Just a Thought – The World is Made of Words

While the biggest political challenge we seem to be facing locally is about Measure K, both national and international political problems are so daunting, they almost defy description.

There is a bit of wisdom being passed around that “things are not getting worse; they are getting uncovered.” With the insanity of the Kavanaugh hearings still fresh, I can agree there. Men have been excused for attempted rape for hundreds if not thousands of years. The brilliant Tanya Klowden published an article ( https://qz.com/quartzy/1413735/400-years-ago-an-italian-artist-risked-everything-to-publicly-accuse-her-rapist/) about an artist who suffered more than Dr. Ford – she was tortured to ‘confess’ after her testimony.

Women suffer, rapists walk. We have all been made to understand this is how it works.

But the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is not anyone’s tried and true routine. This is not business as usual unless you are in the mafia.

Next, pipe bombs have been mailed to prominent Democratic leaders, including California’s own Maxine Waters. The decent gets much steeper, much more quickly. Homegrown terrorism is alive and thriving.

Social media is an important ingredient in this recipe. I was really struck by what a very different experience people had in the last local election, depending on whether or not they were on Facebook. Without the blue margins and the’ newsfeed,’ (just what is it they are feeding us?)  it was a much more civil tone of discourse. In the curated groups ( and I’m sure the curators had quite a lot on their hands keeping up) things got very nasty and very personal.

How we choose to express ourselves is the measure of our civilization. Attempted rape, attempted murder – these can be stepped back as attempts, but the intention seems quite clear – “What I want is what matters, and what you want does not.”

As we race towards the midterms, and the local election, we will be best served by carefully curating our own conversations. What you say, and how you say it – it matters.

We create reality – and politics – in the way we choose to express it.

Judith Martin-Straw

 

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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