small answers

I loved this interview with activist Marisa Handler, and I’m psyched to read her book Loyal to the Sky: Notes from an Activist. Of course I’m frequently psyched to read non-fiction books and yet somehow I usually end up reading novels. They’re usually novels with some degree of depth or social conscience, rather than fluffy entertainment, but I still feel that I’m rather lazy on that account.

Which reminds me of these classic words, which appeared a couple weeks ago on dooce. I hereby adopt them as my standing explanation for any shortcomings on this blog:

I am very busy being lazy, and generally if you want to know why anything is the way it is, I’ll get around to answering you once I have recovered from all this blinking I have to do.

Enough about me and Heather Armstrong. Here are a few encouraging quotes from the not-so-lazy Marisa Handler:

I think there’s this concept of activists as these holier-than-thou people who stand in the streets yelling. That’s really not true. I think activism can be cliquey and exclusive, and that’s really a downfall. I think as activists, we really need to look at the kind of culture we’re creating and whether it’s open — whether people feel welcomed, because that’s the only way we’re going to build it.

It’s a matter of figuring out where you can take a stand, how you can take a stand, and how you can try to do good even when things begin to look a little murky.

I actually think the answers need to be small. To me, the most effective counter to imperialist government and massive transnational corporations is smallness and diversity. Unfortunately we don’t necessarily always hear about the good news because it’s small. But [the overall effect] is not small, because it’s happening in a lot of places.

One thought on “small answers

  1. I love the quotes from Marisa Handler. To be a joyful activist is to succeed. There is nothing more attractive than engaged, passionate, happy people. They cannot help but be interesting, especially if they are warm & welcoming!

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