General Strike Now: Fuck Off, Celebrities, Or Do Your Duty
In America’s darkest hour since the 1850s, the famous can no longer refuse to invest their platform capital in the greater good
It’s time for you to act. Millions of Americans — your fans and supporters, in other words — are unemployed owing to Donald Trump’s criminal mismanagement of the Covid 19 pandemic. The rest of us are forced to risk our lives on a daily basis in order to enrich the already obscenely wealthy. Most pressing of all, Mitch McConnell has decided that the Senate should take a month off, meaning that no new stimulus measures will be passed in the interim, all while your fellow Americans are literally starving.
Your task is clear: you must help Americans mobilize by spreading the word about the general strike planned for September 1st, news of which has thus far been relegated to a loose, ragtag collection of social media accounts with little to no readership.
A nationwide general strike, in which workers walk off the job en masse until their demands (for healthcare, hazard pay, voting rights, etc.) are met, is immediately necessary. And it must be all hands on deck this time, with all workers putting their concerns and beliefs into action.
There’s already been a test-run; “essential workers” called a general strike on May 1st, but it wasn’t comprised of the entire American workforce, merely a subset of workers at various healthcare, grocery and home supplies retail chain companies, including Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Whole Foods. Predictably, as the strike unfolded, the irrepressibly corporate-hip Target stepped up and announced plans to spend $300 million (a little more than one percent of their $23.4 billion 2019 revenue) on covid-related expenses, including higher wages, hazard pay, child care, and paid sick leave for older and immunocomprised employees. Amazon announced their intention to spend its entire second quarter profit (around $4 billion), on safety equipment for workers, but (also predictably) didn’t hesitate to add the bragging caveat that “the overwhelming majority of our more than 840,000 employees around the world are at work as usual continuing to support getting people in their communities the items they need during these challenging times."
The essential workers strike was a good start, but not nearly enough. America needs loud, powerful voices demanding a return to democracy. So, celebrities, do us a favor and use your gigantic, immensely powerful social media platforms to mobilize the silent majority of Americans who cannot tolerate another moment of life under the yoke of this crazed dictatorship. Spread the news to your aggregate billions of social media followers that on September 1st, US workers will launch a general strike. No, take it a step further and announce that the strike will coincide with a 10 million person march on and occupation of Washington, DC. We are literally out of time to save America from itself, and you’re the only ones with the platform power to do something about it.
That, and only that, is the one thing your awesome privilege and platform power is useful for today. If it helps you decide, #generalstrike was trending at #1 on Twitter last week.
Not trying to be a dick here. It’s not that you haven’t impressed us with your “concern” thus far. But I have to be honest with you. We — everyday working Americans possessed of little “platform capital” (online cultural capital whose nebulous but real worth is measured by a combination of general reputation and, more to the point and more vulgarly, pure numbers of followers on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, et al) — don’t really care what you think of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, ICE stormtroopers or anything else.
We’re tired of looking on helplessly as huge gobs of space on mainstream “news” websites and super-blogs is taken up by pointless stories about your virtue-signaled outrage over stuff that, for those of us who, unlike you, can’t simply expatriate ourselves to livable countries if America melts down, isn’t just outrageous but viscerally terrifying. Just now, when I’d fired up the laptop to slap this little rant together, the #2 story on Yahoo News was a world-flattening expose headlined “Ashton Kutcher calls out Trump after Iowa disaster.” The headline, naturally, was clickbait, as there was no “calling out” in an actual call-out sense; the That 70s Show star, who in the past has publicly expressed his support for Trump’s impeachment, had simply tweeted his frustration that the federal government had been lax in their response to the derecho storm that had devastated parts of his native Iowa. “Wake up federal gov,” he tweeted, “What (sic) because it’s not called a tornado or hurricane you don’t need to act fast? Come On!!” Thus far, Yahoo reported to the surprise of absolutely no human being on earth or in space, “The president has not responded to the actor.”
That’s not to say that Kutcher isn’t genuinely concerned about his former home state, that he doesn’t experience anger over all the bad news while sitting far, far away from Iowa’s destruction in his $10 million home in Santa Barbara, CA. And yes, the real crime afoot is that all the disposable liberal-slanted (and financially flush) news sites continue to clog their pages with mindless celebrity news (just now, one prominently placed CNN.com — C-N-fucking-N — story is headlined “Drew Carey shows off his pandemic look”) instead of crucial information on Yemen or Syria or Venezuela or Flint, MI or the latest political bullshit story Snopes just dismantled or the latest doings of climate battling groups like Extinction Rebellion. But we’re used to that, and for its part, in our post-truth world, that crime is a daily whodunit, being that for every one of those non-stories, many citizens end up wondering whether the story was hatched from the mind of an actual deadline-battling “reporter” or a public relations hack.
We get it, celebrities. Only blockheaded Trump supporters like Scott Baio, Kid Rock or Stacey Dash are dumb enough not to care about being on the wrong side of history after we nail this down and drag 45 and his Nazi handlers off to Leavenworth. Yeah, we’ve got this, and we can’t wait to attend your shows and watch your movies in theaters when everything’s back to normal.
But that last bit is the part that hasn’t been written yet. What if you’re betting on the wrong horse? Trump is already doing everything he can to cancel the election, after all. He’s fucking with the post office now in order to suppress voting. We know he and his billionaire keepers see covid as a minor inconvenience, and thousands are dying every day in America because of that. Make no mistake, we are at Hitler level. Drastic measures are the only ones left to take.
So, celebrities, we, the useful idiots who stand by you even when your movies and albums suck — and many of them do, by the way, as you know — kindly request that you do something. No, not another self-serving Instagram circle-jerk with a few It-crowders singing a half-assed, insincere version of “Imagine,” do something real for once.
Thanks in advance.
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