Perhaps I've been influenced by McLuhan but I feel like change comes from a) jamming circuits in order to b) expose the "environment," that is, the very structures of exchange and behavior, in order to c) discover, and enact, new ways of doing things.
Self-righteousness, unquestioning ideology, collective adherence to a position: these, to me, are the ills. I don't care who the fuck is performing them; it's the very behavior that I find, uh, troublesome? Distasteful?
This is why I like using aesthetic categories — "distasteful" — to make sense of seemingly ethical scenarios: it jams the circuit, at least for a moment. And jams me up socially, too.
I remember the early days of ACT UP — there was no orderly march, no heart strings being pulled, no hand holding or candle light vigils. There were explosive, guerrilla actions. It was the event, the spectacle, that mattered — not the group. They didn't want you to feel good; they wanted to get in your fucking face, put a bit of fear up in you, force you to think, to react. I don't know what they're up to, anymore. But at least for a bit they were challenging the paradigm of activism, of resistance.
And then there are truly radical models, ones that don't seek to resist anything per se but rather proffer alternatives. I'm thinking of Burning Man. Now, I'm no burner — I'm too misanthropic and too dainty, perhaps. But I thoroughly and absolutely dig what it's up to: no money, just play and the playa.
But what I really respect about Burning Man is that it's not just an event. If it were — if it were just a few days of frolic — it might be cool but it would just reinforce the madness of the weekend logic: work work work for a few hours of play. Which drives me insane. No, Burning Man takes its ethos to heart and carries it through everyday life in cities and communities across the country and across the globe (I made that last part up: is there an international Burning Man community?)
I truly feel that activism — what an odd and sort of beautiful world; it makes me think of the Futurists — is reorganizing behavior.
Of course, a little legislation could help, too.
Here's the law I want passed: the work week is 32 hours. Anyone who works more than that must be paid overtime. Man, that would fuck things up gooood. We'd probably starve for a while. And not have enough gadgets to go around. But think of all the time — parents could parent! Parents could fuck! Non-parents could fuck! We could move more slowly, reduce stress, make our youth happier.
That's the main behavior, I suppose, that I'd like to change: I want to slow everything the fuck down. Because this endless will not only to speed but to acceleration is literally killing us.