THE WALLOWAS ON HORSEBACK–Expert horseman and farrier, Tommy McClure,
packs out and down a dry September trail below China Cap, South Wallowas . . .
On the road in the American Northwest. [click photo for next . . . ]
FREEDOM OF THOUGHT
If you find yourself censoring your own thoughts, cutting short
new ideas simply for fear of being attacked or ridiculed by
government or family or friends, then you are most likely no
longer living in a free and open society.
We shape the world and the world shapes us.
The Minotaur terrorizing the labyrinth of the Internet is
not so much the commercialization of Eros into mere
pornography, or the corruption of news into just more
entertainment. Nor is it the horror of the potential theft
of one's identity, or even the threat of all-out cyberwar.
No. The beast at the heart of the Web—devouring whole
the minds of countless youths and maids as we speak—
is the endless directionless chain of clicked upon
Clearly, the thread which leads out of this maze is not
just more technology, or the imposition of more blocks and
controls. Clearly, it is something more like awareness,
or the cross-cultural, timeless practice of meditation.
Here, there is simply sustained, serious, observation
of the fact of distraction.
One simply looks both ways, both outwardly (what)
and inwardly (why), all at once, and one click at a time.
[Two thoughts here: First: There is something like an
ethics of webpage design. Personally, I think it
is wrong to have anything on a page which moves
or flashes to get attention. I find my self nowadays
reading the New York Times, avoiding and swatting
banner ads with flashy girls and colors like so many pesky
horseflies. What the long-term negative consequences
of this excess as formative movement—especially
on young, developing minds—in my view, should
be obvious. Second: the much touted epithet, Digital
Native, for kids who grow up thorougly immersed in
digital environments is in an essential way only partly
true. In my view, computers and the internet taken
together as a unity is simply an instrument, just like a
violin or piano, which must be learned, wich
must be practiced. In every musical tradition in the
world worth speaking about, this is a long, sensitive,
crucially important process of learning, which like
all learning, needs a free, open, and with emphasis
here, protected space. Not to do so is just laziness,
another place where we shirk our responsibility
as teachers of the young.]
FOR WANT OF A SINGLE VOTE
For want of a single vote, the election was lost.
For want of an election, the democracy was lost.
For want of a democracy, freedom was lost.
For want of freedom, the republic was lost.
For want of a republic, the idea of a constitution was lost.
And all for the want of a single vote.
[This is, of course, a riff on the famous anonymous
Horseshoe verse, "For want of a single nail,
the horseshoe was lost."]
All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 1999 - 2016 picture-poems.com