Month: September 2008

Congress Thanks Media Reform Activists

Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)went to the floor of the House late last week to speak out on media consolidation. With the Congress about to adjourn before the elections and consumed with the financial crisis, Inslee and Waters acknowledged that the Resolution of Disapproval (H J. Res 79) may not get a floor vote> But they wanted to thank the public for speaking out so strongly on this issue. (more…)

What Kind Of Change?

We all know that green is the new black. It goes with everything: Green Jobs, Green Business, Green Homes, Green Cars, Green Cloths, Green Gadgets…. Most the these green affiliations are shallow marketing attempts to ride the wave of environmental consciousness that is slowly becoming a cultural meme. This shallow greening of everything, and the hip connotations that accompany this trend, have converged with America’s longstanding affinity towards consumptions and abundance creating some interesting cultural tension as a new meme is taking hold while the old worldview has not yet faded away.

This conflict seems to mirror the contradictory images of smoking in our culture. Through years of research, marketing, legislation and public education smoking has been demonized to the point that for large portions of society smoking is no longer cool. And yet, the images of smoking in Hollywood and elsewhere point to the fact that there is still an ingrained association between smoking and hipness. Similarly, we Americans still love our cars and our speed while we are growing to hate petroleum and lament our carbon footprints. Within these points of tension exist a profound potential for change. The question is, what kind of change? (more…)

Ignore My Advice

What are you supposed to think when someone writes you a ten page email with advice, and then tells you to ignore all of it?

When Erica and I began telling people we were going to have a baby, we decided to try to head off the inevitable flood of unsolicited advice by soliciting it ourselves. We began asking all of the young parents we knew to send us their best pieces of advice, their reading lists, their favorite web sites. The response was amazing. People responded with care, passion, frustration, and wit. They sent general reflections and specific suggestions. (more…)

Some Thoughts on Impending Fatherhood

There are some obvious reasons why I might have fatherhood on the brain right now. 1) in roughly four weeks I’ll become a father, and 2) My own dad just visited for a long weekend, 3) I am editing an e-book on parenting advice from young fathers and mothers. That in and of itself is enough to have one mulling over the cultural myths, stereotypes, roles and responsibilities of fathers. But what has been interesting has been how fatherhood keeps coming up in the larger cultural discourse and how it has been pushing me to think about fatherhood in a much broader way. (more…)

Convergence: An Introduction

As part of the redesign of the blog here, I am going to start a new series of posts called “Convergence.” There are times when it seems like one powerful theme keeps coming up across the different parts of my life, or across very different areas of my interests. These times are always surprising and delightful opportunities to examine a certain idea or matrix of ideas from a few very different perspectives. I feel like so often it is these places of intersection that really animate my thinking and push me to reconsider old ideas, confront subtle biases, and re-imagine possibilities.

The first in this series of posts is going to focus on Fatherhood. Check back soon.