Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The political power of the mundane, or; the revolution in the 'ordinary'

(Methinks there may be a journal article in this, or at least a little more than a blog post... let's see how it goes...)

There is something so very satisfying in the very fact of the ordinary.
The quotidienne, the everyday... call it what you will.
The fact of the matter is that it is the very familiarity of objects and events that creates the regularity of lives, the very steady measure of the beat of our days.
But at that same moment, they become banal, the stuff of boredom, the measure of the end of our interest and focus - these things have always been there, they will remain in our sight... Could we not see another thing? Might there not be more than that before us?

And this is where the revolutionary can become.

For these things before us were once the new puppy, the gifted birthday toy, all things shiny and new.
They were once the revolutionary, the hopeful, the difficult to encompass, the impossible to understand.

And now they lie beside us, asides of the fascinating, and the cast-offs of the things we call 'news', resigned to the mundane and the 'ordinary'.
But this in itself is politically powerful.
For the very everydayness of these things that once challenged and made heads shift to encompass them is proof of its power.
Surely we need no more proof of the old maxim that old revolutionaries become new conservatives when the revolution happens?

Which is why, when friends refuse to go to see Drag Kings perform because they're not sure how those performances do anything anymore - they're stale, old, boring... surely they could find a way to be more challenging, more political?
Why then, I smile, and go to watch the ordinary occur.
The revolution has happened.

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