Tag Archives: change

Because it’s too complex and long for a hashtag. Black Lives Matter. Yes All Women. The Mockingjay Lives.

27 Nov

It’s Thanksgiving in the year 2014 (by a certain reckoning) and I live in a world where people behead other people. Seriously! Beheading! I live in a world where women are scared to be women. Where people with darker skin get shot at and killed. Where shooting and killing other people is often considered (and then demonstrated) to be ok.

I want to live in a world where humanity is free to discuss the exciting stories of our times. “Hey! There’s a new Star Wars teaser trailer coming out tomorrow!!” “Star Wars Episode 7: The One Where Han Solo is Old.” “Have you all seen the brilliant Mockingjay (part 1) yet?”

In one corner of my Facebook newsfeed people are discussing how the cops in Boston are pretty good and that being afraid of them doesn’t make too much sense. In another corner a friend of mine posted about their experience peacefully protesting and being forcefully pulled across a barrier and then arrested by Boston police. They’re pretty good though and being afraid of them doesn’t make too much sense. Maybe I read too much Facebook.

We are human beings. We ought to live in a humane world. I like to start from there because it’s the ultimate purpose behind things. The goal isn’t “just” equality. We are human beings. We ought to live in a humane world.

We ought to live in a world where it is never ok to shoot another human being. We ought to live in a world where everyone is encouraged to be who they are and given the support they need. We are human beings. We ought to live in a humane world.

Theoretically, we tell stories because they help us learn and grow. Well told stories can inform us about being human, and about how we can work towards that humane world that we all ought to be living in. I want to talk about the story of The Hunger Games, I don’t want to live it. Heck, the point of telling The Hunger Games is to show us all how to avoid living it.

And yet… here we are.

We ought to live in a humane world. Katniss is a hero because she is deeply human. She is powerfully humane in even the most inhumane and cruel circumstances. She is not a hero because she kills other people. She is not a hero because she can fight well. Indeed, when she fights and kills she becomes less human.

We need more empathy and less fear. We need to remember not just to love our friends and our families, but every human being. Every. Single. One. Even the ones who behave inhumanely.

Happy Thanksgiving. May the odds be ever in our favor, and The Force be with us. Especially since it’s waking up.

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When It Comes, It Comes Slowly

3 Mar

Managed to watch some of the Academy Awards last night, even though ABC makes it difficult to do so unless you actually pay for cable. Remember paying for cable? When you had to pay a large monthly sum for the privilege of watching commercials on a bunch of channels you probably didn’t care about? Who still does that?

Ellen joked that 12 Years A Slave would win Best Picture because if it didn’t everyone in the Academy would be racist. It won Best Picture.

The Academy Awards used to be segregated.

Lupita won for Best Supporting Actress. This is after she graduated from Hampshire College. These two things probably aren’t related, but it’s neat that I “know” someone who was there. She gave a great speech.

Meanwhile nearly 400 (!) people were arrested for protesting the building of a giant pipe. One of them looks like Chelsea Clinton. It is almost certainly NOT her.

I wish humanity developed faster.

But at least we do develop. Better than stagnation.

Politics 2012

8 Jul

There is a presidential election coming up.  Again.  If you’re one of the millions of loyal readers that I’m sure The Juno Blog has, you know that I used to post articles about politics.  I even endorsed our current President.

I haven’t been writing about politics in recent years though, and the reason is simple: I’ve lost interest.

This is, perhaps, Obama’s biggest failing.

Now I do not believe that he has been a bad President, and in fact I think he may be a really good President.  But I admit to getting a bit caught up in his rhetoric.  He wasn’t supposed to just be a good President.  He was supposed to transcend politics.  He was supposed to change the system.

He hasn’t, and honestly this is not a surprise, nor is it his fault (though the expectations that arrived with him to the White House are).  The system is designed in such a way that it cannot be quickly changed, nor can it be changed by one individual, even if he or she is President.

And I’m just not really interested anymore.  I’m interested in human beings.  I’m interested in the future of the world.  I’m interested in the evolution of humanity.  I’m interested in community.

I want a world where what each does counts for all.

This makes all things possible.

What each does counts for all, means everything can be done.

This means every individual does the work they love.

This means no one goes without.

