What is Occupy Wall Street? And other social media DOHs #ows

October 27, 2011

What is Occupy Wall Street? 

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Elvis Presley, Amazing Grace

Often, I do not spell out the social media lesson. I treat my blog posts that do illuminate social media DOHs as parables. The parable here is especially elusive and I allow it to remain so. Because we must accustom ourselves to the reality that the heart will know things long before the mind can comprehend.

Some of you may know that I have recently made several comments on Bruce Sallan’s blog post, The Value of Money and Occupy Wall Street, and to the comments there. However, the most important of those comments, perhaps, is the one I publish here. I understand that it reproduces poorly here out of context – at least at it’s start. Because I begin my comment by addressing a comment that attempts to analyze the OWS movement according to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy on civil disobedience and non-violent protest.

At the end of my long comment, I answer the question, what is Occupy Wall Street about.

I may be wrong. And I may be mistaken about many things. It is my intuitional opinion and it being an opinion and an intuition, it is neither necessarily right, wrong, worthwhile, nor useless. It just is.

You be the judge of whether or not my opinion speaks loudly to your heart or not. Because you alone are responsible for what you accept into your heart as a compelling instance of the beautiful, the good, and the true.

Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Write a Blog Post That Sucks

July 3, 2011

I finally got to watch The Adjustment Bureau – directed by George Nolfi. Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, this romantic thriller is based on Philip K. Dick’s short story, The Adjustment Team. I liked this movie. And me liking a movie that isn’t carried by special effects and explosions is saying something. It means there’s something more than just a story.

Leonard Cohen, Dance Me to the End of Love

Free Will Is Sublime

I’ve been wanting to see The Adjustment Bureau ever since reading Lori Gosselin’s May blog post on fate and free will. Read it here.

Inspired by the movie, Lori asks if we have free will? And if we do, how do we describe it. The hundred or more comments that follow her post suggest the subject and questions are relevant to us – despite the blogosphere’s apparent and constant preoccupation with how to write a better mouse trap- headlines, seo, etc.

Free will is as real as it is sublime. Furthermore, we underestimate free will as much as we fail to appreciate and exercise it.

Independence Day

But if we reflect briefly on America’s Independence – we can begin to understand how awesome is free will when men, women, and children direct their free will to the common good and course of Freedom.

Even History cannot ignore free will. Because History appears to align itself with human hope when free will moves like a tide in the hearts of those who yearn to recognize the dignity of the human person.

Therefore, as much as it is a celebration of the sacrifice, triumph, and spirit of a nation, the Fourth of July is also a celebration of the effectiveness and efficiency of free will. No other holiday stirs hearts and bold passion like Independence Day – if you haven’t noticed.

Captains and Masters

One comment to Lori’s blog post summons bold words from the poem, Ivictus, by William Ernest Henley:

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul

You can even put on a captain’s hat – if that makes you feel better. <grin>

Captains and masters, however, have no need for self-affirmation. Still, I can appreciate the longings of authors (of the poem and comment) – the longing for such command. And, I do believe, such command is intimately bound to the perfection of our individual will. As much as it is about Love.

Why This Blog Post Sucks

I had hoped to illuminate something awesome and exciting about free will for you. How it is intimately connected to our courage (or lack thereof) to be, who we are, and who we shall become. How free will is fueled by Love. In less than 200 words. Just like this.

Because I believe that such illuminations may help you unlock your potential and destiny.

But I also felt that I had to give you glimpses of free will in its greatness and defeat. For the illusion that we are captains of our souls (in this moment) is as much an illusion of the command of a car accelerating from 0-60 in under 7 seconds.

Such illusions, generally speaking, appeal to me as much as they may appeal to you. But they confuse us. Too often, they lead us astray from our destiny, ourselves, and, yes, even love.

More importantly, I fear that I have thrown these glimpses on the page as recklessly as an artist in pursuit of abstract confusion.

Will you help me save this blog post from sucking hard?

Redeem This Blog Post

Philip K. Dick may also have had some insight. He was an unusual man. That insight may have even translated into the screenplay.

What insights did you get out of the movie?

What insights do you bring from your life?

Stan Faryna
3 July, 2011
Bucharest, Romania


The coming U.S. elections will be exciting and interesting.

