What is S&I?

Significance and Inspiration is a blog focusing on political and social issues in the United States and abroad. 

Significance is defined here as applying to a large group of people.  Understanding that personal experiences can have a tremendous effect on larger groups of individuals, this definition is much broader than it first appears.  For example, the individual unable to get quality healthcare drains the financial resources of hospitals, the government, and thereby the rest of us in the form of taxes. 

Inspiration is defined as that which makes the reader/listener/viewer want to do something–a call to action.  That call can range from artistic inspiration to lobbying about important issues.  Again, the definition is much broader than it first appears.

The background of S&I is simple.  The author has an admiration for artistic representations of significant issues and wanted not only to give credit to these artists for their courage and awareness of social and political concerns, but wanted to encourage others to follow that path.  Mass media has become an educational backdrop of our society.  As such, it should actually educate us toward things that matter.

The Commentary section of the site contains the thoughts of the author about significant subjects.  Sometimes these are questions, sometimes answers, sometimes calls to action.  Sometimes these are opinions and sometimes they are based on statistical or other evidence.  The goal is to look at these subjects from a different perspective.

The Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Movies sections contain reviews and intellectual criticism on artistic work ranging from the out-of-print to the new release, literary to mainstream, and opinion to theory to fact.  Each review ends with a Summary Score with 1 being the lowest possible rating and 5 being the highest.  The first set of scores deal with standard ratings: Content, craft/technical merit, performance (for movies), plot (for fiction), and in rare cases, research.  The second set of scores deals with the goal of this blog.  The Significance Factor rates how many people the subject matter includes.  An entirely personal experience that relates to a very small population might garner a score of 1, while a global issue would receive a score of 5.  The Inspiration Factor measures how effective the work is at encouraging others to act, whether it is by encouraging them to write, to spend time with their family, or to lobby.  This is an entirely subjective score! 

Larina’s Choice is a section for artists to submit their work for criticism and review by the author.  Readers wishing to participate should read the Submission Guidelines carefully first.

May we all be significant.  May we all be inspirational.  May we all spend our lives thinking.