Not even one tenth of the US population over the age of 18 watched the opening hearing on January 6th last week. Preliminary reports suggest that it garnered 20 million or so viewers, in a nation of over 258 million over the age of 18.
This is deeply troubling. Now of course it is ‘a big ask’ to get anyone to sit down to watch something on the old schedule, you know before streaming. I admit I watched it live via Hulu (there’re just too many interruptions by commentators on NPR, so I’ve found a less interrupted venue; ‘you’re listening to special live coverage of…’ give me a break with all that). And surely many others caught the highlights on their social-media feeds or on the evening news, perhaps. Troubling in these latter cases since the hearing itself is then edited by select individuals intent on having the event be received in a particular way, and not every journalist or commentator is so terribly well intentioned toward their audiences. Thankfully the committee’s opening message was fairly straightforward: (1) the event on Jan. 6th was “an attempted coup,” not a riot or a protest, nor “legitimate political discourse”; (2) Donny with the Combover and certain of his team are deeply implicated in the orchestration of a multi-path attempt to upset the will of the People. Thankfully, most of the statements made by the committee members, nearly every sentence, also has the potential to ‘go viral.’
In fact 20 million viewers is only 7.7% of the US population. Apparently it was the journalists, political staffers, and me, who chose to watch. If the LGBTQ+ community in the US banded together and formed our own country (can you even imagine how picture perfect beautiful it would be?!) the US would loose more people, many more, than watched the opening hearing.
I would cede the remainder of my time, to leave empty a span of the printed paper for you, dear reader, to reflect on this number: 7.7%. Fill this empty space, take your pen to this paper, and jot down how you would proceed, what is your plan to counteract the political divestment of the 90s and the general cynicism of the voting public? How would you draw the attention of those who do not have the luxury of free attention in this deeply exploitative economic system?
Ok smarty pants, now you must act: it is your duty, dear reader, as it is mine, to foster change where we deem it necessary by increasing awareness in those around us, and always to foster community, to sow its seeds and invite any and all into our camaraderie, to laugh with strangers who will never be strangers again after a shared laugh.
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