Seeking Progressive Social Change
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Category — Blog

Stumbling the Progressive Web

Changeany1thing brings your Lefty Links of the day.

  • The Ointment reminds us that Hillary Clinton is losing, after all. “The big headline for me: Journalists are not too good at math.”
  • Big industries try to block limits on pollution – Surprise surprise. Corporate power working against your interests. Again.
  • Carnival of Green Gardening brings you healthy growing from Wiggly Wigglers (shameless plug – Changeany1thing’s there too. Thanks Karen!)
  • Did Hillary also reassure Canada about NAFTA? Can you spell “hypocrite”?
    …someone from (Hillary) Clinton’s campaign is telling the embassy to take (her anti-NAFTA talk) with a grain of salt.”
  • Buckley’s Big Mistake – Brilliant exposé on the hidden agenda of the modern conservative movement – it’s a must read:
  • “Buckley was instrumental in shifting the American Christian right from William Bryan’s old fashioned anti-capitalism to its modern enthusiasm for mass consumerisms.”

Many of these come by way of the ever-resourceful LeftWord. But be warned: If you visit, you may never leave….

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March 6, 2008   |  Filed Under Blog  |  No Comments

Just say no to commerical TV!

If I could change any one thing, I would…

Keep corporate entertainment away from my kids.

I’ve really had it with the corporate media’s entertainment bread and circuses. My kids are unplugged for the most part and I hope to keep it that way. Today they’re fun-loving, confident children; why should I watch as their self-worth is destroyed by their worrying over how thin they are, or how thick their lips are, or other meaningless trivialities? The sexualization of young girls in the media is truly frightening for anyone with children. It can lead to all kinds of psychological disorders, according to the APA. But honestly, we don’t need a press release to understand these things.

smash your TVI want my children to take pride in their capabilities. I want them to be mindful about things that matter, about how kind they are, about how they should treat their friends. These values are mostly absent from anything that pops out of the tube or sits on the magazine rack at the checkout counter. They’re certainly missing from commercial entertainment.

Spend an hour with corporate entertainment and the one thing that you walk away with is the cheapness of everything. It’s everywhere, in the snide, snappy, mean-spirited digs in commercials or sitcoms; in many movies, which have “gun tracks” instead of music tracks – how many murders can one person watch in two hours? This cheapness leaves the impression that “nothing really matters”. But things DO matter. There really are implications to our actions. When you live in a commercial-infused TV reality, it’s very easy to lose sight of this.

Corporate advertisers know exactly what they’re doing; they go after our kids, exploiting young minds who’ve yet to develop the skills to understand that advertising is not “the truth” but rather a manipulation. Advertisers recognize this phenomenon and even boast about doing it. When you manipulate minors for your own benefit and at their expense, well, that’s called molestation under any other situation and I think that’s what commercial TV is doing to kids. We have laws in the US against this kind of thing; why should it be OK when it comes in the form of cartoony characters?

We have drug-free school zones; how about commercial-free school zones too?

I’m all for free speech – passionately – but this is not a free speech issue. I know there are plenty of “small government” folks who don’t agree with regulations, and besides it’s hard to imagine the kinds of laws that exist in other countries being passed here in the US to control advertising to children. But we can do the next best thing by turning our backs on the thing. If you have kids you should take pride in keeping commercial TV away from them.

Maybe if more people understood the danger to kids from TV they would simply turn it off. Imagine if 25 million – 50 million – just millions and millions of Americans unplugged themselves from corporate entertainment as a protest. What a message that would send!

Here’s a social experiment to try. There are few things more frightening – enlightening? – than NOT watching commercial entertainment for a set period, say three months, and then taking a peek. You’ll be amazed, believe me. I’ve done it.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

If you’re interested in this topic here are a few resources to browse:

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February 26, 2008   |  Filed Under Blog, Living Now  |  13 Comments

Hat Tip to Crooks and Liars!

A big thanks to Crooks and Liars - the best and most original progressive blog on the planet – for their link to ChangeAny1thing.

Crooks and LiarsIf you’re not familiar with C&L (and honestly I don’t know many blog readers who don’t visit that site on an hourly basis) go check them out! But watch out, it can become dangerously addictive.

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February 26, 2008   |  Filed Under Blog  |  No Comments

Progressive (ought to) Love Ralph Nader

Let me be up front here: I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. So go ahead and blame me. In truth I’ve come to admire Al Gore and if the Gore of 2008 were running in 2000, well, I’d have had a more difficult choice. But at that time, Nader was the progressive voice – the only option – to choose from. It wasn’t even a hard decision.

In the years since I’ve watched Nader vilified – not from the Right but from the so-called “Left”. And this criticism is – it seems to me – short-sighted, narrow minded and ultimately reactionary. It does great damage to any progressive movement. And it plainly shows why need multi-parties and instant runoff elections.

Anyway, here we are in 2008, and Ralph is at again. And I won’t vote for him this time around. We’ve seen what an out-of-control right-wing party can do; it’s only the Bush Administration’s bungling and ineptitude that limited their damage, and they’ve done plenty of damage regardless. So I’ll vote for a Democrat because right now, the stakes are that high. But still, I’m damn glad Ralph’s running.

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February 25, 2008   |  Filed Under Blog, Political  |  1 Comment