TIM: The compassion actively works to undermine injustice and violence. For me, that’s kind of the misinterpretation of the whole turn-the-other-cheek thing, that it’s
about tolerating the violence. I mean, to me it’s about actively ending the violence. It’s the most e=ective weapon
we have against violence: turning the other cheek.
TERRY: But what about racial intolerance? Or intolerance of another species, like prairie dogs—if you turn
that word around?
TIM: Yeah, but if you’re tolerating prairie dogs, it’s because you don’t like prairie dogs. I mean, I don’t like the
idea of tolerating other races. I don’t like the idea that it’s
something we put up with. The idea of tolerating di=
erent people, to me, is not something that I’m comfortable
with—and when I look at the modern environmental
movement, to bring it back to that, I think it’s defined by
what we accept. By what we speak out against, but ultimately accept. You know, we’ll sign a petition, or even do
an action, or even get arrested for a day, but ultimately
we’re gonna go back to our normal lives. Ultimately
we’re going to keep participating in this system.
TERRY: You know, it was interesting, I was listening
to Robert Pinsky speak, and he was talking about the
word medium. Like, what is the writer’s medium, what
is the poet’s medium? And he was saying that a poet’s
medium is his body, or her body. And that medium is “in
between.” So that immediacy is “nothing in between.”
And I hadn’t thought about that . . . that there are so
many words where we don’t know what the root is, and
knowing that could help inform our discussions. You
know, what is an activist’s medium? I mean, what would
you say your medium is? If a poet’s medium is his or her
WHEN I LOOK AT THE MODERN
ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT, I
THINK IT’S DEFINED BY WHAT WE
ACCEPT. BY WHAT WE SPEAK OUT
AGAINST, BUT ULTIMATELY ACCEPT.
body — because it’s voice, it’s breath, it’s animating language, it’s sound — what would an activist’s medium be?
TIM: I would say it’s the same as a poet. I would say it’s
my body or my life. It’s that which I use to reach other
people. It’s the interaction between me and society.
TERRY: I mean, you are laying your body down. You sat
your body down, right? In the auction.
TIM: I raised it up. [Laughter.]
TERRY: So tell me about that moment when you picked
up the paddle and then started winning. You know,
when you were bidding them up, but you weren’t really
bidding to win. At the trial, Agent Love was saying, “And,
if you looked, he was looking over his shoulder! Here’s
the photograph that shows there was a deep conspiracy
as he kept looking into his bag, you know, looking to see
who else was in the room.”
TIM: Well, so many of the things he brought up were to
try to frame me as, like, this shady character.
TERRY: And a medium for a bigger interest, right?
TIM: Yeah. Like the fact that I was looking over my
shoulder, and they have this photograph. I remember
that moment so clearly. I was amazed when I first saw that
picture—I could see by the look on my face that that’s
when I was looking at Krista [Bowers], who was on the
other side of the room. And she was crying.
TERRY: And you knew her through the Unitarian
TIM: Yeah. And it was so clear to me that she was overwhelmed by the heartlessness of this whole scenario.
And, you know, when you see a woman crying you feel
like you have to do something about changing the situation that’s causing that.
TERRY: Was it really just an act of chivalry? Or when you
saw her tears, were they really your tears too?
TIM: She was clearly feeling it as sadness. But for me, it
was going into outrage. I was turning it more outward,