Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Phillip Greenlief

Problems and Solutions
Date of Interview/Article:5/1/2006
Eleven Pressing Problems and Their Solutions

Thollem McDonas recently wrote to me and requested that I write eleven pressing problems that we face today along with the solutions to those problems. He specified that both the problem and the answer be stated in one sentence, if possible.

Here are my responses to that request:


Problem: The world is getting smaller due to overpopulation and as a result more and many of our natural resources are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Solution: Increase birth control awareness; keep abortion safe and legal for women in all parts of the world.


Problem: George W Bush is president and fucking things up beyond belief.

Solution: Guillotine him and his entire cabinet on the White House lawn as soon as possible.


Problem: Americans suffer from an enormous deficit of intellectual curiosity.

Solution: Make education irresistible.


Problem: Funding for the arts is almost non-existent.

Solution: Document, prove and present the phenomena that art saves lives and distribute the information widely.


Problem: Fast food is killing us in numerous ways (economically, nutritionally, agriculturally, etc.).

Solution: Refuse fast food under any circumstance and encourage others to refuse it. Start a national campaign to set fire to fast food restaurants in your neighborhood. Read Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation.


Problem: California is 47th in the nation for academic achievement, the Oakland Unified School District has declared bankruptcy and teachers are about to strike.

Solution: Tutor a child. Give books to children whenever you can invent an excuse to do so. Ask Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger why he’s willing to fund after-school programs while he is gutting school budgets.


Problem: Our dependence on fossil fuel creates war, ecological hazards, and enslaves us to a government that abuses its power in order to have more of it.

Solution: Take public transportation, ride a bike, walk, imagine that you've lost your car keys for a one week once a month.


Problem: We are building prisons faster than we are building schools.

Solution: Legalize drugs; demand better schools in our low-income neighborhoods; demand jobs not bombs from every local, state and national politician who might consider you a constituent.


Problem: Americans are racist, homophobic, obnoxious, ignorant, bitter, overly competitive, and bigoted.

Solution: Love your neighbors.


Problem: You cannot change the world.

Solution: Change your self.


Problem: Thinking and writing are not the answer.

Solution: Do something.

Phillip Greenlief

Oakland, California