Saturday, March 24, 2018

ERSATZ



I don’t think it’s coincidence that the TV cable channels which specialize in history have been running documentaries about the Civil Rights movement and the Anti-War movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s – during the same couple of weeks that CNN and MSNBC have been hyping the Parkland students’ anti-gun movement, destined to climax in the “March For Our Lives” today.  For anybody who had any real experience with those historic grassroots movements, the contrast is downright painful.

First off, nobody helped us organize any picket-lines or demonstrations, let alone big marches on the capitol.  We had to learn the whole process ourselves, from the ground up. Before the age of the Internet, we had telephone-trees and community bulletin-boards to spread the word;  newspapers, TV stations and radio stations wouldn’t touch us – unless we bought paid advertising.  We had to learn for ourselves that any chapter of a reform group, no matter how small, needed at least one lawyer – to bail us out when the cops grabbed us up for “disturbing the peace” or “blocking a public thoroughfare”, and also to figure out what permits and paperwork we needed to file in order to march in the streets or rally in a public park.  We needed to learn about transport, to find out where to rent busses, calculate how many busses would be needed, where they would pick us up, let us off, and park until we needed them to get home.  We had to learn the hard way about getting extra garbage services, renting and servicing porta-potties, getting sound-systems set up, providing insurance for the same, and arranging for discreet medical tents and staffs.  We also learned how to go to legislators’ offices and present petitions.  We evolved a handful of standard slogans and symbols that were instantly recognizable.  And of course we had to learn how to collect funds for all this.  Even with the help of old and experienced labor union organizers, it took us years to learn all these techniques.  It took still longer to get the media to recognize us as anything but “rioters”. 

Eventually we produced an organization called the National Mobilization to End the War – the “Mobe” for short – which specialized in organizing big political demonstrations in Washington, DC, and nothing else.  We timed our actions by the Mobe’s calendar, experimented with new techniques locally and sent their descriptions to the Mobe’s headquarters if they were successful.  The Mobe was certainly not a governing body for the movement – nothing could be – but any technique or tactic that the Mobe disapproved of was left to the local group that favored it, which was then completely on its own.  I’ve often wondered what happened to the old Mobe organization after the Civil Rights law was passed and the war ended.  I doubt if those experienced organizers just disappeared.

Considering all that, no, I don’t believe that this new March For Our Lives anti-gun movement was created entirely by some 700 high school kids, in less than a month.  I don’t think the kids really organized any of it.

What I’ve seen, over the past month, was first CNN (and then MSCNBC) blatting the story of the school massacre – and carefully blaming gun owners and the NRA -- all over the airwaves, at least 12 hours out of every 24, supplying sympathetic Talking Heads to weep and wail over The Horror, staging interviews with particular kids from the school – even grooming and coaching and providing scripts for especially good actors among them (see David Hogge) – and carefully weeding out kids from the school who came up with different ideas about the cause of the massacre and prevention of any such future event (see Ariana Klein, Kyle Kashuv, and Colton Haab).  Before the first week was out, they’d attracted some enthusiastic Democrat politicians and had organized the first demonstrations and marches on the Florida state capital – all thoroughly covered and advertised by CNN. 

This is strangely reminiscent of William Randolph Hearst using his newspapers to start a completely unnecessary war.  I know that media professionals have regarded that feat with awe and envy ever since.

Of course, the media managers didn’t do it by themselves.  Anti-gun-rights politicians, celebrities, corporate managers and certain labor union administrators were happy to jump on the bandwagon, providing funds and support.  The mayor of Baltimore happily promised $100,000 to send local schoolkids to the march on Washington, despite the fact that her city’s school board didn’t have enough money to keep the schools heated this winter.  There are reports of schoolteachers urging their students to join the protests, giving homework assignments about “why I’m in favor of gun control”, and actually punishing students who complained or came up with alternate ideas.  There are a dozen corporations, including Citigroup, which have come up with tricks for punishing firearms companies, legal firearms dealers, and of course the NRA.  None of this, obviously, was organized by schoolkids.  It certainly was not the students of that Parkland high school who organized the anti-gun/anti-NRA marches, walkouts, and demonstrations in all the other states in the US.  Neither did the kids alone come up with that list of “common sense” gun laws which the campaign is pushing – blissfully unaware that some of the laws they’re asking for are already on the books, and poorly enforced.  Other laws that they’re thoughtlessly crying for – because they’ve had the slogans handed to them – are plainly unconstitutional, and are already beset with lawsuits.    
   
Right now, no doubt, the kids are thrilled at all the attention and flattery and TV time being given to them, not to mention the encouragement to Express Their Emotions – rather than think.  Some of them have blissfully mentioned their dreams of going into politics.  They seem to have nary a clue about how much they’re being used, or by whom.

Then again, the Salem Witch Trials – which likewise centered around a group of Afflicted Children – were orchestrated by adult political factions too.  So was the original Children’s Crusade.  Those did not end well for the involved children.  


--Leslie <;)))><              


5 comments:

Technomad said...

I'd say that somebody, or several somebodies, has had this plan on the books for a long time,and thought this was the perfect time to execute it. Kind of like the color-coded "War Plans" that the US drew up in the '20s and '30s---they had plans for almost any kind of war you could imagine, including a domestic insurrection ("War Plan White.") They used a lot of the pre-war "War Plan Orange" to defeat Japan in WWII.

Leslie Fish said...

Exactly. And it was MSNBC, if you please, which slyly introduced the fact that the "March For Our Lives" was made up mostly of middle-aged, affluent, protest-experienced, usually female, *Democrat* voters. MSNBC also broke (on TV, anyway) the story about the retired Supreme Court judge saying that the 2nd Amendment should be repealed. Could this be MSNBC undermining CNN out of jealousy for their ratings? Or could they just be a little more capable of seeing the handwriting on the wall (or on the Internet) and realizing that there's a groundswell rising and a backlash coming?

NITZAKHON said...

The Left has a LONG GAME.

Don't doubt that they have plans within plans, bills pre-written and ready, events and such pre-organized, and all set to not let a crisis go to waste.

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