August 31, 2008

Activism Podcast / Upcoming Teleconference

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Y'all probably heard (or at least saw) our Olympics podcast that we recorded in Portland. It was a fun podcast because we had the opportunity to take a big event like the Olympics and bring an Asian American perspective to it. It was a great opportunity to take a large athletic celebration with which everyone was familiar and to tie it in with our ideas on race, culture, and society. I particularly liked the podcast because it was humanizing; it took something concrete and straight-forward like the Olympics, and it used the event as a springboard for deeper discussions.

The purpose of our Portland meeting, as many of you know, was activism, and so most of our time was spent conducting workshops and setting a future course for collaboration and group efforts towards Asian American empowerment. In addition to the Olympics podcasts (among others...wait and see!), we also recorded an activist summary at the end of our event. This was our last recording. It was a great podcast because not only had we learned by that time to maximize the power of my brand new MacBook Pro (the built-in mic works better than the $20 mic I use for Skype--go Stevie Jobs!), but by that time, we also had had the opportunity to refine and expand our thinking during our awesome workshops. It was great because we had a number of Portland's best Asian American activists in the room for those workshops, along with the excellent teaching and organizing experiences that nskripchun and Xian brought and the raw intellectual power of THX1138.

For the podcast itself, it was me, Xian, Skrips, and THX1138, along with a bit from Mrs. Skrips and Bao. The podcast is 27 minutes and 20 seconds long. In the podcast, we talk about our experiences with activism: Xian's experience with his school kids, Skrips's work with the Wing Luke Museum, and my work with Thymos. We leave some last thoughts on activism, and then we talk about going forward into the future.

You can listen to the podcast here:
[audio:http://thefighting44s.com/podcasts/Thoughts_on_Activism_WC_44s.mp3]
or download it here.

I wanted to post this because as the conversation mentions around 11 minutes, the internet is a great tool for sharing, meeting, and collaborating, but when it comes time to actually fighting for change or relating to one another, there's no substitute for real time communication. A lot of times when we debate or fight over the internet, we get caught up over language, intentionally or not. It's fun, of course, but as Xian says, it can become a waste of time, especially when we all want change.

So in order to take the next step, I'm proposing that we do a teleconference. It doesn't have to be recorded. Let's just take the next step and put people in voice contact with one another. At the very least, it's a risk-free way of seeing if there might be another angle to approach the problems that we all face. If Jenn Fang can go on a podcast with a group of PUAs and find some sort of commonality, I don't see why the men and women of the 44s can't do the same. We need change, and the worst problem would be for us to be sitting here discussing the same exact issues in the same exact way five years from now. If you're willing to try voice contact as a means of seeing "where we come from" in the words of Lawson Inada, let me know and we'll try to set it up. (We might try "Intermediate member" and above to begin with, but we'll make obvious exceptions for previous or currently active people on the blog, such as THX, SoulSnax, minorTruths, MelaninManson, Jen, etc.) I've got my teleconference number set up, so let me know if you're interested.

Also, let me know what you think of the podcast. I think it's personally my favorite podcast to date.

(Picture from here.)

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