Let's Talk 2000

"The heartbeat of 2000 A.D. from cyberspace"

November 15, 1996, Volume 2, Issue 19, a bi-weekly bulletin

Topics covered in this issue:

The Millennium Doctor Speaks
News from the Field: Talk from the Forum: New Millennial Sites: Contact Information

The Millennium Doctor Speaks:
"Taking the pulse of 2000 A.D."

With the announcement of the Millennium Dome coming to the London skyline by 1999, the Eiffel Tower in Paris may be upstaged as the most famous architectural symbol left from a world exposition. Read our lead feature below about Greenwich's stunning announcement two weeks ago.

Also, another global trek by cyclists is taking shape for the turn of the millennium. Our second feature looks at the Great Millennium Peace Ride, being organized out of Arizona and Austria.

Our forum section looks at the 1990s "fin de siecle" culture, and asks how it corresponds to the last century. And our web section features Expo 2000, the millennial world's fair coming to Germany.

News from the Field:
"Here is the latest news on year 2000 efforts."

Providing shelter from the often inclement British weather, the national Millennium Exhibition at Greenwich recently announced plans to erect the world's largest dome structure to house its year-long exhibits, opening December 31, 1999 <http://www.greenwich2000.com/exhibition.htm>.

Plans call for the "Millennium Dome" to have a circumference of one kilometre, twice the size of the Georgia Dome, currently the largest building of its kind. According to Exhibition specs, the Dome's glass sides and translucent white fabric roof will dominate the London skyline by day and glow spectacularly at night.

The Millennium Dome will be erected on a 130 acre site on the Greenwich Peninsular. More than 10 million visitors, or 100,000 a day are expected to visit the Dome and its associated exhibits, including the Millennium River Walk, the Millennium Park and Meridian Gardens. A huge underground "Jubilee Line" train station will open in 1998 to provide direct access to the site from central and east London.

With the exhibition site plans unveiled, the Greenwich 2000 web is proud to claim it is "turning the biggest gasworks in Europe into the biggest dome in the World--for Europe's biggest Millennium extravaganza." Source: Bimillennial Press, talk2000@rmii.com

In 1995, 28 year-old adventurist Jean-Francois Camson was traveling around the world on Greyhound. When the French youth got to Tucson, Arizona, he stumbled upon the "Great Millennium Peace Ride (GMPR)." Now Camson serves as the international coordinator for the Peace Ride and plans to complete his global tour by 2000, along with 500 other cyclists, who want to demonstrate that teamwork knows no boundaries.

Full of energy, spirit and idealism, Camson is typical of Great Millennium Peace Ride volunteers. Launched in 1993 at an impromptu meeting of cyclists in Athens, Greece, the Peace Ride today encompasses some 2,500 people and supporters. The Peace Ride will set out from Vancouver, Canada in August, 1998 for a 16-month trek, ending in Australia. Their aim: to "thread the world" together as ambassadors of good will and work with peace, environment and youth groups along the way to create a sustainable future.

"We rely a lot on our national coordinators," Camson responded when asked about logistics. The logistical support for the cyclists will come from within the countries they are visiting. To date, GMPR has appointed close to 80 national coordinators, the youngest being 16-year old, Ms. Shurquq Ahmad Harb, representing Palestine.

Besides logistical support, GMPR coordinators get to nominate three volunteers from their country to go on the cyclist's Peace Ride. GMPR expects corporate supporters will underwrite the expense of each cyclist during the 16-month trek. Of course raising those millions of corporate support won't come easy. Camson concedes that GMPR is looking for "responsible companies" rather than millennial opportunists.

But supposedly for a "grass-roots" initiative, the Peace Ride is quite savvy in its talk about an "integrated-marketing plan." Organizers have already retained the services of Wolf Creek productions to "haul a camera" along on the 16-month caravan to film segments for their "LifeCycle" weekly TV show. Camson says the show will "reflect the life of Peace Riders and report on their various actions" in serving communities along the route.

The next milestone for the Peace Riders comes this November 29th, when some 20 continental coordinators from Europe, Africa and Asia gather in Tucson for a three day GMPR pow-wow. For more information on the Peace Ride, write: gmprnet@aol.com or visit their web at: http://www.holistic.com.au/gmpr/ Source: Bimillennial Press, talk2000@rmii.com

Talk from the Forum:
"Here is a recap of recent conversations"

I recently inquired about an October 23rd post to Talk 2000 which quoted James H. Billington, head Librarian of Congress, speaking about how an apocalyptic view of change characterizes the intellectuals in Moscow:

"Billington speaks of the intelligencia in Russia buying into some kind of fin de siecle attitude. I am sure there is a contrast between end-of-an-age Moscow and upbeat New York. This has got me thinking.

In his book, Millennium III, Century XXI, Peter Stearns notes in chapter eight (page 96) that there is no corresponding cultural pessimism among intellectuals in the 1990s comparable in degree to the fin de siecle of the 1880s and 1890s.

In fact Sterns asserts that 2000 has been a virtual non-event in terms of intellectual culture. When I read Billington's description of Moscow I agree [the west is less apocalyptic about change], but could he be underestimating the expression of "century's end" culture that is among us? Can any of our "fin de siecle" or end-of-the-age experts on the last century that can make a comparison to now?

On November 14th, Hillel Schwartz <WA148@sdcc12.ucsd.edu>, dean of Talk 2000's cultural historians, responded:

"Trust Billington rather than Stearn, who can't see beyond his nose. [For evidence of a 1990's cultural pessimism, or fin de siecle] consider the debate over postmodernity, posthistory, and poststructuralism.

Consider the spate of intellectual books out about the vacuum, and the forces of chaos, both in the world and in the schools. Also, chaos and fractionation are big now in intellectual circles, as is complexity, which is though to be richly rewarding if inscrutably metaphoric.

Also, consider that few intellectuals have anything good to say about another century, and almost nothing good to say about this century--indeed the badge of being an intellectual right now is to be critical of everything except Internet, and even the true intellectuals (those who do not wear badges) are deploring the loss of a role for intellectuals at this fin de siecle.

Stearns himself is so worried about apocalypse affecting people that he can't ever admit that it could have an effect in the posthistorical world."

New Millennial Sites:
"Here are new sites in cyberspace"

EXPO 2000:"Mankind, Technology and Nature"
The World Exposition, EXP0 2000, coming in June of 2000 to Hannover Germany now has a web site (in English and German) offering weekly press releases, forums, and descriptions of coming pavilions of participating countries and organizations.

NATIONAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION 2000: "Be Touched By Michelangelo"
The NHF is promoting "once-in-a-lifetime Great Jubilee 2000" cultural tour packages to the eternal city of Rome from 1999 to 2001. Their web brochure beckons pilgrims to "walk among the ruins of the millennia" and stroll through arches of Roman Emperors.

Contact Information:
"Your link to the third millennium"

Talk 2000 Forum Home Page: http://hcol.humberc.on.ca/talk2000.htm
Talk 2000 Newsgroup: bit.listserv.2000ad-l

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Submissions of newsworthy items: 2000ad-l@usc.edu
Publisher & editor: talk2000@rmii.com

Jay Gary, aka The Millennium Doctor
author, The Star of 2000
(719) 636-2000 Phone

Publication keywords: millennium, society, groups
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LET''S TALK 2000 is a trademark of Bimillennial Press, Inc.