SVP of Strategic Consumer Insights and Research, MTV
Posted: November 7, 2010 03:05 PM
Wit was the weapon of choice for millennials at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
Millennials are often compared to their boomer parents in terms of their penchant for social activism and positive change. Cynically minded social commentators have also characterized the millennials’ flavor of activism as “slacktivism” or, more recently, as a “diffuse, click-and-go” activism (see Malcolm Gladwell’s article).
On Oct. 30, however, we saw a very different side of this generation.
Millennials gathered in the tens of thousands to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C., to speak out against fear-mongering in politics.
With an economy that’s no laughing matter, one might have expected to see a generational temper tantrum, but instead we bore witness to the dynamic that we at MTV have lovingly dubbed “smart ‘n’ funny as the new rock ‘n’ roll.” Read rest of this inspiring post….
Here are the top 10 things I learned about true spiritual happiness based on listening to a panel consisting of the Dalai Lama; Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth and Islamic scholar Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr of George Washington University.
1. Happiness is radically subjective.
2. Happiness, contrary to conventional wisdom, can’t be purchased.
3. Happiness involves the mind and the body.
4. Happiness is generated internally, not by fame or fortune.
5. Happiness can be found here on earth.
6. Happiness occurs in communal celebration.
7. Happiness is not all about us.
8. Happiness can be developed through practice and repetition, prayer or meditation.
NCFF APB: ****A MUST VATCH VIDEO***** HEALTH CARE DEATH PANELS/RATIO…
Wait a minute here! Nancy Pelosi said that we need to pass the healthcare bill to see what’s in it. Now that it’s passed and we’re getting to see the details, Ecuador, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and even Italy are looking like great places to retire happily ever after… Their healthcare programs are no where as restrictive or dangerous to longevity as Obamacare!!!
Check out this video – it’s really eye-opening…
Dr. David Janda explains health care rationing and quitting of 40+% physicians who will go to jail if they fail to comply with denials of care.
Phi Beta Iota: The editorial board watched this video in its entirety. If these details are confirmed, they are grounds for the impeachment of all those who voted for health rationing and cost rationing by a federal board appointed by President Barack Obama.The evil incarnate in legislation passed without Member review, much less public review, is one reason we believe that Electoral Reform must demand that all legislation be subject to prior public review before being voted upon. It also bears mention that the alternative to rationing care is a combination of sound health policy (see Graphic) and honest government (top 75 prescriptions can be gotten legally for 1% of what we pay now, a dishonest government has promised not to negotiate prices, the quid pro quo for pharmaceutical campaign contributions to both parties.
“THE SECRET LIFE OF BEEF” REVEALS BEEF’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
INFORM launches third video in “The Secret Life” series
(New York City) INFORM, Inc., the educational and advocacy nonprofit that raises environmental consciousness through visual media, has just launched “The Secret Life of Beef,” an engaging and enlightening six-minute video. The video increases awareness about the environmental impacts of industrial beef production, illustrates how it contributes to global warming, and offers more sustainable alternatives.
Americans consume over twenty-eight billion pounds of beef a year, one of the highest per capita rates in the world, yet few beef eaters are aware of the connection between their dietary choices and the environmental damage caused by beef production.
Livestock production produces one-fifth of all global greenhouse gases, more than all transportation sources combined
It takes seven pounds of grain and 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of hamburger
Seventy percent of all antibiotic use in the U.S. is used in livestock production
“The Secret Life of Beef” tells its story through academic experts, grass-fed beef farmers, chefs, sustainable butchers, educators, and restaurant owners. It also offers more eco-friendly alternatives to the heavy meat consuming habits of most Americans—from going meatless one day a week to purchasing grass-fed beef.
If every American went meatless one day a week, it would be equivalent to taking eight million cars off the road.
The best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce your overall beef consumption.
In my last Counterpunch essay, “How Obama’s Initial Personnel Decisions Hardwired the Wipeout” I organized my argument around verbiage describing how Obama “fatal move” to the middle,” leaving the misleading impression that his connection to the middle occurred after the election. This was sloppy wording and in retrospect it is clear to me that impression did not even reflect what I was trying to say. “Irrevocable” would have been a better modifier than “fatal.” And the word “move” was more related to the perceptions of the people whose enthusiasm he unleashed during the campaign, not Obama’s political proclivities.
Obama has always been a center-right politician tightly connected to ruling oligarchs in the US. I have been concerned about this connection with the oligarchy since December 2007, when I became aware of the people who were advising him on defense, foreign policy, and treasury matters. I publicly expressed concerns about his defense advisors in July 2008 and all of them on 5 November 2008, (see last paragraph here) the day after he was elected. “Hardwiring the Wipeout” was basically a first-cut bookend to the 5 November piece (what I called the outer layer of the onion).
