Friday, April 30, 2004

Pseudo-Events and the Meat-Based Torch Run 

The passing of Daniel Boorstin this week was very notable for people in my field - public relations.

He coined the term pseudo-event and, in my estimation, defined in large part what public relations did for much of the 20th century. We have since tried to be a little less pseudo and a little more event, but every good flack has seen at least one day where they had to make something out of nothing.

This piece in today's Post sums it up well. My favorite quote: "I got out of school today for this. It's the first meat-based torch run."

Steady Leadership in [REDACTED] 

This says so much more than I ever could. The worst part of all? Every Democrat in the Senate besides Russ Feingold voted for this thing.


God, Bush, Liberals and Blindness 

This special on Frontline got me thinking.

As I said in my first post, I am a bit unusual - a Southern Baptist liberal. I like to think that one very significantly informs the other. Jesus' frequent calls to "love one another" have always reflected for me much of what American liberalism stands for - things like the social support network, and a belief that war should always be a last resort. I fail to see a conflict between the two.

Maybe it comes from playing both sides in this "battle," but I think that many Christians are excessively fearful of the secular world somehow conspiring against Christianity, and at the same time, many liberals are excessively fearful of Christianity trying to take over every aspect of the world. People like Jerry Falwell are a minority in Christianity, and they should be treated as such. Good, moral, moderate Christians have somehow let the guilt complex created by Falwell and his ilk shame them into thinking that such a crazy concept as believing in a woman's right to make her own decisions about her health will somehow doom them. In the same way, level-headed liberals will hear George Bush talk about feeling called by God to pursue public office, and see it as some kind of delusion, but not blink an eye when another politician says they followed their heart into public service.

Do I think Bush and many Republicans today monopolize Christianity and use it as a political tool? Yes. Do I think that is reprehensible? Yes. Do I think that means Christianity or religion in general is somehow a blight on enlightened humanity because of it? No.

When we accept caricatures of a group as a picture of the whole, we cheapen our own intellectual understanding - and blind ourselves to good ideas because of it.

On Bob 

Radio has been a fascination for me since I was young. It probably started driving to school with my dad, who listened almost non-stop to talk radio, before talk radio was what everyone listened to. When I got to college, I began to enjoy the beauty of NPR. My mornings and afternoons were filled with it, and WAMU was a permanent fixture - much to my roommates' annoyance.

Anyway - I love radio, and I really love NPR. That's why I hate it that Bob Edwards is being "reassigned."

Something doesnt seem entirely right about not having Bob Edwards to wake up to, but I guess life goes on. NPR commercializes a little more, and moves towards being more fair and balanced.

The news is next.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

"George Gives Bush A Bad Name" 

I had the joy of spending last Sunday with, of all people, my mom at the March for Women's Lives on the Mall in Washington. It was incredible.

The last time I felt that kind of energy was at Bill Clinton's Inauguration in 1993. I was 13 at the time, but talk about an indelible memory. This weekend was one, too. There is something to be said for a million people speaking with one loud voice. The title of the post was my favorite sign. So many others.

What got me, though, was the juxtaposition of the IMF protests the day before with the march on Sunday. I think that the anti-globalization movement could learn something here - having a clear message makes a difference. It captures people's imaginations. When they look at the attendance numbers through the years, maybe it's something to consider.

Starting on the Left Foot 

And away we go... This is my first venture into the world of blogging. I feel sure I will break a few of the rules of blogging before I am done, but you have to start somewhere.

Who am I? I guess you could say I am just another part of the liberal education establishment, who also happens to be just another liberal government worker, who also just happens to be another Bush hater.

I like to think, though, that I can bring a different perspective. Growing up in Tennessee made me learn to defend my beliefs from a young age. I have a clear memory of explaining to my elementary school classmates why voting for Michel Dukakis was so important to me. Growing up as a moderate Southern Baptist also made things interesting - not many people understand that you CAN be Baptist and liberal... sadly enough, liberals seem to be the ones who have the most trouble figuring that out.

Anyway - what do I want to talk about? A lot of politics, of course. Probably some religion and culture thrown in, cause in po-mo America it all plays into each other whether we want it to or not. I am heavily influenced by This Modern World, South Knox Bubba, and CalPundit (now at the Washington Monthly). Will I ever be as good as them?? I hope so. Till then, welcome, and enjoy the ride.

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