Sunday, December 31

No matter when you celebrate it, wishes for a great New Year!

Saturday, December 30

"Philip Morris gave $2 million to domestic violence programs last year and spent $108 million in an ad campaign to let you know about it" read it

Friday, December 29

Fired right after Christmas, mean, nasty business strikes again.

Thursday, December 28

Two organizations are offering ways you can voice your opinion on SUVs to their owners, mostly harmless - Bay Area Action offers the SUV Ticket and Changing the Climate offers their bumper sticker.

Tuesday, December 26

Tis the Season for Overt Overconsumption - the SF Bay Area Independent Media Center highlights some of the Chirstmastime anti-consumer protests here in the Bay Area.

Friday, December 22

Following up on my post from December 14th... more cynical Christmas-time cheer. I know I'll be stuffing my face this holiday, and so will most other Americans. It's no new news: We've become a nation of over-zealous face-stuffers. Maybe we can blame these people, or maybe this guy (for being a bad influence). But we really need to blame somebody, right?

Thursday, December 21

Sad story from Amsterdam - this resonates for people living around San Francisco as those who have rehearsal spaces, nonprofits and cultural spaces are constantly being evicted to make way for dot com office space.

Tuesday, December 19

"Freedom is something you assume - then you wait for someone to try to take it away from you. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free."
Something new: Literät - the repository of creative writing here at Opensewer. Our first contributor: Elizabeth Vassallo.

Monday, December 18

The Billboard Liberation Front's latest strike was along the San Francisco freeways - you can see the results here - these were billboards thousands of people encountered on their morning commute.

Sunday, December 17

Hmmm... what a surprise this is. And I thought playing Galaxian all the time was good for me when I was growing up. You know, it improved your hand-eye coordination in case you needed to use karate to save your family from muggers or something.

Thursday, December 14

‘Tis the season to be jolly … and what better topic to ponder when you’re in a jolly mood than nuclear disasters! :-) Today, as we near the closing of the power plant that was home to the worst nuclear accident in history, we are again reminded that humans continue to meddle with things that they don’t fully understand. At least, they don’t fully understand the implications of what they're doing when it matters – before a catastrophe. Yes, progress is important and we must work for a better world – one in which the good of the many outweighs the good of the few. But don’t forget about those poor few.

Tuesday, December 12

Gee, more recalls on Explorers - this time because they can go too fast. Wonderfully safe vehicles.

Monday, December 11

ART.COM should change its name to "ART".COM - quotation marks for irony needed when they call crap like this art.

Sunday, December 10

Here are a couple of seemingly smart guys operating under a misguided premise. We can only hope that they see the danger of what they're doing and change their course of action before it's too late.

Saturday, December 9

$45 million? Come on, I can't stand Leonardo DiCaprio either, but a simple misunderstanding isn't worth $45 million. This just shows what pathetic, slothful, ambulance-chasing, disgraceful, brain-dead, lazy, cowardly losers we've evolved into. The fact that I even used enough energy to notice this lame-ass, Jerry-Springer-esque story proves that I, too, am a loser.

Friday, December 8

"To be blind is bad, but worse to have eyes and not to see." -Helen Keller

Wednesday, December 6

This is positively inspiring!
Well this is nice. I wonder what the company is trying to divert attention away from? Oh, oh, right... selling needlessly large machines that destroy the environment, harm people and further the collective awareness class structure. I almost forgot.

Monday, December 4

Sometimes I get down on life and think things are just really messed up. And then, I see a little feature like this and say to myself, "Maybe, just maybe, everything is gonna be alright." Thank GOD for the W-B. Without it, television would just be one big repository of sensationalism, shallow morals and bad taste.

Sunday, December 3

More wonderful news on the SUV front. They're ignoring the fact that the bigger cars are actually causing more danger to responsible drivers.

Friday, December 1

Since I'm blogging out of turn anyway today, I'll just take this opportunity to link this lovely little tidbit of prose by our friend Michael Moore. Love it... and he even mentions Cleveland.
Today is World Aids Day, and the Day Without Art Web Action, AKA "Day Without Weblogs." Well, instead of being silent today, I'm gonna say something. Being silent is not what Opensewer is about. Being silent is kinda like not voting. So today, like any other day, I will ask a question. I will try to figure out this world. I will try to understand the joy and the madness that is a part of all of us. Today, on a day when we think about the value of human life, I ask a question about life that is not human: Luna, Luna, Luna, why did they cut your trunk? Why does such carelessness and cruelty have to exist in this world? I don't understand.

