Activism Online and Elsewhere (Episode 11)

Despite the audio issues that gave Robin Renée and Mary McGinley a bit of an echo effect, this episode of The Leftscape is well worth an attentive listen. A listener letter from visual artist Melanie Sinclair (a longtime friend of Robin’s) called out middle-class privilege in assumptions made about online activism in Episode 1. Wendy Sheridan takes the lead in acknowledging the work that is needed to recognize privilege and to make space to understand the circumstances of those who have less. Mary offers a glimpse of balancing life and political organizing time from her perspective. The discussion weaves through re-envisioning the value of online activism in various forms, considers other activist possibilities such as Resistbot and personal conversation as ideals when time and resources are limited, and reaches for a clearer expression of the co-hosts seeking their activism “personal best.”

News of the week focuses on the stories that produce a national/global gaslighting effect — perhaps strong enough to send some of us running for our blanket forts, at least temporarily. A parallel is drawn between “I am not a crook” and the chorus of “No collusion.” Fear: Trump in the Whitehouse by Bob Woodward (available September 11th, 2018) is added to the Leftscape reading list. Also on the list is This Dark Chest of Wonders: 40 Years of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand,’ by Biff Bam Pop! publisher and Leftscape supporter, Andy Burns. Robin is encouraged by the popularity of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” on the life of Fred Rogers. 

By way of introduction, the week’s signature mishmash of silly holidays and historical anniversaries include International Cat Day, Happy National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day (one of the co-hosts accomplished this weeks ahead of time), the first national march of the KKK in Washington, DC in 1925, and Nixon’s announcement in 1974 that he would resign the presidency the next day at noon. Robin sends a Happy Birthday shout out to tennis champion Roger Federer.

Featured Image: “Jailbait” by Melanie Sinclair, an artistic response to the many advances from men she experienced before she reached the age of consent.

*This episode is sponsored by Harlequin and Other Fantasies, Meditative Coloring for Grown Ups. Use coupon code LEFTSCAPE at checkout for free shipping. (Offer good for the month of August 2018).



Try some eggplant “bacon,” or substitute zucchini. Robin thought it was fab!



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