2018.07.28 Slacktivating, Part 2
Like Stephen Leacock's Lord Ronald, who "flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions," I am now following 71 pages and profiles on Facebook, all of which (I think) have something to do with saving the planet from environmental holocaust and/or preventing nuclear war. I have also set up at least five FB pages, including my own profile and the earlier versions of pages whose names I have changed for various reasons.
Need I say that the revolution is still outstanding? Of course one must be patient. Likes and friends are not made in a day. I spend most of my time on FB trying to hook up with old friends and acquaintances, a daunting task for an army brat who went to two grade schools and four different high schools. The farthest back I have gotten is to a guy I knew -- not well -- in the 8th grade.
How I envy my wife, who went to the same high school here in Kassel, Germany that her mother went to and still has friends, one or two anyway, from grade school. We drive by the apartment house where she was born every time we go to the train station, which doesn't faze her, but it never fails to impress me. Man, what roots! That must be cool. To be from someplace.
I have already written about my frustration in trying to join a local peace group, and I don't want to belabor the subject, that is, I don't want to, but I have to, which I guess means I do want to. After all it is a matter of saving the planet and preventing nuclear war, right? So after I set up the FB page for my local peace group, which they unanimously refused to have any part of, I set up another one for the national organization, including a "closed" group where we could communicate in private. So far it is still an exercise in solipsism.
One of the leaders of the national group, let's call him Wolfgang, did ask me to call him so we could have a "comprehensive" talk. He could offer no explanations as to why our colleagues wanted nothing to do with the internet, although he said there was a problem with what he called "rigidified structures" ("verkrustete Stukturen") and a certain history of encounters with the enemy, including not only the Verfassungsschutz (German FBI) but also "hackers."
But Wolfgang, I said, I have seen no evidence of this, and for heaven's sake, everybody and his brother is on Facebook. As for the Verfassungsschutz, what about this conversation? They monitor everything. We know that. Does that mean we should avoid everything except face-to-face contact?
Hmm, he said, and remembered that he had something else pressing to do.
You see, Wolfgang, I said, that's just the point. There is never enough time. Not on the phone, not in person, not on TV or radio, not at conferences. But now we have the internet. For the first time in history we can prolong these conversations ad infinitum. Why not use the technology? Do we really want to leave it all to the NSA?
Hm. Ja, said Wolfgang, well, don't give up. Have to go now.
Bye bye, Wolfgang. See you (maybe) in a couple of weeks at the next meeting of the planning committee of the conference that will take place in my city at the university where I taught for 31 years, and where the ca. 100 topics presented at the last meeting will again be presented with additional suggested speakers and workshops -- without one debate or podium discussion. Which is what I want to talk about. I have something against lectures and preaching to the choir. But these are the "rigidified structures" that Wolfgang mentioned, which reminds me only too well of academia: Everybody just wanting their five minutes (better yet, an hour) in the spotlight.
I am guilty of the same hubris. During the Bush wars, I liked giving rousing speeches in front of big crowds. That felt good for about an hour afterwards. But there is not (yet) a hot war going on now, not one that involves us directly anyway, and I am older. The need to put myself at the vanguard of the barricades, which in my case had a lot to do with my memories of Vietnam days and what I did and did not do then, has subsided. Now I am more concerned about results.
We really don't have much time. War or no war, the world is burning up. I would say I don't know how I could have been so blind for so long about the reality of global warming, but reading Unprecedented Crime by Carter and Woodworth, I do know. The bought-and-paid-for MSM and climate-change-denying "scientists" have been hard at work keeping us in the dark and perpetuating business as usual, i.e. ecocide. It's a hard book to read, because the truth hurts. 9/11 truth, the war mongering, all the depraved greed and corruption, it all hurts, but this one takes the cake. There will be no world, no habitable one anyway, for the Dr. Strangeloves and the likes of the Koch brothers to mess with by the time my grandchildren are my age. This is one revolution that cannot wait.
I must give Wolfgang another call.