Thursday, November 30

Wednesday, November 29

I know you're all probably sick of this, but... we must not let the pressure off the "Merchant of Death," as Wal-Mart has been called. Every day, people are getting wiser to this most evil retailer's antics, and it is showing in their actions. Here and here are a couple more examples which prove that the citizens of America aren't as stupid as Wal-Mart thinks they are.

Monday, November 27

I don't know if this is true. However, it made me think, if it is true and the media ignores it will "the general public" know? Worse, will they care?

Sunday, November 26

Well, in America, Thanksgiving is over, and so is the biggest shopping day of the year. Did YOU participate in Buy Nothing Day on November 24th? As we head into this frenzy of consumption we call "The Holidays," let's try to remember just how effective the intangibles of life are. Read more about the impact of BND here.

Tuesday, November 21

Bad news for Ben and Jerry. It seems that yet again consumers are at the mercy of a large corporation. Let us hope Unilever sees how important the company's social policies are and upholds them.

Sunday, November 19

Opensewer 7 is over! It was a great little event that took place in - this time - three cities. Photographs and summaries of the discussions are available here.

Thursday, November 16

Hi, welcome to Opensewer. We're a happy little company that sells a maximum-quality product called "Thinking for Yourself." We are proud to announce that the price for this product is zero. Thank-you. Now, much happiness to all as we share and enjoy!

Saturday, November 11

A pretty good article on how districting makes your vote more powerful.

Friday, November 10

Opensewer 7 Cleveland was last night! Look for info and pictures soon. Don't forget... OS NYC and OS Ithaca are next week. More info >>

Wednesday, November 8

Perot, Nader... two different presidential races, two very different viewpoints, but they do indeed share at least one similar goal: the breakdown of the two-party system. "You can't spoil a system spoiled to the core," says Nader. An extremist viewpoint? Or is it more insightful than we're willing to admit?

Monday, November 6

I want to raise a bit of criticism against liberals and progressives who warn against voting for Ralph Nader because it could hurt Gore's chances of getting into office. As an American, you have a responsibility to vote in accordance with what you believe. You must not cast a vote as a "strategy" that attempts to stop the greater of two evils, when indeed a third option exists that more accurately matches your world-view. If you believe in what Nader says and stands for, you must vote for him. While there is little chance of his victory, a 5% vote will qualify the Green Party for federal campaign funds in the 2004 election. Even if Bush is elected (a horrible thought to Greens and Democrats alike), federal funding will be the greatest victory that true progressives can ask for in 2000. This article provides some additional information.

Tuesday, October 31

Following up on Rosie's entry yesterday, recently released census data indicate that suburbs are growing at triple the rate of center cities. Now, this probably isn't big news to anyone. But how long are we going to let this momentum continue? Until the entire U.S. is one big suburb and soccer moms rule the country? Perhaps a few more cities should be as forward thinking as Portland.

Sunday, October 29

If you read this story notice that they were warned in advance and it's happened in the past -- however that didn't stop 250 million gallons of coal mining waste from being spilled into the Big Sandy, being called the Appalachian version of the Exxon Valdez. Why wasn't anything done after the spill in 1972?

Friday, October 27

I love it when people are up-front and honest with their intentions.

Thursday, October 26

Now that the Kursk is back in the news I realize how quickly we (myself included) forget. Of course I might just be getting that feeling because the newscasters always introduce the story as "The Kursk is a Russian submarine which was damaged in an explosion..." as if no one had ever heard of this story before.

Wednesday, October 25

Just a thought... "Model" - an imprecise abstration of reality. Model = model = model.

Tuesday, October 24

Monday, October 23

Information for all three upcoming Opensewer Gatherings is now available. Want to come? Find a meeting in your 'hood...

Saturday, October 21

Yay! Car sharing looks like it's coming to San Francisco. According to this story, this program is similar to pilot programs in Boston and Portland. I'll keep you updated to how it goes.

Thursday, October 19

The world is beautiful. It needs to be accessible to everyone.

Monday, October 16

Industrial Workers of the World is an organization which strives toward creating a "world in which production and distribution are organized by workers, not merely a handful of exploiters". Yay!

Sunday, October 15

Yes, our server has been down for three days and yes, we're back up and running now. Very, very sorry for the inconvenience, everyone...

Friday, October 13

"For the second time in a week, the FCC has raided a free radio station in Austin, seizing its equipment. Coming immediately before the Fortune 500 Forum and the protests planned against it, one has to wonder ... why now?" Read about it.
Past winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Do you see any names here that you also see in the news today? Has the prize become more of a gesture of encouragement?

