Diatribe Directed to Denizens of Detroit and Drexel

Introductory note: This is an unedited first draft. I don’t worry merely about the people of Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York and California. I trust that that’s obvious below. Whatever, I feel obliged to point out that people worldwide — including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (neither her, nor her associates) — have not responded to my reaching out, even though we are aligned in many significant ways. Ditto for many, many others overseas and here. Over a very long period of time. Atomization and/or obsolete forms of connection seem to be ruling the day. We stand to rue the day we let this last opportunity get away. [Pause.] You know we are descending, that something else is demanded.

Significant update
: Just prior to 12 noon PST I talked to Crystal Starr (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/16/1131289/-Is-Detroit-a-cautio nary-tale-of-the-future-of-the-United-States). I trust that Crystal will pass the word to George McGregor, the Coys and other trustworthy souls in the Detroit area concerned with what Queally addresses below in his article. I look forward to her feedback, after she reads this article and the contents of its links. As an aside to Crystal, I’m obliged to say THANK YOU (in caps, for spending so many heartbeats on the phone with my blah blah). And to note it should be worthwhile for me to elaborate on what I meant exactly by “we don’t need megaphones” at this juncture. Yes, no angry marching in circles with placards. BUT… there’s another sense in which “megaphones” are not needed, not appropriate at this point.

Diatribe Directed to Denizens of Detroit and Drexel
Dedicated to recovering from the depths of depression with delightful Doomsday discussion
by Oxman aptosnews@gmail.com (21 May, 2013)

Everyone gets a D. That means you haven’t failed totally. [Pause.] Yet.

No one has gotten back to me respecting my recommendations for dealing with critical issues in Detroit. Please glance at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1252 to see what I put on the table for the kind consideration of a number of people who reside there, and others who claim to be concerned with the crises culminating therein. Then, check out Jon Queally’s http://www.zcommunications.org/disaster-capitalism-strikes-as-hedge-fu nds-circle-near-bankrupt-municipalities-like-vultures-by-jon-queally.

Following that, if you will, contact me to discuss: a) what’s going on; b) how anyone can think that wherever they live that they can be “cold” regarding the momentum in Michigan. O bailan todos o no baile nadie. By cold I mean uninterested in doing something respecting the abominations being stirred up in Detroit. In all of the “Detroits” nationwide, actually.

Other “Detroits” do exist in various forms. Let’s look at a spot in Pennsylvania*, as an example. A place not far from Drexel University… an institution of so-called higher education which I reached out to just yesterday. See http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1254. That was posted the day after I put up a plea to two New York professors which was focused on environmental health nationwide. See http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1253.

*http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/21/frack-job-2/ does a good job at describing a local situation which is being repeated ad infinitum within our national borders and beyond.

While writing this piece, I received an email from a journalist based in Washington who I’ve been in touch with recently, bouncing off of an article he wrote for a so-called alternative media outlet. I had asked him if he might be interested in getting more into advocacy journalism, embracing a plan for action… doing something in solidarity as a citizen instead of contributing — exclusively — to our documenting ourselves to death. [Pause.] His response has been generic. Right out of Central Casting. His first reply cited all sorts of blah blah based on the so-called need for objectivity in journalism; essentially that… though there were a few words indicating that he might be open to discussion, exploration with me. Then, last night I pushed the envelope… wanting to get down with actual talk about meaningful activism, what options we had to deal with our collective crises. [Pause.] This morning I received some kind of form notice letting me and many others know that he had just posted a new piece, had written another article!

Well, that useless, unwanted message was more than I’ve received from the denizens of Drexel or Detroit to date. [I say that in all respect to the one professor at Drexel who has been exchanging interesting personal missives with me... which have not yet culminated in addressing our national crises.] But par for the course over the course of the last eight years, during which I’ve had about 10,000 or so similar disappointments in communications with so-called concerned, enlightened citizens and prestigious non-profits nationwide. Caring groups in many quarters, on many levels have — inexplicably — not even issued a “Thanks, but no thanks” response to my interest in wanting to discuss options. Even when I’ve offered a helluva lot for their particular purposes/agenda… pretty much unconditionally.

There is definitely DEATH in the air. A deadly something enveloping one and all. I do not speak lightly here, there is no hyperbole in what I am saying. I have actually paid with infinite heartbeats to learn what I am telling you at this juncture.

BUT… all of the above is talk talk. I want to engage the reader in walk talk. All is forgiven, all is unimportant next to the need for action. My take on things, my experience with others is neither here nor there. The only thing which we should focus on at this point is HOW we can move in solidarity… with our point of departure being that whatever you’re doing at present isn’t good enough, and — certainly — nothing that you should be settling for, undervaluing your potential to such a horrifying degree.

Degrees, what are they worth these days? That’s an excellent question in more than one sense, isn’t it? The degree to which I have myself dropped the ball in reaching out to others hasn’t been addressed thus far in this article. But let’s give me a “D” along with everyone else, shall we? [As Climate Change ratchets up... the degrees, raising the question of whether or not life's going to be worth living on earth... for the vast majority.]

Let us decide to do something together which follows a fresh paradigm. So that we can make at least a dime’s worth of difference with regard to our horrid momentum.

Afterword: It’s instructive to note that there are tons of activist writers — like Jon Queally, cited above — who do not make it easy to contact them respecting the very issues they address. So… solidarity is secondary in a sense to them, I guess. That begs the question of what is of primary importance to them. Queally planted a seed which bloomed immediately with me. That fruit, however, is not enough. Not nearly. Not without the reader now moving in solidarity on some macroscopic plane… whether or not it happens to have anything to do with my particular recommendations. I will say this, though. Whatever is done MUST include me in some way. For I am far to valuable to ignore totally, respecting whatever new plans of action develop. Far too rare a find. Like you.

Definition of Dropping the Damn Ball: One of the many things I’ve offered numerous organizations and individuals is a personal library, which is currently being considered by the DAMS Program of the University of Bologna, the University of Montenegro, and other institutions of higher education throughout Europe. It’s a collection put together over a period of more than four decades in academia and during worldwide travels; I’ve also — in some instances — offered to curate the collection, to be on site 24×7, all else being equal. Why wouldn’t the California cities of Salinas, Watsonville, Gilroy, or San Luis Obispo, among many others, even explore that gesture with me? [Pause.] The library includes hard-to-find volumes, books across the spectrum of disciplines, rare films and other singular items. My puzzlement should be addressed by one and all. I have no question about that. That “enthusiasm’s not in” is not a sufficient response. Nor is the “flaw” to be found in me. The dynamic I’ve experienced — for activists, concerned citizens — must be deeply troubling; Michael D. Yates’ observations are germane here. For THE challenge cannot be found among the usual suspects: corporations; government agencies; disingenuous career politicians. They must be dealt with, but the first order of business, if you will, is to acknowledge and address apathy, resignation, cynicism, ignorance, activist habits (with those of others), and atomization. The latter demands an unprecedented ladder for us to climb up over, rise above… our cancerous DISEASE.