Is a New Counter-Culture About to Hit the Mainstream?
by Chris Bowers, Sun Jul 11, 2004 at 12:48:03 PM EDT
Other polemic documentaries, such as Control Room, The Corporation, The Hunting of the President, Outfoxed, and Super Size Me have also received, or are about to receive, significant, widespread attention. It seems that every week a new documentary comes out that takes on a topic from a perspective I have long wished to be available.
The Blogosphere continues to grow in leaps and bounds. For example, check out the traffic at dailykos and Eschaton over the past year. Both have quadrupled from what were already soaring heights, and now each has almost as many readers as your average cable news talk show has viewers. Hell, the daily traffic here has more almost tripled in the past three months. At the Swing State Project, my other blog gig, it has increased six fold over the past three months.
Meetup numbers? While nothing has achieved what we witnessed in the Dean campaign, they still continue to soar, with the Democratic Party passing 60,000, and Kerry passing 125,000. Many organizations and issue groups, almost all of which lean left, have passed 5,000 members. Oh yeah--and Presidential campaigns now receive around 33% of their money from small donors.
Throw in the continuing growth of music, video and other file sharing, as well as the continuing number of people who use the internet, especially the independent internet, as their primary source of news, and I have to seriously wonder if we stand at the brink of the explosion of a new counter-culture in America. Rising out of the anti-war protests of February 15, 2003 (the largest protest in history), and before that the smaller anti-globalization protests, this is a culture that is highly active, independent, group-oriented, bottom fermenting, leftist, and viciously anti-corporate. The first two major shockwaves it has sent into the culture at large were the Dean campaign and Fahrenheit 911.
As of yet I am unable to formulate a name for it, and I am also unable to identify its "goals." While it certainly seems to have a major impact in the political, aesthetic and culinary realms of our culture, I am not sure if it extends into other areas as well. Is it even enough to be considered a counter "culture?" Perhaps, because it is still in its genesis, such determinations are impossible to make with any accuracy.
In short, over the past two years, I have slowly become more and more convinced that we are at the beginning of an enormous cultural shift, or even a rebellion. Have I just been blogging too much? Does anyone else out there feel this way?