Wednesday, January 21

Obama's Speech, Hope, and making stuff.

I used to have a shirt with this image on it. The shirt got absolutely tattered with frequent wear. Even now the message is a mantra with me. It's not my office, even though there's a computer and a couple of desks. It's my studio. It's where I make stuff. Sometimes it's knitting, sometimes sewing, occasionally a collage or sketch.

Most of the time, it's a blog post.

I think about this frequently as I hear the word "economy" talked about. The story of the hilariously failed job interview comes to mind, where the young woman, when asked why she wanted the job, said she loved to shop and since the office was close to the shopping district she could do more shopping.

Our economy has outsourced making things. Now we buy things. Proof that there is a problem: the proven-right prediction of a 2007 recession impelled our last President to suggest that we "go shopping".

This President isn't doing that.

What, shopping isn't gonna fix my world? Dang, I have to go SHOPPING for a t-shirt in protest!

I hope that as more and more of us lose our jobs and things seem as bleak as they do, that we are able to frame this time as an opportunity to give and make sacrifices, as citizens clearly did during World War II. But as I heard the new President's (yay!) speech yesterday, part of me despaired that we would instead fake ourselves out as we did during the energy crisis of the seventies. Jimmy Carter's "moral equivalence of war" over reducing energy consumption was derided (m.e.o.w. said Safire) but it was Carter who created a Department of Energy and even the concept of "energy policy." And Carter's presidency was a failure, they say.

I worry that we have given up the idea of "making stuff," when manufacturing is STILL such a critical part of our economy. Wouldn't it be nice if Obama was able to arrange for the Big Three auto makers to manufacture wind turbines, rather than WAIT five decades for the CHINESE to catch up with world demand, as we are now? Fuck.

Oh look, Obama's been President for one day, one hour, and forty-two minutes, and I get to say Fuck. Honeymoon's over! Ha ha ha lol!

Allow me to say I don't expect federal grants or bailouts for bloggers. Not in my lifetime. But writing for publication is making stuff, and those of us who do it are worthy of our hire.

In other words, don't ask me to blog for you Arianna, unless you are willing to put FOOD ON MY TABLE. Hit counts don't feed the three kids, Missy.

That said, apparently you're reading the blog of the Arianna Huffington of central Illinois. Blue Gal organized the party last night (and led the toast to the new President yay!) for Drinking Liberally/Move On in Springfield: it was a great turnout and lovely time had by all. And I can't remember another night where I had a third beer, ever. Thanks for coming out (and btw I learned last night that any time a blogger leaves her laptop to meet actual human beings that turns slacktivism not activism. Something Arianna figured out long ago.)


  1. Sitting here in the UK, watching our economy slide ever further into the inevitable depression, I try to find hope from your good selves across the pond.

    I worry, though, that the weight of expectation on President Obama is so great, that he's made so many people HOPE, that he can never deliver fully on their expectations. Which means his honeymoon will end, as you joked, much sooner than it perhaps deserves.

    You're lucky to be rid of The Shaved Chimpanzee. I hope that your new President can deliver even half of what he promises.

    And you're right - Blogging is manufacturing. It's making opinion, and (hopefully) it's making money. Will that be enough to turn our economies around? We can only hope.


  2. A honeymoon?
    Bush done had a loving way with that pooch for all time.
    No, this is a 'working presidency' moment, IMO.

    Three beers? Goodness. No wonder you liberals fight.


    torearip = my verification word. Figures.

  3. Fran, you deserved that third beer, and you deserve to get paid for your labors, manufacturing consensus as you do.

    So when I am King, I promise to appoint you as Secretary of Thinking and Doing.

    'Cause you're damned good at that. ;)

  4. Anonymous8:35 AM

    Making is good.

    Shopping can be good too...and helpful...especially when you shop at The Salvation Army store or Goodwill.

    A friend of mine has vowed not to buy anything new for a year.
    (Except food that is)

  5. Anonymous9:05 AM

    an afterthought
    I don't often recommend things, especially not my own blog...but this is worth having a look at...shows something quite deep and meaningful...

  6. If different parts of our Spaceship could learn to trust and cooperate with each other, the job of building most of our (everyone's) stuff would naturally be given to those who did it the best.

    Clearly that's not the case. The replicators don't work worth a shit yet, and the American deck still needs to make some physical stuff; but make no mistake: we're on the march toward a New Spaceship Order that gives the smart and wise decks much more influence on the Bridge and in Captain Picard's seat.

    The idea makers, the ideals leaders, will increasingly become the designers of what will be, and what will be made. When we can stop being afraid of other passengers, all tasks will evolve to those who can do them best and the entire crew of the Enterprise will benefit.

    But I wanna know-- what kind of beer is it that rates a third one?

  7. BLUE moon, of course. :)

  8. OMG, BG - I had that exact same T-shirt! My mom gave it to me - actually gave me 3 of them! - and I, also, wore them into tatters. Coincidentally enough, I had just started a home studio, and was teaching myself computer stuff and was in there for most of the day and night. My husband gave me all kinds of grief but at this moment, I am rescuing his data from a dead hard drive (which he never backed up despite my constant importuning...)

    Where can we get more of those? Maybe copy the image onto a transfer, but I'd rather have the original shirt.

  9. just google the statement, that's where I found it. The shirts are still out there, but like you, Alicia, I feel like it's faking it to get a new one!


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