Wednesday, August 20, 2008

i have to start somewhere...

For the last few months I have been caught up in the wave of the "truth movement". I guess I identify with it so much because I have been waiting for it to happen for so long. I've mentioned before that I quit watching TV over a decade ago, and even long before that, as a child, I saw all the gross unfairness of the world very plainly. I didn't have all the answers then, and I still don't. But I do have some ideas formulating in my mind and I can't keep them to myself. As someone who is hungry for knowledge, equally hungry for positive change, and a pretty good observer/analyst, I can't just sit back and see how it all plays out. I need to do what I can to help people bring about positive change. Not a lot of people are talking about this. Everyone is spreading news around, and there's so much of it that it makes it all a little hard to take in. It gets confusing, because there are so many theories, and it's very hard to figure out which theories we should be worrying about the most, and more importantly than worrying - what are we going to do? We can't pass news around to our little groups on the net all the time, it's not productive. While I do agree that reaching a broader audience with these matters is quite imperative, I don't agree with most of the ways it is being done at the moment. Here is what I am seeing:

bulletins posted on myspace
The thing about MySpace bulletins is that the only people who see them are the people in your friends list. If each person in your friends list has friends who post bulletins actively, then there is the chance your bulletins aren't getting seen - they're being buried under the hundreds of other bulletins being posted. Due to the "group think" mentality that many of us still have not shed, our friends lists are often comprised of other folks who already know the same stuff we're posting about. So it's like a vicious circle. We post and repost news articles, and they aren't getting much further than the reach of our collective friend lists. THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT BULLETINS CANNOT BE FAR REACHING. However, the average person on MySpace doesn't bother with bulletins all that much - I know a lot of folks who find them annoying and don't even look at them, but there are still others who keep up with them voraciously. To put this all very bluntly: Posting MySpace bulletins isn't a bad idea, it's just that if we put a quarter of that energy into other forms of communication, and add some creativity, we'd have a larger impact. I'll get into more of this later.

Message Board Forums
Just like MySpace bulletins, you will find endless amounts of videos, links, articles, and more on these forums. There is much debate in these forums, and that's all well and good, but I would really like to see more people discussing solutions and brainstorming about what we can do. We all need to get offline. Posting stuff online is fine, but it cannot be where our activism ends. Why? Because, contrary to what you may think, not everybody uses the internet! And of the folks who do use the internet, not all of them see your bulletins, blogs, videos, message boards, and so on. Now I know what you're thinking - "But Chelle, you're writing all this in a blog, isn't that kinda hypocritical?" No, dear reader, and the reason why is because a lot of the activism is HERE where we are reading and consuming new info every day. Up until now, that is what I have been doing. I have been doing it because I don't have a lot of other options - for the moment. I have no car, I am quite literally, stuck in the woods living a semi-self-sufficient hermit lifestyle. I am doing all I can to break free from the hermit aspect of that and we are moving to a small city in NH that has a lot of activism happening in the community. I can no longer sit in front of this computer and spew news and info to a small network of already interested people. I need to create art, I need to write, I need to inspire and be inspired. Now that I've got this going on, I want to get it in your heads that we all need to do more than sit at our computers and post stuff to each other. There are millions of other folks out there who don't know about what we know, and we need to start figuring out ways to get it to seep into their consciousness. There are people out there who are not questioning their reality, or if they are, they are not feeling empowered enough to do anything about it. Hell, I suspect many of us don't feel empowered either. I would like to help change that. I believe in the power of every single person on this planet to think rationally and critically, and motivate themselves and others to make a positive change for us all.

Looking for leaders.
I think there is no other point more important to make, here. It has been said by many of the people that we turn to to lead us. And that is BE A LEADER. Every single one of us must do our part without fear, and we all have to understand that no *one* person, group, or entity is going to tell us how to do it. We need to come together and do what we can individually and as a group or groups. We aren't sheep, remember? So why do so many of us still have this herd/shepherd mentality? We don't have a leader, we have a shitload of pissed off/scared/dis empowered people looking for solutions and coming up short because we aren't working on solutions ourselves; we're waiting for some person to write the handbook on the revolution. There isn't one! Sure there are resources, but we have to take this knowledge in and think outside the box to figure out how we are going to make positive change together, and start sharing THAT information with each other as we find new and creative ways to share what we know with folks who don't know yet. God isn't gonna fix this, aliens are not likely to come spirit us away in their pleasure ships, and the next president or prime minister or king or whoever isn't gonna do it for us. This is about every single one of us who wants freedom, liberty, and justice taking personal responsibility.

