Friday, October 10, 2008

Blogging against despair

Just saw Simon Schama's latest documentary Future of America. I don't know when it was filmed, but it was quite prescient for a debut this week. It was full of gloom and despair, pictures of the dust bowl, America needing to recognize its limits. America sowing the seeds of its own destruction through wanton waste.

But at the end of the program, he said that although America's natural resources were limited, her ingenuity wasn't. That it was a bottomless well.


Christopher S. Penn has an idea though...

It has become depressingly apparent that no leadership, no guidance, no inspiration will be forthcoming from any of the traditional sources in our society. Our politicians are locked in partisan bickering with each other, fighting like junkyard dogs over scraps. Our financial leaders are in a tailspin. Our heroes are largely fictional now at best.
Well, ain't that the truth. When I heard that George Bush had been speaking to calm the panic, I admit, fear gripped my bowels.

What's the solution? New media. Yep, all us bloggers, twitterers, Facebookers, YouTubers. Anybody with an audience of more than ten.

It’s not enough to say what to avoid; you have to provide your followers with something to do. A mission. A calling. A focus that will let them in their passion and intensity drown out the voices of panic around them so that they can generate momentum with you. Pick your cause, pick your battle, and engage your followers.

Ummmm, well that's where you got me. So, gentle readers, what battle should I pick and where should I lead you? (See that's collaborative leadership, very new media of me, if I do say so myself.)

First I think there should be a war on Georgia. No, not the one that could get us into trouble with Russia. That peanut growing, cracker eating state to the south of Tennessee. The Vols must beat Georgia to restore order in these troubled times.

Then I'd like to see a return of civility. Please, thank you, pulling over for ambulances, offering your seat to the infirm. Public admonishment of small, unruly children before they become hooligans.

Then I'd like to see a little more volunteering. Perhaps a little bit less wanton consumerism. The return of brass bands playing in the public common, which would of course be well maintained and well planted.

Ummm, how's my leadership so far?

(Thanks to NewsComa for the tip).

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