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 Replies

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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