What I Heard From Sanity and/or Fear Rally

31 10 2010

An echo.

“When we amplify everything, we hear nothing.” Llike an echo of my own refrain as a new blogger at Culture Kitchen five years ago, urging (in a quite civil indoor voice!) some well-modulated post-partisan Sam Waterston Unity ’08 thinking and talking: Amplifying Our Differences

Amplified sound, in effect, may diminish rather than amplify our individualism, our audience, even our own ability to pay attention or care about all we’ve lost. . .

Should we care, if the heavy bass and deafening levels of powerful modern difference-amplifiers blow out everybody’s eardrums along with our will to live, and thus our chances for ever building any majority audience able to appreciate artistic, nuanced and truly innovative political theatre?

. . .Does it matter if we the people learn to prefer politics to problem-solving, screaming to singing, mass media to personal passion?

I wish the ralliers more luck with being heard now than I had then. America’s appetite and audience seem bigger now for subtle, intelligently designed sounds of sanity, so that’s something.

Maybe as usual I just peaked too soon? I’ve been straining to hear and understand for many years while guns were blazing and sirens shrieking, tuning in earnestly to years of FOX and right-rant radio, trying to figure it out.

It’s insidious. Amplification deafens you to the wrong thing! — by trying so hard to be intellectually curious, fair-minded, engaged and reasoning, I’ve been systematically deafened BY the loudest and craziest, FOR the loudest and craziest, TO all but the loudest and craziest! It feels like a lifetime ago that I could comfortably hear (or speak) real hope about America’s chances of restoring sanity.

So could my personal power of story be that I’ve paid a hubris price for going it alone without publisher or party, hoping I could individually trade off small damage to myself in return for contributing to the common good but failing miserably, like Dr. Jekyll experimenting on himself for good cause but becoming Mr. Hyde?

Halloween two days before a momentous election, is a better time than most, I guess, for ghostly fears to echo. I won’t scream it, but please. Vote.

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How Stupid IS She, or Is She Smart Like a Pit-Grizzly-FOX?

27 10 2010

This is a scary fairy tale not for the children, made up by Sarah Palin to tell America about Marco Rubio.

Marco Rubio is no maverick and that’s simple fact. He’s the carefully groomed, obedient, adoring Jeb Bush pet pit-bully-pulpit carnival barker, raised from an attack puppy in the GOP dynasty to fleece the public and bring home their dead and broken dreams to lay at the feet of his shadowy bosses behind their cheesy tabloid facade, wagging and waiting for his pat on the head and a treat.

Sarah Palin either knew or should have known this, not even as highly paid “news” commentator much less former (beauty) half-queen or populist kingmaker remaking America forever, no, even just as a fully functioning human bei–oh wait. Okay, so that’s THREE possible explanations. . . .





Helping Real Kids in Their Real Lives, Right Now

27 10 2010

This teen reporter underlines a key point as we try to help all kids, not just those bullied at school — that their real lives are right now. Today matters utterly.

Dear Husband and I both were the oldest children in our families, and both my parents were firstborn as well. Talk about delayed gratification! — we were masters.

Fortunately for my own children, I was able to change or grow out of this mindset or learn its limitations at least, after the painful epiphany of losing both my parents much too young. I saw the gratification they’d so conscientiously delayed and delayed, denied to them forever . . .if you’re a Thinking Parent, that really makes you appreciate the people you love and the life you can live fully with them NOW.

Sayre Quevedo, 17, is a reporter with Youth Radio, a youth-driven production company based in Oakland:

I love the “It Gets Better” videos as much as the next gay kid. But I worry that the campaign makes it seem as if gay teenagers need to stow away in a time capsule until adulthood, when we can feel fulfilled and safe.

. . .I don’t think we should have to wait to live happily. . . Kids don’t change because we realize we’re gay. Our opportunities to be happy shouldn’t either.

Just to be clear, this isn’t a gay issue or a girl issue or about sex at all. Upper-crust universities have bullies. They just tend to make it about money as power instead of sex as power (well, except for the Duke Lacrosse guys who one might reasonably observe, combine both and don’t ever defer or deny gratification!)

