Tag Archives: communication


Originally posted on kitchenmudge:
(See Launch of the Carnada for how I’m using this word.) The Edward Snowden affair gives us a chance to review some “talking point” canards that get dragged out by the usual talking heads whenever questions…


A tribute to greenwashers everywhere – enjoy!   I’m tired of hearing oil companies talk about how green they are while they pump pollution into our neighborhoods and sidestep basic safety rules. Just look at Chevron—the fire at its Richmond, … Continue reading


A thoughtful group of artists  decided to Occupy! billboards in Britain this summer, because: Advertising is part of a system which destroys our future to fulfil the demands of the present, a ceaseless expansion of production and consumption. It is … Continue reading

Dreams and Dreamers, Big Lies and Deep Lies

Watching Van Jones makes me simultaneously angry and delighted (rebuildthedream.com).  To be more clear, he gets me in touch with my rage by clearly articulating some of the fundamental problems and injustices we face, and offers a vision of a movement toward justice. I confess, I have a huge crush on this dude.  He’s probably the most inspiring person from my generation.  And listening to him, I’m beginning to grok why our generation always seems so despondent (not him, obviously, he’s found a way to optimism through his rage, but for people who aren’t quite at that level of brilliance…).

In my generation, we began to see the drift away from the American dream, wherein working harder and smarter was less and less tightly coupled with financial security.  We were the first generation in a long time to see that money wasn’t an accurate reflection of effort and value, that the emperor had no clothes, that this fundamental underpinning of our culture was a lie.  This was made clear as growth in “productivity” and corporate profits began to rapidly outpace the growth of wages in the 1980’s.

Jones says that one of the big lies is that “America is broke.”  He doesn’t dig deep enough to the root lie, that money is real.  But that’s okay.  Asking the deeper question is a role for nerdy intellectuals such as myself, wondering how to reshape the culture for the coming century.  This has to happen, all the time, to plant the seeds of the future. Jones is speaking to pragmatic truths for what to do today to get us through tomorrow, and we need that, all over, now. How many will hear?  How many will be moved to action?  How will this shape the months and years to come?

To speak or not to speak…

So I’ve been thinking a lot about “right speech,” and its relationship to what’s been going on in my life and what I should tell people about it (including you, dear blog readers).  My friend Judy turned me on to a series of talks about Right Speech practice at Dharma Seed, and I guess it’s been in the background, simmering, for many months now.

The abbreviated version: a brief illness and death in the family.

The questions:

  1. If during all this, it was the wrong time to talk about how to make hospitals, not to mention our practices around death and funerals, more life-affirming and sustainable, when was the right time? Why/how did I miss it?  Or does that come later?
  2. I’ve limited who I’ve told about it, with only a few beyond the circle of friends and family that knew the deceased. Was this a thing I should share with my students?  All of them, or just a few as it has come up organically?
  3. I’m still not sure the blog is the right place to talk more about this.  How much of the story should I tell here?  How relevant is it?  If I can’t find the energy to make it relevant, do I put more here just because it’s so hard to write/think about much else now?

I think that silence was the right choice.  My voice hasn’t really come back yet, but I didn’t want to stay quiet here for too much longer.