Monday, January 2, 2012

The Future Is Written

At zero yen, the Future Times is "priceless."
It's all spelled out clearly in the Future Times, a new publication that has recently hit Temple Valley news stands. The newspaper, edited, published, and funded by Masafumi Goto (front man for the Japanese rock sensation, Asian Kung-Fu Generation), is designed to get people thinking about the future and making the kinds of choices in their lives that we can all live with over the long run. 

The first issue features an article on sustainable temporary housing built by the Matsuda Jutaku Sangyo construction company for those dispossessed by the catastrophic events of March 11. The residential units, boasting rooftop solar panels and more, are constructed with wood coming entirely from local forests. Although they are dubbed "temporary," the shelters can be taken by residents once they find more permanent digs and used as spare rooms, storage sheds, or whatever. While representing only a fraction of the temporary shelters now being used in Japan, these enduring organic structures have a world of possibilities to offer. There could even be a lesson here for emergency managers beyond the borders of this island nation. The shelter solution certainly seems to be a more viable alternative to the toxic plastic trailers that so many displaced persons found themselves calling home in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and other disasters in the US and perhaps elsewhere.

The Future Times is chock-full of stories of people paving the way to a brighter tomorrow as they shed light on the dark shadows hanging over our communities and global environment. While the paper is currently only available in Japanese, who knows what the future will bring? Those of us who can't make head nor tail of the text can still find ways to make good use of the Future Times,turning it into sustainable gift wrap, party hats and much much more. Like the future itself, the possibilities are endless.

Lost but Not Forever Gone
Bringing Print back from the Brink

As financial strains cause print publications to fold left and right, it's a wonder that anyone would even attempt the daunting task of publishing in print in this digital age. Goto hopes to fund publication of the Future Times in part with the help of sales from his recording, Lost, available for download on the new paper's website at whatever cost you can afford (beginning at one hundred yen, roughly one US dollar). 

Related post: Waiting for the Sun

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