At The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, N.Y., Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges spoke about how his new book, “Wages of Rebellion,” differs from his previous works. In this speech, Hedges gets specific about the nature of the rebellion/revolution he is calling for. It’ll take a while to watch it all, but it is well worth your time. You can find it here on YouTube:
During the Q&A following the speech, toward the end of the video, a young woman asks Hedges whether the person-to-person communication of phones/Internet is not somehow detrimental to the systemic change needed. His response blew this blogger away. He suggests that so long as we sit here in front of our computer screens or exchanging selfies, we are avoiding the face-to-face encounters that can foster movements that will lead to real change.
I recently posted to the effect that, as Pogo once so wisely opined, “We have met the enemy and it is us.” In that post, I allowed as how we are too comfortable to really want basic change. Now, having listened to Hedges, I have real questions about what I’m sitting here doing.
Yes, I know that there are a couple of dozen of you who read these posts, but is the writing and reading of blogs playing into the hands of the cabal we think we are protesting? They certainly prefer our prattle to having to deal with the real issues we raise. What purpose does blogging really serve? Yes, it gives us bloggers the sense that we are contributing to the dialogue. But are we really? Of course, were my ‘audience,’ my ‘platform’ much larger, what I say might be ‘heard’ by more, but what difference would it make, were I to reach tens of thousands?
I was once a pastor and spent countless hours in meetings of boards and committees. What I long ago realized was that these discussions in such meetings amounted to nothing, even if actions were adopted, unless the deliberated actions were actually taken. The problem was that those participating in such meetings seemed satisfied with talking about stuff. Then the next time the session assembled, more talk about actions, which actions were seldom really acted upon. Talk became a substitute for doing anything really significant.
HHmmm, rather like blogging and reading blogs, isn’t it. If we participate in virtual reality, we needn’t really do anything. It is enough to satisfy ourselves that what we’ve read or written or thought is enough.
The real world knows that our idle blather is not enough.