Archive for November, 2010

The Magic of Matching Half, Not Even Rain Can Dampen

November 15th, 2010

The flyers got soaked but made for a pretty picture (photo by Hedda Brorstrom)

It is a relatively new sensation for me.  The mixture of anxiety and excitement that comes with planning and promoting a large event.  When the rains started to pour on San Francisco Saturday, October 23rd at around 1:30pm, I swore more times than I’d like to admit but kept hustling.  In the back of my head, I chanted, “It’s alright, people will still make it out there…it’s alright, people will still make it out, right?!?”

Me, trying to create some rain coverage for the event (photo by Hedda Brorstrom)

Later in the afternoon as two of us set up rain structures, getting completely drenched in the process, a kind mother with her family approached me and asked if we could use any help. She said something akin to, “We’re waiting ‘til three to buy anything anyways. We’re here for the Carrotmob.” Usually my stubbornness would have protested but at that moment my ego was too soaked.  I smiled and graciously accepted the families help.  I learned the family had come from Berkeley to support our Mob because their sons had been involved in a Carrotmob through their school Prospect Sierra at a pizza shop in Emeryville.

I was humbled that this family had trekked form Berkeley and in the rain to support our local café. My friends that lived down the street hadn’t even shown up yet. Starting with this generous family and reinforced by the community which quickly “mob”ilized by 3:10pm, the warmth of confidence, empowerment, and simple fun began to spread through me that even the precipitous onslaught couldn’t wash away.

The Sufis warming up the cafe with tunes (photo by Hedda Brorstrom)

We drank, ate, joked, shouted and proudly donned our “1 [carrot] 2” name tags.  A local band, The Sufis, played a youthful blend of bluegrass, blues, and street jazz.  A solo act by Laucho followed with strong guitar rhythms, sharp harmonica riffs and gravely vocals that barely broke through the clamor of the swelling cloud of patrons.  By 5:30pm it was dark, wet and quiet on the surrounding the streets, but inside the café the San Francisco Giants had just began what would be the last game in their series against World Series Defending Champs the Philadelphia Phillies.

When the afternoon was over, all of our faces were glistening with as much good cheer as rain.  The gift raffle was a fun way to round out the day and the business owners, Lauren and Jason, seemed to have had as much fun as everybody else.

A few weeks later, Jason sent me the final tally from the afternoon. The total gross sales for the day were the highest in the young business’ existence: $1,311.50. Around $520 of the gross sales was profit which the owners generously matched before removing the cost of labor.  The finally tally including the Mob and the Matching Half (wow, this pun just never gets old) was $863.20.

Celebrating at the end of the event (photo by Hedda Brorstrom)

The money raised will be enough to purchase the Burely bike trailer and the owners have started hunting for large food storage bins. They’ve already placed their order for organic milk to start a trial run with their lattes and whatever remains they will invest in local foods.

I am deeply grateful for everyone that came out in spite of the rain to support a local café trying to do good works.  For those of you that couldn’t make it out there don’t worry because the Mob will be at again before you know it.  And we expect to see you out there.

Politics is Bullshit

November 11th, 2010

I know I’m a week late on this but I can’t get it out of my head, and I figure better late than never.

I’ve had a number of conversations over this past week about the most recent election results. You remember last Tuesday? When everyone here in San Francisco was reminded that everyone else in the country is seriously pathological? I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that the House swung back strongly Republican and we almost lost the Senate or having the occasion to reflect on the past two years of supposedly having a mandate for “Change” and getting almost NOTHING accomplished. Seriously – Health Care? Sort of? WTF. Two whole years and absolutely zero significant progress in moving towards the way our society must function in 20 – fuck it – 10 years for us to have any hope of the biosystems not completely spiraling out of control. Or having a reliable energy system. Or having safe access to fresh water. Or life not being completely miserable and horrific and tragic in general.

So what do I think of the election results? I think if you think that getting out of your house once a year to mark some boxes on a piece of paper is the primary way for us to manifest the necessary societal transformation we are called to create, then you are dumber than all those people in the Tea Party who think God created the world in seven days 6,000 years ago and Climate Change is the biggest hoax since dinosaurs.

These people

Why do I think the political system is gravely impotent as a vehicle for transformation? » Read more: Politics is Bullshit