Sunday, September 24, 2006

Blog Spotlight: Mike on activism

Mike gets two highlights.  How come?  We've mainly kept the activism reporting to the gina & krista round-robin.  Mike's offering up his take on one of the things we participated in to help end the war.

War comes to class

This is a quick post and consider it an "extra" :D. I'm starving. We're about to get something to eat and then start working on The Third Estate Sunday Review. But I wanted to grab a few seconds to talk about today because it was my favorite day.

Community members know the ninth grade member in the DC area who wrote the thing for Polly's Brew two Sundays ago. C.I. told him that we'd be in the area this week and if he could get at least ten people we'd all get together and do a "How To Talk About The War" thing. He got together thirty-five friends.

I'm out of high school (big college man now! :D) and I was a loudmouth in high school so I've never had a problem shooting off my mouth! (Can't you tell!) But there are people who do have trouble sharing and there are people who are becoming aware of the war and need help with their first steps. So we did a thing where we all talked and shared and there were some presentations too. Tracey, Wally and me had worked on one and that went really good.

I never trembled before a teacher. If they were full of crap, I blew 'em off. But that's me. Jayson acted out the part of a student in one excercise with Betty acting as the teacher and then we broke up into groups and that was really cool too.

Me, I think the war can be brought into any class (even algebra) but it sure shouldn't be off limits in classes like history, social studies and government. Elaine had a thing about you could note the war in English classes. (And gave credit to C.I., who she and Rebecca went to college with, because C.I. could always follow the course outline and required reading but not to stick to it. Supplement it. You're studying poetry, this was one of Elaine's examples, compare and contrast the poem studied with something from Poets Against the War or Alice Walker's Sent By Earth or, she had a whole long list. For novels and stuff too.)

So that was just really great. I'll call the ninth grader "DC," so DC and his friends had a blast and we had a blast. And it's all these concrete things that can be used and we talked about non-concrete things too. It was really great to hear their stories. Forget war coming home, it's coming to class! (That's a steal from DC's best bud.)

Only problem was we had to start so early. Which was good because it gives us time for this edition but I was a sleepy-head (Ma's nice word for it) and really couldn't wake up this morning.
Nobody could wake me up. C.I. ended up playing White Stripes "Seven Army Nation" (at full blast) and that woke me up. :D

Woke me up with a smile on my face. Everybody goes I woke up before, over and over, but kept going back to sleep. I think it's because we've been so busy. (I'm not coming down with anything.)

Other beef, I slept so late, I missed breakfast. I was hopping in the shower and out and pulling on some pants before "Seven Army Nation" was over. And, C.I., sunflower kernals are not food! :D I was starving and mentioned that at about eleven o'clock. C.I. goes "I've got some food" and passes me a bag of sunflower kernals. :D Not food! Cedric had a Snickers he was kind enough to turn over after I wolfed down the kernals.

Okay, we're about to go eat so let me say, you gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta read Ruth's Report. Go read it now! :D Also there's more news on Darrell Anderson today so read C.I.'s thing. Darrell Anderson is an Iraq vet (with a Purple Heart) who went to Canada. He's decided he's coming back to the US at the end of the month.

I haven't read C.I.'s first thing this morning but Jim thinks C.I. was to nice (I'm sure that's true). A visitor wrote in to gripe that C.I. was repeating the myth of a tribal agreement to help the US in Al Anbar Province and C.I. nicely walked through the guy through. C.I.'s argument was that the visitor had discovered Dahr Jamail and that was a good thing. But I agree with Jim if you've got someone screaming at you in an e-mail (Jess read the e-mail and it was screaming) about how you didn't cover something and won't cover it (and even about how there's no link to Dahr's website when there is and has been since like The Common Ills went up), you don't respond so nicely.

But C.I.'s argument was, "Thank God there's one more person who cares about the war." And I can see that and each person who wakes up to the realities of the illegal war can and does make a difference. But I would have added in there something like, "Hey dumb ass, Dahr's great but his site is linked, he's probably had stuff he wrote or said highlighted here at least 300 times and we covered this thing at the start of the week!" (Which is why I could never be the voice of a community! :D). Instead C.I. walks the visitor through nicely (and slowly to make sure the point got through).

Dahr's article is great, "AP Propaganda About Iraq," and has some really strong stuff in it so it would have been highlighted anyway (and that was Jim's point, just highlight it because a member already noted it, don't waste time on someone who can't even grasp the obvious). But C.I. goes "Well we just touched on it, Dahr explored it and maybe that's what had the visitor so upset." (In "NYT: Caught in the spin.") No, the visitor was upset because he didn't read the site or even look at the links before rushing to his conclusion. But I get C.I.'s point and it is good that someone's just getting passionate about the war. So good for that visitor.

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