August 2006

Mushrooms, global footprints and Wal-Mart’s sour grapes

By Art Goodtimes

TELLURIDE MUSHROOM FESTIVAL … Yes, it is happening again – its 26th year. Aug. 18-19. It’s a scaleddown version, since the original producers have finally retired and locals have picked up the slack. But there’s a parade, some great speakers (including the mycologist Gary Lincoff and Terence McKenna’s ex, Kat Harrison), forays and of course the mushrooms themselves, which if the rains continue, ought to be plentiful … Check out the new website, http://mushroomfestival. com and come join the fun in Telluride.

DREAM THE FUTURE … That’s the name of the collective that put on Paonia’s premiere music festival last month, Dreamtime. In its fifth year, the event is a combination of Burning Man, the Rainbow Gathering, and a psychedelic world beat Bluegrass Festival … It’s a dazzling time, mixing main stage entertainment, spiritual grounding and workshops of all kinds in dozens of theme camps dotted around the barren landscape of a firescarred P-J ex-forest on a mesa above the north fork of the Gunnison river … Tara Miller and Sam Brown organized the Talking Gourds theme camp this year, hosting gourd circle readings and demonstrating solar cooking on Radiance Way next to the Goddess Camp … Shambhala’s tent nearby lit up the night with an array of colorful light sculptures. There was Cuddle Cavern, Shut Up and Eat It, Mayan Dreams and dozens of other camps to explore … And the main stage bowl featured a plethora of great bands, Tribal Electra of Boulder, Bamboche’s Afro-Cuban beat, Paonia’s own Dusty Onyx … Listening to the legendary Kan’Nal on main stage Saturday night, the just-past-full moon rising over the Ragged Range, hundreds of people dancing wildly, the stars for a roof, a cool breeze lifting the flags and streamers around a stage with light show projections, a sacred fire burning at the edge of the dance bowl – it was pure magic … This is a regional event not to miss. Set aside the date in July for next year, and come be part of the fun. This was my third year, and it just seems to get better every time (thanks in no small part to the vision of Steve Wolcott and the many organizers and volunteers responsible for Dreamtime) …

SUSTAINABILITY … At the first Global Footprint Forum, held in Siena, Italy, recently, the Global Footprint Network introduced a new scientific standard for calculating the Global Footprint. The standard will be used by the partner organizations of the Global Footprint Network, that apply the method to calculate footprints for specific use, like carbon dioxide, food or products, communities or production facilities. … The Global Footprint calculates a numeric value that represents an average productive space needed to support consumption, expressed in global hectares. According to the calculation, if the entire global community would adopt the lifestyle of the average inhabitant of the USA, it would take more than three planets to support it … Finland is the first nation to announce that it is adopting the Global Footprint as an official standard for measuring sustainability. Switzerland and Britain are on track for using the Global Footprint as well, as a part of the 10-in- 10 program of the Global Footprint Network. The program aims at ten countries within ten years using the footprint as an official standard for measuring sustainability.

WORLD SPENDING PRIORITIES: According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2004 global military spending reached $1 trillion, or $162 for every man, woman, and child on the planet. According to the Institute, 19 conflicts causing more than 1,000 deaths were fought in 2004; of these, 16 had already been raging for ten or more years … Everyone who thinks that a trillion dollars would be better spent on ecological restoration, installing organic agriculture and renewable energy systems throughout the world, please raise their hand — and then go badger politicians about actually doing it.

SOUR GRAPES … My good friend Lance Christie of Moab has learned that Wal-Mart is about to begin offering its own wine labels, as it continues to try to consolidate all shopping needs under one massproduced corporate roof. So, he’s come up with some name suggestions … Here’s his top ten, starting from the bottom … 10. Chateau Traileur Parc, 9. White Trashfindel, 8. Big Red Gulp, 7. World Championship Riesling, 6. NASCARbernet, 5. Chef Boyardeaux, 4. Peanut Noir, 3. I Can't Believe It's Not Vinegar!, 2. Grape Expectations … And the number one name for Wal-Mart Wine: 1. Nasti Spumante … And adds Lance, “The beauty of Wal-Mart wine is that it can be served with white meat (possum) or red meat (squirrel).”


So many things go
over my head that I
need an air traffic
Richard Ganci
San Francisco

Art Goodtimes is a San Miguel County commissioner.