January 11, 2005

"Not One Damn Dime Day."

Have you noticed "Not One Damn Dime Day"? A lot of people have gotten many copies of this email that urges them to protest the war in Iraq by not spending any money on Inauguration Day:
On "Not One Damn Dime Day" those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending.

During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money...

For 24 hours, please do what you can to shut the retail economy down.

The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it....

There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing....

Here's a website about it, which doesn't explain why not spending money for one day is a good way to get a message across. Snopes declares it ineffective "slacktivism":
[T]he suggested scheme is one of the least effective forms of symbolic protest one could devise: it literally proposes that people do nothing, and doing nothing generates little, if any, publicity or news coverage. Massing thousands of people in one place and engaging speakers to make rousing public speeches provide vivid, well-defined images for the news media to pick up on, but pictures of people not spending money just don't make compelling fodder for newspapers and television. (Images of normally bustling malls, restaurants, and airports standing eerily devoid of human traffic might make for a good news story, but public opinion on this issue is far too divided for this protest to be able to bring all business to a grinding halt.) Even worse, when you call upon people to do nothing, how is anyone supposed to gauge the success of your efforts? There's no way to distinguish those who are doing nothing out of principal from those who are simply doing nothing out of habit.

This protest is so lame one suspects it started as a hoax to give people who support the President something to make fun of.

UPDATE: Citizen Z says: "'Take action by doing nothing.' It's a protest and a zen koan!" And now -- awfully late -- my blog's theme of the day has emerged: it's nothing! The first post today built toward the Seinfeldian "phone call about nothing." This post quotes Mel Gibson saying there's "nothing" to Gibson/Moore opposition. This post worried about the message implied by not blogging about something. So, if I were looking for more things to blog about on this relatively heavy blogging day, I would engage in some deliberate nothing-blogging. But nothing doing.

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