- What’s the Best Song Intro of All-Time?
- Mac Miller’s “Watching Movies With the Sound Off” Will Outsell Kanye & Cole on June 18
- The Black Hippy “U.O.E.N.O. (Remix)” is the Only “U.O.E.N.O. (Remix)” I Care About
- J. Cole’s Puts “Born Sinner” vs. Kanye West’s “Yeezus”: Stupid, or Stupid Like a Fox?
- Fails: Nicki Minaj Takes The Lap Dance To New Levels Of Awkwardness (Video)
This Is My Rifle: They Say They Want a RevolutionPosted by Jason James on 08/08/12 | Filed under Opinion, This Is My Rifle
The issue that I take with activists like this particular person is that they speak over people rather than directly at them. While I agreed with most of what he had to say, the problem that I had with his approach is that the message was getting lost in a maze of phrases and political jargon designed to make me think, "Hey, this is a really smart guy! I should pay more attention to what he has to say!". It was during our debate that I came to realize exactly why he, and others like him, fail in their effort to change the world; because they would rather intellectually dominate the masses rather than explain these principles on a basic and understandable level. The message of liberty and freedom is not nearly as important as the public's perception of the messenger. And so what happens is, average people who don't spend 50+ hours a week obsessing over and studying the collapsing American empire get turned off by great ideas simply because they can't understand them.
When I wrote my first article for Refined Hype, I faced this same dilemma. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that a site like this one would step forward and give somebody like me a platform to speak from. So when Nathan told me, "Say what you wanna say man. I'm not editing shit" my immediate reaction was to drop truth bombs all over the place. I wanted to go into every facet of corruption that has woven itself into the fabric of American (and global) culture. I wanted to rip into the government, the media, the banks, the corporations and everything in between. So I wrote feverishly and poured out all of my thoughts at once. I wanted to reach out to the readers and bring them into the "real world". I thought that I could pull back the veil on the face of evil and bask in the collective gasp of the Refined Hype Nation.
As a result of my frantic attempt to shock the readers and wake them up with a billion megawatts of factual, electric truth juice, my first draft read like a paranoid schizophrenic diary entry. It was just one conspiracy after another; a super charged rabbit on meth bouncing all over the place and unable to focus on one specific point. I was so excited to have my moment to speak that I even lost myself at times, trailing off into a blurry mish mash of extreme opinions without any reasonable explanation as to how or why I drew that conclusion.
Looking back on that article now (which I re-wrote before I submitted, thankfully) I see where this young activist was coming from today. After being ignored for hours, perhaps even laughed at, he leapt at the opportunity to run circles around me once he saw that my ears were open. Even though he knew that we shared the same perspective on a lot of the topics we discussed, he was adamant in finding an angle to argue from purely because I was willing to listen. He wanted me to know that he's intellectually superior and therefore better than most of the folks who were walking past us during our debate. But what he, and what almost every other social/political activist I speak with, is missing is that while they're preaching to the choir there's a whole world full of people who need to hear this message. The only difference is that they need to hear it in a way that's relevant to them. They need to know that what you're fighting against is something that directly affects them in their daily lives.
That's why I chose to go the route that I did with this column and decided to use language that we can all comprehend. It's not that I think I'm smarter than any of the readers (in fact, the opposite is often reflected in the comments section), it's that we need to open an honest dialogue if there will ever be a solution to the issues that we all face and that will not happen if one of us is sitting on a pedestal trying to out-revolutionary the next guy. If anything, this approach is disruptive and divides the population between ideologies that differ in name only. We all want to be free, we all want to have our civil rights as individuals and the only way to preserve them is to have a conversation between all races, cultures and social classes. What we do here in the comments section of these articles is a microcosm of that. Even if most of the readers think I’m crazy (or at the very least, severely off track) we still manage to generate a discussion of important topics that provide a range of opinions from people in various corners of the planet. This is what ultimately drives change and inspires those who may not have previously considered the subject matter to be anything of concern to take a deeper interest in it.
As it stands right now, we are in trouble. The world around us is on the brink of collapse and I think we all intuitively feel that something isn’t right. The majority of us (myself included) are at odds in terms of what we’re supposed to do about it and we’re all searching for answers. But the key here is just that- we’re looking for a solution. The only thing we keep forgetting is that unless we work together we’ll all drown in our own self-importance before we can pull each other out and finally walk over the horizon into whatever utopia we believe is on the other side.
Or we can get all Che Guevara on these bitches and burn this motherfucker down. Whatever works, I guess.
(Jason James is an artist, freelance columnist and writer for RefinedHype.com. You can listen/download his most recent album, "Marvelous World Of Color", here and you can contact him here and here.)