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Will we even need indymedia anymore?

Ha ha just kidding
Now I've got your attention, so I'd like to share a story and share some of my thoughts and/or concerns about this future we're heading into, a future which some might say is like the daylight after a long night, and in any case will be as different from the past eight years as to be unrecognizable.

A couple days ago I left a comment (contributed to an article) about local election results, I believe it was titled "Local election results" in which I wrote about the sea of blue we now find ourselves in--two of the bluest states (WA & OR) in a country that went decidedly blue this year.

And for a moment, when I was writing that, I felt pretty good. But after I submitted my comment, I was kind of jolted. I don't know exactly what it was, or if there's an English word to describe what I felt, (just as it's hard to describe 'deja vu' in English terms), but it was kind of a jolt which left me momentarily stunned. (it wasn't ecstasy)

I had been planning on going somewhere--it was Wednesday night and I felt like going out and doing something, to celebrate the election, in a quiet way. But I couldn't bring myself to go anywhere, for some reason. (on Tuesday I was too tired to do anything, so I didn't even contemplate going anywhere). So there I was, wanting to do what I should've done on Tue. night, but it just wasn't working out.

The irony of this, of course, is that I'd just written about being in this new sea of blue. I think what happened is that I became fixated on the phrase "sea of blue" and, like someone leaving a really good movie, I was momentarily stunned, temporarily in another world that I didn't want to come out of.

And so the broader themes here are how do we maintain our enthusiasm and optimism in light of the political changes at the national level, and, when we become unfixated on the results of the election, and turn back to day-to-day life, or whatever, what has changed? How do we gauge the changes that such a political reversal will bring? When will we know that changes are beginning?

***

One of the fears I had earlier this year in regard to the prospect of an Obama presidency, was that the change would be too dramatic--the shift in power would be too dramatic and unsettling, and that this country wouldn't be able to handle it. I think that economically and politically this country can handle the change, but I think that culturally there will be some problems, (and of course it's not too clear what the economy is going to do--before even being sworn in, part of Obama's mandate has been dictated to him by the financial crisis).

Culturally, the shift from Bush to Obama is even more stark than night and day. The Bush regime, with its wars and attacks against domestic liberties, has bred a culture of violence, not just in the political sense, (which is common throughout US history) but in the culture and the fabric of the country. The wars have been so brutal, and the attacks against civil liberties so persistent, that they have bred a new culture. But Bush also represents the more traditional aspects of US politics: white, conservative, Christian, Southern, (or thereabouts).

From that, we're switching to a president who couldn't be more of an opposite to Bush. He's black, on the progressive side, and not committed to a culture of violence as Bush and the people around him have been. These differences, I think, might be what leads to problems down the road. Where does all that violence go? Can the media turn it into something else? Will economic pain tend to make us forget about the violence?

Not to be too pessimistic, or to sound any alarm bells, I do think that US culture, as diverse as it is, at certain levels will have trouble absorbing an Obama presidency. The media, of course, has already gotten a jump start on defining the Obama presidency. Watching CNN yesterday, (glancing at it is more accurate), I learned that a town in Japan named Obama celebrated Obama's victory with a group of folks doing a Hawaiian dance. And it was reported that in Kenya at least a couple newborn babies had been named Barack. What else can the media do? They have no guide or precedent here, so out come the fluff stories which emphasize Obama's differences from mainstream society, (a different-sounding name). They're on their way to making him look like a clown.

And so, to sum up, I would remind readers of the earlier questions: how do we gauge the coming changes, and when will we know that changes are beginning? One task for everyone that lies ahead will be sifting through the media coverage of ongoing financial crises, and news of "economic recovery." This will overshadow news about the first steps of the Obama administration, just as it dominated the news for a couple months leading up to the election.

Clark County news

I'll end here with some news about the CC (clark county) and WA. Gov. Chris Gregoire was reelected on Tuesday in a race that wasn't as close as predicted. The final tally was something like 54%-46%. Transportation was a major issue in this race, but another major aspect of the race was the support republican Dino Rossi received from the Building Industry Association, a conservative, anti-union trade organization that supports deregulation of the construction industry and a lessening of the power of unions.

The BIA's support for Rossi was controversial, and led to a lawsuit accusing the BIA and Rossi of coordinating their political campaigns. The BIA was by far Rossi's biggest financial backer.

