Democrats & Liberals Archives

Ava Lowery: Youthful Commentator

Ever since the Internet was born, prominent journalists and commentators tried to minimize the importance of what has since been labeled the netroots. Maybe individuals on the Net can discuss the news but they are not journalists, they insisted.

Yes, they said, these individuals may comment on the issues of the day, but their opinions are insignificant in comparison with the opinions of top-notch writers and commentators that get paid by newspapers, radio and TV. Ava Lowery demonstrates how wrong these experts are. When it comes to journalism I agree with the experts. The Internet has had a minimum effect on journalism. We still need hard working journalists to ferret the news wherever things are happening. By news, I mean facts, not opinions. News tells us who did what, where, when and how. Never mind the why - this is opinion.

It's news when you quote a politician's opinion, but it's not news when you offer your own opinion. When you offer your opinion you are acting not as a journalist but as a commentator. All the so-called "journalists" appearing on Meet the Press and Face the Nation should be called commentators.

Journalists working for the big newspapers, such as the New York Times and Washington Post, will always be needed. Without the facts that they unearth, how good can anyone's opinion be? However, anybody that follows the news can present his or her opinions. And these opinions are, for the most part, just as good as the opinions of high-paid commentators.

Prominent commentators don't like this turn of events. According to them, any immature character can get on the Internet and write a blog; there's no way such scriblings could come close to being as useful as the thoughtful essays of first-class commentators. So they denigrate and attack the netroots.

They do this because they are worried. Yesterday, I read an article in Mother Jones that presents reason for their worry. The article is about a girl, 16 years of age, named Ava Lowery, who lives in a small town called Alexander City, about an hour's drive from Montgomery, Alabama. Ava produces professional-quality antiwar videos that she posts on her website.

I visited her site, Her videos are short but amazingly good and effective. Though Ava is a teen, she is a great commentator. She is so good that Mother Jones - plus many other publications - saw fit to write her up. Yearly Kos kicked off its 2006 convention with one of Ava's videos.

Visit PeaceTakesCourage yourself and be enthralled.

Ava Lowery is a youth but she is also a commentator. She is a lot better commentator than many of the famous, highly-paid "journalists" that scream banalities and juvenile epithets at their antagonists on radio or TV.

The Internet is developing new types of commentators who are not beholden to any powerful person, party, business or group. The Internet is the greatest invention for the dissemination of ideas, many of which may be heretical. It is the best thing that has ever happened to democracy. Let's not allow any powerful person or interest to change it. Let all the Avas grow!

Posted by Paul Siegel at March 12, 2007 5:17 PM
Comment #211622

I commend her for her professionalism. Any time a young teen can pull something off to this magnatude, it’s great.

In a few years hopefully, she will “see the light” and see how important and necessary war can be.

I agree that we shouldn’t do anything to infringe on the internet.

Posted by: tomd at March 12, 2007 6:12 PM
Comment #211624

I used to be liberal when I was young too, although I lacked her techno talents. She seems a smart girl. I expect she will come around not long after she is old enough to vote.

Posted by: Jack at March 12, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #211629

Ava Lowery makes terrific little films. She’s been prominently featured on the Crooks and Liars website for the whole past year. I even sent her an e-mail once because I felt the need to praise and support her efforts.

PS to Jack: Please. If you had ever actually been a Liberal thinker for real, I seriously doubt you would have ever morphed into a Neocon.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 12, 2007 6:51 PM
Comment #211630

Why do you feel it necessary for her to have some kind of revelation and change her way of thinking??? Looks like her mind is working just fine and has a lot of conviction behind her beliefs.
Good for you Ava, and thanks for you insight and courage !

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 12, 2007 6:52 PM
Comment #211636

Without the mythology they create, how good can their opinions be?

Posted by: Clay Barham at March 12, 2007 7:16 PM
Comment #211649


I thought I was a liberal. Maybe I never really was. Back in the 1970s, I thought liberals were interested in change, progress and letting people alone. Then I learned that they were for higher taxes, speech codes, protecting old fashioned labor rules, so I left the faith.

It is fairly common for people to be liberal when they are young and move to the right as their experience grows. The liberal promise is beautiful, but they are not so good at real things.