Lest you think I am quibbling about what the meaning of “is” is, for the record, I agree with the critical comments (attached below) from my good friend Pierre Sprey, who has taken the trouble to give an incisive correction to my sloppy wording, and which he has graciously agreed to let me forward. Think of this as a roadmap for probing into the second and more rancid layer of the onion.
——————————- [Sprey’s Comment]————————
Superb analysis of why the voters tossed out Bush and his cohorts, how Obama generated such strong support and, two years later, why many of those supporters felt betrayed enough to stay home or to vote Republican. The article is most certainly needed and timely to fend off the tsunami of obfuscation that both the Republican and Democratic pundits are about to unleash.
On the other hand, I view your chronology of Obama’s (and the Democratic Party’s) “move to the middle” a bit differently–and our differences have serious implications for judging Obama’s character, his decision-making and the futility of expecting change in anything but his rhetoric:
1. I see no evidence that there’s been any change or “move” in substantive actions and stated policies going from Senator Obama to Candidate Obama to President Obama. Needless to say, over this entire time most of his policy “positions” were (and are) rhetoric cleverly crafted to avoid any specific position at all.
2. Given that early financial backers of Obama in Chicago politics were the Crown family (General Dynamics and super-Zionists) and the Pritzker family (credit business, Goldman Sachs allies and super-Zionists), I’d say it’s likely that Obama’s commitment to the MICC, to Wall Street and to Israel predated his run for the Senate.
In trying to understand why the Democrats just crashed and burned, I think the first layer in peeling the onion takes the form of an admission to two crucial mistakes made by Obama before he took office. He campaigned brilliantly on a vague theme of change. In so doing, he unleashed a hornet’s nest of intense expectations that would have been hard to fulfill in the best of circumstances, but Obama’s personnel decisions made during the transition period guaranteed the worst of circumstances.
Two big reasons underpinned the power of his appeal and placed his uplifting narrative into sharp contrast with the visceral disgust felt toward Bush by the mass of Obama’s supporters in the Democratic party and Independents.
A sense of unfair economic hardship embodied in the widespread feelings of insecurity and anger that emanated from the combined effects of stagnating living standards, the continuing loss of jobs due to deindustrialization, and the systematic transfer of wealth from the middle to the upper classes. The anger reached a bi-partisan critical mass with the onset of a massive middle-class bloodletting in the Great Recession, while the wealthy perpetrators of the bloodletting were bailed out by and even profited from the Bush Administration’s so-called counter-recessionary policies.
Growing disgust with Bush’s lawless policy of unilateral militarism and never ending war, reflected in the increasingly costly, unfocused wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere (and perhaps augmented by a vague feeling of fear fatigue, reflecting a sense that it was time to end the politics of fear and return to less abnormal state of affairs).
Both Hillary Clinton in the primaries or John McCain in the general election danced to Obama’s music of change, but neither was able (or wanted?) to smoke out how Candidate Obama’s planned to change directions. In effect, their failure to do so, freed President Obama from having to live within tight policy constraints imposed by specific campaign promises. This opened the door toward a cynical “move to the middle” via a series of timid compromises and accommodations, justified by the shopworn theory that his most committed supporters had nowhere else to go. That tired justification may play well to the self-referencing political class in Versailles on the Potomac, but Obama’s supporters did have places to go: the hard core base could simply stay home, and independents like to switch sides.
Obama’s fatal move to middle began immediately after his election when he chose to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic by picking members of the oligarchical establishment who helped to create and benefitted from the economic and national security messes he inherited — i.e., Timothy Geithner, Lawrence Summers, Robert Gates, and Hillary Clinton, plus the plethora of 2nd tier policy wonks and wannabes who came out the Clinton economic and national security apparat in waiting, eg, the “good war mafia” of precision-strike/coercive diplomacy dilettantes in defense, like Michele Flournoy, whose main achievement to date has been to completely gomer up the Quadrennial Defense Review.
These personnel decisions set the stage for a continuation of the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush business-as-usual under a kinder and gentler face, taking the forms of policies that (1) continue the redistributive economic policies to favor the people who caused the meltdown, albeit softened by a highly visible albeit insufficient stimulus policy and (2) continue shoveling money into the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex via (a) an escalation of war policy — e.g., by embracing the idea of the AFPAK theater of operations — under the guise of a phony distinction between expanding a good war against terrorism in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) while ending the bad war in Iraq (which was merely in temporary remission, as the recent escalation of murderous events in Baghdad and Anbar Province show) and (b) increased funding of an outdated cold-war inspired weapons modernization program that does not modernize a shrinking, aging force structure.
It used to be about avoiding physical labor. The lazy person could nap or have a cup of tea while others got hot and sweaty and exhausted. Part of the reason society frowns on the lazy is that this behavior means more work for the rest of us.
