Celebrating success and being constructive

November 25, 2009

When we think about the “anti-violence movement,” it is predicated on “ending violence.”  On undoing a negative.  On not doing bad.  With this focus, it is easy to ignore rather than actively pursue the good.  To overlook and dismiss rather than recognize and celebrate successes.  This can have a draining effect on activists, and can stall further progress.  It is a competition for our time and energy between

  1. criticizing what’s wrong in the past and present state of affairs on the one hand, and
  2. envisioning, identifying and pursuing the characteristics of a better world on the other hand.

Which is why I’m very happy to see Popular Science, of all magazines, take a lead on celebrating the successes of feminism by highlighting three women geniuses.

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Quote of the Day: Ginsberg on Portland

November 24, 2008

Allen Ginsberg once wrote:

“I judge that there is a sickness of language and opinionation in Portland, a clear lack of basic information, a failed sense of humor, overwhelming anxiety for no real reason — almost all official persons concerned seem subject to nineteenth century fainting spells, the official kind that our Eastern grandmothers complained of.”

What Portland lacks in wardrobe rigidity it often makes up for in surly attitude and cliquishness.  If you haven’t experienced an elitist, insecure, trendy sense of smug self-importance, then you probably don’t live in Portland.  But whatever. That’s just me, and I may be completely wrong.