Tag Archives: activism

AVATAR: Activism through Fiction

By Lauren Selman | Bio

“Sarah…just saw Avatar, it was great!” “Mark…wants you to see Avatar!” The facebook status updates of my friends keep pouring in. Not interested in another blockbuster blow-em-up movie, I looked to my various communities to see what people think and sure enough the reviews are there too. Young and old, Democrat or Republican, Eco-Conscious and Eco-Hating, the status updates had a clear message, to see Avatar.

Okay, fine! I’ll see it. I had been told it was an

read more

Changing the World

By Jim Selman | Bio

In a recent New York Times op-ed column, Bob Herbert challenged all of us to get down out of the bleachers and take on at least one of today’s intractable problems. He pointed to the courage of many Civil Rights activists in the ’60s and ’70s, including Andrew Goodman who was murdered by the KKK and of course Rosa Parks. We remember these individuals and many like them because, like revolutionaries everywhere, they put their lives on the line for something worth dying for. They stood ‘in front of the tanks’ in Tiananmen Square; they faced British soldiers in India; they campaigned for unions when children were dying in sweatshops in America; they managed ‘underground railroads’ during the US Civil War, World War II and the ‘dirty wars’ of South America in the 1970s and 1980s; they are fighting today for the environment against oligarchs and big corporations; and they are the last line of defense against wholesale corruption and greed in many parts of the world.  Collectively, we call them ‘activists’ because they operate within the rule of law, but without relinquishing their commitment to change.

“Activism” is the penultimate resort to bringing about change when people lack the power to make policy—a form of non-violent war to change a system from within the system. One activist strategy might be some form of insurgency where the only goal is to destroy the status quo without any real vision for change and very little possibility for success. Another is to physically stand between the oppressors and the oppressed. The real power of activism, however, lies not in

read more

Not So Different Online

According to a new study released by the Center for the Digital Future and AARP, Americans 50+ are closing the digital divide with online behaviors similar to much younger users (those under 20). Older citizens not only use websites for information, but they also use social networking, gaming and news channels in ever-increasing numbers. Key findings of the study include:

=&0=&. More than twice as many 50+ Americans than users under 20 check news online (42% compared to 18%) =&1=&. More older users log in daily or several times a day (58% vs. 47%). Forty-six percent of users under 50 and users over 70 use the internet to maintain their social relationships. Seventy percent of members 50+ and 58% of members under 20 reported their online communities were very or extremely important to them. =&2=& read more