You're welcome; glad you like! ^^
Two books from the late 60's that you might find interesting are The Glass Teat
by Harlan Ellison, and The Strawberry Statement
by James Simon Kunen: two very different perspectives on protest in the Age of Television.
It seems strange now, to remember the time when the only sources of information about current events were newspapers, magazines, radio, and three television networks, all of which strictly censored and controlled the news. Street protest was the only way to make the American populace aware of problems that the corporations and politicians didn't want to admit.
Unfortunately, as both Ellison and Kunen observed, the TV networks quickly learned that they could use protests against
the protestors by selectively filming their worst elements, and by slanting the narrative to discredit their aims. And as Ellison and Kunen also observed, a great many of the protestors fell right into that trap.
Martin Luther King's marches were politically effective because they were not
riots. King was smart enough to tell his cohorts to dress their best, mind their manners, and not stoop to take the bait of provocation - to always look and act like ladies and gentlemen before the cameras of the press.
Compare that to the Yippies
, who did so much to embarrass and discredit the anti-war movement by always looking and acting like crazed assholes before the cameras. Then there was the SDS
, that turned into a total train-wreck, and probably engendered more back-lash than it did progress.
Occupy, too. I was there
for Occupy Seattle five years ago, and my take on it was this:
Sheesh, irrational anarchy. Y'know, I asked a whole bunch of young Occupados if they'd ever heard of the Yippies, and none of them had - which was my point. The 1% doesn't care if they block rush-hour traffic, establish a bum-camp on a community college campus, squat in abandoned buildings, war with the cops - they're watching all that on their wall-sized screens in their immense houses on their security-guarded fortress estates, pointing and laughing. They're not troubled, not even inconvenienced; on the contrary, the Occupation has provided such a wealth of ammunition for ad hominem attacks as to ensure that their real and valid issues will not be heard.
As much as TV changed everything, the Internet has changed it even more. "Can't stop the signal!"
- the difficulty now is figuring out which signals to heed, especially when so many are deliberately distorted. One Black Bloc asshole spray-painting a bank discredits 5000 citizens peacefully protesting systemic inequality; one angry fool throwing a brick at a cop turns Black Lives Matter into Blue Lives Matter in the minds of the viewers.
It's time to stop all that, and go with other forms of activism. We're long past Step 1; anyone who doesn't recognize the problems we have is either oblivious or deep in denial, and not likely to understand the need for change. But many of those who do
understand the need for change don't seem to understand that they're the ones who have to bring it about by direct political action: voting, donating, contacting their representatives, and attending all those excruciating meetings and hearings where things actually get decided.Edited at 2016-11-30 03:05 am (UTC)