Sunday, October 8

It's that time again... It's getting cold outside, the leaves are changing color, and we're all waxing a bit philosophical... Information is now available for Opensewer Gathering No. 7!

Saturday, October 7

Forgive me for the old news, however someone said that in thier opinion not allowing Ralph Nader to even attend the debates was something close to a totalitarian state, and I'm inclined to agree.

Friday, October 6

Sometimes the best way to start to define yourself is to identify the things that you are not. So, here is a good example of what Opensewer is not.

Wednesday, October 4

Did you watch the debate last night? If not you can catch a recording by NPR here. Project Vote Smart has an interesting issue test to match your opinions to those of the candidates (note). Interestingly, Project Vote Smart's test covers all of the presidential candidates. has a side by side comparison of the candidates - however only Bush and Gore. How do you feel about Nader and Buchanan being shut out of the debates?

Tuesday, October 3

Friday, September 29

It's Banned Books Week. Take a look at the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–1999 while you're there. See a few you've read? Now try to imagine growing up without those books existing in your world.

Monday, September 25

Here in the Bay Area it is common to hear that artists, musicians and dancers are losing the leases to their practice spaces so that high-paying dot commers can move in. Last weekend musicians all over San Francisco participated in Rock Out SF to raise awareness of the loss of Downtown Rehearsal Space which was home to hundreds of local bands. It's too soon to tell if the effort will have any affect, but it was wonderful to see so many come together to fight for a common cause.

Saturday, September 23

At Opensewer, we're always ranting about the problems we see in the world. However, we realize that in all of our ranting, we must act as well. Acting toward a sustainable future can be personal, or collective. ISEE, ISF, CSE, and CEB are some organizations that are encouraging a balance between traditional business capitalism and an improved economic paradigm for growth. These organizations focus on sustainability, ethics and new ways of attaching value to both the things we produce and the elements of the natural world.

Thursday, September 21

Encouraging - Excess Access matches the computer and furniture needs of non-profits with the donations of corporations and households.

Wednesday, September 20

Is it just a knee-jerk reaction, by people who are against progress? Or are these protests a reflection of a true danger- the danger that we're fooling around with things that we don't understand.

Monday, September 18

Fascinating state of affairs.
Small factoid: One rainforest tree soaks up about 50 pounds of carbon dioxide in one year. This is the same amount of exhaust your car releases in one hour. Have a nice drive!

Sunday, September 17

A good discussion about the role of environmental issues in contemporary politics can be found here. (Or maybe we should talk about the lack of discussion about the environment in politics.)
We must keep pounding these fat cats until they give in. The issue: exemption from the "gas-guzzler" tax that lets automakers avoid paying the penalty for manufacturing low-milage SUVs. Read the original report.

Wednesday, September 13

Isn't it sad when someone who knows they're wrong tries to defend their stance on an issue? The big machine is trying to maintain the status quo, and they'll probably succeed for quite a while. But the big machine's worst enemy is an educated public.

Tuesday, September 12

Stories like this one reinforce my disappointment with how our political system works. Does this give me information that will help decide my vote? Nope - it just makes me want to vote for the party which does less finger pointing.

Sunday, September 10

Ha! Wal-Mart, you fools. You can't keeping tricking everyone into believing that your "always lower prices" are for the good of the people. We're on to you... we know that you're just trying to put all of your competition out of business- at the cost of society. In the end, your selfish ways will not prevail. Bad things happen to bad people.

Saturday, September 9

The Long Now Foundation seeks to promote "slower/better" thinking and to focus our collective creativity on the next 10,000 years. I had the opportunity to hear Stewart Brand speak about this foundation and it's goals, the site is worth checking out. Read about the 10,000 Year Clock and the Library (look for the Rosetta Disk).

Thursday, September 7

A follow-up to Megan's blog yesterday... here is yet another sad situation in the local news, giving us more and more reason to work toward ending the era of the automobile.

Wednesday, September 6

Critical Mass is bringing "various populations together in a festive re-claiming of public space" - a group of bicyclists traveling together which ultimately make a statement about our auto-centric use of urban space. Learn how to form your own Critical Mass here, or look up events happening in your city at their unofficial site. Also, take a look at the Bicycle Civil Liberties Union is up to.

Tuesday, September 5

Well, I suppose this helps point to where we're heading as a society. No judgements here... it's really just supply and demand. If there's a real market need, why not fill it? Right?

