Wednesday, 5 January 2011

How to: Start a riot and upset the bandwagon.

I have been extremely amused over the past couple of days by heated debate which this article triggered.
In the 48 hours since its publication, the huge volume of commentary and hatred directed towards it and its author has staggeringly overwhelmed any positive/negative implication of the issue at hand, and so, without further ado I give you How to start a riot, lose the plot, become hated, become loved, overshadow the issue at hand and achieve very little but become a legend of sorts. (As a note, I bear no malice to anybody involved, and hold great respect for some, but still find the whole thing pretty hilarious).

1. Create a persona. This need not be who you really are, in fact it helps if it is disingenuous as this will give your supporters/critics a label to throw around or vehemently reject. Ways to achieve this include sit ins, student rallies, political heckling, paint throwing etc. This must be as high profile as possible or else people will struggle to find the relevant information when attacking you.

2. Choose a cause. This should be well known so that people can consider themselves informed enough to disagree with you. Check if there's information on google about it so that people who want to get angry and righteous can find some basic information and get involved without having to work hard. It must be something people can get sympathetic over, African babies, kittens, alcohol prices, tuition fees, Asian babies, babies in general and global warming are good places to start. Avoid anything religious, political, foreign or globally relevant as this will alienate the less informed haters, and also spoil the later comparisons which some pompous numpty will inevitably provide.

3. Write an article/make a petition/impassioned speech, in a heavily biased, didactic tone, and post it somewhere exposed with an amusing picture and an inflammatory headline. This way lots of people who otherwise wouldn't care will find it and make it their duty to join the discussion. Don't include too many facts, especially statistics, as people are uncomfortable disagreeing with numbers which may actually prove them wrong.

4. Have lots of friends/frenemies. These will support you when people begin to attack you personally after they get bored of shredding your arguments. They will also 'like' the link to your story on facebook and twitter and spread the rage/adulation amongst their own circle of friends.

5. Sit back and watch the fireworks. If you have successfully completed the above four steps, then by now you probably have a fan club (composed largely of the member of the step 4 brigade) and a hate page. At best, the original issue will be buried under allegations of agenda,brand hatred and personal attacks, and will be briefly supported/trashed for the duration of the bunfight. At worst you will have created enough opposition that whatever you were arguing for will inevitably be blocked by people who want to do what you were fighting against, people who enjoy being difficult and people who just don't like you very much.

Either way, you become a legend (for 15 seconds), but it may well be to the detriment of your cause.


1 comment:

  1. Ohohohoho I seriously love you.
    Even more if your pseudonym was Tony Blair?