a flag to march under

I've been feeling for some time the need to do something. And by something, I mean Something Important...something that can help deal with the serious, even critical, problems we face. But what? The environment? Gay rights? Abortion rights? The war(s)? There are so many Big Issues that it's hard to know where to start and what to do, especially given the time constraints that come from having a j-o-b.

To some extent, I'd like to think that my work as a columnist for The Front Page Online is achieving something, anything. I'd like to think that, however modestly, I'm genuinely reaching out to people. Maybe I even succeedin changing a few minds or offering some genuinely tasty food for thought every so often. But even the most generous and reality-defying metrics require me to admit that I'm not yet a major voice in the chorus. This isn't intended to indulge a woe-is-me kind of attitude, but merely to say that I'm feeling the need to pull an Emeril and kick things up a notch. Hence the dilemma of which flag to march under.

I'm already resolved to make a major effort to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage here in California. And I'm also determined to get more active in regards to global warming. But I'm still overwhelmed by how interconnected a lot of these issues are. It seems that working to resolve one set of problems requires making progress on another set; a vicious circle.

This lead me to thinking that perhaps there is a fulcrum around which all the Big Issues move, something which, if changed, would make it easier to move forward several critical areas. Then, on hearing some discussions associated with the National Conference for Media Reform put on by a non-profit called Free Press - it's in Minneapolis this year - I realized what that fulcrum is: the media. From the revelations that the Pentagon was propagandizing the American people through the use of friendly analysts embedded in the media to the media's grand failure in asking critical questions regarding the lead-up and execution of the Iraw war, there is something seriously wrong with the media. And when people are getting corrupted information from a corrupted, profit-driven, highly consolidated media, it's no wonder we have difficulties making informed, rational decisions involving hugely complex issues like global warming.

Since I already have a foot in the media, media reform advocacy makes a lot of sense. Now the trick is to take this notion, this need to DO something, and actually translate it into actions.

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