Good News(letter). Weekly. - Toppling the Power Trip
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Toppling the Power Trip
Harassment and sexual assault are not about sex—they are about power. This has been the resounding revelation that has swept through coverage and conversation surrounding the overwhelming number of sexual abuse allegations over the last month. With discussion comes change: victims are being empowered to come forward and stand together while bystanders are being called upon to step in from the sidelines.
+ In no particular order, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, James Toback, Terry Richardson, Roy Moore and so many more are among the men under public scrutiny.
+ Louis CK, the comedian among the most recently accused, has officially claimed responsibility for the five reported sexual abuse accusations. “The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”
+ Alongside the stream of high-visibility allegations, many have either seen or participated in the #MeToo campaign through social media. Encouraging victims of sexual abuse to come forward and demonstrate how many people have experienced it in their daily lives, the hashtag brought much-needed attention to the issues proliferation.
+ The conversation doesn’t end there. There is an inherent problem with “viral outrage”, like the #MeToo campaign, in that it “harnesses social media’s mechanisms to drive users (that’s you and me) into escalating states of outrage while exhausting us to the point where we cannot meaningfully act.” We become so inundated with accusations that we become numb to them.
+ As such, it’s important to not forget that “‘Every one of those hashtags is a human being. There is a person behind that who is sharing something of themselves that is deeply personal.’” Conversation is only part of the answer. Everyone has to take action as well.
+ Who amongst us can have the biggest impact? Perhaps it’s the bystanders, who have the power “to recognize and interrupt these incidences”.
+ “They’ve been considered women’s issues that some good men help out with . . . I’m going to argue that these are men’s issues . . . dominant systems maintain and reproduce themselves, which is to say the dominant group is rarely challenged to even think about its dominance, because that’s one of the key characteristics of power and privilege.” It’s the coworkers, colleagues, family members and friends who can stand up and make a difference.
It’s painful to see that we still live in a world where this is happening, but seeing so many prominent people face career and life-changing consequences while others yet focus on how to become deliberate allies rather than passive bystanders is extremely encouraging. Everyone can make a tangible difference in their daily lives, and if that isn’t good news I don’t know what is. Where do you come in?
Dream State for Dream Jobs
Colorado has a lot going for it: we are an outdoor paradise, we’re in the top bracket for healthiest states, we’re the best state for aging, we have the strongest economy in the country . . . the list goes on. Recently, our beloved state swept the board for best workplaces too, according to Outside.
+ Out of 100 featured businesses around the country, Colorado claims 41 of the best workplaces in 2017. “In our 2014 roundup, the Colorado total rose to 28 out of 100. In our Colorado best-places-to-work compilation for 2015, the number was 31. And in 2016, the sum climbed to 36 . . . Given this performance, it's no surprise that this year's total is nearly 14 percent higher than the 2016 count, with six firms in the top ten, including places one through four.”
+ Companies were rated based on factors including average salary (when available), allotted vacation time (unlimited days after one year? Yes please!) and employee perks (surprise ski days, all-expense paid trips and wellness allowances FTW).
+ Placing Durango on the map, our very own Ska Brewing Company came in at 80, touting an average salary of $53,000, charity bike events and “FREE BEER!”
+ Psssst—they’re hiring.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
“Civilized man refused to adapt himself to his environment. Instead, he adapted his environment to suit him.” So says the insightful introduction of The Gods Must Be Crazy. In many cases, we’ve developed robust concrete jungles that insulate us from the natural world (though, the lines blur a little bit here in Durango). A field known as biomimicry is working to change that.
+ “Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.” Basically, Mother Nature has been doing her thing since the beginning of time, so why not consult her wisdom?
+ We’re talking about bullet trains engineered like birds, antimicrobial surfaces based on shark skin and wind turbines arranged like schools of fish.
+ For inspiration, “there’s a lot of looking at what other people have done . . . but they’re looking at other human technologies” rather than drawing from nature’s solutions to how the world works around us, according to Biomimicry Institute Co-founder Janine Benyus. This, she suggests, stagnates our design principles in a rut of inefficiency.
+ Here’s her TED talk: “We live in a competent universe . . . these people, biomimics, are nature’s apprentices. And they’re focusing on function.”
+ There are so many opportunities to learn from the world around us. “These exciting innovations and breakthroughs demonstrate what's possible when humans draw inspiration from some of nature’s best work.”
We live in a spirited part of the country—one that speaks to our wilder side and encourages adventure. That’s why we have great organizations like Durango Nature Studies that help encourage healthy relationships with the great outdoors.
Indulging Adventurous Hearts
In stride with that mission, Durango Nature Studies is presenting Mountainfilm on November 18 at the Durango Arts Center, tapping the power of film to inspire curiosity, stewardship and a sense of adventure.
Featuring a series of short films that capture characters and destinations from our very own stomping grounds and beyond, Mountainfilm is traveling across the United States alongside presenters who passionately share their personal stories and interactions with the filmmakers and their subjects.
With three shows this year, you have your pick between a kid friendly Family Matinee at 2 p.m. or either regular screenings, 5 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. You can pick up tickets a little cheaper ahead of time or wait and get them at the door of the DAC about half an hour before showtime. Either way, your dollars go towards Durango Nature Studies, so you can feel darn good about indulging your adventurous heart.