First Post, NBD / Vote Green or NDP

Look at me getting all political right off the bat! I’m a little wacky like that, you know. That’s why my friends call me Whiskers.

I’m not usually this overt with my political leaning, but I was inspired by a recent conversation I shared with a friend about the election. I lamented the fact that I desperately desire change in this country, but I feel sort of alienated from the political process. Specifically, I feel like I just don’t know enough about politics to throw my hat in the proverbial ring. I’m going to vote (as I implore you all to do) but I don’t always feel confident to say my piece. Her response, which I felt to be quite wise, was that this feeling reflects one of the most pervasive and damaging myths in our society: if you’re not an “expert,” you don’t deserve a voice.

Take environmentalism, for example. I’ve always felt a little bit like other people know more and do more regarding the environment, to the point that I feel kind of helpless, even superfluous in the greater conversation of how to make our world better. Well, nuts to that. I remember another wise tidbit I learned from one of my writing instructors; unlike the popular saying, “write what you know” she said, “write what you’d like to know more about.” And that just seems to smack that rude little myth upside the head and send it to bed without dinner. Write as a way to get more involved with the things that you care about and want to learn more about? It’s genius.

So, for my part, that’s where I hope to go with this blog over the summer. My lovely writing companions may wish to take a different angle (as we are diverse ladies indeed) but I can say that we are all really excited to get more involved in our community, and to become lean, green, local-cuisine-eating machines. We’d love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences, dear internets, and to share with you some of our own.

I learned about this neat talk that’s happening later this week, so if you’re into biking (as you will learn in the coming months I sort of am) y’all should do your best to attend!

And that’s my piece.

12 thoughts on “First Post, NBD / Vote Green or NDP

  1. Nice first post!

    “if you’re not an “expert,” you don’t deserve a voice”

    That reminds me a lot of the book, “Shop Class for Soul Craft”, where the author basically makes the argument that the less we know about the physical things that we interact with the less control we perceive ourselves to have over our lives (and the physical things we possess). I think his view accords a bit with your quote, which I think we both disagree with somewhat. People know things they don’t think they know about, and in making their decisions, they internalize some of that knowledge without realizing it (you can vote ‘no’ to over-consumption without knowing the exact scientific reasons for why it is a bad thing). So, the point is, just vote! You’re doing the best you can with the information and knowledge that you possess and that’s better than doing nothing.

    P.S. Jack Layton reminds me of a socialist Obama – with a wicked mustache.

  2. Thanks Paul! Your insights are much appreciated, and if I understand you correctly, I agree with you. I think our actions generally can be aligned with a set of values, and while maybe we don’t consciously think about those values or we can’t exactly articulate them, it doesn’t mean we don’t have them. Of course, our actions don’t always align with the values that we DO articulate, but hey, nobody’s perfect… at least, nobody’s perfect outside of the Star Trek universe.

    I also love Layton’s mustache. Don’t know if it’s cause my Dad always had one, or if it’s cause Magnum P.I. always had one, but either way, it’s stellar.

  3. We think you all might be getting a little big for your britches, peons! Haven’t we educated you? The “problem” of climate change (or any other of the social/environmental plagues on our planet) cannot possibly be impacted by the actions of an individual. Or even ten individuals, working seamlessly together!

    Relaaaaaaaax. Sit back down. Turn your TV on. See? We have a Plan, and we use a capital P because we are serious about this. You don’t need to worry about a thing. Aren’t you distracted? Comfortable? Isn’t this enough? The -rest- of the world is in a worse shambles than -us-, you can rest assured of that. You should be grateful, not critical.

    In all seriousness, this is exactly where social change begins: you have a good idea, you practice it, it catches on. Pretty simple, eh? But when the Machine tells you that it’s impossible, or the problems are “too big to handle right now, how about in 50 years?”, we might get a little beat down, we might forget. The power of the internet remains in the hands of the people for the time being, feel free to use it to share your ideas for a better way of living. I encourage a radicalism short only the pipe bombs and Mao slogans, consider using your local celery sticks as holy weapons in the war to stop the insanity!

  4. Andrew, that post reads like a horoscope from Free Will Astrology! Which is, in my humble opinion, totally great. You know, hearing someone say things aren’t hopeless may be the perfect antidote for the hopelessness that sometimes takes hold. Now I can’t wait to use local celery sticks to bring about some serious social and environmental justice… and also snacks.

  5. Nothing clever to say, but wanted to say something nonetheless. (Which, ironically, is kind of the point of this blog, if I understood it correctly.) (Not that you didn’t say it cleverly. But .. yeah.)

    Yay for you blogging again! Rad!

  6. Love the “write what you’d like to know more about” tidbit — I am writing about a topic I know little to nothing about for my masters project and that just makes me feel comforted, like it’s ok to just dive in!
    Looking forward to more posts!!

  7. I am going to admit something I feel awkward about. This year was the first year I’ve ever voted. I’ve never really understood politics and feel as though I really don’t care to, but I know I should! So,this year I researched the folks who were campaigning and made a decision to vote. I am not going to deny that I wasn’t convinced to vote from all of the media urging students to vote.

  8. Hey Rhonda, it’s really great for you to share that! Because I’m sure you’re not alone in the way you feel, and I’m willing to bet there are lots of other young people out there who haven’t voted before now (or still haven’t). As I’ve tried to emphasize in this post, the system as it is currently structured doesn’t really appeal to young people. I’ve felt the same way about politics in past, and only when I started to realize “damn, this might actually start affecting how I live my life” did I decide it was time to get more involved. I’m not saying I read the newspaper every day (though damn, I really should) but continuing to talk about what’s happening in our country has helped me to feel more connected to the political process.

    While we wait out the next four years, I’m hoping some serious reforms are made to the whole process. Starting with online voting! How many young people would vote if it was just a simple matter of clicking their mouse a few times?

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