Demonstrations are so last century
: In the old days, if you wanted to be heard and didn’t own a newspaper, you had to hold a demonstration so the people would see that you can a critical mass of folks who thought like you and so media would notice and tell the rest of the world.
But that was in the old days.
I read about the rude action of bike riders (a breed I, a runner, am not wildly fond of anyway) who blocked streets in New York because they wanted to protest somethingorother (do we really care what?). Oh, they get publicity. But they also piss off thousands of New Yorkers (who did nothing wrong to affect these left-turning bikers and deserve this treatment). And I’ll bet that most people who saw their publicity (a) didn’t notice what the cause was and (b) thought they were being pretty silly or rude.
Demonstrations aren’t the way to get your message across anymore. Because now, you can own your own newspaper.
Yes, you know I’m going to say that you can get your message across on a blog. But, of course, that goes only so far.
You can also make a movie like F9/11 and get your message across — and make a helluva lot of money as a bonus! F9/11 has not much more intellectual content than a demonstration full of hand-scrawled signs — but it’s more effective.
And as media continues to blow apart, you will have more and more ways to get your message across.
In a sense, this is a return to the roots of dissent: In America’s earliest days, demonstrations couldn’t work; there was never a critical mass of folks around. So, you wrote pamphlets. Today, you simply use the best media available and there is more of it.
Stopping me from getting to work and pissing me off is not the best way. And breaking the windows of the place where I buy my decaf certainly is not the way.
And besides, it’s going to be hard to impress the old farts who once were young demonstrators. We demonstrated. We stopped our war. We’re jaded now.
We’re going to see lots of demonstrations this week. Many of them will be silly. Some will be rude. But all of them will start to look pretty damned anachronistic.
: UPDATE: If you can even figure out what the hell this protest is, then you probably have a dirtier mind than I do. Good for you.