When I was in high school, I showed some of my early (rather pathetic) scribbles to a friend to get his comments. He said: "why do you do this? Why spent time writing, when you say you just do it for yourself? I can’t see the point." He probably still thinks the same of this blog (and can hear him saying: "the only comments you get are spam"), or my other writings. It is true, I don’t do it for money, one doesn’t make money writing. (Or better, I don’t make money writing, I am not J.K. Rowling). I do this for me, not (only) for Mr Ego but as my intention that I want to bring about active change to the perception of the work environment and secondly design that is based on this approach (My Harry Potter). Should I thus label myself as an Activist? WorkVitamins after all is first and foremost an idea to bring about change, and this idea will need an active voice (my blog). Lyotard in Postmodern Fables had this to say about activism:
"…insofar as these practices [of activism] are authorized and even encouraged by legislation or, at least, by the formal and informal rules that regulate that status. Society permits us, requires us to act accordingly: because it needs us to contribute, in that order that is our own, to the development of the global system. In this way we can keep the feeling that our struggle for emancipation is being pursued."
Are we all pretending to be activists, global citizens, taking on personal as well as social responsibilities? The individual voices are growing everyday, witness the rise of blogs, wikipedia, facebooks etc…Now that everyone has the chance to make, report, news, everyone all of a sudden believes, rightly or wrongly, that he or she has something meaningful to add to this virtual society of analysts, commentators and Google philosophers. We are moving towards a society where everyone takes on the role of an intellectual who according to Edelman is being trusted more than the "real" intelectual.
"Everyone must be able (to excercise the right) to bear witness. Institutions see to it that we are all stationed on the edge of ourselves, turned toward the outside, benevolent, ready to listen and to speak, to dispute, to protest, to explain ourselves. Through inquiries, interviews, polls, roundtables, "series", "case files", we see ourselves in the media as humans busy fulfilling the duty to assert our rights. "
By being able to spill-out words and thoughts this easily: setting up a blog takes 15 minutes et voila: witness my unbearable lightness of being. Some blogs are like porn or born again Christians (the same to me), who are so obsessed with this one thing in their life: Jesus or Vagina. Their main subject becomes their main object of expression.
We, the people almost feels like we have to excercise our rights to join the conversation. "Doctor, I think you are wrong about this, as I read on this medical website that you can, instead of an open repair do an All-arthroscopic repair, which allows me to go home two hours after the operation. If you prescribe me Vicodin or Oxycontin, I’ll promise not to drive. And I will not eat any Boursin before the operation as I read on your blog that you hate patients with garlic breath."
Let me give the final word (for this post at least) to Lyotard: (all the quotations come from his excellent "Postmodern Fables")
"From my earliest days of youth I had had the notion that every person has his own no-man’s land, a domain that is his and his alone. The life everyone sees is one thing; the other belongs to the individual, and it is none of anyone else’s business."