What will it take to make this generation passionate about change?
Call it wrath if you like,
or righteous anger.
Rage is good.
When it wells up from deep inside you, it is immediate, compelling, real. It is the only emotion strong enough to start a war – or stop one. Rage can change laws, take down corporations and topple governments.
Rage drives revolutions.
In the sixties, black America raised its fist and refused to take any more abuse from white society. In the seventies, women turned the age-old masculine order on its head. In the eighties, environmentalists mobilized en masse against the death of nature. But what about today? What is this generation up to? Is there any fire burning inside their guts?
At the Battle in Seattle, I asked people, “Why are you here?”
The answers ranged from Buddhist homilies to anarchist rants. But one man said something I’ll never forget: “Ever since I was a baby, crawling around the TV, I’ve been lied to. I’ve been propagandized. I’ve been told all my life that I’ll be happy if I buy stuff and worship the cool. Now I feel diminished, warped. I’m a pale version of what I could have been. I’ve been mindfucked. And now it’s payback time.”
Three generations have now been raised not as a part of the natural world – like the 30,000 generations before – but in a synthetic reality. A reality defined by advertising, media and consumer-driven culture. These generations have been hyped, suckered, aroused, thrilled – their fears, needs and desires manipulated in the most grotesque ways. Capitalist hype is the music of their anxiety, the gray noise of their depression, the muzak of their despair.
Now, finally, a rage is beginning to stir deep within. And out of this discordant rage, the movement of our information age will be born.