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Talk to your neighbors…

Practical Anarchy

In this digital age, we’ve all experienced situations in which a text message or e-mail was misconstrued because the person on the receiving end could not discern tone. Without the facial expressions, physical gestures, and vocal inflections gathered during face-to-face conversation, communication can often be challenging.

Talk to your neighbors…

by Mickey Z.
December 16, 2013

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” (Dorothy Day)

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In this digital age, we’ve all experienced situations in which a text message or e-mail was misconstrued because the person on the receiving end could not discern tone. Without the facial expressions, physical gestures, and vocal inflections gathered during face-to-face conversation, communication can often be challenging.

“The more we understand about postures and movements that we use to signal our feelings to one another,” says zoologist Desmond Morris, “the less insecure and uncertain we feel.”

In the name of communication context, let’s not forget all the solidarity that’s been cultivated without the benefit of an iPhone…for example, movements in areas like anti-slavery, labor, women’s rights, civil rights, and anti-Apartheid seemed to accomplish a few goals without sending a single tweet.

So, while one of the magical elements of Occupy was the clever use of technology to not only connect like-minded souls but also to outwit the 1%, perhaps it’s greatest strength was its fervent striving for face-to-face human contact. Occupiers were encouraged to share their stories, anyone could yell out “Mic Check,” and close-knit occupations of all forms and styles still continue to sprout up across the globe.

Two simple steps towards embracing face-to-face community:

  • Connect in person with local activists
  • Talk to your neighbors

When staring down a heavily-funded, well-armed propaganda machine, it’s gonna take a wide and ever-evolving range of tactics to topple the dominant culture – and it can all begin with a combination of direct action and direct contact.

#shifthappens

Note: To continue conversations like this, come see Mickey Z. in person on Jan. 11 at Bluestockings Bookstore in NYC.

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