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This Week at I Want Change

Table of Content
1. Humans Drive Rare Dolphin to Extinction
2. 190,000 US weapons 'disappear in Iraq'
3. Republicans Defend Big Tobacco From Sick Children
4. Looking For a Leaker
5. New Evidence Clearly Indicates Pat Tillman Was Executed

1. Feds Train Clergy to "Quell Dissent
2. Democrats' Responsibility for Bush Radicalism
3. Gonzales's Truthfulness Long Disputed
4. It's easy for soldiers to score heroin in Afghanistan
5. Sharing Knowledge About Eco-renovation

1. Gore: Polluters Finance Research to Cast Doubt on Global Warming
2. Pollution risk for Olympic events
3. House OKs New Taxes on Oil Companies

1. Glastonbury music madness in England
2. YouTube Calling
3.What's Going On?! JUNE 2007
4. Bush Quotes Archive






I've BEEN Wanting Change!

I haven't done an issue of IWantChange.org in nearly a year! I've just been so crazy doing this album, I haven't had time to do both. Unfortunate timing for me, because as I took this year off of IWantChange.org**. "Change" freakin blew up! I feel like it was plucked right out of my brain. Of course, we move amongst each other in so many unknown ways, perhaps it was.

Anyway, I remember writing about Obama in '04(you can read it HERE). I, like so many of us, saw his speech at the DNC and fell in love. Back then, his presidency seemed only a whimsical fantasy. One of those "Ohhhh, it'd be so nice if..." To now sit here a short 4 years later and see it becoming a reality is truly amazing.

For the first time in a long time I feel proud of America. I feel (and also feel a little manipulated by) hope! Hopeful of a new milestone, of healing. Hope that we just might have a smart person back in the drivers seat again. Hopeful that he remains genuine. Hopeful that after Tuesday, when the Change broohaha has died down, we still strive for it.

It's a long road to not only repairing, but moving our country forward, and it merely BEGINS with changing who's in the White House. I'm hopeful that in the coming years we'll take a hard look at our selves and be honest with what we find. For once we win this election(I'm manifesting!), we need to look inward and address our consumer culture, our disposable mentality. We need to examine how we take in information. We need to become critical thinkers again.

I'm hopeful of the tide of people that got up and stood behind Obama. As with all leaders, Obama's just another guy without our numbers. Not only did we do this, but we can ALWAYS do this. The power has always been ours to hold. I'm hopeful that we remember this power, and use to it to fight for a more just and balanced world - ALWAYS.

**for those of you that don't know, iwantchange.org is a web magazine my mom and I started in '04, long before change became Obama's slogan




Growing up in the Public Eye
Why do celebrities go crazy and how are we complicit?

By Lara Karuna, www.iwantchange.org
I wrote this a couple of years ago, but thought it was appropriate to re-post in the light of Michael Jackson's death. RIP Michael.

Turning on the news here in L.A. is like opening a US Weekly magazine. Forget the war in Iraq, or the possibility of sending over 21,000 more troops, or any of that, no, instead let’s talk about Anna Nicole Smith’s "tragic death," or Britney Spears' suicide attempt, or Lindsay Lohan’s rehab stints. I get it, the war is depressing, and a celebrities’ downward spiral into drugs and emotional instability make us all feel a little better about our less glamorous, but perhaps more sane existences. But, why do celebrities go crazy? And how do they mirror our own societal pathologies?

My mom has always said that one of the most detrimental things you can do when raising a child is to spoil them and neglect them at the same time. There’s just something about that combination that ruins a person. I saw this happen with my neighbor. She had a little girl who was incredibly bright and, at three years old, already beautiful. Her mother was an aging playmate that made a decent living off of her fading beauty. The little girl was given every material thing - fancy clothes, toys, whatever she desired. Yet, her mother left her alone, pretty much all the time, watched over by ever-changing nannies. I witnessed this beautiful little girl grow up, becoming more and more neurotic as the years passed. My mom was right. Something in the duality of getting everything you can tangibly touch, yet nothing that you can’t, destroys a human in inexplicable ways.

In a sense this is how we “raise” our public figures. We adore them, giving them a false sense of superiority. Day in and day out, everything is focused on them. Staples of sycophants tend to their every whim. Sooner or later they start believing that their beauty, and/or talent make them special, and really - better. In the same breath that we adore them, we judge them just as intensely. On this lonely pedestal, every act they make, every “barefoot walk into a gas station bathroom” is scrutinized, picked apart and condoned or condemned.

Naturally, they all go crazy.

Mixed signals are not the only way we are “bad parents” to celebrities. Not only do we reward the shallow, we are unabashed worshippers of it. While other cultures look to their elders for wisdom and guidance, we pander to the young and the beautiful. Concepts like integrity and honesty have become lost ideals, old fashioned. Instead, the prevailing sentiment is: ‘If you can get away with it, do it.'

When I lived in India, I noticed that nearly every cab driver had some type of god on his dashboard. Whether it’s a Muslim symbol, a Hindu deity, or Jesus' cross, I was always struck by the faith of that country. Despite all the far-right bible thumping, I believe America has lost its faith. Between the pinheaded pragmatism of the left, and the unimaginative, rigidity of the right, the beauty and mystery of our existence has become a bland, black and white war of semantics that politicians use and exploit. In this age of reason, very little weight is given to true spiritual exploration. Instead, we resort to our animalistic ways, looking for the best genes for procreation.

And it is these animalistic urges that lead us toward the sparkle of celebrity and the escape of entertainment. Man is mystical. And there was a time when we lived, seeing our short lives as they are: simple blips in an infinite history. This mystical connection helped give meaning to our little lives. Pursuing fulfillment was a matter of the spirit not an insatiable drive to collect THINGS. With the loss of our mystical connection, our lives have lost their potency, and we focus on minutia, forever trying to fill a void - a void created as we abandoned mysticism and mystery for materialism and reason.

In this modern age, we long to believe in something, so we place our hopes and expectations on the beautiful and the talented, expecting them to behave in all the ways that we can't. When they fall short, acting out, as so many of us would when judged and adored simultaneously, we smugly laugh, privately consoled by our own safe, yet suddenly more rewarding lives. But, in Michael Jackson's distorted face, or Britney Spear’s baldhead, question not the insanity in them, but instead the insanity in us, the society that raised them.