VIVA will come out today if it KILLS ME!!!! woo hoo!
|Maslow's Peak: Reports From the Left||
Working on the PA Voter ID thing is making me sick. It is truly going to be HARD TO VOTE for hundreds of thousands of registered voters there this year. It's a travesty, and I get enraged, anxious, and disgusted. I am in awe of people like Ellen Kaplan and all the rest who manage to stay positive and just get the job done although I'm sure they feel the same way.
VIVA will come out today if it KILLS ME!!!! woo hoo!
AMAZING interview today with Ellen Kaplan of the Committee Of 70 in Philadelphia. Her organization has take the lead on creating and managing (and funding!) the Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition, working to prepare voters for election day.
Ellen was SO generous with her time - we talked for about 1 hr 45 minutes. She gave me tons of detail - it's really disturbing how the law - bad on its face - is being implemented. The state dept of PA is either inept, ill-motivated, or both.
I don't know how those people do this work without losing their minds, but I gather that there is a lot of camaraderie and enthusiasm shared amongst the ground teams, so I guess that makes it possible.
So much to do to get my VIVA page ready - feel bad every day that goes by because of raised expectations on the part of a number of family members, plus of course I want to help get the word out.
But better to have it like I want it before I publish. So stay tuned...
The 2011-2012 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly like to gave me the vapors.
All my frustrating vacillations about what to focus on are out the window today. I just realized the devastatingly regressive 2011-2012 session of the NC General Assembly adjourned Tuesday. I want to do a wrap-up of their work - horrible stuff. Actually looking forward to getting it all together and putting it into a post - it's been so depressing, at least I can look at it in review.
I'll be posting it tomorrow or Saturday, depending on how in-depth I decide to go with the status of the most problematic bills.
Again with the confusion over what story to cover, how much or how little to write, and how to keep this quandary from making me jump from one topic to another and have nothing to show for it.
The topics morph so quickly when I watch the news. The Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Health Care Act was huge, and I should have jumped in to write about the plan itself and the questions answered by the court. But I get fascinated by the politics, so I watched in surprise as the headlines turned to the way some conservatives were so dismayed by Chief Justice Roberts' opinion that they turned on him, some even questioning his mental faculties.
So do I want to write reasoned, in depth pieces about national health policy and the law, or do I want to analyze the fallout?
George Zimmerman's audio and video-taped phone calls and interviews are released, and I made my way through long stretches of each one, knowing I could share some observations that weren't being made by anyone who had only watched little snippets being shown on the news. But then his bond hearing came up and I watched with intensity as his attorney tried an unusual procedure (that didn't work) to try to get Zimmerman's plea to the judge for bond on the record without having to face cross-examination.
So do I give folks who can't necessarily watch court TV during the day the play-by-play, with all the dramatic details, or do keep slogging through the video tapes, and work out what I think the important elements are?
And I'm still tracking online and on-TV dialogues about the tone of our nation's discourse, and keeping track of where things stand with Voter ID laws. This kind of a thought-buffet just can't be good for anyone.
On one hand it seems obvious to me that the more important work I have to do is the bigger pieces, the ones that take the leg work and the analysis, and the extra time in composition. But I have gotten enough feedback to know there are people who like getting the sort of up-to-the-minute blasts I do on facebook and sometimes on here.
Do I want to turn off the TV and go write my book? Do I want to chuck the book and even the longer articles, and join the fray of partisan daily bloggers?
And there is also the question of tone - obviously I can be hot-tempered and polemic, but I am also drawn to more careful evaluation and a balanced tone.
I know, maybe I could just keep writing nothing but journal entries about what I should write.
This is all on a tiny scale right now - a couple of hundred hits a day on this site, a couple dozen people who regularly read and respond to my posts on facebook. But I need to figure it out, because I am getting those couple of hundred hits with virtually no promotion of the site, so I feel sure if I start promoting and tweeting and cross-posting with other bloggers and so forth, I will have enough of an audience to feel like I'm headed down the right road. So I need to figure out my pace.
Arrrrgh! Days like this drive me crazy - I'm in the very mind-set that led me to abandon my book and start this website, but sometimes even this forum doesn't help.
I am working on a book about inner-city poverty in the US, with a historical perspective dating back to the Great Migration. It's enthralling to me, and I WILL get back to it. The working title is "The Hood", and it looks at the layered patterns and outcomes of what has variously, over time, been referred to the ghetto, the slums, the projects, and of course, the hood.
What started happening a couple of years ago was my inability to stay mute about pressing political issues of the day. Obama was elected, and he and his supporters brought the explicitly liberal approach to government back into the light. The backlash, in the form of the Tea Party, was extreme. I developed a coterie of facebook friends to discuss and debate the heated social and economic issues brewing in the country, but that outlet was so limited, and I was desperate to get down some thoughts and start a dialogue with thinking people.
So I created Maslow's Peak, and it's allowed me to do smaller, more immediate pieces; articles, profiles, and blog posts. Even little hot-off-the-press updates on the home page. It's been so gratifying.
And I do still step back sometimes, to calm down, and to remind myself that contention in the country has been happening for years and we will survive. So I still take time to disappear into my book and gain perspective.
But even when I am feeling energized by current events and ready to take on the fight, there is just so much to look at and respond to that I get scatterbrained and can't figure out what to write about first. It's nerve-wracking!
Right now I am juggling three topics.
"note to self"
Personal thoughts on my professional process.
- Julie Boler