Posted by: minnow | December 29, 2011

The Next Step

I used to read several posts on a weekly if not daily basis.  I used to comment and debate with folks and yell at some of the voices on the other side of my computer.  I used to write my own blog at least weekly and sometimes twice weekly.  But, a year and a half ago I started back to school.  I still had my moments of writing and commenting and yelling at the computer but they were much less frequent and almost never built up much steam.  I used to feel sad when bloggers I read on a regular basis decided to quit writing or take a break.  I truly wanted to hear what they had to say and it bummed me when their lives shifted to a new place that did not include me any more.

You see I didn’t used to have (and still don’t have really) many face to face conversations I would describe as engaging or challenging.  Most run along the lines of answering such riveting questions as: “What are your plans today?” and “What do you want to add to the grocery list?”  Not that I’m complaining, but the real-life life of this blogger is a bit dull.  Next semester’s art history and upper level art criticism classes give me a little hope for a little more stimulating discussion BUT we are still talking controlled discussions and…well…we all know it is not the same thing as all out political and social debate.

I am not sure exactly what point I am trying to make with such a long intro except that I miss what I liked about blogging before I went back to school.  At the same time, I realize on-line debates are not exactly going anywhere or achieving anything and that too is frustrating.  As I’ve watched the Occupy movement, basically from a sympathetic distance, my angst with it stems mostly from its lack of movement.  They stand around.  They protest.  Every now and then they march for a few blocks.  But then what?  They stand around some more.  I have said from the beginning that if the movement is going to have real impact it will need to occupy the ballot box.  Yet I see no evidence it is heading in that direction.  Why?  Has having the world at our finger tips (AKA the internet) truly turned us into a giant pool of stagnant flesh–too over weight and over stimulated to act?

Actually, I do not think the internet is the problem.  Nor do I think the nay-Sayers who point at the hypocrisy between those who protest capitalism but own name-brand clothes, drink name-brand beverages, and protest via name-brand tech tools see the true picture.  Most of the protesters are not calling for an end to capitalism, even though those are the voices the media and nay-Sayers want to make the focus.  Most are calling for accountability.  Yet, until we are willing to truly do the leg work, to figure out how to change the laws that keep the systems we depend on inequitable, to hold our representatives accountable by VOTING the bad ones out of office so new ones can honestly and sincerely REPRESENT the PEOPLE they SERVE, we will be stuck with the system we currently have in which the wealth buy power in order to maintain the status-quo or tilt the scales in their own direction.

As much as I like blogging, and debating issues on-line or in person, unless I am willing to follow through with action, the words, the whining, my protest really doesn’t amount to much.

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