Monday, June 25, 2007

a new feature

I know better by now than to ask your opinions on anything because hardly anyone comments on this blog. I have more or less democratic impulses and don't think I have a clue unless I have seen a lot of comments. On the other hand, I think there are some things I can post where even one response is a tiny blow for freedom, a halting step in the right direction.

I have causes, you know. I click through at the drop of a polling email and add my name to any plea or petition that sounds just. The lame "nobody reads those things" is not quite true as I have found out from collecting signatures for MoveOn write-your-congress-critter campaigns. If you think you should only do activist things if they have guarantees of high drama and maximum impact, you are a useless poser. You should go for the most effective things that you can actually and regularly get off your backside and follow through on your good intentions. If you don't have time for meetings or the energy to go to rallies or run a phone bank, that is a really lousy excuse to not at least sign a petition or send an email to your representative when the opportunity is handed to you. Time is precious for all of us but if you don't devote a little of it to expressing demands for more justice and research and less warfare and corporate welfare, you will find the quality of life obtained in all that time you hoarded is shoddy.

One of the ways to burn out the "volunteer" who hardly does anything anyway is to overflow his or her inbox with pleas for more money, more letters written, more get-togethers to plan how to budge the establishment a few more millimeters. I know. I have one or two of those in boxes.

So I inaugurate "The Daily Cause" RSS feed from a blog that recaps all the "action alerts" emails for the various causes I think you should be aware of. Those emails always want me to pass on the message to 50 friends--by email. How long would you stay in touch with someone who sent you 5 or ten solicitations for good causes every day? I am going to offer you the " you call me, I won't call you" approach. You can take or leave it but the feed will be in a box on the sidebar. You can act like a responsible liberal without wading through a tide of well intended emails that by dint of sheer volume, begin to feel like a spam tsunami. There will always be a link under the subject to which you can go if you get the urge to do a little good in the world.

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