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April 28, 2009


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Ted Bagley

I was at another blog where the issue was between accentually friendship and doing the right thing.
Along with my experience with trying to bring up tough issues and really critique our language I've come to the conclusion, so far, that the idea of having friends in a PC world gets in the way of doing what needs to be done.

Joe Clement

{cue canned riot]

big other

With the rise of American religion and the concomitant strengthening of the BIG OTHER, our true outrage is only registered as a form of PRAYER or SEND UP to the one above in the SECULARIZED CHURCH of Glen Beck.


Point taken, but . . . what about the tax day tea parties? what about the various anti-bailout protests in NYC over the last five months? the anti-war demonstrations in March and early April? the 'end the fed' rallies that were held across the country just last week? Aside from the tea parties, the 24/7 news continue their media blackout on an outraged citizenry.


re: d.eris

Not sure that I think the tea parties were really at the "mass" level. From what I saw they were small gatherings. I agree the media does try to make demonstrations look smaller in general (million man march, etc.), but I'm in agreement with Jodi that talking heads such as Jon Stewart remove political feeling by exercising in short segments interrupted by advertising.


James, I don't disagree with Jodi's point. But, imo, the media fear an outraged citizenry, likely because many people are outraged by the media too, but also because citizen outrage cannot easily be dealt with in short segments interrupted by advertising. For the most part, it seems that the media are only interested in protest and political outrage when they turn violent.

Charles R

Well, what about trolling blogs or message boards? I mean, not simply those of us who pretend to be dismissive conservatives, but those people who are very sincere about how 'the nation and the world' have gone to hell?

Does that defuse/dissipate some of that rage?


hi Jodi,
If the argument is that ostensibly agitational media actively inhibits agitation I think it'd take a lot of evidence to prove and a fair bit of dealing w/ counterarguments. I can't speak to contemporary media, but I know of many, many examples from print media from the 1970s and backward that appears to have genuinely been helpful in stirring people up. I've not read Zizek's stuff on Lenin, but if the implication is that agitational media is counter-agitational then that would imply a pretty major criticism of some of the ideas and practices of Lenin prior to the Bolsheviks taking power - newspapers and other publications.

Also re: massive rallies - there are massive rallies. There was that Republic Windows and Doors thing not too long ago, before that the RNC protests here in the Twin Cities, on the the right there's those Tea Parties, if we go a few years back there was the massive immigration protests on Mayday and in 2003 or so the anti-war protests in Feb or March were probably the biggest simultaneous demonstrations in human history, and we could go further back than that.



I express my outrage by signing online petitions and joining ironic/sarcastic facebook groups. Then I go back to work.


Hi Nate

I appreciate the two recent examples but most of the local folks I know looked at the RNC protesters as "uppity do gooders" from out of town who just "wanted to cause trouble." Of course i do not agree with this assessment but I think it is a stretch to say the protests at the RNC reflect some sort of popular sentiment. In fact, I would say it represents a fairly marginal movement at this point.

Also, the fact that the arrests of several journalists (including Amy Goodman) received almost no attention in the "mainstream media" reflects the general marginalization of such protests.

As to the Republic Windows seizure, I think that is a more interesting case - it could either prove to be an aberration or the beginning of something bigger. Only time will tell.

Good to see you are still around Nate. Take Care.


It's not a criticism of oppositional countermedia in general, but of contemporary media; the Tea parties are not good examples for your point, I don't think.

Andrew Heitman

After living in DC for about 6 years now, Ive noticed the amount of time people spend accruing witty bumper stickers. And then noticed how often those witty bumper stickers were used in any sort of political discourse.
Perhaps, in this outrage by proxy orgy, the bumper sticker crowd is the print media of this political pornography.
Find a sticker that fits your politics/opinions/fetishes, and why do you need to think or act? Youve made your point---maybe.


bumper stickers are the buttons of the driving class (once, in Texas, someone left a really, really mean offensive note on my car, responding to my bumper stickers--so, there at least was a somewhat more heightened level of engagement)

Andrew Heitman

My sister experienced something similar. Being the only conservative at USC law school (in history?), she liked being a walking poster child for the Republican party. Needless to say, her car was not spared the violent passive aggressive note writing that you encountered.
Nothing like engaging a totally nameless faceless stranger----which reminds me of one of my favorite entities of existing in close space with anyone (office, dorm, brothel, etc.). The passive aggressive note (here is where the internet rides in on a white horse yet again):

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