Threads of Opportunity
As a follow up to the previous post declaring my new tag -- The New Cultural Movement -- I'd like to outline some of the specific threads of opportunity that I see as being germane here. This is kind of internally remedial for me, but seems like a good exercise anyway, and probably helpful for others to get a sense of the scope of things.
* There is a broad general movement away from consumerism and towards Participatory Culture. This isn't precisely new -- it's the source of punk, hip-hop, burning man, the diggers, the beats, and a whole lot of other contemporary cultural niches -- but it is emerging as an real force, and sapping away the power of concentrated broadcast/consumer entities.
* Specifically, a lot of people are making compelling culture on a human scale, out of their own lives or targeted at an community audience. My "blogfather" hooked me with his market-leading take on the whole deal, but there are bazillions of others. You may have heard of LiveJournal; there's plenty more where that came from. I even know some people.
* On the political side, there's a still-progressing shift towards open grassroots organizations, and towards the left in general. Why, respectable people even have the temerity to stand up against imperialism these days.
* At the same time, we are all outlaws in the eyes of America, and I have the specific experience of living in an outlaw haven and running with quasi-underground connections when I travel. Street cred, you know?
* I've also recently blogged about the philosophical trendline from religion to philosophy to culture. That's what I meant on my old site when I said "Art: my church." The gospel is poetry, and the mic is open.
* Open-source is huge.
* And yet, as I observed on my trek across the land, people still live in pretty spiritually crushing situations. There's a lot of anomie out there, a lot of energy locked up in the 31 flavors of status quo.
* And finally, the Big D is in the mail, the Red Dawn is on its way, etc. I don't believe in appocalyptic thinking -- just like conspiracy theories, they're nothing but disempowering -- but I do recognize the reality that real changes are coming. The debt-based economy isn't sustainable, and macro-level environmental shifts are already under way. It's not the end of the world, but we are going to have to _deal with this stuff_ in our lifetimes.
All this to me adds up to the conclusion that the time is now -- now while I'm flush with cash and connections and don't have any kids to worry about -- to start pushing through to the next level on this stuff, start actualizing the potentials, putting the theories into practice; pedal to the metal and rubber on the road, so to speak. If not now, when? If not us, who?
Pithy, yes, but very real questions.