Category Archives: Life In The Fast Lane

On the Future of Social Justice

I know there are many reasons why people blog. My reason has always been that I have so much going on in my head, so many ideas, that I just needed to share them with someone. With you, my readers. I have remained silent for a long time, not for a lack of things to share. Something else. I don’t know what to label it, but a few moments ago, I had an idea. Remember, it is just that, an idea. I knew immediately that in order to flesh it out, I would need to write about it. I also knew if I wanted to discuss, and heaven forbid, ever act on this, I would need to share it with others. This is why I have made my (hopefully triumphant) return to blogging.

I realize that those of you reading this are expecting me to talk about social justice, and I will, but I couldn’t start there. I need to talk about a few other (seemingly arbitrary, but hopefully, in the end, clarifying) things first.

I went to the library today. Books have always been a huge part of my life (and always will). While I went in with a list of a few books that I planed on picking up, I of course got more than I was bargaining for. In a recent conversation with my friend Rickk, we were discussing the way  in which cover art for a book sometimes acts as a (positive) catalyst for picking up and reading books that one had no intention of reading otherwise.  When I found myself once again at the library, I had my book list in hand. I went in for three books, but came out with four. When I went to pick up one of the books, I noticed another volume, a few spines over, that caught my eye. It was the bright cover art that made me take notice, although once I pulled it out of the line-up, I was greeted by a title I was familiar with.

I had never read this book before, but the familiarity came from the fact I have already liked it on Facebook, and have for some time. I loved the concept and so thought that a day might come around when I would make contact with this book. Turns out that day was today. I had just finished reading Robert Silverberg’s Book The World Inside. (This is the book the sparked the cover art discussion between Rickk and me in the first place).

The World Inside

Rickk's Copy

I was in need of something else to read, so I decided to read Slanted and Enchanted next. I have not finished the book, nor am I far into it. The reason is that it gave me an idea and I decided I needed to blog instead.

For those of you reading who don’t know much about me, I am earning (and I do mean EARNING) my IMA (Individualized Master’s of Arts) at Goddard College. I study sex trafficking in social consciousness and explore new ways of thinking about sex trafficking (in hopes of developing my own discourse on alternative ways to think and act on the subject). Right now, sex trafficking (as part of human trafficking as a whole) is very much part of the zeitgeist that is America right now. This means that much of what is being done is by people in government and not for profits. This is good, and my suggestion is not that this stop. My other thought has been, another major part of the zeitgeist of the past few months has been the Occupy movements. More and more people are fed up with the mainstream and the corporate. The most untapped resource in America right now are the “indie” people. This group is growing by the day, and encompasses such a wide variety of people. It reasons that whatever they do get behind is bound to take off. As aforementioned, I am not suggesting that this no longer be a mainstream issue, I am suggesting that issues of social justice in general need to also become part of the current independent movements.

While I do have a particular heart and interest when it comes to sex trafficking, I think this is a smart move for all types of social justice everywhere. What I am not going to do is offer solutions about how to make this happen. I have an idea, but I don’t have an answer. If you reading this have suggestions or ideas, PLEASE let me know! Leave a comment in the comments section! I will also list personal contact information for myself at the bottom of the post.

Liberation and the meaning of Independence

On a related topic, and one that I think fits nicely here (as I certainly do not have enough fodder for it yet to consider making it an independent post) is the connection between what I call a rouge economy and reintegration. While I was also at the library this trip, I picked up and flipped through a copy of Wired magazine. I found an interesting article by Robert Capps titled “Why Black Market Entrepreneurs Matter to the World Economy.” In this interview with Robert Neuwirth, a journalist, Neuwirth asserts that “If System D [Neuwirth’s name for the black market] were a country, it would have the second-largest economy on earth, after the United States.” This is major. I also agree with Neuwirth that this is also a huge untapped area that needs to be tapped. One of the major issues when it comes to rescuing and rehabilitating sex trafficking victims is finding them a new role (read livelihood). This is especially crucial outside of the United States where there are less opportunities for sex trafficking’s overwhelmingly female victims.

In thier book Half the Sky, Kristof and WuDunn use this concept. In one of their stories about recusing a particular trafficking victim, they set her up with a stall and some merchandise in her local village bizarre as means of a business start up. According to them, she has been successful.

Half The SkyThis is where I leave you, me, us. Back at the beginning, with this idea. Let’s figure out how to marry independent culture, the new occupy uprisings and social justice.

Support Indie Art!

