Friday, June 26, 2009
I have posted my new e-book, We Do Not Consent, Volume 2 (free .pdf) and launched my new video blog, Manifest Positivity (http://ManifestPositivity.blogspot.com). WDNCv2 is made up of essays previously published here at the WDNC blog, book-ended and given context by a previously unpublished intro and epilogue (both reprinted below), as well as a glossary that now also appears at Manifest Positivity (please click the book or new blog to read that, a frame of reference for terms cultivated and simply used a lot in my past and future public service work).
This is the same combination of steps I took three years ago when I launched the WDNC blog in conjunction with publishing the first WDNC book (free .pdf) as a collection of essays from my previous blog, GuvWurld. There is a strong sense of continuity through all these projects, as summarized in Manifest Positivity's statement of purpose:
The Manifest Positivity blog exists to: help people and groups achieve their public service goals; promote the general idea of transparently using media to do this whenever possible (advocacy journalism); and create a web-based TV talk show dedicated to this approach. There is an emphasis on changing the relationship of power between We The People and the corporate/military/government/media juggernaut. Such change is, by definition, peaceful revolution. We do this from a place of love, not anger, practicing presence and pronoia (terms linked in this paragraph point to their respective entries in the glossary).Though there are already a few posts at Manifest Positivity, I will make just one more entry here at WDNC in the next few weeks when hard copies of the new book are available for purchase. Between now and then I will be looking for some testimonial quotes for inside the book's back cover, as well as for the sidebar of the new site. Please contact me if you'd like to contribute your thoughts. Meanwhile, the new blog has separate (and more varied) subscription options from WDNC, so please pick your favorite method and be sure to sign up to receive updates from Manifest Positivity.
I'm tempted to call this a bittersweet moment, but really it is entirely a good thing. Thank you to everyone who has read any of my work over the years. This is far less an end and much more a new beginning.
It seems I have been making media content my entire life, beginning as a small child in the mid 1970's when my Grandpa Jimmy used to interview me and coax me into singing songs on his tape recorder and home movie camera. Through elementary school and junior high, my friends and I expressed our creativity in similar forms, narrating our own episodes of The Twilight Zone and orchestrating the Froot Loop Ballet. In high school I was the editor of my school newspaper, a stringer for the local PennySaver, and a contributor to a monthly newspaper by and for teenagers. At Cornell University I earned a B.S. in Communication and started what became a ten-year stint as a radio DJ at various stations in upstate NY.
I moved to San Francisco in 1999. It took a while to find my new voice as I began to dabble in what I first thought of as activism and later reframed as public service. Starting in 2002 I engaged in what I defined as advocacy journalism: working for change in the world and then writing about those efforts in a way intended to transparently support the achievement of these goals. I recently learned that Wikipedia has an entry for advocacy journalism that uses my definition and cites a 2004 essay of mine as the first reference source.
Also in 2004, shortly after moving to Humboldt County, CA, I began focusing on election integrity. I launched the GuvWurld blog (http://GuvWurld.blogspot.com) and promoted the Voter Confidence Committee, which I co-founded. In 2006 I published We Do Not Consent, a free online e-book like this one, comprised of 20 essential essays from the GuvWurld blog. The focus then, as now, was to showcase advocacy journalism with a twin emphasis on the nature of corporate media and how our so-called "elections" are conducted.
Through countless public speaking appearances, media interviews, and letters and op-eds published in various newspapers, it became a common experience for me to be approached by people wanting to tell or ask me about the latest outrage related to unverifiable, secret vote counting. I recently retired from the VCC and hope that my future work will bring similar or greater recognition to the advocacy journalism approach itself. And from here we have the jumping off point for this second volume of essays.
When I published my first book I used the occasion to suspend the GuvWurld blog and launch a similar one called We Do Not Consent (http://WeDoNotConsent.blogspot.com). As I write this, the WDNC blog is about to become a completed project, with this collection of its most important essays creating a bridge to my next blog, Manifest Positivity (http://ManifestPositivity.blogspot.com). The new site will rely heavily on videos and document my intention to launch a web-based TV talk show using what I have been calling the Project-Based Format. This will bring advocacy journalism much more to the foreground and place election integrity into a broader range of causes that will be addressed and advanced.
So thank you for opening my book. If you are looking at a computer, you will notice underlined phrases throughout this document. Some of these links are internal navigation for the book, and some will take you to the original source on the Internet. If you are holding a book in your hand then these underlined phrases are more like flags for things you could research further by calling up the free online version of the book (http://tinyurl.com/d6cenj) or by visiting the original WDNC blog posts whose URLs are included at the start of each essay.
It is my hope that you will be inspired to act in the spirit of public service using the concepts, strategies, and theories presented on the pages that follow. Most importantly, I believe our future survival requires that we protect ourselves from the Weapons of Mass Deception that the corporate media have become, and that we do this by turning the weapon itself into a tool for our collective benefit via advocacy journalism.
--Dave Berman, May 2009
Epilogue: The Next Chapter
As mentioned in the introduction to this book, at the same time this book is becoming available I am launching the Manifest Positivity blog (http://ManifestPositivity.blogspot.com) and acting to breathe life into the Project-Based Format idea for a talk show. This will allow my advocacy journalism to highlight and promote a broader range of public service and a deeper connection to personal and spiritual growth. I will recommend and continue to reference two books that have greatly benefited the evolution of my own path.
First is Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth," a very popular book that has helped me view ego in a new way, separating my sense of self from the thoughts and emotions I have, ultimately leaving me happier, more loving, grounded in the Now, and better able to calibrate the intensity I project (in a word, present). I have discussed this book with dozens of people, one of whom recommended another powerful paradigm changer, Rob Brezsny's "Pronoia," which essentially is the belief that the universe is conspiring on your behalf.
I have noticed repeatedly throughout my life that when a big lesson comes along, and I think I've got it, other examples appear as reinforcement. At a recent concert, I heard Spearhead singer Michael Franti say that the change we want to create must come from a place of love and not anger. This same week I am reading "Strength to Love" by Martin Luther King, Jr.:
In some ways, you could say the way I view the world has been changing. At the same time, the glossary that follows commits me to continuing to work within definitions summarizing the worldview found in the essays you've just read. I am no less convinced of the myths of democracy and capitalism in America; just as certain that all the classic traits of fascism exist here now; and only more sure that Peaceful Revolution is STILL necessary, NOW! I'm not even looking to change what I'm going to do about it so much as how I'm going to go about it. Commencing video blogging and at long last directly pursuing the talk show represent what would be better. Aspiring to pronoia is the least I can do. It has inspired my latest meme:
Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit. The transformed nonconformist...recognizes that social change will not come overnight, yet he works as though it is an imminent possibility.
--Dave Berman, May 2009
(A portion of this essay is excerpted from "My Present Path Toward Advocacy Journalism (aka Reflections On Independence, Volume 6)," originally blogged on April 9, 2009 at