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Insert witty ironic phrase here

I think that you were unfair to Scott in your reply to him on January 16, 2006 at 07:26 PM. He was being realistic and stating why speeches such as Gore’s speech, though they fire people up, rarely lead to action. You are not the only one who has listened to/read the transcript of the speech and felt fired up (additionally, a lot more people other than just law school peeps read the transcript to such talks). And likewise you are not the only one who has done and will do next to nothing to act on this passion. Now whether it’s watching T.V. or updating a blog, inaction is inaction. It’s very easy to sit there and find fault in others, but what have you done since, now that it is one week on? Have you made any effort to evoke change? My guess is a resounding no. And don't tell me you haven't had time, you have had enough time to write numerous entries for this self-indulgent blog.

An additional point, I hate how some people, typically “educated liberals”, seem to suggest that watching TV is horribly wrong and they take pride in not owning a TV as if it makes them a better person. Maybe I am being unfair to you, maybe you are a closet west wing watcher and don’t fall into this category, but from your reply I would guess that you do. After you are fired up from hearing inspirational speeches and decide to invoke the “collectively individual changes to the situation” that you suggest, one needs to do it by talking to a wider range of individuals with whom you may share nothing in common with, otherwise your collective change will likely amount to nothing more than preaching to the converted in the church of liberal politics. How do you incite passion in individuals, typically not my coming up to them and asking if they heard Gore’s speech, rather by breaking the ice first, i.e. by talking about shared interests or shared pop cultural influences, and then relating to them how a said situation directly affects their life. Like it or not TV has a huge cultural influence and if you remove yourself from TV, to a certain extent you remove yourself from the masses and thus decrease the scope of any greater collective change you wish invoke.


Hello Witty, (sounds better than "Insert," yes?)

Welcome to the blog. I don't think I was being particularly unfair to Scott, who has publicly posted far more outrageous things than my response to his comments. I like Scott, I think he's a good person, and I'm honestly glad to have had the chance to meet him. That does not preclude me from being disappointed in his reaction, nor should my very real affection for him lessen my ability to comment on publicly made political stances, any more than your possible relationship with me (don't know if I know you) should preclude your adding to the public dialogue by questioning my post.

Actually I have done a number of things to evoke change as you say - I've spoken to friends and neighbors and total strangers (often via the web address posted at this "self-indulgent" blog) and we've discussed the issues Gore addressed. In fact, just this weekend I had a rather good discussion about the aggregation of executive power, the US and Russia, and possible strategies for crippling the US Atlantic Fleet with a young Naval officer whom I'd not previously met. He educated me as to some interesting security risks, and he said that he would think about my (Gore's) points on aggregation, and that it made clearer sense to him via the Russian example.

I'm not as young as I was, so chucking bricks through windows does not appeal to me as much, although marching in the streets is still needed. Regardless of public display, rational dialogue that educates people, one at a time, seems to be the only way to effect a lasting cultural or political change. Poems can do that also. Having a discussion with poets about what they're doing and the scope and extent of their art form can also have political ramifications.

TV, by the way, is mostly shit, by and large escapist crap. I do enjoy it, and enjoy other kinds of escapist crap (baseball), but I see it for what it is. If someone chooses to watch it excessively to the detriment of other more important kinds of community-conscious activities, well, what are you going to do?
I don't buy the “cultural identification through watching TV's flavor-of-the-month” argument; how much of the 1990s is now only accessible through pop culture? Meaning is someone who watched 4 more hours of TV per week in the 90s that much more connected to "the masses" and what “the masses” think? Would such individuals be better able to articulate the kinds of points we're exchanging here? (Furthermore, a general knowledge of the current popular TV shows can be gained without spending hours in front of the tube.)

But passively consuming a pre-packaged entertainment product (like Fox News) does not remotely approach either thoughtfully interacting with other individuals personally, or doing one's small part to advance consciousness. Which includes posting on "self-indulgent" blogs that, apparently, result in an exchange of political ideas.

Late for my train. . .Feel welcome to post here as you see fit.



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