Editorial—Spoiled Alert

I was hoping for a more Halloween themed issue this year, but it seems the spooks and monsters of the other side aren’t on most writer’s minds at the moment.  I suppose you can’t really blame them, though.  It’s not like we don’t already have a whole range of reasons to be terrified, from the grocery bill to a global nuclear war, it seems there are plenty of reasons to want to hide under the covers these days, no matter how micro or macro your viewpoint.

But we don’t.  That’s kind of the amazing thing.  The more I’ve learned about how ultimately uncaring the universe is (and I don’t mean that in a sense of it being bad or against anyone, it just doesn’t care) the more I’ve found myself inspired by those people who seem quite happy to ignore that.

This week, for instance, Elisa Neven-Pugh takes a look at “inspiration porn”, specifically as how it’s applied when some folks like to declare how her or other people with disabilities are inspirations to them.  That we find time to care about whether finding someone to be an inspiration isn’t really respecting them as a person is amazing.  Some might think it’s crazy or misguided—a case of looking for a reason to be offended.  And yes, there are some problems with it, as Elisa herself notes, but on the other hand, part of me revels in how it’s possible, giving everything else going on, that we’re actually having these conversations about how putting people on a pedestal still isn’t actually respecting them as people.  Given everything that’s going on, that some people are still trying to take steps to acknowledge and look at themselves and their own ignorance and failings even to this level strikes me as stunning.

The course of social progress has bumps and turns in the road, but overall, we continue to slowly improve, I think.  To work beyond our animal responses and really put critical thought into a lot of issues about how life could be better, not just for us, but for people who we might never meet or know.  It gives a spark of hope in the idea that, no matter how crappy we are to each other otherwise—no matter how many systems, whether our own or those of nature, seem to be designed to entrench power, some people keep digging away at it.

One example of that is our latest student interview.  Angela Berg is studying at Sociology at AU with the goal of eventually being able to work helping kids who’ve had a tough upbringing.  Her goal?  “I aim to be the person I didn’t have when I was a child.”  We keep trying to pull ourselves up.

Jason Sullivan talks about this in a way in the latest Fly on the Wall, where he looks at Halloween and the need to wear costumes and cut loose as emblematic of something larger, but even within that notes that there are limits we are to shy away from.  When we’ve recognized real harm, the costumes that reflect that harm are no longer seen as just play.  And that we can point to costumes of the past that most of us today would agree are no longer acceptable just serves to show that our growth is continuing, and rapidly at that.

Of course, beyond this, it’s still a Voice Magazine, with the events, scholarships, news, advice recipes and more that you’ve come to expect each week. So enjoy the read, and even though it’s a scary world, take heart in that it’s getting better, so maybe there’s room to give your friends a friendly fright.