Happy Birthday to Me (cha cha chaa)
43, dare I say it 'out loud'. Everyone says, wow, you look so much younger, to which I say, thank you thank you. That sounds a whole lot better than my 9 yr old son saying during a mother-son hugging session, "mom, you sure were pretty when you were younger".. (say what?) lol. After a bit more probing (I mean, did he look at pictures of when I was his age, a teenager? what?), he said he saw a picture of my Canadian drivers licence that my husband apparently had in his drawer. Two things. Why does he have my Canadian drivers licence and a 'pretty picture' from a drivers licence?? Doesn't make sense now does it.
At any rate, we're hunkering down for today and tomorrow as we're expected to get freezing rain tonight and we already had so much rain that many creeks and some streets flooded here in Austin. So no going out for dinner with the family (to which I told my husband to remember to do it later, he doesn't exactly come from a celebratory family where they make a fuss for birthday people).
This morning I got three presents which I will share with you. They were on my Christmas list but were difficult to a)track down/find at the local bookstore, and b) could not be ordered in time. That's why a January birthday works out well for those things that do not end up underneath the tree in December.
The Trajectory of Change , activist strategies for social transformation by Michael Albert.
Buy at South End Press
Based on an original article from Z magazine, Michael Albert was asked to publish a series of strategies by South End Press and don't worry, it's not as if you will start seeing me on tv, chained to a fence, or other people. I'm a writer and as South End Press' motta states; Read, Write, Revolt. And the latter you can do any which way that suits you. To me that means writing, and not being chained. But who knows what might happen when menopause hits me. Women going or having gone through the change tend to really change. As the bumper sticker goes: well behaved women do not make history!
Where was I? Oh yes, present number 2..you guessed it: another book!
The New Media Monopoly (revised edition with seven new chapters) by Ben H. Bagdikian.
Buy at an Independent Bookstore
This is why I wanted to read this book:
The New Media Monopoly describes the cartel of five giant media conglomerates who now control the media on which a majority of Americans say they most rely. These five are not just large — though they are all among the 325 largest corporations in the world — they are unique among all huge corporations: they are a major factor in changing the politics of the United States and they condition the social values of children and adults alike.
These five huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — own most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, and movie studios of the United States.
These Big Five (with General Electric's NBC a close sixth) do not manufacture automobiles, or clothing, or nuts and bolts. They manufacture politics and social values. The media conglomerates have been a major force in creating conservative and far right politics in the country. They have almost single-handedly as a group, in their radio and television dominance, produced a coarse and vulgar culture that celebrates the most demeaning characteristics in the human psyche — greed, deceit, and cheating as a legitimate way to win (as in the various "reality" shows).
Thank God for bloggers to present some kind of counter culture to all of this. However, we do not have the critical mass to counter the current prevailing culture, because those who seek real and honest or alternative discourse, will go looking for it. It is the millions of minions who's lives evolve around eating, working, watching tv and living through other people's lives, who need to be woken up.
Lastly, a local activist professor/celebrity of sorts; Robert Jensen. Involved with Thirdcoastactivist.org , his Writing Dissent(taking radical ideas from the margins to the mainstream) tweaked my interest because it goes to the heart of what I was saying earlier; it's nice to have opinions that you think are important, but it means diddly squat if it isn't 'packaged' if you will (yes, I don't like the sound of it either) in order to appeal or open the minds of those who are thoroughly submerged in today's non-thinking, all accepting culture in this country.