Some Christmas stuff

This year I somehow finished most of my Christmas chores in late November. Then things got super-busy, and the last few tasks, like writing this pre-Christmas blog post, got pushed till the last minute.

Civil disobedience through oil and gas bids
Adam sent along this inspiring story of Tim DeChristopher, who de-railed “an oil- and gas-lease sale that caught the attention of Congress and the incoming Obama administration.”

Holiday giving?
If you’re thinking of donating money to an interesting cause, and you’ve already helped your church and local Catholic Worker house, you might consider Worcester’s EMPOWER. This group has been working to start a local biodiesel cooperative, converting waste restaurant fryer oil into home heating oil. They’re raising a few more funds so they can finish crossing the Ts and dotting the Is and begin production. You can learn more about them through EPOCA (their fiscal sponsor), or I’d be happy to put you in touch with the right people.

If you’re looking for a present for post-Christmas giving, you could do worse than the Snow Ghost Community Show DVD box set, available for a $50 donation to WCCA TV13, Worcester’s cable access station (and my sometime employer). Get your copy at WCCA’s office or HBML. I’m slowly uploading the images to the Archive for your DVD-burning pleasure.

A brief history of Michael Baxter
Mike Baxter’s old friend Cyprian Consiglio visited the South Bend Catholic Worker, and wrote this nice account of their friendship and Baxter’s trevails.

My favorite image of us in those days was riding around downtown Phoenix in one of Andrè House’s beat up big old pick up trucks, Bruce Springsteen blaring on the cassette player (“Born in the USA” which was Baxter’s favorite at the time), picking up supplies for the kitchen, both of us smoking.

Man, I have been there.

Baxter & Benedetti
Mike Baxter and Mike Benedetti

Newspapers are doomed
This seemed to be the month when one version of the conventional wisdom changed from “the newspapers are fading faster than anyone expected” to “the newspapers are fading way faster than anyone expected.” This Clay Shirky post and the accompanying comments are as smart as anything else I’ve read on this subject. I’m still trying to get a sense of how much “journalism” about Worcester happens outside the world of print-ad-supported papers; my initial guess is that the blogs, etc. are doing 10% of what the T&G does, though I don’t see anyone poised to start on the other 90%.

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