Ghost River Trickster

Remembering Mike Ruppert

Let us honor the life of Mike Ruppert.

His last radio show’s theme was “If we can feel what we are doing to the earth, we wouldn’t do it.” After that show on April 13, Mike took his life in Calistoga, diving into the lunar eclipse, symbolically apt, as he was a deep-delving detective of all that is corrupt.

I hosted Mike on The Visionary Activist Show on KPFA, and afterward we were colleagues at the Harmony Festival, where he was dismayed and delighted to find himself teetering on the brink of happiness. Mike had been a strident dingbat, but he had just released the movie Collapse, which won acclaim from unlikely admirers. His playful, cannabis-smoking self was fleetingly available to be teased forth. One could see the faux-macho, self-mythologizing, L.A. cop and unhappy child, part of him melting, revealing glimpses of the “innocent dignity of his child heart.”

Just a flicker, but it was still pulsing.

“Better a trickster than a martyr” is a theme I proffered to him backstage and onstage: how do we not drown in the poison into which we delve to illumine the obscene? The martyr takes on the corruption of an unconscious family or culture, succumbing to the lonely futility of it all. The trickster takes on the unconscious, but then invites in what can metabolize the poison.

Absence of collaborative magic is evidence of the still-colonized mind. He was up for this conversation, but distracted.

Lest we strengthen what we oppose, embody what we decry, be possessed by the myriad sneaky guises of the colonized heart, let us honor Mike by withdrawing our complicity with the hyper-yang death frenzy destroying so much life, so that our manners and our language are in accord with our dedication.

Let us release our addiction to having an enemy. Let us dedicate to being in collaborative cahoots with nature’s against-all-odds ingenuity. Let us treat all beings with respect.

We welcome Mike’s scouting reports from the Underworld Ghost River, and can almost see him wink back at us, relieved of roiling, with a dark compassionate trickster gleam in his eye.

Caroline W. Casey hosts-weaves context for ‘The Visionary Activist Show’ on KPFA Thursdays at 2pm, and is the creator of Coyote Network News.

Open Mic is a weekly feature in the ‘Bohemian.’ We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write [email protected].

Sonoma County Library