Rodeo Roundup

I for­got to watch the State of the Union ad­dress last night. Grr. What did I miss?

Stealing a bunch of links from this MetaFilter thread on Alone in the Dark:
The Filthy Critic
Defective Yeti
Rotten Tomatoes
• Uwe Boll

I’ve been trou­bled late­ly by thoughts that it seems “free­dom” in America on­ly re­al­ly means “the free mar­ket” or that the amount free­dom is weighed by the amount of avail­able goods and the abil­i­ty to buy them.

I’ve al­so re­al­ized that while I pos­sess a rather gen­er­al sort of ab­stract wis­dom, I’m re­al­ly not world­ly-wise. I don’t know which is more use­ful, but lack is nev­er use­ful so I’m go­ing to try to be­come en­gaged in­stead of just some­times ob­serv­ing the news. I feel like I’m prob­a­bly guilty of falling in­to the ap­a­thy-trap of American eth­no­cen­trism. I still have so much to learn. This will be good for me, but I don’t know where to start. Any ideas?

5 thoughts on “Rodeo Roundup

  1. The best way to be­come less ap­a­thet­ic and more ac­tion ori­ent­ed is to find an is­sue that you are will­ing to fight per­son­al­ly for, and then do so. Something that af­fects you, and your life as a per­son now.
    This could mean chang­ing ca­reers, get­ting to­geth­er with peo­ple who feel the same and then tak­ing ac­tion, vol­un­teer­ing, or just read­ing up more on the his­to­ry of the sub­ject, so as to see any so­cial im­pli­ca­tions there might be in the fu­ture. Reading and think­ing about pos­si­ble im­pacts is the first step. Don’t take any­thing up with­out know­ing the his­to­ry.

    I have found that noth­ing gets peo­ple to move faster than to make them re­al­ize that the­se fights are of­ten right at their front door. It’s hard to be ap­a­thet­ic if that is the case.

  2. it is so easy to get over­whelmed by the news and pol­i­tics and in­for­ma­tion over­load. i can’t say i have learned to ef­fi­cient­ly parse through it all. but i am in­volved in my town on a lo­cal, more grass­roots lev­el. it can frus­trat­ing as hell, but al­so I’ve seen change, too, be­cause of con­cerned cit­i­zens’ band­ing to­geth­er. it can be very grat­i­fy­ing and al­so give you a sense of the world ina way that just read­ing news does not.
    find­ing some­thing you want to be­come en­gaged in is a good idea. you seem in­ter­est­ed in the neigh­bor­hood in which you live or in the NE Ohio blog scene; those are good start­ing places.

  3. Really the on­ly way that I can think of for pos­i­tive change is to run for of­fice. I’m too much of a cow­ard to do so, some­day I might have the courage to do so. If you re­al­ly want to see how to re­all make changes, you’ll need to watch and see how the gov­ern­ment works at the lo­cal and state lev­els. That means go­ing to city/​county/​schoolboard meet­ings and see how the process­es work there.

    One of the best ex­pe­ri­ences I had was when I spent sev­er­al days work­ing with our State Senator in Topeka (this was when I was 16). I got to sit in on com­mit­te meet­ings and work on the sen­ate floor as a glo­ri­fied go­pher. The two things I took away from the meet­ing: Change can be slow, but for good rea­son, run­ning a small­ish, most­ly ru­ral state is more com­pli­cat­ed then I had imag­ined. Local gov­ern­ments have more pow­er to im­pact our dai­ly lives, but no­body seems to care much about lo­cal elec­tions.

  4. I agree about get­ting in­volved in the lo­cal scene. My broth­er and some friends start­ed a lo­cal ad­vo­ca­cy group in Durham, NC (ABCD) and have re­al­ly got­ten some things done. George from Brewed Fresh Daily/​Cool Cleveland (who you know, I guess, from the blog­ger meet up) and Thomas from CoolCleveland are prob­a­bly good con­tacts to start with if you want to get in­volved in chang­ing Cleveland for the bet­ter.

Comments are closed.