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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:

http://www.documentaryphotographs.com/...

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?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:40:14 AM PDT

  •  A few things (9+ / 0-)

    First, you are letting your frustration with not generating interest here on dailykos blind your goal.

    Second, you need a communication goal. What do you hope to achieve with your communication efforts? Not through Dailykos, but through your campaign.  Dailykos is a tactic. It should not be the end all of your efforts.

    Third, your target audience is completely off. People come here to consume political news and only on rare occasions does this translate into apolitical issue advocacy. Yes, progressives general support your global labor rights cause, but this is not the primary communication channel for engaging progressives interested in this issue.

    Fourth, wrong time of year. Sorry, but everyone here is currently focused on politics, for good reason. You have an even smaller chance of breaking through right now than you would in the 'off season'.

    These are just some pointers. You can message me on dailykos and we can continue a conversation and maybe I can provide you with some direction for your effort.

    I do cause communication for a living, btw.

    Give me a f'ing banana - Eddie Izzard

    by linc on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:53:35 AM PDT

    •  Like s/he said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, cotterperson

      Wait until a slower news period.

      Diaries on this site come and go with in a flash when interest in politics is high. Unless you're writing about the election, writing "meta-diaries" about the site or a quick, compelling or funny story to tell, your work is likely to be lost in the mix.

      There are lots of good writers here, and lots of good causes. It takes persistence and luck to break out of the pack.

      Your best luck is to keep writing, providing different content each time. With time, you'll get more followers. If you get lucky, the "rescue rangers" will pick up your diary and put in in the community spotlight. Once that happens, you've got a much better chance of getting your message out.

      Finally, Daily Kos, just like the world at large, usually ignores literary works by unknown authors.
      Writing the 21st century version of "The Grapes of Wrath" or "The Jungle" probably isn't going to work.

      You need to use punchy journalistic techniques and learn to write a lede which engages the reader's interest. And, don't be offended by the term journalism - that's how Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and many other famous writers got their start.

      To paraphrase Mark Twain, the difference between the right style and the wrong one is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

    •  These issues are about this election (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson

      Romney as a promoter of leveraged buyouts that resulted in offshoring jobs is just one of many people operating out there under our radar and exploiting us as consumers as well as workers under trade agreements.  

      If we don't develop the capacity to bring these questions into fora where they may not be welcome - but where they belong anyway - because we don't want to probe too sharply or deeply, we may lose more than just one election.  

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 12:03:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't lose elections on low-priority issues. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        And the issue of working conditions of those who do offshored jobs is not a high-priority issue for most voters.

        I encourage you to rethink your analysis. To the degree it has traction, offshoring is persuasive to American voters only insofar as it affects the availability of well-paid jobs for THEM.

        Sorry, but most people are selfish. Those who are concerned about this issue are already firmly in the left-end base, and are not under contention in an election. You win elections by landing undecideds who are not in your base.

        This issue is not one that helps you to do that.

        Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

        by Dracowyrm on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 12:08:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are plenty of other issues here (0+ / 0-)

          Many issues get discussion and consideration that are not specifically about the upcoming election.

          I get very anxious about it and spend time worrying about it as well.  But we all have more bandwidth than that.  

          The questions are very relevant questions and should not be dismissed out of hand.

          hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

          by Stuart Heady on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 01:10:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i'm confused about what you are trying to (0+ / 0-)

            accomplish.

            Are you trying to draw the attention of the broader populace to this specific issue?

            I think to answer your question of why, in general, people aren't paying more attention (not here at Dkos, which I think has been addressed well enough in this thread), I would suggest that you answered the question yourself.

            These are HARD issues that people have to "face up to". I can assure you that nobody, in the middle of a deep recession, is looking for hard issues to that require "facing up to". In fact, it's my opinion that people will never willingly do that. I personally believe that entertainment is the key to addressing intractable and difficult issues that we have to face a a society. It makes it "easier" for the general populace. When you think of major attitudinal shifts, you find entertainment has either preceded it or running alongside it.

            For example, shows like The Jeffersons were critical in the midst of changing attitudes around race and class and social status. Shows like Maude and Mary Tyler Moore were steeped in the first wave feminist culture. Shows like Will and Grace were especially useful in presenting normal gay characters to the world. And addressing some tough issues along  the way. Even shows like Daily Show and the Colbert Report make politics FUN and entertaining. Sometimes these are the only way to begin dialog or start a movement.

            So, in my opinion, when we're talking about tough issues we have to respect that most people are not going to want to deal with anything they have to "face". It's not our nature to do so.

            Now, specifically, I think you need to define exactly what you're trying to do because it's not entirely clear from your diary. At least not for me. And then it seems like you are trying to attract a natural audience (liberal and progressives) to this cause. That's one strategy, perhaps. But it sounds like more thought needs to go into it to develop a multi-tiered approach to raising awareness about your issue.

            For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

            by mdmslle on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 02:22:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I also do cause comms for a living, & agree. nt (0+ / 0-)

      Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

      by Dracowyrm on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 12:04:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  exploitation has always been the American way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, cotterperson

    but they can't have the populace thinking about it like that. Conscience and morality could try to get in the way of profits, God forbid. Thus, that discussion will be suppressed at all costs in the public sphere. It's mostly beyond the scope here though the exploitation of workers in the Marianas was the subject of occasional discussion during the Abramov period. Discussions of worker exploitation here focus largely on domestic labor policy. Exploitation of foreign workers may get passing mention when discussing off-shoring of US jobs. Presenting or discussing your issues in the context of politics - as this is a political site - may increase the numbers of people you engage. But it's more specifically electoral politics that dominate here. Discussion of specific romney foreign investments and of documented exploitation by same, for instance, may be quite popular here. My $.02...

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 11:42:15 AM PDT

  •  The sad answer is this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle

    Most of the mass media are owned by five corporations run by boards of directors that "interlock" with other major corporations. Together, they make money by controlling the agenda, which results in cultural hegemony:

    the ruling class, who manipulate the culture of the society — the beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values, and mores — .... becomes the worldview that is imposed and accepted as the cultural norm ....
    As Wendell Johnson wrote in People in Quandaries (1946, full text at link), we have woven a web of words and trapped ourselves. In the ensuing decades, the web of words is controlled by those whose goal is to maximize profit.

    The profiteers simply do not want us to think about the malign presence of the US in poor countries. Few seem even aware that the TBTF banks laundered money for the mass murderers in the cartels, handily profiting both groups.

    It is a damn shame.

    Thank you for trying to raise our consciousness. It is an otherwise thankless task, I know, but I hope you keep up the good fight.

    All the very best, Stuart.

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 12:13:13 PM PDT

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