October 27, 2008

Obama will win by a landslide

Election day will be exciting. Prayers will be answered. People will shout out, “Amen!”

The news talk show sock puppets will be talking about unprecedented voter turn outs- not to mention a record level turn outs of first time voters, black Americans, Hispanics and other minorities at the polls. They will talk about the American people’s hunger for hope and change. And they may even express a certain surprise to the unexpected tide of white votes for Senator Barack Obama.

Throughout the day and early evening, Journalists will be chatty and make wild eyed predictions as cautiously as possible in anticipation of the electoral votes. I plan to look for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. It’s not difficult to imagine that Indecision 2008 could just be the most insightful coverage of the elections

More thoughtful commentators will be reminded of the past excitement of Ronald Reagan and others, JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. These are interesting times. Everyone, everywhere will overuse the idea of history in the making.

Yes, everywhere.

The excitement and anticipation will not only stir in the hearts and prayers of Americans, they will stir in hearts, minds and prayers across the planet. I would not be surprised if Kenyans celebrate the day. Senator Obama is a son of Kenya as much as he is a son of America.

The Death of the Neo-Conservative Movement… and spiritual bankruptcy of the left and right

Neo-conservativism as a movement is dead. It began with a passion for classical liberalism and left-sided problematics. It stirred with intellectual curiosity and an almost spiritual enthusiasm. However, the neo-conservative movement evolved into a souless snap step that merely served the greed and folly of undisciplined capitalists. On election day, some will bemoan the tragic end of something that could have become an engine of hope.

The values of the Democrats will not be vindicated if there is an Obama victory. Senator Obama will get a landslide of votes even if he were an Independent. Hopefully, he knows it too. Hopefully, Senator Obama will remember that he owes his rise not to the Party but to the American people and their willingness to suspend their ho-hum apathy and cynicism when they heard Obama’s message of hope.

When Senator Hillary Clinton threw the kitchen sink at Obama, it was clear that the Democratic power base has a racial preference. Democrts are as reluctant to embrace change as Zappata (aka corporate oil interests of the Bush family), the HRHs and Rockefellers. On the other hand, Democrats won’t ignore a rising tide that helps them grab seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Tabletalk

The McCain campaign has been a piss poor campaign. It will be worse in the last days. It will stink on election day. Senator John McCain had nothing new to say. It appears to too many Americans that he believes in nothing as well. In fact, the hard core of the Republican Party, like the hard core of the Democrat Party, has been spiritually and politically bankrupt for a long, long time. The old guard, left and right, has nothing useful to pass on to us. Just some parlor tricks and more of the same old.

Perhaps Senator McCain’s lackluster campaign represents the folly of Republican prejudice that Americans would not vote a black president into office. Somehow the Democrats made the same mistake earlier this year.

So we shall see tears of joy on election day. And some of us will join black America with our own unbid tears as black Americans tell their story of how they have long waited for this day. Some black Americans will know and feel for the first time in their lives that America is home and that opportunity is not suspect.

Race Matters, Economics, and the Cause of Freedom

In the wonder of Senator Obama’s triumph, some may also face up to the truth that opportunity is something wonderful but that opportunity is not a welfare check, a hand out, or a hand up. It is what it is. Opportunity and not Pie.

Equality in dignity is not necessarily correlated to personal accomplishment, professional achievement, success, happiness, wealth and/or property. On the other hand, the problematic of a welfare state does not mean that we should not be concerned with the welfare of the nation, of the people, and of the person. The unfortunate paradoxes that we find ourselves pondering simply reflect the small mindedness– left and right.

Most of our American problems are not quite as chronic or inescapable as the commentators, government pundits, and opinion makers say. On the other hand, some of the problems are worse than we could have ever imagined.

America shall re-awaken

We are Americans. We have set the milestones of freedom, democracy and hope. For all nations. For all peoples. Yes, we can do great things. Yes we have done greater things than others have yet to do. And so I believe that America shall shine bright a few more years. Who else shall step up and carry the torch for humankind and progress? The French? The Chinese?

Not.

Below, Amerika from Ramstein.
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Stan Faryna
October 27, 2008
Amsterdam, Netherlands

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About Stan Faryna

Mr. Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

Stan Faryna is also a Global Voices author and translator. Global Voices is a non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research think-tank focused on the Internet’s impact on society.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna also served as editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

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