New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Being Somebody

October 30, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Missy Beattie

Survival in an Age of Violence

by Missy Beattie

Another school shooting. Another candlelight vigil.  On Monday, October 21st, a Nevada teacher was murdered and two 12-year-old boys were wounded. The shooter, described as a “nice kid,” killed himself at the scene.

Student Amaya Newton said, “I believe it was because I saw him getting bullied a couple of times and I think he took out his bullying.”

Another student reported that the shooter said, “You ruined my life and now I’m going to ruin yours.”

Just a few days before, Erma, Laura, and I sat in my living room, talking about 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick who jumped to her death last month after she was bullied. Guadalupe Shaw, 14, and Katelyn Roman, 12, have been charged with felony aggravated stalking.

On Shaw’s Facebook page was a post her parents and her attorneys insist is evidence of a hacked account. The Shaws maintain that their daughter would never have written, “Yes, IK (I know) I bullied REBECCA nd (and) she killed her self but IDGAF (I don’t give a fuck).”

Erma said, “I am Rebecca Sedwick.” And she cried. (more…)

Getting Past the Icon

May 20, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Bacon, Politics

Should Photographers Depict Reality, Or Try to Change It?

by David Bacon

Can photographers be participants in the social events they document?  Eighty years ago the question would have seemed irrelevant in the political upsurges of the 1930s, in both Mexico and the United States.  Many photographers were political activists, and saw their work intimately connected to workers strikes, political revolution or the movements for indigenous rights.

Today what was an obvious link is often viewed as a dangerous conflict of interest.  Politics compromise art.  Photographers must be objective and neutral, or at least stand at a distance from the reality they record on film or the compact flash card.

Now a book and a recent exhibition have provided both images and the narrative experiences of photographers that should reopen this debate.  This Light of Ours, Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, was published recently by the University Press of Mississippi, and the exhibition, Photography in Mexico, ran at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last year. (more…)

Financial Insecurity

May 07, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

Good for Low-Energy Survival on a Changing Planet

by Jan Lundberg

The changing world leaves behind the money = wealth syndrome. We can see the trend gaining momentum in accord with the slow but sure shift in values toward universal ecological living.

The too-successful human species catches up with nature-based realism upon questioning the side-effects of destructive technologies. We are not yet all on the same page, but human consciousness may turn on a dime, like global climate when it reaches a tipping point. The latter may have to happen to enable the former.

Knowledge of the global trend to redefine wealth and security helps sustain those who understand and welcome fundamental change and its associated challenges. But many who staked their lives on jobs, property, consuming, owning stocks, etc. will be bewildered as they discover what their ancestors knew: wealth is much more than money. (more…)

Common Future Identity

March 29, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Politics, Winslow Myers

Erikson’s ‘Golden Rule in the Light of New Insight’ Revisited

by Winslow Myers

Sixty years ago the psychoanalyst Erik Erikson gave a talk in India on the Golden Rule, a formulation that occurs, with some variation, in all the major religions. Judaism: “What is hateful to yourself, do not do to you fellow man.”

Islam: “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself.” Christianity: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Erikson’s theme was the creative potential of mutuality — between spouses, parents and children, doctors and patients, teachers and pupils, even between nations. Mutuality, Erikson asserted, is a relationship in which partners depend upon each other for the enhancement of their respective strengths.  The curiosity of a student elicits from the teacher the skills for transmitting the excitement of learning in a way that benefits both teacher and student.

In the case of nations, fear of Hobbesian chaos if leaders relax their futile race toward military superiority makes it difficult to encourage mutuality. Ruthless power relations turn the life-giving spirit of mutuality on its head: do not even think of trying to destroy me because if you do I will destroy you. This paranoia rationalizes the unabated manufacture of ever more destructive weaponry, irrespective of sensible policy goals, by ever more powerful corporations. (more…)

Affluence Out on a Limb

August 10, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

An American’s Letter from Europe

by Jan Jundberg

The time for a revolution of a deeper sort comes when the imbalance of unequal sharing of the land and its resources reaches the ultimate crisis point. People don’t want to contemplate this, but at least the unprecedented socioeconomic disintegration ahead will be the portal to achieving real sustainability.

This will occur despite any redistribution of present wealth through compassionate reforms or wrenching de-classism. For the hour is too late ecologically. This applies to the entire modern industrialized world.

A great measure of middle and working class affluence has brought European nations together. Rather than serving lofty goals of advancing civilization and peace, it was more to convenience the region’s powerful corporations and increase Europe’s bargaining muscle for importing energy. Digging deeper into the seamy side, the elevated material life was accomplished largely by borrowing money and wasting material resources (albeit only half as recklessly as the U.S., per capita). The come-down will be far more painful and chaotic than what has been glimpsed, such as the Spanish miners’ objections to their getting squeezed. The bright side is that the failure of affluence — of the post-war European Dream — will give way to strong local economics and bioregional power. (more…)

Finding Hope in Heartbreak

June 08, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jennifer Browdy

Wisdom and Understanding Are the Keys to Our Survival

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

There has been a steady beat of heart-breaking news lately from various fronts.  Did you hear that the flame retardants required by law to be sprayed on American sofas are highly toxic chemicals that continue to break down in your living room? And those sofas, by the way, if they’re the nice wood-framed ones from Ikea, are being made from irreplaceable 600-year-old trees.  When you lie on your sofa to breast-feed your baby, you’re getting a whopping dose of PCB-type chemicals, and your infant is too, since toxic chemicals pass right into breast milk.

Or maybe you caught the long article in the New York Times the other day about American zoos becoming Arks for modern-day Noahs, who have to choose which species to try to preserve and which to let go into extinction. (more…)

Fissures in the Planetary Apparatus

April 07, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Ecology, Economy, Guest Author

Japan Struggles to Survive the Unimaginable

by Sabu Kohso

While we are observing the new impetus of global uprising against capitalism and the state, the catastrophic situation is arising in Japan. Triggered by the earthquake and tsunami of maximal scale, Northeastern part of Honshu has been devastated by the increasing number of losses and refugees, and the worsening nuclear disaster.

The activity of the planet has shown not only its unequivocal nonhuman force but also the degree in which our societies and their apparatuses forged by capitalism are relying on, merging with, implicated in and expanding over the planet in an extremely ominous manner. What the so-called natural disaster is showing on this occasion is nothing but the implication of the apparatus on the environment and its fatal effects.

In this situation, we intend to translate, quote and analyze as much information as possible from Japanese into English, and translate your encouragements, comments, suggestions, analysis, proposals and anything written in English into Japanese for the vantage point of the people struggling there and everywhere. (more…)