I’ve been a bit busy lately, so have not been able to post or comment much. Well, that and I’m a natural lurker. I even lurk on my own blog! But anyway, things are a bit freed up now, and I have a proposal for a collaborative project. And connecting the dots.
As some of you know, I’ve published a small, international magazine online for a number of years. It has waxed and waned through the years, as time and finances allowed… as it’s been an all volunteer operation, focused on opening up communication and on promoting a world without borders, and has not be for the purpose of making money, it has gotten put aside from time to time when circumstances required.
Anyway, over the past few months, a few things have converged for me, that have not only allowed me to focus on building up the magazine again, but also to think about the direction — a brief window of time where I am in a position to devote time and energy to it, the election of 2004, and the certainty that what we need is a new international progressive movement renaissance, in the small spaces as well as the large. More than that, I think that we must hang together and stick up for one another, regardless of our personal pet interests.
What does any of this have to do with you, you may be asking?
Follow me over the flip and I’ll tell you.
First, not all that many people read blogs, comparatively. Yet. Some don’t know what they are, and others have a mental image of some loser sitting around in their basement typing out their opinions on everything. That is slowly changing. I have an older Democrat friend who will only visit “mainstream” blogs… Josh Marshall, Tapped, and so on. When Markos appeared on C-SPAN, all of a sudden he too was in the “approved” section (one good argument for bloggers not disdaining offered air time).
Anyway, I’ve been thinking for a time on how to build bridges… bloggers, writers, wonks, thinkers, doers, readers and so on. And also various interests.. feminism, environmentalism, labor, etc. I don’t have any software or programming skills, so that was out. I’ve published a couple of pieces from the kos site, but regardless of what the site says, I don’t feel comfortable not working directly with the authors – which I am actually doing with a few now, but even that doesn’t accomplish what I think is needed. I could start my own blog, but didn’t quite see where that would get me. I did have a glimmer of an idea for one organization, which I still think is viable, but I did it backwards so it needs more work. So, I decided to fall back on that old adage.. “go with what you know”.
I’d like to put out a special issue of the magazine that is the collaborative effort of Human Beams and the Booman Tribune writers. Others as well, if they are interested. Actually, I’d like to do a number of such special issues over the next few months, as I have a specific purpose in mind… not only funneling people through the magazine to the blog(s), but also into effective action and involvement. More on that later.
The theme for the first special issue would be women. Why women? Well, at the moment, women’s rights are under assault, sometimes way under the radar, all over the place. And this affects different people in a variety of ways. While poor or middle class women in the US are humiliated and inconvenienced by nutty religious scolds masquerading as pharmacists, poor women in other parts of the world are dying from lack of needed medication or information, that they have been prevented from accessing due to yet another group of nutty religious scolds. While people are busy trying to shove lesbians back into the closet and bring back full discrimination, in other countries they are not even acknowledged to exist, and some risk very bad stuff if it’s found out they do.
Anyway, what I was thinking is not so much a bunch of disparate articles about women (although those are nice too) but collaborative research and writing, addressing the core subject from specific directions and connecting the dots. Women and environment, labor, education, human rights, and so on, worldwide. Not any sort of anti male thing, in fact I hope men also join in the project. And not a US centric thing, although I do think if women in “the most powerful country in the world” are unable to secure their rights, we have little chance of helping others do so.
A later theme would address all the topics from the point of view of environmentalists, again connecting all the dots. Or human rights, or any of the other subjects. We are all in this together, and we must all stand up for one another, especially these days. Separating out into individual interests, without clear acknowledgement of the interconnections, reminds me of the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy, which right wingers have certainly taken advantage of.
If it turns out like I think it could, there could be a pdf or e-book thingy of each special issue, available for printing out, which is another way of funneling people who are not online into online communities, and also into online/offline involvement in a progressive movement. I am working simultaneously on the action/involvement areas… such as drawing a line in the sand for those pharmacists and other things (anyone interested in helping with that is more than welcome as well).
Anyway, there are of course more details, but this is getting super long. I’ll be happy to answer any questions, and if anyone is interested in this project, we can start a discussion of just what form it would take and all that.