August 14, 2008

www of the wwweek: peaceblaster.com

[photo of STS9 via C. Taylor Crothers]

The term peaceblaster sounds like a Zen Koan, the counter-intuitive Zen lesson or phrase meant to shock and awaken a person to one’s Buddha nature. And perhaps it should,as Peaceblaster.com aims to shock, or awaken people into action. Peaceblaster.com is a website from the band Sound Tribe Sector Nine (and also the title of their new album, which features politically minded track names such as Peaceblaster ’68, Peaceblaster ’08, and Shock Doctrine). Just as the new album showcases the band’s progression and growth, their website Peaceblaster showcases their progressive politics and an ever increasing desire to use their influence for positive change and action. Besides all that good stuff, Peaceblaster.com is fun, really really fun. The database of articles ranges from book reviews (including The Chomsky-Foucault Debate on Human Nature and, of course, Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine) to the latest news on global warming and Space exploration, links to non-profits working in NOLA and Haiti, archives on human rights, but as a whole serves to be a counter voice to mainstream media, providing activists a place to become informed and organized. Every time I return to Peaceblaster, I find a news article that would have otherwise passed by my radar, such as a 17-year-old boy figuring out how to decompose plastic bags over the course of months.

One of my favorite links is to a National Geographic article Minds of Their Own that features some of the best animal photography I have ever seen, photography that has the power to reify the duty we humans have to protect and care for all sentient beings, who just like us, desire not to suffer. As I said the website is fun (and at elephant we believe saving the world should be fun!), but the range and content of articles, selected by the band members, create a moving atmosphere in hopes of ultimately inspiring readers “to make real change, turn off your computer… turn off the TV… and make your voice heard!” But it should be noted that time spent on Peaceblaster.com will never be wasted time.

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