Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Own Citizen's Microphone

Good Lord, I don't want to write yet another story about yet another incident of shouting at yet another candidate. But after the "mic check" of Michele Bachmann at the Hamburg Inn, and fueled by another on-line argument today, something struck me about the rhetoric of the "mic check."

The term puzzled me for a while. Its origins and meaning, like so much about Occupy and other related and non-related left rhetoric this fall, is a bit vague, but here's how I understand the basic idea. It's in some way linked the the ban on PA systems in the New York park where Occupy originated. "Mic Check" was shouted in part as a call to attention, and the meaning evolved into the unamplified voices being "the people's microphone" against the corporate mass media.

The term has now evolved to where a "mic check" is a shoutdown of a speaker, usually with a cliched chant involving Hey Hey Ho Ho. And indeed, "mic check" was shouted before the chants against Bachmann.

Well, I've got a people's microphone, too. You're looking at it.

I didn't need a corporate media platform to have a voice. It took me nine years to earn it, to amplify it to the volume it has now. It's the 21st century and the tools are free or cheap. I logged onto Blogger on the last day of 2002 and just started writing. The price tag is zero. I have the money for a computer and a connection, sure, but I could have done the same for nothing at the public library.

After a while I learned that when I took my little hobby seriously and created some good original content, my voice was amplified. I attracted readers. Eventually the whole thing grew into a decent paying side job for a while. And even though that's gone, the audience remains.

I came to this state as a lefty grad student with no connections to anyone or anything, much like some of the protesters plaguing the candidates. Sure, I mainstreamed myself a bit, though I still find myself wondering as I'm criticized: "in what possible universe is John Deeth an establishment figure?!?"

I had something to offer, though: a decent mind, some original thoughts, a little bit of a way with words. Combine that with some obsessive-compulsions (Must. Write. Every. Day!), and I got a good thing going.

So you, the mic checkers, are trying to tell me that with all the tools at your fingertips in the post-Gutenberg era, all the social media and free tools, you have NO way to find a voice other than shouting?


RFLatta said...


Why do you think Occupy is happening? Just a bunch of petulant hippies?

Or maybe there is no one, including Democrats, representing the interests of working people and students? Oh, that's right, you represent students in the cause of making this a party town. Good job John.

I don't approve of all of their tactics but the fact is THEY HAVE CHANGED THE DISCOURSE FROM DEBT TO JOBS which is exactly what the Democrats and you have failed to do. Whatever you have done personally you and the Democratic establishment have completely failed to represent working people as evidenced by no real gains in wages over 30 years.

Quite simply if the Democratic party was effectively representing its constituency Occupy would never have happened. But you, Michele Bachmann and Newtie are victims because these naughty people have the audacity to try to restore some semblance of real participatory democracy and get their voices heard.

Working people have become expendable, they are literally being devalued every day. And if it wasn't for pressure from the activist left and Occupy the political spectrum would continue to be rammed further and further to the right by the Tea Party and the corporate media while the feckless and simpering Democratic establishment whines on the sidelines.

John said...

Didn't call nobody a hippie. And Occupy, in most places and in most contexts, is doing good work.

But the headlines aren't about "jobs." The headlines are about the heckling.

And again, in what universe is a blogger in a red beret "establishment?"

Sick of Spin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sick of Spin said...

Wow John, we're starting to agree too much.... And ironically we're both accused of being establishment...

Talking With said...

Apparently, John and Mike, anyone who showers regularly and can make a point without screaming (in person or online) is now part of the "establishment."

I also didn't realize we had all been elected, and, hence, it was incumbent upon us to change this or that discourse or to "represent the people."

Were we write-in candidates someplace?

This is exciting news.

If I'm an elected official I'm definitely getting a haircut.


Who's bringing the caviar to our "establishment" meeting this month?

Is it my turn or Mike's?

I wrote it down but I left it in the glove box of my Bentley and it's in the shop.

RFLatta said...

Your in great company with Mike and Yale, John. I do not doubt there is a great future for all of you in the media.

RFLatta said...

"‘Gay Robot’ Heckles Bachmann At Iowa Event"

randycrawford said...

Hi John. In the Hamburg Inn shoutdown you've seen a tiny tip of the iceberg from the Iowa City homosexual mafia, which you've had a hard time believing exists. They have for years been interested in dictatorship, including via silencing anybody they don't like. When a lesbian like Anne Cleary sets off Lu Gang, or a pedophile like Steve Sueppel has a hard time facing the state penitentiary, mass murders do result in the dear sweet Athens of the Midwest. The noisy Hamburg Inn homosexual robot clown, or Ellen Lewin with a kneejerk f... y.., and on and on are just minor occasional leakages of a little doo-doo from a much larger covered-up racket that is usually more skillfully contained. As you develop more of a nose for the news around Iowa City, you'll likely learn to pick up on these scams and where they're coming from sooner and sooner, before they turn into flagrant tragedies. Shakespeare understood among other things these dark troglodytic recesses of human backwardness, hence I referred to Shakespeare earlier to an incredulous John Deeth. There ARE reasons why Iowa City, and many other university towns, are so exceeding peculiar. When there's more than a clown involved, for instance when Eric Shaw was shot through the heart...that's when the heavy-duty cover-ups happen. For a sampling of detail from my individual experience:

randycrawford said...

Occupy and their friend the homosexual robot are the continuation of a primitive lineage, which was spotted long ago and which never seems to learn much about civilization no matter what size scholarship or tenure package they receive:
""The stronger this faculty is, the more necessary it is for it to be combined with
integrity and supreme wisdom, and if we bestow fluency of speech on persons
devoid of those virtues, we shall not have made orators of them, but shall have
put weapons into the hands of madmen.""
- Cicero, De Oratore III: xiv, 55.