Joiner

Aug. 2nd, 2005 11:37 pm
oneirophrenia: (Swirly)
Recently, I've been joining Organizations. First up, today I joined the Uniontown Chapter of the Lion's Club. My father had once been a very active member in the Uniontown Lions, and had been President of the chapter for 1973-1974. For many years now I'd thought about joining the Lions because...well, I know my pa would've wanted me to do so, as it was an organization he was quite passionate about. I'd heretofore never joined because, quite frankly, I've never been in any kind of a spot in my life where I could afford to contribute both monetarily and temporally--but I've finally reached that point and now it's time to contribute. For those of you who don't know, the Lion's Club is a charitable organization that works a lot with the blind and other folks with disabilities, but also engages in fundraising, public works, and assorted other charitable pursuits, and is largely made up of local businessmen and economic leaders. I've already begun to speak to several of the fellows about organizing a sort of "computers for the blind" initiative to provide the Fayette County Association for the Blind with better machines equipped with voice capabilities, high-contrast monitors, and the like--and to provide instruction to blind folks so they can access the Information Metahighway as well. Eventually, I'd like to see this program provide free or at least low-cost computer and Net access for more, non-disabled people in this county in order to help bring it a little more up-to-date (i.e., further along the cultural ladder from the Iron Age).

Also, I'm joining the Electronic Frontier Foundation and FreeCulture.org in the interest of bringing copyfight discussion, media law, and media rights understanding to both Penn State Fayette and Cal U by eventually setting up and running local chapters of FC and organizing EFF-sponsored events.

Why the sudden interest in public outreach when I generally think so little of humanity? For the same reason that I teach: to reach people--especially people with talents, rights, dreams, ideals, and goals...who might otherwise never have a reason to actually strive to do something or understand better because someone who was In The Know didn't care enough to try. If I reach or otherwise influence even one person than I've done my part.

You may wonder why I am taking part in these activities when otherwise I've been so critical of protests and whatnot. Simple. I know these organizations work. I've seen the good they do. Protesting is stupid: it's an excuse for a parade but otherwise a complete waste of time. Most activists are not active--they talk a lot and wave a lot of signs, but don't do anything. I'd much rather join smaller organizations that may keep low profiles but actually work to achieve their goals.

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