Clamor: Something to Shout About
Many of you will have heard about the demise of Clamor
, a progressive magazine that ran from 1999 to late last year. There's a very frank and interesting interview
with Jen Angel and Jason Kucsma, the two founders, by Joshua Breitbart, a former employee, at www.wiretap.org, while Jen Angel has written a wonderfully thoughtful and honest analysis
(PDF) of why the magazine succeeded and why it had to end.
What is true for Clamor
, rings true for Lantern, although the bell has not yet tolled for us. I read the piece with nods of recognition and shakes of the head at our own shortsightedness and missteps. Lantern probably could have supported Clamor
more, but we too are caught in the cash-flow bind that affects all publishers, where we are forced to concentrate our resources rather than expand our outreach. Clamor
overreached and, by throwing itself so wholly into the marketplace, found itself relying on businesses that were worse run and more unscrupulous about not paying the money they owed. The result was indebtedness and burnout, and finally it had to close. It's a cautionary lesson we all should heed.
What struck me most was Jen's observation that progressives and activists do not have a positive view of money. We don't know how to use it, move it through the system to expand our effectiveness, and are suspicious of those who have it. We also don't like to grow: fearing that it is but a short step to corporate hegemony and thus total death of the soul. How fortunate, therefore, dear reader, that we have just the book to help us over these very practical hurdles: The Lifelong Activist
by Hillary Rettig. It's a wonderful guide to all of us on effective thinking that gets us beyond the, frankly, ridiculous constraints we put on ourselves to becoming effective. It's too late for Clamor
, at least in its current incarnation, but it might not be for you.