Surprisingly, Clark County was split 50-50 on the governor's race. In 2004 Clark County supported Rossi, one of the few counties west of the Cascades in which the majority voted for Rossi. Clark County voted about 55-45 for Obama, according to Columbian.com.

you got my attention 08.Nov.2008 03:10

Ecotopian Yeti

I saw the title and just got up to go to kitchen shouting out "God dam Democrats, Goddess dam sheeple. No clue that the NeoLiberal dual fascist party is just the same crap with a smiley face. Just like I predicted if Obama wins people will go back to their sheepdom"

Yes JR you got me with the name of the post. Good joke. Now I have to calm down ... om ... om ... imagine I am in a good place ... a happy place ... a place with your spirit animal ... om ... a big ball of moving light


Okay as I just wrote the above and then heard Burnie Sanders on Thom Hartmann show saying Obama should not pursue Bush as a war criminal. Now I am pissed again. Fucking politicians! Cascadia needs independence and to find any way we can to drag these war criminals to international court even if we have to have a well trained combat team arrest these fascists!

work 2 b done 08.Nov.2008 06:08

theresa mitchell

It occurs to me that being in Bush's Amerikkka after an Obama victory is sort of like having a car break down in redneck country, hours before dawn. You know the Sun's coming up, but you don't know how it's going to turn out; and who knows who already read your bumper stickers... More than seventy days of unimpeached dictatorship left. Yikes!

Yeah, we have to stand in the way of continued imperialism. No occupations, no Gitmo! Maybe if we call for war reparations it will get people realizing how far we've gone down the hole.

Lets See if it happens 08.Nov.2008 09:18

Holding Breath

all i have been hearing about is hope n change... im ready

If you are ready, how will you contribute 08.Nov.2008 10:09

Zcascadia

We have been living in a mode of trying to survive for along time. We have been watching the destruction of culture, the planet and a great spirit drain. We are weary.

I believe that the real change of NOW is that we dropped our armour for a few months and put our shoulders together to do the real work of changing the endless war power machine in Washington. The whole world was a afraid of us. They see the American people as weak and infighting.

We have the opportunity to unseat the most conservative, right-wing reactionary supreme court in the history of the U.S. We have seated a president who promises to listen to us and like the long-time community organizer that is he his, he promises to let us organize ourselves and problem solve from the neighborhoods up. That is why I support him and worked to elect him. WE have the power to make change because WE choose to make change happen.

We have an opportunity to create a problem solving, peace and justice-loving community building revolution. Because no one I know is giving their power away to Obama. We just know that he is different. How do I know? Spirit told me so.

He is not trying to organize a top-down kingdom. He is saying what do you want? And we are sending our ideas to him already. Then he promises to make resources available to us to do our work. But, WE are the ones who must do the work!

Here is what the Willamette Valley Code Pink and Alternatives to War group has been talking about sending to OBAMA. WE are still discussing it. It is not sent yet.

A partial list of what WE want:
* End the occupation of all countries
* Address Global Warming in Ernest
* Provide fair and affordable health care for all
* Reassert our endangered civil liberties
* Rebuild the strength of our communities
* Deal with the financial crisis so that all are protected
* Close the income gap
* Reassess NAFTA AND CAFTA and bring our jobs back to America
* Rededicate ourselves to fairness in every area
* Repair our relationship with other countries and with
international law
* Find better answers to our quest for energy.

WHAT WE CAN DO FROM THE NEIGHBORHOODS UP TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS?

I will no longer contribute to groups, high on adrenalin, who refuse to negotiate with themselves, their community and the Earth - to bring peace, justice and healing to the planet.

I am not naive. There are a great many dangers ahead of us. But, I choose to vision and work toward the world I want to HELP create, rather than endless ranting about all the problems. We all know about the problems, we are bombarded with them everyday, we each have our favorite problems. What will be the solutions? OBAMA is not responsible for fixing them.

If you say runing amok in the streets breaking windows, refusing to talk to anyone who does not wear black, or refusing to speak or cooperate with anyone who does not look like you...count me out. I am going to do the real work...the shovel digging, the boulder moving...to help clean up this mess. ARE YOU WITH US?

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!1! 08.Nov.2008 16:02

woo, woo, woo .... woo?

It's probably better that Obama got elected than McCain, just because SOMETHING will be different. People will think about America in a different way. The Clinton years were different from the Bush years.

BUT

As Clinton was globalization with a (D) next to his name, Obama will be imperialism with a brown face. Eventually progressives will understand this and some of them will be radicalized by it, but it looks like it will be many months at least before the delusionary euphoria wears off.

blah blah neighborhood blah blah 08.Nov.2008 16:08

blah blah community blah

> WHAT WE CAN DO FROM THE NEIGHBORHOODS UP TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS?

You mean, without threatening private and corporate property rights? Um, nothing. The bad guys own everything.

But ...

stepping out of their designated acceptable protest boxes is dangerous and scary ...

and liberals won't like me any more!

No one will talk to me except those angry dirty kids in black!

OH NOES!!!!1!

I'll just go back to "visioning" a better world.

And doing unspecified "real work" that's better than whatever you do.

re: zcascadia 09.Nov.2008 08:39

dex

I liked most of your demands, minus this one: Reassess NAFTA AND CAFTA and bring our jobs back to America.


