Saturday, February 27, 2010

tender egos. or, gee, here's a lazy news story/music vid pairing or THE CLASH IS ALWAYS APPROPRIATE K.

HTMLGiant asks how effective is this form of dissent. Berkeley students rioted/set a Dumpster on fire/threw things at cops the other day.

It's effective in terms of what they were doing: trying to make themselves feel better. People protest as a way of assuaging their own ego or conscience, whether it's so they can tell themselves that they have done something (and hopefully are sincerely convinced they did, regardless of the reality of the situation) or so they can tell other people they were in a demonstration or a riot. If they get arrested, even better. Maybe they can write a book about it someday. They can say they went to jail omg. It's their version of owning a brand name purse.

There were hunger strikers on my campus a few years ago. They couldn't come up with anything real to be upset about so they made up a bunch of shit that didn't actually have to do with them (the community board who lived in the threatened community publicly disavowed the strikers; most students, myself included, who would have been effected by the strikers' proposed initiatives disavowed them.) They they hunger striked anyway so they can one day speak with pride about sacrifices they've made and action they've taken in the name of their ideals. How they were always authentic and passionate and authentically passionate and passionately authentic. Louis Vuitton. Coach. Prada. Rodarte. Conspicuous. (Forget people actually die while hunger striking.)

I suppose political change and action is always necessarily selfish. If it doesn't affect you directly, you are still made uncomfortable by the fact that something disagreeable to your ideas is going on somewhere.

It becomes clear--through protesters' actions--when said protesters are in denial of this; when they go for flash and bang over buck because they are more interested in the exposure and personal gain--fame or notoriety, for example-- than for effectiveness and real hard progress. Also, ""There were windows broken, there was spray painting and graffiti on the interior, there was construction equipment that was tossed around," she said." Who do they think has to clean that shit up? Not the fat cats like your mom and dad you think you're sticking it to. Oh, and this? "Officers physically pushed the crowd back so that Berkeley fire personnel could extinguish the flames." Yeah. Ok. You made it so the cops were doing something good.

Also, the Berkeley "riot" started as a dance party.

You need to be pretty smart or sliver-tongued to convince me you were actually protesting something at any point that night, besides your white or PC-liberal or middle-class or capitalist guilt, which you should go work out yourself, quietly.

You also need to explain to me why you waited to protest the UC system's carrying out the budget cuts instead of protesting back when the state government made those cuts.

Get off my lawn.

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