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An Interview with Mark Drolette
Special BRAD BLOG / Velvet Revolution coverage of the Sep 24-26 Rally in D.C. Guest blogged by Katrina Wilcox
We're off to see our Representative today. While we're away - here's another interview for you. When I was desperately searching for something that would hold this administration accountable, I came across The March of the Madder'n Hells by Mark Drolette.
1. What caused you to become an activist and when was this?
I first realized something was very, very wrong the first time I heard Dubya declare Saddam Hussein was The Big Bad (thank you, Buffy; R.I.P.). It was so off-key, so bizarre, so insane, that I got off my TV-anesthetized ass and started doing a little research. I stumbled across the Project for the New American Century, honestly thinking at first it was someone's idea of a bad gag, and then reacted in horror when I found out these nutballs were serious. I attended several anti-war marches in San Francisco to try to stop the invasion (yeah, right; the air campaign had already started, we know now). I started posting essays on Independent Media sites a few months later, was first published in Online Journal in the summer of 2004, and have continued writing and doing other anti-Bush stuff since. I'm not really sure how much of an "activist" I am, but it all counts, I guess.
2. What compelled you to write The March of the Madder'n Hells?
Ha! Frustration, rage, hope, naiveté (not necessarily in that order). Even though, for various reasons, the Madder'n Hells fizzled out, I still think that a million angry people surrounding the U.S. Capitol for days/weeks on end demanding hearings be held on the Downing Street Minutes (or the scandal du jour) would measurably change the status quo by forcing the government's hand to take some sort of substantial action; just how that action manifested, though, would, of course, remain to be seen.
3. What message would you like every American to hear at this crucial time?
Our democratic republic no longer exists; it has been replaced by a fascist system. The rules you have always counted on existing, the legal safeguards provided by the Constitution, no longer apply and will not somehow magically reappear. You must adjust your thinking -- and actions -- accordingly.
4. Given the chance to address Congress and the administration, what would you say to them?
"Put your hands over your heads where we can see them and come towards us very, very slowly"?
5. What do you consider to be the most important problem facing America at this point? Do you have a solution?
Other than the entire Bush administration and its unmitigated dedication to serving corporate interests, the lackey U.S. corporate media are the biggest problem. Without their completely compromised complicity and cooperation, many of the indignities/atrocities perpetrated by the Bushies would not have happened, starting with the war in Iraq. By design -- a plan perfectly implemented by the extreme right-wing to purchase and consolidate media outlets, "own" the message and thus, frame the debate -- the media in this country are no better than the old Soviet Pravda. Worse, really, because at least the folks in the U.S.S.R. knew Pravda was full of crap. Here, many Americans still trust the "news." (Still, there is no excuse for any adult not to ferret out the truth from somewhere. The primary duty of any American is to keep a well-informed eye on the government, whatever effort that entails, which, with the Internet's existence, ain't much.)
If hope still exists for America (an iffy proposition), the solution is to grow our own media network to make it the source from which the majority of Americans receive their information. We need as many sites like Velvet Revolution as we can get, as powerful and well-advertised as we can get them. This means money -- lots of it -- is needed by and for such sites, and soon.
It's a long shot, though, at best. The corporate media are entrenched, incredibly wealthy and unbelievably powerful.
6. Bringing about change in the government through letter writing, signing petitions, and making phone calls is not working. Do you have any thoughts or ideas on ways to accomplish real change?
You're right, it's not working. In fact, the longer people continue doing those things you mention, thinking they are participating in some sort of system that cares about or works for them, the longer the ruling fascists get to pretend they're not ruling fascists.
The rot is so complete that the current system is unsalvageable. I hope I'm wrong, and this sounds clichéd, but I fear the only thing that will bring about real change in America now is revolution, or, considering the tens of millions of idiots who amazingly still support Bush, civil war.
7. One such idea is for everyone that attends this weekend's rally to stay in Washington until the government is forced to change and bring the troops home, etc. Do you think that idea would work?
As mentioned earlier, I'm certain one million pissed off Americans in D.C. demanding change would spark the government to do something, whether it be to bring the troops home (with 12-14 permanent U.S. military bases currently under construction in Iraq, don't bet on it), hold hearings on (name favorite Bushco transgression here), or mow people down in the streets. At this point, it just may take the overt slaughter of Americans by "security" forces to get people to finally understand their government (with rare exception) is composed of nothing but common thugs, pols-as-corporate-water-carriers and, last but not least, mass murderers.
8. Do you have any thoughts or ideas on ways to get the corporate media to get our message out?
It ain't gonna happen. All of the biggest media conglomerates, with the exception of Viacom, are owned by staunch, conscienceless right-wingers (sorry for the redundancy). And though Sumner Redstone, Viacom's owner, is a Democrat, he's still on record as saying he votes his pocketbook, i.e. GOP/fascist.
That's why I say if we are ever going to inform enough Americans well enough to prod them into taking the action necessary to make a difference (provided the country/world is not yet ablaze), we're going to have to accomplish the Herculean task of overtaking the corporate media and "be the media" ourselves.
9. Are there any further comments you would like to make?
For those who plan on staying in America: Arm yourselves to the teeth, stock up on ammunition and supplies, and learn how to shoot straight. For those planning on leaving: Do so now or as soon as possible. The post-Katrina horror for which Bushco is squarely responsible is but a minor preview of the unimaginable hell coming America's way.
I know that sounds alarmist and, again, I truly hope I'm wrong, but I always come back to this: Anyone capable of killing over 100,000 people, as Bushco has done, is capable of doing anything. This administration came to power illegitimately and has retained it the same way, and I see nothing in that track record to indicate the beasts who control America will ever voluntarily cede their position.