The 100 TPC Los Angeles Vision-by Michael
There’s no easy summary of what we learned from the LA 100TPC meeting at the Mazatlan Theater. Great souls, great spirits, visionaries coming together to compare notes and find out more about what’s going on around the world with poets and artists. Lots of enthusiasm and insightful ideas about how to grow this movement and plan for the future…
Poetry readings, music concerts, exhibitions, and street actions?
Should there be one huge event in the Hollywood Bowl or some other more manageable arena? Or a traveling event? A floating carnival for positive change supported by the many LA communities that travels from one venue to another, one community to another, sharing the diverse and flourishing neighborhood arts, talking about local issues and needs.
Or all of the above, one explosive and creative month of peace and sustainability actions spread throughout this vast desert metropolis?
Nothing was concluded, so much to think about, who will do what and how, but one thing is surely clear, LA is capable of big, wonderful things. There’s no shortage here of artists, hundreds of thousand of poets (at least ten thousand), tens of thousands of visual artists (maybe a hundred thousand), hundreds of thousands of musicians (at the very least, maybe a million). It’s as simple as artists everywhere stepping outside on September 28 and beating a drum or playing a guitar, reading a poem, staging a march, documenting passion in solidarity, something for the world to see, in the name of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. A vision for peace and sustainability! A grand Southern California global action of creative solidarity!
It’s clear everyone wants positive change, an end to the crisis of homelessness and poverty, an end to the imbalance in the equation of the 1 percent that continues to amass unimaginable wealth on one side while the ninety-nine percent struggles on a desperate chasm to get by, to be free, to live, an end to an education system that crams our kids into a over-packed classrooms and treats our teachers like enemies of the state, a feudal, for profit education system that turns students into slaves, debtors beholden to the banks for the price of an education, before they have a chance to make a life for themselves. An end to racist immigration laws that criminalize the innocent, exploits our brothers and sisters, our mothers and father with each wave of the flag.
Artists in LA want an end to global warming, the destruction of rainforest, ocean, atmosphere! No, there’s no easy solution, no simple answer, but artists in LA know something will be done to make a better world, we just need to focus, organize and act, they know that poetry, all art, has the power to heal and transform, to tell the real news!
There must surely be an end to the alienation of all artists by the commercialization and corporatization of every aspect of productivity and creativity, an end to “corporate personhood”, an end to the narrative that tells us war is inevitable, commonplace, even entertaining. Every channel broadcasts war, war between singers, musicians, war to get to the top, war to take someone else’s place, war to get a deal, war to win in every game and moment of life, war for the gold! There must be an end to this war narrative. The LA artists want finally see an end to a warring society glorified by Hollywood, that treats the lives of the innocent, women and children as acceptable collateral damage, as nothing more than vanishing blips in a long distance video game of demolition and conquest. How much fun is that?
Not so much fun.
LA artists know there must be an end the ever-expanding police state and massive expansion of the military industrial complex employed to secure more wealth for the sycophantic few, monopolize and exploit indigenous global resources to feed obsessive, mindless consumption ten thousand miles a way, there must be an end to human rights violations and censorship policies like the ones in Qatar that lands a poet in jail for life simply for writing a poem that insults the Emir, an end to Chinese imprisonment of Tibetan poets, and the occupation of Tibet and the destruction of Tibetan culture, a process that has seen a tragic rise in protest immolations, artists can not remain silence, silence is a crime…
…there’s no easy conclusion or summary of this LA 100TPC meeting…something big will happen, I can feel it, and though no one is sure yet what will exactly happen, the reasons for a change are clear enough. Los Angeles artists know there’s a lot of work to do. And if any group of artists in the world have the numbers and potential, the genius and soul to turn this planet around, to change the narrative of civilization, Los Angeles artists, poets, musicians, photographers, performing artists, dancers, novelists, playwrights, videographers, can do it!