Shell Shocked: A Day in the Life of an Activist
Did you ever wonder what it’s like to be a full time activist? It must be difficult to choose which causes you’ll demonstrate for or against on any given day. There are so many. While the rest of us have to worry about such mundane matters as paying the electric bill so we can watch American Idol every week, others of us devote our lives to protecting our right to watch American Idol every week.
Being a full time activist is almost like working full time. Instead of receiving a weekly paycheck, the activist receives a weekly stipend of bail money and lawyers’ fees.
His schedule includes having his fingerprints taken, being a member in good stead of police lineups, practicing with crayons to make protest signs and studying maps of new cities in which to demonstrate.
There are so many explosive issues of the day that there’s no shortage of demonstrations to take part in. There’s hate for Wall Street, a do-nothing Congress, the economy, Afghanistan, Hillary Clinton’s hair style, Oscar nominee snubs, nuclear disarmament and high taxes. However, much to the chagrin of major activist organizations, fewer and fewer college graduates are pursuing activism as a full time career.
It seems that they too want to watch American Idol every week and know they have to pay for it. What to do? It’s simple. The activists have formed a national association and send troops of recruiters to college campuses to compete with the likes of IBM, AT&T, the CIA and the French Foreign Legion.
Here’s a typical sales presentation being made to a typical student at a typical college by a typical activist association representative.
Recruiter: Young man, the Activist Association of America offers you a unique opportunity to see your country in a way most Americans don’t — from the inside of a jail.
Student: I’m not convinced. What are the real benefits to society in full time activism?
Recruiter: A good question. First of all, if you in any way believe that activism can affect positive social change, our association has a detailed catalogue of 4,321 causes you can choose from. A very popular cause in Sanibel, for example, is the protest against the Timbers’ and Doc Ford? policy of not accepting dinner reservations. We have a demonstration planned later this month outside those establishments. Schools of fish will charge reverse discrimination because they’re only blackened and not whitened. The following month, we’ll have a demonstration for homeless egrets, for the rights of sun worshipers who refuse to use sun tan lotion, and for Sanibel restaurant patrons who advocate formal dress for all occasions. We find causes everywhere and are constantly adding new ones to our catalogue.
Student: Okay, you’ve convinced me. I’ll cancel my next meeting with IBM. What’s the next step?
Recruiter: You’ll undergo basic training for ten weeks to learn how to be an activist. Then we have an exciting first assignment planned for you. In September you will make your way to Sanibel Island and join in a planned demonstration by the island’s alligator population to demand equal representation on the city council.