Category Archives: Ecology

In fifth grade, I started my school’s Earth Club. It’s still running today. Sadly, that may have been the height of my activism.

Hey 2009, You’re Looking Mighty Fine…

Hey 2009, You’re Looking Mighty Fine…

Dear Fellow Humans from the year 2009,

As 2008 passes like a gall stone, I’m laid up for the first day of the new year, high on early episodes of The West Wing and the belief that the inauguration of our new president will rescue this country from free-fall. It’s been an endlessly interesting year for us all. Electing our first black president, losing 40% of the capital in the stock market, seeing Tina Fey look so much like Sarah Palin, I can’t tell who’s who.

Personally, I’ve had an interesting year as well. It began with a ten-day silent meditation course in India. You all followed my travels throughout India, Thailand, and Cambodia for three months starting last February. I gathered parts and memories of myself scattered in many lifetimes during that trip. I returned home with a powerful sense of independence, maturity, and knowing that no matter where I am in the entire world, I can take care of myself and be happy. Then I came home and saw my parents. (And forgot again. Ha!)

I also joined a year-long training course for life coaching and workshop leading in August, and began coaching people in creativity and spontaneity. After doing standup, working and playing with others to break through to what is most true for them is my favorite thing to do. And after almost two months of work on my solo show, “The Punchline,” I played to sold out houses at the Fringe Festival. It was an honor to win Best Female Solo at the Festival and be selected for the Solo Show Festival in Marin in February (the 24th.)

I’m sending out this new year’s wish to you because I want to reach out and connect with you. I’ve been very affected by the intensity and fear of the world’s events–the end of easy oil, the reluctance of auto companies to completely re-invent themselves in order to protect the environment, the blindness and greed of the mortgage industry, and the sense of scarcity the downturn in the economy has had on us. And the message I want to convey is that it’s time to open our eyes to what’s really happening in the world. And to take a stand. To speak what we believe, and to align our actions with our values and our words. But I also want to say that there is so much more to life than the what’s in the news. Our own thoughts and actions are what truly build the fabric of reality, moment by moment. And together, we have the power to focus our thoughts to send an asteroid crashing into Bernard Madoff’s living room. (But read some of my beloved Krishnamurti and you’ll realize we are all Bernard Madoff.)

So stay tuned for info about my gigs, laughter yoga classes, and workshops in the coming year. I’ll be premiering the full version of Eat Pray Laugh! at some point, and I’m also putting together a down and dirty old-school standup set for the clubs.

To 2009, may all beings be happy.

-Alicia

http://www.aliciadattner.com
http://www.creativeheartcoaching.com
http://www.monkpunk.org
http://www.examiner.com/x-453-SF-Comedy-Examiner
http://www.youtube.com/AliciaDattner

Hey 2009, You’re Looking Mighty Fine…

Hey 2009, You’re Looking Mighty Fine…

Dear Fellow Humans from the year 2009,

As 2008 passes like a gall stone, I'm laid up for the first day of the new year, high on early episodes of The West Wing and the belief that the inauguration of our new president will rescue this country from free-fall. It's been an endlessly interesting year for us all. Electing our first black president, losing 40% of the capital in the stock market, seeing Tina Fey look so much like Sarah Palin, I can't tell who's who.

Personally, I've had an interesting year as well. It began with a ten-day silent meditation course in India. You all followed my travels throughout India, Thailand, and Cambodia for three months starting last February. I gathered parts and memories of myself scattered in many lifetimes during that trip. 

I also joined a year-long training course for life coaching and workshop leading in August, and began coaching people in creativity and spontaneity. After doing standup, working and playing with others to break through to what is most true for them is my favorite thing to do. And after almost two months of work on my solo show, "The Punchline," I played to sold out houses at the Fringe Festival. It was an honor to win Best Female Solo at the Festival and be selected for the Solo Show Festival in Marin in February (the 24th.)

I'm sending out this new year's wish to you because I want to reach out and connect with you. I've been very affected by the intensity and fear of the world's events–the end of easy oil, the reluctance of auto companies to completely re-invent themselves in order to protect the environment, the blindness and greed of the mortgage industry, and the sense of scarcity the downturn in the economy has had on us. And the message I want to convey is that it's time to open our eyes to what's really happening in the world. And to take a stand. To speak what we believe, and to align our actions with our values and our words. But I also want to say that there is so much more to life than the what's in the news. Our own thoughts and actions are what truly build the fabric of reality, moment by moment. And together, we have the power to focus our thoughts to send an asteroid crashing into Bernard Madoff's living room. (But read some of my beloved Krishnamurti and you'll realize we are all Bernard Madoff.) 

So stay tuned for info about my gigs, laughter yoga classes, and workshops in the coming year. I'll be premiering the full version of Eat Pray Laugh! at some point, and I'm also putting together a down and dirty old-school standup set for the clubs.

To 2009, may all beings be happy.

