How can you be heard?
Sometimes we don’t know that we’re asking the wrong questions until the Internet calls us names.
Over the past few weeks since I covered #MicCheckWallStreet‘s July 4th money drop I’ve seen a lot of reactions, both normal and the crazed sort that you expect on Youtube. Despite, or perhaps because of their anger, I was able to really identify what I wanted to talk about, what needed to be explained.
The initial video was a question following a statement. Whee! Here are some activists throwing money out of a window! Here is a beautiful shot of the building. Why would money as speech silence us all? Who is Citizens United? But these aren’t the real questions people want to know. They’re not mysterious, they’re arcane. They aren’t relevant to someone not already interested, and posing the question of what they were doesn’t matter to the viewer, they’re interested in the spectacle of it all.
What became obvious was that people wanted their thoughts, desires and egos to go beyond their keyboards. So far 61 comments have been logged on the Youtube video. They obviously want to be heard, even if it’s just a message in a bottle that might just make someone somewhere mad. So it leaves us with a better question to ask of people watching other people throw money out of a window: “How can you be heard?”
We all want to be heard. Nobody wants to feel disenfranchised or ignored. Yet that is the result of years of political decisions giving small groups of people the ability to silence the majority. And it’s something we have the power to change.
In the video I talk about how freedom of speech has been corrupted. How the institutions that we use to protect our liberty have been subverted to silence those most in need of being heard. And how we got here, at least from the perspective of a “documentary” about Hillary Clinton in 2008.
This video was made possible by the extraordinary access #MicCheckWallStreet gave me in filming the preparation of the money and the drop itself, as well as several people who contributed video they shot at the action. Credit goes to:
Video, voiceover and editing: Sam Levine (yours truly of levinetech.net)
Video: Alex Garland (alexgarlandphotography.com)
Video: Damien Conway
Video: Lara Salomon Schuchat
Also, thank you to the trolls. I don’t know what I’d do without you.