Friday, January 9, 2009

The Great Divide

Last night I was reading the latest National Geographic, and I ran across an ad for the Aspen Environment Forum, coming up in March and cohosted by Geographic and the Aspen Institute. Because I am excited to go back to school and pursue this reclamation and restoration ecology thing, I checked out the website, thinking, "It's not too far; I could go."

Right. The lowest price available for attending is $1500, which I could pay as a student. Wait; what I mean is, since I am a student, that is what I would be expected to pay to register. That is way way different from what I "could" pay. As a student. As a member of "the public," who have been invited to participate. Another injustice. Another allusion to the existing divide between those who have the name, the connection or THE MONEY to participate in such opportunities, or to use their knowledge and skills to work for a cause, or to lead in a situation.

So, I wrote a letter and e-mailed it right away, while the indignation was still fresh and the words were flowing to describe the circumstance. Then when I woke up this morning, I thought about the hate mail Richard Dawkins has received, and reads on video, from the Christian Wrong. Of course, my letter was not "hate mail-" just a wake-up call- but I wondered how the person receiving would respond. I wanted to laugh but was afraid Jenny Slippers might be home downstairs and wake up and get irritated because it was about 4:30 in the morning. (If you haven't checked out Dawkins reading his hate mail, do so on Youtube. It's great fun.)

Anyway, so that's my gripe- for today- peeps. Yesterday, Katie asked me what the hell I meant in an e-mail to her about people being responsible for each other; aren't we just supposed to be responsible for ourselves? She needed more detail, so I provided it, and now she gets it. Come on, yeah, of course we are supposed to be responsible for ourselves. That's the point. And in so doing, I figure we ought to keep the old Golden Rule in mind. Remember that? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Why do people forget that, or just blatantly ignore it, and do crap like make a forum that "the public" is supposed to be invited to participate in, exhorbitantly priced so that only the people who have been invited, who have an in, who have cash, can really attend? And then, I wonder, will these people act on their "intellectual discussions," or will they just regurgitate to each other, preach to the choir, then get in their SUVs and drive back to their fancy homes and life as usual? Really. Some of the people who had been invited to speak and who had accepted before being called to the Obama Administration... crap! I'd like to have a conversation with these people. Just because I'm not rich doesn't mean I'm stupid. In fact...

Ah, forget it. Hey, if you can afford to go, do it. Or if you want to donate some cash so I can go, SWEET! I promise I'll bring back the goods.

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