I think that sometimes the only way in which to get going in a certain direction is to print up driving directions on one of those internet services and map out the route one wishes to take. This post seeks to do a bit of mapping. I'll grant you that this is a journey I cannot take alone. But I'll write these things out as if I could take a step or two toward getting to these places.
1. I want to live in a world in which my nine year old nieces, when grown, never have to worry if they are pretty enough, thin enough, or compliant enough. I'd like for fear to never be a part of what motivates their socialization, whether the fear be fear of social ostracism over genetic traits or immaterial choices, or fear of domestic violence and social coercion.
2. I want to live in a world in which virtually all children are wanted and loved, regardless of their age or race. I want to live in a world in which adoption is so commonplace that every adoption agency has a waiting list for kids of all ages and ethnic groups that now exists only for caucasion infants.
3. I want to live in a country in which the top national security issue is the redemption of cities and rural areas from crime and poverty, and in which the main weapons in this battle include not only police work but also
pragmatic, painstaking, non-welfare-stare work to achieve economic and social redemption for these areas. I dream of the day I see a news story about the effective creation of safe and affordable housing in East St. Louis rather than the effective destruction of housing in a foreign country.
4. I want to live in a country whose "war on drugs" is waged to help the afflicted, and not merely imprison the demented.
5. I want to live in a country in which every animal shelter is "no kill", and placement rates for their pet residents hover near one hundred percent.
6. I want to live in a world which coordinates the creation of anti-viral drugs designed to be widely available in the public domain, so that people afflicted with HIV in poor countries need not suffer when help is available.
7. I want to live in a country in which a basic national health plan is available to all, not only because it is the human thing to do, but also because our national ecnoomic competitiveness will depend upon it.
8. I want to live in a world in which desperate men and women no longer delude themselves into acts of mass violence against innocents.
9. I want to live in a popular culture which does not glorify violence and misogyny. I want to live in a popular culture that does not equate bigotry with relevance.
10. I want to live in a country in which a resume by someone whose first name is "Kemishia" is treated no differently than a resume by someone whose first name is "Kimberly".
11. I want to live in a popular culture in which people buy and steal far less intellectual property from large corporations, and acquire far more creative commons and open source material from one another.
12. I want to live in a country in which the prompt "nursing home" does not call to mind the word "abuse".
13. I want to live in a literary culture in which people not only write, but also read the obscure writings of others.
14. I want to subscribe to a cable channel whose viewers want to see documentaries about social reformers more than they want to see
play-by-play descriptions of World War Two battles.
15. I want to live in a country in which budget surpluses result in tuition cuts at public universities rather than in tax cuts for the wealthy.
16. I want to live in a town in which an allotted sales tax percentage is spent on mass transit for ordinary people rather than funds for "economic development" funds devoted to uses benefitting developers more than ordinary folks.
17. I want to work in a county in which I do not have to think about crime when I walk alone after dark.
18. I want to live in a time in which my nephews grow up yet never experience the despair that causes them to imagine that nothing is worth working to achieve.
19. I want to work in a county in which the roads through impoverished areas are as good as those in affluent areas, and in which
the cities maintain and expand existing parks before they begin donnybrooks to create corporate-friendly new ones.
20. I want to work in a county whose suburban areas would never imagine taking on debt to let rich men profit from sports teams at public expense.
21. I want to live in an intellectual culture which does not despise economic success but instead seeks to utilize the economic engine as a force for good. I want to live in a world in which people do not imagine that anything done by a corporation is bad, or that
anything profit-making is suspect.
22. I want to live in a religious culture in which endless dogma and litmus tests as to belief in a given set of suppositions about the supernatural are considered less important loving one's neighbor and living in harmony with oneself and one's surroundings.
23. I want to live in a time in which despair, like the common cold, passes with bed rest and lots of (non-alcoholic) fluids.
24. I want to live in a country which never buys fuel from despots. I want to see alternative fuels treated as a national priority and not a hopeless pipedream.
25. I want to live in a country whose infant mortality rate in the inner city is a first world rate rather than a third world rate.
I want to see a country whose public health system is sufficiently staffed to handle any outbreak of influenza or anthrax.
26. I want to live in a state in which the education of every child is as important as the education of the richest children.
27. I want to live in a popular culture in which the revolution is televised, is completely non-violent, and glorifies self-determination more than self-gratification. I want to see a world in which hard work on worthy goals replaces hard work for mindless ends for nameless purposes.
28. I want to live in a popular culture in which, in the words of the old Bowie song, one damn song can make me break down and cry.
29. I want to live in a country in which divorce is statistically rarer, and child support is seen as a necessity rather than a burden.
30. I want to live in a country in which children do not give birth to children.
31. I want to live in a civic culture in which people follow the rules, and not merely seek to bend or evade them.
32. I want to live in a world in which the meek actually do inherit the earth.