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    My picture of American politics before and after I became aware of SOPA is as different as day and night — and my “after” is far darker.

Imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

Start: December, 2010: the middle eastern nation of Tunisia erupted in protests against a corrupt and oppressive government, arguably the first bloom of the “Arab Spring.” As the rest of the world watched, mesmerized, the drama unfolded, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was thrown out, and the subsequent interim government went through several upheavals.

I remember, shortly after Tunisia’s Ben Ali was ousted, I had an errant thought: could this happen here?

I dismissed the thought with a mental shrug — it didn’t seem like conditions in the United States were bad enough for something like this to happen, and that Americans were too complacent to make this kind of stand anyway.

It Can’t Happen Here … or it Won’t?

It is clear one of the facilitators of the Tunisian revolution, the Iranian election protests of 2009 and 2010, and the later revolutions in Egypt and Libya, was the internet, and social media.

When I look at the seemingly unending reams of internet legislation (written to destroy what little privacy is left to users of the internet and enforce the ownership of intellectual property rights light years beyond any reasonable measure) that are quietly being rammed with unconscionable haste through the United States Congress, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch of the imagination to suggest I was not alone in wondering if the same kind of revolution could happen here.

And I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch of the imagination to suggest the drive to throttle the internet from both the government and corporate sectors is that The Powers That Be are striving to ensure that it won’t.

[click to continue…]

Start: To my delight, late last March Ari Herzog, social media consultant par excellence and contributing writer The Huffington Post and Mashable gave me the opportunity to do a guest post on — what else? — Social Media. In my case, on how today’s social media plays into the New Thought spirituality of my experience.

Even better, he liked what I gave him.

Here’s a short excerpt:

The middle of last year I gave a twenty-five minute presentation to a modest Wednesday night audience in a good-sized “New Thought” church, a presentation I had spent weeks writing, rehearsing, and “staging” — that is, defining what movements I would make and the props I would use to help emphasize my points.

At first blush it would sound like a speech crafted in this manner would appear “canned,” or worse, feel like it was “phoned in,” but in truth, most high-end speakers prepare in a similar way. Done well, the presenter seems glib and makes it look effortless. Done poorly, a speech prepared in this fashion can in fact look just as staged and rehearsed as it truly was.

How the presentation of this speech actually played out taught me something about using social media effectively that I might not have learned any other way.

Click here to read the rest of “It Comes Down to Authenticity,” a guest post at

(And Ari … thanks again.)


Copyright © 2009, by Daniel Brenton. All Rights Reserved.