When it came time to carry the canoe over the portage, I was always hard to find. The effort and the pain gave me two good reasons to be lazy.
But the new laziness has nothing to do with physical labor and everything to do with fear. If you’re not going to make those sales calls or invent that innovation or push that insight, you’re not avoiding it because you need physical rest. You’re hiding out because you’re afraid of expending emotional labor.
This is great news, because it’s much easier to become brave about extending yourself than it is to become strong enough to haul an eighty pound canoe.
Phi Beta Iota: This point of view from Seth Godin appears to us to have special applicability to all those who receive a government salary and choose not to vote or agitate for reform. It’s easy to “go along” with trying to do the wrong thing, just more of it. It is much, much harder and more painful to persist at suggesting that we do the right thing instead. If you cannot bring yourself to agitate for reform Of, By, and For We the People, at least be tolerant of those who do….they’re the good guys, whether you want to admit it or not.
Phi Beta Iota: Ben Gilad, one of the top commercial intelligence analysts around, has a point, but he forgets that the modern looting of the USA began in 1981 and reached a cresendo with the Phil Gramm (R-TX) deregulation of the financial “services” industry. For the most recent and most superb story on the axis of crime from Wall Street to the two political parties sharing the power of the public purse, see Matt Taibbi’s book, Griftopia–Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America.
Barcelona is known as one of Spain’s most vibrant cities, but when Pope Benedict XVI touches down there Sunday, he’ll be greeted with something extra colorful: a massive “queer kissing flashmob.”
According to the event’s Facebook page, organizers have invited same-sex couples from all over Spain to congregate in front of the city’s cathedral Nov. 7 and start kissing as soon as the pope emerges from the building at 10 a.m. Organizers say that though the event will last for a mere two minutes, over 300 people are planning to attend.
Europe is seeing some of the largest demonstrations since World War II, with labor agitation being the major trademark. The reasons for this labor unrest are easy to see. Let’s look at several facts, starting with unemployment. Europe has always had lower unemployment than the United States. No longer. Since 1982, unemployment (as an average of the EU-15) has been higher in the European Union than in the United States. Actually, unemployment had already started to rise in Europe by the late 1970s, coinciding with the first steps by the EU-15 countries to construct what they later called the European Union. One consequence of forming this Union was higher unemployment, and from that time, unemployment has increased, eventually exceeding that in the United States.
There’s an election Tuesday, and you’re probably going to vote – whether your vote is meaningful or not. Some call voting a “ritual,” which is not at all to say that it’s not meaningful – rituals do have meaning. But the word is that it’s a symbolic rather than functional, practical event. The actual eddies and currents of power feel little or no impact from your single vote.
Where can you have a real impact? Doc Searls and colleagues working through Project VRM and the Internet Identity Workshop are catalyzing a redefinition of the computer-mediated vendor/consumer relationship, with the potential to transform power relationships in markets rather than in the political sphere. However market experiences dominate so much of our daily commitment of attention and thinking, a redefinition of marketplace relationships could be a redefinition of relationship and power more broadly. If we assume symmetry in vendor/consumer relationshiops, we will also assume that the relationship of an elected official to her constituents will be more symmetrical.
I’m reading Doc Searls’ “The Data Bubble II,” which includes a lot of homework – links to other articles and posts I might read to get deeper into the subjects of online identity and relationship as they pertain to marketing and the redefinition of vendor/consumer relationships. Doc quotes John Battelle, who discusses how emerging conversational media inspired an economic model he calls conversational marketing, “simply the tip of a very large iceberg, representative of a sea change in how all businesses converse with their constituents – be they customers, partners, or employees.” Battelle calls it “The Conversation Economy,” for which Doc says “we’re going to need individuals who are independent and self-empowered.”
Back to voting: the vote is symbolic of your share as a citizen within a power structure that is supposedly of, for, and by the people, though it’s increasingly obvious that votes and voters are manipulable and nodes within power structures are corruptible. In arguing for a more participatory or democratic set of structures, it’s important to know that supposed majorities are also corruptible and can be crazy as hell. We need structures that empower and that also include checks and balances on those empowered. We want to build sanity into the architecture of power, and ease dependence on the ethics and logic of mere mortals. If we build such structures for markets, they will have an impact on governance as well.
(Also interesting: Doc refers to David Siegel on “The Social Networking Bubble.” Siegel says “We’ve overstated and overemphasized the utility of social networking and are now in a marketer’s ‘greater fool’ territory.”)
Phi Beta Iota: Jim Turner coined the term “buycott.” Thomas Jefferson and James Madison understood that an informed public was a nation’s best defense against enemies both domestic and foreign. Brother Lebrowsky was a contributing editor to Extreme Democracy, and lives on the bleeding edge where democracy, information, and public minds converge.