Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Detangling Identity

What creates a movement . . . a collective? And how important are shared identities in a collective? I ask these questions because of the recent efforts I have gladly walked into with Less People Less Idiots and Howl @ the Moon. In keeping with the spirit of these “collectives” I have invited people with opposing views to my own to hook up and link with me. I received only two offers from such folks . . . one who did indeed link back to me and one who chose not to, although I still carry his link on my page. With this, another question: Why is it so difficult to cross that great divide? Is the gap so wide that even some bridge work won’t suffice? Must we always take the “us against them” dichotomy? Is there nothing that binds us? I would like to try an experiment. Take a moment and tell me ten ways you form your identity. Is it through politics? Gender? Products? A life moment that shaped you? Give me details. If you form part of your identity through the car you just bought or have kept up for years, tell me about it. If you see yourself as yourself because of a life event, let me know. Details are important. I will happily start off this experiment by letting you into my identity:
1. I am definitely my mother’s child. Not just biologically but physically resembling, thought developing, temperament and style. She was a 60s hippy who slept in Ginsburg’s apartment, hitchhiked from Alaska to San Francisco, marched on Washington to see Martin Luther speak, was a creative writer and singer and danced at Woodstock. 2. I am a technology freak. Gadgets I love. My Treo phone I am never without. 3. I wish I could dress like the character Annie Hall. 4. I am a democrat but often more liberal than most. 5. I am a wife, a sister, an aunt and a daughter. 6. I love chocolate and identify with M&Ms. 7. I believe in a woman’s right to chose. 8. My idols are Harpo Marx, Elton John, James Joyce, Lily Tomlin, Buster Keaton, Douglas Adams, Edward Said, George Orwell, John Dewey, and I wish I could write like Thomas Cahill meets James Joyce meets Douglas Adams—wouldn’t that be trippy? 9. I was raped as a child and molested by members of my cross country team in Jr. High. 10. I am a spiritual mutt, meaning that I take a little of different spiritual doctrines and weave them into my life. I wish I was more spiritually balanced. 11. I struggle with my physical self image.
Your Turn.

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