Well, that fateful time has arrived, the moment when Friend-Of-The-Blog j.Bowman and I have to set aside our warm fuzzy feelings for each other (and each other’s blogs) and throw down. That’s right, it’s time for Round 1 of Blog Feud IV (his title) and/or the Blog World Series of Blogging 2011 (mine).
As mentioned in our respective introductory posts, Round 1 is all about giving you beautiful folks (because it is a known fact that people who read random internet blogs tend to skew towards supermodel good looks) a lesson, i.e. providing a “How-To” blog post.
I knew this would be a bit of a challenge, because my opponent is a man of many skills and could draw a few things out of his BowBelt. I’m not going to tell you how to plan for the zombie apocalypse, because that has been a constant way of life of his for many years. Similarly, I can’t provide many tips for maintaining a healthy white glow, as regular visits outdoors during the daytime have given me, at the very least, the appearance of tan lines (and more than occasional burns).
However, as a fan of history and current events, and being the recipient of a few official pieces of paper indicating sufficient knowledge of politics, I think I might have a bit of an edge in preparing everyone for a non-Undead uprising:
How To Start A Revolution
First up, let’s get our terms clear. What do I mean by “revolution”? That word gets bandied about (and I hate bandying) willy-nilly (“willy” + “nilly” = things I hate only slightly less than bandying).
For the purposes of this blog, let’s go with definition numero uno: “A forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favour of a new system” (thanks interwebs!). Done. Perfect. We’ll roll with that.
So, how do we go about with a “forcible overthrow… in favour of a new system”? I think we need to back up a few steps.
Step 1: Find a place worth revolutionizing
Listen, I’m all on board with the idea of wanting to overthrow everything and living in a Utopia world of gumdrop houses and Dr. Pepper rivers. But, unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. We’ve got to live in a messed-up world and that sometimes means having to overlook awful people and awful things.
That means looking at your Atlas/Globe and asking yourself a few questions:
-“Which place could need a pick-me-up?”,
-“Where are my efforts most likely to make a difference”, and
-“Why aren’t I looking this all up on Google maps?”
When you reach your conclusion (Belarus? Zimbabwe? The Island of Sodor?) it’s time to make haste and think about travelling to your destination in hopes of building meaningful contacts and getting a good look from the ground level.
Step 2: Building support for the cause
Revolutions are tricky business, mostly because there is so much at stake and usually dire consequences if you slip up. Oppressive governments that are worth overthrowing generally have a reputation to uphold. The reason you want to overthrow them is because of how badly they’ve been stomping down on you.
You need lots of people to join in the cause, otherwise you are just a part of a small group who thinks they know what’s best, setting out to replace another small group that had similar ideas (if different methods). To have legitimacy, you need broad support.
The problem with trying to add massive hordes to the cause is that they don’t all sit around in stadiums holding signs saying “we are fomenting”. You have to reach out, sometimes in very discreet ways and hope that interested parties respond.
One method that old school revolutionaries didn’t have access to is social media. It’s simple enough to start a group on Facebook called “Our Dictator Kinda Sucks” and see how many people join/like it. Once you feel like you’ve got a critical mass, then it is time to get to the real work.
Step 3: Taking action
If there was anything that the world learned from the Arab Spring, it was that governments have a very hard time crushing hundreds of thousands of citizens at the same time (and especially with the embarrassing omnipresence of video recording everywhere).
So, if your Facebook revolution group reaches whatever your magical number is, maybe it is time to set up a protest or some other form of civil disobedience (imagine the shock if an entire nation went to bed without brushing their teeth).
Of course, as anyone who has ever planned a birthday party on Facebook would know, event attendance can vary considerably from what is expected. It’s not uncommon to have tons of people commit to coming and then bail at the last moment. On the other hand, there is always the possibility of the opposite happening.
Step 4: Follow-through and establishment of a new system of government
I have no idea how this happens. Whatever. Not my problem. This blog post was about starting a revolution. The rest is up to someone else. I’m going to go take a nap.