Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Starfish" and the nature of creating change

EDIT: a newer video for this piece:

I'm in the middle of a residency at a middle school, so this piece is playing all the time in the back of my head.

I don't expect everyone to agree with what i'm saying here. I just think it's an important conversation for all us do-gooders to have-- both interpersonally and privately. We should know why we do what we do. We should be able to balance the NEED to engage in face-to-face, hands-on work with the NEED to have a long-term perspective and strategy. Too many people, in my opinion, focus on one or the other. You have activists who burn themselves out on specific causes without ever addressing the institutional aspects of the problems they want to solve, and you have intellectuals who know we need a revolution but never get down and start moving. This piece is about the former rather than the latter, but both are out there... both are in me, honestly.

And when you add in all this election craziness, this whole conversation gets even more serious. How do we change this country? I believe in voting (i caucused tonight, like lots of people), but i don't believe that voting is an effective way to REALLY change things. It's PART of the strategy; it's not THE strategy. But that's another post... coming soon.


Molly said...

Man, I was in the process of putting this on my blog

you beat me to it.

i'll just give you a shout out on mine too...publicity never hurt anyone :)


Anonymous said...

This is one of the better poems I've heard in a while. Thanks--you made my night!