Actually what I wanted to do was join a book club for activists. I wanted to talk with other social and environmental activists about the reading materials that inform and excite them about the possibilities for a better-more just, sustaining and sustainable world/community. But the problem with Activists is—despite being wonderful and fascinating people—they are busy—probably too busy. So rounding up a book club/reading/discussion group for activists would be (I didn’t even try it!)like one crazy guy herding six stray cats to anywhere smaller than nowhere in general.
But I haven’t given up—I’ve just modified the agenda slightly. Instead of Activists gathering in one place at a given time, couldn’t we share our reading lists and in doing so create some exchange of ideas, some broader perspectives on issues, some nuance to an idea we, individually hadn’t thought of? And thus: The Activist Thursday Reader
Every Thursday I will post a list of a couple of the articles I’ve read during the week. Articles that seem convincing/informing/challenging/entertaining; articles I would dearly like to hear someone else’s opinion on; articles I think activists would like to share and compare. To the articles/posts that I have gleaned for a week I will occasionally add a particularly moving book I am reading or just finished. The book could be analytical/factual like Shock Doctrine; or it might be a moving and informative fiction piece like The Zookeepers Daughter; it might be a book of poems like one of Ed Varney’s deeply felt/insightful collections.
And I hope readers coming to The Activist will join in the discussion offering new, different, nuanced views to savour, contemplate and understand. And—most of all—I hope readers will, over the course of the week send me a list of readings that fascinate, move, inform them. So every Thursday I can post a list of Activist selected reading for us all to read, mull over, compare and discuss.
I have one request for submissions: rather than just list the reading you are submitting please offer our Thursday readers at least a paragraph—can be longer—comment on what makes this article important to you.
For now send The Activist Thursday Reader submissions to me at ngreynoldsng at gmail dot com.
So for this Thursday December 3, 2015:
Given the recent mass shooting in California, it is hard not to follow the commentary on guns and gun related mass killing in the United States. Why? Good question! Why would this example of gun violence stand out? My gosh, so far this year in the United states there have been 12,223 people killed in gun incidents; 62 shootings at schools, 24,722 people injured in gun incidents. Where does it end? I guess that is the big question: where does it end and the reason this article fascinates me is because it’s too much! I want to stop here long enough to ask just that: where does it end? The short answer—implied in the article above is: it doesn’t. It won’t. They can’t stop killing each other; the system is immune to change.
I don’t feel good about that answer, so I dug a little deeper:
Here is Obama at his weakest. I wish I didn’t have to say I wish this wouldn’t happen – again! For the 17th time since he was sworn in as US president, Barack Obama has had to stand helplessly before the American people and offer platitudes about controlling gun violence in the US; the violence of American guns in America that has taken 1.4 million lives between 1968 and 2011—more US deaths than in all than occurred in All, ALL its wars combined!
While this article has no idea of how to bring the violence to an end, it—at least—very meticulously answers why—the American political system is broken-utterly broken! It explains the details. A fascinating read.
Does anyone have any idea about how the US political system might get fixed?