If you’re watching the rugby tomorrow, you need to read this

I have been getting lumps in my throat every single time I hear a RWC ad or the national anthem for about a week now. I walk into work to find banners on doors and people wearing scarves and jerseys. Green and Gold, and we’re going to obliterate the English. GO BOKKE!

Es muss sein, surely.

Last night, at 20:20, Lucky Dube was shot dead as his son looked on helplessly. For a Chrysler. The world is an emptier place for this loss, and South Africa’s inner evil – the crime crisis – is yet again highlighted by the senseless killing of one of her most talented sons.

 At the eve of our greatest victory, the Springboks face a moral choice.

Play, and win, and you will be sports heroes to the nation.

 Boycott the RWC Final – on field, for 80 minutes, dressed in black, singing the anthem and Lucky Dube’s songs – and you will be remembered as political heroes, as a group of individuals that made a real impact – on street level.

 The RWC victory matters not when our citizens aren’t safe. Now is the time to forget the sponsorships, and do the right thing.

It is the greatest opportunity to highlight the crime crisis since 1995.

It may also be our last chance to make a stand.   

You’ve won the toss – it’s your call.

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The problem with blogging for environmental change

This weekend’s Sunday Times – News & Opinion carried a syndicated article in which anti-globalisation doyenne Naomi Klein  dealt my excitement – if not determination – to blog for environmental change a bit of a blow. 

Klein, the critically acclaimed Canadian activist and author of No Logo, makes the following point about blogging as a medium:

As a blogger, you get to stand and shout on your soap box, get the issue off your chest (often to no one in particular) and then get on with your day without changing a thing about the very problem that upset you.

And I fear she may have a valid point.

Having read the anti-globalisation bible and fleetingly met her in a Mike’s Kitchen whilst covering the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, I for one can vouch that she has her heart and head in the right place.

Yet in one fell swoop she hammers both Bono of U2 and, by implication, André of SA Climate Crisis’ attempts to spread eco-friendly thinking and ideas as futile.

 

If anything, she reckons, it does the cause as a whole a disservice by bringing about “change-inertia” and trivialising or “Bono-ising” the topic.

 

In a previous entry I wrote about change and ways of mobilising people through the dissemination eco-conscious thinking.

And if Klein is right, we’re not nearly done thinking about it either.

 

Should we organise a “gorilla mobbing” in Canal Walk, or go spray-paint the Minstry of Minerals and Energy’s offices? Should we drive around and deflate the tyres of every stationary Hummer we can find and skull-paint their windshields?

 

Because I will do it. Don’t tempt me.

 

What can you DO?

 

Action Point 1

On a more serious note though, please do let me know how we can take blogging and other forms of social media from mere consciousness into engaged action; this is important, so feel free to comment away.

 

Today being Blog Action Day, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate day to broach this topic.

 

Action Point 2
Go buy and read No Logo, and get hold of The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein’s new book on how Western Politicians persistently screw their voter bases – AND the environment – during times of disaster and crisis.

If nothing else, you can rest assured that the money won’t be funding a US presidential campaign in the near future.

 

This is what to look out for:

 

 

Action Point 3
Subscribe to this blog via the RSS feed and encourage your thinking associates to do the same.

Do it, do it now!

 

 Action Point 4

If you’re blogging today, make sure it’s about something urgent and environmental. Let’s make this one count in the blogosphere!
 

Changing the way we view change

 Change is not a static concept. It’s a politicised word, an emotionally loaded and politically engaged concept.

Conservative organisations and people who fear the future resist change. HR managers get trained to manage it, which in turn becomes the branded but somewhat ominous “change management”, a calculated process of minimising the damage impact of change on staff morale and other organisational outcomes during periods of re-organisation or marketplace uncertainty.

Similarly, people become very comfortable with The Known, the psychological space better known as a comfort zone. Even if the present isn’t great, it certainly looks less bad than the unknown and the discomfort associated with getting there.

Glancing at my dictionary (yes, that’s what writers do for angles), the bulk of the usage examples listed for change pertains to verbs, or actions. It talks about “changing things”, or “becoming different”.

Now here’s the trick: the significance of change lies in it actually happening, in the concept spilling over from a world of ideas into the real world. It is a conceptual medium, a matrix pregnant with possibility.

Let’s sound high-brow and call it something akin to metaphysical water.

If lots of water runs in the same direction or within the same parameters, with new water molecules constantly replacing the space taken up by old ones, we get a stream.

Because of this particle-to-space renewal, things stay fresh, and the stream becomes the backbone supporting an entire ecosystem. So if change actually happens – even if it is challenging to start with – flowers and trees can grow where once we only had comfortable moss on uncomfortable rocks to sit on (see above point about comfort zones).

And where streams of change converge, we get rivers; rivers that can significantly alter the landscape of resistance it confronts.

Armed with a well-directed force of engaged ideas, we can radically transform the way we, as a species, exist on this planet.

Reversing global warming starts with changing the way we think about our own environmental impact. But it doesn’t stop there.

The very essence of change lies in actions that transform perceptions and behaviours, in a perpetual “refreshing” of awareness, and in perpetually renewing our personal accountability. The key to igniting these changes is you.

Now go spread the word – Avanti!

PS: Think this post is dope? Vote for it under www.muti.co.za – Hot Posts – and get the issue in front of the eye-balls that matter!

Ta.