Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   1 comment

OpEdNews Op Eds

Why are you so negative? (and other FAQ)

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 1/26/11

Become a Fan
  (6 fans)

FAQ: Why are you attacking me for my way of life?

MZ: That's easy: Our way of life is really a "way of death" and is directly responsible for the current global crises I write about. We also might want to agree to save the word "attack" for, say, those living under the US taxpayer-funded predator drones, cruise missiles, and depleted uranium shells. Let's save it for countless victims of child abuse. Let's save "attack" to describe the reality of one rape every 46 seconds in America. Okay?



veg pride by Mickey Z.

FAQ: Why don't offer any step-by-step solutions?

MZ: Way too many people imply that unless a critic expounds a specific strategy for change, his/her opinion is worthless. This remarkably unsophisticated reaction misses the essential role critical analysis plays in a society where problems--and their causes--are so cleverly disguised. When discussing the future, the first step is often an identification and demystification of the past and presen t.

Besides, what value would my "solutions" hold while we are still in the midst of myriad global crises? I like to imagine that if we began detaching ourselves from a system designed to destroy us (and all life) and began dismantling that system, we'd create a space in which we could recognize paths and options currently invisible to us.

FAQ: Why do you always focus on the negative?

MZ: Becoming an activist can be an incredibly positive experience: creating community, inspiring change, feeling empowered. While most humans choose instead to use their meager time chasing money, collecting possessions, and obsessing over pop culture, the activist sees a bigger picture, a longer view, a deeper connection. However, being an effective activist also requires us to tear off the blinders and become acutely aware of how our way of life has devastated the planet.

More importantly, what does the term "negative" mean in this context anyway?

If you went to a doctor, would you deem him/her negative for talking about how high your cholesterol levels are instead of, say, focusing on your excellent fingernail health? If you brought your car in for a tune-up, do you want the mechanic to compliment you for keeping your tire pressure at the right level but stay away from a negative topic like defective brakes? Of course not"

Why then do so many humans shut down when confronted with the realities of our current social, economic, and environmental crises? Why is analysis that presents a dose of reality smugly dismissed as "negative"? Don't you want to know what's going on and how you can help address it beyond minor lifestyle changes and the petty conflicts of party politics? Why not save your knee-jerk "negative" retort for those who directly or indirectly support the corporate-sponsored rape of our planet?

News Flash: It's not "negativity" that's the issue here, folks. It's denial.

Antonio Gramsci wrote, "I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." I can think of no better mantra for activism. Don't shy away from learning the ugly realities of industrial civilization but never let these brutal truths prevent you from taking urgent action and believing you can create change and save lives--human and non-human lives. It's a delicate balance but our ability to walk this fine line could literally make all the difference in the world. We need a planet brimming with pessimistic optimists"

FAQ: Why aren't you marching in lockstep with me? You suck.

MZ: Of course, no one phrases this question quite so bluntly but it's astonishing to me how often a fellow human can be virtually in synch with my perception/lifestyle/worldview but choose instead to angrily dwell upon the issues on which we differ. Purity is not a realistic or productive goal.

FAQ: Since you seem to think you have all the answers, exactly what should we do?

Next Page  1  |  2

 

http://www.mickeyz.net

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Five reasons why Americans won't resist

The Topic of Cancer

"We need to stop this culture before it kills the planet": A conversation with Derrick Jensen

Myth America: A Stand-up Tragedy

Downsize or Modify? A Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Animal rights, ecofeminism, and rooster rehab

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
It is something everyone should do. The problem is... by Mike Preston on Thursday, Jan 27, 2011 at 9:42:45 AM