Daunting Challenge for Activists: The Cook Customer “Connection”

“I can remember quite clearly what the value was of my mother preparing a dish, and letting us kids give feedback on the taste before serving it to the whole family.”

— Rick Bayless

Writers can create some delicious fare, but it’s unfair (to us all) to omit input from those who digest their words. I’ll elaborate.

Arguably, the biggest problem for activists across the board seems to be their reluctance to encourage contact. Of course, organizers invite contact when they’re seeking funds and/or setting up an event and/or trying to secure signatures for a petition. That sort of thing goes on all the time. But the lack of “contact” I’m speaking of has to do with posted writers not providing email addresses at the end of articles, or easy access via some other means.

Pick out a handful of alternative media outlets, if you will, and conduct your own survey; see how many pieces give contact info adjacent to the author’s name. I trust that you’ll be absolutely shocked at the low percentage. In some relatively few instances websites will be given, but that’s more of a generic gesture than what I’m talking about. Here I’m attempting to underscore the poor grades most writers must be given for not encouraging readers to contact them directly respecting essays which might have truly generated excitement, motivated deeply through the sharing of information or singular point of view.

Too much faith is being given over to the notion that inspired readers will follow through on issues spotlighted by an author on their own. Well, they do not, as a rule. And because that’s a fact in the lives of alternative readers and viewers, great inspiring pieces wind up being entertainment, distractions from action and/or diversions from engaging in in-depth exchanges. In short, readers of articles and viewers of videos tend to move from one entry and posting to another, never really getting down with meaningful discussion of any kind. Which precludes fresh ingredients being used in the activist mix. The kind that can only be derived from focused collective energy.

The best creative juices can be stirred up by having writers and readers interact with one another. No one has to have answers, but there can be a collective acknowledgement that coming up with authentically fresh approaches is contingent upon contact between, say, the cook and the customer.

Perhaps such a blending will give birth to a new ingredient. Maybe such (rare) movement in solidarity will result in… a new dish, lasting results.

There is no question that select writers should NOT be pressured to interact with their readers, but that demographic is small indeed. The vast majority of those who submit articles for posting — some truly inspiring — need to see the benefit of making themselves accessible. For the purpose of serving the Collective Good. Food for thought?

Such connection is resisted for various reasons, and that dynamic represents a daunting challenge in the activist realm.

Muhammad Othman can be reached at couriercrescent@gmail.com


More articles by:

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
David Yearsley
Smoke on the Water: Jazz in San Francisco
Elliot Sperber
All of Those Bezos