I didn’t know I lived through history…

 “We can’t buy the line that government is our enemy and the market is our friend … Government is us. Government is our institutions. Government is how we make social and public choices working together to forge common ground…. We’ve got to retrieve our citizenship.”

                                                                                                                        -Political theorist Benjamin Barber

I really, really enjoy hearing people articulate a rational, sound understanding of the true goal of our institutions. With everything going on recently in politics, I am so happy that 1) I don’t have tv and 2) the internet has totally revolutionized the way we interact with the world. Through the internet I have more choice than ever before about how I consume and how I reveal myself. I can misuse it, of course, but that is true of any medium.

This quote above is from an article with a very relevant argument: Democracy Talks-listen up!

It’s about a new book out by the legendary Bill Moyers. It’s called  Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues. A collection of interviews and conversations, the book compiles some very interesting perspectives on three crucial years in American History- from 2007 to 2010. Personally, I’m not used to seeing any part of my lifetime considered to be historically important (with a few huge exceptions), so this is surreal to say the least.

The book covers topics from the economic collapse to the 2008 presidential campaign to the election of Barak Obama to the start of the Afghan War and on. Living through it, it’s so overwhelming that it’s easy to overlook the sheer multitude of events that happened over that period of time. The quote that I started this post with is a direct quote from the book itself. Exactly the kind of thoughtful point that I’ve come to expect from a Bill Moyers interview. It’s a perspective that I like seeing in print, because it pushes to remind us that moderate debate can do far more than it is given credit for doing nowadays.

I recommend buying the book outright, if you can.

And I’ll leave you with a quote from historian Howard Zinn, who (whatever you think of his politics) usually brings very fundamental points into public conversation:

“The idea of people involved in history, people actually making history, people agitating and demonstrating, pushing the leaders of the country into change in a way that leaders themselves are not likely to initiate… Don’t depend on our leaders to do what needs to be done, because whenever the government has done anything to bring about change, it’s done so only because it’s been pushed and prodded by social movements, by ordinary people organizing.”

You said it Howard.


Adele speaks straight from my heart…

I loved Adele from the first moment I heard her. She’s gorgeous in every way (you know, as a personality…I’ve no clue how she is in real life, but in my mind she’s a goddess of the first order). When I listen to her lyrics, it’s like she crept into some universal woman’s heart, and speaks about the whole experience, pulling it out and hanging it up like a flag to be noticed.

Case in point, my favorite song of hers for the next few minutes at least, Right as Rain, has these lyrics:

Who wants to be riding high
When you’ll just crumble back on down
You give up everything you are
And even then you don’t get far
They make believe that everything
Is exactly what it seems
But at least when you’re at your worst
You know how to feel things

And another favorite lyric from Turning Tables:

Next time I’ll be braver
I’ll be my own savior
When the thunder comes for me
Next time I’ll be braver
I’ll be my own savior
Standing on my own two feet

Her lyrics are AMAZING. I never had that experience in high school of feeling like a songwriter completely captured what I was feeling, so this is a first love for me, in a way.

     I have not yet figured out how to link a sample of the songs to my blog posts, but it’s on my list of technical things to learn…right after learning Photoshop and how to actually take nice pictures.

I’m growing…