Friday, May 20, 2005

Food for Thought

There's been a lot going on. Lots of organizational politics and life drama.

I am not a direct actor in the events unfolding. There is a scene from an episode of Buffy in which one character, Anya, accepts that she is going to be killed to pay for reversing a horrible act that she has committed. What happens instead is that her very close friend is killed in her stead. It is not the same situation or the same feeling but I saw that and it resonated with me.

My Guy points out the irony in the fact that it is not happening to me and yet I am so upset about it. This thing has been going on for 7 months. Since around last Thanksgiving.

A terrified horse will run and run and run but eventually it will tire itself out and be still. This horse however is tireless. It has reserves of strength and stamina that amaze me.

I went to the Media Reform Conference this past weekend sponsored by It was okay. I went to the wrong sessions, didn't get enough sleep, and had to dodge "friends". I understand that media is important, that having the ability to share ideas and information is vital but I am starting to wonder about the content itself.

One of Indymedia's slogans is "Become the Media." Extolling the virtues of citizen reporting. (a modern take on the ancient greeks and their citizen soldiers) The New York Times will report on things that their editors think are important, but you know what you think is important. You should get out there, see what is really happening, and tell the world. Tell your story.

For politics no question, Media is important for change or maintaining the status quo.

But I wonder if for people who want to make the world a better place whether it is more important to become the media by doing work that deserves public notice.
Media is observation. Media is reporting on the action of others.

Someone still has to do and keep doing the good work.

I was at a three hour meeting full of impassioned speeches and proposals and amendments and consensus building and facillitation. Over 25 people were there to talk and talk out of turn and attack each other and posture and make proposals and form committees and extoll the virtues of non-hierarchical approaches to decision-making. Great. Organizing is tough work, no?

It occurs to me today that if each of us had been calling potential donors for money in that room for three hours, with one $10 donation per person we would have raised $250. At $100 a person we would have $2500.

If each of us had walked someone home safely that's 25 people would have made it home without being attacked or assaulted that night.

If each of us in that room had written a letter to our congressman that would have been 25 letters that would have been counted as representing the opinions of 125-250 constituents.

If each us had written a form letter addressing a different political issue and printed 25 copies for the rest of us to sign, we could have sent out 125 letters to our congressmen on 25 different issues. What kind of impact would that have?

Anybody want to come over, split a few bottles of wine, and pen some letters?

1 comment:

searchingforMrDarcy said...

the last one is an awesome idea. count me in. I guess we just have to decide what we care about.