Re: [-empyre-] Self-programmable media activism; just cheap talk?

On Nov 29, 2005, at 1:24 PM, Alex Killough wrote:

To me this is where the virtual community is a relevant alternative, for the following reasons:
I can get a lot more people to my website than I can to Dolores Park (protest central for SF).
I don't need some kind of song and dance routine by a politically inclined performer to attract an audience.

Look, 62- 68's outcome is a wash, and I don't think that this is the most relevent moment for Robby's conversation is we only use the US as a context (social movements outside of US were often successfull in gaining real social gains after that period. For me 68 in America represents the rise of a radical individualism that appears first as "radical chic". I would look more towards kick-ass unions of the progressive era from the 1890's until the late 1930's.) But that said, you don't force change by blogging. Power changes when confronted by resistance... meaning (to quote Mario Savio) that the wheels of the machine can no longer turn.

While I agree with what you see as the discursive qualities of the internet (and face to face meetings with folks of like minds or focus) I don't think calling something an "alternative" is productive. I would see these discursive sites as adjuncts... things that help and are constitutive of a wider movement.

And agreed, protest cultural forms can be a drag. But then again, so is many comercials on TV. What should be at stake in a Dolores Park gathering and then march is a manifestation, and sometimes a stopping the wheels... as in the real world shut down of downtown sf at the start of the most recent war. Money is lost. Face-to-face cross ideological dialogue occurs.

You may have noticed that meat-space is pretty much entirely commodified, including the protest space, which even in its most 'radical' requires the purchase, somewhere along the way, of black hoodies (or equivalent 'protester-chic' garb), bricks, and liquor bottles. And probably escape mechanisms, food,
places to hide, etc.

Yeah, meat space is almost entirely commodified. Big deal. As previous threads of this conversations were getting at... some items and concept's commodifications ARE BENEFICIAL. Some of it is neither good nor bad. Yes, some protest is probably psychological escape, but then again, so is some web activity.

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