This is the kind of thing that I want a politician to say.  I want them to be able to say this because I want the system to be working for this.  Then I would be interested.

Hope and Change

24 Jan

Obama saw Brown’s victory as a mirror-image of his own: “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry, and they’re frustrated, not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”
It seems the secret to getting elected, especially if you want to capture my generation’s vote (which numerically is often necessary if we’re voting at all) is convincing us that you will change what’s come before and what is there now.

How many people do we elect who convince us that they’re going to change things, only to have them not change things, before we become skeptical again and stop caring and voting?

The President leaves me wondering

22 Jul

Obama says the only way to make sure everyone is covered by healthcare is a single-payer system.

So why aren’t we implementing one?

[to be clear, I don’t really understand what a “single-payer system” is and am only slightly grokking the concept of a “public option”]

Right now I have no insurance, which most of the time saves me a lot of money that I also don’t have. Sometimes (when I actually need healthcare) it costs me a tremendous amount. It sounds like if this health care reform goes through it will mean that I’ll have to pay for my own health insurance just like I now have to pay for my own car insurance. It will be as “affordable” as car insurance, but that doesn’t actually help me until I have an income…

The three smartest things Obama said in tonight’s conference were:

1. He and everyone in congress has excellent health care now, so this isn’t about him (or them…)

2. The only way to get things done in Washington is to set deadlines because the status quo has inertia too powerful to overcome otherwise.

3. No matter what change happens, there will be at least one group somewhere that is unhappy about it, finding that they were more benefitted by the previous status quo.

Things I wish he had said (he’s just not as strong in his convictions as I’d prefer. Or his convictions are different than mine…):

1. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

2. As a country that is founded upon equality and opportunity for all, America ought to be judged by how it treats the least of its citizens, not its elite.

3. It’s about humanity. It’s not about this party or that group gaining some kind of artificial political ground. It’s not about money. It’s about humanity. It’s about every single individual getting the healthcare that is their right.

CHANGE

23 Jan

One thing that changed on Tuesday, in addition to the President, was the official website for the White House.

It now has a blog.

At one point during the television’s coverage of Tuesday’s proceedings a broadcaster made some comment about how, to people of my generation, Obama’s election is historic not because he is an African-American, but for other reasons. This is true.

For me this is very true: I couldn’t care less about the color of his skin, where his father was born, where his mother grew up, what geographical region his ancestors lived in, etc. It’s simply not important.

For people of older generations, who lived through segregation, this may not be as true. For people like my grandmother, who resonated very strongly with Obama’s comment that his father wouldn’t be able to eat in a restaurant in DC a mere 60 years ago, that’s probably not as true.

But for me race is a false classifier. It is an outmoded, divisive, and dangerous human category that has been scientifically proven to not exist.
Obama marked “this day with remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled.” I’m ready to mark this day with the vision of change which brings us into a new future. With a vision of who we will become and how far we will go. Where Obama remembers America’s tasting (and overcoming) of “the bitter swill of civil war and segregation” I’m ready to mark this day as the beginning of a new world where the old “bitter swill” of concepts like race and its underlying foundation, that view which is predicated on an us and a them as separate conflicting entities, is washed clean away, replaced with a new complete picture of our planet as host to a magnitude of gloriously complex and different individuals.

There will be no them. There will be no us.
There will only be individuality forming humanity in massive throng.

CHANGE???

22 Jan

For all the hope and inspiration caused by Obama’s election it perhaps feel a bit funny to include this criticism of him, but dissent is patriotic, and he has encouraged it.

“To those who cling to power through … the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history.”

Ask not what your country can do for you…

Paul Krugman has an interesting post on his blog about the historical nature of Obama’s call for a “new era of responsibility.”

The Daily Show on Jan 20th had a brilliant montage of segments from Obama’s speech, and speeches from former President Bush. They were largely the same.

Obama is if nothing else a brilliant politician. While he campaigned on change, his speech demonstrates his talent for saying something that pleases everyone. The oldest political trick in the book is to simply say what those who are listening want to hear. When everyone is listening, you say everything. Obama did that.
The part of Obama’s speech which gave me the most pause is this section:

“We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.  And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken — you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”

This is fire with fire. This is us vs. them. This is not change. This is not hope over fear. This is more of the same.

Part 3 tomorrow.