My speech for the forum due to launch on au19 2006 in corvallis, or:
Actually, I haven't timed this version, so if its not under three minutes I'll have to edit or speak more quickly.
Greetings fellow citizens of the world, neighbors, friends and family,
Hi, I’m T, one of the organizers of this space.
Thank you for your attention and for being here for something experimental.
So, what are we doing here?
Well, a problem as I see it, is that there is a severe lack of civil discourse in the culture of America. This nation was founded from a culture of town hall meetings, congresses, conventions and otherwise real democracy where real debate occurred. And from the increased number of viewpoints being suggested, truly great ideas emerged. E Pluribus Unum. From Multitudes, One. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Today we’ve become of culture of closeted bloggers and choir members and preachers; we stay in our respective camps, we’re so polarized we’re coming full circle on some issues. But that’s not counting the legions of completely apathetic folk, of course, you know, the people lost in tv land (I know because I used to be one).
Too long have we accepted the notion that the two subjects one should never discuss in society are religion and politics. There are no more important subjects to discuss especially with people with a different viewpoint. We need to get back to the roots of our Nation to deal with the problems of the 21st century and take democracy to the next level.
Now, if the idea of a civilized, open, public forum intrigues you, realize that all it really takes is an audience of participants. And that audience will here every week until it starts raining at which point we’ll find an indoor location. I for one, hopefully among others, or unless I get gunned down, will be here to listen to what you have to say regarding your view of the world, whatever that may be. Be forewarned that I may not agree with you but I will do my best to express my views as respectfully and honestly as I can.
What is a problem as you see it? What should be done about it?
What is real? What is illusion?
Who are you? What is your story? I don’t care how low or how high you are on the supposed ladder of success, and I don’t care what you look like. I believe we’re all the children of God, worthy of respect, and call me what you will, but I want to know. And I have a hunch that you have a lot to say. Furthermore, I suspect that we have much more in common than we’ve ever experienced.
And I hope to meet you, hear you, and debate ideas with you very soon.
Thanks again for your attention.
With that, I humbly yield the box