Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Thursday, August 21, 2003


These are the times that try bloggers' souls. Emma at Late Night Thoughts (link at sidebar) expresses things well: "Lately watching the world is like watching a slow motion train wreck, and writing about it seems to be too much, or too little, or simply useless. I thought at the beginning I would have something to say, but...well, I don't anymore. Not really. I have been spending a great deal of time reading, and most of it has been disheartening..." I think many of us can relate. We've known for awhile that all the dissembling going on in governmental and corporate circles is so overwhelming it's hard to even keep track of, much less effectively counter. But I always bear in mind one of the themes from the movie Contact: "Small moves." This isn't the first time in our country's history, and certainly not in the history of the world, that things have looked so bleak for so many. Politics, corporate crime, all of it goes in cycles, and while we're certainly in a negative cycle at present (from the POV of workers and non-privileged citizens; from the POV of the rich and powerful the cycle is always positive and profitable, it's only a matter of degree) that's not to say we cannot begin to effect change on a national level as early as 15 months from now, and on a local level perhaps sooner than that. We just need to step back every now and again. An angry, blame-shifting tirade from a government mouthpiece often indicates that our efforts to reveal truth and secure justice have already had some desired effect in putting them on the defensive against We, The People. We cannot take their words at face value (and let them depress us) if we already know they routinely lie. But neither can we dismiss them. We must acknowledge that they're People too, not just some faceless "enemy" even if they paint us that way. We must continue to seek more effective ways of increasing our understanding of each other's viewpoints. (John Hawkins of Right Wing News is an excellent example of someone reaching out to liberals and leftists from the conservative end of the spectrum.) And we need to maintain perspective. If we get momentarily disheartened or angry or frustrated, we have to remind ourselves "this too shall pass," "this will cycle around again," "the people united cannot be defeated," any other mantra that works for each of us. All the direct action in the world without this accompanying mantra of perspective will burn us out that much faster.