I recently created a new website that I hope grows into a useful resource in our community. Progressive Wayne County is an interactive community site that promotes and chronicles the progressive efforts of individuals, organizations and businesses in the area. I figured there were enough places you could go to read or talk about not-so-progressive happenings, and I'm all into creating balance in the universe, so there you go.
The site still needs a lot of work to make it more collaborative and relevant, but I'm excited about the possibilities. The greatest part of it is that anyone can add content to it (news, events, blog entries, etc.) so it's not just about what I think of as progressive or know about going on. If you have comments or suggestions, send them my way!
I'm writing tonight from the Third U.S. Conference on "Peak Oil" and Community Solutions. You may recall that I attended the same event last year, and it's been an amazing time again so far. It's also appropriate that I mention from this context my involvement in a new non-profit called Sustainable Indiana, Inc, founded by my friend Frank Cicela (who also hosted the Indiana Energy Conference earlier this year). We're constructing it as an umbrella organization to facilitate building community resources related to sustainable living in Crawfordsville, and then making the process and "kit" from our efforts available to help other Indiana communities (and beyond) recreate the same kinds of resources in their area. Of course, I'll be working on trying out a few particular projects in Richmond as well. And we've already got some press coverage, a front page article in today's Crawfordsville Journal Review...yay. More soon on these important topics.
Every now and then (and several times recently), I'll hear someone use That Phrase, and it tends to be jolting. They have a troubling experience, and when they are recounting it, they say "it made me want to kill myself." Variations often include "it made me want to slit my throat" or "I wanted to blow my brains out" or, less violently, "Oh my gosh, I just wanted to die."
I know that the people who say these things usually intend them to mean "I was so embarrassed/disturbed/upset/whatever by that experience that it numbed my senses and temporarily made me unable to function." And I suppose that in an age where finding just the right expression to boldly and cleverly convey our complex emotions (perhaps without really revealing what they are) is all-important to being cool, using the very raw and attention-getting experiences of suicide, death and dismemberment as material is an appealing way to go. When someone says that something was merely "horrible" or "shocking," it's easy to tune them out since there are so many horrible and shocking things shown to us every day. But when they effectively say "it made me want to end my life," we're not yet so desensitized that we don't sit up and pay attention, at least for a little bit.
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