Remember the scene in the 1976 film “Network” when newsman Howard Beale — played by actor Peter Finch — encourages his viewers to open their windows and exclaim “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore” in response to the constant barrage of bad news? Adbusters, the publication that could be credited with planting the seeds of Occupy Wall Street, is asking people around the world to do something similar on May 18.
In a recent article, the publication concedes that the Federal government’s decision to relocate the G8 summit of powerful world leaders from Chicago to the Presidential compound at Camp David represents government leaders’ fear of the angry masses.
The article says: “Wow! Looks like the specter of 50,000 occupiers ready to swarm with a list of demands has turned the climactic Showdown in Chicago into a humiliating G8 Backdown. Bravo! Splitting the G8 and NATO summits was a deft move… but now we’ve got a major tactical rethink on our hands.”
Adbusters says that protesters must now decide whether they should “follow Mao’s advice (‘when the enemy retreats, we pursue’) or Sun Tzu’s (‘Do not pursue an enemy who simulates flight’)? “ There have reportedly been discussions within the movement of both organizing protests in Chicago and trying to get near Camp David to disrupt the summit.
Comparing the Administration of Barack Obama to regimes toppled elsewhere in the world over the past year, the article calls for people to simply laugh at the White House and G8 en masse on May 18:
When Ben Ali first attacked then tried to hide from his people, he was toppled. When Mubarak refused to negotiate and tried to beat his people back into line, he was deposed. Now the White House and the G8 are repeating the mistakes of last year’s autocrats … first they try to scare us with tough talk of repressive anti-Occupy ordinances, crowd suppression technologies and paramilitary policing, then they make a hasty retreat to the safety of Camp David.
The world’s leaders flee from us … so what do we do? Maybe we just laugh at them?
On May 18, the day the G8 leaders meet in Camp David, why don’t we, the people of the world have a #LAUGHRIOT. Let roars of laughter rise up from towns and cities everywhere at the spectacle of the world’s leaders trying to crisis manage the economy from behind closed doors and razor wire fences.
Laughter is one of the most powerful tactical weapons of memewar … it signals supremacy and loss of fear. So let’s pull off the greatest comedy of howling flash mobs, riotous street parties and hysterical pranks the world has ever seen. May 18 could be a monumental tipping point… an ahahaha! moment when the people of the world have a collective epiphany, and from that point on start thinking differently about how the world should be governed.
Jammers, whatever we do this Spring, let’s float like butterflies and sting like bees! Let’s bend the G8 and NATO to our will with shock tactics and audacious culture jams that capture the imagination of the world. We may be far closer to a Global Spring than any of us has so far dared to imagine …
for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