Thursday, January 20, 2005

Wow

Today was "not one damn dime" day for the Lefties. On the lovely site there is a lot of comments.... I might post more here, but here is one to start.........


My gut reaction is to cheer this effort. The message is right on: Shame on us spoiled brats--not just on our Alfred-E.-Newman-look-alike prez, but on all of us. In the past, I've enthusiastically participated in such one-off economic boycotts. Equally, I enjoy the annual Bike-To-Work Week (or just Day in some cities), as it is the Yom Kippur / Lent / Ramadan of our ubiquitous driving culture. But in this case, I think our energy is better spent sending a message without making merchants suffer. (I'm obviously more sympathetic to the small biz owners and independent artisans who's stuff gets sold at malls than for the WalMarts of the world--boo--and others whose PACs are as far-reaching as our Foreign Relations Committee, and beyond.) When the news coverage on this comes out, it won't be about warfare in Iraq or evangelical politicians. No, it will be about how lefty protesters screwed little merchants (you can be sure the news will interview an Afghani or Iraqi immigrant who owns a small business and suffered on Jan 20). Let's remember that the lunch counter protests and economic boycotts that were so effective in the Civil Rights movement were targeted at the culprits--bigoted store owners who refused to serve people of African descent, municipal services such as bus lines that treated non-Whites as second class citizens, etc. The same is not true in this case, i.e. Joanne's Jewelry and Gift Shop is not waging war on the Middle East. And so on. Assuming this protest idea is Left-based, let's remember how this action will look to the "swing voters" of 2008, our new target audience, if you will. They will see this as anti-small business, full of resentment and empty of answers to a war that ALSO CONCERNS MOST RIGHT-VOTING INDIVIDUALS, and a lot more I needn't tell a group of people who already feel alienated by the Right's messages. Actions such as this feel the same to "them," cuz them is we. Kumbaya aside, I'm serious... pragmatism is my latest political affiliation. [Remember, Bill Clinton was no idealistic champion of left causes: "Don't ask, don't tell" is not a progressive policy; nor should we cheer his devaluation of women, including sexual abuse of power and marital infidelity; and even if we hold Lewinsky responsible in some way--as many would like to (thanks, patriarchy)--how can we trust our president to be above bribery and other shady power-play transactions when he can't even resist a common "temptation"? (for those who buy that line of thinking, which I don't); he was, however, pragmatic, and in today's climate, that seems to be what works (redundancy intended); perhaps in the future we can truly transform things. "Keep Abortion Legal" seems like a more timely slogan than "Down with Patriarchy," though the two are clearly enmeshed.] I am, of course, open to criticism. Who else would write this tome without expecting--wanting--responses. In fact, I hope somebody responds to this with a thoughtful and thought-provoking response. I'll even take angry and fed-up responses. I'm here to be challenged. I am otherwise, like many in our blue AND RED states, at a loss. Help me transform my hopelessness. What's a better message than a boycott, you ask? I'm no authority, and I'm confused to boot (see above). But I'll opine the following: I've always enjoyed the Die-In tactic to protest such abuses of power, whereby we draw chalk outlines of bodies to represent those whose lives have been taken by this testosterone-fueled, imperial effort. Let's chalk up the mall parking lots, force shoppers to drive over the outlines (with the names of soldiers in them, or the names of their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, their children). Let's call the news media and get them to put this on. We know the media reports news, but it also shapes it. Let's create the message and disseminate it, use the impotent news media like the Bush Administration does, as our handmaiden. Short-sighted and bigoted as the Administration may be, it's certainly strategic. Tactless tactics, I like to say, but effective. After all, Rove and his cronies got a moron to be president. Surely we should tip our caps and take a page from their book, make it ours (without the mentions of evildoers, for starters!). Your thoughts--in any form--are appreciated.

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