Protesters didn’t exactly win over hearts and minds when they shut off Westside streets last week. When protesting UC Santa Cruz students cut off necessary access to campus, when they break car windows, when they intrude on others’ lives, they actually work against their goal.
Protests are a time-honored tradition, certainly an exercise in free speech. And since the ’60s, protesting has become the tool of activists everywhere – even by those tea party folks on the right.
But are protests effective?
Plus Letters to Good Times...
Kicking the Habit
Holy Mother of ...
What can you say in 66 Words? Probably more than you think. All this is evident in this week’s cover story, which resurrects the once-popular 66 Words Short Story Contest that thrived in GT in the past. This year, we had a robust turnout and the topics spanned everything from horrible embarrassments to emotional upheavals to love and, everybody’s favorite topic at the moment, paying for parking in downtown Santa Cruz (see “Letters”). It’s all yours for the taking beginning on page 14. But don’t stop there. I invite everybody to keep submitting 66-word missives.
Once you start something, follow through and finish. Commit yourself to all that you do and really stand by that.
Santa Cruz | Member Services Clerk
Nobody knew where her red hair came from. Her father believed there had been a red-headed uncle on some distant limb of the family tree, possibly on the McAfee side. But her abundant red hair was just one of the things that made Barbara Anne Bader so special.
Times were tough in the Midwest during Depression '30s, when Barbara was growing up. But she had an unquenchable zest for fun. She loved to read and draw, and listen to swing bands on the radio. She adored the movies. And she was nuts about the ocean, as only someone born and raised in the flatlands of Nebraska can be. At 21, she moved to California with her kid sister, Jeannie, where she met and soon married Art Jensen, a sailor who shared her love for the sea.
This entire winter Mars, planet of action/activities, has been retrograde. The result: we’ve had difficulty moving about, holding objects, having direction, maintaining energy. As projects stalled, clarity of purpose was unavailable. Some of us, paddling upstream, have experienced strange body aches.
Mars, planet ruling Aries (the head) and what creates a forward trajectory combined with direction and purpose, has not only been retrograde since Dec. 20, 2009 (almost 80 days) but has been imperceptibly slowing to a crawl in order to meet its stationary direct deadline (1 degree Leo), Wednesday, March 10, 9:09 a.m. (PST). We’ve had to focus philosophically on the big picture—retro planets only focus (to clarify) on the past. We’ve been compelled to strengthen certain areas of our life (wherever Mars retro transited our charts). If anything new occurred in the last 70 or 80 days, it was most likely (or should have been) postponed. Conflicts and challenges occurred unexpectedly. Patience and ability to dialogue were in short supply. Nothing has moved fast (enough). Instead we’ve had to wait, watch, plan, hope for, be delayed, take detours and accept compromises. Mars retro reviews goals and developments for the purpose of discovering something valuable and worthwhile. We’ve had to make significant adjustments. Seeds are sown during retrogrades. Later, when the planet is direct, those seeds take root. As Mars unhurriedly moves forward (not until May 19 will Mars move out from its retro shadow) we’ll gradually redirect our power; anxiety will lessen as we re-gather purpose and a needed aspiration to move forward. Self-identity/self-expression again become clear and definite It’s been a long interiorly-oriented winter. Mars retrogrades again January 2012.
Plus Letters to Good Times
Hand Over the Money, Honey
Last week we read that several parking lots in Santa Cruz will suddenly be affecting your pocketbook—come March 1, it’s going to cost. Judging by all the comments we received online about last week’s “Pay to Park” story (see Letters), it seems, not surprisingly, that the news didn’t go over too well. Well, on some level, I suppose it makes sense. The City is always looking for ways to boost revenue. But, for some, it’s a bit headscratching. For as inventive and creative as Santa Cruz considers itself to be, I’d be curious to know what other ideas may have floated around City Council chambers. Were there any? And bless the councilmembers. I cannot think of a worse fate than to sit there and maneuver oneself through the often painstaking tasks of sifting through agendas and dilemmas and, of course, all of Santa Cruz’s more colorful personalities. (Or, not so colorful.) Oh. the patience it must require. Still, I wonder if the folks on the council are really having fun? Do they greet the day feeling invigorated and excited? Are they thrilled to serve? Does their excitement spill out into the community, creating a fascinating ripple effect of enthusiasm? Questions—I am forever asking them. (And no, I didn’t just write this after watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.) Well, I suppose we could ask these same questions of oursevles. Are we happy, excited and thrilled to be planted right where we are? Not a bad thing to ask actually.
Localism is about having pride in your community and being proud of where you live. When we were young we tended to take it a little too far with the Westside vs. Eastside vs. Valleys ... but most of us grew out of that. Santa Cruz is a great town. Now I'm committed to improving my neighborhood and making Santa Cruz cleaner and safer.
Santa Cruz | Sales Operations
“Let’s say what we mean; mean what we say and let’s get it done.” —Gubernatorial Candidate Meg Whitman
We the electorate have been attacked by Silicon Valley business-speak. The above quote has been tacked on to former eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s many television commercials as she gears up for a run for governor.
I feel like hiding. Both the business world and the political world have been overtaken by soundbites and messaging.
It used to be in the business world that the damage stopped with vacuous but inoffensive mission statements like “We (fill in the organization) are the leading providers of (fill in the product) as we provide our customers with the best products and services on the market.”
What was good about mission statements is that they went into the drawer and nobody ever saw them again, except for maybe on the bulletin board where you can also find the phone number for OSHA.