Friday, October 23, 2009

Inactive Activism

George Bush was speaking in Montreal yesterday, and protesters reacted to this in a most appropriately referential way - hurling shoes at the Queen Elizabeth hotel and setting a Bush effigy alight.

Realistically, though, this might have been newsworthy in October 2007, back when the Bush administration still had some particle of relevance. Bush was rendered more and more insignificant as the Democrats and Republicans began choosing their candidates, as those candidates campaigned throughout the United States, and as Barack Obama was elected President. Increasingly, pundits and newspeople focused on what Obama and McCain would do when faced by situations; at that time, Bush was still in office but apparently completely free of any analysis.

What purpose does protesting Bush nearly a full year after his successor was voted into office have? It can't be an attempt to teach him a lesson; he didn't care what people thought about him even when he should have cared what people thought about him.

Then you've got people like Andre Gravel saying "I am in favour of [his] right to speak, but we have the right to protest against him. Everything he did was negative."

Did. Did. DID. Not, "everything he's doing". Yes, you do have the right to protest, but do it enough times and people will share the same feelings as the people being protested - they'll stop caring.

Perhaps a lack of an evil overlord to the south has left Canadians looking for an outlet for our need to protest, so we're forced to publicly light things on fire in response to a now rather inconsequential speaker. That and dump millions of dollars into advertising because we might have to spend an extra $10/month on TV.

Perhaps we need to throw shoes at and light our TVs on fire...

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