Knight Commission Recommends Universal Broadband, Urges National Dialogue to Improve "Information Health" of America's Local Communities

A non-sexy topic (thus most Americans will not know about it) that is para-mount to the future health of democracy here or anywhere.

I especially am interested in the third "silo", "promoting public engagement among everyday citizens, both with information and with each other," but love that they are promoting the idea of the importance of "un-siloing" this discussion and weaving it into the bigger discussion.

Being a bit of a media-critiicism geek, I look forward to checking it out in more depth.


Day 13 of 100 Fears in 100 Days

I am thinking of changing the title of this challenge. I don't know if it is really possible to only couch what I feel like I am doing as "fears". I think that limits the thinking around all of this. Some days are absolutely about confronting a fear and then taking an action that debunks the fear. But what am I really doing here? What I am doing is listening to the inner messages/stories that shape my life, and challenging the ones that see to be full of shit. I am testing some kind of reality that I have assumed IS reality. I am literally questioning who I am every day.

One assumption that I make is - I am only okay when I am DOING something that the outside world will see as being productive. I know this is bullshit, and yet....

I can clearly feel the need to integrate some experiences that I have had these last few weeks. And when I integrate, much of my activity is inward focused not leaping forward or jumping from high places. Instead there is a turning my ear to my inner life - sitting quietly so that I can hear the stirrings of what has been awakened by my bold actions of late - and then weaving the new threads I have discovered into the tapestry of who I am, making the self richer, more colorful and larger.

I am honoring this urge today. I have walked this morning to let my body integrate. I will not be fluttering about on Facebook, Twitter, etc. today. I will go about my day in a more mindful fashion giving space to what needs to settle, find a new resting place, and later emerge as a new bud on this tree I call me.

Where are your urges sending you today?

What should I really be calling this challenge?


Days 11/12 of 100 Fears in 100 Days

No doubt, this challenge is challenging. After such an action packed week, I was exhausted this weekend. And her is what I learned: When you are tired, the last thing on your mind is stepping outside your comfort zone, especially since I feel like I LIVED outside my comfort zone all week.

I am looking forward to this week coming up. I know what one of my challenges will be to myself - to go on a mini-retreat. More to come.

What are some fears that you want to walk through this week? I'll be thinking too.


Day 10 of 100 Fears in 100 Days; What Family Looks Like Now

Last night I once again hung out at Paul Provenza's tapings of his new show The Green Room for Showtime. Once again, fucking amazing.

First show - Penn Jillette, Martin Mull and Tommy Smothers. Penn was clearly geeked out by the fact that one of his heroes, Martin Mull was on the panel with him, and that he got to play a duet with him. I love Penn - big man, big opinions and one big fucking heart. There was also a fun and philosophic discussion about atheism, God and the notion of belief (love this stuff - always makes me think about my papa), but what I loved was when they talked about the mechanics of comedy - timing, silences, joke telling. Oh, and speaking of joke telling, Penn told Provenza's favorite joke about a pair of female Siamese twins - one of which played the trombone and the other who loves to masturbate, while they both love Julio Iglesias - need I say more?

Second show - Roseanne Barr, Bob Saget, Sandra Bernhard and Patrice Oneal. Very different vibe, more of an intimate conversation among friends about the business which eventually turned into a therapy session for Patrice about his disappointments with Roseanne, Sagat and Sandra playing the roles of therapist! Wow. And then, mixed into that were these bold declarations from all about the state of the world, our roles in it, etc. - you'll just have to watch it.

If fire was the first nights alchemical element, I would have to say the element last night felt more watery - like a shape-shifting and life giving force.

And me and this fear thing? Well. It seems these last few nights have created a state of fearlessness in me. There is no one I am being cautious around. There is nothing I am afraid to say. There is no discomfort. I am home.

While watching Martin and Tommy on the show. I suddenly got very emotional. I realized that in some way, these men who are the around the age of my father are my new fathers. And then hearing Roseanne and Sandra talk about their views about hope, and the planet, I saw that they are my sisters - I could have easily folded into their conversation. And Paul - well, he is certainly a brother (with Rick, Gary, David all funny, smart, big-hearted men).

Now that my mom and dad are both gone, people have been saying to me that I am now an orphan. Oh, how wrong they are, how wrong they are.


Sacred Cows, Alchemy and Day 9 of 100 Fears in 100 Days

Last night I went to a taping of comedian Paul Provenza's new Showtime show The Green Room. For my part, I let myself be folded into the fabric of this comedy family that has been so beautiful to me this last year. I am so grateful. And even though there were moments I felt like stepping back into the shadows, I stayed present and in the light, and in the front row.

A little about what I saw last night.
Paul has created a big, safe space for comedians to hang out and do what they do best - daringly mouth off with great wit. At different times, depending on the guest configuration, it was thought provoking, heart warming and flat out offensive - which is a good thing - and always hilarious. My dad used to say that a comics job was to find the line and cross it. And Provenza does that and invites others to do the same while always in service of tearing down the sacred cows and making us question it all. It is a huge honor to be there and be part of this new family of mine - thanks Paul. Thanks dad.

But all that aside, the thing that was most amazing about last night was watching co-creation in action.

The first show had Jonathan Winters, Robert Klein and Rick Overton. There clearly was an atmosphere of reverence for Jonathan, but because Paul creates such an open space, Jonathan also got to show his most subversive side and speak his truth about his life and the business in a way that you just can never do on the Tonight Show or Letterman. We all knew we were in the presence of comic royalty. Klein and Overton felt it, and although there brilliance shone in the moments when they took the spotlight, you could tell they knew this was about giving back something to Jonathan. Paul set the atmosphere brilliantly.

The second show had Paul Mooney and Bobby Slayton and Jim Jefferies (all very provocative comics) and Rain Pryor. Again Paul set the stage perfectly, he threw the topics up in the air - being black, jewish, racism - all big bones for these four - and wow - the air crackled with wit, and on the edge of your seat anticipation. It was like being on a street corner and watching the jabs, insults and great put downs fly between a tight knit gang. At times it was a bit more "dick-waving" than I can handle, it's just not my personal style, but it was fucking fun to watch! They were all playing with BIG fire, and yet they knew it was play. This is a difficult and great feat. The alchemy was HOT. Paul is a wizard.

Playing with BIG fire - that is the lesson here in dealing with my fears today. I was raised to be the peacemaker in my family, to put out fires. So, I assume that I can't handle the heat, that I will get burned automatically, and so I tend to not go near the fire, and certainly not stoke it.

But in any alchemical transformation, you need fire. You need to turn it up! So I am seeing that with consciousness, humor and in service of tearing down my personal and the collective's sacred cows (the bullshit stories we keep in our heads to keep us from moving toward what we ALL need to do as individuals and a world), I need to be more willing togo into the fears (fires). It is a powerful path to transformation.

What will I conquer today/tonight in my own commitment to this FEAR thing? I do not know. I will return for two more tapings tonight. Maybe I will let myself jump into the fire, cross a line, play on the street corner. Who knows. Anything is possible. Burn, baby, burn.