When Gil Scott-Heron wrote those words there was no way of imagining that a huge portion of the United States population would eventually be hooked into things called smart phones, tablets, iPads, laptops and whatever Apple wants to announce next. So with that being said, Gil Scott-Heron was right: The revolution won’t be televised, it will be Facebooked, Tweeted and texted. So it would appear Mr. Hyphenated Name was spot on ... in a way.
Prior to the cease fire between Palestine and Israel, the occasional picture of dead people and dead children would pop into my news feed on my Facebook account. If you’re one of the few that don’t have a Facebook account, a newsfeed allows you to see what people within your circle post. If they are politically charged, my guess is you’ll see a lot of political posts. (If they’re like me, you’ll see a lot of stuff that is meaningless but funny.)
So this makes Facebook a powerful tool if you’re trying to get information out to people who may or may not care. For me, I could have done without the images of dead children scrolling down my newsfeed; I was a tad offended. Having said that I also understood that certain people only respond to that kind of graphic imaging. Images like that say, "Yes, even though this war is happening a half a world away this is what it looks like." Brutal? Yes! Necessary? The jury is still out (at least for me).
I wish we lived in a place that understood that with war comes extreme brutality. I wish we understood as a culture that innocent people die all the time, people that had nothing to do with the conflict. If only we could understand that terms such as collateral damage are words that our government uses to (and you’ll pardon the analogy) "polish the turd." A stray missile hits a school killing 20 first-graders; collateral damage.
So if I could put that in regional terms (or give you a theater-of-the-mind Facebook image) a stray missile hits Academy School, Deerfield Valley Elementary or Guilford Elementary and all of a sudden those children are no longer collateral damage.
Unfortunately when these things go whizzing by on the Internet we often pay no attention to them; it’s an image we can scroll past and pretend like we didn’t see it. Look, I’m the first to say it -- I don’t like these images. I choose carefully what I look at and images of dead children and people have a profound effect on me. Images like this creep into my sleep and disrupt it.
But bombs will be dropped and we’ll continue to use terms such as "Collateral Damage," "Neutralize" and "Friendly Fire." All of those terms involve somebody somewhere losing someone they care about deeply and to me that’s unacceptable behavior.
I don’t know how to stop it. I only know how to bring attention to it with a sincere hope that enough people do as I do, which is this: Get mad! Don’t just post the pictures online -- attach the picture to an e-mail and ship it off to your congressional delegation with a list of the concerns that prompted you to post it. It’s pretty simple and will take you probably about five extra minutes to do it.
So the revolution may or may not be televised, but it will most likely play out over the Internet or in wireless form. However, if you only post it to Facebook, Twitter or whatever social media site is hot at the time, then it really won’t have the impact you want it to have. It’s all about accountability, and that accountability falls on you as well, so make sure it’s "televised" and make sure it gets the airplay it deserves. What the Hell is Up with that?