The Meliorist – It takes you…











{February 26, 2008}   The Meliorist Returns…

I am returning from a long hiatus….its been a really busy six months and I’ve been trying to figure out where to focus my energies.  I have realized that although I have a ton of interest areas and a lot of things I would like to do, I need to focus my energies on a few things at a time.  I’ve spent the last six months focused on my job.  Since it was my first six months in this position, I felt like it was important to focus my energies on that.  But, I’ve also dipped my toe in the water of a few other bodies of water.  Although a few of those things seemed to be right at the time, my interest of them quickly wained.  I have some issues with commitment – no doubt about that.  But, I think its more of a problem with focus.  I just have too many things I want to do in life.

So, I’m returning to this blog in the hopes of focusing some of that energy into a blog about my political frustration, sharing knowledge that may help (or frustrate) others, and hopefully to spur people to think about multiple sides of an issue.

Its almost the end of February in this leap year – and if nothing else remains the same, time always seems to fly.  But, its still pretty early in the year and I’m jumping back in at a key time in US politics.

So, here’s to getting out there, gathering information and then taking the important step of acting on it when necessary!  It takes you!

Advertisements


{October 7, 2007}   Back in action…

Well, I’ve been on a hiatus.  Moving from one end of the big state of CA to the other and settling into a new job.  I questioned whether I would keep this blog going or not.  I’ve been exploring new ideas and trying to figure out the direction I want my larger life to go.  But, here I am.  And it is something that just clicked for me in the last two days.  I have a problem staying focused on singular issues.  There is so much stuff going on in the world that is worthy of my attention, how can you just look at one and say “that’s it”?  And although some would say a singular focus is necessary, I think it a singular focus ignores the complexity of our world.  Let’s face facts – many of our problems are completely interconnected, but by pitting groups against each other in a struggle for attention and resources and goal statements, we tend to not only downplay that complexity, but greatly decrease our capabilities at being able to solve our problems. 

So, I care about a lot of things.  I think the War in Iraq is going poorly and should be ended ASAP.  I think that we are seeing huge negative environmental effects across the globe from our overuse of petroleum products.  I think we have a generation of young people who are often directionless – taught to the test, and finding there is no “test” in the real world.  I think our government lies to us more often than not, and we don’t even know the half of it at this point.  I think that we have spent so long building bigger houses and bigger cars and bigger buildings that we have lost our ability to appreciate the small things. 

But, I have not lost hope.  And that is what this blog will be about.  It will be about my hope for the future.  My little things that I hope, when added to everyone else’s little things, will have big effects.  After all, we didn’t make a mess of this world in a day, or with only one person contributing, so it may take a while to clean it up and it will certainly take more people.  But, I’m excited.  I’m back to feeling positive and hopeful and excited about adopting new ideas, hearing new perspectives and taking new actions.

I had a conversation with someone about anti-war efforts the other day.  The gist of the conversation was organizing efforts that are taking place in our community and the difficulty of “staying focused” in those activities.  I was saying that I had considered having a “teach-in” night on Iran to demonstrate that they’re not all that different from us, even though they have been portrayed in mainstream media as being some sort of distant, backward society of American-haters.  The response to this shocked me – basically, I was told that the idea had already been pitched in their group and that this person had lobbied NOT to have the event because it would “divert our focus and efforts from the War in Iraq” to a “war that hasn’t happened yet.”  Although I can understand the fear, it seems to me that we need to stop saying no to expanding our educational efforts on issues, whether they “fit” exactly into our vision or not, and start saying yes and then explaining how all of the issues are intertwined.  I believe that these “singular focused efforts” are not really making them more effective, because it lends itself to creating divisions rather than coalitions.  Couldn’t we have had the Iran event and then talked about the similar messages that came out about Iraq prior to our invasion there?  Couldn’t we have tied in the anti-war goals of that group along with the educational efforts on the Iran issue to both solve and current problem and take a step toward preventing another problem? 

It seems to me that we need to start recognizing and welcoming those from other activist groups into ours and tying together the complexities that allow the problems to develop in the first place.  I envision a GIANT wall where we’re putting up pictures/logos from the groups, then drawing lines to other pictures/logos of groups that are working on issues related (even, especially if indirectly) and in the end, we would see that all pictures/logos tie into all other pictures/logos.  Because our world is a system – and any change in that system creates a ripple effect throughout the entirety of the system.  Let’s start making those ripples positive instead of negative.

So, my new goal here is to produce material that both educates and begins to build this big organizational chart of issues that are tied to one another.  As an activist, my goal is to start to learn more about the complexity of relationships between issues and start to produce common ground between activisms.  And, I’m going to go ahead and plan my Iran teach-in and I’m going to go ahead and invite the anti-war group.  If they choose not to see the relationship and take the opportunity to talk to those who are of a common belief, so be it. 

Let the organization chart begin!



Well, for anyone out there who has been reading, I apologize for the absence.  I’ve been moving from one end of California to the other and it has been a little bit of a tech upheaval.  And then there is the packing and unpacking.  And the new job.  So, I’ve been a little bit overwhelmed with it all.  But, today I read a post over at Feminist Philosophers that was a good kick in my pants to get me posting again!

 The blog entry is actually indicting a recent study finding that adult color preferences match up with those stereotypical color choices that our culture has assigned by gender.  The blog entry refers to readers to Bad Science to see all the problems with the study.  But, the most interesting thing to me in the blog entry was the following line:

A quote from Ladies Home Journal, 1918:  “There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” 

First of all, the fact that there was a “great diversity of opinion on the subject” is interesting.  I guess I never really thought about the root of all this color assignment – and people sitting around justifying certain color choices for certain genders.  But I did find it interesting that in 1918, pink was “a more decided (?) and stronger color” than blue.  It doesn’t seem that pink has changed as a color.  So, I guess perhaps arguing against using pink for girls is actually taking a step backwards in the gender wars!  I will definitely don my pink clothing with a little more gusto now. 

I always thought pastel green and yellow were nice colors for babies.  I haven’t gone through the birth of a child yet, so I can’t speak from experience.  But, I found this all very interesting!



Are you one of “those people”?  The person who is constantly referring to politicians by name and state while others can not even name our Vice President (21% according to a recent poll).  If so, you may have a new place to showcase your talents and a way to boast about it that others will be more able to understand.  Enter Fantasy Congress.  Created by students at Claremont McKenna University in California, the league makes following politics and legislation a competitive affair, with points being scored for introduction of legislation, passing through committee and the big points for the legislation actually passing into law. 

I think it sounds like a great tool for getting students of government classes in high school involved in following the legislative process, getting to know their representatives, etc.  Most college students could use the knowledge base as well.  If it increases awareness about our political system and encourages citizens to know more about their government representatives, than I think its a great idea. 

If anyone has experience using it, please chime in.  I think I might give it a try.  I could probably use some education on upcoming legislation and representatives myself.  In reality, couldn’t most of us?  To read more on Fantasy Congress (and some other less intellectual fantasy leagues) see this LA Times article from July 11.



{June 26, 2007}   Beauty in many forms…

A relaxing video…representations of feminine beauty throughout history.  Many shapes and faces, but lacking in color…but, still interesting to watch and notice the differences in the women’s faces, adornments, hair, etc. 



et cetera