Results vs. attention

Results vs. attention

: Om Malik sent email to a few of us with a link from a self-described anarchist telling the tale of her arrest in New York during the RNC. Anil Dash replied to the group with this so-true sentiment:

I dunno, maybe it

  • anne.elk

    While I agree that her money and time might have been put to a better use, it’s not at all clear that activism and democracy via proxy would make her a better or more involved citizen.
    Should Kerry have just sent money to VVAW or should he have testified himself? Should our current vets be creating IVAW or should they just be sending money to the Democratic Party?
    I think you are awfully judgmental. I applaud the young lady for getting up and doing something that felt right to her.
    Later on in her dotage she, like Roger L Nincompoop can use this experience as a way of innoculating herself against her new current slimy positions. Or maybe, she in the future, will move from activist to politician herself and change the world. Many of our best and most honest politicians have taken this path.
    I think you’re being the old Jeff Jarvis again, she didn’t do something you approve of, therefore she is wrong. Try to keep an open mind about this.

  • I should be clear: I sympathize with this young woman, and hell, I probably agree with most of her political positions. But her writing about the peanut butter sandwiches in the holding center being lousy just seems… farcical. It’s not helping her achieve her political goals.
    Protest can, and frequently does have a point. My great-grandfather was intimately involved in Gandhi’s protest marches, and the work he and his compatriots did changed the world. So I’m not arguing that nobody should protest ever. I’m saying that people who are passionate and young and enthusiastic about issues should pursue courses of action that help effect the change they’d like to see in the world.
    I don’t feel that was the case in these circumstances. No minds were changed, no policy was modified, and no dialogue was established.

  • pdq332

    40 years ago, protestors like this young lady, confident in the prejudices of their times, were throwing rocks and demonstrating against Martin Luther King. Now the mainline prejudices are those held by th left: that American power is always bad, capitalism is always bad, Republicans are always bad, and the strict rituals of political correctness are always good. People who speak out against this are ridiculed, belittled, labeled, and marginalized, especially in the media and universities. No dialogue is possible because the inherited wisdom from the late 60s is dead and mummified, and is utterly incapable of imagining new things, like that Islamic expansionism can possibly be a threat. Even the concepts are accreted into unwieldy shapes and sizes, like the giant paper machee heads that graced the streets of New York last week. Intriguing thought, is it not? Filthy rich bastards like Denzel Washington are compelled by the stale discourse to complain about slavery and the NOW leadership has to accuse (however figuratively) GWB of raping millions because the leftist discourse is so rigid and unimaginative as to allow communication through only a small set of sacred concepts.
    Anne, how does it feel to be a reactionary?

  • But it “felt right to her.” That seems to be the only important thing these days — how it makes one feel.

  • I was speaking of the protestor girl, by the way, not anne.elk.

  • PB&J sandwiches! The horror!

  • Sigh

    Everyone, lighten up. She’s 18, she’s engaged, active (and whether you agree/disagree with her, engaged youth is a good thing). Sure, she may not be “optimizing” her time, but she’s doing something, she’s out there, expressing herself, learning. And she’ll sort out her positions, and how to be most effective, over time.

  • Hey, the PB&J is an improvement. When I got thrown in the clink (April 2000, DC) for on BS charges (with 600 of my closest friends), they gave us bologna sandwiches with mayo. It was probably the worst sandwich I’d ever had — but it was better than nothing. I felt bad for all the vegetarians.
    The cops gave me a donut too, which not everyone received — I think it’s because I didn’t give them any shit. We didn’t want to be there and they didn’t want us there; hassling them wasn’t going to help anyone, and just made us all more weary.

  • Jeff-
    You and Anil shouldn

  • “Engaged youth” is overrated. At eighteen few people in Western society today have the experience, knowledge, or discipline to be any more useful in any important endeavor than the average five-year old.
    However, she got lots of nice, fresh air (well, more or less), and got to meet all sorts of interesting people, not to mention a story she can bore everyone else with every Christmas, so all is not lost.

  • Angus Jung

    I’ll bet it wasn’t even organic peanut butter, either. Fascists!

  • hey

    one more reason to dislike anil.. direct involvement with one of the horrors of the 20th century: gandhi, british retreat from india, and the entire decolonisation movement (which killed at least as many people as communism… and threatens to annihilate the world due to the weakness of mountbatten)
    this girl is on the side of evil.. and she’s complaining about pb&j sandwiches.. lord have mercy… her allies in the fight against the west kill children for crying for water…

  • I agree with hey. Gandhi is overrated to put it mildly. And while children in India are starving, this broad is complaining about peanut butter sandwiches. She lives in a nation people risk death to enter, and all she can do is bitch.
    the 9/11 terrorists were “doing something” too. Bader Meihof were “engaged youth” as were our FLQ and Litton Bombers. What Andrea said: it is highly overrated. Pascal was on to something when he said that more of us need to learn how to just sit quietly in our rooms.

  • Catherine

    Actually, they had tofu sandwiches for vegetarians…

  • amy

    most of the people who were arrested (actually detained, not officially arrested) were somewhat prepared to “take one for the team,” anticipating a stint in jail – that is the point & consequence of civil disobedience.
    most of these people however, were not prepared to stay 44 hours in a former truck garage, with no phone call, no water, no toilet, no food. people in prison, on riker’s island, even people in solitary confinement, at least have a pot to piss in!

  • Eric Brown

    Amy –
    What good is civil disobedience if you don’t suffer, and be seen suffering, for it?
    The reason MLK and Gandhi made civil disobedience work for them is that they suffered, were seen to suffer, and transcended that suffering in the service of their cause.
    As far as I can tell, Ms. Brink had to _miss her move-out date_. Clearly, this is the end of Western Civilization as we know it.

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