I am taking the lid off a few stray thoughts today. I hope you enjoy what is in my news drop box.
I see that a blogger is being persecuted, not prosecuted, for not being a “professional” journalist. Though the freedom of expression is protected under the law, instituted in part specifically to protect amateur colonial journalists, the judicial system likes to split hairs so as to create haves and have-nots. There is another story about a French teacher who became a writing sensation by writing on weekends. His novel is not only published but won a prestigious award. Then time magazine anoints “the protester” as the person of the year. The ubiquitous protester represents the spirit of rebellion both for freedom and against excesses in the financial sphere. There are curious similarities to all these stories. They also show the struggle and pitfalls, successes and failures as we live very public lives at the beginning of this, the century of the Information Age.
The persecuted blogger reminds me that judges make bad decisions based on loyalties to outmoded world views and corporate interests. (I’m being generous here.) The French novelist reminds me that perseverance, that of sitting hours laboring with your words, sometimes pays off and that, more than any Web popularity poll, this tenacity is the heart of being a writer. Time magazine’s person of the year tells me that a passion for social change begins small but can quickly sweep the world when it captures the imagination of people.
There is always something to learn in the stories we read. As bloggers we need to support each other in the legal sphere and work to reform laws, especially those selectively enforced and motivated to keep the lower classes in their place. Yes, bloggers, you are journalists. As writers we should be determined to put in the time both reading and writing so our stories resonate truth and beauty to our readers. As activist protesters we have the right and responsibility to push public attention away from trivialities and onto essential human rights issues. As bloggers, writers and protesters, we can make a substantial contribution. So get out your pen, your paper, your laptop, your walking (protest) shoes, your books, and your brains and show up ready for anything thrown at you on the page, in the courts or on the streets. We are bloggers, writers, and protesters and by our words we can not help but challenge this world.