Monday, September 4

They make $15,000 profit on every one. Of course they're going to keep making them.

Sunday, September 3

So much for "it can't happen in my neighborhood..." Suburbanites, you can't hide from the world's problems forever!

Thursday, August 31

Hey, listen... stop complaining. They were there first!

Wednesday, August 30

Today: Ozone Layer Update. In brief, the hole is still getting bigger. At least we can use this to measure it.

Monday, August 28

Fine... I know what you're going to say. "Jason, they're just too easy a target."

Maybe. But this situation shows yet another sickening example of an out-of-control corporation bolstering profits at the expense of human well-being. Same old tired, sad story.

Thursday, August 24

Environmental issues are critical to our future here on Earth, but Americans have, in past years, consistently placed relatively low priority on them when evaluating political candidates. If the environment, the Earth, is not sustained, all of the "political" issues that people are concerned with right now, from the economy to abortion rights, become quite trivial.

Wednesday, August 23

Poor Monarch Butterfly. We humans seem to constantly forget that we are not the only inhabitants of this planet. We subject the resources of Earth, and its inhabitants, to the effects of our needs, our whims, and our often ridiculous desires. Let's end this horrible model of destructive consumption. It's time to switch to a cosmology of nurturing.

Tuesday, August 22

Project Vote Smart offers "research that will defend the people's right to abundant, accurate, relevant information and enable them to check the credibility of the often misleading claims candidates make." It provides information on the issues in the context of special interests, background on candidates down to the state level and their voting records, as well as online voter registration.

Monday, August 21

Greetings from Ithaca, New York, the new HQ of Opensewer, where Verizon is the Big Boss of the telecommunications racquet. Let's just realize, netizens, that the Luddites are laughing at us on this one, to be sure...

Friday, August 18

And yet another example of reality entertainment, this one on the Web. In Reality Run man, the runner, is given the task of hiding in Berlin for 24 days while bounty hunters search for him. The Web participant can use audio clues to inform the bounty hunters where the man may be located. I miss the spy action of the Cold War as much as the next person, but what does it say about our society that we find hunting other humans entertainment?

Thursday, August 17

"The traditional purveyors of meaning in our culture are failing and corporations are stepping in to fill that gap." - Naomi Klein on why corporate branding in these times of globalization has been so successful. She studies the development the brand as a philosophy and lifestyle in her book No Logo. You can read an interview with Naomi Klein here, listen to an interview here, or read the first chapter of the book here.

Wednesday, August 16

It seems, at least since the middle of the 20th Century, that most of the decisions our government makes have something to do with the control of oil. We, the citizens, have been trying to losen the grip that oil has on our lives since the 1970s, but to no avail. When the hell are we going to start voting for someone who actually might do something about this? (Not that we endorse anyone in particular, of course...)

Monday, August 14

Alert: Rupert Murdoch's empire of information distribution continues to grow. Are we really supposed to believe that we're getting fair, unbiased information when so much of it is controlled and disseminated from the same underlying organization?

Sunday, August 13

More evidence that this is the stupidest century yet, according to Scott (check the entry for 8-12-2000). Really, people, where's our sense of perspective?

Friday, August 11

Our Wal-Mart Boycott Action has been updated.
(It's Friday, so here's something light.) State of the world, August 2000: Scientists work toward a unifying theory of the universe, and the TV show "Survivor" dominates the airwaves. Discuss.

Thursday, August 10

New artist Heather Protz finds inspiration in the things we sometimes consider trite.

Wednesday, August 9

Have you seen the Milky Way lately? I only saw it once when I was a kid, from the side of a Wyoming highway. I've lived near cities most of my life and rarely see any stars. This is common in America, and the International Dark-Sky Association is trying to do something about it through education and the finding of solutions to the "adverse environmental impact of light pollution and space debris."

To hear (or read) a report about an existing dark sky preserve in Canada and the efforts of the Dark-Sky Association you can go to this story at the Living on Earth website. Listen for the segment about LA residents describing a "pollution cloud" in the night sky after an earthquake knocked out the power grid.

Tuesday, August 8

Some improvements to 1) A new division - Action, 2) Not Here has been improved, 3) Articles in the former Rant division have been combined with articles under The Cause. We're trimmin' the fat, and bringin' it to the people. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 6

This just adds to Wal-Mart's "spotless" reputation. Wal-Mart loves us. They want the best for us. Wal-Mart is our friend.

Friday, August 4

Would this have become an issue if Napster wasn't so high profile?

