Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Method 11: Records, Radio, and Television

Today we’re gonna look at Nonviolent Method number 11: Records, Radio, and Television.

Gene Sharp writes “Phonograph records may convey ideas through music, speeches, or declaration.”

Well, let’s just forget about records, because who does records anymore, right?  Nobody!  I mean everything's on like audio files now, and YouTube and stuff. 

Sharp continues: “Much of the American rock music of the 1960’s conveyed the sense of dissatisfaction, as did Bob Dylan in his song “Blowin’ in the Wind”. 

Boy, could we use that, right?  A popular culture that says “Hey, enough of this!  We’ve gotta stop this!”  That’s really what we need – to create a new popular culture!

So we need climate-related protest songs, like:

How many fires can a heat wave start
Before they talk about climate change?

Yes and how many hurricanes must swallow up cities
Before…they talk about climate change?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in GODDAMN ANOTHER TORNADO, LOOK OUT!

Okay, obviously you’d have to find a songwriter other than me. 

Or you could have Rap artists doing songs about climate change:

Well my name’s Pete and I’m just not about nice
You wouldn’t be either if they melted all your ice!

I know, I’m white, but c’mon, I’m a POLAR BEAR! 

Obviously you would need people with, like, TALENT to do this.

And if you were to change the culture it would dovetail with what happened in the sixties.  

Before all the anti-war stuff started the most popular bands were, like, the Platters, or Four Guys Wearing Sweaters.  But with the changing culture new artists emerged!

So all you budding young artists out there who are passionate about doing music that matters – hang in there baby, we need to get the next David Geffen to make you guys famous.  (Or, heck, maybe the current David Geffen!)  And in the meantime, just start posting!

Another good example from the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia of 1968 was the amazing amount of roles that radio took on for the society.  Radio stations not only conveyed information about what was happening, but they “broadcast declarations of opposition, called for specific acts of resistance, warned against violence and urged for peaceful discipline, opposed collaboration, cautioned against rumors, and took over certain emergency administrative functions”.  (That’s all from Gene Sharp.)

Radio nowadays is so corporate that it’s not gonna do that but there is the internet, there's blogs, there are websites.  We need to use the internet and podcasts as a resource to do for this movement!  People gotta know what’s goin’ on, they gotta know how to protest, and how not to protest, and who not to protest with.  You don’t want a bunch of guys wearing ninja hoods and throwing rocks at your rally, because those are the guys that they’ll put on TV and it’ll make your whole movement look bad and scary to people, when really what you want to do is get people to join you! 

Listen, our opponents want us to wear masks and throw rocks and make bombs, but we’re smarter than that.  They’re the ones who go to health care town halls with automatic weapons on their hips.  I mean, old guys may admire Ted Nugent but everyone else think he’s a jerk!

We’re the good guys!  This is a cause that everybody in America – parents, kids, teachers, businessmen, churches – everybody should be in on this…WE’RE TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD!

And as for television – who even watches television anymore?  You got YouTube, you got Twitter, you can broadcast all the content you want for free to everybody…I mean it would be ideal if television was covering this story, but let’s not get too hung up on it.  We’ve definitely got to protest television, and protest them a lot, but until they give climate change the coverage it deserves, we do have alternative ways to get our message out. 

Anyway, that’s Method Number 11: Records, Radio, and Television.  Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Method Number 12: Skywriting and Earth writing. (Good Lord, That’s gonna be a short one!)


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