Tuesday, February 09, 2010

When Progressives Attack Facebook

Uh oh. Hold the onion rings. It looks as if the backlash against Facebook has begun.

Making an onion ring more "popular" than Stephen Harper implies that a) you have too much time on your hands, and or b) you can make people do almost anything on Facebook regardless of how trite, meaningless and time-wasting it is. Onion ring popularity is the activist's version of Farmville. Pardon me for believing that everything on Facebook is an onion ring contest and nothing is really serious.

Oh boy. That is serious. Especially since I LOVE onion rings. Mmmmmm.

And disappointing.

Because although my view of Facebook is somewhat similar to this one.

I do have to say this: The Facebook Army has done MORE to mobilize progressive Canadians, and put a big dent in the side of the Harper dictatorship, than anything or anybody has done in more than FOUR years.

And nowhere is it written that you can't organize a popular revolt, encourage young people to join in the political process, and still have fun.

Especially in a country that's dying of apathy, tiredness, and BOREDOM.

And nowhere does it say that you can't use an onion ring to ridicule Stephen Harper, like the Cons used ridicule to DESTROY Stephane Dion.

Which is why I believe that all progressives, young and old, should respect each other, and concentrate on uniting our forces. Instead of fighting each other, and doing the same old, tired, boring thing over and over again, and getting NOWHERE.

And I'd rather concentrate on the next step in the struggle.

The not so secret democracy mission...or the 31 days of action.

Because ANYTHING that helps topple the tyrant is good enough for me. So don't be discouraged Facebook Army. You're doing great.

Just hoist the onion ring high eh? Because darn it I'm HUNGRY !!!!

For victory.

And hey hey, ho ho, the struggle CONTINUES...


  1. BHill5:44 PM

    Hi Simon

    At first I thought the Onion Ring group was just a giggle. But there is some really good political satire in those comments, and while I'm sure the majority joined because it sounded like a laugh, there is some serious discussion going on too. I like your blog.

  2. Christopher White5:44 PM

    Well said! I appreciate this kind of attitude, as do many others who are fed up with irresponsible, unaccountable government.

  3. Facebook has been a useful tool in getting Canadians mobilized to protest Harper's prorogation of Parliament. Facebook helped get people to the different rallies across Canada. If we did not have Facebook, it would have been more difficult to get a large group of Canadians to the rallies all across Canada.

    I think we can have fun with Facebook once in a while. I do not suggest that we compare Harper to a worm next week or after that. I do think that we can use Facebook as a tool to get Canadians together to map out our next strategies on Harper and improving Canada's democracy.

  4. personally, i thought the onion ring gag was terribly funny.

    in an age where politicians try to make a lot of hay out of how many facebook friends they have, out of how hip they are to the iNtertubeZ...

    then mocking Steven Harper's number of friends by raising up an onion ring to similar or higher levels of glory is a good tactic

    there is a saying in politics:

    Love you or hate you... it doesn't matter until they are laughing at you.

  5. I just wish we had other alternatives (or do we) but Facebook is so easy because it is so dominant.

    Unfortunately even though many people put it too good use it is designed to use our own personal information to sell us stuff.

    i do not have a Facebook account because IMHO it is a social marketing site masquerading as a social networking site.

  6. hi BHill... well it is a giggle. But satire can bruise a tyrant's ego. And we need the laughter. :)
    I think a good mix of serious discussion, mobilization, and humor is just what the doctor ordered for anyone living in Con Canada in the middle of winter. Ugh. And thank you for liking my blog. I never have enough time to be SERIOUS...ahem. But I do believe in a better Canada...

  7. hi Christopher...thank you. I was very encouraged to see such a great mix of Canadians young and old standing up to the Harper government and say: We're not dumb so don't count on our apathy...

  8. hi Skinny Dipper...you got it...Facebook is just another useful tool. How we use it depends on us. I do feel slightly uncomfortable that it excludes some people. And I would like to see a kind of front page, which includes a selection of updates and neat videos of the day, made available to everyone.
    But it is a great tool, and it can help us a lot.
    Now as for this:

    I do not suggest that we compare Harper to a worm next week or after that.

    I'm not sure I can agree with that eh?

    But thanks for the idea... :)

  9. hi jmburton...OK. Now that I know you'll understand, I can tell the truth eh? When I first saw the onion ring, I practically shit myself laughing.
    And then of course I was HUNGRY. :)

    But seriously...you're right about this saying:

    Love you or hate you... it doesn't matter until they are laughing at you.

    And I intend to mock that ridiculous tyrant until he goes away...

  10. hi rww...yes I agree with you. As I told Skinny Dipper it bothers me that those who don't want to join Facebook might feel excluded.
    And I believe that alternatives should be provided. Although that's very easy for me to say because I'm not volunteering to do it.
    Facebook is a useful tool, but as you point out, it does have some serious issues...

  11. I have to say I keep reconsidering my Facebook policy (considering establishing an account providing the minimal information necessary but I fear having to spend excessive time making sure I'm opted out of everything I don't want to be automatically opted into - and I just don't trust "them") because so many are using it for social organizing but I feel that I would be giving in to "the man" if I did join.

  12. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Facebook has definitely been a useful tool in mobilizing progressive Canadians, though I do often question just how mobilized people are. The Onion Ring is a prefect example of this.

    While many, I'm sure, have become fans because they do resent Harper and his policies, I think most probably did so because they thought it was funny. Nothing more.

    Since onion rings are a snack enjoyed by most, there's really not much of a committment in declaring a preference to them over the PM. As a social experiment, I created a similar page myself, with a considerably less popular mascot: dog sh*t.

    It may not be a call-to-arms to progressives across the country, but I think it serves as a better barometer of how people really feel. I highly doubt that people will become fans just because all of their friends are. Then again, I could be wrong.

  13. hi RWW...I feel EXACTLY the same way you do.Every other day I seem to read something new and alarming about FB. And then there's problem I have that when I set up a page, I can't just let it sit there. I'm compelled to fill it up with something, and I just can't do that and blog. Been there, done it, maybe...

  14. hi DogPile...ha ha ha... excellent And what an elegant turd.I do believe I can see Stephen Harper's ugly image in it though... like Jason Kenney in a tortilla. :)
    Check it out everyone:


    P.S. Must teach my old dog some new tricks...

  15. Anonymous10:25 PM

    You're way off base, in that the sentiment was expressed by one of the lead organizers of the Calgary rally. He's allowed his opinion, and he certain is not in any way supportive of Harper or against grassroots action. He's calling into question the Onion Ring tactic, that's all. Considering all he's done for the cause, you really owe McBean an apology for this attack. Undeserved.

  16. hi Bryan... I would hardly call what I wrote an attack. I have no doubt that Robert is an excellent guy and a good progressive. And I certainly did not suggest that he was a Harper supporter. I just found what he wrote dismissive, old fashioned, and of course just plain wrong. It's extremely hard to motivate younger Canadians to get involved in the political process, any entrance point is a good one.
    Condescension isn't helpful.It's annoying. And of course humour is essential...