Nader Rallly- A Harsh Critique
We need to hold public speakers to a higher standard. They need to be far more informative, inspiring, and they need to "push the envelope" beyond a simplistic, shallow, feel-good "anti-corporate-dominance" movement.
Look, I enjoyed the day on the whole, but this totally uncritical applauding of a group of celebrity-speakers who basically SUCKED is depressing. Ralph Nader is who he is and I won't criticize him here, but if I hear one more person say that Jello Biafra was cool I'm going to BARF! 1.Vile appeals to nationalism (giant US flag behind all the speakers). 2. feel-good, it's-gonna-be-easy shallow reformist actvism advocated (Hey Jello- me and 8,000 other people didn't pay ten bucks to hear you say we oughta do so little as to vote to take Pepsi ads out of government schools made of cinder block walls, flourescent lights and a techno-capitalist plot to socialize the next generation of colonizers ---or maybe those 8,000 people did...frightening.) 3. As has been alluded to above, it was an incredibly commercial event. Basically, though Nader was good (for a Green Party Presidential Candidate) all the other speakers were uninspiring, uninformative, uncreative and apparently incapable of radical, or at least indipendent thought. Jello was out-right reactionary, with constant references to "realistic goals" etc. (not that realistic goals are bad, but a rhetorical fixation on them, beside an annalysis that's totally shallow- is super suspicious.) As he said in this week's Portland Mercury "I might catch shit from the More-Radical-Than-Thou..." Ya, well you deserve it, you fake.
I remember seeing Jello in Eugene a few years ago and he had the attention of 300 people for 3.5 hours and talked nearly the entire time about how the corporate media is biased because of it's economic interests. Well NO SHIT, why don't you tell us something we don't allready know fer gawds sake. That night was an insult, intellectually and politically. Jello's P-town performance was at least as bad. I assume he'd never speak in front of a giant US flag in Eugene.
When are we going to start holding people who do public speaking to a higher standard than this? Anyone who's vaguely Leftist and articulate get's uncritical aproval, when a whole lot of criticism is really what they need.
Otherwise, loved the event, I met lots of cool, "real people" doing community activism. As an anarchist, I felt very welcome by the vast majority of participants - though an anti-statist perspective was totally shut out of the night-time event, (excluding Medea Benjamin's half assed attempt to make up for her post Seattle call for the entire Black Bloc to be arrested by saying in Portland that anarchists were on the list of groups that greens should form coalitions with. Wonder when the last time she talked to an anarchist was.) But I suppose that if we wanna get in good with a bunch of Holywood types, pay $2,500 to use a big screen TV and rent out the Rose Garden, THEN we can talk to 8,000 people. This event was about Democracy, Free Speech, and Ecological Sustainability- not Anarchism, silly!
Alternative Media gathering was terrific, some panels too.
Ugh, this is difficult. Overall, decent event though.
Sorry for the bitterness, I just feel like numerous species are going to go extinct, indigenous cultures are going to be destroyed, numerous people are going to be murdered and tortured by the international financial elite, I'm going to have to live in a techno-industrial hell ------TODAY, tommorow and for a few more years till we're all screwed-- and I'd like to do more about it than "make sure ALL coffee farmers are paid $1.26 per lb.!!" (Benjamin)
I believe that the industrial nation-state is inherently colonial. Frantz Fannon argues that there are two kinds of colonists, the "do-gooder" colonist who tries to go against the fundamental nature of colonialism (exploitation) and ends up just looking rediculous. Then there's the "honest" colonist, who knows the rules and takes what they can get for themselves. Everybody looks at them and thinks, well at least that makes some sense, that is how things are set up. Let's stop being "do-gooder" colonists, it makes us look rediculous and hardly does a damned thing.
Let's get rid of the whole system and fill our own needs for ourselves.
Eugene's Anarchist Action Collective
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