Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Allied Media Conference

I arrived home Monday night and have been working like a maniac ever since. No rest for the wicked.

I accomplished many things by attending AMC. I met awesome women. You know them from the internets. They are also awesome in person. I'll write more about that later.

I managed to raise the average age 20 years or so every time I walked into a room. Which is perfectly OK. Being around young activists is a real treat. Only sour point came when I signed into the dorm and someone behind the desk asked me if I was there as a chaperone. Not a big deal, since there were, in fact, events for high school age kids at which chaperones are required. But I was with two 30 something (I think) videographers and it felt like an insult to them. What? These folks need chaperones?

The dorms were ascetic to the extreme. And empty of everything useful. First, call me old for not realizing that dorm rooms have private baths and showers these days. Also call me clueless for not realizing I'd need soap. In the U.S., of course, it is impossible to buy one bar of soap. So I was forced to walk to a CVS and purchase way more soap and shampoo than I needed.

Call me an old fogie for having nothing at all to entertain myself in the ascetic dorm room. No laptop. No MP3 player. Just a Walkman. So I listened to some awesome jazz stations as I fell asleep.

What's different about AMC from other conferences I've travelled to? People are all about caring and learning. No old axes to re-grind. No old battles to re-fight. Just new ideas and new attempts at making a difference.

Grace Lee Boggs in her closing speech talked about the anger of the sixties that motivated a lot of us. Activists today seem to be motivated by something else: caring and loving and forgiving and continuing. If I were a poet (Little Light could do this!), I could describe this sense of both acceptance for our faults and hope for our futures.

I also got to experience my first pay-as-you-go cell phone. The rest of you awesome nerds know all about this, but I have been postponing my acquaintance with modern technology. I can't tell you how much wasted time I spent trying to figure out how to use and program this tiny piece of technology.

I keep reminding myself of my mother's experience. She's a very intelligent woman. She read the instructions about loading websites. The instructions tell you to type a url address into the text box and you will be transported to the website you desire. Nowhere in the instructions does it mention you have to hit return or enter in order for the website to be accessed. So she spent far too much time typing addresses in and waiting for something to happen. Same experience, different tool for me and the cell phone. What an amazing waste of time!

Much more to talk about, of course. I am psyched and inspired.

Tomorrow, I head off to continue my tour of the rust belt cities. I'm attending the National Anti-War Conference in Cleveland this weekend. About which, more later.

Hugs to all the fabulous people I spent time with this weekend. You make the world a better place!


Daisy said...

No, I have to disagree, Raven. It's not "perfectly OK" that older women were so under-represented.

Would you say that about any other under-represented group? Because that certainly isn't like you.

If someone asked me if I were a chaperon, I think I might have to moon them on the spot.


cripchick said...

fabulous meeting w/ you, raven.

Ravenmn said...

Daisy, I was psyched by all the young, vibrant, creative, exciting folks who attended. It's a different demographic than I'm used to, and I consider that a good thing. I like getting outside my comfort zone on occasion.

Cripchick, back at you!