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New World Comin'

January 31, 2011 – Alright, already! So I’m late to the party! So I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT MIKE RUPPERT until last week. MY BAD. MY REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD. I admit it. Since it’s well past time for me to do some major catching up, maybe you’d like to come along for the ride. We’ll be visiting Mike at the Progressive Radio Network, the site of his weekly radio program, The Lifeboat Hour.
I won’t belabor Mike’s past achievements, largely because it seems they are known to everyone in this particular universe except me. I will point out that one of Ruppert’s many stated goals is to move to the Pacific Northwest sooner rather than later, in order to ride out the Transition. Which brings me to my first question/observation: Do he and Alex Smith (Radio Ecoshock) know each other? Alex lives in Vancouver. They sure ought to, old rockers that they both are. Though Alex cannot claim membership in a band (well – I don’t THINK he can), as Mike does, he does use his program as a venue for newbies, oldies, and alternative rock.
Which brings me to my only – whine? Mike is part of a group called New White Trash, with whose music you will have no choice but to become familiar if you listen to The Lifeboat Hour. The substance of the program is so excellent, I feel no hesitation in recommending that you listen, but NWT may not be everybody’s cup of tea. Mike is an unapologetic self-promoter. He’s not cute about it, and he doesn’t try to be self-effacing, either (I can’t stand people who try to have it both ways). Either it’s tolerable or it’s not; you decide.
Let’s talk about his website (http://www.collapsenet.com/). Much of it is off limits, accessible only to members. Now is as good a time as any to reveal my age – old enough to consider $100 for a year’s membership rather steep. I hasten to add that this particular website would be worth it; as it so happens, I’ve already promised this month’s environmental dollars to a writer I greatly admire, Stephen Leahy. Collapsenet membership may yet happen at a later date.
What I admire most about Ruppert’s site is his willingness to take on Edencide (my own term) in its entirety: climate disruption, peak oil, the infinite growth paradigm, permaculture, transition, re-localizing, family and community, G-d … have I forgotten anything? Undoubtedly. Go to Collapsenet; you’ll find it there! (Of particular interest to me are his links to “Children and Collapse” and “Beekeeping for Beginners.”) (Accessible only to members.)
At the World News Desk, you’ll find “Conscious Collapse,” with a link to a workshop regarding “Relationships and the Long Emergency: I’m On Board, But My Family Isn’t.” Something tells me that might describe a lot of us! The essay “Compass Points: Our Core Philosophy” may be the best single piece of writing you’ll find at this website; Ruppert brings the facts to bear in a cogent, meaning-filled way. This is what’s known as communication! While Mike earns my admiration for his fearless analysis of religion’s place in this whole mess, his Christian-centric assessment is not always well informed. At the same time, the embedded, six-plus minute You-tube video narrated by the Native American elder Red Elk is both thoughtful and thought provoking. Take the time to watch it.
As for The Lifeboat Hour (again, this can be found at the Progressive Radio Network), I found Ruppert a pleasure to listen to. He has a made-for-radio voice that invites engagement. His questions are not quite up to Smith’s standards; Alex has an unparalleled ability to elicit from his guests stories that cut right to the heart of the matter. This shortcoming notwithstanding, Ruppert’s intensity may be his own unmatchable quality. If anyone can convince you that planetary collapse requires immediate action, this is the guy to do it. Me? I’m a new audience member, that’s for sure. Caring about our place in the scheme of things is a requirement. I know, because Mike told me so!

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