Congress Since the Civil War; The Op-Ed Project; and The Million Puppet March

It is presidential election day at last (along with major elections for Congress and Senate) and cartoonist XKCD dot com developed this image as a look at how things have changed in the US since 1788.  The darkest shades of fringe represent, well, what is represented as fringe for a reason. The link to the site where you can access the full-sized image with all its informative text is here.  And below is a full-size version of the image (but you can’t zoom):

Being a woman journalist and entrepreneur, I can say that my life felt palpably changed after three days of attending a Journalism and Women Symposium CAMP in Albuquerque during the October 27 weekend.  Among the speakers (who included Keesha Gaskins of the Brennan Justic Center at NYU on True the Vote, and other voter-suppression efforts in a context of our fundamental civil right), included a panel on “journalism and advocacy.” Michele Weldon, who teaches at my grad-school alma mater Medill School of Journalism, rleated that The Op-Ed Project trains women in becoming writers of Op-Ed pieces, as experts in their fields, an area which is seen as having real upside potential for us to represent what keynoter Gloria Steinem called “our majority interests.” The Op-Ed Project asks such questions as, “who narrates the world?”  taking a measure of female bylines as a percentage in major media outlets including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Regardless of election outcomes, making our voices heard is essential.

The Million Puppet March took place in Washington on November 3d. But a sign of its traction during the weekend that saw the New York Marathon canceled after Hurricane Sandy – and news on arts sites that many Chelsea galleries have had ruinous property and art damage, as well as the estimated 40,000 New Yorkers who will need new homes — is that on Facebook, Million Puppet March had accrued some 24,000-likes with 9300 people talking about it online. Which makes me late to this party, although reflecting that in this era of social media and sharing and likes, there are periodically real revelations that we the people get to celebrate what is important to us, and why that includes puppets on TV and news that Mister Rogers’s mother knit him 12 sweaters, one for each year of the show.


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