Brooklyn Blogfest 2010Posted: June 9, 2010
Last night I attended the 5th Annual Brooklyn Blogfest at the Lyceum Theater in Park Slope. It was my first. Actually I have attended no events where it concerns my blog. It is coming up on the one year mark when I inadvertently became a blogger. I had no real plan when I started. Just to write what I feel to be the greatest wasted resource in the world: children. The event was well attended.
It is hard for me to say if it was good or not. It seems that my blog falls into the narrow category of social activism. I am not out waving signs, or marching on anything. But my posts almost always venture into the area of attacking, insulting and insinuating things about public education. I do this with as much abandon as I can gather, with the guidance of individuals who have far more experience at it, and the feeling in my heart that democratic education has a positive future in America.
The thing that was difficult for me last night was that my perception of many in attendance, was that they have a different agenda with their blogs. Granted, my hat goes off to all those creative folks who have taken to the internet with a creative and literate incentive. But I feel that there was not enough support for the activist origins of this forum. In our breakout sessions, the social activism group was just 3 of us. Compare that to the 25 people across the room gathered for arts and entertainment. I am an artist, but this blog is an expression of passion, and not an exposition of my visual or audible works. In a sense, this blog may be a form of self promotion for the eventual ideal of profit, but I have tried to stay true to my original purpose. Write about the things that I care about. If it comes off as some form of self promotion, then that is what I care about at the moment.
But in truth, what I find is, I care about people. Not humanity per se, but individual human beings. The Free School Apparent came into being as a way to gather those who believe in the ideals of free school education, and to find a way for us to connect up. My unique perspective is not that of an educator, but as a parent, and artist who has struggled for meaningful existence in a society that does not appreciate meaning. As we speak, I am in the process of forming a second blog, which will be humanity specific. So here I am, the unintended blogger, now branching off into new unwritten territory…literally.
It would seem that as these words flow out, the sense that I did receive a charge from last night’s happenings, are real. It is becoming obvious that in talking with people, I have found a new purpose. My financial concerns still remain, but the fact that this has now emerged as a new project in my life has gained acceptance from its most important participant—myself.
I was somewhat unimpressed by the guest speaker, Spike Lee. But impressed that he did make the effort to be there. I just do not think he really brought out anything other than to speak on behalf of the sponsor (Absolut Vodka.) The appearance Marty Markowitz always makes me uneasy, as his unbridled and naive enthusiasm occasionally give rise to a foot-in-mouth moment. He behaved, as he did also at our Democracy in Education Symposium earlier this year. But most times his mixed idealism runs counter to my own. Especially where it concerns the construction of the future abomination at Atlantic Yards.
My breakout session included Anne Pope of Sustainable Flatbush and Ken Lo of Connected By Nature. Our group was small, but somehow we attracted the attention of BCAT TV. We were all interviewed and the cameraman was the same who visited me in my apartment last year for the Flatbush Artists Tour. When the news reporter finished her interviews with us, she asked us to speak informally amongst ourselves, which we did automatically and sincerely. Though our main interests for blogging were different, there seemed to be a large area for common ground.
After getting my free glass of Vodka and my free taco, I headed out. The event as a networking venue had ended for me. The music in the basement was loud, and in no way supported natural conversation. It still boggles my mind how it is understood that loud music and the need for social interaction got mixed up together in the same idea. It is like pouring water on a candle wick when you want to light a room.
But given my comments, I will look out for the next one and preregister again. Networking has always been a good thing for me. But preferably without the disco atmosphere.