Last night I let Stryker skip a large neighborhood event -- a big potluck in a community center that drew over 50 neighbors who've been working to build community and prevent crime through on-line and on-the-ground activities.
When queried, I reported that Stryker had a lot of homework. I lied. He had homework. He stayed home for Play Station 2. He skipped the people for the screen, specifically a game purchased that day, Dance Dance Revolution. Even worse, his successful lobby for the game drew exclusively from Dr. Phil's counsel. I didn't even know he watched. Does it help that he paid for (most) of it with money earned walking a neighbor's dog?
I was thinking about this during the School Day Morning Fights. Sure, the rest of you get television's Sunday Morning Shows: our schedule rolls out fights five days a week. This one was simmering through the van while I ruminated (again) on a desperate plea from one of John's friends. After teaching in India for ten years--surrounded by children but not a mother--she returned to the States and spent some months with friends in suburban Colorado.
Her plea? Give these kids religion! This, from an atheist. Religion, outrage, a sense of social justice--something. She was shocked by our theological shortcomings, by a culture consumed with itself for the fun and feel of it all rather than any greater good.
Dance Dance Revolution. Just makes you want to hum and tap to It's Good to be an American, doesn't it?
Now click on the link (in the list to the right) and listen to just the first 17 minutes and thirty seconds of Kerry Kennedy's Midday speech (today, MPR). The first five minutes are introductions of various sorts, and you're allowed to skip them.
Straighten your desk, dust, check your email, but listen.