Gettin’ To Know Bucky

“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

I feel fortunate that we were able to see Portland Center Stage’s production, R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE last night. Going in, I didn’t know much about this man. The fact that I did not seems incredible to me now. Be that as it may, I certainly care to know more.

There was so much density in last night’s finely honed delivery of Fuller’s vision, that I hardly know where to begin. But I can point to a few things that jumped out at me. Fuller’s sense of “design responsibility” grabbed me. So did his admonition to do more with less. I was also impressed with his playful, but serious, use of the English language. For instance, Fuller coined lots of terms in his day. One that stands out for me is “livingry.” Livingry is the opposite of weaponry and killingry, and means that which is in support of all human, plant, and Earth life. It’s an idea that brings to mind Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s call for a Department of Peace. I wonder where Obama is on that idea.

While I ponder that, take a look at this video on Fuller, clearly one of the more enigmatic American thinkers (and doers) in the 20th century: