Visiting the sessions at the liberal activists’ RootsCamp

Session 2 – “Jon Stewart DOESN’T Knock on Doors’ & ‘WKWDYWCHDWGT”

As the session ended, TheDC told the funny “Vote With Your Clicks” joke to the cute girl who kinda smiled (barely), which made it less funny. A dash of  humor seemed crucial after that faux pas, so it was off to the “Jon Stewart DOESN’T Knock on Doors” session.

Stepping in late — an ongoing issue — the first words TheDC heard went along the lines of “It’s not like racism, ageism or sexism …”

Having already suffered from seat-ism during the opening remarks when it was standing-room only, and the embarrassment of Luddite-ism because everyone else was getting event updates on their fancy iPhone or Blackberry, it was not the time to hear about more persecution. That’s why, after a minute, it was necessary to leave and join the “What Kind of World Do You Want to Create and How Do We Get There?” session. Getting there was easy; it was one floor up. Hopefully, they were creating a world without “isms.”

At the “WKWDYWCHDWGT” session, 11 people huddled quietly around a long stretch of tables. It had to be one of the smaller groups, yet they spoke quietly and calmly. Apparently, this was going to be a world run by a library committee. The group was whispers-deep into a discussion about developing a “people-centric society,” which is probably different than a “monkey-centric society.” That would be “Planet of the Apes.”

They earnestly cared about the issue at hand though, trying to suss out how individuals could be inspired to help others when the natural incentive for most is selfish survival.

Then along came “Brutus.”

“You want a people-centric society?” asked Brutus. “You need union rules.”

Brutus stabbed at the air with his massive index finger when making his point or agreeing with someone else’s. Brutus looked like he’d spent a few years working on the docks. Brutus had a thick, tough voice and a blockhead that was contemplating a high-and-tight. Brutus didn’t seem like the approachable type, which is why his name tag was impossible to read from so far away. Brutus frightened TheDC and we kept our distance.

Before the fear could set in, though, the session was over. It was a common theme — time-constraints, not the fear. It seemed RootsCampers were never quite finished talking. It’s hard to blame them. Locating the sessions, actually getting to them and figuring out where to go next was a logistical nightmare for the ill-prepared. As soon as each session began, it finished. The progressives didn’t seem to have enough time to make any substantial progress.

“We just started really talking and then it was time to leave,” said one RootsCamper after leaving WKWDYWCHDWGT. “I felt like we just started talking with each other instead of at each other, but then it broke up.”

Still, the sweet, older woman was positive. “Maybe we can do another session.” That was the epilogue for many a session — “Let’s have another 45-minute session.”