Thursday, May 11, 2006

number nine, number nine, number nine...

all this noise about revolution (the act of going around in circles?) that can be found here -Fetch me my axe: The Revolution Will Not Be Satirized - and plenty other places 'round the radfemblogosphere reminds me of nothing so much as the episode of South Park with the underpants gnomes; remember, the one where Tweak's underpants keep getting swiped by the underpants gnomes and finally the boys follow the underpants gnomes and ask them why they're stealing underpants and the gnomes say:

step one: collect underpants.
step two: we don't know.
step three: PROFIT!

Count me among those who say that before I jump on board the revolution train, I really need a step two, a clear vision, some kind of plan or map or SOMETHING.

I realize now that I have said this that I should probably work hard to participate in the development of this step two, whatever it may be. but I'm not sure I'd be real helpful to the revolution at this particular moment, at six minutes to one in the AM and fading fast. right this minute I'd probably shoot my mouth off even more embarrasingly than normal and do more harm than good.

but have at it, if you feel the need.

let's come up with something better than "step two - we don't know."

never even mind that yet; what's step three meant to be here? clearly it's not PROFIT (heaven forfend).

whatever; I'm not particularly concerned about it, at least among the "revolutionaries" that I've known; I figure that any "organization" what nearly implodes over whether the photo on the promotional flyer was sufficiently representative of the collective's diversity, or whether it's oppressive to charge a sliding scale entrance fee for a theatrical performance, or indeed from the sheer length, breadth and weight of all the task forces and "processing," probably isn't gonna be toppling the military-industrial complex anytime soon. just a guess.
i missed that episode, but it sounds good and surreal.

all good points from belledamme. lack of hierarchy can be bloody irritating and easily descends into endless committees and beurocracy but nothing actually getting done.
it's not just the lack of hierarchy that is under my skin - it's the idea that we should all be making this simultaneous Great Leap Forward and if we'd only get with the program (you know, the way you're supposed to and I can't believe I have to explain this to you again and if you don't know how to do this then you're obviously not a real feminist and maybe not even worth our time) the world would magically be a better place. better for all of us. really.

I need more than that.
It's not just in feminism, that, either, fwiw; i see it around various flavors of radical leftyism. admittedly I tend to seek out the more extreme versions of silliness for my own purposes (amusement). then again; it's not like it's *that* hard to find, either. and god knows the inefficiency drives me crazy, and that's not new. ("Life of Brian," anyone? "People's Front of Judea?" that particular bit of satire's from, when, 1970 or so? and perhaps too serious a note, but imo a fair chunk of why the Nazis came to power was because of all the infighting among the various left factions. not the only reason, to be sure; that was a malevolent constellation of events and influences; but anyway, getting into Godwin's Law territory here, so: back to the main point:)

as I was saying in another post (riffing off some good academic-type fisking by bitchlab): it's often not just that there is truly a lack of hierarchy and that that is what leads to frustrating inefficiency (some structures can make it work better than others ime. size matters, too: in this case, smaller is better, usually. and there still has to be *some* sort of structure, however informal and flexible, imo). it's that--as we were saying wrt to the whole "trumps" business, there is often this unofficial sort of inverted hierarchy: the Most Oppressed person
"wins." which is a) fucked up since we're still havin'a hierarchy but can't even really acknowledge it and b) is just about guaranteed to make sure you don't "win" anything except the consolation prize of gettin' street cred within your marginalized little subniche. Because of course it's a very indirect approach to power, and as such you're not gonna be claiming or effectively using any sort of power, and won't be able to take on the people who take a much more straightforward and aggressive route to power (i.e. the Romans).
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