All posts by jmp

Plastics

Remember the 1960s movie The Graduate, where Dustin Hoffman is taken aside by Mr. McGuire, who says to the young man just setting off on his way to a career, “Just one word: plastics! There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it.” “I will,” says Hoffman. “I will.” Many of us thought not enough Read More

What If?

Do you ever ask yourself: what if? How things might be if we took a different approach. Maybe changed our priorities. Set new goals. See what the world might look like from one particular perspective or another if we altered our point of view. There are certain things we believe to be true that are established Read More

Inflection Point

Do you ever get the feeling we might be reaching an inflection point? Not because the sky is falling, although it often seems to be when we wake to another day covered in ash. Not because strongmen (and they are nearly all men) in the service of plutocrats are once again the dominant political force Read More

Post-Growth Parameters

At New Northwest, we love probing sacred cows, giving them a poke in the ribs, seeing which ones stand and which might fall with just enough of a push. All those sacrosanct, inviolable concepts, adages, and tenets we blithely accept because they are repeated by one and all so assuredly so often. Sometimes they are less Read More

It’s a Mystery

  One day when I was a young man working at The Denver Post, a reporter I admired dropped by my desk to give me some surprising news. His name was John Dunning, he was a few years older than I, and struck me as equal parts 1930s movie character and Jack Kerouac protagonist. John Read More

Consumer or System

More discussion about where we best might focus our efforts to deal with the critical problems of our time. None is bigger than climate change, none is more overwhelming to contemplate, and nothing else is quite as insidious at inspiring nihilism. But there are effective ways to address these issues if we’re willing to challenge Read More

Consumerizing Blame

Recently, a friend was passing out those little curlicue florescent light bulbs, the type that every hotel now uses. She said we all needed to start using them because of climate change. They save a lot of energy precisely because they give off so damn little light. All we need to do is learn to Read More

Serial Literature

Streaming literature has a very rich history and a plausibly bright future, each for it’s own reason. The former because the price was right; the latter because it fits the contemporary attention span.  The great novelists of the 19th century, Dumas, Flaubert, Thackeray, Eliot, and especially the “father” of the form, Charles Dickens, produced their Read More

Free Form

 “Whoever controls the media controls the mind,” said the poet Jim Morrison, lead singer for the Doors in the late 1960s.   “Who are the Brain Police?” asked Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention is his 1966 album Freak Out. Those quotes and so many more like them were just part of that drug-addled Read More

Sociometry

YES! There really is an Institute of Sociometry and, yes, it is helmed by two artists, partners Heather Link-Bergman and Peter Miles Bergman, who claim a collective of over 700 special authorized agents in 23 countries join them in their efforts at culture jamming and guerrilla communications. As artists, they take a more adventurous approach Read More