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Re: politics on ArtsEdNet? The tally


From: Mark Alexander (markcalexander_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Feb 09 2003 - 15:42:16 PST

Well Colette,
So far it looks like most of us here on ArtsEdNet, at least the ones who didn't automatically delete your 'politics' post, are in support of people sending political thoughts to this unmoderated list. I'm not the math teacher, but so far it has been something like 8-2 in favor of these occasional 'off topic' posts, or at least in favor of the idea that art and politics are inexorably intertwined.

Now, I must admit my bias- I'm a strong supporter of the current peace movement and of every peace movement my generation has endured so far, but I'll support your plea to stop political posts on ArtsEdNet if people begin forwarding all the forever forwarded stuff from all camps-without the ArtsEdNetter including some of their own personal thoughts to the forwarded post- but that doesn't seem to happen here too much anyway, and the few that do come by here are usually easy to spot and to delete.

More importantly, I see the current debate as more a spiritual issue than a political issue. I feel that one should love their neighbor, even when that seems impossible to do. Of course politics gets all mixed in with it, making things very confusing, but the fact remains that art is interconnected with politics and spirituality anyway, so perhaps its a moot point.

If I came across someone who was sick or injured or hungry or or or having some trouble, I've been taught way deep down in my soul that my job is to do whatever I could to help them. So what I don't see is how the innocents in Iraq are any different, The problem is that politics, pride and greed issues cloud our judgment. Put aside your political thinking, and consider spiritually (and I am not talking just about organized religion) - just what is the spiritually right thing to do?

I find it interesting that in just the last two weeks I've heard four comments similar to yours, that "politics shouldn't be discussed here" (at a church meeting, at my school, and now on ArtsEdNet). What is so interesting about that to me is that so far the comment has always been made by folks who happen to support our administration's current war efforts. So whats that all about?

I am and always have been very proud to be an American, but I am embarrassed at what my leaders are now trying to do in my name. No wonder so many people around the world hate us. Why can't we behave towards them in a way that deserves their respect instead of their loathing? What we need to do is wage a war on poverty. I'm not pretending that I have an answer on how to do that, and I know that it would be hard for us to do, but it would be a step in the right direction. Too many of us here in American have too much to lose if the playing field were leveled around the world. How about taking those tax cuts I'll never see and spending that money on our UN debt? There's a start.

I'm sorry I'm rambling on here, but this is such an important issue that it can't help but be important for everyone who has something to say to just say it. Here or anywhere. Today is Pray for Peace day, and I don't feel alone in my prayers.

Peace, Mark

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