Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Nature Of Protests

I don't think Megan McArdle understands the nature of protests.

Once again McArdle has been held up in traffic and once again she is outraged. The economic protests in DC made her sit in traffic, the president's motorcade made her sit in traffic, and Ferguson protests made her sit in traffic. Since Megan McArdle thinks the world is constantly trying to win her approval, she makes sure she vents her petulance to teach those dumb African-Americans a lesson.

Making someone sit in his or her car for an hour or so in order to hold a rush-hour protest may indeed get you on television. And if that person was already in sympathy with your cause, maybe they’re happy to do it out of solidarity.  On the other hand, what if that person is part of the big, messy middle who hasn’t been paying much attention to the details of Ferguson?  Now that person hates you, and by extension, your cause.  It’s a flashy protest that gets you on television, of course --  but are the folks in the big, messy middle imagining themselves in the place of a) the protesters, or b) the poor person who is going to have to skip lunch all week to make up the time he lost stuck behind your protest? 

If the answer is b), then congratulations, more people are paying attention to your cause than ever before, and instead of being apathetic, they’re actively against you.

Now look what you've done, Dark-Skinned America. You've pissed off  white-skinned Megan McArdle by making her wait in traffic and now maybe she just won't care about your little dead teenager protest thingie that you are making such a big fuss about. That'll teach you.

Now, I’m going to get some angry pushback on this from people who say that I’m ignoring historic wrongs in favor of grubby calculations about public opinion.  To which I reply: I am not ignoring the historic wrongs, which are both historic, and wrong. If you want to change them, however, you are going to need a public that supports you, or at the very least, does not actively oppose your cause.  This is a lesson that the Tea Party has been busily learning over the last few years.

If you are nice to the rich white lady she might support your cause. Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on your demeanor. If you inconvenience her or make her skip lunch she might even fight to support racism and economic exploitation! Not that she needs encouragement to do the latter, heheheh.

 Protesters need to ask themselves a similar question: “Do you want to express yourself, or do you want to actually make changes?” 
Maybe in an ideal world, there would never be a tradeoff between those two things; in the real world, however, there often is.  
Righteous fury is hard to transmit to someone else who doesn’t feel it.  And when protesters escalate their tactics in a bid for attention, they run the risk that they will inspire someone else to righteous fury -- aimed at them, not the injustice they are trying to right.

So make sure you show the proper respect and deference to the nice white people or they might get angry at you and do something in retaliation like, I don't know, shoot one of your sons. We wouldn't want that to happen, would we?

What an asshole.


Anonymous said...

Nice white lady doesn't mind waiting overnight for stuff she wants

Don't make her wait for black people that are not on the same bus with her.


Quicksand said...

Oh, this is just gross.

Susan of Texas said...

I think it's Megan's Rule #3: If a corporation does it it's okay. If an individual does it it's wrong. Says the libertarian.

Yes, it's horrible. It's incredible that McArdle doesn't realize that.

Anatole David said...

Is Megan gonna have to pick up her legendary 2x4(Iraq War rant) to knock some sense into more protesters? If only protests were as convenient and pleasant as her consistently wholesome family Thanksgiving fare.

Kathy said...

Megan reminds me of this speech from "Clueless":

So, OK, like right now, for example, the Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, “What about the strain on our resources?” But it’s like, when I had this garden party for my father’s birthday right? I said R.S.V.P. because it was a sit-down dinner. But people came that like, did not R.S.V.P. so I was like, totally bugging. I had to haul ass to the kitchen, redistribute the food, squish in extra place settings, but by the end of the day it was like, the more the merrier! And so, if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty?

Only Cher meant "Welcome Hatians! (prounounced Hatey-ans)."

What I'm sayin is Arglebargle sounds worse than a stupid and entitled teenager. MUCH worse.

Downpuppy said...

When she says =

To which I reply: I am not ignoring the historic wrongs,

with justified confidence that nobody will point out her long & consistent history of ignoring historic wrongs - you know she's on wingnut welfare.

Kathy said...

Arglebargle: "And in conclusion, may I please remind you that protesting terrible wrongs and crimes only annoys (the right) people!

fish said...

If you want to change them, however, you are going to need a public that supports you, or at the very least, does not actively oppose your cause.

Someone should tell Martin Luther King he is doing it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Time for Megan to crack out the 2x4s

"I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

Susan of Texas said...

McArdle has weighed the competing interests of injustice and her personal convenience and found justice wanting.

Justice keeps forgetting who need to be courted here, who gives out the permission and who does not. The elite fear chaos and nothing is more shocking to McArdle than being unable to control the world around her. That Uber cab can't protect you from the rest of the world. She still lives in this one, unlike the very, very rich.

She has helped hand the world over to billionaires but it never occurred to her that she would be left behind outside the castle gates. She does not live in the Billionaire Cloud. The 1% won't have to deal with the social unrest that comes from inequality. McArdle will and she's not tough enough to survive it.