Thursday, February 02, 2006

Koufax Awards

Wampum is in the process of posting nominations for the Koufax Awards: awards given to blogs from the left side of the political spectrum.

I decided to read the posts so that I could see what kind of posts readers, especially readers on the left, appreciate most. I printed out the first third of the posts mentioned and have been reading them this evening. It's a lot of copy and lot of reading. Alas, I have found very few posts that interest me.

Granted, I am neither a liberal nor a Democrat, so I'm not the target audience for a lot of these bloggers. The posters have followed the stereotype of liberals as seeing only what's wrong. Reading example after example of how fucked up the world is can drive a reader to exhaustion and despair -- not the best starting point for effective political action.

There is a reason for this repeated listing of Things Gone Bad. It can be traced directly to the Bush Administration's penchant for seeing everything they do as The Absolute Good. Faced with that wall of blissful ignorance, those opposed to the right wing feel they have to talk to their fellow citizens like they would talk to ignorant children. Liberals often explain, with reference to irritating facts and pesky evidence, that the fantasy vision of America Uber Alles is wishful thinking at best. And they keep explaining. Over and over. Ad naseum.

Right wingers, however, have been educated to ignore and despise that brand of realism. They immediately default to the "Why do you hate America?" response. This method of "educating" clearly is not working with the right wing.

So what is appealing about these kind of posts for liberals and/or leftists? Are liberals so intimidated by the power of the right that they need to constantly remind themselves of how fucked up the world is?

Are liberals thinking they can advance their cause with their own brand of fear-mongering? Have they seen the success of fear-based politics on the right and believe they can use the same tactics with a left-wing perspective?

I may continue to read these nominees for Koufax Awards. Or not.

Meanwhile, check out some good news that I was introduced to in a speech by Alice Lynch, chairperson of Black Indian Hispanic and Asian (BIHA) Women in Action:

1000 Peace Women is an initiative and a book that recognizes women who are making a difference in the world today. Here's the blurb from their website:

Millions of women work day in day out to promote peace. They care for survivors, help with reconstruction and initiate a new culture of peace. To represent these millions, it is our aim that in the year 2005 a thousand women shall collectively receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in pursuit of peace. This political prize will show that the work they do is valuable and exemplary.

As their work is taken for granted and is usually unspectacular, it is neither acknowledged nor remunerated. With the exception of 12 women, the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, since it was first awarded in 1901, have been men. In negotiating termsof peace, many more warlords than peacequeens make decisions about security, reconstruction and new political structures. This despite the fact that women constantly prove that with their experience and competence, they can develop and put into practice sustainable peace programs.

Our focus is on women worldwide from all walks of life - e.g., the woman farmer, teacher, artist or politician – who devote themselves to a future free of violence. They have their own individual origins and backgrounds, which have offered them, as the case may be, maybe wonderful opportunities, maybe only restricted options. In order that the world become aware of their histories and their work, light must be thrown on their thousand profiles. Their thousand strategies for constructive conflict management should provide important impulses for conflict research and peace policies. The project will therefore be backed up academically. Last but not least, new peace networks will be established and existing ones strengthened.

There is a lot of good in the world. Despite all the incentives to be a selfish bastard, many people choose to do wonderful things. That is awesome.