First Thoughts

Epiphanies, ourbursts, and warnings from the Utne Reader library

| January-February 2005

“A radical life is not something that depends on Internet connections or Web sites or demos or even on politics, like having Green mayors. This may sound dull to people who think that having a really hot Web site is a revolutionary act. Or that getting a million people to come out and wave symbolic signs at a symbolic march is a political act. If it doesn’t involve economic institution building, it’s not.”
PETER LAMBORN WILSON, anarchist writer, Brooklyn Rail (July-Aug. 2004)

“Activists . . . need to become less ‘not in my backyard’ and more ‘not on our planet.’ They also have to recognize that, be they environmentalists, human rights activists, consumer advocates, or labor activists, they are all fighting the same thing: the desire of the corporation to maximize profits. If they joined forces, they could take advantage of this point of highest leverage and all win.’
ROBERT HINKLEY, corporate lawyer, The Sun (Sept. 2004)

“Life pulsates with so many pregnant possibilities for good that it should not be wasted. . . . Every moment of each day counts. Our best recourse is to live life with intensity and exhilaration-in thought, experience, action, and deed.”
PAUL KURTZ, philosopher, Affirmations: Joyful and Creative Exuberance (Prometheus)

“As of 2004, only 82 years have passed since women were finally granted the right to vote, 40 years since Congress passed the Civil Rights Act that outlawed sexual discrimination, 31 years since women got the right to choose a legal abortion, 18 years since the Supreme Court declared sexual harassment a form of illegal job discrimination, 10 years since the Violence Against Women Act passed, and just 7 years since the Supreme Court ruled that college athletics programs must involve roughly equal numbers of men and women to qualify for federal support.”
KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER, writer, The F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy (Seal Press)

“When we step outside the common, or excavate its layers, we surprise. Then comes the struggle for a language that surprises. Sometimes this is distasteful, especially when excavating secrets that twist like knives in muscle. It is definitely uncomfortable. It is ultimately liberating.”
R. ERICA DOYLE, poet, quoted in Black Renaissance (Spring/Summer 2004)

“We can still draw inspiration and sustenance from the old, old stories-not forgetting that they are old, and that they are stories, and that we made them up.”
DAVID BOULTON, writer, New Internationalist (Aug. 2004)

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