STEAMING BEAN … The basket case is me, as I’ve been weaving coil baskets for 40+ years. Mick Hill kindly offered to do a showing of some of the better examples from the past 12 years. They are on display right now at the Steaming Bean in Telluride … Since I often weave in the numerous meetings I attend as a commissioner, many people who’ve seen me at work have asked what the finished product looks like. This is a chance to see a bunch of them … No, I didn’t take basketweaving in college. But I was just out of college when I took a basketweaving course with a world famous Pomo basketweaver and healer, Mabel McKay. Gregory Sarris wrote a wonderful biography of Mabel called Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream (Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley, 1994) … The Pomo nation of Northern California was famous for its basketry work, and examples of its dazzling pieces are in Native American collections all over the world. Mabel once showed us a finely woven basket the size of a pinkie fingernail using traditional materials … But I don’t use traditional materials – reeds and other native plants, which have to be harvested, trimmed to size, and soaked before use. In fact, arthritis of the hands is one occupational hazard for many traditional basketweavers. Instead, being a non-traditional kind of guy, I use a combination of hemp twine (strong but limited in colors), hand-dyed churro wool yarn from the La Tierra collective in Los Ojos (N.M.) and whatever kinds of colorful wool and alpaca and unique yarns I find in fabric stores and on my secondhand shop and yard sale forays. For me, the color’s the thing. And while the baskets can be used for utilitarian purposes, I prize them for their kaleidoscopic designs and mostly display them on walls in my house … Folks ask how long it takes to make a basket. And I’ve taken to saying, anywhere from 20 to 40 meetings, which is fairly accurate. Hard to start and finish, the basic task is a simple wrap and tie, but to turn out a finished product luck and good fortune comes into play to, as designs often work themselves into new and exciting patterns … The baskets aren’t for sale. I either give them as gifts (usually for weddings and retirements) or keep them for my own collection. But they are available for viewing. So stop by the Bean and take a looksee.
CORTEZ … Hard to think of Telluride as the locus of corner-cutters and drive-offs, but get a load of this entry in the monthly Four Corners Free Press “Crime Waves” cops log for the December 2008 issue … “Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office [of the newly re-elected Sheriff Gerald A. Wallace, formerly of Sheriff Bill’s SMSO] … “Nov. 8 … “A man whose vehicle was registered to a Telluride address dumped a ‘pink floral’ queen-size mattress and box springs at the county landfill and then roared off without paying the $8.50 disposal fee.” … And then in italics the Free Press editor comments, Hard times all over, apparently even in the land of the rich.
GINI INDEX … The Gini Index was invented in 1912 as a measure of economic inequality within societies. The index has risen substantially in the last three decades in the United States, Britain, India, and China. Prior to the 20th century the average income in the world’s wealthiest country was about ten times the income in the poorest. Now the spread is 45 times: the average income in the world’s wealthiest country is 45 times that in the poorest … According to the December 2006 World Distribution of Household Wealth report, the richest one percent of the world’s households control 40 percent of world assets, and 50 percent of the world’s assets are owned by the top two percent (thanks to Lance Christie of Moab for this item).
WHAT THE MARKET TELLS US … A recent analysis by the Vanguard Group found that stocks have produced an average annual return of 8.97 percent during 16 Democratic presidential terms vs. 8.66 percent in 23 Republican terms … Since 1948, the total return on the S&P 500 has averaged 15.6 percent with a Democrat in the Oval Office vs. 11.1 percent with a Republican, according to research firm Trend Macrolytics.
ROADLESS VALUE … Republicans are perennially trying to open up roadless areas for exploitation and resource extraction, citing economic value and jobs, but a study commissioned from a team of economists by Forest Guardians, which was released in September 2006, found that New Mexico’s inventoried roadless areas on U.S. Forest Service lands generate tens of millions of dollars each year in economic value, as well as direct jobs and income for residents. The study, peer-reviewed before publication, carefully analyzed the market and non-market economic benefits roadless forests provide for the state including recreation, property values, carbon sequestration, water, direct jobs, and income … Non-motorized recreation generated nearly $25 million annually; water quality benefits account for $20-22 million annually; between 563 and 880 jobs can be attributed annually to roadless areas; and as much as $21 million in annual income. New Mexico has 1.6 million acres of inventoried roadless forest area.
© 2008 Art Goodtimes
THE TALKING GOURD
Battlefields of the past.
Bloodshed for freedom.
Darkness upon the Eagle’s back.
We stay in the war because we must
Sitting in my box full of trepidation.
Many different shades of color.
I live in America, our great nation.
Southwest Open School