madara's article, "Who Shall Inherit the Earth? Wilderness and Anti-Humanism in Witchcraft" - an amazing teardown of the link between humans and the earth
- #covid: Solarpunk in a Time of Coronavirus
- #rewilding: Mossy Earth is working to restore trees and rewild habitats, and have an amazing tree tracker database. You can use my referral code of 1804 to receive some bonus trees.
- I'm thinking of promoting more schemes and programmes like Mossy Earth above. Do you have a good suggestion for a project to support? Send me a link (and optionally a referral code) and I'll pick one each week.
FootnotesWell there we go, something slightly different this week. You've also caught me in the middle of reading this fascinating article on 'A Theory of the New Weird', by Elvia Wilk. I'm still waking up but it's kickstarting a bunch of ideas about what the 'punk' is here for. And it starts off with an Atwood story about becoming the landscape.
When we talk about 'hope' and 'change', we're always implying that we are unsatisfied with the trajectory we're currently on, and that the trajectory can be altered - sometimes reversed, sometimes just in a different direction, perhaps, for now. But it is, first and foremost, a mental trajectory - one of imagination and desire.
This, for me, is where 'punk' and 'weird' overlap with ideas of otherness. It's where this newsletter bleeds into stories of migration, of aliens and immigrants and refugees, of mirrors and the fictions which are actually real, just outside of our bubble.
'Punk' comes down to disruption - cracking open the old perspectives and showing that other viewpoints are possible - that they could exist, that they have existed, and that they exist right now. Punk is a reminder that we're just not paying enough attention, that we're not looking hard enough.
Have a good week.