Infighting and petty disagreements
There's a lot at stake here, folks. I'm not shitting you when I say that we are in a war for our minds, our money, and our power. A lot of you know this, and I know a lot of you feel powerless against it. I do too sometimes. But I know deep down that there is a positive solution for every wrong in the world. There's quite a few people out there who are well intentioned but allow their prejudices to dictate how they handle things. There are still others who are purposely trying to start fires with disinformation, petty insults, and other tactics meant to turn us against one another. I cannot stress enough how important it is to think before you speak, set aside any differences or prejudices you may have, and be positive in all your dealings. It won't be long before the insincere among us will be singled out and ignored. If you are sincere about freedom, don't count yourself among their ranks. There is no room for hatred and bitterness anymore; it's what has caused a lot of the problems in our world. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, and everyone should respect one another's beliefs. It is pointless to try and get someone to change - everyone makes that choice for themselves. I know it can be painful; as an example, 8 years ago when my best friend started doing heroin, I was consumed with how in the hell I was going to get her off it. I talked to her, her family, expressed my deep concerns. There was no way to get her off the dope because she didn't WANT to get off the dope. She was stubborn without the new addiction, but the addiction made it even worse. The same scenario is true for anything you think you have the right to change in someone else. Their religion, their work ethic, their taste in music - there is no logical reason to chastise someone for these things, nor is there any logical reason to try and aggressively change them. Acceptance is VERY key. You want freedom? Well, be free, and let others be free to make mistakes and achievements and learn from them. I'm not saying you gotta love everyone unconditionally, but if someone's ideas or beliefs are grating to you, take a step back and think about why that is - and if it's too unbearable for you to deal with, just don't associate with that person. There's 6 billion of us. We can't all be friends, but we can be mindful enough and respect one another enough that we aren't enemies. This utopian mindset may be impossible to achieve, but we can start here and hope it catches on, can't we? People don't respect one another at all, and many jump at the opportunity to drag someone else down. If you want to bring about positive change, you really need to curb that behavior if you haven't already. There is no room for drama here. We have a lot of important work to do, and not a lot of time to get it done. There is a job for everyone. Figure out what it is you can do, and do it.

Ok, so there ya have it. These are the things I'm seeing that need to change. Don't take my word as gospel, this is just little old me taking a look at what's going on, processing it, analyzing it, and coming to some conclusions. I am not assuming that anyone is going to do as I say, but this is how I am handling things myself and I'm not gonna complain if a lot of folks take on the same model of thinking and working. More than anything, I want to see ideas for solutions start cropping up more than news/video bulletins. I don't have all the answers, but I believe that if we band together and find ways to communicate our ideas to one another, we can come up with some great possibilities and begin working towards them. This has to begin with acceptance, I can't stress that enough. If any of us are hung up on our racial/religious/financial/whatever differences, we aren't gonna progress, and it's also not freedom if we are trying to influence other people's ways of life. We all want to be free, so let's not be fascists to each other.

I have expressed in other blogs some things I think we can do to make positive changes and take back what's been taken from us. I will try and condense these things into a list for you to ponder.

Instead of copying and pasting videos and articles, take the information in and bring it back out as something of your own.
What does this mean? Find your talents and use them. Make art, make music, write, make zines and flyers. And don't keep it to yourself, put it out there for others to see. Not everyone is talented like this, and if you find yourself not in this category, there's some other ideas for you...

Distribute information.
Hand out flyers, DVD's, zines, stickers... Whatever info you can find, copy, and distribute, do it -off the internet, in the real world wherever it is needed most. Get in touch with artists, musicians, writers, and other creatives and figure out ways of getting their work out into the public.

Organize events.
I know there's folks out there who are promoters or organizers of events. There are many already in existence, but a large percentage of them are just parties, or promoting products. Now's as good a time as any to create more events that have a message. People like to go to parties, so why not organize one around a topic that could use some awareness? You can have a movie night at your house, a meeting at a bookstore or coffee house, or you can pull out all the stops and have a concert or craft fair or any kind of event you can think of. There is no event that is too big or too small, it just depends on your connections, finances, and abilities.

Get involved in local government.
This is not my area of expertise and I have no clue how to get into this. If it interests you and you think you can pull it off, go for it. If you don't know anything about it, investigate. On a personal level, I'm rather anarchistic in my beliefs; I would rather see no government, but I have no idea how feasible that really is. I am a creative artsy type and this area holds no interest for me, but I feel it may be vitally important. So, if you can rock it, then rock it!

Vote with your dollars.
Well, seeing as how dollars are becoming more and more useless, I have no idea how this is going to play out in the near future. I think corporations are a VERY BIG PROBLEM, and as such, I am boycotting as many of them as I can by being extremely frugal, only buying what I really need, and when I do buy things, I buy from other people as much as I can. If every single person in the truth movement tried to figure out ways to get what they need or want from other people and not corporations, it would be very interesting to see how fast the corporations begin to crumble. We need to have our own system fully functional and in place. There are already many resources - farm stands, farmer's markets, thrift shops, mom and pop establishments, flea markets, yard sales, eBay, Etsy, and more are out there. Sure, it takes some of the convenience out of things, but if you haven't figured it out yet - our convenience comes from the same corporations who are bleeding us dry, poisoning us, and throwing a wrench into the workings of the world. So go the extra mile to get things from Fred the farmer or Jane the crafter instead of Wal Mart or Target.

Civil disobedience through art and creativity.
Make signs, or get signs from someone else and put them in prominent places. Think about traffic. Put a sign on a road that gets a lot of cars, or on an overpass. Keep an eye out. if it goes down, replace it. Put stickers in public bathroom stalls, on street signs, on newspaper boxes... Be creative and think about ways you can send a message to a lot of people without getting in any trouble. If you're crafty, use stencils or wheatpasting techniques. You can find video and text tutorials for these online, just do a google search.

Think about self sufficiency.
Grow food. If you have a yard, or any land, or a rooftop, or even a window box. Grow food. Encourage others to do so. Learn about gardening if you don't know already. There are tons of resources for this, from online, to books and magazines, to your grandma.
Learn about alternative sources of energy and figure out ways to implement them in your homes and communities.

These are just a few ideas. Let's face it folks, if enough of us are making our own food, energy, and resources, the big boys will be shit out of luck. Show them what you want by making it for yourselves. Get the messages out in ways that empowers people. We've had enough scares to last us a lifetime, and scaring people doesn't always work. It obviously doesn't move people to do anything more than pass on the scary messages to anyone who might listen, and it's a chain reaction. Yeah, the shit is scary, but let's focus on empowering ourselves and others to make a change instead of just being afraid.

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