Filed under: chronotopes, departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: demonstrations, John Berger, revolution, spectacle
What good is it to speak out, much less demonstrate: things won’t change, the world is too big and the issues too complicated. Underlying this common argument is rank conservatism masquerading as enlightened rationalism and common sense. You have to plan and speak if you want change.
Demonstrations are rehearsals for eventual revolution; if the element of rehearsal is missing, it’s probably not a real revolution but merely a spectacle. Think, act, speak, live.
The truth is that mass demonstrations are rehearsals for revolution: not strategic or even tactical ones, but rehearsals of revolutionary awareness. The delay between the rehearsals and the real performance may be very long: their quality – the intensity of rehearsed awareness – may, on different occasions, vary considerably: but any demonstration which lacks this element of rehearsal is better described as an officially encouraged public spectacle.
A demonstration, however much spontaneity it may contain, is a created event which arbitrarily separates itself from ordinary life. Its value is the result of its artificiality, for therein lies its prophetic, rehearsing possibilities.
A mass demonstration distinguishes itself from other mass crowds because it congregates in public to create its function, instead of forming in response to one: in this, it differs from any assembly of workers within their place of work – even when strike action is involved – or from any crowd of spectators. It is an assembly which challenges what is given by the mere fact of its coming together.
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations, John Berger
Filed under: departure lounge | Tags: elections, Kiefer Sutherland, politics, The Story of Mouseland, Tommy Douglas
Filed under: chronotopes, departure lounge | Tags: Either/Or, Soren Kierkegaard, the end of the world
A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.
Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or, Part I
Filed under: departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: Bhangra, Peggy's Cove
Buraq with Taj Mahal, a poster from Delhi. Image: Sandria Freitag personal collection/Public Domain Review.
South China Morning Post