What We Need

Less hyperbole. More “we” and less “I”. Fewer opinions. More facts. More trust. Less suspicion. More affection and appreciation. More reading and less talking. More common ground. More doing and less talking. Less group-speak and more unique voices. Fewer ideologues and more individuals. More community bonds. More appreciation for our physical environment.


  1. says

    You’d think that would be a fairly universal concept, that individuals do better when we all do better. But it’s tough to crack the defensive shell that people develop when they think someone’s out to get them. That paranoia is strong right now and it’s just gonna take time to settle.

  2. says

    I hate having to state the obvious. In any event, I’m determined that my blog will be devoted to these principles. I have in the past certainly engaged in flame wars about things I’m passionate about, but the way the blogosphere is trending, I think that is counter-productive. As I pass into my middle years and then senility, I find myself more interested in helping make interesting spaces for interesting creators and, in the political sphere, being more active at the street level. The balance was off this last election. In the past, Ann and I have canvassed and been much more active, but were, ironically, pinned down creating interesting spaces.

  3. says

    We canvassed and streetwalked (no, not that kind) in 2008 for both the primaries and the general, this year it was definitely way dialed back. More common ground is a great idea, what’s needed is some kind of narrative of a path forward from here. Where is the common ground between anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-immigrant *platform points* (the new immigration “czar” of the House is Steve King, who is the one who demonstrated on CSPAN his plans for an electrified barbed wire and concrete fence along the border…) and me? I don’t know. It’s somewhere, we’re all human…

  4. Jess Nevins says

    Also: less time spent reading and complaining about things we hate, and more time spent time reading and celebrating things we love.

  5. says

    Jess: Absolutely. I understand the need for talking about what we dislike and why–I do it myself–but more celebration of what we love is so important.

    Ann–yeah, well, today it’s all online for me. LOL.

  6. says

    Hear f-cking hear. Myself, I’ve given up on ideology, which is where I think a lot of the problems arise. For the most part, I’m only interested in outcomes, and making sure they are positive for the largest number of people possible.

    Thanks for this, Jeff.

  7. says

    Thanks for this. I’m generally optimistic, but the last few days have left me feeling overwhelmed. And then I read this and nodded a lot and found myself smiling at the end of it. So thanks.

  8. says

    Dallas–I hear ya. I read so many political blogs that my brain’s just been swimming in blah blah blah.

    Such a depressing election. But, if you go downstream to my post of a political video…even when I had what I think were some right wingers posting, I just no longer have the ability or wish to get all righteous. Absurdist, yes, but I *still* know folks on the moderate right who are definite allies. It’s just that, in general, the rhetoric has seemingly destroyed the middle ground.

    Jessica: Yeah, I just don’t have the energy any more for signal boosting stuff I hate. Seems self-defeating.

  9. says

    Jeff– I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, things are no different in Brazil and (as far as I can tell) in Portugal. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s politics or fandom (everything is politics, and not necessarily in a bad way), but it seems to me that every time we strive and do an effort to bridge gaps and join people, there is always a bunch of people making an effort in just the opposite direction – seeking disruption, not union.

    Ann– couldn’t agree more. 2010 is my reading year: already read 203 books and counting. Less TV for me!!

    Jess– purrfect! Let’s stop complaining and start celebrating! That’s all that really matters, in the end.

  10. says

    @ Jeff and Jess: Yes! I could try and add to that, but you two have pinned it down.

    @ Fabio: Those people will always be around, but there is hope in Adversity in that it makes us question our own motivations, and makes us more certain of our beliefs–what we hold as important, and makes us appreciate those who are working towards similar goals. Ignore the objectors and muckrackers, be it politics and art, and just keep on celebrating. The objectors will eventually fade back into the white noise. That’s what I hope, at least.

    And as far as harping on what one hates–it is, to quote a wise dude, “Like, just your opinion, man.”

    @Ann: Hee, I’m logging off now. :)

  11. says

    Vague, selectively bridled optimism, yeah!

    And don’t forget, if it all goes pear-shaped, if the polarization & militarization of the humans are getting you down, if the (free) radicals are getting more radicalized, if the seas keep getting more petro-oleaginous by the passing season, if the new day’s freshly minted dawn seems minutely darker than the last three hundred and sixty four ones to have gone before it:

    Well, there is a not-so-bad chance that a large, planet killing asteroid is *at this very moment* hurtling our way.

    I don’t know about you, but that always cheers me up.