All pictures and hyperlinks should link to appropriate pages to find out more about the noun it represents. As always, support indepdent people. Start by supporting independent art. My friend Rickk‘s art can be found here:

Also, if anyone has any ideas, questions, etc… that they do not wish to leave in the comments sections, you can reach me here:


On Where Life Takes You

I have been thinking much about the places life will take you. It turns out that Dr. Seuss, in all of his wisdom was correct in proclaiming, “Oh, the places you will go!” I have recently found myself in this position and with a renewed vigor for life I did not even posses days ago. Why all these sudden changes? Why the shift? Well, there are a few reason…

God is ALWAYS speaking

For a long time, I confused my silence with God’s. It took me a long time to realize that even in seasons where I was not actively praying and talking with Him, he was still talking to me, in all sorts of ways. There is a line at the end of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple that Shug says, “I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.” I do not think God is near as anal as many people make Him out to be, but I often think a lot more people need to notice the color purple in a field. There are different ways in which God speaks to us, and I have found many times, he uses simple things to speak to me. I like what it says in 1 Corinthians 1:27 (my abbrev. version) “He uses foolish things to confound the wise.” Like the principle of Occam’s Razor, simple things being the best/right. He is always speaking, the question is are we listening?

The Lie of Lie of the American Dream

No, that is not a typo. I meant for that statement to read that way. In the ever cynical world that we live in today, people are starting to say that the American dream is a lie. Now, I am an idealist. (Myer-Briggs/Jung Personality type:INFP (Idealist Healer). I do not get blinded by my idealism. I can see what the realist see, however, I choose to see and believe in things far beyond the limited realist perspective. Much like gas prices are based on futures, so are my beliefs and ideals, and I see a bright future. There is this lie, and as I was recently reminded, one I spent a lot of time believing myself, that I cannot do what I want to do, or that the opportunity is just not there, etc… The reality is, the future is there for everyone’s taking. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can be successful within there cognitive/developmental limits. I have heard many times that the American dream is dead, and I also believed this lie too. I was wrong, and I willingly and publicly admit it. Depressions/Recessions don’t last forever, and it’s always darkest right before daylight.

Life is a Journey meant to be enjoyed

Now, not to get down on Christians, or to exclude the non-Christians reading this post, but I have met some of the most unhappy people on earth who claim to be the sons and daughters of God. Yes, this life is just a vapor, yes, we are just passing through, but this is not an experience that is supposed to torture us until we make it to the land of eternal joy. Jesus said, “I’ve come to give you life, and give you life more abundantly.” I have been thinking about this much lately. Yes, this is the same guy who said deny yourself, and take up your cross. That is our burden in life. We all have one. But remember, His burden is easy and His yoke is light. There will be trials, and sufferings and burdens, and this life will not be lived for ourselves, but that is the greatest thing for me. I am most happy in life when I am giving my life away to the service of others. That is what I was put here for, and so where you. So, I don’t care who you are and what you believe, but if you want your life to be better, start serving others. That is a HUGE step to happiness.

In conclusion,

The Future Is Now

That is my new life slogan. (I will include my new life phrase at the end). Everyone wants to live their life in such a way to have a better future, but what many fail to realize is the future is now. If you don’t have that mentality, the future never comes and nothing is ever accomplished. Most life goals and things people will work for, certainly what I hope to do, don’t happen in a single day. It is a process, and so it is one that each person must work on each day. With that I leave you will my new life phrase in the words of Mr. J.R.R. Tolkien himself:

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renenwed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.”

On Instant Philosophers In The Social Media Age

There is an adage that goes with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter that says “I don’t care about what you had for lunch” or something similar. Many people talk about how social media has caused a problem of over-share. While I think this is true, is there still anything that can be gleaned from it? Not just from the page of a politician or a religious leader one likes and follows, but in the world of over-share are there still worthwhile ideas out there?

One might ponder the question for a moment, many will be quick to answer no rather flatly, but I believe there is something else that comes out of social networking. Of course there are sites such as LinkedIn that take social networking on a very serious level, although people are using all types of social networking platforms for both business and personal pursuits, but if one can get through the drudge of information about what someone’s kid said at the dinner table or a video of a dog dancing that one’s friends just think is too cute, I believe one will find a wealth of gold on social networking sites and not just from esteemed personalities, but from the everyman.

Everyone has ideas. This is an universal fact of life. Some better than others. Some complicated while others painfully simple. The fact still remains. The reason social networks are so big (and why people, myself included, blog) is that people want to be heard. I have noticed that not only does social networking lend itself to sharing quotes and ideas from the world’s finest thinkers, some of the best I have seen come from my connections themselves. Formal education teaches that there have been in the past (and depending on how liberal the institution, perhaps a few in the present) people who have had some great ideas or at least thought provoking ones. While this is true,I have been more inspired by friends than I have from some of the “great thinkers.”

As all philosophers have morals to their stories, here is mine. We live in a day of instant philosophers. In a matter of seconds anyone can share an idea with the world. In a moment, I will hit the publish button on my screen and I will have shared mine. Not everything shared on the internet is good or noteworthy, but if one can sift through the dirt, gems are to be found. People want to be heard and it is humanity’s job to listen. And if you listen to the wind close enough, you just might hear a song.

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