"I try to stay optimistic, because I think that a miserable attitude will not get us out of this mess!"
is an acclaimed film-maker, writer, actress, jewelry maker (Jewish Rosaries & 11th commandment) and stand up comedian. She is a passionate vegetarian and animal lover, and has pets ranging from rabbit to hissing cockroach.
She has started a new blog in an effort to connect creative people who want to make the world a better place. I hung out with her at The Deep End Club, a cool shop and meeting place run by another revolution-minded babe, Tennessee Thomas, in NYC's East Village.
It was such a nice afternoon, everyone that came in and overheard our conversation chimed in about the change they feel is coming our way, the transitions they want to make. It felt very buzzy and like something is actually happening - a frequency that so many of us are picking up on and getting excited about. Surrounded by peace sign candles, Abby Hoffman books, and cardboard cutouts of Hendrix and Dylan, it really felt like revolution is in the air.
She is an amazing example of how cool it is to care.
What are some of the things you do or like to do?
Play with my pet rabbit Goblin, take long walks, make movies, talk to my parents and make up funny characters, write comedy, make jewellery, think of ways to save the planet, people watch in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Sleeping. Is that an ok answer?
What does feminine energy mean to you?
Feminine energy means using a diva cup instead of tampons! Totally just kidding. What I mean to say is i think feminine energy means approaching the world with compassion and openness. Being willing to receive information and energy. Listening.
How do you feel feminine energy plays a role in your daily life?
I try to always listen and stay open to other viewpoints before committing to one viewpoint.
Do you feel that spirituality plays a role in your life? If so, how?
Yes, I believe that energy plays a very big role in our lives, whether we know it or not. The more clearly you can envision your ideal life, the more likely it will happen.
When do feel that "consciousness" started becoming important in your life?
Watching the documentary Zeitgeist three years ago was very helpful, as well as learning about The Venus Project, Jacque Fresco, Daniel Pinchbeck, and Russell Brand.
I hate the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" because I never felt like humans were meant to do "just one thing" in life, like "be a doctor" or "actor". I wanted to walk around and travel and draw, and make jewellery, and do comedy, and learn how to garden, and do all sorts of things that are considered "hobbies" and not careers. I don't feel it is natural to do the same thing everyday.
I feel sad that in order to "be succesful" in our society, we are supposed to spend 5 days of the week doing things in offices that we (most likely) don't really care about, to make other people money, that those people will spend on things that they don't need, when we could have all just spent like 5 days of the week at home with our families and 2 days of the week "getting work done." Do you know what I mean? I wish we could reverse weekends with weekdays. This might sound crazy, but I think with the technology we have it is possible!
How did you find yourself on the path that you're on now?
I grew up watching so much television that I thought I wanted to be a TV news anchor, but I am horrible at memorizing lines (perhaps that is connected to the whole hatred of sitting in a chair all day.) Anyway, I made a movie about a failed newscaster called The Color Wheel three years ago.
The world is so exciting and our time on earth is so short! So I try to work for other people as little as possible, and spend the rest of my time working on various pursuits such as my film work, comedy work, activism, jewelry, or just sleeping and seeing friends!
What are some topics that are especially compelling or interesting to you?
The Venus Project / automating jobs / a resource-based economy / the power of the internet to galvanize people towards revolution / wondering if "chem-trails" exist / Chris Brown's twitter feed / Russel Brand / Daniel Pinchbeck / vitamin b-12 supplements / learning how to live off grid/ the role nutrition plays in creativity! (when i take all my vitamins i can get a lot more work done!! I am writing a book about this called 'how to get your sh*t together'!)
How do you feel about what is going on now, in the year 2014. Does this year/time feel especially significant to you?
I feel very sad sometimes when i learn facts like " 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours." Or that" 2 billion people earn under two dollars per day, while less than 1% of the population control more than 50% of global wealth." BUT, I am trying to stay optimistic. I think we are at a point in history where we can move to a new chapter, or sabotage our species with greed and pollution and ruin it for many future generations and our own. It baffles me that we have to fight against our own government and other influential people on our planet in order to save our planet - a planet that we all live on.
I have started a website called hello-revolution.blogspot.com, which I hope will be a nucleus for people to check daily and see what they can do to live more sustainably and happily. This website is written with an optimistic spirit!
Are you hopeful about the future?
Yes, but I think it will need to get a lot worse before it gets better. People only act when they are forced out of their comfort zone. The fact that we have the "choice" to be 'eco-friendly-resourceful' is silly. Laws should force people to take care of our planet.
We are inundated with doom-and-gloom stories on the internet, and I think this causes us to feel miserable. But I try to stay optimistic, because I think that a miserable attitude will not get us out of this mess! I feel optimistic about the internet, because with it we have the opportunity to come together and figure out what actions we need to take together.
What work do you think needs to be done?
Firstly, we should stop thinking of our world as full of separate nations and races and species and start thinking of us all as 'living things' that all deserve equal respect and protection (all plants and animals included! - except perhaps mosquitoes and tape worms - I would be OK if they didn't get as much respect as other life forms) - what I am getting at is that WE ALL NEED TO THINK OF EACH OTHER AS RELATED AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT. We need to stay connected via Social Media and the internet and all come together and help each others' causes, even if it doesn't affect our lives - we need to think of everyone's lives as equally important.
Secondly, we should abolish a law called Citizens United. Did you know that under our current administration, corporations can donate as much money as they want to politicians ? It's crazy, right? There is no way that this money doesn't affect the decisions our government makes! Obviously they are going to cater to the people with the most money (and that is most likely not you or me!)
We are no longer living in a democracy, and in order to bring it back, we need to abolish Citizens United and give politicians equal platforms to run for office without having to raise campaign contributions.
Thirdly, this might seem random, but I think we should eliminate patents on inventions and ideas. When I say patents I am thinking about medical patents and technological patents. There are all sorts of amazing inventions that greedy people are keeping from us that could completely revolutionize society! There are patents on cancer treatments and cars that run on water and because of our legal system, these ideas are kept from us. I think if everyone learned to care about everyone on the planet equally, they wouldn't want to hoard such life-saving and planet-saving inventions!
Even though abolishing patents might be annoying at first to inventors, everyone should have access to whatever technology exists equally! Everyone would have an equal playing field if we could access everything our creativity has to offer.
What's one of your dreams?
One of my dreams is to make out with Anthony Michael Hall's character from Sixteen Candles, but that is probably not the kind of dream you mean.
Another of my dreams is to have everyone who works for the companies Exxon, McDonalds, Walmart, Haliburton, Dow Chemical, Pfizer, and Monsanto all come together and apologize to everyone over a universal loudspeaker and commit to spending their billions of dollars on cleaning up the planet... Hope this dream comes true!
What would you tell someone who wants to save the world, or make a difference?
I have a few ideas... Stop buying things - re-use your coffee cup - make sure you are recycling everything you can.
Visit 350.org: it's a great website, (as hopefully my website www.hello-revolution.blogspot.com will be soon) full of ways to learn how to make a difference and save the world!
Thank you! NO ACTION IS WASTED!
✡ everything: carlenaltman.blogspot.com
✡ blog: hello-revolution.blogspot.com
✡ jew-elry: jewishrosaries.com & 11th commandement
✡ film: colorwheelmovie.com