Wednesday, August 2

Just how safe and pure does our food need to be? What kind of standards, as consumers and citizens, should we be able to reasonably expect from those who provide food?

Tuesday, August 1

Environmentally responsible personal mobility. One has been spotted in the Bay Area already. Smart Cars are in use in Europe, but is America ready? Let's hope so.

Monday, July 31

Attention, non-voters of America (myself included): we may have a reason to get out to the polls this November 7th. Read Michael Moore's letter from July 19 for a rather well-put explanation.

Friday, July 28

More SUV stuff: The problem with these monsters isn't just poor fuel economy, it's the fact that they represent misplaced values and grossly excessive consumption. It is a crisis of perception.

Sunday, July 23

"We can't eat computers!" - Criticism of the G-8's focus on bridging the digital divide between the wealthy and poor nations of the world. Are we pursuing the wrong goal by trying to make these countries behave just like America?

Thursday, July 20

The nominees for this year's Emmy Awards were announced today. Nobody here cares.

Monday, July 17

Attention! Opensewer 6 / NYC has been moved to Wednesday, July 19th at 7:30pm. MORE >>
I'll bet General Motors had no idea what the consequences would be when they bought and destroyed America's urban rail lines. Isn't it about time for a transportation revolution?

Saturday, July 15

Here's something we don't think about very often, because America is so large. But if we are to become better stewards of this land, we'd better start thinking about it more.

Thursday, July 13

Okay, so Greenpeace got Coca-Cola to stop using HFCs in their coolers (see 7-12 below). But the journey toward stabilizing the Ozone Layer looks to be a long one.

Wednesday, July 12

Opensewer, as a culture-jamming organization, supports Adbusters' Corporate Crackdown initiative. Remember: your dollars are votes. Don't vote to support corporate dominance of our minds, souls, and wallets.
The fight is worth it: here's a small victory.

Tuesday, July 11

Wednesday, July 5

This is actually somewhat inspiring. On the negative side, it's about driving. On the positive side, it's about community, economy and environmental consciousness.

Monday, July 3

New photographer Gregory Colvin captures the beauty of a city of industry in his stunning photographs.

Wednesday, June 28

It's quite exciting... we have several great new artists booked for exhibition. Stay tuned: we'll be posting a new gallery just about every week.
Wouldn't it be great if some of this stuff actually happened?

Monday, June 26

This is too easy... I mean, you just can't make up stuff like this. This single event could generate enough material to keep Michael Moore, Adbusters, and little ol' Opensewer busy for years.

Sunday, June 25

Okay, so we're food snobs, we admit it. But here's another good reason to avoid fast food joints.

Thursday, June 22

OS6: the packets have left the building. Midwest, you'll get them in about 1 day; East Coast, 2-3; West Coast, 3-4; Canada, we're lookin' at a week here. If you haven't requested a packet and want one, you'd better tell us right away...

Tuesday, June 20

Ah, yes. "Human" nature puts its best foot forward once again. Remember, everyone... Intelligence is what separates us from the animals.

Saturday, June 17

All of the readings for OS Gathering No. 6 have now been announced. Send us your physical mailing address if you want to receive a packet. We'll be mailing them early next week.

Friday, June 16

Latest news of our SF pioneers: Scott and Megan still have not found an apartment.

Monday, June 12

New Art: Photographer Eric Rippert uses miniatures to create beautiful, mysterious, compelling scenes.

Thursday, June 8

Scott and Megan: Godspeed. We'll really miss seeing you around Cleveland.

Wednesday, June 7

An experience today has convinced me that the world is controlled by followers. More on this later.

Sunday, June 4

We have launched a message board. Let's get some good discussion going. Perhaps we can achieve the same great debate and sense of community that have grown as a result of the IRL Opensewer Gatherings.
Reading material for OS Gathering No. 6 has been posted.

Wednesday, May 31

Opensewer 6! The date, location and topic for the next Opensewer Gathering have been announced. More >>

Monday, May 29

Gone... completely gone. The Hulett Ore Unloaders have now been completely removed from their home of ninety years.

The fact that Cleveland, as a community, failed to preserve these symbols of its industrial heritage illustrates the gross displacement of priorities that will continue to prevent it from becoming a world-class city.

Thursday, May 25

We have a brand new server, a powerful art database under development, and yes, we are now Blogger-powered! (Who could resist?)

We are currently negotiating with a number of talented artists- look for a multitude of new work to appear within the next several months. Also, the next Opensewer Gathering will be announced soon. Stay tuned...

Go to Past Updates >>