Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hark the Heralds or Singing the Global Interconnected

Here we are in the season of light, remembering a higher calling that draws us together. Last night we went over to our friends the Gages and I played along with Greg and Steve as part of their folk project, quite an honor. Something about music and collaborative creation that uses a part of the brain we never learned to use in school. That's the new dynamic of course that is celebrated on the Internet and is bursting forth new forms of expression that are impacting everything we do from education to commerce to global governance. We are moving from a pioneer species to a climax species and are learning to thrive via cooperation rather than competition, but that still threatens the powers that be. Wikileaks may be ahead of its time in its basically aggressive stance vis a vis government secrecy. But there is a basic friction between old school business and the new paradigm of rampant, fast-moving information sharing that is dependent on transparency. Julian Assange will be remembered for casting the first stone in this battle.
Yes, there are benefits to secrecy and traditional diplomacy, but the failure in my entire lifetime so far to secure a peace deal in the Middle East makes a mockery of diplomacy's claims. Justice is powerless in the shadows. I think that's the lesson that Wikileaks will try to teach us. And here last week the US Congress passed a resolution condemning the Palestinians for threatening to declare statehood unilaterally in the face of Israeli intransigence on the settlements. It seems that in this season of lights the powerless continue to face obliteration. Money talks. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Dark Knight of the Moment

We need a Dark Knight moment in this country. I'm talking about my favorite scene in the Batman movie in which the black prisoner tears the detonator out of the warden's hands and throws it out of the window of the Staten Island ferry, thus averting the horrible intended outcome of the Joker's "social experiment", in which the passengers on two ferries can save themselves by blowing up the other boat. "I'm doing what you should a done ten minutes ago," he says to the Warden.
We are like those two ferries right now, red and blue camps, ideologically unable to avert the mutual destruction we seem to be inflicting on ourselves, at the mercy of some unknown joker power who seems to have robbed us of common sense and common decency. The truth of how low we have sunk is reflected in the tax debate in Washington and the corollary impact of denying an extension of unemployment benefits to the long term jobless in this season.
Here's my favorite Dark Knight of the moment. Any resemblance to the Joker is purely ironic. Al Franken and his Minnesota common sense cuts to the chase in these Senate floor musings. Some may call it political theater, but sometimes theatrics speak to the broader picture.

I guess we need two parties - the dialectic of left vs. right is what advances the common cause - and like the man said about democracy - it's the worst form of government except all the others, ( Winston Churchill). But it's downright embarrassing, disgraceful, unbelievable, what word would cover this? that we've elected these people who are prepared to go to the wall to preserve tax cuts for the wealthiest among us in a time of economic distress for the weakest among us. As Al said, what are we doing here? For me, it's unacceptable. I'm ready, like the prisoner in Batman, to say, look take my tax cuts and cancel them, too.  Out the window with the detonator of this horrible social experiment in which everyone loses.