“Holy fucking shit people actually went to the Area 51 raid.”
That is currently the internet’s most common reaction to a very 21st century form of jokingly protesting.
About 100 people appear to have attended the storming, although only one tried to naurito run and quickly got a stern talking by armed guards.
In that modern fashion of not quite knowing what is a joke and what is a point, an etherean says: “I’m out here at Area 51 if anyone wants to hold an impromptu Ether meetup.”
He claims about 600 people have attended. “We’re cutting through some fences now; if they don’t shoot us we’re going to have drinks later – you should join us!”
He then makes a joke of sorts, with it unclear whether the above statements were a joke too, or whether just that specific joke was a joke.
Welcome to 2019, where some kids in furry hats get more attention than a global strike on climate change.
Thousands have apparently descended on London. What they want exactly is unclear as general opinion, like the climate, has changed.
Few of us have masters in environmental science, but all of us would prefer clean air, clean water, and just a nice environment.
So whether climate change is real or not, the excuse to get rid of cancer causing pollutants is good enough for most (80%) to now consider the climate a top priority.
However, that these kids have to take to the streets in America and in London is an indictment of our ineffective representative democracy for these young men and women are clearly not being heard.
They’re not being heard because the electoral system is broken. To have any chance of attendance at Parliament or Congress, millions are required in donations usually from the rich who thus pick and choose who best represents them.
Hence not one congressman or woman has raised the question of: what exactly is going on at area 51? Why are these kids jokingly attending it? Do they know something?
While plenty of Parliaments have said a thing or two about the environment, few have dared criticize China’s atrocious pollution levels.
It is becoming clearer by the day that for our democracy to survive as a democracy and not be captured by an oligarchy, a new house must be added to Parliament and Congress: a Citizens’ Assembly.
The random selection of a sample of the population may well be far better representation than the usually awful choice between bad and worse.
Through the six degrees of connection, moreover, such sample should give everyone the opportunity to be directly or indirectly heard in debating chambers rather than on the streets.
Had there been such Citizens’ Assembly there may have never been an Iraq War and the almost two decades of terror that followed, much of it with apparent political complicity to sell the war as some unknown intelligence person kept saying weeks after the event they knew the person or they warned of it.
This sense of powerlessness and lack of representation that ordinary people feel has to be addressed peacefully as the streets should not be scenes of debate.
Ursula the blond has promised such Citizens Assembly of sorts on the future of Europe. We are sure she’ll deliver on that promise, but the best aspect of this matter is that it needs no permission.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, for example, can himself call such Citizens’ Assembly. The peaceful gathering of people, especially for debate, is of course a Magna Carta right.
Meaning our elected do risk losing relevance if they do not begin really addressing matters, starting with a congressional hearing on what exactly is going on at area 51 in addition to a presidential enquiry or a Royal commission on the banking industry which once more now appears to be in need of cash injections.