the World is Hard. So Why Bother?"
- June 29 - If changing the world is hard, figuring out how is harder. Even avid
volunteers feel the cynicism tug; it's enough to make a person give up, shut up,
and let someone else take over. But author Paul Loeb claims that the obstacles
to involvement, from unreachable goals to performance anxiety, are universal and
can be overcome; Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. had their doubts, too.
Even a hermit can be an activist, adds poet and essayist David Budbill, and writer
Sven Birkerts makes no apologies for being a nonpolitical man. Pie- throwers can
make a difference - maybe. And doctors who risk their lives in war-torn lands
may be more selfish than saintly -- just like the rest of us. By Paul Rogat Loeb/Sven
Birkerts/David Budbill/Ana Marie Cox/Elliott Leyton. Beginning July 12, conferences
in Cafe Utne will feature online discussions based on this and other stories in
the July/August issue of Utne Reader: The Best of the Alternative Media.
HOME SWEET SWEATSHOP... For every high-profile twenty- something who makes a million
in new media, a hundred others toil as net slaves, logging long hours for little
money and less security. But it's not just the promise of dough; it's the hip
and playful trappings of a workplace that tempt worker bees with their own exploitation.
By Clive Thompson.
GRASS SALVATION... Every year, more farmers go broke, more topsoil washes away,
and one Kansas geneticist hunkers down to prove his radical solution is the right
one. For 22 years, Wes Jackson has been experimenting with prairie grasses, claiming
that these perennial plants, plus sun and rain, can sustain us and our land. By
Scott Russell Sanders.
PLASTIC PROMISES... Nose jobs, boob jobs, facelifts -- they may not be PC, but
that isn't stopping people from getting them. Read why one woman underwent the
knife and another didn't, and how more men are getting the snip-fix, too. By Laurie
Stone/Lisa Miya-Jervis/Laura Fraser
CRICKET: A CRIME-STOPPER?... In L.A.'s Compton, the drive-by shooting capital
of the world, the famed game of British gentlemen is rescuing kids from a likely
life of crime. By Edward Smith.
ALSO IN THE JULY/AUGUST ISSUE of Utne Reader
- Boys wearing tutus
- A carnivore's bloody education
- An inventors' whimsical workshop
- Barefoot hiking o Mortgages for non-car families
- Church of John Coltrane
- Mary Chapin Carpenter, and more.
Beginning July 12, conferences in Cafe Utne http://www.utne.com will feature online
discussions based on these and other stories in the July/August issue. Utne Reader
is the nation's leading digest of alternative ideas. Launched in 1984, the bimonthly
magazine has been nominated three times for the National Magazine Award for General
Excellence. According to the Forum One Report, Cafe Utne is the nation's most
active online discussion community, with more than 1.8 million page views per
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