Monday, June 8, 2009

June 8, 2009 Naked Distraction

Last year it was Jen. This year it’s an older man whose name I don’t know and whom I’ve never met. Now the question is, how will the government react?

I got an email last week from someone from out of state, that was virulent in its tone, commanding me and the Council to clean up the mess in Ashland or suffer the loss of the author’s tourist dollars to Medford and other stops along I-5.

Flashback from last weekend when I attended two nights of painful and disturbing plays about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict at Oregon Stageworks. Except at the end we had a conversation about the polarizing anger that divides communities into worlds that never can meet. It’s not the anger that bothers me, nor the lack of respect (although it stings) but the frightening way we lose ourselves in demonizing the other side.

To me this is like a disease, or an extremely powerful addiction, that so easily possesses us and seals us off from each other, when our survival depends on maintaining awareness of what the other - side, person, adversary - is going through. Not always, but sometimes, we have a choice. We can see what is happening and choose not to go there.

Why we can sometimes make that choice I can’t explain. It’s a quiet miracle, upon which our future depends. Sometime we just choose not to let ourselves slip under the surface of our moral intuition.

So it’s sex in June time again. The City has very important things to work on in this off year grace period between elections. Our future is very unclear...and is ours to decide if we can focus and find our common purposes. I don’t know how we’ll deal with this year’s nudity. I’ll just be grateful if we keep it in proportion to our really important tasks."