Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mocktivism: A definition.

So... Here's a new word.  Mocktivism.  Sounds a lot like it might be mock activism, and some people would say so out loud.  That's because they believe the old standby of getting out in the streets and marching will do some good.  Right--because the people who control the mass media are prone to being cooperative enough to tell the folks at home the truth.  Or not.

"Use what works, discard the rest."  This quote from Bruce Lee fits here like nowhere else but personal combat.  Tactics must evolve with the battlefield, and I think many fall into the same trap that the military does in constantly trying to fight the last war.
This is a war in the information age.  It is a war of ideas.  A war between stupid, regressive ideas and ideas that will, like all liberal notions throughout history, will require revisions to work as planned.  But that was the case when we replaced feudalism with capitalism and democracy and transformed an agrarian society into an industrial powerhouse.  Don't let the conservatives fool you.  They didn't do that.  Liberals did.  Conservatives, as a group, stick to the old ways.
As government must evolve with the changing times, a task it's performing poorly, we citizens must evolve our methods for dealing with government, our theories of what it is to be "involved."  Right after Obama took office I wrote that this congress would be the first one to really know what it's like to have people looking over their shoulder constantly... something that wasn't really possible until the internet, and now with social media it's a 24/7 proposition.  They can't do or say anything in the open without someone noticing, recording it, and making judgements.
Welcome to the 21st Century.

Mocktivism, as I mean it, is the practice performed by people like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and, to a lesser extent, Michael Moore.  It's not your parent's activism.  It's snark and sarcasm and mockery aimed at the sheer absurdities of the "conservative" position.  On anything.
Studies have shown that most people make decisions on politics based not on the facts (something the Democratic leadership seems not to have picked up on, despite Republican victories revealing this very truth) but on emotion.
The Republican machine has cornered the market on fear and hate (not that we wanted those markets anyway) so we're only left with one real weapon.  Mockery.  Which is good, because we're good at it.

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