Friday, April 27, 2007

Changing our story

We mean something different about the idea of "stories" when we've changed our story. We didn't get told a story. We've been living inside a story we tell ourselves. People call this a "life changing experience". I find it's the most valuable kind of learning experience I can create for others and myself.

Therapists describe this as a "change at a cosmological level of meaning". This is deeper than a change of habit, attitude or explanation. This revises the meaning of life. The "facts of life" are transformed. The world seems different somehow. Feelings have changed about oneself, others and past histories.

I find it helpful to see us living inside stories -- that we can step out of anytime. Parents put us inside their story, which early on gives us an identity and meaning to our lives. Their story usually feels too confining during adolescence and a rebellion ensues. A new story is discovered that defies the imposed parental narrative. When adults continue to live inside their parents' story, these adult-children act out anger, stifle their feelings, suffer from bad decisions and fail to find satisfaction in accomplishments. The parental story suffocates the lives that are meant to be lived.

In Defense of Pragmatism

In Defense of Pragmatism

Why did I do what I did during the primaries, during the campaign, on Election Day, and after? Pure calculation.

1. - Not being very political before, I nonetheless recognized the danger of Bush Administration to this country and the world. This was both an emotional and a rational response, guided by personal experience from another country. I recognized the totalitarian tendencies since the day Bush announced his candidacy in 1999.

2. - I realized that a revolution is impossible in this country. An armed uprising leading to a civil war does not seem like a very smart option - the opponent has us outnumbered, outgunned, out-televised and out-testosteroned.

3. - Fall-back strategy is to try, no matter the odds, to use the legal way - elections - to dislodge the Bushie mafia.

4. - In some ways I felt that Nader and the Greens are right-wingers on some positions, while in other ways the American Leftists seemed hopelessly out-dated and naive on their extreme left positions. Does not matter. The only force big enough and organized enough to win elections is Democratic Party, so that was the only option.

5. - This is a two-step process: Step One - winning, Step Two - governing. We needed to choose the best strategy and the best Democratic candidate in order to win. We could afford to think about Step Two later if we succeeded at Step One. Step Two would entail a grassroots effort to shape and mold the Democratic government to move into the 21st century, so some thought about malleability of the candidate could have been part of the thinking process.

6. - In order to win, we needed a candidate who could attract the independents/undecideds. The Republican core was going to vote for Bush anyway, and the liberal core was going to vote for the Democrat no matter who he was.

7. - I checked out all the Democratic primary candidates. Sharpton and Mozley-Braun, unfortunately, had about zero chance - this is America, after all, still wallowing in racism and sexism. Graham, Lieberman and Gephardt were ghosts - no energy, no charisma, nothing to go for them. They are dinosaurs of the 20th century, unable to adapt to the new environment of the present-day world. Also, if by some magic they were to get elected, they were so entrenched in the corridors of power, it would be very difficult to influence them afterwards. They would keep playing nice with Republicans, keep being hawkish in foreign policy, and keep playing the same old tired game of pandering to various powerful organizations, from business to unions.

Clark is a war criminal. If he won the nomination I would have abandoned the Democrats as a hopeless case and voted for Badnarik.