The Search for Meaning Between Activism and Enforcement

Over the weekend while watching "Game Change" on HBO (a truly fantastic adaptation of the juiciest part of Halperin and Heileman's book), a "Washington Post" story by Juliet Eilperin captured and redirected my focus. I've been looking into much of what's covered by the umbrella of that story. And new details continue to emerge on related cases and issues, even just since this story ran on the front page of Sunday's Post. To step back a bit - Eilperin wrote about what she'd characterized as a decrease in the incidences of "eco-terrorism" and the increased scrutiny of those individuals engaged in or considering such acts. Some folks take issue with the term "eco-terrorism" as applied in shorthand to describe a whole host of political, cultural or paradoxical causes. In my opinion, it's on the order of "homeland security" as a term that ends up strip-mined of real meaning when it gets used too broadly. Still, Eilperin offered up a smart list of examples to support the very valid observation at the center of her story. A dizzying array of interests have since brought something to or taken something away from this story. Just read the comments section associated with the story to see how broad the interests are proving - animal rights, anything Green, Occupy Everything, fracking, you name it. Hell, someone even mentioned Solyndra. Crackpottedness aside, I'm fascinated by this amalgam of reactions - within and far beyond the Post's comments section. Maybe it proves that if you paint with a broad brush, people then see whatever they've been searching for in the abstraction. Think Gerhard Richter - but in sociopolitical terms. If you haven't yet read it but choose to hereafter do so, I would love to hear your takeaways. Before you return to "Game Change" or whatever else preceded coming across this.