Where there is art, there is life, there is hope. Let Poets Against the War temper your spirit in these complex times. A quick reminder that thinking, conscious folks, are the backbone of America. We have reason to be concerned, to be 'ticked off', and there are many creative ways to work with these feelings, to work for positive change. Learning and spreading knowledge that causes others to give in to their curiousity and ask questions, search for context so as to think. Spirited conversation brings out the best in people- if they listen actively as well as offer their perspectives. Volunteering in an area that 'rings a bell' with you. Writing letters to your representitives, to the editor of the local paper; letting others know that there is a groundswell of citizens that are going deeper than the few minute veneer of 'news' that many folks base their worldview on. Sure beats shopping. Or sitting in a chair watching television images go by of two dimensional portrayals other folks actually living.
Apathy borne of a sense of despair is what an elite counts on as being the largest, most effective tool of social control. When people find their sole value, their very identity in what they buy, how they earn money rather than who they are as reflected in their way in the world, their actions, their relationships, they are much easier to lead around. Self reflexive people seem more able to see through the eyes of others, and to use this wider perspective to be more fully human. A wider perspective has us consider societal 'givens', question what we are told. Mental freedom helps revive the sense of life that feeds us, enlivening our communities as we break out of atomistic consumer cultue training, partaking of and participating in larger life. Real people are a good antidote to the shallow dittoheads and Ann Coulter clones:
"We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate Liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too! Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors!"
Ann Coulter ( thank you to Tom Tomarrow for this quotation)
Ms. Coulter claims that 'Liberals' engage in name calling rather than substantive debate. Give her a listen on CounterSpin and as always, you be the judge. Here are some more quotes...
I note her because she is a fine example of both Conservative philanthropy and what thinking folks are up against in mainstream media. They might have the money and the media but we are right- and in the majority.
I could mention Bill O'Reilly and his 'wetback' comment, but his treatment of Jeremy Glick, whose father died in the September 11 tragedy speaks volumes.
Go to Media Whores Online to vist a list of sites that watch and analyze the stuff they say... Sad to say these narrow, sensationlist pundits, unconcerned with honesty and accuracy, affect the thought of a great many people.
Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich has thought out his stance on a womans right to choose. He and Howard Dean are two Democratic Party presidential candidates that clearly speak out against attacking Iraq.
The transcript to 'Meet the Press' is pretty interesting; we have Kucinich vs. Perle on attacking Iraq as well as Dick Gephardt stumping for the nomination.
Are you aware of the Republican National Commitees ire (scroll down a bit) at Helen Thomas for speaking her mind? "This is the worst president ever. He is the worst president in all of American history." Also scroll down further to read David Gergans comments on Mr Bush, including:
GERGEN: One of the interesting questions that I don't think anybody knows the answer to is whether, to--to--to some extent, he believes that--that providence intervened in his life at an earlier stage and whether, somehow, providence is now on the side of America and that he somehow may be an instrument of providence that--par--part of what he's on [...] is a mission that has so--some sort of theological roots.
Maybe roots in his Yale Skull and Bones Society, certainly not Christianity. This is "those crazy kids" mantra:
THE HANGMAN EQUALS DEATH!
THE DEVIL EQUALS DEATH!
DEATH EQUALS DEATH!’
Pretty damn creepy.
About as UnChristian as one can get.
Here is a bit more on Skull and Bones to read if you have some time on your hands... An interesting aside- John Kerry is also a member. I find it interesting that a 'secret society' once known as 'The Brotherhood of Death' could have a member rushing us headlong into war. That there are only 15 members a year inducted and that two of them may be head to head running for president does bear remark.
I am happy that the Pope, like so many other world religious leaders is calling people to think of Peace.
The U.S and Britain are going to introduce a new resolution to the UN Security council declaring Iraq in breach of its' obligation to disarm...
Thanks to the excellent blog The Watch I can offer you this transcript of Bill Moyers interviewing (on the PBS show NOW) the authors of 'Our Media, Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media', John Nichols and Robert McChesney. If you are interested in the influence of media on our mental environment, particularly in its influence on Democracy this is an eye opening interview. Also, at toward the top of the interview there is a link having to do with media history. Interesting stuff.
One thing I didn't see touched on was the thought that, in the beginning, radio was to be used for popular education, the airwaves a resource for the community, not for propfit. As the commercial possibilities of the medium became apparent, hearings were held on divvying up the communities radio frequency spectrum- politicians that dare support the people in this endeavor would be guaranteed less than good press from the print media of the day, print and broadcast meda were hand in hand... Go figure. McChesney speaks of the history of broadcast media in depth in an earlier book 'Rich Media Poor Democracy Communicaton Politics in Dubious Times'
Robert McChesney has a radio show himself; 'Media Matters' which is broadcast live Sundays 1-2 oclock Central Time or you can access the RealAudio archives.