July 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
My local radio station airs a series called Perspectives that features members of the community and their thoughts on whatever strikes their fancy. This morning I listened to Jeremy Sherman share his perspective on talking politics with a libertarian friend he often disagrees with, and it boiled down to this: people don’t like talking about things they find boring, so details that don’t interest them – in his friend’s case, the complicated balance between necessary constraints and individual freedoms in society – are ignored and so strongly held beliefs are justified only with ideal-based rationalizations. Which makes sense to me – when two people are exclusively focused on separate aspects of an issue, it’s easy to wind up arguing over ideals without realizing you’re actually talking about completely different things. Getting into specifics can help you find common ground in shared beliefs.
So let’s talk details. The title of this post comes from one of my favorite chapters of (recently retired) Judge Nancy Gertner’s book, In Defense of Women, and here are some specific roles I think we should all be able to choose for ourselves free from social criticism or judgment:
- Stay-at-home mother/father
- Unmarried adult, whether or not you have children
- Primary family provider, regardless of sex/gender
- A romantically involved person, regardless of each person’s sex/gender
- A sexually-active person who has no intention of having children
Not an exhaustive list by any means, but that’s the beauty of details: we can always add more.
June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
Communication is clearly an issue in American politics. Politicians must work constantly to make sure they are projecting the message they intend to, and government officials attempting to shape public policy must convince those around them that their position is valid.
Recently, language in politics has been at the forefront of public consciousness. Evidence of the power of language in the political sphere has ranged from the backlash surrounding ignorant and inappropriate name calling earlier this year to the controversy surrounding state congressional (over)reactions to comments that include medical terms two weeks ago.
If the goal of politicians is to guide decisions that affect groups at all levels of society though, a failure to communicate is a fundamental problem that can cripple their ability to do their job. It is disheartening to watch politics play out as just a back and forth between Democrats and Republicans, towing party lines that in many ways are polar opposites by definition, each capitalizing on opportunities to act when they have decision-making power to do so and biding their time for the next power shift when they do not.
June 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
Last night I went to see Pixar’s Brave at my local movie theater. I had been looking forward to its opening for months and was excited to see how the story would be told.
I wasn’t planning to write about the movie – even though it has broken important ground for Pixar and the industry in many ways – but I couldn’t stop thinking about it after watching, so I thought I’d post what I took away from it.
***SPOILER ALERT*** Certain key moments of Brave will be discussed in the rest of this post.