"our jobs"??

People in other countries deserve employment just as much as "Americans" do.


Yes NAFTA and CAFTA are big problems, but they are symptoms of the problem, and not the problem itself. Reversing them is no solution at all, since other countries will "reverse" free-trade pacts, and then we have global protectionism, which deepens recessions and leads to war.

NAFTA and JOB destruction 09.Nov.2008 10:04

Zcascadia

NAFTA And CAFTA is not about isolationism, it is about breaking unions in this country, allowing American to take environmental degradation caused by greed to be sent to other countries where there are no environmental laws.

NAFTA/CAFTA is about allowing corporate interests to go whereever they want in the world and mass produce garbage (plastic shit) and food that is highly toxic and then sell it back to people in America.

NAFTA/CAFTA has provisions that break laws in every country in the world (Chapter 11) and then allows the corporatists to sue us if we try to stop them from breaking laws.

Companies are using FREE TRADE to take over the water, land and resources of many countries. THe people are being impoverished.

NAFTA/CAFTA FREE TRADE is not about helping the poor in other countries thrive. It is about hiring most people at slave wage and mistreating the people, the land and the democratic structure of most countries.

Unless overturning these agreements is part of Obama's agenda - then we and other countries are doomed economically, culturally and environmentally.

Do some deeper reading please....go deeper. Read the works of Robert Kennedy Jr who has done extensive research on the subject. Why do you think so many people were in the streets of Seattle for the WTO demonstrations.

Go deeper...!

Indymedia as a news resource 09.Nov.2008 10:29

Zcascadia

I was actively writing local news for Portland Indymedia for several years. I have some history of attempts to start some kind of news collective that would post to Indymedia. Let me tell you my take.

First I want to say that I believe that Indymedia is still a valuable source for informing each other of what is truth, fact and reliable information. This folks who keep this site up are not responsible for posting information. YOU ARE THE MEDIA!

Second, there is a lot of stuff posted on this website is the same old stuff - fear based, paranoia, angry, without solution news. There is also a huge amount of information about what is going on in Portland and some in other parts of Cascadia. The community calendar is awesome. You must possess descernment to use this site!

Hard I know. We are used to turning on the TV (hooking up the syringe of propaganda) and letting it take over our sensibilites). Well many of us do this. I try really hard not to turn on the TV and I never listen to corporate radio.

Now for some history: (This is how I remember things and there may be other ways of seeing the situation - maybe others who remember can chime in).

There was an attempt to create a news collective for Portland Indymedia. But none of wanted to be responsible what others reported on. You know that "no rules" thing. SO individuals did go out all the time and report on things happening in our community.

Then the corporate media made a huge attempt to identify who was responsible for Portland Indymedia (not understandinig that concept of collectivism) and began to disrespect some really good writers and activists. Many good writers stopped reporting. Some stayed and started the radio project and other projects and continue to keep this website running (THANK YOU!)

I continue to post my Radical Botany essays on this site because I still believe in the viability and power of this project.

I was once a journalist...and I know what it is like for good reporters to not be able tell the truth. I believe that we have to get away from the corporate model of reporting and understand that we need to support the POWER and ENERGY found in truthsaying and collectively informing each other.

I think what you do is go out and start looking around and see what is going on that is really good in your community. I used to carry my notebook and camera everywhere and when ever I saw something inspiring, I wrote about it. I posted what I saw on Portland Indymedia.

THe hope we feel right now is not that Obama will fix everything, but that WE will have a reprieve, a small opening to shine the light on what is happening in our communities and also start shining the light on solutions to problems not just talking about the problems. The hope I see right now is what happened when I went door to door to talk to people about voting for Obama. It was amazing. People are engergized.

I went out in one of the most conservative counties in Oregon...a place where the KKK is still active .... a place that was the center of white supremcy for years. And people open up their doors and engaged with me. They said they wanted change and they wanted no war and they wanted our jobs to come back home and they did not care what color of skin this new leader had. THAT IS CHANGE. The people of this state are hungry for things to be different.

There is an opportunity here. WE are the ones we have been waiting for. Yah, yah, yah you heard that one before...blah, blah, blah. But, now for this time, please believe that you are needed.

Get up away from your computer and go out and start reporting. What's up with Sisters of the Road Cafe?...I loved that place when I was in Portland. Is it still around? How does it work? Is there any Free clinics left in Portland....if not maybe someone could start writing about what it would take to get one going. Maybe it would have accupunturists, and herbalist instead of corporate medicine. Does the Oriental College have a free or low cost clinic.

There is so much to write about!

In solidarity,

WE ARE THE MEDIA!

HOPE _ CHANGE _ HOPE _ CHANGE _ HOPE _ CHANGE _ CHANGE _ HOPE 09.Nov.2008 18:18

Court Jester

Have I hypnotized you yet?