Zach Miller (zarfmouse) wrote,
Zach Miller

Stream of Consciousness on Earlier

I wanted to clarify that when I talked about paying attention to what is happening in my community (as opposed to the international scene) I didn't mean trading CNN for NewsChannel 15. All that TV news stuff is about Fear. We are controlled by Fear, We are addicted to Fear. Fear is why the IMC got shut down. Politicians invent things for voters to be afraid of (dangerous venues where your kids congregate and COULD DIE) and then they "save" them from those fearful things. Fear sells products and it gets votes. Fear keeps you tuned to the TV news like watching a train wreck, it is horrible but you can't take your eyes off of it. The TV news reports about murders and robberies and fires and diseases you can catch and oh my is there a knot in your stomach? do you feel the need to run away? well why don't you run to McDonalds and bite into a nice fatty burger, that'll make you feel comfortable and happy for a little while. Aren't you glad you're an American and you have the freedom to eat Fast Food any time you want? Vote for the Candidate that will protect you from the things that you fear and promise the free flow of hamburgers. Please drive through.

So yah. That's not the kind of local news I'm talking about. In any very large group of people there's going to be some violence, some mayhem, some senseless death. We do our best as a society to band together and prevent that stuff but it's going to be out there. The thing to keep in perspective is how frequent is it. Is it more likely that you will be in a car crash or that some random murderer will come and get you? FAR more likely that you will be in a car crash. And yet, because the TV news isn't about how dangerous cars are (automakers buy more advertising than regular murderers do) we don't think twice about popping over to the store in our cars to buy some milk. The news brainwashes us into fearing things that a) we can't really control and b) we don't really need to worry that much about anyway because we can't worry about every possible way that we could die at any given moment....almost all of us are going to keep on living for a good long time.

What is happening in my community that is important? The food coop, the IMC, Sunday Sing, COUCH, the 85% coalition, the Queerstock Music Festival in October, the IMC Music Festival on Labor Day weekend, the Experimental Improvisation music festival, the IMC folk music series, Girlzone and GrrrlFest 2003, Salon, Critical Mass, the progressive majority on Urbana city council, the IMC Capital Campaign, WEFT community radio, the green party, skeleton danse, WAIT, movie fests, potluck dinners, sushi, the folk music association, the roots music association, the blues society, the school for designing a society, independent culture jammers, cafe paradiso, that's rentertainment, ISEN, the permaculture project, UPTV, the CU Wireless project, Krannert, OJC Technologies. There are so many ways in which our neighbors are coming together to connect with each other, to get to know each other, to enjoy their lives more, to help others enjoy their lives together, to create alternatives to Television and Fear. I could write long LJ entries about each and every one of these things. And there's so much more missing from the list. So much hope. So much community. So much joy. So much satisfaction. And ain't none of it on the TV news.

Don Blaheta seems to capture everyone at their best in his quotes file. Here's something relevent I apparently said once:

"Every moment someone hangs out with their neighbors is a moment they aren't watching TV is a moment they are closer to the realization that other people are humans too." --Zach Miller
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