If you can't approach the task of building public awareness through books or blogs, and TV and radio are mostly out of reach as well, what do you have? Going door to door? I have done that, too. Same problem.
I think there are questions that have to be looked at from the penetrating honesty that perhaps Tennessee Williams or Eugene O'Neill or Mark Twain or somebody would bring. I think writing can be an act of breaking through conventional ways of thinking and really getting to something important.
I try to blog with that idea in mind, even though it is a bit like swimming upstream in a sound bite culture.
But look where America is at because of the sound bite culture we mostly are in.
OK, so, I have twice put up essentially the same diary, to try from different angles to probe for a path. Evidently something about this material goes against some kind of grain. I didn't want to forget about it because I think that the questions here are truly central.
The link below is to a web page I designed that contains a hopefully succinct but complete story to accompany some excellent photography work. It asks for donations, but I am asking for thoughts in analyzing why this message doesn't seem to be going out. On Daily Kos, the diaries I wrote about it received a record lack of response. Why?
I figure the people who read and comment here are about the best people in the universe to ask about the layers to this. On one level, it is about media. It is also about worker's rights. It is about consumerism. It is about offshoring. Things that a lot of people get interested in. But not this. Why?
Here is the link:
Some hypothesis ideas:
As consumers, do we, at some very deep and subjective level, side with people like Romney, in our own form of self-absorbed mendacity, in believing that we are entitled to cheaper prices even if it means we would rather the little dog Toto NOT pull back the curtain on that little man?
I suspect that the proposition at work is not that we are robbing these people by seeking cheaper prices, but that the investors who set these plants up specifically in order to avoid US labor laws are pocketing the money that would go into plant safety, and would support injured workers and help them regain employment. These people have become externalities to be ignored. They turn into beggars who die in the streets or in the desserts, and don't cost anybody money when they do.
When Charles Dickens wrote about the attitudes behind this, through his character Scrooge, he said, "If they are going to die, then let them be quick about it and reduce the surplus population." That would seem to be the attitude in play today.
To me, progressive thought has to be about sharply honest questioning, especially about the thing we would rather not face up to, and the way we specifically avoid communicating precisely when it should be most important. That is how the world can really be changed for the better.
Is there really a kind of "hole in the Ozone layer" where alternative media is concerned that causes this whole paradigm to be out of sight and out of mind?"
I think we really have to consider this because there are more than 1 million people who work under these conditions making our consumer electronic conveniences, such as the computers we are using here.
There are tens of millions displaced by the international financing that is attracted to the profits possible from American and worldwide consumerism. We argue intensely about immigration, but hardly ever discuss what is producing such a large wave of displacement. Yet, it is our money that is acting.
Why are there so many women in these areas who can be exploited so brutally? How can it be that they are so powerless? Could our awareness and attention be a factor in changing that?
If so, then what does it cost us to pay some attention?
Is this because we don't like wounded people? Obviously there is a very deeply embedded response in us all to seeing people who have been seriously maimed, to turn away. But if we lack even the courage to face pictures of this, then how can any solutions be put forward and support garnered?
The way Hispanics have been treated along the chain of events from 500 years ago through more recent displacements, has at times been just astonishingly cruel. Are we perhaps too reconciled to this to bother paying attention? Is it too profound? Have we perhaps become too shallow?
Does it not bother us that our comfortable lifestyle rests on the backs of people who are suffering under the burden? Do we at some level agree that this is a necessary condition of the world?
I am not trying to be a scold. But I think if you want to change a condition that is as intractable as the situation right in our own back yard is, I think you have to really dig for new levels of honesty in facing up to what is really going on.
It isn't about an abstract "Them" out there somewhere. It is about Us. We The People. This is a Republic based on the fabled "Enlightened Publick."
What stands in the way of this enlightenment?