Changing direction

But speaking of art, we are really talking about a cultural shift, and it is art that is so important when you want to change a culture. We doctors can talk pathology and disease forever, but what really causes change is when art — the narrative, the music, and the things that add value and joy to our lives — is directed in a way that is congruent with what’s healthier for us. That’s where we need to be going.

I first read and bookmarked Our Ailing Communities five years ago. Going through some older digital files I rediscovered it. As the spirit seems aligned with the ongoing #Occupy protests, I thought I’d share it.

Yes We Can

I’m struggling with what to say. I haven’t written about politics here in a long time, not like I used to, because my disgust was too great or it just hurt too much.

This past year, I’ve been anxious, unwilling to admit that the feeling I had was hope, that this time things might be different, that the monster years might actually end. Because what if it wasn’t different this time?

Something else I haven’t wanted to admit: listening to Barack Obama speak can make me cry. It seems pointless, naive, even stupid to think a politician (a politician of all people!) can inspire positive change – but now I know Barack Obama can. Whatever he does or doesn’t get done in office, Obama has given so many of us back the belief that change is possible on a large scale and that we can make it happen.

But change, like the future, is unevenly distributed. California voted to ban same-sex marriage last night, even as it helped propel Obama to victory with its 55 electoral college votes. Change happens: sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.

Still, I feel like I won last night, that we all won, that real people – not celebrity endorsers or fictitious everymen – real people went to the polls in droves and said, enough. Enough with the fear and the suspicion and no real plan fix any of the messes we are in, enough. Let’s try something new. Let’s change.

Listening to Obama’s speech last night was inspiring. Yes, it made me cry. I was still thinking about his speech this morning when I realized: I’m the first person in my family to go to college. I’m a happily and legally married lesbian. Yesterday I voted for Barack Obama, and he’s going to be the first black man to be President of the United States. And I’m not even forty yet. Change happens.

Yes we can.

Hey! You’ve got your politics in my web 2.0!

And I fear it won’t be as swell as a peanut butter cup

I am not looking forward to the next presidential election. My feelings of dread and unease about it can best be summed up as follows: I have zero faith that there will be a major party candidate or viable independent alternative I will want to vote for on the ballot, and I have only marginally more faith than that in the integrity of our electoral process. Don’t even get me started on the so-called “issues” I expect the candidates to address versus the real issues I’m pretty confident they will ignore.

So I’ve got mixed feelings about web 2.0 colliding with politics. It’s going to make it harder for me to tune out.

I don’t really care that Barack Obama has his own social networking site, that Rudy Giulani’s MySpace profile is set to private, or that John Edwards twitters. But… I know about it. I know
MySpace launched a political site. I know other people are amazed.

Today over on GigaOM, Drew Clark wrote:

There is an energy about electoral politics and the Internet that is different this time around. Almost all of it has to do with maturation of software and social networking models that could upset the pre-ordained dance between candidates, media and voters.

Somewhere deep in the recesses of my brain where I still believe in idealism and inspiration, I think I want this to be true, I want this to happen. Of course, my very next thought is sucker!

Clark goes on to say, “If there’s a king-maker in Politics 2.0, it won’t be the likes of The New York Times or the CBS evening news.” Could it be YouTube?

If you haven’t seen it already, there is a brilliant recasting of Apple’s 1984 SuperBowl commercial, starring Hilary Clinton as Big Brother in Vote Different:

Those annoying tv ad voiceovers where the candidates say who they are and that they approved this message make a whole new kind of sense now, don’t they?