Like many artisans, my path through life has taken me far from the mainstream in art, culture and society. I have chosen handmade over mass-produced, linen over synthetic, kirtan over pop, durable over disposable, and the values of the 99% over the corporate world. I know the internet has made it possible to find kindred spirits and artisan-made products. In particular, Net Neutrality has made it possible to find and interact with all that is quirky, beautiful and breathtakingly individual.
Now, living on a rural mountaintop as I do, my internet experience is more quirky than beautiful. My DSL pauses and stutters. Downloading a video can be an all-night process. It’s the price I pay for living in the middle of nowhere. I may be a recluse, but I still have some connection to the parts of the world I chose to experience.
Without Net Neutrality, I might not be able to find or receive the content that I value. Imagine the internet where priority and bandwidth are sold to the highest bidder. Where will the small blogs go? Where will the artisans be? Where will new political movements be heard? What about freedom of speech? What about the little things, like finding looms, thread and books?
I’ve seen this happen in other media. Once a medium becomes influential, it is taken over by corporate interests and used to promote their agendas at the exclusion of all others. Other voices become marginalized. Once again, we will flee to the next new thing, whatever it may be, to be heard and to rediscover our compatriots. But I’m getting tired of being uprooted, of having to reestablish the thin lines that connect us. I’m here to weave and to simplify my life, but I keep being nudged back into activism, because the line between complacency and complicity is ever so thin. I will not be complicit, and I will not be silenced. Mostly, I will carry on with warp and weft, and keep writing about my inner and outer journey as a weaver. Because I have that freedom, and because it’s important that I have it. Because I want you to have it, too.
Please contact the FCC and let them know that Net Neutrality is critically important to preserve freedom of speech on the internet. http://www.fcc.gov/comments Let’s preserve all that is quirky, beautiful and breathtakingly individual.