Thanks, Nate, for expressing your concerns and I honor your request to not record however I must be honest and voice my concern. My gut response is I feel we are in real danger of becoming another club house. Let me tell you a story.
Back in 1980 my friend Laszlo, was sick with a new disease that was attacking a lot of gay men and no one had a name for. They called it GRID. When I visited him at one of the best hospitals in Manhattan, the staff left his food, on a tray, on the floor, in front of the door. No one wanted to enter the room and I was told I had to enter only if I wore a mask and gloves.
When I entered the room, I took the mask and gloves off, and held his hand. He told me to find a nice Jewish boy and settle down. A few months later, after his death I had a long talk with his father, who had survived a concentration camp, and had escaped the Soviet invasion of Hungary, with Laszlo as a toddler, on a bicycle. It was his father who called and told me his son had died.
I had many a sleepless night. I had to do something. And I did. I started to organize. I started self help support groups, I started to raise money, I marched and demonstrated and petitioned and held people in my arms and rejected don’t ask, don’t tell, I stood up and fought for our dignity. The I had become a We…
Shortly after Laszlo’s death , and with many more friends hospitalized, I recall a vigil march with the young movie star, Susan Sarandon. We marched down to City Hall and the cameras were there to record her speech. She trembled as she turned to me and handed me her candle and said," I hate this. I don’t know what to say." She stood up there alone on the stage before City Hall and talked about her grief for a friend who had died of this disease that they were now calling AIDS.
I appreciate the need for a safe container and this is a lot of what I believe the Bubbles reading is about. I am a student of discourse events and it is very important to my research project that I have an archive so that I can study at a meta-level what is potentially happening here. I am less interested in conversations and much more interested in a rehearsal for a performance. I believe we need to start thinking like performers. Scholar-activists. We have a great RADICALLY UTOPIAN tradition Emersonian tradition to support us.
We could perhaps have a set up before the recording of the event and have a sense of where we want to go.
What do I want for myself?
What do I want for the group?
I have tons of experience moderating groups and getting quickly to what is actionable. My fear is that we are going to become another chat fest. I want to start to find an action plan.
Maybe a meeting before the meeting to voice concerns and get objections out on the table? Then we could assist each other, knowing what kind of support each of us needs.
I would much prefer to read my books and not bother with any of this. I have done enough heavy lifting and I’m tired. But if we are going to do something different from the endless chat fests we need to start doing that. A movement without momentum never happens. We need to start creating an audience.
May the Seredipidity Sisters be with us!