Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Just some radom thoughts on somethings I came across yesterday:
I had two morning meetings with an hour between them so on my way to my second meeting I passed a book store just to browse. Barack Obama's book Audacity of Hope was prominently on display. So I paged through it. At the beginning of the first chapter he describes the everyday practice of the Senate in which most senators are away from the chamber but in thier offices keeping conected with constituents or meeting lobyists or being interviewed for the news, etc. He then describes what usualy happens on the Senate floor as one lone senator after another make speeches advocating or denouncing certain legislation to a mostly empty chamber. He then says a most astounding thing: "In the greatest deliberative body of the world no one is listening." I suppose his book might address how things could change or how to hope in such a depressing scenario, I do not know I did not buy the book and I was so struck by that sentence that I put the book on the shelf and wandered about the bookstore astounded that such a statement could be true. Yet it explains so much. I don't think it really is just our senators that have this problem though if anyone should be listening it should be people in congress. We don't listen to others, we don't listen to the other. Even tolerant liberals don't really listen, not completely not to those that are truely other than they. I wonder though if Obama's book actually addresses this, perhaps I'll pick it up and read it. Has anyone read his book?

I met in the afternoon with a member of the artist group I am a member of here in Chicago, who is seeking to inaugurate a Chicago wide regular gathering/happening of Christian artists. It's a great idea and appearantly something like this happens already in New York. He and I have our differences he is fairly evangelical and, if you read this blog you know , I have at best a troubled relationship with evangelicalism. But he and I get along fine and can disagree and discuss and listen to each other. However, as we discussed logistics and how to promote it and when to have the first one, and what would be the central event of the happening/gathering, it dawned on me that he can network, but also that his networks were all within evangelical circles. Then I realized that he was talking about bringing what more or less amount to "celebrity" Christian artists, some who are around Chicago but many who are not in anyway conntected with Chicago. In fairness the people he would like to bring are people who are doing stuff (some of it less than interesting to me) and seeking to work out the whole artist and Christian thing) and have been doing it for some time. So, I think he is thinking we could learn from these people, but there is also that they would be a draw, and the reason to come. I on the other had was thinking that such a gathering should focus on what is happening in Chicago, by people who aren't necesarily known outside what ever small circle they belong to. I had assumed that people like us unknown artists would be showing and or performing their art and talking about art and faith. When it comes to things I want to do I don't think about large sweeping networks, of connecting to the well known, it think of connecting to the environment I am in. If someone recognizes me or others around me great, and I would be lying if I said I have never wished to know the well connected or the celebrities whether they be within a particular group in our society or in the larger society, or don't from time to time dream of being known myself. However, I don't think like that and I don't seek to actively insert myself in those networks. Perhaps it is the Punk/Goth/Alternative part of myself that finds this sort of action and thinking odd and alien. Or maybe it is just that I am bad at networking. Or maybe how I understand my faith just doesn't understand how being well known or connected really has any ultimate meaning?

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