It has been a busy week since I have come back from camping. I went to Denver to see the Democratic National Convention. It was early in the week, but it wasn’t as crazy as I thought it would be. Maybe because Obama isn’t in the state yet. There were plenty of police and even a few protesters. The angriest people were the pro-jesus-anti-gay vs. everyone else debaters. They liked to yell at each other. There was also a free bike campaign that was interesting to see. I saw the Velib in Paris that worked well (if you had a European credit card). You could borrow a bike from one station and return it to another station across town without paying anything. Buttons, t-shirts, and stickers were all being sold. It seemed like more of a flea market in some areas more than a political rally in some places.
The police were obviously out in full force. It was interesting to see so many SWAT teams everywhere. It was like being in the airport these days. I felt like a criminal just for walking around the city. There definitely wasn’t a feeling of safety. However, I felt more threatened by a few angry students in Chile than the most politically charged people in the US. I thought that there would be people here with original ideas and some progressive views on things. I am not sure why I thought that we were more evolved. I just finished reading Kurt Vonnegut’s A Man Without a Country, so maybe that didn’t give me too much hope. I do agree with a lot of his thoughts.
Some people were dressed in costumes for some reason. Maybe it shows their patriotism. Or it gets them some attention. Either way, I didn’t do it. I have always been interested in politics, but this kind of turned me off. I want to see some real change. I want a politician that has fresh ideas. I truly believe that protesting, handing our flyers, or complaining doesn’t get anything done. Complaining about a problem without presenting a solution is useless. I think that everyone should be politically active. An older lady (65-70) handed me some paper to tell me about how poor condition the environment is in. We agreed on some things, but I didn’t feel like discussing too much with her. But it did make me think that discussions would be a good thing to spread ideas. So I found out USC and CU – Denver were hosting a discussion on politics and the media. People from Fox, Bloomberg News, and NPR would be attending.
Here are my unedited notes:
The Internet allows people to not only be consumers of information but also producers. Non partisanship is cyclical and organic.
Both candidates represent change. McCain will face a heavily democratic congress. He will have to lead in a bi partisan way.
Technology is driving a 24 hours news cycle. Things are repeated constantly. Creates a democracy of information.
Politicians are not in Washington very much. Instead there are lobbyists and media there most of the time. Politicians fly in and out of Washington. Lobbyists and medias priority is not the American people.
Today political journalists feel vulnerable to criticism. Atmosphere of pessimism in the political journalism. Big businesses have taken over real journalism. Skills of the reporter are more Important now than they were before. People look for authors not the publication.
Karen Tumultu time magazine. Time had the authors start blogs allowing comments. Interactive. Blogs are instant. Waiting for a magazine to be published takes too long. “dead tree time”. Every act will be caught on camera phones and posted on the web. Makes things seem more trivial. Info is raw now.
Cass sunstein – has an experiment asking people to anonymously record their ideas. The people became unified. Liberals became more liberal and became to think more uniformly with their peers. Conservatives did the same.
There is no mixing of ideas. Loss
Of shared communications. People are in Boulder because they like to be with like minded people.
Margaret carlson bloomberg news. The newspaper is old news. Cable television is making people pretend to be angry. Politicians on the show need to be upset. People want to hear what they want to hear that is why they tune in. There is no incentive for congress to meet in the middle. They are expected to be conservative or liberal. Governor and mayors are the opposite.
Juan Wilson fox and NPR. Fragmentation. Two different worlds are represented. Two unusual candidates. John McCain is am unorthodox republican. White women vs black man for democrats is very new and different. Young people are interested in politics. 1/4 of the us population is under 18 yrs old. College kids get info from personality driven shows on cable. Not news driven neutral shows. The guest on shows such as oreilly are punching bags. The view of the host is the only view that matters. Both McCain and Obama claim to be more bipartasinship. Big business makes dems and reps to come together to make things happen. Positive social change comes from big business.
I agree walmart will buy solar panels and have a positive impact much more than consumers.
Bloggers are breaking news.
None of this was very profound to me, but I enjoyed attending none the less. I also saw the Iraq Veterans Against War reenacting what it is like to be in Iraq. That was interesting. So the thing that was reinforced to me was that if you want to make a change, run for something political. I feel like a hypocrite because my mantra has always been “Actions express priorities” (Ghandi) yet, I am not doing anything political. Maybe I am not ready. I am signing up for a bike race and a running race soon. I have had enough of not exercising. My friends are out there doing Ironman!
At least I have gotten some climbing in. (Next time it will be outside!)