Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Vote or whine (divinea) Mon 8 Nov 04 19:20
Let's return to center. I don't think we've used this one up yet, Farai. Now, I have a question: now what?
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 9 Nov 04 21:37
Good question! And another: Why is Keith Olbermann of MSNBC the only guy following up on the election irregularities?
Dennis Wilen (the-voidmstr) Tue 9 Nov 04 21:46
I just went through all 164 pages of the Sorry Everybody web site (now mirrored on a new fast machine @ http://188.8.131.52/) and I was thrilled and delighted. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I was provoked, but mostly I was touched and astounded by the 1000 or so images I viewed. There is no other medium on earth that can allow so many people to instantly express themselves/share their stories with the world. I know I've said this a hundred of times, but on the internet, it's the uploads, stupid. God Bless America. And God Bless the WWW.
Drew Trott (druid) Tue 9 Nov 04 23:00
All those kids. Breaks my heart, but it's hopeful, too.
Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Wed 10 Nov 04 07:49
Now what? Start planning for 2006 and 2008. Build infrastructures and connect the ones that exist. If you go to http://pandpelex.blogspot.com, I linked to an analysis of how many billions of dollars was spent this election cycle. And plent of it went to Dems and progressive 527s. People have to get smarter.... build institutions, as Don Hazen of Alternet wrote, from the bottom up, not the top down. And I think there has to be the equivalent of a secular church--a physical place where people gather, that can be leveraged by progrssives the way church is by evangelicals.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 10 Nov 04 14:04
I'm connected with several groups who've talked about doing just that. Wonder how we make new progressive organizations and institutions sustainable? I guess giving to your favorite 527ish organization will be like tithing...
Drew Trott (druid) Wed 10 Nov 04 14:10
Maybe we should think of endowed Progressive Centers in every town -- a place with meeting rooms, some 'net terminals ... ?
Lisa Goldman (lisago) Wed 10 Nov 04 18:28
Here's an interesting pictorial representation of the real demographic mix: we are far more Purple than the Red and Blue depictions would indicate.... http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/election/
Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Wed 10 Nov 04 19:05
Yes--this is one of the most amazing visual representations of our electorate I've seen. In a way it's hopeful, but a friend of mine also said "when you look at it, it looks like the country is literally being ripped apart." I'll be reading, BTW, at a Clean Well Lighted.... (http://www.bookstore.com.... what a URL!), on Friday at 7pm. I'm watching TV right now and it's just horrific.... that's an aside, I suppose. But it's no wonder, given that the Avg american watches 4-5hrs of tv/day, that folks were not better informed about voting. I think the progressive-alternative-to-church could take a lot of forms, and come either from big national organizations or from local innovators. One thing I found to be a good model was a space/event I used to participate in called "Brunch at 4B" (for an apartment number in Brookyn where it was held). It was a monthly brunch that always had a theme--a speaker, or a fashion show or art show or music--but really was about connecting people to each other. Very multi-racial, very warm and fuzzy, and also practical (people got advice on how to fucking LIVE as an artist, etc). Very progressive, politics often a part of it but not front and center, I guess goes without saying. (But I just did.) Food was potluck, and usually very good. I think, with a collective of people, you could take that concept weekly, and have a drop-in, potluck brunch on Sundays (or Saturdays) that made people feel a PART of something. Ideally it could be based at a consistent location--hey, even a church--and people could kick in a couple of bucks to pay for cleanup, etc. Or it could rotate between different peoples' homes. I think community needs to be made tangible. It's hard, of course, given that most peoples' friends, family, associates, are dispersed geographically. But I had to take a train for an hour to Crown Heights to get to this brunch, and it was always worth it.
David Gans (tnf) Thu 11 Nov 04 10:40
> I think community needs to be made tangible Yes.
Lisa Goldman (lisago) Fri 12 Nov 04 05:32
and with that, we seem to have come around to the thought that you use to conclude your book: "The lockout of half the population from American politics will not change unless we change it: not just the parties, not just the activists, but ordinary Americans who reach out to their friends, families and neighbors." It's been a really interesting discussion, Farai. Do you have any last comments for Inkwell before we wrap this up?
Farai N. Chideya (zimby) Wed 1 Dec 04 15:05
Thanks Lisa.... just will say that I'm privy to a lot of what I call "spaghetti" conversations. The big issue right now is building community and a civic "echo chamber." People in technology, finance, nonprofits, grassroots organizing, and media all trying to come up with ideas, throw the spaghetti against the wall, and see what sticks. When I hear of good stuff a-coming, I'll make it known.
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