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February20ConversationLeadsToRevolution

Wow, I bet I’m not the only one lately who has been excited about our presidential prospects for the future. We really could have a _____ president. Awesome!

Between press-time for this column and print-time, many things could happen. One thing is clear, whether it’s pleasant or not: we are doing something amazing. To see a large room packed with neighbors on the 9th brings a tear to my eye. And I’m not even a democrat or a republican, I’m an anarchist.

To clarify, my anarchist friends and I like to bake cookies, create bike collectives, and go to consensus meetings. We’re rooting for the slim possibility that humans need only be governed by love, respect, and stellar communication skills. So we try to create those things. Pretty scary, huh?

So, why would a caucus cause me to choke up? A favorite anarchist hobby is to geek out on neighborhood communication, without trying to seem too weird about it. (To have agreeable friends is one thing, but to be friends with neighbors who could totally disagree with me seems more revolutionary.) And what, at caucus I get to ask my neighbors point-blank what their dearest values are, and their hopes for the future? Sweet!

To give some history: as a child on South Hill I watched a lot of TV. It created the mindset that the people on TV, and in the newspaper, were like the ‘people in charge’ and the rest of us were like the ‘audience’. I thought maybe the ‘people in charge’ knew more than the average person, or were better at communicating. My first attendance at a council meeting quickly dispelled those myths.

Luckily for me, my life unfolded into crazy beautiful scenarios that taught me the joy of engaging with communities. It struck me: you either participate in this thing called life, or you don’t really live. My saddest part about returning to mainstream culture is to see that many people never question that they are the ‘audience’ and would frankly rather be watching TV.

Why? You can easily find higher-quality entertainment at the local park and ride. For example: free-styling, hippie dance parties, knitting lessons, food-sharing, iraq war stories, and relentless love and support from strangers.

The funny thing to me about this technological age is how the human spirit is insatiable in its quest for human connection. The popularity of youtube, myspace, facebook, etc, is hilarious: we are intrigued by each other.

I would like to see what happened on the 9th happen more often. I want to sit on a bench somewhere and have neighbors stop by and tell me how they feel about politics, or any decisions that the community is trying to make. I’m listening.

CALENDAR: 2/23 two choices for restoration workparties, Surprise Lake (Edgewood) and Braget Marsh (Nisqually), 2/25 Sustainable Tacoma-Pierce meeting, “Living in Community”, 2/26 Environmental Health meeting, Graham, 3/8 L’Arche fundraiser auction.

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Page last modified on February 22, 2008, at 03:33 PM