Posted by: Jack at March 12, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #211656

“The liberal promise is beautiful, but they are not so good at real things.”

Not only is the liberal promise beautiful, but without liberals making and fulfilling promises, this country would have been shite from day one, right up until today.

Speaking of not-so-good real things, are you still holding with the 30% of people in this country who are pleased with Bushco’s job performance?

Posted by: Adrienne at March 12, 2007 10:42 PM
Comment #211662


I have never been satisfied with any politican’s performance, but considering the alternative I consider this okay.

The liberal-conservative thing is not working so well anymore. Pew identifies nine types.

I just do not trust government to solve most social problems. When I was younger and not yet exerienced, I thought it could.

Posted by: Jack at March 12, 2007 11:10 PM
Comment #211668


I just went through that Pew Research poll and it was completely and totally stupid. I still believes in the left/right model, just varying degrees.

I was pretty sure most people understood the ‘grid’ thought processes to be more realistic of how people think. More specifically, being socially liberal but economically conservative in the extreme on both sides would put you way out left and right at the same time on a left/right chart. Seems silly to arbitrarily say that that person is ‘moderate’.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 13, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #211671

You know that the guy who has his head in the freezer and his feet in the fire is on average comfortable.

I just think that since the fall of communism, left-right no longer are very defining.

I think it is best if government governs less. That includes both social and economic spheres. I also would be happy to let people make whatever choices they want as long as they do not complain or ask for handouts.

I would join you libertarians, except I don’t figure you can beat the Dems. While the Republicans can be a pain in the rear, the Dems actually believe government can order society with good intentions, unions and lots of regulation. They would save me from my poor choices and I do not want that.

We probably need a 3D graph for ideology.

Posted by: Jack at March 13, 2007 12:44 AM
Comment #211673

Maybe the (sadly) late Richard Jeni had one of the best description of the current state of American politics. (Unless you want to go with the late Bill Hicks who couldn’t be touched by anyone…)

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 13, 2007 1:40 AM
Comment #211713

So, according to the Pew link, there are twice as many liberals as there were in 1999. Nice!

Posted by: George in SC at March 13, 2007 12:41 PM
Comment #211772

Another Youtube:

The iRack

Posted by: womanmarine at March 13, 2007 4:54 PM
Comment #211781

Womanmarine (and others)

If you really want to hear a great anti-war song, Barenaked Ladies has a great one on their new Barenaked Ladies are Men album (it was on the deluxe version of Barenaked Ladies are Me that I got 6 months ago) called ‘Fun and Games’. Google video of a live version is here:

Some of the lyrics (you’ll love ‘em but their better with the music) are:

it was a gag it was all for a laugh and they were shocked and they were awed and they were blown in half

put a smile on
we’re the ones that you selected
leave that dial son
because we just got re-elected
in a while our
bill of rights will be rejected
and all the blame will be deflected [this bit is vaudville style]
the forests will be unprotected
the nation’s poor will be neglected
creation myth is resurrected
a new salute is genuflected
a gallup poll will be respected
gallows pole will be erected
all this will go undetected

while you all slumbered
we sat and crunched numbers
of all the causalities we could afford
there’s no need to draft them
you could hear us laugh then
the poor and black all need the room and board

did I say that
out loud?

Enjoy! :)

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 13, 2007 5:42 PM
Comment #211813

I looked at that Pew poll, and have to agree that it’s stupid.

It asks you to decide between a series of two simple-minded propositions like “The best way to ensure peace is through military strength” or “Good diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace.”

Only a fool considers “military strength” and “good diplomacy” as opposite approaches you have to choose between while avoiding the other. And the rest of the poll is just as bad.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 13, 2007 9:05 PM
Comment #211848

Jack you can not,make up your mind.You should stop watching Faux News Channel,my friend.I think you should watch Keith Olbermann.He would clear all the wax buildup in your ears.

Posted by: the libertine at March 13, 2007 11:12 PM
Comment #211865
you should watch Keith Olbermann


Ok, now I have to get a new keyboard. I just lost my Coke through my nose…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 14, 2007 12:15 AM
Comment #211914

womanmarine, “the iRack” is hilarious!

Posted by: Adrienne at March 14, 2007 11:03 AM
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