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What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America - Part 2

August 2nd, 2007 by Howard Ditkoff

Introduction (Part 2 of 8)

Note: This is Part 2 of an eight-part series. You may want to start at Part 1 of the series, Summary and Table of Contents.

Sicko and Beyond: New Inspiration from Michael Moore

Two weeks ago, I finally saw Michael Moore’s new movie about the health care industry, Sicko. As usual I was impressed. Moore has an incredible ability to take a crucial topic and at least touch on all of the main aspects of the issue, while still making the film entertaining and moving. I was also astounded as usual at the nerve he has to stand up so forcefully for what he believes in and to go to such lengths to demonstrate his views. Again, in Sicko, he pushes the envelope, confronts and exposes and speaks out loudly and clearly. This blend of talents and tactics allows him to really focus our attention on areas of injustice that we should be ashamed to have ignored and gives his films the potential to truly open minds. Read the rest of this entry »

What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America

August 2nd, 2007 by Howard Ditkoff

In his previous films, Michael Moore opened minds regarding injustices in deeply emotional areas including corporate responsibility, gun violence, 9/11 and the Iraq War. In Sicko, and his related appearances, he has pursued change in the American health care system. But Moore’s work and life embody two underappreciated themes even more central to social change in America – moral courage and campaign, election and media reform. In this eight-part series of posts, I explore the importance of these intertwined themes and their relation to Michael Moore. I then propose a formula for focusing influential individuals and organizations on these core leverage points to stimulate fundamental, sustainable sociopolitical reform in America.

The Joy and Power of Discovering True Selves

July 9th, 2007 by Howard Ditkoff

In this day and age, many forces conspire to repress our true selves, passions and talents. This makes moments when we suddenly discover something real and genuine – whether an important idea or a musician that exudes soul - extremely moving and powerful. Regaining our true selves leads to purpose and fulfillment, qualities that are crucial in regaining a healthy path for our society and our world. Learn about some ideas (Instant Runoff Voting) and artists (Norah Jones, Amos Lee, Chris Daughtry, Meghan Julius and Kiersten Holine) that exhibit this genuine quality and why there are more resources and tools available than ever before to help you gradually find, develop and promote your talents.

A Transitional Positive Change Methodology: Using the Boiling Frog for Good

June 25th, 2007 by Howard Ditkoff

In Daniel Quinn’s book The Story of B, he gives the example of a boiling frog as an analogy for how our culture has become so dysfunctional and destructive. He explains that if you put a frog directly into boiling water, it will leap out. But if you put it in water of a mild temperature and then very gradually turn up the heat, it will die with a smile as the water begins to boil one tiny step at a time.


Quinn makes the point that over the past 10,000 years, our modern industrial culture has “turned up the heat” one step at a time, taking us from tribal peoples living in an environment to which we were adapted by evolution to civilized peoples living in an environment that does not suit us or meet our needs. Through step-by-step increases in population and pressure to conform to the dominant culture, we have ended up in a boiling pot of water that threatens to doom us, all the while smiling as things heated up.

Read the rest of this entry »

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