By the end of the month, only a handful of students hadn’t given.

. . .”There was a huge push,” she says, which included knocking on the doors of those who had not yet donated. The student interns who ran the drive encouraged volunteers to ask about a student’s personal reasons for not giving but to accept no as a final answer.

With 24 hours left, there were, serendipitously, just 24 students who had not donated. One volunteer, an honors student in sociology, sent out a list of those students’ names via BlitzMail that was passed along to many people.

Candais Crivello was on that list. A former fund raiser for Dartmouth’s annual fund, she was surprised that some of the tactics her peers were using . . . In the end, the lone holdout was Read the rest of this entry »





JJ’s Quote of the Day

25 10 2010

And I may post this every day between now and the election, because it captures so much of what’s really happening:

“Rove is the past master of directing populist resentment against government and away from corporate business.”
Howard Fineman





Celebrating Power of Story in Books & Movies

25 10 2010

I was just poking around the PBS site because of the new Sherlock Holmes series that started airing last night.

Young Son is a huge fan of everything Holmesian and he’s put together a Sherlock Holmes costume for this Halloween (last year he was Inspector Javert from Les Miserables but that was more about the singing than the detecting, I think) — point being, they are both book characters. As I always say, our unschooling is mostly “power of story” and seeing the same characters and story in different interpretations is an important part of the learning and fun.

The website has a short video of the new young Holmes, who said it was on record that Holmes is the single most often re-interpreted literary character.

The exhibition items have not changed since they were first installed, and are now complemented by an interesting and nostalgic collection of television and film stills, featuring the famous actors who have played the Great Detective and his trusty sidekick, Watson, down the years.

I can’t vouch for Holmes holding the record, but it was interesting and while I was waiting for Young Son to wake up so I could show him, I was thinking we sort of have our own book club mentality around here, not formalized of course, but that’s what we talk about and how we have fun.

Anyway, all that led me to this and I thought I’d share — Read the rest of this entry »





Getting Out the Youth Vote

25 10 2010

UPDATE: Awesome video (from the future!) here

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Tell Them What Republican Plans to End Net Neutrality Will Feel Like
:

If Republicans win Congress, then all messaging will no longer be treated equal. Ever again.

. . .First on the agenda: kill and bury net neutrality, the principle that all messages are treated equal, that there are no “fast speed” and “slow speed” lanes based upon one’s ability to pay.

Once destroyed, net neutrality can never return. Messaging to return to net neutrality will be routed to the bridge to nowhere. With the news media under corporate control already, you do not even see this issue covered, even by good people like Ed Schultz.

Otherwise, voters, especially those 30 and under who were raised on and expect a neutral internet, would be flocking to the polls.

This is no joke.





Young Son’s Unschooling This Week: Dracula Offspring

22 10 2010

Young Son got so absorbed reading Les Miserables, then Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes, that he teed up Bram Stoker’s Dracula next. He’s nearly finished the book but because it’s October and Halloween is nigh (one supposes) some cable movie channels are showing different versions of the story and Young Son is recording them at all hours and then watching them critically, comparing and contrasting them.

The other day it was a science fiction spoof:

We got a bite to eat at Chili’s yesterday before show rehearsal, just the two of us. He regaled me with all sorts of Dracula story aspects I had never considered. It was like listening to him talk about real history of, say, the Red Baron or Napoleon — power of story! (Which reminds me, let’s talk about Virginia’s fourth grade history textbooks later, huh?)

Then this morning I awoke to see he had updated his Facebook status in the wee hours:

. . . just finished, in addition to the Keanu Reeves Dracula, Van Helsing, which somehow manages to take characters from Stoker’s novel, completely change the backstory of one to the point where he can no longer be used in the novel and kill the other one, all of this 10 years before the novel takes place.

Also, Dracula offspring is not a concept that ever needed to be explored…

I can’t wait for him to wake up so I can get him going on that last point! 😉