(Note: I know Emma Goldman didn’t actually say that exactly, but that’s not gonna stop me from using it. I like the sentiment anyway.)
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I think I kinda love 4-chan right now. They’ve demonstrated the organising power of the internet, and hopefully will show a whole generation that protesting and activism can be not only fun, but even damn hilarious. (In some cities, they rickrolled the Co$, people! Awesome!)
Some related links:
- Wikipedia explains 4-chan — scroll down to section 2.1 and beyond for info relevant to this whole thing.
- Wikipedia explains Project Chanology for an explanation of what went on yesterday.
- Wikinews article on yesterday’s protests.
- Photos and reports, in which, unfortunately, the words “fag” and “gay” are liberally strewn around as slurs. This would be the part of this that makes me hideously uncomfortable, yes.
- Cleo has a sampler of the above.
In conclusion: I don’t agree with everything they do or say, and again, the “fag” slurs make me not want to participate, but the effective use of the internet as an organising and focussing tool for activism? Awesome.
I can’t remember the source, but there’s some sci-fi story I’ve read where the conclusion reads along the lines of “They could withstand the fiercest of our weapons, they could defeat us intellectually, but in the end, I think they died of sheer culture shock” - the looks on the faces of the scientologists when faced with a crowd in which a lone voice shouts:
“I HEAR TOM CRUISE HATES MUDKIPS!”
… how do you fight that?
How do you, ideologically speaking, defeat a crowd that is enthusiastically demanding that you “DO A BARREL ROLL! DO A BARREL ROLL!!” ?
Which is sort of what I was trying to get at, really. It needs balancing with actually getting one’s message across, but announcing you’re gonna protest for a specific reason will make it clear to the target/audience what they’re there for, and every protest I’ve been to has had its share of cryptic signs — the message still came through. Sure, the rickrolling and the Fresh Prince rap will confuse people, but they’ll be more likely to come and ask if thge protesters are obviously having fun. (And no, I don’t get the Fresh Prince thing either. Huh?) [/ETA]