Noise Makers

By Thomas Kochman - 09.27.2010

You have to make a lot of social noise if you want to get public attention. At times that is an absolute necessity if you want to move the country in a different direction.

Most of the time, social noise has a purpose you can identify with, or at least, respect, coming from people who experience significant social indifference or neglect, or outright racism or discrimination.

Those without paid lobbyists have only the street to voice their opinions or grievances.

Understandable! So be it. Politicians need periodic wake up calls to do the right thing.

Today’s public noise in the U.S. political arena is harder to respect.

It comes mainly from the Tea Party movement and anti-Muslim extremists.

In one way, I am glad for their existence.

They coalesce the anti-matter that is out there—people organized, if not united, by what they are against, like their Republican counterparts in Congress.

Better to have that energy funneled though established social channels than randomly expressed by angry individuals bent out of shape and on destruction.

What’s harder to respect is social noise for the sake of noise and a following like Newt Gingrich comparing “Ground Zero” mosque backers to Nazis or Pastor Terry Jones who threatened to burn the Quran preying “on growing hostility and uneasiness in the lead up this year’s 9/11 anniversary of the U.S. terrorist attacks.”

People caught up and captured by the sound of their own voice: narcissistic revelers — characters in search of the widest possible audience.

Daniel Boorstin once defined a celebrity as someone who “is known for their well-knownness.”

Good for a pop TV show perhaps, and being made fun of on “Saturday Night Live.”.

But not really to be taken seriously politically.