babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » rabble content   » babble book lounge   » Social Acupuncture

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Social Acupuncture
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 06 October 2006 12:13 PM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm dying to hear what people think of the argument Darren O'Donnell is making in the excerpt from his book, Social Acupuncture, now playing in the rabble book lounge. At first I felt rather depressed at the idea that all these interventions could be meaningless, but I've been slowly building back my more optimistic POV, hopefully not just from much needed self-delusion. But I'm really curious to know what others are thinking. From Pressure Points (http://www.rabble.ca/reviews/review.shtml?x=53063):

How did I end up spending so much time believing that culture had some revolutionary potential? What was I thinking?

Was that me who dressed like a businessman and went down to the financial district to dance in the streets, convinced that it had the power to affect the withered souls there? Was I so arrogant? Did I join a Situationist International reading group and walk aimlessly through the city scanning my body for how capitalist planning guides my desires? Did I hang fake money on trees on Bay Street to make some point about something or other, organize 7 a.m. parties on the subway to jar the squares out of their stupor and provide them with a glimpse of a truly liberated soul? Did I really believe the People would prefer my self-conscious manic glee to the quiet, meditative clickity-clack of the subway? Did I spray random chunks of concrete with colour, claiming to heal the soul of the beleaguered city? Did I really construct plastic structures atop exhaust grates to critique the homelessness generated by neoliberal reforms? Did I really organize talking parties for strangers and play Spin the Bottle with a room full of adults?

Did I call it activism? That was me, I swear, or someone who looked an awful lot like me. What was I thinking? How did my head get so fat?


From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
VinTin
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13310

posted 08 October 2006 12:24 PM      Profile for VinTin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I haven't read the book, but just reading the excerpt fills my heart with joy. It's like being lost in a land of zombies and finding another living breathing human being.

I have no answers but have been exerting a lot of energy in the past year filling a blog with similar rants (similar to what I read from 'social acupuncture'). It is reminiscent of the old tale of the subject who saw that the emperor had the ears of an ass - was bursting to tell someone but feared for his life, so he dug a hole and then yelled into it, "The emperor has the ears of an ass!" My blog is like that hole.


From: Montreal | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 08 October 2006 03:13 PM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tell me more. You find cultural interventions ultimately more about the ego of the actor than social change?
From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jacob Two-Two
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2092

posted 08 October 2006 10:40 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It is reminiscent of the old tale of the subject who saw that the emperor had the ears of an ass - was bursting to tell someone but feared for his life, so he dug a hole and then yelled into it, "The emperor has the ears of an ass!" My blog is like that hole.

But you remember the rest of that tale, right? When the trees that grew in that field were made into flutes, they would play nothing but the truth about the Emperor. Never lose faith, my friend. There are no actions without consequences. There is no hole deep enough to hide the truth.


From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
georip
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13313

posted 09 October 2006 10:25 AM      Profile for georip        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Our writer has hit on important themes in his rant on the futility of it all....I'm currently hunkered down in my own hopelessness and was warmed that someone has actually put into words some of the depression that I feel....I've always been amazed that some people with the blues can actually make something beautiful out of it, and I want to thank Mr. O'Donnell. As a caregiver for the last three years for a sweetheart with colorectal cancer, I can sympathize with Darren"s idea that being hit by a streetcar, or cancer, could truncate any small efforts of effective social accupunture I may try. I appreciate the exhausting nature of the work that "PROJECTing" his "PROJECTs" require...The only way I have learned to deal with that is to remember MLK's words "the arc of history is long but it bends towards justice" and to base my efforts in the context of a "life's work", accepting a limit on the amount that I should attempt and constantly struggling to keep my focus narrow. The exuberance of a liberal life in an abundant world finds limits hard to accept, but I do find comfort in Ghandi's experience and wisdom, "Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it." Oh, and keep trying the "voting thing", I have been told there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My current hope is in PROJECTS to envigorate direct democracy,

www.ni4d.us

www.vote.org

www.NevadaVoteDirect.org

www.gravel08.us

[ 09 October 2006: Message edited by: oldgoat ]


From: Washington, D.C. USA | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
Babbler # 1130

posted 09 October 2006 12:46 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi georip, and welcome to babble. You appear to have embedded the commas seperating your links into the links themselves. I took the liberty of removing them and spreading them out a bit.
From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 10 October 2006 09:31 AM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi georip --thanks so much for you post. Really helpful words to think about.
From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
otter
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12062

posted 10 October 2006 11:57 AM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It would be a wonderful thing if Canadians demanded as much effort be put into building a healthy and functional society as we do into simply slaving for wages, consuming and stimulating our pleasure centers.

quote:
My current hope is in PROJECTS to envigorate direct democracy
And Georip is right on in promoting a Direct Democracy because this corrupt representative system has to go and the current fascination with a PR system is just more of the same crap but with more snouts in the public feeding trough.

From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
morningstar
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12378

posted 12 October 2006 12:45 PM      Profile for morningstar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
i've come to believe that the problem with any of so called democratic systems is the lack of effort that citizens seem to be willing to put into educating themselves about, and learning to think critically about, their society, how it got to be what it is and how to make it better.

i've often been accused of overestimating the intelligence and goodness of people but i feel strongly that it is not a dearth of either of these things that keeps people hiding in the t.v.

i think that fear of knowing 'too much' and fear of being powerless to change things makes many people actually resent being taught about the hard issues of the times.
most people tend to be concerned about 'me and mine' and the simple, short term threats to them.

much more societal effort needs to be spent forcing people to face the idea that we are all in this together and that we all suffer when our most vulnerable, lost and unlucky suffer.
we all suffer when the earth suffers.
this needs to be a secular effort, perhaps like the anti smoking campaign?

sadly i have a redhead temper and a low tolerance for fools or cowardice---i've rather intemperately lost my patience working on various issues too many times.
but i'll be damned if i give up---i'm going out in flames if i must. oh well' it will make old age interesting anyway.


From: stratford, on | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca