Connecting the dots

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I’m not always so good at zeroing in on particular issues, providing details related to them, or  analyzing solutions. That’s why I’m so grateful to many of you here that do that difficult work and keep folks like me informed. We’re all hardwired differently when it comes to these kinds of things and I say, “thank the universe for that” because together…we can cover it all.

My particular brain is always trying to question direction and see patterns…to look below the surface and try to determine what’s driving things. So today, when I’ve taken in the information so many of you have provided about things like torture, chemical weapons, modern-day slavery, the intersection of race, gender and class, and the effects of intolerance, I wonder if there is anything that connects these dots. I know that solving these issues will take organized efforts on the individual issues. But what is it that prevents us from getting busy and getting the job done??? I don’t think the problem is in finding solutions, but in motivating people to do it.  

As I thought about this, the things that seemed central are ignorance, powerlessness, and fear.

Ignorance is first and foremost about people not having the information. What so many of you here and other places in the alternative media do to provide this information is absolutely critical. I often watch The Today Show in the morning while I’m checking in on the blogs (at least until I get so disgusted that I have to turn it off). The reality is that for too many people in this country, those morning “news” shows are how they get their information. For those of you smart enough to NOT watch, here are the Today Show’s News and Features headlines this morning:

Mom loses 262 lbs., find out how

Tasty and fruity summer smoothies

Find your dream wedding dress

Mike Myers’ ‘Love Guru’ is a can’t-miss

Yes, its just that bad!!!

But I also think that part of the reason people are ignorant is that they don’t want to know. And they don’t want to know because its hard to know and not feel like you can do anything about it. In this sense, the powerlessness and fear go together. If I am just at the mercy of powerful people or forces beyond my control and don’t see a way for my voice to be heard or my actions to have an impact…then I get afraid. And I’d just rather not know – not much I can do about it anyway.

So a part of mobilizing people to even be interested in the information is, in my mind, helping them understand that “Yes We Can” change things; that we don’t need to be afraid…and that there is reason to hope. This all might sound corny to those of us wrapped up in the specific issues that need to be addressed. But I think its just what those who have stayed out of the process for so long need to hear.

The Obama campaign is NOT the answer to our problems. And yes, like many of you, I don’t agree with many of his policies. But the man does believe in one of our basic themes here at Docudharma…ripples. If you haven’t heard him tell his “Fired Up, Ready to Go” story during his campaign speeches, take a listen:

If he can be the spokesperson for getting over the powerlessness and fear, then YES WE CAN do the rest. As Valtin said the other day,

It is my assessment that the political elites, both Democratic and Republican, are sitting on a social volcano.

And when it blows…

 

41 comments

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  1. “fired up and ready to go” for years now. Hopefully an awakening for more is on the way.

  2. Your Sunday essays always have a fresh take.

    Unlike Valtin who really writes with depth and authority about the ethical issues regarding torture, I write about what interests  me, not from a position of expert knowledge.

    My mother is convinced we live in a profoundly “anti intellectual” culture, I mean intellectual in the sense of ordinary people desiring to be well rounded and I agree with her. Robyn has written about this: the extent to which learning is always supposed to have an “end game” and not be a process in itself. Universities have become job factories, not because of those teaching, but because in North America everything must have a practical market application. So. I think we are trained in ignorance from an early age, trained only to learn new things that benefit us as “consumers” not humans.

  3. http://www.newswithviews.com/H

    “Left” and “right” are mere focus groups used to extract the most Satanic policy, law and social norms.

    • geomoo on June 17, 2008 at 1:23 am

    One thing I think about is the problem of separation.  A circumstance which contributes, not only to ignorance, but to the opportunity to manipulate ignorance, is that we evolved to make character judgments in the context of a tribe, but we are reacting to mass media, whose cues are not human, but manipulated production of huuman-like mannerisms, reactions, challentges, etc.  We react as though we know them, but “they” are not even real eole.  That way, it’s easier to get things past noarmal human instincctts.

    There are many aspects of separation evoked in this essay.  Torture is a probllem of separation, as another example.  I’ve thought abouit why peole torture a lot.  I don’t see practical reasons for it–it doesn’t really accomplish anything.  The terror created, which can be useful, could be as easily achieved by simple disappearance.  So why?  To try to convince themselves of what they know to be false:  I can feel no pain while yoiu feel pain.  When our soldiers who have tortured return home, the delusion in that belief of separation will be manifest.  The torture will not remain separated from us, know matter how far we live from Guantanamo.

    That’s just one reaction, I know.  Great discussion so far.  I look forward to so much more.

    • geomoo on June 17, 2008 at 2:13 am

    It adds a whole new direction, and meditatively speaking, it is taking as real the dualistic projections of the mind–things out there, objects.  Absolutely, it is the cause of separation.

    That book sounds enlightening.  I’ll bet you read more than four times as fast as I.

    “Stealing of subjectivity” is a marvelously precise and informative phrase.  I’m going to look back through your list of “dots” with that phrase in mind.

    (But I’ll have to do it elsewhere because I’m in “Your Comments”)

  4. But I also think that part of the reason people are ignorant is that they don’t want to know. And they don’t want to know because its hard to know and not feel like you can do anything about it. In this sense, the powerlessness and fear go together. If I am just at the mercy of powerful people or forces beyond my control and don’t see a way for my voice to be heard or my actions to have an impact…then I get afraid. And I’d just rather not know – not much I can do about it anyway.

    Sometimes I despair…and I’m one of the connected people who follows the news–admittedly, I’m much more of a political junkie when we have a seriously bad prez (see: Nixon & Chimpy) but I read.  How much worse is it for those who only get their info from the TV?

    (BTW, since being unemployed I’ve watched more Today Show–it’s on the only station I receive with rabbit ears–and it does suck.)

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