Sunday, August 05, 2007

Women, framing, blogging and more.

I've so many things to blog about, and I've still so little time to blog. But only one more week and I will be on the road back in the general direction of Tucson.

Yesterday I ran a bunch of errands. Dropped stuff at Goodwill. Met a progressive friend at a great little lunch restaurant (and breakfast on Saturday) in the one time burg of Dunfee, IN. It is just north of the train tracks north of State Road 14 on the County Line Road between Whitley and Allen County. It is in the back of an antique and country crafts store that has a sub-specialization in equestrian items. The building obviously was a general store -- long rectangular and narrow clapboard, now weathered gray with occasional specks of the original color clinging to the wood.

A perfect setting to begin my good-byes.

I've been in the mid-west, bible belt, rust belt, old union land for 6 months now, and this will be my last week here. I can't say that I will miss the fear driven conformity that underlies so much of everyday life here.

There is a lot made of the supposedly close-knit communities in the small towns of this region. They are held up as supposedly wholesome iconic communities worthy of emulation.

Bull. Bull. Bull. When I walk down the street here, strangers don't smile as they do in large cities. I see looks of intolerance flashed as soon as someone "different" walks by. For heaven's sake, Wal-Mart is the new town square. Plastic junk from China surrounds our center of social information exchange. Far too many of the churches unite groups in their damnation of others who don't believe as they do rather than in the love of all people as the person they name themselves after professed.

There are drawbacks and perks within every sort of living. Both the small town and the international urban metropolis have positive and negative elements, but the success of both are built via social networks. i think it is actually harder to build a supportive community based on distinction when surrounded by a small community rather than a large one. It isn't about anonymity as must as it is about respect.

Community -- that is the core of peace building. The recognition of community across time exists. Community across vast spaces exist. We must build community across socially constructed class to stop the acceleration of artificially enhanced divisive difference.

I'm thinking of starting a "tour" to show any interested women how to connect and communicate via currently available communication technologies.

Is it soincidence that as I was writing this that I flipped through TV channels to find Bill Moyers interviewing Barbara Ehrenrich and found out about her book:

Dancing in the Streets: the History of Collective Joy

Here is the table of contents of the work:

I've always been rather outspoken when it comes to lambasting the "Big Frog in a Small Pond" phenomenon. But now rather than fixate on the big frogs, I'm shifting to simply attempting to have all the women look around at the pond and decide what they want to do with it.

Attendance at BlogHer '07 in Chicago helped this goal solidify into something concrete enough I can begin to meander toward it.

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