working together for social inclusion in America

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mainstream Masochism

Disheartening as our absence of communal relations is in America, it does help to explain our persistent affection toward institutions, as well as our attachment to their recognition and acknowledgment in validating our self-worth--indeed, in bestowing on us the right to exist.

Unhealthy as this institutionalized relationship is for us, both individually and socially, it is comprehendable; institutions--for better or for worse--are presently the only enduring loci of collective memories for our rootless society, disconnected from the land and lives that surround us. Until we construct more functional alternatives, institutions--despite their repeated betrayals and systematic exploitation of every aspect of our daily lives--will maintain their grasp on our lonely psyches in this perverted exchange for a sense of belonging.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tradition of Respect

Yes, the tradition of respect. Something absent from progressive movements and institutions.

I recall thinking as a grad student how my alma mater, administratively, would never surmount its dysfunctionality until it replaced its leadership with people who understood that. They indeed pretend that their righteousness justifies any action they take.

Unfortunately, this includes treating the faculty and student body as commodities for the school's self-glorification, while the president and trustees deliberately undermine any attempts at student or alumni involvement in the school's affairs. At times this takes the form of displays of outright contempt for their worth or contributions, as well as neglect of their needs, including basic courtesy and consideration. In short, no respect.