The good fight:
Preaching to the choir
by Justin Ludwig
Playing the Right at its own game
It’s not easy being green, particularly not in times of such decadence and depravity. It’s easier to envy the right and curse them for being able to detach from their conscience while we suckle sour grapes like the kids who spent all their time in the bleachers complaining at high school dances. We are the self-loathing losers, while the bad guys are on an incredible winning streak. They do the business of fear and control and sloth very well, and they seem to only be sharpening in their craft. And no amount of protest (no matter how well-organized or well-meaning) seems to be slowing the machine at all.
Where is our voice? Or better yet, where is the action? Are conventional forms of protest (rallies, songs, campaigns) even remotely threatening? Because protest is useless without the element of threat, and no love-in or Bad Religion album has seemed to impede in any way upon this pretty death march.
I think much of the problem has to do with the Left’s fear of its own voice. That’s why I celebrate Michael Moore, because he allows himself the same imperfect agit-prop that has been made into a science by the Right. He’s in for the good fight, yet people on his team complain about his indulgences and biases (as though every piece of corporate American news isn’t nuanced and market-tested propaganda in its own right). Films like Bowling for Columbine and Farenheit 9/11 have succeeded because of their accessibility and, though they are heavily flawed, have at least provided a mouthpiece for the disenfranchised idealists.
Because creative, intelligent people are most likely drawn towards the left, we are in possession of one unique weapon. That weapon is alternative media. We often forget that we are the ones with all the style, all the ideas, all the romance, and we shouldn’t be afraid to use them. Sure, the Right is the jock getting laid at the school dance, but what’s keeping us from throwing our own cooler party? If we could escape from our own self-conciousness for a moment then there is a real threat that we will be heard.
And who is actually listening? More people than ever before. Farenheit 9/11, Supersize Me and The Corporation were important because of their ubiquity; they weren’t just for students and people with long hair. Everyone saw them. Granted, they galvanize the opposition, but so be it. It’s time to start throwing spears. And the fact that this column has ended with a call to arms, despite the promise I made to myself that I would remain bleak and uninspired throughout, is evidence enough that there is still enough spark out there, somewhere, to really start a fire.