Stockbroker for the Evolution > by Arrow

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Capitalist Christmas So I'm an Art Dealer now... I'm living in Manhattan selling 'original' prints of Alex Grey through a New York visionary art collector whose name is not Anna, but that's what I'll call her. Anna wasn't in town when I arrived but she contacts me on my cell as soon as she gets back into the country. A few hours later we meet up in Central Park and spend the afternoon wandering the green heart of Manhattan beset on all sides by the towers of apartments and business. Anna's interest in the art market is only of the hobby type she tells me, mostly she works as a trader on Wall Street for a select clientele. She looks the part in her power dressing corporate uniform threads - except, that is, for the long dreads that roll down her back and the designer embroidered plants on her suit (which she lets me know is hemp). Her skin is a dark brown, a mix of African and Irish bloodlines. Sass and soul. A funky woman indeed. She apologises that she wasn't in town when I got here as arranged with Tao, but she'd been on a waiting list to go to the Galapogas Islands for two years, and couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit one of the only completely untouched wildlife reserves in the world. A place so unique in it's flora and fauna that Charles Darwin purportedly developed his theory of evolution while exploring it's landscape. She smiles conspiratorially, it was also the best place possible to take some prospective clients to help convince them to invest in some major eco-tourism franchise which is in the works. She winks at me as she says this; yep, she's a capitalist alright. But Anna is not that simple, which is probably why Im here in Central Park with looking at a book of Alex Grey prints and discussing stock options... I ask her about how she got involved in the stockmarket and she tells me she did it to get rich, plain and simple. But, she continues, with the express purpose that once rich she would have more ability to be able to change the world once she acquired money. "That sounds like classic libertarian philsophy" I tell her. "The individual over the collective. Totally American." She laughs, and tells me she's Canadian. But I'm right, it is an America that perfected capitalism. And capitalism is all based on the individual over the collective. But it gets more complicated, of course. "Money is a liquid energy." she tells me matter of factly in her slight Canadian accent "It's the most malleable substance in the world because it can transform into almost anything. It is water. The art of economics is understanding the energy currents through the world, it's no coincidence we call it currency, is it? " I tell her about my brother in Hong Kong and his currency speculation scam. If I'd learnt anything from him, it was that this thing we call the global economy is a casino. Many people at the top have figured out how to skim the cream off the milk of the global economy. It's the classic scenario of how the rich get richer and poor get poorer, the kind of thing that got me outraged in the lead up to Seattle. It's funny though, after talking with Anna for a week I learnt more about economics than I did after years of anti-globalisation campaigning. Actually that's not quite true, I just learnt a whole side of it which I had never taken the time to learn properly - the inside. But right now, we are still in the park. Anna leans across to me and says "I like you Arrow, I wan't to let you in on something..." She tells me the biggest secret that she knows. It's called "Green Chips". "Green chips are just as strong as Blue chips because they are based on the philosophies of sustainability - the new school of ecological economics. Paul Hawking's Next Industrial revolution is a growing reality. It just takes time to affect that kind of change in a society where everything needs to be redesigned." Basically, as she describes it, she 'sells shares in the new paradigm'. "The Dot Com Boom was a bubble based on the best dreams of the internet mixed and shaken with the best dreams of traders. It was a match made in heaven because it was all based on Virtual Reality, you see. The majority of international trading is based on a similar kind of virtual reality. It's illusion that is responsible for the global economic insanity- it wouldn't be possible any other way. My clients know this, and don't want any part in it. There's enough of them to make it happen too.. It's all about the critical mass. As soon as we make that shift over, we'll be ready for the shares to rise, but it wont be based on illusion, it will be based on sound economic, ecological, and moral theories. We can't go wrong." It was a compelling argument. I could see how she was able to convince investors. In fact, I wanted to know more. She told it to me straight: "The wind turbine revolution is huge and it's only going to keep growing. Organics is the single largest growing industry in the world. The hydrogen economy? We call it the the hydrogen bomb, because when it drops on the economy it's going to be huge.. and you can bet your life the most conscious investors are all positioning themselves right now to reel in the profits when they do.. It's all changing Arrow, the trick is to ride the wave. Paradigms shift one drop at a time, but that's how it's always been." She hands me her business card. It reads; 'Stockbroker for the Evolution." Classic. As Anna puts it, the entire economy is currently dangling on the edge of a revolution in green technology, eco-technology, organic products, ethical consumerism, etc. She's been developing a strong clientele of wealthy US investors who see the writing on the wall, and post-New Orleans they don't think there is any point fucking about with the debate about climate change anymore. Everyone in the world knows this intuitively. The only people who are dragging their heels at it are those who have vested interest in the status quo of the current industrial/economic model. "Unfortunately, that happens to be some of the most powerful people in the world..." she says. "Our job, is to woo them over, by common sense, and moral direction and economic incentives.." A few days later at a dinner party in her apartment I meet a bunch of Anna's friends who are interested in the art I'm selling. They are an intriguing bunch of high rolling freaks dressed in total NY designer groove, sipping on organic wines and making jokes about the latest Wall Street or White House cock-up and all the sordid two degrees of separation inbetween. They were a mixed bag of organisers of numerous festivals around the East Coast, eco-resort owners with imaginative clientele, high profile artists and writers, and millionaires with a lot of time to explore their consciousness, i suppose. Intelligently, she doesn't drop any names, and neither will I. It's a hidden society for a reason. The point is, there I was with some serious movers and shakers who are all way past being switched on. In fact, they are switching me on to a whole new dimension of the game. I felt privileged to be in their company. Later that night everyone's gone and we're sitting on the balcony of Anna's apartment, watching the slow crawl of dawn flirt with the night sky. From here we can see the two twin lights of Ground Zero, like electric ghosts beaming into the air. Flocks of birds circle them in huge numbers eating the insects they attract. It's quite a beautiful sight. Anna tells me she was in town when the towers came down but like most New Yorkers I've met, rather than make them more pro-war, September 11 actualy made them conscious of the need to make peace more than ever. I ask her what it was like during the attacks. She takes a deep breath, as if to summon up the energy to tell the story again. "All I can say is, it felt like the end of the world. The sky was black with clouds of dust. People were running and screaming. Drivers were leaving there car's behind because they couldn't move them fast enough. It was a total moment of Rapture." I listen carefully, watching the birds in the twin beams of light, as if they were souls circling their grave now. "The point is, I think the end of the world does not mean the end of everything. It's just the end of a certain paradigm. What it means is the beginning of a New World." She's waving her hands around in front of her as she says this, like she's casting a spell. Down below us the lights of the car's are moving through the street like rivers of energy. The buildings are batteries, sparkling fallen stars, full to the brim with potential human energy. I realise she's a modern day energy worker. A healer of sorts, guiding the energy networks of the earth in various ways. As if all our powerlines and ethernet connections were meridians, just waiting for the right acupuncture points to be activated. White magik and voodoo economics in the cooridoors of Wall Street. That night we'd raised twenty thousand dollars from the sale of the prints. The next few weeks will be all about how to spend it, and Anna has instantly become my consultant of choice. This is gonna get interesting. Arrow | 3:07pm, Wed 01 Mar | Manhattan >>read more of Arrows Blogon Nomadology.