I did what I generally never do this morning, I printed out an article to actually hold it in my hands and read it, after having read it on the screen in front of me. Strange as it may seem (to some) it made all the difference in understanding the article, and also finding how terribly inaccurate the headlines are that draw us toward what we read. It is mighty important, in my opinion, to get this small little detail. The detail is what is stalling us in this mired nation. The detail is how our attention is grabbed with one 'concept' and then derailed with the actual body of the message. I take Chomsky to task in the article posted on the professed Alternative News website.
Do We Have The Makings of A Real Revolution? was the Headline, and in its form, the question. I read the article. And to tell you the truth, I yawned by the second paragraph. It was not something I expected! In the recent past I've read this writer with great relish. I have generally felt inspired by the thrust of his purpose, his understanding of a broad array of readers who need to hear that they are 'known' and included in how he views not only history, but its role in our current situation, and most importantly he seemed to grasp the diversity of that 'situation' for all Americans. Not today.
Now, I have considered the fashion in which 'Alternet' posted this 'article'. In the very last italicized paragraph it is noted who the writer is and that this article is 'excerpted' from a speech given in October. Does He know that this excerpt has been published? Did he know that the headline now places this dated speech in today? And, has it done the 'revolution' any good service? I don't have any answers for these questions, and you know it. Well, except for the last one. And that answer as I present to you is NO. No good service has been done for the people of this country who are taking it in the face as we work, learn, clean, raise kids, care for grandchildren, rescue animals, clean hazardous and contaminated soil and waterways, picnic, visit food pantries, turn soil, read labels, the news, avoid bill collectors, keyword search our rights, make signs, or write articles for our favorite websites... we don't just take to the streets to stop corruption and pray for some measure of fairness for our efforts. We are living our lives as this unfolds. It becomes glaringly apparent to some, that this undertaking as those who write about it, do so with horribly limited approaches. When an editor makes the decision to further that by 'reposting' an exerpt, does anyone take note of its impact?
Chomsky's speech was, and I'm guessing, quite the inspiration in October. Today, in its excerpted form, it did little more then anger this reader as the time has passed for such pondering. If I were the writer I'd be a bit 'put off' by the choice. Given that spring has arrived and various cities across the nation have come out of winter with their intentions intact, and that the struggles of a diverse population coming together on anything is grinding on, its clear that this revolution requires a higher level of rhetoric then a repost can offer. And that is my point.
I printed this out, this article, so I could hold it in my hands. It read very differently when I did that. You'd have to talk to that person who prefers to turn a page as opposed to touching a screen, its again, a diverse nation:) I discovered that there is something to gain from slowing down, finding ease in following a sentence printed before you, rereading one or two of them, and then raising one's eyes to glance out a window or down the block (where ever one might be when reading) as you accept the perspective of another. It helped that I was in no hurry to 'respond' in this new high tech world of ours. I let it stew for a bit. And when I did that, I finally found the fellow American, not the 'famed' speaker, writer, educated MIT professor.... I finally allowed this reader to be as informed and considered as the writer.
So the rhetoric was valuable, and fell away as I allowed myself to fashion my own opinion. But, as you see I had to go through some processes to get to this place where what I know and see is as valuable as what the writer knows and sees. Now you know where I'm going with this don't you? I have to chuckle as I consider just how simple something like this is and yet how often I run across discussions where one can hear the venerated esteem others hold a writer in because they have reached some 'pinnacle' in the published often climb toward that .... what? I often have to ask what the speakers own opinion is in the spray of words used by those esteemed. We have our own most valuable rhetoric, if only we'd ponder that for a bit before adopting that which is presented to us as 'golden' words of knowledge.
As Chomsky's words worked their way into my considerations I picked out a few that I once just flew by. He stated that in Europe a group of people are referred to as Working Class, and that here in America that same group is referred to as Middle Class. I couldn't have disagreed more. I remember hearing that speech once before in print, and passing right by it without a thought.
The revolution has done wonders for my list of definitions.
So, as this revolution picks up again, and revolutions tend to do that, ramp up, slow down, thin out, blow up again.... I will answer Mr. Chomsky's question.