So You Think You Can Protest

Mia Michaels wears a military jacket with upside down chevrons. A shit storm ensues. She apologizes. She didn’t mean to offend anyone, she says. Wade Robinson choreographs a piece that he calls “anti-war”. A shit storm ensues. Nigel Lythgoe, the Executive Producer, apologizes on behalf of Robinson with a long and academic analysis of patriotism. Sorry for offending anyone, Lythgoe says, adding that we all support the troops.


It’s times like these that I feel how old I am because I’m going to give a “back in my day” speech.

But dammit, people! When we expressed our opposition to the War in Vietnam, we didn’t apologize for offending people with our marches and our protests and our sit-ins and our music and our drug culture — all of which were intended very much to offend. There were people risking their lives and freedom to take to the streets and occupy government buildings all for the purpose of offending the powers that be. And now people are afraid to wear a coat?

So what has happened? Complacency? Cowardice? People don’t really care as much as they say the do? What? I mean, a fucking jacket? A fucking dance recital? And they shake at the knees when somebody says, “Boo!”?

I wore a military jacket (my evil brother’s) with the chevrons ripped off and peace patches sewed in their place. I was a bad ass Marxist Existentialist Atheist who would have screamed “Fuck You!” at anyone who said they were offended. Their offense would identify them as a person who was keeping the war machine going.

At this point, I think war resisters — including the Congress critters who run their mouths about it all the fucking time — ought to grow a fucking pair. Offend people in power, don’t apologize to them. Act like you fucking mean what you say.

And while I’m at it, get off my lawn!

I thought the drug culture wasn’t about offending people, as such, so much as it was about having a good time. :wink:

Who is Mia Michaels? And Wade Robinson and Nigel Lythgoe?

Linky, s’il vous plait? Because sometimes I am overcome with an exquisite langour, and can’t be troubled to enter some terms into Google.

So You Think You Can Dance

Also, we had hair. Down to our asses. Damned offensive it was. :cool:

You mean the chevrons that point downwards? That’s how most civilized nations wear them.

Many protestors these days are in it either to feel like they belong to something, and require a cause to make it feel important, or they have a megadose of white liberal guilt and are doing it out of compulsion. Coalition building has bred a certain sort of protestor who wants to make sure that they aren’t crossing some politically correct line. You are supposed to be understanding to every cultural foible.

This is not a civilized nation. This is America.

You are either lying about your age again, or you were a child when you were protesting the Vietnam war dude. ???

Well, that’s what I was implying, but being Canadian, I’m naturally polite.

I was there. It could get ugly.
But, I suspect the people in charge now would be much worse. I have seen film of protests where the police brutalized the marchers. They have guns that shoot wooden bullets that can maim and kill. When it happens again it will be much more dangerous. Their ability to get personal information on protesters is much enhanced. It would take more nerve and commitment than it did before.

We are above all others!
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

If you really want to get depressed, read about the crushing of the antiwar movement during World War One. Virtually any public utterence questioning the war was held to be sedition.

A return to the draft would do a lot toward “raising people’s consciousness” about the evils of war.

Or drafting women. Waiting until some drafted male sues because women aren’t drafted and that’s sex discrimination. (Not that that is unConstitutional or anything…The Equal Rights Amendment hasn’t passed.)

gonzomax I’ve hung out with some serious rabble rousers. I have a friend who won $ 40k after being thrown through a plate glass window by a cop. Another friend of mine has been visited by the Secret Service. It won’t be worse than it was before, because it’s far more contained. Part of the reason it was so bad in the 60s was because the government was terrified by it. These days the government isn’t as paranoid. They know who the rabble rousers are and they can swoop in and surgically take out the biggest noise makers. Sure there is still some craziness, but there is nothing today that resembles Cointelpro. Black Bloc anarchists use DIY military tactics to foil the cops and still it’s not at the level it once was. The NYPD response to protestors in New York has scaled down every year since Giuliani. It would take some serious shit going down to get either the radicals or the government’s blood up enough for things to get uglier than they were in the 60s.

Man, we didn’t see any of that shit on the Quaker bus.

[What is Cointelpro, anyway?]


What led to this accusation?

I admit, i don’t know how old Lib is, but i’ve always been pretty sure he’s a fair bit older then me. Do you have evidence of his lying?

Are we talking about a television program?

Protesting on TV is not a good idea. Broadcast TV is a business, there to make money. If you want to protest on it, you had better be the one supplying the ad revenue for the program. It is like a group of McDonald’s employees holding an anti-war protest inside a McDonald’s.

What makes you think it was any different forty years ago?

I don’t watch the show and I never heard of those people, but civilians wearing military garb just makes this veteran mad. Way to protest, jerk.

Or look to the Civil War, while I don’t think World War I justified the tactics used, major movements designed to take away from the war effort were and ought to have been violently and physically repressed during the Civil War. When a State is fighting for its life anyone who isn’t aiding that fight is a cancer, and if the powers that be decide that cancer should be removed, then it should, any laws or constitutions be damned.

Lincoln was absolutely right to routinely arrest and imprison the traitorous Copperhead Democrats who were plotting to free Confederate POWs, advocating Union soldiers desert and et cetera.