Humor can deliver a sharp prod to action. As Mark Twain said, “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter”….
Borat (the comic character, and soon the movie) makes its points by seeming to embrace racism, sexism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism. Now the advocacy site We Own the Internet makes its point about the seemingly dry topic of Net Neutrality with its painfully smarmy “spokesman” Richard P. Merryweather, president and CEO of CT&TCOM American Communications.
Poynter’s Amy Gahran is spot on in her assessment that humor goes a long way to stir interest in an otherwise “disengaged community.”
Amy writes, “Like it or not, so many people consider Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to be great news/commentary sources for a reason: They poke fun at dry, dismal current events and issues we’d rather ignore if we could. That’s the beauty of it: Funny = accessible, especially if you’re trying to stir interest in a largely disengaged community.”
In the case of Net Neutrality …. the principle that Internet users should be able to access any Web content or applications they choose without restrictions or preferences imposed by an Internet service provider …. Gahran writes “it’s an arcane, geeky sounding issue, difficult to get interested in,” but nonetheless a critical one.
Whether you agree or disagree with the site’s point of view, WeOwntheNet.org nevertheless frames the issue in an accessible, easily digested way. Consider these enthusiasticly delivered soundbites by spokesman Merryweather:
“[We're] the largest telephone company in the U.S. I want to make one thing perfectly clear: We own the internet. We acquired it last year with the help of the federal government, and now we’re about to make some exciting changes.”
“[An] open internet is just too confusing for consumers, and not nearly as profitable for us….Who better to provide you with a 21st-century technology than a 19th-century monopoly?”
“Too many choices are just too damn confusing!”
“Keep the Internet in the hands of an industry that understands monopoly power.”
and my favorite:
“It’s not that we don’t care what you think, because we don’t….”
Check it out. And let me know what you think.