-Alicia

http://www.aliciadattner.com
http://www.creativeheartcoaching.com
http://www.monkpunk.org
http://www.examiner.com/x-453-SF-Comedy-Examiner
http://www.youtube.com/AliciaDattner

Thank God Obama Won (so I can get back to worrying about myself)

Thank God Obama Won (so I can get back to worrying about myself)

You caught me with my morals down.  I’m another relieved armchair liberal.  Yes, I’m going to keep buying organic produce, turning off the faucet when my boyfriend leaves it on for no reason, and only recycling paper bags by putting bottles and paper in them to transfer them to the recycling bin.  And I’m breathing a sigh of relief that maybe the next four years won’t be as terrifying as the last eight have been.  Did you read the salon.com article about how the Gen-X’ers are sorry for hating on the Boomers?  It was great.  And, yes, I do feel a swell of hope–hope that Barack will lead us, unite us, bring understanding and dialogue within the country as well as around the world.

I have hope that the crumbling of financial institutions lead to the kind of dissillusionment that real truth and real care for the land and people we need.  I have hope that the rise in oil prices will finally spark the development of alternative energy sources–that someday soon, they won’t be “alternative” sources–that solar and wind power will be the plain-old, everyday way we power up (kind of like when alternative music became mainstream and everybody in tenth grade, even the jocks, were listening to the cure and pearl jam and dying their hair black and this turned high school upside down.)  I want to turn high school upside down.

Thank God Obama Won (so I can get back to worrying about myself)

Thank God Obama Won (so I can get back to worrying about myself)

You caught me with my morals down.??  I'm another relieved armchair liberal.??  Yes, I'm going to keep buying organic produce, turning off the faucet when my boyfriend leaves it on for no reason, and only recycling paper bags by putting bottles and paper in them to transfer them to the recycling bin.??  And I'm breathing a sigh of relief that maybe the next four years won't be as terrifying as the last eight have been.??  Did you read the salon.com article about how the Gen-X'ers are sorry for hating on the Boomers???  It was great.??  And, yes, I do feel a swell of hope–hope that Barack will lead us, unite us, bring understanding and dialogue within the country as well as around the world.
I have hope that the crumbling of financial institutions lead to the kind of dissillusionment that real truth and real care for the land and people we need.??  I have hope that the rise in oil prices will finally spark the development of alternative energy sources–that someday soon, they won't be "alternative" sources–that solar and wind power will be the plain-old, everyday way we power up (kind of like when alternative music became mainstream and everybody in tenth grade, even the jocks, were listening to the cure and pearl jam and dying their hair black and this turned high school upside down.)??  I want to turn high school upside down.

Paris Hilton for President? Now, that’s comedy!

Paris Hilton for President? Now, that’s comedy!


So here’s what happened: John McCain launched an internet attack ad against Barack Obama suggesting Obama is not a suitable presidential candidate because he’s as empty a celebrity as Paris Hilton.  So, Adam McKay thought it would be funny if Paris Hilton ran for president, with the comedy logic that an intellectually capable Paris would nullilfy and make ridiculous McCain’s attack. (Pardon me for explaining the joke.)

So, Adam wrote a presidential candidacy announcement, got Paris on board and they shot it this week.  It’s the first time Paris really speaks publicly with any substance whatsoever, and she pulls it off pretty well.  But really, Adam McKay?  Your ghostwriting has Paris suggest an energy policy that’s a “combination of McCain’s and Obama’s” in which we do drill for offshore oil (McCain’s idea) “safely” (McKay’s idea) which will sustain us until we sufficiently develop alternative energy sources (Obama’s idea.)

First off, the idea of safe offshore drilling is dubious at best; no oil drilling is free of leaks, accidents, etc, and many of those problems are never made public.  Secondly, any offshore drilling started now won’t yield oil for another twenty to forty years–how does that sustain us or reduce gas prices now?  Thirdly, we’ve already got a host of alternative energies that are ready for development; this is the time to change.  LA Times journalist Carol Williams reported Schwarzenegger as saying, “Anyone who tells you [offshore drilling] would bring down gas prices any time soon is blowing smoke.”

If we don’t shift our energy use to alternative fuels in twenty to forty years, we’ll be much more likely to be gearing up to fight China for the oil left in the Middle East.  Our offshore oil should really be saved for the the next hudred generations of people, or sadly, saved in the case that we end up, say, waring with China for a hundred years, which would undoubtedly be directly or indirectly caused by fear and scarcity over resources.

So, thanks, Adam, for the good intentions, but it’d be funnier if Paris slammed down a hardcore energy policy instead of a hollywood one.

Handy-Dandy Energy Facts that Suggest Alternative Fuel Development is a Better Idea than Offshore Drilling:  US Vehicle turnover rate: 15 years
US Average age of vehicles: 9 years
Soonest possible time we’ll get any US offshore oil: 7 years
Number of oil spills for offshore drilling off the Texas coast: 187 spills of MORE THAN 2100 gallons between 1981 – 2005. That’s AT LEAST 392,000 gallons of crude oil, or roughly 16,000 gallons spilled every year.

With the US average vehicle age of 9.2 years, and average turnover rate of 15 years, in the time it takes to see any benefit from offshore drilling, we could be halfway to a green energy car fleet — which would drop the demand for oil and have the same price benefit for those still driving gasoline cars as increasing the supply of gasoline! (If that doesn’t make any sense to you, folks, please, PLEASE, go take an Economics 101 class at your local community college, or read Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan or Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner.)