This morning I sent out a mailing to the 4 or 500 people who read my political rants and forwards, only this morning, I urged them to buy Patry's novel as a way of helping themselves and of helping her. I felt particularly good doing this, because I've been cranky of late about how a 'virtual' community is not really a community at all, and how much of the blather about the Internet is really self-congratulatory, and basically a very watery meal. A community brings you soup when you're sick or buries you when you're dead. They pick up your children from school when you can't.
The deficiencies of the virtual community become stark to me when I consider that at this point in his Presidency, Lyndon Johnson was a broken man, unable to rule and exercise power, while George Bush, despite low double-digit approval figures, is still planning and conducting pointless wars and destroying the economy. The largest contributing difference to these two times is, to my mind, the internet and the unintended consequences of fragmentation. While we stay home, composing and forwarding political screeds, and blogging our asses off, the apparatus in Washington continues unabated.People are not "out in the streets", or attending teach-ins, reveling in the visual affirmation of thousands of like-minded souls rubbing shoulders with them, demonstrating and practicing civil disobedience.
However, this morning, by linking Patry's work to a far-flung community of disparate souls, by joining this conscious community effort, and by asking my "reader" friends to enter the world of Patry's imagination, and support her , I felt the hard-and-fast line between virtual and actual communities soften and blur a bit. The blurring of hard and fast lines, reminded me, how in most cases, life presents itself as "both-and" and not conveniently as the "either-or" I try to bend it into. I'm grateful to Patry for being the occasion of that insight, and grateful to this community who have banded together to try and be of help to her. I'm grateful for the invitation (and occasion) to sit and re-think a bone-dry prejudice. A deep bow to all.
Causes Peter Coyote Supports
The Global Security Institute, Native Sovereignty Issues, Wild Earth( Natural Corridors Program),