The current situation screams for the sorts of policies that progressive movements have long demanded—universal health care and a basic income, for example... and, duh, a Green New Deal to provide massive stimulus.
In the US, it's hard to imagine that anyone could see COVID-19 decimating our cities and not see the need for free health care for all regardless of income or documentation, or the guarantee that if your job evaporates you won't simply starve.
But sadly, we in the US are going to have to fight for these obvious things, and fight really hard—and that's if a Democrat wins in November.
So for now...
A pandemic playbook
Right now, we need to support the most vulnerable people in our society. We can join one of the thousands of mutual aid networks that are bubbling up everywhere—without forgetting that this is a damn sorry substitute for a functioning state.
We need to demand that our local and state governments pass rent cancellation and shelter the homeless, to start with—while remembering that a federal government unable to handle a national crisis is illegitimate, and that a wealthy country with the world's worst homelessness is deeply, structurally diseased. (Our would-be dictator is another symptom.)
We need to support local organizing with an eye to the elections. And as November approaches, we'll need to hold our noses and fight hard for the boring centrist candidate, the one who at least gives lip-service to caring for people.
That, it turns out, is extremely important: it'll enable us to hold his feet to the fire with all the (nonviolent) means at our disposal, and finally build the decent society we want and deserve. (Maybe a few creative stunts will even make sense at that point.) It'll be all up to us, but we just can't do it with this one.
Speaking of stunts...
This month, we bring you four projects we technically could have done without any contact with anyone—including three, count 'em, world premieres of hilarious short films... plus the very worst video game in the world! (Also, if you didn't see the video from our most recent project, now's your chance!)
Find out how we:
- hunkered down on a houseboat and remotely demolished an $80 million ad campaign by friend-of-nobody Chevron (includes a 12'30" world premiere that we edited but didn't include in our last film),
- demolished Shell's "Let's Go" ad campaign in a similar way (featuring the world's most demonic computer game),
- helped Peabody energy promote kiddie inhalers to address childhood asthma caused by their coal plants (includes another world premiere, 4'30"), and
- "collaborated" with the news to embarrass the NYPD over racist policing (make sure to also check out the weird-ass McDonald's promo, 1'50").
The best thing about each of these goofy stunts wasn't that we could have done them in isolation, but that the bigger campaigns they were part of did it right, and won most or all of what they were demanding.
That's a good reminder for the much, much huger campaigns we'll need to fight in 2021, that'll need to be radical, risky, and smart like never before.
They'll have lots of room for fun and creativity, too. But right now, in the meantime, there are a few things to do.
(And yes, we're working on something, but that's not what's important right now.)
(April 8, 2020. First sent out as an email blast.)