Here's what We need to do to get rid of the pig-fools and create a true democracy:
1) Knowledge of how we are getting screwed;
2) Pragmatic tactics, strategies, and solutions; and
3) The “energy to do battle.”
Taken from this article by Bruce Levine, in AlterNet, these steps are aimed at the lack of democracy in what was once the "Bastion of Democracy," the U.S. of part of A., but they apply equally well here on My Island.
Levine believes that the knowledge of how the people of the U.S. of part of A. are getting screwed, while not exactly widespread, has numbers larger than the group aware of tactics, strategies and solutions. Because he works for an alternative news site, cleverly called AlterNet, he's part of the "solution" to the lack of knowledge, swims in those waters and sees the lack of action based on the information pool he feeds as a matter of "scanty tactics and low energy."
Maybe so, in the U.S. of part of A. But here in My Patch of Green, the lack falls squarely in the category of "knowledge of how We're getting screwed." We don't know how it's happening, and except for when it touches Us directly, We don't care. "We don't care" is easy to define once "We don't know" is explained. So, okay Jenius, why don't We know?
--The media: Our media is as informative a group of people as fat cells are capable of thought. (Go ahead, parse it. I'll wait.) If it requires thought, they can't handle it, so they don't. If it requires confrontation--based on character and ethics instead of sensationalism--they can't manage it, so they don't. And if it requires courage...well, they don't have any.
--Government: Yeah, yeah, yeah, the source of all blames. Pifflegab. Here's the thing: We elect a good chunk of it. So when a mealy-mouthed wimp of a (non)governor places a snaky-assed weasel in charge of the power company and let's the snaky-assed weasel lie, lie and baldly lie about what's happening with the electric bill--rewarding said snaky-assed weasel with over $320,000 in salary and benefits--and that fact is buried under several other political scandals of varying degrees, then yes, the government is at fault for running reckless and saying nothing.
--Us: Of course, Us. Who else? It's Our house and Our people and Our problems and Our responsibility to come up with solutions to save Our asses. Waiting for Superman, the cavalry or Godot to fix Our morass isn't getting Us anywhere. If We don't fix it, We don't get fixed. Pure and simple.
Now where are the alternative news sources needed to illuminate Our darkened minds? Well, there are...none. Yes, there is a Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, a Center for Investigative Journalism, but they tackle very few stories and get little traction for them. Oh, and what's on the home page of their website right now: a story on 9/11. Yeah, that illuminates a lot about Our problems.
It might be a lack of numbers. With 300 million citizens, the U.S. of part of A. can rely on a measly 0.00001% of its population--3,000 contributors--to create an alternative news industry, leveraged by the power of the Internet for enormous reach (exceeding 83% penetration or roughly 250 million people.) In Puerto Rico, 0.00001% equals 40 of Us, leveraged by an Internet with a penetration rate of roughly 55% (no, it isn't any higher and I'm being generous with 55%; could be closer to 45%) reaching barely 2.2 million people...IF We had the 40 contributors and IF they wrote about topics that could galvanize Our interest. (And no, that list doesn't include "9/11".)
And Let's face it: Our interest level is piqued more by a senator's ass or a senatorial aide's ass than by the fact that We're getting screwed in the...abstract. And concretely. Every day. Yes, We lack the knowledge of how it's done, though several of Us, mainly in blogs, try to educate the masses. Yes, We lack the tactics and whatnot to make an effective protest become a resistance movement. Twitter--by itself--is not an action verb that changes history. And when it comes to energy, Our "revolutionary movements" have a long history of petering out in a few hours (shopping in Plaza Las Americas, anyone?), or at most a day, when "token authority" is exercised ("Whimper de Lares", anyone?)
The takeaway: there's plenty of work to be done to convert this oligarchic orgy of nation rape into a semblance of democracy. But as the joke goes, what are the definitiosn of "ignorance" and "arrogance"?
I don't know and I don't care.
The Jenius Has Spoken.
[Update: 20 September 2011: And then this shows up on My Twitter feed: How to Use Twitter to Organize and Manage a Protest. Don't say I'm not helping Us make Our move or that I'm rigidly dogmatic about My opinions...]