Sunday, January 28, 2007

Peace Hippies

First a disclaimer - I'm an old Hippy. I have long hair (what's left of it anyway), I like peace, I like to think about some metaphysical thoughts, I like nature. I do not wear Tie-dyes. I do not own any hemp products. I do not do drugs (except for occasional alcohol and Aspartame). So I guess part of me fits the hippy stereotype, while part of me does not. Ok, got that out of the way.
Today I turned on C-span, and was surprised to see that there was a war protest going on in DC. Not really surprised that it was on C-span, they've had them on before - but surprised that I did not know about it. So after a few minutes, I saw what the protest was titled... Women Say Pull Out. I'm sure this saying has a double meaning and that it was intentional. I don't understand if this was meant to be funny, shocking, cute, or what but I thought it was in poor taste. Next on TV they had a musical performance of two women singing with another person playing the bongos. It was so cliche. As I was watching, these two large tie-dye flags went walking past in the background... I started to realize this was more of a freakshow than it was a war protest. I'm all for expressing individual "style" but something struck me as being wrong at this protest. IF you want to get a message across to someone, you don't want to dress in silly costumes, make sexual entendres, and generally turn something as serious as a peace protest into a circus act. I wasn't going to blog this topic until just now... I went over and was checking out some photos in my flickr contacts. I saw that one person had posted some anti-war protests from the same event but in San Francisco. Again, there are some people dressed here in "costumes" - so that's what triggered this post.
I hope this makes sense. I'm all for peace. I have a GREAT amount of respect for anyone who feels strong enough in their beliefs to pick up a sign and walk in a march or take part in a demonstration. But someone needs to tell these people that they may be hurting the cause by making light of a situation. Put the costumes away, put the tie-dyes away, think about what message you want to put on a poster, and if you were on the other side of the argument, would YOU take it seriously. Here is an example:
60,000+ Iraqis have died.
Over 3000 US Soldiers have died.
These messages are sobering. These messages make people stop and think. These messages are hard for people on the other side to disagree with. These messages are hard for the other side to ridicule.
My two cents - take it for what it's worth.
Here is a link to the flickr account where I saw the protest photos. Some of the photos are good, and some of the messages are good. You should check it out.
(and thanks for posting the photos under Creative Commons: Steve Rhodes)
(He has no connection with this blog post, I just happen to have found his photos)

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