Wednesday, May 03, 2006

One cup of activism please, hold the froth.

I have just realized that in no less than three of my previous posts, I have used the word "frothy." As in, "churned into a frothy whip," etc.

This disturbs me, if only because the repeated use of the same literary device shows a lack of journalistic creativity.

Why do I continue to use the same metaphor (or is it a simile?)? Because to me, it ascribes to the group being so labeled the character of a bubbly, swirling, and yet essentially insubstantial, well, froth such as you might find ladeled across the top of a half-caff latte or some fruity conconction just bludgeoned together in a high-speed blender.

I see those aerial shots of immigration protestors or not-quite-a-million mom marchers, and if I cross my eyes just right, I can almost see the effervescent foam on a freshly poured Sprite, or the mountains of pretty rainbow bubbles floating aimlessly along the top of my bathwater.

For a moment they are all-pervasive. Hissing and spitting and fizzing and popping like a greasy burger on a hot grill. And yet, with distrubing rapidity, the bubbles burst, and you're left with nothing but an overpriced, luke-warm coffee or a tub of tepid bathwater in which floats the detritus of the day.

To coin a word, ephemeral. Activists of the moment roused from their social torpor by the latest cause de rigueur of the perpetually outraged. Only to wakeup the next morning with the equivalent of a hangover from their bender of righteous indignation, facing the same reality as before, with the added addition, of course, of a boss pissed because you called in "sick" from work and then had your face plastered across the 6:00 news waving a Mexican flag. So you turn your attention once more to paying bills and living your life, things essentially unchanged, save for that little piece of happiness down somewhere inside that says, much like a bumpersticker across your conscience, "I DID something!"

Whether you did anything MEANINGFUL is completely beside the point. And whether or not you did the RIGHT thing simply does not bear examination.

As long as it made you FEEL GOOD, all full of foamy goodness and light, well then. That's what really matters.

UPDATE:
Pretty, fizzy, bubbles....