Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Stereotyping this blogger

This morning I was enjoying the UTNE Reader while sipping my Tully's vanilla soy latte in a mug. Oh so environmentally aware I am. I honestly feel guilty these days if I use a paper "to go" cup. I wonder if those around me pinpoint me as some typical Marin County liberal who reads all of the leftist magazines but is far from walking the walk. I honestly feel self-conscious when reading magazines like these because they create a persona of the reader without any dialogue between the reader and the onlooker. I am far from liberal and I am far from being a conservative! I don't automatically vouch for abortion as a right to choose for women just because I am one. I believe that adoption CAN be a viable solution when a "mistake" happens. (I know, SHOCKING) I listen to a variety of radio shows for ENTERTAINMENT, like Howard Stern, Michael Savage and various NPR programming. I also feel strongly about animal rights issues and hate the idea of big corporations recklessly running our economy and destroying our planet for the love of $$. The American way is sometimes very frustrating but I realize that I am extremely lucky to have been born and raised here. The last thing I want is to give you a bunch of cliches. I am sick and tired of hearing the same old crap which is a product of too much information via television, radio, and Internet. Everyone is an expert with a bumper sticker on their car that says it all.
The thought I had today was that of this blog creating a personality for me via technology. A story in the Utne Reader explains that all of this "techno-enthusiasm" (meaning that we are all so connected, so global and informed as a result of cell phones, computers, etc.) is creating a communications culture that has decreased the time available for us to sit and think, uninterrupted. For example, my husband and I saw a bobcat walking past our house the other night. The first thing Darryl did was reach for his cell phone to tell SOMEONE about this hilarious scenario we just went though. I suppose we could have just laughed about it, but that wasn't enough. There is a strange trend in media culture for people not to know what they think until they get a sense of what everyone else thinks. SCARY! It seems as a feeling emerges, people share the feeling to see if they have the feeling. Sometimes they don't have the feeling until they check if other people have it too. This kind of behavior used to be associated with adolescents, with their need for validation. (Utne Reader, Jan-Feb 2007, Our Blackberries, Ourselves)
I know that sharing my thoughts with my readers helps me to sit down and think about what complex issues are in my life at the time. But, will the readers sit and form their own opinions or do we just get online and read stuff we already agree with and learn nothing new??? I seem to have similar conversations with people in person and online through this blog because food is such a hot topic and ALWAYS will come up no matter who I talk to. But does the listener form the same opinion about me as my reader who doesn't get the benefit of my witty sense of humor and relaxed attitude when sharing my knowledge of food politics, animal rights and environmental concerns? Probably not. But, what is great about this opportunity is the ability to reach out to like-minded people who I may never get to meet otherwise and the possibility of touching someone's life who is new to the subject matter and lives many miles away, where we never otherwise would have crossed paths.
Living a vegan lifestyle is mostly upside. The occasional nuisance can bring you down, and the support I get from responses or comments from other vegans or friends that read this blog is totally necessary! It keeps me runnin' like the Doobie Brothers say.
My goal in writing this Politics of Food blog is really to get people to think for themselves. Although you are reading what I am learning from various media or experiences, I expect the words to take up a bit of space in your brain and then sprinkle over your life like the 7000 pounds of confetti in times square for New Years, whenever relevant. Hopefully my personality comes through in doing so, and the stereotyping going on throughout the day is stomped out by having an actual conversation with that judgmental onlooker.

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